Township of Lower Gwynedd, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
STATUTORY REFERENCES
Power to adopt and enforce zoning ordinances — See 2nd Class Sec. 702-XXV.
General provisions and definitions — See Penna. Mun. Plan. Code, Art. I.
Zoning — See Penna. Mun. Plan. Code, Art. VI.
GENERAL REFERENCES
General provisions and definitions — See Section 1250.04; Ch. 1298.
Fees — See Sections 208.03(b) and 1252.12.
Subdivisions to comply with Zoning Code — See Section 1232.04.
Variances — See Sections 1252.03, 1252.10 and, 1290.07 et seq.
Appeals — See Sections 1252.04 and 1252.11.
Zoning permits — See Section 1296.09.
1299a Appendix I - Zoning map changes 1299b Appendix II - Historic resources eligibility list

§ 1299.01 Authority of Code Official.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
This Zoning Code shall be enforced by the Township Code Official, with the aid of the Police Department and other Township agencies. The Code Official shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors as provided by law.

§ 1299.02 Duties and powers of Code Official.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
The Township Code Official shall:
(a) 
Keep a record of all plans and applications for permits and of all permits issued, with notations as to special conditions attached thereto. All records shall be open for public inspection.
(b) 
Review applications for zoning permits for the erection or alteration of a structure or change of use and determine whether or not such construction or use is in accordance with this Zoning Code, with all other applicable ordinances and with the laws, statutes and regulations of the Commonwealth. The Code Official shall issue no permit unless it conforms with all applicable ordinances, laws, statutes and regulations.
(c) 
Conduct inspections and surveys to determine compliance or noncompliance with this Zoning Code. In conducting such surveys, the Code Official or his or her representative may enter upon or in any land or building.
(d) 
Make written orders requiring compliance with this Zoning Code to be served personally or by certified mail;
(e) 
Institute proceedings in courts of competent jurisdiction for the enforcement of this Zoning Code;
(f) 
Maintain a map showing the current zoning classification of all land in the Township;
(g) 
Maintain a map and register showing the registration, identity, location and type of all nonconforming structures and uses in the Township; and
(h) 
Participate in all proceedings before the Zoning Hearing Board and present facts and information to assist the Board in reaching decisions, which decisions shall conform to the requirements of this Zoning Code.
The Code Official shall issue no permit for the construction or use of any land or building unless it also conforms to the requirements of all other ordinances of the Township and to the laws and statutes of the Commonwealth.

§ 1299.03 Certificates of conformity required.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
After the effective date of this Zoning Code (Ordinance 223, passed December 10, 1985), no new building shall be erected, no building now erected shall be changed or altered, and no vacant land shall be occupied, until a certificate of conformity is issued by the Code Official stating that the structure and use comply with this Zoning Code. A record of all certificates of conformity shall be kept on file by the Code Official and copies shall be furnished upon request to any person having a proprietary or tenancy interest in the structure or use affected.
The Code Official shall require that any application for a certificate of conformity contain all information necessary to ascertain whether or not the proposed structure or occupancy complies with this Zoning Code. The Code Official shall, within fifteen days after the receipt of an application for a certificate of conformity, issue the certificate if the proposed structure or occupancy complies with this Zoning Code and all other relevant Township laws and ordinances.
Upon completion of the work authorized by any certificate, the applicant or owner shall notify the Code Official of such completion. No permit shall be considered as complete or permanently effective until the Code Official has noted on the permit that the work has been inspected and approved as being in conformity with this Zoning Code.

§ 1299.04 Certificate applications.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
Applications for certificates of conformity shall be made in writing by the owner, tenant or authorized agent and shall be filed with the Code Official on a form prescribed by him or her. The application shall include a statement as to the proposed use of the building, shall be accompanied by a plan drawn to scale and showing the location of the building in relation to the property and road lines, shall include a statement that the side lines of all roads shown on the plan have been located and staked on the premises by a surveyor or other person competent to give such location, and shall give the name and address of the person who has so located and staked the road.

