Borough of Rosslyn Farms, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
It is the intent of this Article to describe the procedures for administration, enforcement and amendment of this Ordinance and the duties and responsibilities of the Zoning Officer.
The Zoning Officer shall be appointed by Borough Council and shall hold no elective office in the Borough. The Zoning Officer shall meet the qualifications established by the Borough and shall be able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Borough, a working knowledge of municipal zoning.
The Zoning Officer shall have all the powers and duties conferred on him by this Ordinance and the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. The Zoning Officer shall administer this Ordinance for the Borough 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 Ordinance. The Zoning Officer's duties shall include the following:
1701.1 
Enforcement:
The Zoning Officer shall be empowered to institute Civil enforcement proceedings in accordance with the provisions of § 190-1703 as a means of enforcement when acting within the scope of his/her employment.
1701.2 
Receipt of Applications:
The Zoning Officer shall receive applications for any new use or change of use filed in accordance with § 190-1702 prior to the start of construction or establishment or change of the use by any landowner or lessee. Such application shall describe the proposed activity in sufficient detail to determine whether or not it meets the requirements of this and other applicable Borough ordinances. Applications for Uses by Special Exception, Conditional Uses and Variances shall be filed in accordance with Sections 1301.1, 1301.3 or 1503, whichever is applicable, and shall be forwarded by the Zoning Officer to the appropriate decision-making body. In addition, the Zoning Officer shall receive and forward all applications for appeals to the Zoning Hearing Board.
1701.3 
Issuance of Permits:
It shall be unlawful to use or change the use of any structure or lot or erect, structurally alter or enlarge any structure without obtaining a Zoning Certificate or Certificate of Use and Occupancy.
a. 
Zoning Certificate:
If a proposed use is listed as a conditional use or use by special exception in the Zoning District in which the use is proposed to be located, the Zoning Officer shall not issue a Zoning Certificate until an application for approval of a conditional use or use by special exception has been reviewed and granted by either Borough Council or the Zoning Hearing Board in accordance with the provisions of Article XIII.
If the proposed use requires approval of a land development plan under the Borough Subdivision Ordinance, the Zoning Officer shall not issue a Zoning Certificate until the land development plan has been reviewed by the Planning Commission and approved by Borough Council.
The Zoning Certificate shall be prerequisite to issuance of a Building Permit; and, where no Building Permit is required, the Zoning Certificate shall be prerequisite to issuance of a Certificate of Use and Occupancy. The Zoning Officer shall indicate whether the Zoning Certificate has been issued on all applications for a Building Permit and/or Certificate of Use and Occupancy.
b. 
Permit for Temporary Structures:
Permits for temporary structures authorized by § 190-1407 of this Ordinance may be issued by the Zoning Officer only for the time that construction work is in progress and for a period not to exceed six (6) months. The permit may be renewed for an additional six-month period upon demonstration of continued need for the structures however, all temporary structures shall be removed upon completion of construction. Permits for all other temporary structures shall be subject to § 1303.37 of this Ordinance.
c. 
Certificate of Use and Occupancy:
A Certificate of Use and Occupancy shall be required prior to the sale of any property. The Certificate of Use and Occupancy shall state the zoning classification of the property, the approved use of the property (including the number of dwelling units for residential properties), any variances granted for the property and any conditions or outstanding violations affecting the property.
When a Zoning Certificate has been issued for the reconstruction, alteration or movement of any other structure or the construction of any new structure, including dwellings, it shall be unlawful to use or occupy that structure without a Certificate of Use and Occupancy. Upon completion of the construction, reconstruction alteration, or movement of the structure, the holder of the Zoning Certificate shall notify the Zoning Officer that the work has been completed and the structure is ready to be used or occupied.
Upon inspection and determination that all applicable ordinance regulations and any conditions attached to the Zoning Certificate have been met, the Zoning Officer shall issue a Certificate of Use and Occupancy. The Certificate of Use and Occupancy shall include certification by the Building Inspector that all applicable requirements of the Borough Building Code have been met.
