feature-zoning

Zoning Hearing Board

The Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) is a quasi-judicial body that renders decisions on applications for variance and special exception, as well as appeals from the Zoning Officer and challenges to the validity of the zoning ordinance and flexible development procedures.  Members of the ZHB are appointed by the Township Board of Supervisors to three year terms, and they meet as needed, subject to receipt of application to the Township.

Variances

A variance is relief granted from the strict application of the requirements of the zoning ordinance to a particular property.  Section 910.2(a) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) sets forth the criteria that must be met for the grant of a variance. Additionally, in granting a variance, the ZHB may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it may deem necessary to implement the purpose of the zoning ordinance. The ZHB may grant a variance provided that all of the following findings are made where relevant in a given case:

  • That there are unique physical circumstances or conditions, including irregularity, narrowness, or shallowness of lot size or shape, or exceptional topographical or other physical conditions peculiar to the particular property and that the unnecessary hardship is due to such conditions, and not the circumstances or conditions generally created by the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance in the neighborhood or district in which the property is located;
  • That because of such physical circumstances or conditions, there is no possibility that the property can be developed in strict conformity with the area and bulk regulations or design standards of the Zoning Ordinance, and that the authorization of a variance is therefore necessary to enable the reasonable use of the property, but shall not allow a change in use to one not permitted by right in that district;
  • That such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the applicant;
  • That the variance, if authorized, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood or district in which the property is located, not substantially or permanently impair the appropriate use or development of adjacent property, and not be detrimental to the public welfare; and
  • That the variance, if authorized, will represent the minimum variance that will afford relief and will represent the least modification possible of the regulation in issue.

ZHB Application

Special Exceptions

A special exception is a use the Board of Supervisors has determined is in the public health, safety, and welfare in the zoning district proposed, but is subject to specific standards and more detailed review. The application for special exception must be granted where the applicant demonstrates compliance with the specific requirements set forth in the zoning ordinance, unless an objector proves that the use would be detrimental to public health, safety, or general welfare. Additionally, in granting a special exception, the ZHB may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it may deem necessary to implement the purpose of the zoning ordinance.

ZHB Application

Appeals from the Zoning Officer

The ZHB hears and decides appeals where it is alleged the Zoning Officer has failed to follow prescribed procedures or has misinterpreted or misapplied any provisions of a valid ordinance or map or any valid rule or regulation governing the action of the Zoning Officer. An appeal from determination of the Zoning Officer must be filed within 30 days after notice of the determination is issued.

Challenges to the Validity of the Zoning Ordinance

The ZHB hears any substantive challenges to the validity of the Zoning Ordinance or the Zoning Map, except a challenge brought before the Board of Supervisors. The ZHB also hears any challenge to the validity of the Zoning Ordinance raising procedural questions or alleged defects in the process of enactment or adoption, where such challenge is raised by an appeal taken within 30 days after the effective date of the ordinance.

Challenges to the Validity of the Zoning Ordinance

The ZHB hears any substantive challenges to the validity of the Zoning Ordinance or the Zoning Map, except a challenge brought before the Board of Supervisors. The ZHB also hears any challenge to the validity of the Zoning Ordinance raising procedural questions or alleged defects in the process of enactment or adoption, where such challenge is raised by an appeal taken within 30 days after the effective date of the ordinance.

Recent Meeting

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Members

  • David Scaggs – Chair
  • Laura Scanlon – Vice Chair
  • Jeff House
  • Dane Criddle – Alternate
  • Kevin Flynn – Alternate

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