[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Norristown 11-21-2006; amended in its entirety 6-3-2014 by Ord. No 14-07. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Norristown Municipal Council hereby establishes the Municipality of Norristown Board of Code Appeals, which shall consist of three members who are qualified by experience and training to pass on matters pertaining to building construction, property maintenance, hazards of fire, explosions, hazardous and dangerous conditions and fire protection systems, and who are not employees or elected officials of the Municipality nor members of the Municipality's Code Administrators.
The members of the Board of Code Appeals shall be appointed by Municipal Council and shall have staggered and overlapping terms of three years. Members may be reappointed by Council following the expiration of their terms.
The Municipal Council may appoint an alternate member, who may be called upon by the Chairman of the Board to consider appeals during the absence or disqualification of a member of the Board. Alternate members shall possess the same qualifications required for Board membership.
The members of the Norristown Board of Code Appeals shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for such expenses as may be related to the performance of their duties.
The Board shall meet on at least an annual basis in January, and thereafter as required, and shall elect a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary to serve for each year.
The members of the Norristown Board of Code Appeals shall serve at the pleasure of the Municipal Council and may be removed at any time for any reason or no reason by an affirmative vote of the majority of the members of the Municipal Council.
The members of the Norristown Board of Code Appeals shall hear all appeals arising from or relating to any matter arising out of the Municipality's enforcement of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code, the Norristown Property Maintenance Code and the Norristown Fire Code, or any successor editions, legally adopted by Norristown Municipal Council, except appeals, requests for variances or requests for extensions of time relating to accessibility under the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, 35 P.S. § 7210-101 et seq.
The Board members shall adopt and make available to the public, through the Municipality, such procedures as the Board may deem necessary or appropriate to conduct its hearings and business. The procedures need not require compliance with the strict rules of evidence but shall afford the Board an opportunity to consider any relevant information received during a hearing before the Board. In the absence of adoption or promulgation of such rules of procedure, the Board shall follow the administrative procedures governing hearings before a zoning hearing board as set forth under the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
The Board shall meet upon notice from the Chairman and shall consider such appeals as are scheduled to come before it. Notice of hearings scheduled by the Board shall be given in accordance with the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S.A. § 701 et seq. Notwithstanding any other term, condition or provision of this chapter, the Board shall meet to consider the merits of any appeal within 30 days of the filing of such an appeal application accompanied by the required application fee.
All proceedings before the Board shall be subject to the provisions of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S.A. § 701 et seq., and the Board shall maintain a stenographic record of the hearings. The Board may continue any hearing for so long as the Board deems it advisable to take evidence and receive information necessary for the determination of an appeal.
Upon conclusion of the hearing, the Board shall, within five days, issue a written decision regarding the outcome of the appeal. A majority vote of the Board shall be required to modify or reverse the decision of the Code Official. Copies of the decision shall be furnished to the appellant and to the Code Official as well as any other party granted standing before the Board at the hearing on the appeal.
The Municipal Council may, by resolution, establish a fee schedule for the filing of appeals for such matters as pertain to the hearing of appeals by the Municipality of Norristown Board of Code Appeals, which fees may be amended from time to time by resolution of Council. The fee shall not exceed the actual costs of publishing the hearing notice, court reporter services and other necessary administrative services. A hearing will not be scheduled until such time as the fee has been paid to the Municipality of Norristown.
Upon final determination of any appeal, the appropriate Code Official shall take immediate action in accordance with the decision of the Board. In all other respects, the filing of an appeal to the Board (other than imminent danger notices) shall act as a stay of enforcement proceedings related to matters under the Board's review.