Borough of Jenkintown, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 181-101 Creation of Board; membership.

A Zoning Hearing Board (hereinafter "Board") is established in accordance with the provisions of Article IX of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, as amended.[1] The membership of the Board shall consist of five residents of the Borough appointed by Borough Council.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10901 et seq.

§ 181-102 Functions and powers.

A. 
The Board shall have the functions and powers prescribed by law. In accordance with the provisions of Article IX of the Municipalities Planning Code, the Board shall:
(1) 
Hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that the Building Inspector/Zoning Officer has failed to follow prescribed procedures or has misinterpreted or misapplied any provision of this chapter or the Zoning Map or any valid rule or regulation governing the action of the Building Inspector/Zoning Officer.
(2) 
Hear requests for variances where it is alleged that the provisions of this chapter inflict unnecessary hardship upon the applicant subject to the standards prescribed by law and contained in § 181-109, Effective period of decisions, of this article.
(3) 
Hear and decide requests for special exceptions where this chapter states that a special exception may be granted or denied by the Board in accordance with express standards and criteria contained in this chapter.
(4) 
Hear challenges to the validity of this chapter or to the Zoning Map which properly come before the Board in accordance with the Planning Code and shall take evidence, decide contested questions of fact, make findings and make a record thereof, as prescribed by said Code and by this chapter.
(5) 
Hear unified appeals relating to any Borough ordinance, which appeals are brought before the Board in conjunction with a zoning matter over which the Board has jurisdiction in accordance with the requirements of § 913.1 of the Planning Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. 10913.1
B. 
In granting any variance or special exception, the Board shall comply with the provisions and standards of § 181-110, Standards for reviews.

§ 181-103 Actions Board may take.

In exercising the above-mentioned powers, the Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made and, to that end, shall have all the powers of the officer from whom the appeal is taken.

§ 181-104 Rules of procedure.

The Board shall adopt rules of procedure in accordance with the several provisions of this chapter as to the manner of filing appeals or applications for special exceptions or for variance from the terms of this chapter.

§ 181-105 Meetings.

Meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such times as the Board may determine. The Chairman or, in his absence, the Acting Chairman may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All meetings of the Board shall be open to the public. The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings showing the vote of each member upon each question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Board and shall be a public record.

§ 181-106 Notice of hearings.

In any case where the Zoning Hearing Board shall hold a public hearing, the Board shall, at the minimum, give notice of such hearing as follows, which notice shall state the time and the place of the hearing and the particular nature of the matter to be considered at the hearing:
A. 
By publishing a notice thereof once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Borough, provided that the first publication shall be not more than 30 days nor less than 14 days from the date of the hearing. In addition, the property which is the subject of the application shall be posted as required by law.
B. 
By mailing or serving due notice thereof to the parties in interest.
C. 
By mailing or serving notice thereof to the Borough Council.
D. 
By mailing or serving notice thereof to the owner or owners, if their residence is known, or to the occupier or occupiers of lots, residences or buildings located within the following specified distances of the property lines of the lot or building which is the subject of the hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board. To determine the radius of distribution to be used as to each case, reference shall be made to the zoning district or classification in which the building or lot is located which is the subject of the hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board (see Table 6 below). Failure to give notice required by this subsection shall not invalidate any action taken by the Board.
Table 6
Notice Distribution Requirements
Zoning District
Radius of Distribution
(feet)
A
300
B-1
300
B
200
C
150
C-1
150
HR
150
TC
150
NCR
150
G
150
E. 
The notices herein required shall state the location of the building or lot and the general nature of the question involved.
F. 
The Board shall make a decision on the appeal within 45 days after the hearing or, if said hearing is continued, within 45 days after said continued hearing. If the Board does not make a decision within 45 days after the hearing or continued hearing, it shall be deemed that the Board has decided in favor of the person or the officer of the Borough aggrieved or affected who is seeking relief. Upon the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney.

§ 181-107 Issuance of certificates.

It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Zoning Hearing Board to issue the Zoning Hearing Board certificate after public hearings held in accordance with the provisions of § 181-101, Creation of Board; membership, through § 181-106, Notice of hearings. The Zoning Hearing Board may cancel or revoke a Zoning Hearing Board certificate for any violation of this chapter or of conditions imposed.

§ 181-108 Restrictions on renewed applications; time limit for appeals.

An application to this Board for a special exception or variance, if refused, shall not be renewed within the period of one year unless there has been a change in conditions and unless the renewed application distinctly sets forth such changes. All appeals from any order, requirement, decision or determination made by any administrative official in the enforcement of this chapter must be made within 30 days of said order, requirement, decision or determination.

§ 181-109 Effective period of decisions.

Unless the Zoning Hearing Board in its orders and decisions stipulates otherwise, all decisions on appeals for variances and exceptions under this chapter shall be effective for a period of two years, and unless the order or decision has been complied with within said period of time, it shall thereafter cease and be of no effect, said limitation to be applicable to all previous cases for the same length of time from March 13, 1959.

§ 181-110 Standards for reviews.

In any instance where the Zoning Hearing Board is required to consider an exception or variance in this chapter or the Zoning Map in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, the Board shall, among other things:
A. 
Assure that the proposed change is consistent with the spirit, purpose and intent of this chapter and consider the effect upon the public interest of granting or denying the application.
B. 
Determine that the proposed change will not substantially injure or detract from the use of neighboring property or from the general character of the neighborhood and that the use of the property adjacent to the area included in the proposed change or plan is adequately safeguarded.
C. 
Determine that the proposed change will serve the best interest of the Borough, the convenience of the community, where applicable, and public welfare.
D. 
Consider the unnecessary hardship which will or may be inflicted upon the applicant by the denial of his application.
E. 
Consider the presence or absence in the neighborhood of conditions or uses which are the same or similar in character to the condition or use for which the applicant seeks approval.
F. 
Consider the effect of the proposed changes upon the logical, efficient and economical extension of public services and facilities, such as public water, sewers, police and fire protection and public schools, and assure adequate arrangements for sanitation in specific instances and require a certificate of adequacy, in any case herein deemed necessary or advisable by the Zoning Hearing Board, from the Health and Sanitation Department, Fire Marshal, Highway Department, Police Department and School Board.
G. 
Safeguard the development of street frontage insofar as possible so as to limit the total number of accesspoints with respect to its probable effects upon street traffic to avoid traffic congestion and be hazardous to pedestrian traffic, including children going to and from the schools.
H. 
Impose such conditions, in addition to those required, as are necessary to assure that the general purpose and intent of this chapter are complied with, which conditions may include but are not limited to the harmonious design of buildings, planting and its maintenance as a sight or sound screen and the minimizing of noxious, offensive or hazardous elements or other conditions which the Zoning Hearing Board deems advisable to protect the public interest and welfare.