[Adopted 12-13-2005 by Ord. No. 468]
The municipalities of the Montour County Council of Governments, which participate in the UCC program, do hereby create and establish the Montour County Board of Appeals, hereinafter referred to as the "Appeals Board."
The participating municipalities shall designate by ordinance the Appeals Board as the body to hear appeals brought under:
The codes and standards promulgated in the most current version of the Uniform Construction Code (Act 45 of 1999) of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as amended by the participating municipalities, and as subsequently adopted in Title 34 Pa. Code Chapters 401, 403 and 405.
The Rules and Regulations contained in Title 34 Code Chapters 401 to 405, adopted by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
The International Code Council Property Maintenance Code as amended by the participating municipalities that have adopted this code.
The International Code Council Fire Code as amended by the participating municipalities that have adopted that code.
The Appeals Board is established to provide a process for the resolution of code grievances derived from the decision of the code official in order to insure the health, safety, and general welfare for the citizens of the Montour County Council of Governments Region.
Any resident of the Montour COG Region having the qualifications according to Subsection E or F shall be eligible for appointment to the Appeals Board regardless of whether the resident's home municipality participates in the code administration program. The intent of the regional appeals board is to provide uniform interpretation of the codes and to recruit persons who are well qualified professionally, regardless of residence. Therefore, it is not expected that representation will necessarily reflect any sort of balance among the municipalities. A non-Montour County COG Region resident may fill a position on the Appeals Board when the Montour County COG cannot find a person within the county region who satisfies the requirements of Title 34, Chapter 403.121, C.1.
The Montour County COG representatives shall recommend to the Montour County COG appointments to the Appeals Board. The Montour County COG shall consider the appointments and shall recommend a slate of nominations to the participating municipalities for appointment by the participating municipalities.
The Appeals Board shall consist of five members with two alternate members.
Members of the participating municipalities' governing board and their code officials may not serve on the Board of Appeals.
The Board of Appeals shall consist of members who are qualified by experience and training to pass on matters pertaining to building construction and are not employees of the jurisdiction.
Members of the Appeals Board shall serve for the period as follows:
The Appeals Board shall elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman from the Board at the January organizational meeting of which date and time is set by the COG.. The Appeals Board at the organizational meeting shall establish meeting dates, times, and locations for the year. The Chairman, or Vice Chairman, in the absence of the Chairman, shall have the authority to call the Appeals Board into a special session.
The Director of the Montour County COG Code Administration or the Director's designee shall be the Secretary to the Appeals Board.
The Appeals Board shall only consider the following factors when deciding an appeal under Title 34, Chapter 403.121, Rules and Regulations — Board of Appeals:
The Appeals Board may consider the following factors when ruling upon a request for extension of time or the request for variance:
The reasonableness of the Uniform Construction Code's application in a particular case.
The extent to which the granting of a variance or an extension of time will pose a violation of the Uniform Construction Code or an unsafe condition.
The availability of professional or technical personnel needed to come into compliance.
The availability of materials and equipment needed to come into compliance.
The efforts being made to come into compliance as quickly as possible.
Compensatory features that will provide a degree of protection equivalent to the protection to the Uniform Construction Code.
If the owner or owner's agent requests a hearing, the Appeals Board shall schedule a hearing and notify the owner or owner's agent and the building code official of the date, time and place of the hearing. The Appeals Board may:
All appeals shall be legally advertised and conducted according to the Pennsylvania State Sunshine Act (65 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 701 through 716), as amended. The Appeals Board shall adopt formal rules for its proceedings.
The appellant wishing to appeal the decision of the Code Official shall do so within 30 calendar days upon receipt of the written decision.
The Appeals Board may request and obtain legal counsel through the Montour County Council of Governments or the legal counsel of the district where the appeal has been made.
The appellant wishing to appeal the decision of the Appeals Board shall do so to the Court of Common Pleas in accordance with, as far as practicable, the rules of civil procedure of the supreme court regarding appeals from administrative agencies.
The Appeals Board shall also retain in its files a copy of the decision, which files shall be available for inspection by the public. Each decision shall set forth fully the reasons for the decision of the Appeals Board and the finding of the facts on which the decision was based. The Appeals Board shall make an order on its decision and the Code Enforcement officer shall take immediate action to carry out said order.
The Appeals Board shall provide a written notice of its decision to the owner and to the building code official.
A participating municipality shall withdraw from the Appeals Board if it withdraws from the Montour County COG in accordance with the Articles of Agreement and the Montour County COG Articles of Agreement.
A participating municipality shall have the right to withdraw from the Appeals Board and to establish its own by following the COG Articles of Agreement for withdrawal. Withdrawal will not affect membership in the Montour County COG.
Amendments to these Joint Articles of Agreement may be recommended by the Code Administration Committee, by the Montour County COG, or by the participating municipalities. Any amendment or change to these articles shall be approved by the Montour County COG General Forum, participating municipalities, and shall take effect upon passage of appropriate municipal ordinances.