§ 1299.05 Fees.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
The applicant for a permit required by this chapter shall, at the time of making the application, pay to the Code Official for the use of the Township a fee in accordance with Section 208.03(b) of the Administration Code. The Code Official is hereby authorized to require a permit fee in accordance with such section for the use or occupancy of buildings or structures.

§ 1299.06 Variances.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
If any lot of public record is held in single and separate ownership on the effective date of this Zoning Code (Ordinance 223, passed December 10, 1985), which lot is not of sufficient size or dimension to permit the erection of a building thereon in accordance with this Zoning Code, and provided that the Zoning Hearing Board finds that the necessary additional ground is not available because of the inability of the owner to acquire additional ground upon fair terms, then the Board may grant a variance for the use of such lot upon such conditions as the Board may specify, so that the minimum and maximum regulations of the district in which the lot is located are met as closely as possible.

§ 1299.07 Application and approval procedures for zoning permits.

[Ord. 246. Passed 12-22-1987; Ord. 253. Passed 2-16-1988]
The procedure for application review and approval for zoning permits in "C-D," "CD-1," "E," "MF-1," "MF-2," "MF-3," "MF-3A," "D," "D-1," "D-2," "D-3," "D-4," "F," "F-1," "MD" and "PO" Districts and any cluster development conditional use allowed in an "AA-1" or "A-1" District, shall be the same as stated and required for a subdivision or land development under the Subdivision and Land Development Regulations.

§ 1299.08 Investigations; violations.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
The Code Official shall take cognizance of a violation of any of the provisions of this Zoning Code. He or she shall investigate each violation which comes to his or her attention. He or she shall order, in writing, the correction of such conditions as he or she finds to be in violation of any of the provisions of this Zoning Code. Failure to secure all required permits and certificates under this Zoning Code, or under a Zoning Hearing Board order, when required, prior to the erection, construction, extension or addition to a building, shall be a violation of this Zoning Code.

§ 1299.09 Notice of violation; time limit for compliance.

[Ord. 257. Passed 6-21-1988]
When the Code Official observes an actual or apparent violation, or has reasonable grounds to believe there is a violation, of any provision of this Zoning Code, or a condition imposed as part of any order of the Zoning Hearing Board, or a condition imposed by the Board of Supervisors upon the grant of a conditional use, he or she shall prepare a written notice of violation. This notice may be by citation or may be a notice describing the activity or condition deemed to be a violation and specifying time limits within which the violation shall be corrected. If the Code Official elects to proceed by citation, the citation shall be served as provided by the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. If the Code Official elects to proceed by notice of violation, the written notice of violation shall be served upon the owner, or upon a duly authorized agent of the owner, including a contractor or architect, or upon the occupant or other person responsible for the violation. Such notice of violation shall be served in any of the following ways: by delivering a copy of the same to the person or persons responsible for the violation, by ordinary mail to the last known post office address; or by delivering and leaving such notice in the possession of any person in charge of the premises where the violation is believed to be occurring, or by affixing a copy of such notice in a conspicuous place at the entrance door or avenue of access of the premises where the violation is believed to be occurring; and such procedure shall be deemed the equivalent of personal notice.

§ 1299.10 Compliance required.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
A lot may be used and a building or structure may be erected, altered, enlarged or maintained, provided that it is in accordance with the requirements of the district in which it is located, in accordance with the requirements of any applicable overlay district and in accordance with the general conditions of this Zoning Code.

§ 1299.11 Separability.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
The provisions of this Zoning Code are severable, and if any section, sentence, clause, part or provision hereof is held to be illegal, invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such court decision shall not affect or impair the remaining sections, sentences, clauses, parts or provisions of this Zoning Code. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Board of Supervisors that this Zoning Code would have been adopted if such illegal, invalid or unconstitutional section, sentence, clause, part or provision had not been included herein.

