Borough of Doylestown, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 1972-10, 10/16/1972, Art. X, § 1000; as amended by Ord. 1974-10, 8/19/1974, § 1]
The provisions of this Chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Zoning Officer who shall be appointed by the Borough Council.
It shall be the duty of the Zoning Officer to:
1. 
Receive and examine all applications for zoning permits.
2. 
Issue permits only where there is compliance with the provisions of this Chapter and with other Borough ordinances, and with the laws of the Commonwealth. Permits for construction or uses requiring a special exception or variance shall be issued only upon order of the Zoning Hearing Board. Permits requiring approval of a conditional use by the Borough Council shall be issued only after receipt of such approval. Permits requiring a certificate of appropriateness under the Historical and Architectural Part of Chapter 4 shall be issued only after receipt of such certificate.
3. 
Receive appeals and applications for interpretation, special exceptions and variances and forward them to the Zoning Hearing Board.
4. 
Receive applications for conditional uses and forward such applications to the Borough Planning Commission and the Bucks County Planning Commission for review and to Borough Council for action thereon.
5. 
Conduct inspections and surveys to determine compliance or noncompliance with the terms of this Chapter.
6. 
Enforce the provisions of this Chapter and to institute civil enforcement proceedings as provided for in § 1306 when acting within the scope of his employment.
A. 
[1]. If it appears that a violation of this Chapter has occurred, the Zoning Officer shall initiate enforcement proceedings by sending an enforcement notice to the owner of record of the parcel on which the violation has occurred, to any person who has filed a written request to receive enforcement notices regarding that parcel, and to any other person requested in writing by the owner of record.
[1]
Ord. 1991-3 states that the subsections should be (b) and (c).
B. 
An enforcement notice shall state the following:
(1) 
The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the Borough 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) 
That the owner of record or other person against whom the Borough intends to take action has 15 days from the date of notice to commence steps to comply with this Chapter and 30 days from the date of notice within which to complete such steps to be in compliance with this Chapter, unless such times are extended in writing by the Zoning Officer, for cause shown.
(5) 
That the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board within 30 days of the date of the enforcement notice or not later than the expiration of any extension granted, in writing, by the Zoning Officer.
(6) 
That the failure to comply with the enforcement notice within the time specified, unless extended by appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board, constitutes a violation with sanctions clearly described.
7. 
With the approval of the Borough Council, or when directed by them, institute in the name of the Borough any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent the unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, demolition, maintenance or use of any building or structure, to restrain, correct, or abate such violation, so as to prevent the occupancy of or use of any building, structure or land, or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises.
8. 
Revoke by order a zoning permit issued under a mistake of fact or contrary to the law or the provisions of this Chapter.
9. 
Record and file all applications for zoning permits with accompanying plans and documents. All applications, plans, and documents shall be a public record.
10. 
Maintain a map or maps showing the current zoning classification of all land in the Borough.
11. 
Upon the request of the Borough Council, the Planning Commission, or the Zoning Hearing Board, present facts, records, or reports which they may request to assist them in making decisions.
[Ord. 1972-10, 10/16/1972, Art. X, § 1001]
1. 
Hereafter no structure shall be erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered or moved, and no building shall be used or occupied, or changed in use, until a zoning permit has been secured from the Zoning Officer. Upon completion of changes in use or construction, reconstruction, alteration or moving of structures, the applicant shall notify the Zoning Officer of such completion. No permit shall be considered as completed or as permanently effective until the Zoning Officer has noted on the permit that the work or occupancy and use has been inspected and approved as being in conformity with the provisions of this Chapter.
2. 
All structures for which permits have been obtained and the construction of which or a portion of which has been begun, or for which a contract or contracts have been let pursuant to a permit issued prior to the passage of this Chapter, may be completed and used in accordance with the plans on which said permit was granted. Zoning permits shall not be required for general maintenance work, painting, cleaning woodlands, building ponds, tilling the soil, constructing fences, terraces, or similar features, nor landscaping.
[Ord. 1972-10, 10/16/1972, Art. X, § 1002]
1. 
