Township of Mount Joy, PA
Lancaster County
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A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced by an agent, to be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors, who shall be known as the "Zoning Officer." The Zoning Officer shall not hold any elective office in the Township. The Zoning Officer shall administer this chapter in accordance with its literal terms and shall not have the power to permit any construction or use which does not conform to this chapter and all other applicable Township ordinances and applicable statutes and regulations. The Zoning Officer may be provided with assistance of such persons as the Board of Supervisors may direct, and the compensation of the Zoning Officer shall be determined by the Board of Supervisors.
B. 
The Board of Supervisors may appoint one or more persons to serve as the Assistant Zoning Officer. When the Board of Supervisors has appointed an Assistant Zoning Officer, the Assistant Zoning Officer shall have all of the powers and duties of the Zoning Officer set forth in this chapter.
The Zoning Officer shall have all of the duties and powers conferred upon him by this chapter and the Municipalities Planning Code.[1] The duties of the Zoning Officer shall include but not be limited to:
A. 
Applications and permits. The Zoning Officer shall receive, examine and process all applications for zoning permits and/or certificates of use and occupancy for the erection, construction, alteration, repair, extension, replacement, relocation, conversion, use, change of use and/or occupancy of land, buildings, structures, signs and/or landscaping in the Township. The Zoning Officer shall record and file all applications for permits and accompanying plans and documents and keep them for public record.
B. 
Inspection. The Zoning Officer may, and, if requested by the Board of Supervisors or the permit holder, shall, make at least one inspection during the progress of the work for which a zoning permit has been issued. Upon completion of the work and before issuance of a certificate of use and occupancy, he shall make a final inspection of the property to assure compliance with all provisions of this chapter and all other applicable Township ordinances and applicable statutes and regulations. Violations of approved plans or permits shall be noted, and the Zoning Officer shall notify the holder of the permit of all discrepancies.
C. 
Complaints regarding violations. The Zoning Officer may, and, when in receipt of a signed written complaint stating fully the cause and basis thereof, shall, investigate alleged violations of this chapter. If a signed written complaint is received, said investigation shall be completed within 15 days of receipt of said complaint. A written report of all investigations of alleged violations of this chapter shall be prepared and properly filed and a copy shall be sent to the Board of Supervisors. If, after investigation, the Zoning Officer determines that a violation has occurred, he shall take action as provided this chapter.
D. 
Official records. It shall be the duty of the Zoning Officer to maintain and be responsible for all pertinent records on zoning matters in the Township. These records shall include but not be limited to all applications received, copies of all permits and certificates issued, copies of orders and findings of the Zoning Hearing Board, written complaints of alleged violations, records of all inspections made, a current copy of this Zoning Ordinance and all amending ordinances, a copy of the current Official Zoning Map, and all other pertinent information. The records of the Zoning Officer shall be available for the use of the Township government and inspection by any interested party during normal office hours. The Zoning Officer shall submit to the Board of Supervisors a written report of all zoning permits and certificates of use and occupancy issued and all notices of violations and stop-work orders issued or recommended as requested by the Board of Supervisors.
E. 
Nonconforming uses, structures and lots. The Zoning Officer shall inspect nonconforming uses, structures and lots and keep a record of such nonconforming uses, structures and lots as a public record.
F. 
Presentation of evidence and testimony. Upon the request of the Board of Supervisors or the Zoning Hearing Board, the Zoning Officer shall present to such bodies facts, records and any similar information on specific requests to assist such bodies in reaching their decisions.
G. 
Enforcement. The Zoning Officer shall enforce the provisions of this chapter in accordance with §§ 135-367 and 135-368 herein.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
A. 
Requirement. A zoning permit shall be obtained from the Zoning Officer for any erection, construction, alteration, extension, replacement, relocation or conversion of any building, structure or sign, or the commencement of excavation for construction of any building, structure or sign and for the change in use of any building, structure, sign and/or land. No zoning permit shall be required for repairs to or maintenance of any building, structure or land, provided that such repairs do not change the use, alter the exterior dimensions of the building or structure or otherwise violate the provisions of this chapter or any other applicable Township ordinance or applicable statute or regulation.
