Township of Middlesex, PA
Butler County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 175-183
Zoning Officer. 

§ 175-184
Enforcement. 

§ 175-185
Building permits. 

§ 175-186
Certificates of occupancy. 

§ 175-187
Fees. 

§ 175-188
Method of appeal. 

§ 175-189
Access modifications. 

The Zoning Officer shall be appointed by the Township Supervisors and shall hold no elective office in the Township. The Zoning Officer shall meet the qualifications established by the Township and shall be able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Township, a working knowledge of municipal zoning. The duties of the Zoning Officer shall include the following:

A. 

Administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.

B. 

Institute civil enforcement proceedings as a means of enforcement when acting within the scope of his/her employment.

C. 

Issue building permits and certificates of occupancy.

D. 

Maintain a permanent file of all building permits and certificates of occupancy and applications as public records.

E. 

Register and record nonconforming uses.

F. 

Inspect all land and structures for which a building permit or certificate of occupancy has been applied for or issued to determine compliance with this chapter and make all their inspections necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

A. 

Enforcement notice. The enforcement notice shall contain the following information:

(1) 

The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the municipality intends to take action.

(2) 

The location of the property in violation.

(3) 

The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of this chapter.

(4) 

The date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and the date before which the steps must be completed.

(5) 

That the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board within a prescribed period of time in accordance with procedures set forth in this chapter.

(6) 

That failure to comply with the notice within the time specified, unless extended by appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board, constitutes a violation, with possible sanctions clearly described.

B. 

Enforcement remedies.

(1) 

Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township, pay a judgment of not more than $500 plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township as a result thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or be payable until the date of the determination of a violation by the District Justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure.

(2) 

Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation, unless the District Justice, determining that there has been a violation, further determines that there was a good faith basis for the person, partnership or corporation violating this chapter to have believed that there was no such violation, in which event there shall be deemed to have been only one such violation until the fifth day following the date of the determination of a violation by the District Justice and thereafter each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. All judgments, costs and reasonable attorney fees collected for the violation of this chapter shall be paid over to the Township.

(3) 

The Court of Common Pleas, upon petition, may grant an order of stay, upon cause shown, tolling the per diem fine pending a final adjudication of the violation and judgment.

(4) 

Nothing contained in this section shall be construed or interpreted to grant to any person or entity other than the Township the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this section.

C. 

Other remedies. In case any building, structure, landscaping or land is, or is proposed to be, erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, converted, maintained or used in violation of this chapter, the Township Supervisors or, with the approval of the Township Supervisors, an officer of the Township, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such building, structure, landscaping, or land, or to prevent, in or about such premises, any act, conduct, business or use constituting a violation.

A. 

Permits required. A building permit shall be obtained from the Township Zoning Officer before any person may construct, reconstruct, move, structurally alter or enlarge any structure or building.

B. 

Application requirements. Applications for building permits shall be made to the Zoning Officer on forms supplied by the Township. Applications for a building permit shall include the following information in duplicate:

(1) 

A land development plan of the property upon which the proposed construction is to occur, drawn to scale and dimensioned, showing:

(a) 

The boundaries of the property, indicating dimensions;

(b) 

The public streets abutting the property;

(c) 

Public utilities in the streets abutting the property and/or easements across the property;

(d) 

Existing buildings on the property and those within 50 feet of the property boundaries on adjacent properties;

(e) 

The proposed building or structure, indicating height and dimensions between the building or structure and the property boundaries;

(f) 

The location of proposed parking areas and drives, if appreciable, indicating the number of parking spaces;

(g) 

Landscaping and buffer yards required by this chapter; and

(h) 

Any other information necessary to demonstrate compliance with the applicable requirements of this chapter.

(2) 

A narrative statement indicating:

(a) 

The proposed use of the structure to which the permit applies and the use of other buildings or structures on the property;

(b) 

The number of dwelling units, whether for sale or rent, or commercial or retail service units, if applicable, that the building is designed to accommodate;

(c) 

Evidence that the required approvals of agencies of the commonwealth necessary to permit the development, if applications have been secured; and

(d) 

If the building or structure is part of a larger complex of buildings or structures to be erected over time on the same property, an indication of scheduling of future construction.

(3) 

An application for a building permit for any construction which requires approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry shall be accompanied by evidence of such approval.

(4) 

Any other information required by the Zoning Officer to document compliance with any other applicable ordinances of the Township.

C. 

Action on application.

(1) 

If the application is satisfactory, the Zoning Officer shall approve it and return one copy of the application documents, together with a signed building permit, authorizing the applicant to proceed.

(2) 

If the application is not satisfactory, the Zoning Officer shall return the application documents together with a letter indicating the specific provisions of this chapter or any other applicable Township ordinance which have not been met.

D. 

Amendments after approval. If an applicant wishes to amend the building permit after the application has been approved, a new application for a building permit shall be filed with the Zoning Officer containing all the information required by Subsection C. An additional building permit fee shall be charged only if the amendment results in an increase in the value of construction; however, the Township Supervisors may establish a review fee for amended applications.

E. 

Inspection. The Zoning Officer shall, from time to time, inspect the property where the construction is taking place to assure himself that the work is proceeding in accordance with the terms of the approved building permit.

F. 

Access to property during construction. The Zoning Officer shall not be denied access to the property to inspect construction in progress. The Zoning Officer may issue a stop-work order pending an appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board or correction of violations determined during inspection of the construction authorized by the building permit.

G. 

Maintenance of pins and monuments during construction. The property and building location pins or monuments shall be located and maintained in place prior to application for a building permit and during construction to verify compliance with this chapter and any other applicable ordinance.

A. 

Certificate of occupancy required. No person or corporation shall be permitted to occupy any land or structure without securing a certificate of occupancy from the Township Zoning Officer. A certificate of occupancy shall be required before any person shall:

(1) 

Occupy or use any vacant land, except for agricultural purposes;

(2) 

Occupy or use any building or structure for which a building permit has been issued;

(3) 

Change the use of a structure or land to a different use; or

(4) 

Change a nonconforming use.

B. 

Application for certificate of occupancy. Applications for certificates of occupancy shall be made at the Township Municipal Building, and, upon the payment of the required fee established from time to time by resolution of the Township Supervisors and inspection of the premises by the Zoning Officer, said permit shall be issued if said premises meet the requirements of this chapter.

C. 

Applications requiring approval of PA Department of Labor and Industry. An application for a certificate of occupancy for any proposed use or change of an existing use which requires approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry shall be accompanied by evidence of such approval.

The Township Supervisors shall establish and revise, from time to time, a schedule of fees by resolution, as well as a collection procedure for all applications submitted under the provisions of this chapter. The schedule of fees shall be available to the public from the Zoning Officer or the Township Secretary.

Any person or Township official aggrieved or affected by any provision of this chapter, or by any decision of the Zoning Officer, may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board by filing a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof in accordance with the provisions of § 175-174 of this chapter.

(Reserved)