All applications for zoning permits shall be made by the owner, tenant, purchaser under contract of sale, or authorized agent, on a form supplied by the Borough, and shall be filed with the Zoning Officer. The application shall consist of two parts:
A. 
A written statement including:
(1) 
An identification of the proposed use of the building or land;
(2) 
A description of any proposed industrial or commercial operations in sufficient detail to indicate effects of those operations in producing noise, heat, vibration, glare, air pollution, water pollution, fire hazards, traffic congestion, or other safety hazards;
(3) 
A description of methods to be employed in controlling any excess noise, air pollution, smoke, fumes, water pollution, fire hazards or other safety hazards;
(4) 
In the case of application for interpretation, variances, special exceptions, and conditional uses, the additional information specified in Part 11 § 1110 and;
(5) 
Any other data deemed necessary by the Zoning Officer, Planning Commission or Borough Council to enable them to determine the compliance of the proposed development with the terms of this Chapter.
B. 
A site plan drawn to scale showing:
(1) 
The location, dimensions, and height of proposed buildings, structures, or uses and existing buildings in relation to property and street lines. If the application relates to property which is scheduled to be developed in successive stages, such plans shall show the relationship of the portion scheduled for initial development to the proposed layout of the entire property;
(2) 
The location, dimensions, arrangement, and capacity of all open spaces and yards and buffer yards, including methods to be employed for screening;
(3) 
The location, size, arrangement, and capacity of all areas to be used for motor vehicle access, off-street parking, off-street loading and unloading, and provisions to be made for lighting such areas if required under Part 8;
(4) 
The dimensions, location and methods of illumination for signs if applicable;
(5) 
The location and dimensions of sidewalks and all other areas to be devoted to pedestrian use;
(6) 
Provisions to be made for treatment and disposal of sewage and industrial wastes, water supply and storm drainage;
(7) 
The capacity and arrangement of all buildings used or intended to be used for dwelling purposes, including the proposed density in terms of number of dwelling units per acre of land.
2. 
During a period of 60 days before the introduction of an ordinance which proposes a change in regulations, district boundaries or classifications of property, unless Council shall have acted on the ordinance within the said sixty-day period, the Zoning Officer shall accept no application for permits within the area involved in said change for any use which would be forbidden in the proposed ordinance.
3. 
No zoning permit for any new use or construction which will involve the on-site disposal of sewage or waste, and no zoning permit for a change in use or an alteration which will result in an increased volume of sewage or waste to be disposed of on the site, shall be issued until a certificate of approval has been issued by the Bucks County Department of Health.
[Ord. 1972-10, 10/16/1972, Art. X, § 1003]
Any erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration or moving of a building or other structure, including a sign authorized by a zoning permit, shall be commenced, and any change in use of a building or land authorized by a zoning permit shall be undertaken, within one year after the date of issuance of the permit. If not, the permit shall be considered null and void. However, in the case of erection or construction of a building, the right to continue with construction may be extended annually without payment of additional fees for an aggregate period of not more than two years, provided that the construction pursuant to said permit has commenced within one year following issuance of the permit.
[Ord. 1972-10, 10/16/1972, Art. X, § 1004; as amended by Ord. 1985-9, 5/23/1985; and by Ord. 1991-3, 2/18/1991, § 5]
Zoning permits shall be granted or refused within 90 days after the date of application. No permit shall be issued until the Zoning Officer has certified that the proposed building or alteration complies with all the provisions of this Chapter. In case of refusal, the applicant shall be informed of his right of appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board. Upon completion of the erection or alteration of any building or portion thereof authorized by any permit obtained in compliance with this Chapter, and prior to occupancy or use, the holder of such permit shall notify the Zoning Officer of such completion. Occupancy shall not be authorized until the Zoning Officer has certified that the work has been inspected and approved as being in conformity with the permit and the provisions of this and other applicable ordinances, and has issued a certificate of occupancy where required as provided below. All applications with accompanying plans and documents shall be a public record.
[Ord. 1972-10, 10/16/1972, Art. X, § 1005]
A certificate of occupancy shall be required for any of the following:
1. 
