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Township of West Goshen, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 5-8-1990 by Ord. No. 3-1990[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance repealed former Art. XVIII, Rules of Procedure of Board of Supervisors.
The Board of Supervisors shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and render final adjudications in the following matters:
A. 
Applications for conditional use as provided in this article.
B. 
Applications for curative amendment to this chapter or the Zoning Map[1] as provided in § 84-70D of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is on file in the office of the Township Secretary.
C. 
Petition for amendments to this chapter or the Zoning Map, provided that any action on such petition shall be deemed a legislative act.
D. 
Appeals from the determination of the Zoning Officer or the Township Engineer in the administration of any land use ordinance or the provisions thereof with reference to sedimentation and erosion control and stormwater management insofar as the same relate to application for land development under Chapter 72 of the West Goshen Code.
E. 
Applications for a special encroachment permit pursuant to MPC Section 405 and applications for a permit pursuant to MPC Section 406.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. §§ 10405 and 10406, respectively.
[Amended 10-25-1994 by Ord. No. 3-1994]
A. 
Statement of intent. This chapter provides for certain uses which are conditionally permitted within the Township as conditional uses, designated as such based upon the Supervisors' recognition that such uses may or may not be appropriate within such specific zoning districts where they are otherwise allowed. The Supervisors have therefore determined that procedures, standards and criteria as established in this section are appropriate to enable the Supervisors to evaluate and decide upon conditional use applications. Conditional uses are so classified because they have the potential for substantial impact upon the West Goshen Township community as it has developed. Consequently, these uses must comply with the minimum standards for conditional uses herein described in addition to the area and bulk regulations, design standards and general regulations stipulated as controlling within the zoning district in which the proposed conditional use is authorized. Failure of any proposed conditional use to comply with any of these standards and criteria shall be grounds for denial of a conditional use application. If there is a conflict between the standards set forth in this section and the other applicable criteria and standards elsewhere established in this chapter or other applicable Township ordinances, it is the legislative intent of the Supervisors that the more stringent standards shall always apply. It is not the intent of this section to abrogate or impair any other such standards or requirements.
B. 
Application submission procedure.
(1) 
Content of application.
(a) 
An application for conditional use approval shall be submitted on a form provided by the Township and shall be accompanied by the application fee, the amount of which shall be established by resolution of the Supervisors.
(b) 
Whenever a conditional use permit is required by this chapter for any use proposed or inherent in any proposed subdivision or land development, six copies of the conditional use application, accompanied by six copies of the conditional use plan, attachments and explanatory materials shall be filed with the Township contemporaneously with the filing of a preliminary plan for subdivision and/or land development, as applicable, complying with the West Goshen Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, codified in Chapter 72 of the West Goshen Code.
[Amended 3-10-2004 by Ord. No. 3-2004]
(c) 
Where a preliminary subdivision or land development plan is not required because the conditional use does not occur within the context of a development requiring subdivision or land development approval, the application for conditional use shall include a plan meeting the preliminary plan specifications established in Chapter 72 of the West Goshen Code.
C. 
Administrative application review procedure. The Zoning Officer shall review the application to determine if it is complete. If deficient in any required component, the Zoning Officer shall notify the applicant of the deficiencies in writing. If such identified deficiencies are not remedied promptly by the applicant, they shall constitute sufficient grounds for denial by the Supervisors of the application subsequent to public hearing should the Board deem such deficiencies to be substantially at variance with the requirements of this or other applicable Township ordinances.
D. 
Review and decision process for conditional use applications.
(1) 
Notice of the hearing shall be provided by the Township in accordance with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[1] The Board shall schedule the first hearing within 60 days from the date of the Township's receipt of the applicant's application, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time. Each subsequent hearing shall be held within 45 days of the prior hearing, unless otherwise agreed to by the applicant in writing or on the record. An applicant should complete the presentation of his case-in-chief within 100 days of the first hearing. Upon the request of the applicant, the Board or Hearing Officer shall assure that the applicant receives at least seven hours of hearing within the 100 days, including the first hearing. Persons opposed to the application shall complete the presentation of their opposition to the application within 100 days of the first hearing held after the completion of the applicants case-in-chief. An applicant may, upon request, be granted additional hearings to complete his case-in-chief, provided the persons opposed to the application are granted an equal number of additional hearings. Persons opposed to the application, may, upon the written consent or consent on the record by the applicant and municipality, be granted additional hearings to complete their opposition to the application, provided the applicant is granted an equal number of additional hearings for rebuttal.