For all uses in all C, Commercial, Districts, any change in occupancy from one owner or tenant to another or any change from one use to another of any structure or lot shall require the issuance of a Certificate of Use and Occupancy, whether or not a Building Permit is required. Prior to occupying the building or structure in which the change of use or occupancy is established, the landowner or lessee shall be required to make an application for a Certificate of Use and Occupancy. The Zoning Officer shall determine that all applicable regulations of this Ordinance for the proposed change of use or change of occupancy have been met prior to issuing the Certificate of Use and Occupancy.
Issuance of all Certificates of Use and Occupancy shall be subject to payment of the required fee established from time to time by Resolution of Borough Council.
A Certificate of Occupancy shall be applied for coincidentally with the application for a building permit and shall be issued upon examination of the completed structure and certification by the Zoning Officer, within ten (10) days after the erection or structural alteration of such structure or part thereof shall have been complete, if in conformity with the provisions of this Ordinance and all other laws of the Borough. However, such Certificate shall be void if the premises are not occupied for the approved use within six (6) months of the date of issue or renewal.
A Certificate of Occupancy shall be valid only so long as the use and occupancy of such land or structure shall continuously comply with all of the requirements and regulations of this Ordinance. The Zoning Officer may revoke a Certificate of Occupancy upon his determination that a failure of compliance of any regulation of this Ordinance exists. Upon such invalidity or revocation, any further use or occupancy of such land or structure shall be considered to be in violation of this Ordinance and subject to its penalty provisions.
1701.4 
Expiration of Permits:
If, after issuance of a Zoning Certificate for an approved conditional use or a use by special exception, an application for a Building Permit to undertake work described in that application has not been submitted within twelve (12) months of the date of granting of approval by the Borough, approval of the conditional use or use by special exception shall expire automatically without written notice to the applicant, unless Borough Council or the Zoning Hearing Board, as the case may be, extends the approval upon written request by the applicant prior to its expiration.
1701.5 
Revocation of Permits:
A Zoning Certificate or Certificate of Use and Occupancy for any structure or use shall be revoked and withdrawn by the Zoning Officer if the holder of such permit or certificate has failed to comply with the requirements of this Ordinance or with any conditions attached to the issuance of the permit or certificate. Upon revocation of a permit or certificate, the holder may also be subject to the penalties for violation specified in § 190-1703 of this Ordinance.
1701.6 
Inspections:
The Zoning Officer, or his/her representative duly authorized from time to time by Resolution of Borough Council, may examine, or cause to be examined, all structures and/or land for which a Zoning Certificate or a Certificate of Use and Occupancy has been applied for or issued. Such inspections may be made from time to time during construction, if any, and prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Use and Occupancy.
1701.7 
Registration of Non-conforming Uses, Structures and Lots:
The Zoning Officer shall prepare and keep up to date a register of all non-conforming uses, structures and lots in accordance with the procedures specified in § 190-1604 of this Ordinance.
All applications shall be submitted in a form and manner acceptable to the Borough. All applications shall be accompanied by the required fee established from time to time by Resolution of Borough Council and which schedule of fees is available to the public in the Office of the Borough Secretary.
All applications shall be filed at least twenty-one (21) calendar days prior to the regular meeting of the Planning Commission at which the application is to be considered.
1702.1 
Applications for Conditional Uses:
All applications for conditional use approval shall be submitted and shall be processed in accordance with the requirements of § 1301.1 and § 1301.2 of this Ordinance.
1702.2 
Applications for Uses by Special Exception:
All applications for uses by special exception shall be submitted and shall be processed in accordance with the requirements of § 1301.3 and § 1301.4 of this Ordinance.
1702.3 
Applications for Approval of a Land Development:
All applications which require approval of a land development plan shall be submitted and processed in accordance with the requirements of the Borough Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
1702.4 
Application for Zoning Certificates, Certificates of Use and Occupancy and Permits for Temporary Structures:
All applications shall be made in writing on forms provided by the Borough in accordance with the requirements of this § 1701.3-A, B and C and shall be accompanied by the required fee.
1702.5 
Fees:
Borough Council shall establish a schedule of fees by Resolution, as well as a collection procedure, for all applications submitted under the provisions of this Ordinance.