Occupancy and use of any building or portion thereof hereafter erected or altered;
2. 
Change in use of an existing building to a use of a different classification;
3. 
Occupancy and use of vacant land, or change in the use of land to a use of a different classification; and
4. 
Any change in use or extension of a nonconforming use. This certificate shall indicate that the proposed use of such building or land is in conformity with the provisions of this Chapter.
[Ord. 1972-10, Art. X, § 1006]
A certificate of occupancy shall be granted or refused within 10 days after the Zoning Officer has been notified of the completion of the authorized construction or alteration, or, where no construction or alteration is involved, within 10 days after receipt of written application therefor. Upon written request from the owner, the Zoning Officer shall issue a certificate of occupancy for any building or land existing at the time of enactment of this Chapter, certifying, after inspection, the extent and kind of use or disposition of the buildings or land, and whether such use or disposition conforms with the provisions of this Chapter. Pending completion of a building or of alterations thereto, a temporary certificate of occupancy may be issued by the Zoning Officer, for the use of a part or all of the building, provided that such temporary occupancy or use would not tend in any way to jeopardize life or property. A record of all certificates of occupancy shall be kept on file in an office of the Borough, and a copy of any such permit shall be furnished upon request to any person having a proprietary or tenancy interest in the building or premises.
[Ord. 1972-10, Art. X, § 1007; as amended by Ord. 1982-11, 5/17/1982, § 1]
Fee for permits shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of a fee schedule to be determined and adopted by Borough Council from time to time, by resolution. Each applicant for an interpretation, special exception, variance, or conditional use and for any other hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board shall, at the time of making any such application, pay a fee in accordance with a fee schedule determined and adopted by Borough Council, from time to time, by resolution.
[Ord. 1974-10, 8/19/1974, § 1]
1. 
Borough Council shall have the power to approve all applications for conditional use for any of the uses for which this Chapter requires the obtaining of such approval where there is compliance with the provisions of this Chapter, and with other Borough ordinances and with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and for no other use or purpose.
2. 
In granting a conditional use, Borough Council shall make findings of fact consistent with the provisions of this Chapter. Borough Council shall not grant a conditional use except in conformance with the conditions and standards outlined in this Chapter.
3. 
General requirements and standards applicable to all conditional uses. Borough Council shall grant a conditional use only if it determines that there is adequate evidence that any proposed use submitted for approval as a conditional use will meet all of the following general requirements as well as any specific requirements and standards listed for the proposed use. Borough Council shall, among other things, require that any proposed use and location be:
A. 
In accordance with the Doylestown Borough comprehensive plan and consistent with the spirit, purposes, and intent of this Chapter.
B. 
In the best interest of the Borough, the convenience of the community, and the public welfare.
C. 
Suitable for the property in question, and designed, constructed, operated and maintained so as to be in harmony with and appropriate in appearance with the existing or intended character of the general vicinity.
D. 
In conformance with all applicable requirements of this Chapter.
E. 
Suitable in terms of effect on street traffic and safety with adequate access arrangements to protect major streets from undue congestion and hazard.
4. 
Procedure for Review of Application for Conditional Uses. The procedure for review before Borough Council of all applications for conditional use shall be in accordance with that provided for the review of applications for special exceptions before the Zoning Hearing Board, which procedure is set forth in Part 11 hereof, at §§ 1103-1116. In addition thereto, prior to its review of any application for conditional use or any public hearing which may be required herein, Borough Council shall require the review and recommendation of the Doylestown Borough Planning Commission in respect to the suitability of the proposed conditional use.
5. 
Subsequent to the granting of a conditional use the applicant must obtain a zoning permit within six months of approval or such conditional use shall be considered null and void.
6. 
In granting a conditional use approval, Borough Council may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards, in addition to those expressed in this Chapter, as it deems necessary and proper to insure that any proposed use will secure substantially the objectives of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and this Chapter.
7. 
In all applications for conditional use the applicant shall have the burden of proving that his application falls within the provisions of the Zoning Chapter and that granting his application will not be contrary to the public interest.