B. 
Form of application for zoning permit. The application for a zoning permit shall be submitted in such form as the Zoning Officer may prescribe and shall be accompanied by the required fee as prescribed. Application for a zoning permit shall be made by the owner or lessee of any building, structure or land or the agent of either; provided, however, that if the application is made by a person other than the owner or lessee, it shall be accompanied by a written authorization from the owner or lessee designating the agent and authorizing the work. The full name and address of the applicant and the landowner, if different, shall be stated on the application. If the applicant is a corporation, the names and addresses of the officers of the corporation shall be included on the application.
C. 
Description of the work. The application shall contain a description of the proposed work and/or use and occupancy of the building, structure, sign and/or land and any other information required by the Zoning Officer to determine compliance with this chapter and other applicable Township ordinances, statutes and regulations. The application shall be accompanied by plans, in duplicate, drawn to scale, showing the actual dimensions and shape of the lot, the size and location and dimensions of the proposed use, building or alteration, distance from existing lot lines and street right-of-way lines, parking areas and other pertinent information.
D. 
Approval or disapproval of application. Upon receipt of the application, the Zoning Officer shall examine the application and supporting information to determine compliance with this chapter and other applicable Township ordinances, statutes and regulations. The Zoning Officer shall complete this examination within 90 days from the date the application, including all required fees, was filed with the Township. The Zoning Officer shall determine if subdivision and/or land development approval and/or stormwater management plan approval has been obtained, if state sanitation inspection requirements have been met and, in the case of public buildings, the required permits have been issued by the Department of Labor and Industry or other federal or state agency as applicable to the project. No zoning permit shall be issued unless the applicant presents the Zoning Officer with proof that any applicable subdivision and/or land development approval has been granted, a sewage permit has been issued by the Township Sewage Enforcement Officer for the lot, a potable supply of water will be provided to the use, a driveway permit under Chapter 67, Driveways, or a highway occupancy permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has been issued in order that access may be gained to the lot and all other required Township approvals and permits have been granted or issued. The Zoning Officer shall mark the application as either approved or disapproved and shall return one copy of the application to the applicant. The other copy shall be retained by the Zoning Officer for the Township files. If disapproved, the Zoning Officer shall attach a statement to the application explaining the reasons for such disapproval and informing the applicant of his right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board.
E. 
Issuance and posting of permits. Upon approval of the application by the Zoning Officer, the Zoning Officer shall issue a zoning permit placard which shall be visibly posted on the site of operations during the entire time of construction. The zoning permit shall expire six months from the date of issuance if the work described in the zoning permit has not begun. If the work described in the zoning permit has begun, the zoning permit shall expire one year from the date of issuance.
F. 
Rights of permit holders. The zoning permit shall be a license to proceed with work described on the approved application. The Zoning Officer shall revoke a permit or approval issued under the provisions of this chapter in the case of any false statement or misrepresentation of fact in the application or on the plans on which the permit or approval was based or if the permit was issued in error or if work is not undertaken in accordance with the permit or for any other proper cause. Permit holders shall proceed with work at their own risk and subject to the rights of aggrieved parties to appeal the issuance of the zoning permit as authorized by the Municipalities Planning Code.
A. 
Payment of fees. No zoning permit shall be issued until the fees prescribed by the Board of Supervisors have been paid. The payment of fees under this article shall not relieve the applicant or permit holder from payment of other fees which may be required under any other applicable ordinance, statute or regulation.
B. 
Compliance with chapter. The zoning permit shall be a license to proceed with work or to commence a use in accordance with the application filed and terms of the permit issued and shall not be construed as authority to violate, cancel or set aside any of the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Compliance with permit and plot plan. All work or use shall conform to the approved application and plans for which the zoning permit was issued, as well as any approved plot plan.
A. 
Certificate of use and occupancy required. It shall be unlawful to use and/or occupy any structure, building or land or portion thereof for which a zoning permit is required until a certificate of use and occupancy has been issued by the Zoning Officer. The Zoning Officer shall not issue a certificate of use and occupancy unless he has inspected said structure, building or land and has ascertained compliance with all provisions of this chapter and all other applicable Township ordinances, statutes and regulations.
B. 
Issuance. Upon the receipt of written notification that the work for which a zoning permit has been issued has been completed, the Zoning Officer shall inspect the premises within 90 days to determine that the work has been performed in accordance with this chapter and the approved application and other applicable Township ordinances, statutes and regulations. If he is satisfied that the work has been completed in accordance with the approved application and applicable ordinances, statutes and regulations, he shall issue a certificate of use and occupancy to the permit holder for the use indicated on the approved application. A copy of the certificate of use and occupancy shall be retained by the Zoning Officer as part of the records. If he finds that the work has not been performed in accordance with this chapter and the approved application, the Zoning Officer shall refuse to issue the certificate of use and occupancy and, in writing, give the reasons therefor and inform the permit holder of his rights of appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board.
C. 
Temporary certificate of use and occupancy.
(1) 
Upon written request of a holder of a zoning permit, the Zoning Officer may issue a temporary certificate of use and occupancy for a structure, building, sign and/or land, or portion thereof, before the entire work covered by the zoning permit shall have been completed. Such portion or portions may be used and/or occupied prior to full completion of the work, provided that the public health, safety or welfare is not endangered.
(2) 
The Zoning Officer may also issue a temporary certificate of use and occupancy for such temporary uses as tents, trailers and buildings on construction sites, use of lands for public or semipublic purposes or other temporary use and/or occupancy upon order of the Zoning Hearing Board. Such temporary certificates of use and occupancy shall be for the period of time to be determined by the Zoning Hearing Board, but in no case shall any temporary certificate of use and occupancy be issued for more than six months. The applicant shall completely remove the structure or use authorized by the temporary certificate of use and occupancy upon expiration of the permit without cost to the Township.
The construction, excavation, alteration, maintenance or use of any structure, building, sign, land or landscaping or the change of use, area of use, percentage of use or displacement of the use of any structure, building, sign, land or landscaping without first obtaining a zoning permit; or the use of any building, structure, sign or land without receipt of a certificate of use and occupancy; or the use or maintenance of any building, structure, sign or land for a use or in a manner which is not in accordance with the provisions of this chapter; or the use of property for a use different from that set forth in any zoning permit or certificate of use and occupancy which has been granted for the property without applying for and being granted a zoning permit and certificate of use and occupancy for such new or different use; or the failure to comply with any other provision of this chapter; or the violation of any conditions imposed upon the grant of a special exception or variance by the Zoning Hearing Board or a conditional use by the Board of Supervisors or by a court of competent jurisdiction if a special exception, variance or conditional use is granted by such court, is hereby declared to be a violation of this chapter.
If it appears to the Zoning Officer that a violation of this chapter shall exist, the Zoning Officer shall send an enforcement notice (also known as a "notice of violation and cease-and-desist order") to the owner of record of the lot on which the violation has occurred, to any person who has filed a written request to receive enforcement notices regarding that lot, to any other person requested in writing by the owner of record and to any person against whom the Township may bring an enforcement action. The enforcement notice shall contain the name of the owner of record and any other persons against whom the Township may take action, the location of the property in violation, the specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of this chapter, the date before which steps for compliance must be commenced and that date before which the steps must be completed, that the recipient of the enforcement notice has the right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board within 30 days and that a failure to comply with the notice within the time specified, unless extended by an appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board, constitutes a violation with sanctions as provided in this chapter.
