The provisions of this chapter and the boundaries of the Zoning Districts as set forth on the Official Zoning Map, may from time to time be amended or changed by the Borough Council, in accordance with the provisions of Section 609 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code Act of 1967, P.L. 705, No.246, as amended.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10609.
Procedural. Before voting on the enactment of an amendment, the Borough Council shall hold at least one public hearing thereon, pursuant to adequate public notice in a newspaper of general circulation. In addition, for rezoning excluding that associated with comprehensive rezoning, the following notifications shall occur:
If the proposed amendment involves a Zoning Map change, notice of said public hearing shall be conspicuously posted by the Zoning Officer along the perimeter of the tract(s) to be affected.
The affected tract(s) shall be posted at least seven days prior to the date of the hearing.
Written notice shall be provided at least 30 days prior to the date of the hearing by first-class mail to the addresses to which real estate tax bills are sent for real property located within the area being rezoned, as evidenced by real estate tax records within the possession of the Borough. The notice shall include the location, date and time of the public hearing.
Borough Planning Committee/Commission. In the case of an amendment other than that prepared by the Borough Planning Committee/Commission, the Borough Council shall submit each such amendment to the Borough Planning Committee/Commission at least 30 days prior to the hearing on such proposed amendment to provide the planning agency an opportunity to submit recommendations.
Substantial change. If, after any public hearing held upon an amendment, the proposed amendment is changed substantially, or is revised, to include any land not previously affected by it, the Borough Council shall hold another public hearing before proceeding to vote on the amendment.
County Planning Commission review. All proposed amendments shall be submitted by the Borough Council to the Blair County Planning Commission at least 45 days prior to the public hearing for recommendation.
Submission to County Planning Commission. Within 30 days after enactment, a copy of the amendment shall be forwarded to the Blair County Planning Commission.
Background. A landowner who desires to challenge on substantive ground the validity of the Zoning Ordinance or Map, or any provision thereof, that prohibits or restricts the use or development of land in which he/she has an interest, may submit a curative amendment to the Borough Council, pursuant to the provisions of Section 609.1 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code Act of 1967, P.L. 705, No.246, as amended.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10609.1.
Hearing, timing and notice. The Borough Council shall commence a hearing thereon within 60 days of the request, pursuant to public notice, unless the landowner requests or consents to an extension of time. Public notice shall include notice that the validity of the Zoning Ordinance or Map is in question and the place and time when a copy of the requests, including any plans, explanatory material or proposed amendments may be examined by the public.
Review by Planning Committee/Commissions. The landowner curative amendment shall be referred by the Borough Council to the Borough Planning Committee/Commission and County Planning Commissions for review and recommendation.
Enabling regulations for hearing. The hearing shall be conducted by the Borough Council in accordance with Section 908 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and all references therein to the Zoning Hearing Board shall, for the purposes of this section, be references to the Borough Council: provided, however, that the provisions of Section 908(1.2) and (9) shall not apply and the provisions of Section 916.1 shall control.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10908(1.2) and (9) and 10916.1, respectively.
Severability. In the event the Borough Council does not accept the landowner curative amendment and a court of competent jurisdiction subsequently rules that the challenge has merit, the court's decision shall not result in a declaration of invalidity for the entire Zoning Ordinance, but only for those provisions that specifically relate to the landowner's curative amendment and challenge.
Additional criteria considered. The Borough Council shall consider the curative amendment, plans and explanatory material submitted by landowner and shall also consider:
The impact of the proposal upon roads, sewer facilities, water supplies, schools and other public service facilities.
If the proposal is for a residential use, the impact of the proposal upon regional housing needs and the effectiveness of the proposal in providing housing units of a type actually available to and affordable by classes of persons otherwise excluded by the challenged provisions of the Zoning Ordinance or Map.
The suitability of the site for the intensity of use proposed by the site's soils, slopes, woodlands, wetlands, floodplains, aquifers, natural resources and other natural features.
The impact of the propose use on the site's soils, slopes, woodlands, wetlands, floodplains, natural resources and natural features, the degree to which these are protected or destroyed, the tolerance of the resources to development and any adverse environmental impacts.
The impact of the proposal on the preservation of agricultural and other uses that is essential to public health and welfare.
Decisionmaking time frame. The Borough Council shall render its decision within 45 days after the conclusion of the last hearing. If the Borough Council fails to act on the landowner's request within this time period, a denial of the request is deemed to have occurred on the 46th day after the close of the last hearing.
Should the Borough Council determine that this chapter or any portion thereof is substantially invalid, it shall take the actions outlined in this section.
Background. The Borough Council shall declare this chapter or portions thereof substantially invalid and propose to prepare a curative amendment to overcome such invalidity. Within 30 days following such declaration and proposal, the Borough Council shall:
By resolution make specific findings setting forth the invalidity of this chapter that may include:
Begin to prepare and consider a curative amendment to this chapter to correct the declared invalidity.
Time frame. Within 180 days from the date of the declaration and proposal, the Borough Council shall enact a curative amendment to cure the declared invalidity.
Procedural. Upon initiation of the procedures, as set forth above, the Borough Council shall not be required to consider or entertain any landowner's curative amendment, nor shall the Zoning Hearing Board be required to provide the report required in Section 916.1 of Act 246, as amended (the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code). Upon completion of the procedures set forth above, no rights to a cure pursuant to the provisions of this section shall, from the date of declaration and proposal, accrue to any landowner on the basis of the substantive invalidity of the unamended ordinance.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10916.1.
Subsequent use requirements. A municipal curative amendment may not be utilized for a period of 36 months following the date of enactment of a municipal curative amendment; provided, however, if after the date of declaration and proposal there is a substantially new duty or obligation imposed upon the Borough by virtue of a change in statute or by virtue of an Appellate Court decision, the Borough may utilize the provisions of this section to prepare a curative amendment to fulfill said duty or obligation.
The Borough Council shall publish public notice of any proposed amendment not more than 30 nor less than seven days prior to the public hearing, in a newspaper of general circulation. Such notice shall be posted for a minimum of once a week, for two consecutive weeks. Such notice shall contain, at a minimum:
The time and place of the meeting.
A reference to where copies of the proposed amendment may be examined without charge, or obtained for a charge not greater than the cost thereof.
A brief summary of the amendment, including the title, prepared by the Borough Solicitor. An attested copy of the full text of the amendment shall be filed in the County Law Library and in the Office of the Blair County Planning Commission. The attested copies may be distributed to the public and a fee for such copies may be imposed that is not greater than the actual cost of preparing the copies.
In the event that substantial amendments are made to the ordinance, ("substantial" being defined as amending more than 10% of the ordinance) before voting upon any enactment, the Borough Council shall, at least 10 days prior to scheduled enactment, readvertise; readvertisement shall be in one newspaper of general circulation and shall summarize, in reasonable detail, all the amendment provisions.
Amendments shall be incorporated into official ordinance books by reference with the same force and effect as if duly recorded therein.