Borough of Emmaus, PA
Lehigh County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 2]
This chapter shall be known and, be cited as the "Borough of Emmaus Zoning Ordinance of 1993."
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 101]
This chapter is hereby adopted: (1) in accordance with the requirements and purposes (including § 604 or its successor section, which is included by reference) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10604; (2) in accordance with the community development goals and objectives (which are included by reference) of the Borough of Emmaus Comprehensive Plan of 1992 (as may be amended), which constitutes an overall program; (3) in consideration of the character of the Borough, its various parts and the suitability of the various parts for particular uses and structures; and, (4) to assist in carrying out the purposes and provisions of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (especially Article I, Section 27), the Pennsylvania Flood Plain Management Act, 32 P.S. § 679.101 et seq., Pennsylvania Storm Water Management Act, 32 P.S. § 680.1 et seq., Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regulations on erosion and sedimentation control, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation regulations on highway access control and other relevant federal and state laws, regulations, official policies and relevant court decisions.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 102; as amended by Ord. 940, 1/7/2002, § 8]
1. 
Any activity regulated by this chapter shall only occur in such a way that conforms with the regulations of this chapter.
2. 
This chapter regulates matters authorized by § 603 "Ordinance Provisions" of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10603, or such successor section.
3. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, business or corporation to undertake, or cause to be undertaken, any construction or development anywhere within the Borough unless a building permit has been obtained from the Building Permit Officer. Any of the following activities or any other activity regulated by this chapter shall only be carried out after receipt of any required approval or permit and in compliance with this chapter:
A. 
Erection, construction, movement, placement or extension of a structure, building or sign, except for signs that Part 7 specifically states do not require a permit.
B. 
Change of the type of use or expansion of the use of a structure or area of land.
C. 
Establishment of a new use.
D. 
Installation of a driveway.
E. 
Creation of a lot or alteration of lot lines.
4. 
If any proposed construction or development is located entirely or partially within any identified floodplain area, applicants for building permits shall provide all the necessary information in sufficient detail and clarity to enable the Building Permit Officer to determine that:
A. 
All such proposals are consistent with the need to minimize flood damage and conform with the requirements of this and all other applicable codes and ordinances.
B. 
All utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems are located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage.
C. 
Adequate drainage is provided so as to reduce exposure to flood hazards.
5. 
Repairs and Maintenance. Ordinary repairs, facade improvements and maintenance to existing structures may be made without a zoning permit, if such work does not involve: (A) a change in use, (b) an expansion, construction or placement of a structure, (C) an increase in the number of dwelling units or boarding house units, (D) an infringement upon a required setback; and/or, (E) any other activity regulated by this chapter.
6. 
All persons reading this chapter have the responsibility to procure the latest amendments to this chapter.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 103]
See §§ 616 and 617 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. 10617.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 104]
1. 
Fee Schedule. The Borough has established an official fee schedule, which may be revised by resolution of Borough Council. In addition, any applicant for any zoning change shall be responsible to reimburse the Borough for the costs of required legal ads.
2. 
No application or appeal shall be considered filed until all fees are paid.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 105; as amended by Ord. 940, 1/7/2002, § 10]
1. 
Minimum Requirements. The provisions of this chapter shall be interpreted as the minimum requirements to promote public health, safety and general welfare. Where a provision of this chapter differs or conflicts with any other provision of this chapter or any other ordinance, regulation or law, the provision that is more restrictive upon uses and structures shall apply. However, any other ordinance provisions shall remain in full force and effect to the extent that those provisions are more restrictive.
2. 
Uses Not Specifically Regulated. If a use clearly is not permitted by right, by condition or by special exception by this chapter within any Zoning District in the Borough, the use is prohibited in the Borough, except the applicant may apply to the Zoning Hearing Board. After a review by the Planning Commission, the Zoning Hearing Board may permit such use if the applicant proves all of the following to the satisfaction of the Zoning Hearing Board:
A. 
That the use would clearly be less offensive in impacts and nuisances than uses permitted in that district.
B. 
That the use would be compatible with permitted uses in that district.
C. 
That the proposed use would be compatible with the purposes of the district.