[Amended 7-23-1997 by Ord. No. 10-97; 2-12-2003 by Ord. No. 3-2003; 12-10-2008 by Ord. No. 10-2008]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. 10101 et seq.
(2) 
The hearing shall be conducted by the Board or the Board may appoint any member or an independent attorney as a hearing officer. The decision, or, where no decision is called for, the findings shall be made by the Board. However, the appellant or the applicant, as the case may be, in addition to the Township, may, prior to the decision of the hearing, waive decision or findings by the Board and accept the decisions or findings of the hearing officer as final.
[Added 4-24-2002 by Ord. No. 4-2002[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also renumbered former Subsections D(2) through (7) as Subsections D(3) through (8), respectively.
(3) 
Any substantial revisions to the application or plan made by the applicant subsequent to filing of the application or plan or its review by the Planning Commission shall be subject to review and recommendation by the Planning Commission as specified in Subsection D(1) of this section prior to the Supervisors' public hearing. In such event, the Zoning Officer shall secure from the applicant a written extension of the date within which the Supervisors must hold a public hearing pursuant to Subsection D(1) of this section. If the applicant fails to execute the extension, the Supervisors shall decide the conditional use application on the basis of the plan and application as originally filed.
(4) 
A stenographic record of the hearing shall be made by a certified court reporter, whose appearance fee shall be shared equally by the applicant and the Township. The cost of the original transcript shall be paid by the Supervisors only if they order it or by any party requesting an original transcript or by the person appealing from the decision of the Supervisors in the event of an appeal. In either case, the cost of additional copies shall be paid by the party or person requesting such copies.
(5) 
The Supervisors shall render a written decision or, when no decision is called for, make written findings on the conditional use application within 45 days after the last hearing before the Supervisors. The date for the Supervisors' decision may be extended by the applicant either on the record or in writing addressed to the Supervisors. Where the application is contested or denied, each decision shall be accompanied by findings of fact or conclusions based thereon, together with any reasons therefor. Conclusions based upon this chapter, the PaMPC or any rule or regulation shall contain a reference to the provision relied on and the reasons why the conclusion is deemed appropriate in the light of the facts found. A copy of the decision or, where no decision is called for, of the findings, shall be delivered to the applicant personally or mailed to him no later than the day following its date. If, after the conclusion of the public hearing(s), the application is amended or revised, the Supervisors shall hold one or more public hearings thereon as may be necessary and shall issue a new decision thereon in conformance with the procedure established in this section. In the event that the Supervisors fail to commence the required hearing within 60 days from the date of the applicant's request for a hearing, or fail to complete the hearing no later than 100 days after the completion of the applicant's case-in-chief, unless extended for good cause upon application to the Court of Common Pleas, the decision shall be deemed to have been rendered in favor of the applicant, unless the applicant has agreed, in writing or on the record, to an extension of time.
[Amended 4-24-2002 by Ord. No. 4-2002]
(6) 
In granting or denying a conditional use or establishing conditions will respect thereto, the Supervisors shall determine compliance with the standards and criteria established in this section to be mandatory. The burden shall be upon the applicant to prove his case by a fair preponderance of the credible evidence unless any rule of law shifts that burden to protestants. The standard required by this subsection shall be deemed a part of the definitional aspect under which a conditional use may be granted, and the failure of the applicant to establish his compliance with all of the standards shall constitute sufficient basis for denial of the application. In allowing a conditional use, the Supervisors may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards in addition to those otherwise expressed in this section as they deem necessary to implement the purposes of this chapter and any other applicable Township ordinances.
(7) 
Unless otherwise specified by the Board of Supervisors in the conditional use decision, a conditional use approval shall expire if the applicant fails to apply for a building permit or, if no building permit is required, a use and occupancy permit within one year from the date of the Board's decision approving the conditional use. In instances where the development which requires conditional use approval also requires subdivision or land development approval, the conditional use approval shall be valid for as long as the subdivision or land development plans are valid pursuant to Section 508 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code,[3] provided that the subdivision or land development plans are filed within one year after receiving conditional use approval. If the subdivision or land development plans are not filed within one year from the date of conditional use approval, the approval shall expire one year from the date of the Board's decision.
[Amended 4-14-2010 by Ord. No. 02-2010]
[3]
Editor’s Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
(8) 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the applicant for a conditional use approval from obtaining all other required approvals mandated by this chapter and other applicable Township ordinances or regulations and the laws and regulations of state and federal regulatory authorities.
