Birmingham Housing Board of Appeals

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The Birmingham Housing Board of Appeals is a board established by the Birmingham City Code of 1964 with jurisdiction over violations of the city's building and land use controls.

Under Division 2 "Notices of Violations", the Mayor of Birmingham is given the responsibility to enforce the building and land use controls of the city code. In the case of an alleged violation, the mayor issues a notice to the party involved describing the problem, specifying corrective action, and providing a reasonable time frame to come into compliance.

Any person affected by such a notice has a right to a hearing before the Mayor upon written application. If the party does not apply for a hearing, then the notice of violation assumes the status of an order. The result of the hearing also constitutes an order. The suspension of a permit by notice of violation, likewise, becomes a revocation if not overturned by such a hearing.

Any person "aggrieved by the decision of the mayor pursuant to the hearing" may then appeal to the Birmingham Housing Board of Appeals" by filing a notice of appeal within 15 days. The board is also charged with hearing appeals of orders issued by the city's Health Officer. The board consists of three members, each serving a three-year term with one term expiring each year. The board is responsible for setting its own rules of procedure and selecting its own officers.

The board is empowered to make exceptions to the literal application of the city's building and land use controls where "special conditions" indicate that "undue hardship" is demonstrated. The board can, by majority vote, grant a "reasonable minimum" variance from any section of the controls, so long as the result preserves the "spirit and intent" of the article "with respect to sanitation, safety, and rehabilitation." The decision of the Board of Appeals is final.


The Birmingham Housing Board of Appeals became largely inactive over the years. In May 2010 the Birmingham Design Review Committee rejected a proposal by Chick-Fil-A to construct a restaurant with a drive-thru window at the former Ruby Tuesday's location at Five Points South. The decision was appealed. At the time, only one previous appeal was remembered in the previous three decades. The inactive board had to be reconstituted with three new members.

The three, one of which was David Allen, held an organizational meeting on June 1 and set hearings for June 16 18 and 21.


  • Birmingham City Code (1964) Section 25-62 through 25-68, as amended
  • Tomberlin, Michael (June 2, 2010) "Birmingham panel will hear Chick-fil-A appeal in two weeks." Birmingham News
  • Cooper, Lauren B. (June 2, 2010) "Hearings set for Chick-fil-A appeal." Birmingham News