[Amended 4-23-1984 by Ord. No. 84-12; 2-27-1989 by Ord. No. 89-05; 10-22-1990 by Ord. No. 90-48]
There shall be a Zoning Hearing Board consisting of five members and up to but no more than three alternate members, all of whom shall be residents of Radnor Township and appointed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners in accordance with Article IX of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.) as amended, hereinafter called "code."
The Zoning Hearing Board shall function in strict accordance with and pursuant to the code and shall have all powers set forth therein, including but not limited to the following:
To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged that the Township Zoning Officer has failed to follow prescribed procedures or has misinterpreted or misapplied any provision of a valid ordinance or map of the Township or any valid rule or regulation governing the action of the Zoning Officer.
To hear and decide requests for special exceptions authorized by this chapter in accordance with the standards or criteria set forth in § 280-145 hereof. The Zoning Hearing Board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of the code and this chapter.
To hear requests for variances where it is alleged that the provisions of this chapter inflict unnecessary hardship upon the applicant. A variance may be granted only after the Zoning Hearing Board has made the findings required in 53 P.S. § 10910.2. In granting a variance, the Zoning Hearing Board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of the code and this chapter.
To conduct hearings and make such decisions and findings in connection with challenges to the validity of any provision of this chapter, as authorized by 53 P.S. § 10910.
The Zoning Hearing Board may make, alter and rescind rules and forms for its procedure, including but not limited to the manner of filing appeals and applications for special exceptions and variances.
Meetings of the Zoning Hearing Board shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such other times as the Zoning Hearing 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 Zoning Hearing Board shall be open to the public. The Zoning Hearing 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 shall keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Township and shall be a public record. In accordance with Section 908 of the code, the Zoning Hearing Board shall not communicate directly or indirectly with any party nor take notice of any material nor inspect any site except as provided therein.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10908.
[Amended 11-11-1985 by Ord. No. 85-33; 10-22-1990 by Ord. No. 90-48; 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-18; 2-27-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-06]
Appeals. Appeals to the Zoning Hearing Board may be filed by the landowner affected, any officer or agency of the Township or any person aggrieved. Such appeals shall comply with requirements and information for appeals approved by the Board and filed with the Zoning Officer 30 calendar days prior to the hearing. Prior to a public hearing, the Zoning Officer shall transmit to members of the Zoning Hearing Board a copy of the application and documents constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
Planning Commission review. Appeals to the Zoning Hearing Board that will involve the subdivision of land or land development pursuant to Chapter 255, Subdivision of Land, shall be forwarded to the Planning Commission prior to a public hearing for review. The Planning Commission may review the application and related documents as a sketch plan and provide comments to the Zoning Hearing Board consistent with § 280-1 of the Zoning Code. Notice of the Planning Commission meeting shall be forwarded to the applicant seven days prior to the scheduled meeting. Failure by the Planning Commission to review an application or provide comments shall not invalidate action taken by the Zoning Hearing Board.
Records. A stenographic record of the public hearing proceedings shall be made by a court reporter. The appearance fee shall be shared equally by the applicant and the Board. Any party requesting the original transcript or a copy of the transcript shall bear the cost of same. Copies of graphic or written material received in evidence shall be made available to any party at cost.
Fees. Fees shall be established by resolution of the Board of Commissioners and charged in accordance with Chapter 162, Fees, of the Township Code.
Request for continuance. Upon receipt of a written request, or a verbal request from the applicant at the time of the hearing, the Zoning Hearing Board may authorize the continuance of an application. Such request shall be made before the Board during a scheduled meeting. In the event that the Board shall grant any request for a continuance, then the Board shall specify a date not more than 180 days from the date the continuance is granted upon which the continuance shall expire and the appeal be heard. The Board may grant more than one continuance for any appeal, provided that individual continuances shall not exceed a period of 180 days per continuance. Where a continuance is granted the appeal shall be scheduled as required by Subsections F and G of this section, provided that the applicant shall pay any continuance fee per Chapter 162, Fees, of the Township Code.
Zoning Hearing Board notice. The Board shall give notice of the public hearing as follows:
By providing notice to the applicant, Board of Commissioners, Township Manager, Township Solicitor, and any other person who has made timely request for same.