[Added 10-25-1994 by Ord. No. 3-1994[1]; amended 9-25-2002 by Ord. No. 11-2002]
A. 
The following standards shall apply in every conditional use application, and the burden of proof by a fair preponderance of the credible evidence to demonstrate compliance with these standards shall be upon the applicant. In reviewing and acting upon a conditional use application, the Supervisors shall, in addition to requiring compliance with the express standards and criteria established in the applicable zoning district for the use proposed, require the applicant's compliance with the following standards:
(1) 
No conditional use shall be approved unless the Supervisors find as a fact from the evidence the following:
(a) 
That improvements to streets and highways contiguous to the applicant's property as part of the improvements for the proposed conditional use development, such as road widening, acceleration/deceleration lanes, traffic control devices and similar improvements, shall be sufficient to prevent adverse traffic impacts caused by the proposed use.
(b) 
That buffer areas are provided within the applicant's property to effectively screen the proposed conditional use from adjoining uses and properties whether similar or dissimilar in type or character. Where, in the opinion of the Supervisors, the proposed screening otherwise required by this chapter or Chapter 72 of the West Goshen Code is insufficient to create a visual barrier, additional screening consisting of a mixture of plant materials and trees, both deciduous and coniferous, shall be required.
(c) 
That building, structure, parking and street setbacks from adjoining properties are sufficient to remove any potential adverse impact or interference with adjoining uses, whether similar or dissimilar. The Supervisors may require a reasonable increase in setbacks and/or buffer areas otherwise mandated by the applicable zoning district regulations.
(d) 
That the proposed conditional use shall be served by adequate and effective public sewer facilities and public water for domestic and fire supply.
(e) 
The applicant shall establish that the capacity of the road network providing access to the premises in question shall not lower the level of service of any intersections determined critical to the proposed use below a level of service C when the incremental increase in traffic attributable to the proposed use is superimposed upon the existing use of the road.
[Amended 4-14-2010 by Ord. No. 02-2010]
(f) 
The applicant shall establish that the interior traffic circulation for the proposed use at the proposed location, including but not limited to acceleration and deceleration lanes where required at the proposed entrances to the location, shall be adequate to provide safe and convenient circulation for users of the facility, visitors to the facility, employees of the facility and all emergency vehicles that may require entrance thereon.
(g) 
The applicant shall establish that the facility provides safe and convenient pedestrian access and internal circulation within the grounds of the facility and particularly for points of access from the facility to the parking areas.
(h) 
The applicant shall establish that adequate screening and buffering is provided between the lands in question and surrounding residential uses and residentially zoned districts to screen the facility from view and preclude any glare from lighting or noise from being ascertainable beyond the boundaries of the property.
(i) 
The applicant shall establish that the fire company which will provide fire protection services to the proposed use has adequate equipment to reach the highest points of the proposed building with ladders and hoses or, in the alternative, that the owner or operator of the facility will provide such equipment.
[Amended 4-14-2010 by Ord. No. 02-2010]
(j) 
[2]The applicant shall establish the adequacy and availability of sanitary sewer facilities and the availability of capacity within the public sanitary sewage system, if applicable, to service the proposed facility or such other adequate provision for such service as complies with the regulations of governmental or quasigovernmental authorities having jurisdiction.
[2]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection A(1)(j), which required that the applicant establish that adequate water storage was available at the facility for fire-fighting purposes, was repealed 4-14-2010 by Ord. No. 02-2010. This ordinance also provided for the redesignation of former Subsection A(1)(k) through (m) as Subsection A(1)(j) through (l), respectively.
(k) 
The applicant shall establish that there will be no increase in surface water runoff at the boundaries of the premises beyond that runoff presently existing, as required by state law and Township regulations.
(l) 
Public water availability and adequacy shall be demonstrated.
B. 
In granting a conditional use, the Board of Supervisors shall have the power to attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards, in addition to those expressed in this chapter, as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes and provisions of this chapter.
C. 
The standards required in this section and those applicable standards established elsewhere within this chapter shall be deemed a part of the definitional aspect under which a conditional use may be granted, and the failure of the applicant to establish its compliance with all of the standards shall, in the reasonable discretion of the Board of Supervisors, be deemed either a basis for the establishing of conditions or limitations on a conditional use approval or, where warranted, the basis for a determination that the applicant has not brought himself within the requirements for which a conditional use may be granted.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former § 84-75, Form of application.