1702.6 
Responsibilities of the Applicant:
It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to apply for and secure all permits and certificates required by this Ordinance. The applicant shall be obligated to contact the Zoning Officer and secure a Zoning Certificate and Certificate of Use and Occupancy after the completion of development and/or prior to the occupancy of any structure or lot. Failure to secure necessary permits or certificates or failure to apply for same in a timely fashion shall constitute a violation of this Ordinance and shall be subject to the penalties for violation specified in § 190-1703 of this Ordinance.
1703.1 
Violations:
Failure to comply with any provision of this Ordinance, or to secure a Zoning Certificate and Certificate of Occupancy, prior to the erection, construction, extension, alteration, or addition to a building, or the use or change of use or occupancy of structures or land, shall be a violation of this Ordinance.
1703.2 
Enforcement Notice:
The Enforcement Notice shall contain the following information:
a. 
The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the Borough intends to take action.
b. 
The location of the property in violation.
c. 
The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of this Ordinance.
d. 
The date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and the date before which the steps must be completed.
e. 
That the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board within a prescribed period of time in accordance with procedures set forth in this Ordinance.
f. 
That failure to comply with the notice within the time specified, unless extended by appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board, constitutes a violation, with possible sanctions clearly described.
1703.3 
Enforcement Remedies:
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of this Ordinance shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Borough, pay a judgment of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Borough 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 District Justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Borough may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation, unless the District Justice, determining that there has been a violation, further determines that there was a good faith basis for the person, partnership or corporation violating this Ordinance to have believed that there was no such violation, in which event there shall be deemed to have been only one (1) such violation until the fifth (5th) day following the date of the determination of a violation by the District Justice and thereafter each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. All judgments, costs and reasonable attorney fees collected for the violation of this Ordinance shall be paid over to the Borough.
The Court of Common Pleas, upon petition, may grant an order of stay, upon cause shown, tolling the per diem fine pending a final adjudication of the violation and judgment.
Nothing contained in this Subsection shall be construed or interpreted to grant to any person or entity other than the Borough the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this Subsection.
1703.4 
Causes of Action:
In case any building or structure is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted or maintained or any building or structure or land is used in violation of this Ordinance or of any ordinance or other regulation made under authority conferred hereby, Borough Council or, with the approval of Borough Council, the Zoning Officer or other proper official, in addition to other remedies, may institute in the name of the Borough any appropriate action or proceeding to: prevent, restrain, correct or abate such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use; to prevent the occupancy of any building, structure or land; or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use which constitutes a violation.
Borough Council may introduce and/or consider amendments to this Ordinance and to the Zoning Map, as proposed by a member of Borough Council, the Planning Commission, or a petition of a landowner of property within the Borough.
1704.1 
Petitions:
Petitions for amendments shall be filed with the Planning Commission at twenty-one (21) calendar days prior to the meeting at which the petition is to be heard. The petitioners, upon such filing, shall pay an advertising deposit and a filing fee, in accordance with a schedule fixed by Resolution of Borough Council. The Planning Commission shall review the proposed amendment and report its findings and recommendations in writing to Borough Council.
1704.2 
Referral:
Any proposed amendment presented to Borough Council without written findings and recommendations from the Planning Commission and the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, shall be referred to these agencies for review at least thirty (30) days prior to public hearing by Borough Council. Borough Council shall not hold a public hearing upon such amendments until the required reviews are received or the expiration of thirty (30) days from the date of referral.
1704.3 
Posting of Property:
If the proposed amendment involves a Zoning Map change, a minimum of two (2) notices of the public hearing shall be conspicuously posted on the property at least seven (7) days prior to the date of the public hearing.
1704.4 
Public Notice and Public Hearing:
Before acting upon a proposed amendment, Borough Council shall hold a public hearing thereon. Public notice, as defined by this Ordinance, shall be given containing a brief summary of the proposed amendment and reference to the place where copies of the same may be examined.