§ 1299.12 Amendments.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985; Ord. 340. Passed 4-23-1997]
(a) 
Board Amendments.
(1) 
The Board of Supervisors may, from time to time, amend the Zoning Ordinance and/or the Zoning Map by proceeding in the manner set forth in this section and as otherwise required by law.
(2) 
An amendment proposed by the Board of Supervisors shall be prepared by the Township's Solicitor, the Zoning Officer or the Township Planning Commission. If a Board proposed amendment is not prepared by the Township Planning Commission, said proposed amendment shall be referred to the Township Planning Commission for review and comments.
(3) 
Concurrent with the reference to the Township Planning Commission, if any, the proposed amendment shall be referred to the Montgomery County Planning Commission for review and comment.
(4) 
The proposed amendment shall be advertised as required by the Municipalities Planning Code.
(5) 
If the proposed amendment would effect a change in the Zoning Map, if adopted, the property so affected shall also be posted in the manner required (if so required) by the Municipalities Planning Code.
(6) 
After advertising (and posting of the property, if any) has occurred, the Board of Supervisors shall hold a public hearing on the proposed amendment of the Zoning Ordinance and/or Zoning Map before voting on its adoption.
(b) 
Landowner Proposed Amendments.
(1) 
Any Township landowner may submit a written proposal, on the form provided at the Township offices, requesting an amendment of the Zoning Ordinance or Zoning Map as they relate to the landowner's property and shall pay the fee fixed by the Board of Supervisors for such a submission.
(2) 
Since amendment of the Township Zoning Ordinance or Map is a decision which falls within the legislative discretion of the Board of Supervisors, the Board shall have no obligation or duty to grant a hearing or to take any action on any proposal for amendment of the Zoning Ordinance or the Zoning Map submitted by a landowner.
(3) 
If a Township landowner submits a proposal for the amendment of the Zoning Ordinance and/or Zoning Map, and the Board of Supervisors decides to take no action on the proposal, the Township staff shall return the application and fee submitted by the landowner or other person, and the Township shall take no further action on the submission.
(4) 
If the Board of Supervisors decides to grant a hearing on any proposal to amend the Zoning Ordinance and/or Zoning Map as submitted by a Township landowner, the Township staff shall refer the proposal to the Township Planning Commission and the Montgomery County Planning Commission for review and commentary. The Township staff shall also advertise the proposed amendment as required by the Municipalities Planning Code and, if the proposal involves any change to the Zoning Map, any affected property shall be posted. The Board of Supervisors shall hold such public hearing or hearings as they deem appropriate on the proposal submitted by the landowner to amend the Zoning Ordinance and/or Zoning Map, but the Board shall be under no obligation to take any final action on the proposal.

§ 1299.99 Penalty; equitable remedies.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985; Ord. 257. Passed 6-21-1988]
(a) 
For a violation of any of the provisions of this Zoning Code, or of any condition imposed by an order of the Zoning Hearing Board, or of any condition imposed by the Board of Supervisors upon the grant of a conditional use, the owner, general agent or contractor of a building or premises where such violation has existed or exists, and/or the lessee or tenant of an entire building or entire premises where such violation has been committed or exists, and/or the owner, general agent, contractor, lessee or tenant of any part of a building or premises in which part such violation has been committed or exists, and/or the general agent, architect, building contractor or any other person who knowingly commits, takes part in or assists in any such violation, or who maintains any building or premises in which any such violation exists, shall be liable on conviction thereof in a summary proceeding to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 for each offense. In default of payment of such fine, such person, the members of a partnership, or the officers of such corporation, shall be liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 60 days. Whenever such person has been notified by the Zoning Officer by service of a notice of violation, or by service of a citation, or in any other way, that he or she is committing such violation of this Zoning Code, a separate offense shall be deemed committed each day that he thereafter continues the violation.
(b) 
If any building or structure is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted or maintained, if any building, structure or land is used or if any hedge, tree, shrub or other growth is maintained in violation of any of the provisions of this Zoning Code or of any regulations made pursuant hereto, in addition to other remedies provided by law, any appropriate action or proceedings by authorized legal process may be instituted or taken to prevent such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use; to restrain, correct or abate such violation; to prevent the occupancy of such building, structure or land; or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises.