Township of Lower Southampton, PA
Bucks County
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[Ord. 558, 9/4/2012]
The provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Zoning Officer, who shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors.
Appointment and powers.
For the administration of this chapter, a Zoning Officer, who shall not hold any elective office in the Township, shall be appointed.
The Zoning Officer shall meet the qualifications established by the Township and shall be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Township a working knowledge of municipal zoning.
The Zoning Officer shall administer this chapter in accordance with its literal terms and shall not have the power to permit any construction or any use or change of use which does not conform to this chapter.
The Zoning Officer is hereby authorized to institute civil enforcement proceedings as a means of enforcement when acting within the scope of his employment.
It shall be the duty of the Zoning Officer, and he shall have the power to:
Receive and keep a record of all applications for zoning permits.
Process zoning permit applications.
Issue permits only where there is compliance with the provisions of this chapter, with other Township ordinances, and with the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States of America. 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 by the Board of Supervisors shall be issued only after receipt of approval from the Board of Supervisors.
Receive applications for special exceptions and variances and forward these applications to the Zoning Hearing Board for action thereon.
Following refusal of a permit, to receive applications for interpretation, appeals and variances and forward these applications to the Zoning Hearing Board for action thereon.
Conduct inspections and surveys to determine compliance or noncompliance with the terms of this chapter.
Institute in the name of the Township any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent the unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use; to restrain, correct or abate such violation so as to prevent the occupancy or use of any building, structure or land; or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises.
Revoke, by order, a zoning permit issued under a mistake of fact or contrary to the law or the provisions of this chapter.
Issue enforcement notices, to order and require the abatement forthwith or otherwise of a violation of the provisions of this chapter.
Record and file all applications for zoning permits with accompanying plans and documents. All applications, plans and documents shall be public records.
Maintain a map or maps showing the current zoning classification of all land in the Township.
Prepare and maintain a list of nonconforming uses when directed to do so by the Board of Supervisors.
Upon the request of the Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission or the Zoning Hearing Board, present facts, records or reports to assist such body in making decisions.
Be available to testify in all proceedings before the Zoning Hearing Board to present facts and information to assist the Zoning Hearing Board in reaching a decisions.
[Ord. 558, 9/4/2012]
If it appears to the Township that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the Township shall initiate enforcement proceedings by sending an enforcement notice as provided by Part 24 of this chapter. The enforcement notice shall be sent 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.
[Ord. 558, 9/4/2012]
Hereafter, no use may be established or changed; no structure shall be erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, removed; and no building 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 complete 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.
In addition to the foregoing, a zoning permit shall be required upon the transfer of ownership of any commercial property within the Township.
[Added by Ord. 566, 11/12/2014]
[Ord. 558, 9/4/2012]
All applications for zoning permits shall be made in writing by the owner, tenant, vendee under contract of sale, or authorized agent on a form supplied by the Township and shall be filed with the Zoning Officer. The application shall include the following information:
A statement as to the proposed use of the building or land.
A site layout drawn to scale showing the location, dimensions and height of proposed buildings, structures or uses and any 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.
The location, dimensions and arrangements of all open spaces and yards and buffer yards, including methods to be employed for screening.
The location, size, arrangement and capacity of all areas to be used for motor vehicles access, off-street parking, off-street loading and unloading, and provisions to be made for lighting such areas.
The dimensions, location and methods of illumination for signs, if applicable.
Provisions to be made for treatment and disposal of sewage and industrial wastes, water supply and storm drainage.
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.
A description of any proposed industrial or commercial operations in sufficient detail to indicate effects of those operations in producing noise, glare, air pollution, water pollution, fire hazards, traffic congestion, or other safety hazards.
Description of methods to be employed in controlling any excess noise, air pollution, smoke, fumes, water pollution, fire hazards or other safety hazards.
In the case of application for interpretation, variances and special exceptions, the additional information specified in this chapter, Part 23.
Any other data deemed necessary by the Zoning Officer, Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors to enable it to determine the compliance of the proposed development with the terms of this chapter.
No permit for any new use or construction which will involve the on-site disposal of sewage or waste and no 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 lot shall be issued until a certificate of approval has been issued by the Bucks County Department of Health or any other agency with jurisdiction.
[Ord. 558, 9/4/2012]
All applicants for zoning permits, special exceptions, and interpretation and variance appeals shall, at the time of making application, pay to the Zoning Officer for use of the Township a fee in accordance with a fee schedule adopted by resolution of the Board of Supervisors upon the enactment of this chapter or as such schedule may be amended by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
[Ord. 558, 9/4/2012]
Any erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration or moving of the 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 six months after the date of issuance of the permit. If not, the permit shall be considered null and void. However, in case of erection or construction of a building, the right to proceed with construction may be extended annually without payment of additional fee for an aggregate period of not more than three years, provided that the construction pursuant to said permit has commenced within the first six months.
[Ord. 558, 9/4/2012]
The Board of Supervisors shall have the power to approve conditional uses at a public hearing following public notice for any of the uses for which this chapter requires the obtaining of such approvals and for no other use or purpose. Application to the Board of Supervisors shall be made on the form approved by the Board of Supervisors and shall be accompanied by the fee set by the Board of Supervisors.
In granting a conditional use, the Board of Supervisors shall make findings of fact consistent with the provisions of this chapter. The Board shall not grant a conditional use except in conformance with the conditions and standards outlined in this chapter.
General requirements and standards applicable to all conditional uses. The Board shall grant a conditional use only if it finds adequate evidence that any proposed use submitted for a conditional use will meet all of the following general requirements as well as any specific requirements and standards listed for the proposed use. The Board shall among other things require that any proposed use and location be:
In accordance with the Lower Southampton Township Comprehensive Plan and consistent with the spirit, purpose and intent of this chapter.
In the best interest of the Township, the convenience of the community, the public welfare and be a substantial improvement to property in the immediate vicinity.
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.
Suitable in terms of effects on street traffic and safety, with adequate access arrangements to protect major streets from undue congestion and hazard.