By posting written notice of said hearing in a conspicuous location on the affected tract of land at least one week prior to the hearing.
By mailing written notice thereof to the Zoning Officer, applicant, and every resident or association of residents of the Township who shall have registered their names and addresses for this purpose with the Zoning Hearing Board. The Board of Commissioners may fix an annual fee for provisions of notices to such registered persons or associations.
Notice to residents. Notice of the public hearing shall be provided by the applicant as follows: The agenda notice shall be sent by the applicant to the owners of property located within an area of 500 feet of the lot in question, provided that for appeals within the AC or R-1 Zoning Districts notification shall be provided within an area of 1,000 feet from the property in question. Where a public hearing involves a multifamily dwelling, notice shall be provided to all individual tenants of the premises. Notices shall be forwarded not less than 10 days prior to the hearing using Radnor Township return address envelopes and labels provided by the Township. Proof of said mailing on United States Postal Service Form 3877 shall be delivered to the Township not less than three days prior to the hearing. Failure by the owner to receive notice when sent in compliance with this subsection shall not invalidate any action taken by the Board.
Decisions. The Board shall render a decision, in writing, within 45 days after the hearing or, if said hearing is continued, within 45 days after the continued hearing. Where required by Section 908(9) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code or otherwise under Pennsylvania law, each written decision shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions based thereon, together with the reasons therefor. If the Board does not make a written decision within 45 days of the hearing or continued hearing, it shall be deemed that the Zoning Hearing Board has decided in favor of the applicant. Any party may appear at a public hearing in person or by agent or attorney.
Editor's Note: Former § 280-143, Hearings, as amended, was repealed 2-27-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-06.
Unless otherwise specified by the Zoning Hearing Board, a special exception or variance which has been authorized by the Zoning Hearing Board shall expire if the applicant fails to obtain a building or use permit within six months from the date of authorization thereof or fails to commence a substantial amount of work within six months from the date of issuance of the permit for such work.
[Amended 4-10-1989 by Ord. No. 89-18]
In any instance where the Zoning Hearing Board is required to consider a request for a special exception or variance, the Zoning Hearing Board must determine that the following standards and criteria are met before granting the request:
The size, scope, extent and character of the special exception or variance requested is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan of the Township and promotes the harmonious and orderly development of the zoning district involved.
[Amended 11-14-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-20]
The proposed change or modification constitutes an appropriate use consistent with the character and type of development in the area surrounding the location for which the request is made and will not substantially injure or detract from the use of surrounding property or the character of the neighborhood in light of the zoning classification of the area affected; the effect on other properties in the area; the number, extent and scope of nonconforming uses in the area; and the presence or the 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.
The proposed use is suitable with respect to traffic and highways in the area and provides for adequate access and off-street parking arrangements in order to protect major streets and highways from undue congestion and hazard.
Major street and highway frontage will be developed so as to limit the total number of access points and encourage the frontage of buildings on parallel marginal roads or on roads perpendicular to the major street or highway.
The proposed change is reasonable in terms of the logical, efficient and economical extension of public services and facilities, such as public water, sewers, police, fire protection and public schools, and assures adequate arrangements for sanitation in specific instances.
All commercial or industrial parking, loading, access or service areas will be adequately illuminated at night while in use and arranged so as to comply with the requirements of § 280-105.
If the proposed use is to be developed in progressive stages, each stage shall be planned so that the conditions and intent of this chapter shall be fully complied with upon the completion of any stage.
[Added 5-14-1990 by Ord. No. 90-21]
Conditions are being imposed on the grant of the request necessary to ensure that the general purpose and intent of this chapter is complied with and that the use of the property adjacent to the area included in the proposed change or modification is adequately safeguarded with respect to harmonious design of buildings, aesthetics, planting and its maintenance as a sight or sound screen, landscaping, hours of operation, lighting, numbers of persons involved, allied activities, ventilation, noise, sanitation, safety, smoke and fume control and the minimizing of noxious, offensive or hazardous elements.
The proposed change protects and promotes the safety, health, morals and general welfare of the Township.