Municipalities Planning Code
Under the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), any municipality that has zoning must also have a Zoning Hearing Board to provide citizens with relief from the Zoning Ordinance and the interpretations of the Zoning Officer.
Staff answers citizen inquires about the Zoning Ordinance and permitted uses and activities within the various Zoning Districts. The department also issues zoning permits for uses and construction activities which are authorized by the Zoning Ordinance. Requests for variances, special exceptions, and appeals of the Zoning Officer’s Determination are processed through this department. Decisions on these matters are made by the Township’s Zoning Hearing Board.
Zoning Hearing Board
The Zoning Hearing Board consists of five members appointed by the Board of Supervisors. All members are Township residents and serve a five year term. The Board is assisted by a Solicitor who provides legal counsel. By Pennsylvania statute, the Solicitor is chosen by the Zoning Hearing Board, but his compensation is set and paid by the Board of Supervisors. Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month and are held at the Township Building. Members are paid a fee for each meeting attended.
The Zoning Hearing Board's purpose is to hear appeals of the Zoning Officer's decision by interpreting the ordinance and granting relief from the literal enforcement of that ordinance in certain hardship situations. Also, it decides on the applications for variances, home occupations and special exceptions. The Board schedules hearings on applications of requested appeals. It hears the evidence presented and renders decisions which contain findings of fact and conclusion of the law. Legal notices of proposed meetings are listed in the legal section of the local newspaper. Copies are also sent to the applicant, adjacent neighbors of the applicant, and notice is posted at the proposed site.