When the proposed amendment involves a change to the Zoning District Map, notice of the public hearing shall be mailed by the Borough at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the public hearing by first class mail to the addresses to which real estate tax bills are sent for all real property located within the area proposed to be rezoned, as evidenced by the tax records within the possession of the Borough. The notice shall include the location, date and time of the public hearing. A good faith effort and substantial compliance shall satisfy the requirements of this Subsection.
1704.5 
Readvertisement and Rehearing:
If after any public hearing is held upon a proposed amendment, the amendment is substantially changed or revised to include land previously not affected by the amendment, Borough Council shall hold another public hearing, pursuant to public notice, before proceeding to vote on the amendment.
1704.6 
Publication, Advertisement and Availability:
Proposed amendments shall not be enacted unless Borough Council gives notice of the proposed enactment, including the time and place of the meeting at which passage will be considered and a reference to the place in the Borough where copies of the proposed amendment may be examined without charge or obtained for a charge not greater than the cost thereof.
Borough Council shall publish the proposed amendment once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Borough not more than sixty (60) days nor less than seven (7) days prior to passage. Publication of the proposed amendment shall include either the full text thereof or the title and a brief summary prepared by the Borough Solicitor setting forth all the provisions in reasonable detail. If the full text is not included:
a. 
A copy thereof shall be provided to the newspaper at the time the public notice is published.
b. 
An attested copy of the proposed ordinance shall be filed in the County Law Library.
1704.7 
Action:
Within ninety (90) days of the date when the public hearing on the proposed amendment is officially closed, Borough Council shall vote on the proposed amendment. In the event substantial amendments are made in the proposed amendment before voting on enactment of the amendment, Borough Council shall readvertise in one (1) newspaper of general circulation in the Borough a brief summary setting forth all the provisions in reasonable detail together with a summary of the amendments at least ten (10) days prior to enactment.
1704.8 
Filing Amendment with County Planning Commission:
Within thirty (30) days after enactment, a copy of the amendment to this Ordinance shall be forwarded to the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development.
1704.9 
Mediation Option:
Borough Council may offer the mediation option as an aid in completing proceedings authorized by this Section. The Borough and the mediating parties shall meet the stipulations and follow the procedures set forth in § 190-1507 of this Ordinance.
A curative amendment may be filed only by a landowner who desires to challenge, on substantive grounds, the validity of this Ordinance or the Zoning Map or any provision thereof, which prohibits or restricts the use of development of land in which he has an interest.
1705.1 
Procedure:
The landowner may submit a curative amendment to the Borough Council with a written request that his challenge and proposed amendment be heard and decided as provided in Sections 609.1 and 1004 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act 247, as amended. As with other proposed amendments, the curative amendment shall be referred to the Planing Commission and the Allegheny County Planning Commission at least thirty (30) days before the hearing is conducted by the Borough Council. Public notice shall be given in accordance with Sections 610, 1004 and any other applicable provision of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. The hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Subsections (4) through (8) of Section 908 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and all references in that Section to the Zoning Hearing Board shall be references to Borough Council.
1705.2 
Evaluation of Merits of Curative Amendment:
If Borough Council determines that a validity challenge has merit, Borough Council may accept a landowner's curative amendment, with or without revision, or may adopt an alternative amendment which will cure the challenged defects. Borough Council shall consider the curative amendments, plans and explanatory material submitted by the landowner and shall also consider:
a. 
The impact of the proposal upon roads, sewer facilities, water supplies, schools and other public service facilities;
b. 
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 unlawfully excluded by the challenged provisions of this Ordinance or Map.
c. 
The suitability of the site for the intensity of use proposed by the site's soils, slopes, woodlands, wetlands, flood plains, aquifers, natural resources and other natural features;
d. 
The impact of the proposed use on the site's soils, slopes, woodlands, wetlands, flood plains, 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; and
e. 
The impact of the proposal on the preservation of agriculture and other land uses which are essential to public health and welfare.
1705.3 
Declaration of Invalidity by Court:
If the Borough does not accept a landowner's curative amendment brought in accordance with this Section and a Court subsequently rules that the challenge has merit, the Court's decision shall not result in a declaration of invalidity for this entire Ordinance, but only for those provisions which specifically relate to the landowner's curative amendment and challenge.