If an enforcement notice is not complied with promptly, the Zoning Officer shall notify the Board of Supervisors. The Zoning Officer may institute a civil enforcement action before the District Justice and, if the Board of Supervisors so directs, shall institute a civil enforcement action. The Board of Supervisors may request the Township Solicitor to institute in the name of the Township any appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity to prevent, restrain, correct, or abate such violation or to require the removal or termination of the unlawful use of the structure, building, sign, landscaping or land in violation of the chapter or of an order or direction made pursuant thereto.
Any person who 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 the reasonable attorneys' 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 Magisterial District Judge. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation, unless a Magisterial District Judge determining that there has been a violation further determines that there was a good-faith basis for the person 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 Magisterial District Judge, and thereafter each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. All judgments, costs and reasonable attorneys' fees collected for the violation of this chapter shall be paid over to the Township for the general use of the Township.
In case any building, structure, sign or landscaping is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted or maintained; or any building, structure, sign or land is used; or any hedge, shrub, tree or other growth is maintained in violation of this chapter or of any of the regulations made pursuant thereto or any of the permits or certificates of use and occupancy issued under this chapter or any conditions imposed upon the grant of a special exception or variance by the Zoning Hearing Board or upon the grant of a conditional use by the Board of Supervisors, then, in addition to any other remedies provided by law, any appropriate action or proceeding may be instituted or taken to prevent or restrain such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in and about such premises.
A. 
All applications for hearings on a conditional use application shall be made on forms provided by the Township. No application shall be considered complete until any required fees have been paid and until a site plan has been submitted. The application shall be accompanied by all applicable information listed in § 135-384.
B. 
Criteria. Each applicant for a conditional use shall demonstrate compliance with the following criteria:
(1) 
The applicant shall establish, by credible evidence, compliance with all conditions on the conditional use enumerated in the section which gives the applicant the right to seek the conditional use.
(2) 
The applicant shall establish, by credible evidence, that the proposed conditional use shall be properly serviced by all existing public service systems. The peak traffic generated by the subject of the application shall be accommodated in a safe and efficient manner or improvements made in order to effect the same. Similar responsibilities shall be assumed with respect to other public service systems, including but not limited to public protection, fire protection, utilities, parks and recreation.
(3) 
The applicant shall establish, by credible evidence, that the proposed conditional use shall be in and of itself properly designed with regard to internal circulation, parking, buffering and all other elements of proper design as specified in this chapter and any other governing law or regulation.
(4) 
The applicant shall provide the Board of Supervisors with sufficient plans, studies or other data to demonstrate compliance with all applicable regulations.
(5) 
The proposed conditional use shall not substantially injure or detract from the use of neighboring property or from the character of the neighborhood, and the use of the property adjacent to the area included in the conditional use application shall be adequately safeguarded.
C. 
Conditions. The Board of Supervisors, in approving conditional use applications, may attach conditions considered necessary to protect the public welfare and the Comprehensive Plan, including conditions which are more restrictive than those established for other uses in the same district. These conditions shall be enforceable by the Zoning Officer, and failure to comply with such conditions shall constitute a violation of this chapter and be subject to the penalties as prescribed by law.
D. 
Site plan approval. Any site plan presented in support of the conditional use shall become an official part of the record for such conditional use. Approval of any conditional use will also bind the use in accordance with the submitted site plan. Should any change in the site plan be required as part of the approval of the use, the applicant shall revise the site plan prior to the issuance of a zoning permit. Any subsequent change to the use on the subject property not reflected on the originally approved site plan shall require the obtainment of another conditional use approval.
E. 
Hearing procedures. All public hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
F. 
Decision.
(1) 
The Board of Supervisors shall render a written decision or, when no decision is called for, make written findings on the conditional use application within 45 days after the last hearing before the Supervisors.
(2) 
Where the application is contested or denied, each decision shall be accompanied by findings of fact or conclusions based thereon, together with any reasons therefor, conclusions based on any provisions of the Municipalities Planning Code or of any ordinance, rule or regulation shall contain a reference to the provision relied upon and the reasons why the conclusion is deemed appropriate in the light of the facts found.