1706.1 
Membership and Organization
The Planning Commission shall be comprised of three (3) residents of the Borough appointed by Borough Council. Each member shall serve a four (4) year term. The terms of the members shall be staggered so that no two (2) terms expire at the same time. Upon expiration of the term of office, members shall continue to serve until a replacement is appointed by Borough Council. Appointments to fill vacancies shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term.
The Planning Commission shall elect a chairman whose term shall not exceed one (1) year and who shall be eligible for re-election. The Planning Commission may create and fill such other offices as it may determine necessary.
1706.2 
Powers and Duties
The Planning Commission may, with the consent of Borough Council, accept and utilize any funds, personnel or other assistance made available by the Federal or State governments or any of their agencies, or from individuals or foundations, and for the purposes of receiving and using Federal or State planning grants for provision of planning assistance may enter into agreements or contracts regarding acceptance or utilization of the funds or assistance.
The Planning Commission, at the request of and within the funding provided by Borough Council may have such powers and perform such duties as are authorized by Section 209.1 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, including, but not limited to:
a. 
Prepare the comprehensive plan for the development of the Borough as set forth in this act, and present it for the consideration of Borough Council.
b. 
Maintain and keep on file records of its action. All records and files of the Planning Commission shall be in the possession of Borough Council.
c. 
Make recommendations to Borough Council concerning the adoption or amendment of an official map.
d. 
Prepare and present to Borough Council a zoning ordinance, and make recommendations to the Borough Council on proposed amendments to it.
e. 
Prepare, recommend and administer subdivision and land development regulations.
f. 
Prepare and present to Borough Council a building code and a housing code and make recommendations concerning proposed amendments thereto.
g. 
Do such other acts or make such studies as may be necessary to fulfill the duties and obligations imposed herein.
h. 
Prepare and present to Borough Council an environmental study.
i. 
Submit to Borough Council a recommended capital improvements program.
j. 
Prepare and present to Borough Council a water survey, which shall be consistent with the State Water Plan and any applicable water resources plan adopted by a river basin commission. The water survey shall be conducted in consultation with any public water supplier in the area to be surveyed.
k. 
Promote public interest in, and understanding of, the comprehensive plan and planning.
l. 
Make recommendations to governmental, civic and private agencies and individuals as to the effectiveness of the proposals of such agencies and individuals.
m. 
Hold public hearings and meetings.
n. 
Present testimony before any board.
o. 
Require from other departments and agencies of the Borough such available information as relates to the work of the Planning Commission.
p. 
In the performance of its functions, enter upon any land to make examinations and surveys with the consent of the owner.
q. 
Prepare and present to Borough Council a study regarding the feasibility and practicability of using renewable energy sources in specific areas with the Borough.
r. 
Review the Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, Official Map, and such other ordinances and regulations governing the development of land no less frequently that it reviews the Comprehensive Plan.
s. 
Utilize consultants to advise and assist with any of the foregoing duties.
1706.3 
Rules
The Planning Commission shall adopt rules governing its activities, including the receipt and review of applications submitted under this Ordinance. Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of business at Planning Commission meetings.
1706.4 
Meetings
The Planning Commission shall meet regularly at a prescribed time, date and meeting place advertised in accordance with the Sunshine Law (Act 93 of 1988, as may be amended). All meetings of the Planning Commission shall be open to the public. Special meetings may be called by the Chairman, as deemed necessary. The Recording Secretary of the Planning Commission shall keep minutes of all meetings.
1706.5 
Records and Annual Report
The Planning Commission shall maintain public records of its business and shall file a written report of its activities with Borough Council by March 1st of each year. Interim reports may be made, as necessary, or at the request of Borough Council.
1706.6 
Expenditures
Within the funds appropriated by Borough Council, the Planning Commission may employ or contract for secretaries, clerks, legal counsel, consultants and other technical or clerical personnel. Borough Council may enter into agreements or contracts authorizing the Planning Commission to accept or utilize any funds, personnel or other assistance made available by the County, the Commonwealth or the Federal government.