D. 
That the use can meet the general criteria listed in § 27-118(3)-(D).
E. 
That the use is not "specifically prohibited" in the district.
3. 
Interpretation of Ordinance Text and Boundaries. The Zoning Officer shall apply the wording of this chapter and the location of all district boundaries to particular applications. The Zoning Officer may request an advisory opinion from the Borough Solicitor or the Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor. See § 27-111 and the Borough fee schedule concerning appeals.
4. 
Definitions. An applicant may appeal the Zoning Officer's determination of meaning of a term that is not defined by this chapter to the Zoning Hearing Board.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 106]
1. 
See provisions regarding applications in § 27-107(3). After receiving a proper and complete application for a permitted by right use, the Zoning Officer shall either: (A) issue the permit under this chapter; or, (B) refuse the permit, indicating at least one applicable reason verbally or in writing to the applicant or his/her representative. If specifically requested in writing by an applicant, reason(s) for a refusal shall then be stated in writing.
2. 
Reviews. Certain activities require review and/or approval of the Zoning Hearing Board and/or of the Borough Council, and/or the recommendations of the Planning Commission. In such case, the Zoning Officer shall not issue a zoning permit until such required review or approval occurs.
3. 
Appeal. If refused a permit by the Zoning officer, the applicant may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board for further consideration.
4. 
Timing. After a zoning permit has been received by the applicant, the applicant may undertake the action permitted by the permit under this chapter, within other Borough ordinances. However, it is recommended that applicants wait 30 days to begin construction if there is a possibility of an appeal by another party to have the permit revoked. Any commencement of construction or a use within this thirty-day appeal period shall be at the risk of the applicant. See occupancy permit process in § 27-107(8).
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 107; as amended by Ord. 937, 11/5/2001, § 9]
1. 
Applicability. See § 27-102.
2. 
Types of Uses.
A. 
Permitted by Right Uses. If a use is listed as permitted by right by this chapter and meets the requirements of this chapter, the Zoning officer shall issue a permit in response to a complete application. See additional requirements for specific uses listed in §§ 27-402 and 27-403.
B. 
Special Exception Use or Application Requiring a Variance. A permit under this chapter for a use requiring a special exception or variance shall be issued by the Zoning Officer only upon the written order of the Zoning Hearing Board after a hearing.
C. 
Conditional Use. A permit under this chapter for a conditional use shall be issued by the Zoning Officer only upon the written order of the Borough Council, after the Planning Commission has been given an opportunity to review the application.
3. 
Applications.
A. 
Any request for a decision, interpretation or variance by the Zoning Hearing Board or for a permit under this chapter shall be made in writing on a form provided by the Borough. Such completed application, with any required fees, and with any required site plans or other required information, shall be submitted to a Borough employee responsible for processing such application. The applicant is responsible to ensure that a responsible Borough official notes the date of the official receipt on the application.
B. 
Unless waived by the Zoning Officer, five copies of a site plan shall be submitted if an application requires action by the Zoning Hearing Board, and two copies shall be submitted if action by the Board is not required. Such site plan shall be drawn to scale.
C. 
Any application to the Zoning Officer or Zoning Hearing Board shall include the following information, unless the Zoning Officer determines that a site plan or such information is unnecessary to determine compliance with this chapter:
(1) 
The location and dimensions of the lot.
(2) 
Locations, dimensions, heights and uses of existing and proposed structures, signs, parking and loading areas, and locations of existing and proposed uses of areas of land, with differentiation between existing and proposed features.
(3) 
Existing and proposed numbers of parking spaces.
(4) 
Name and address of the applicant, or appellant.
(5) 
Name and address of the owner of the affected property, and last known address of owner of record of abutting lots.
(6) 
A description of the existing and proposed use(s) of the property, including numbers of dwelling units, minimum square feet of proposed dwelling units and number and types of proposed business establishments, if any.
(7) 
Plans for any required buffer plantings (See § 27-803(4)).
(8) 
Such additional information that the Zoning Officer may determine is reasonably necessary to determine compliance with this chapter.
(9) 
All other applicable information listed on the official Borough application form.
(10) 
The Zoning Officer shall have the right and authority to require a sealed, surveyed drawing and/or a statement from a registered surveyor prior to or after zoning application approval.
D. 
Submittals to the Board. In addition to the information listed in subsection (3), above, an application requiring a site plan and action by the Zoning Hearing Board shall also include the following information, unless the Zoning Officer *determines that such information is unnecessary for determination of whether the proposal complies with this chapter:
(1) 
The present zoning district and major applicable lot requirements.
(2) 
A description of the proposed nonresidential operations and storage in sufficient detail to indicate potential nuisances and hazards regarding noise, large truck traffic, glare, odors, dust, fire or toxic or explosive hazards or other significant public health and safety hazards.
(3) 
If a principal nonresidential use is proposed within close proximity to dwellings, a description of hours of operation and proposed methods of storing garbage outdoors on site.
(4) 
A listing of any specific sections of this chapter being appealed, with the reasons for any appeal.
E. 
Other Laws. The Zoning Officer may suspend issuance of a permit under this chapter if he/she has reason to believe that the use may not comply with another Borough, state or federal law or regulation, until such time as the applicant proves compliance with such other law or regulation.
F. 
Ownership. No person other than a landowner or their specifically authorized agent or a tenant or lessee with written permission of the landowner shall submit a zoning application (see definition of "landowner" in Part 2).
G. 
Advisory Reviews. The Zoning Officer may submit a copy of any plan and application to any appropriate agencies and/or individuals (such as the Planning Commission, the Joint Conservation District or Borough Engineer) for review and comment.
4. 
Issuance of Permit.
A. 
At least two copies of any permit required under this chapter shall be made.
B. 
One copy of any such permit shall be retained in Borough files and one copy shall be retained by the applicant. A copy of any such permit shall be shown by the applicant to the Zoning Officer upon the Zoning officer's request. One copy of a submitted site plan should be returned to the applicant after approval/disapproval, with such action certified on the plan with the signature of the Zoning Officer.
C. 
The Zoning Officer should issue or deny a permit for a permitted by right use that meets the requirements of this chapter within a maximum of 30 days after a complete, duly filed application and fees are submitted.
5. 
Revocation of Permits. The Zoning Officer shall revoke a permit or approval issued under the provisions of this chapter in case of:
A. 
Any false statement or misrepresentation of fact in the application or on the plans on which the permit or approval was based (The Pennsylvania Crimes Code, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq., provides for penalties for providing false information to a municipal employee in the carrying out of his/her duties).
B. 
Upon violation of any condition lawfully imposed upon a special exception or conditional use.
C. 
Any work being accomplished or land or structures being used in such a way that does not comply with this chapter or an approved site plan or approved permit application.
D. 
For any other just cause set forth in this chapter.
6. 
Temporary Permit. See § 27-807.
7. 
Changes to Approved Plans.
A. 
After the issuance of a permit and/or approval of a site plan under this chapter by the Borough, such approved application and/or site plan shall not be changed without the written consent of the Borough, as stated in subsection (7)(B), below.
B. 
Changes to a site plan approved by the Zoning Hearing Board as a special exception use or by the Borough Council as a conditional use shall require re-approval of the changes by such bodies if the Zoning Officer determines that such changes affect matters that were within the scope of approval of such Board. Such approval by the Zoning Hearing Board or the Council is not required for clearly minor technical adjustments or matters that are solely corrections of information that do not affect any of the significant features of the site plan or the intensity of the use, as determined by the Zoning Officer.
C. 
A copy of such adjustment or correction should be provided in writing to the Chairperson of the Planning Commission, the President of Borough Council or the Chairperson of the Zoning Hearing Board if the change concerns a plan approved by such bodies.
8. 
Certificate of Use and Occupancy (or "Occupancy Permit").
A. 
A certificate of use and occupancy shall be required by the Borough upon completion of work authorized by a permit or approval under this chapter. A new certificate of use and occupancy shall be required if the use of the property should change.
B. 
An application for such certificate shall be made on an official Borough form. If the designated Borough staff person(s) determines, to the best of his/her current knowledge, that such work conforms with this chapter and applicable Borough codes, approvals and permits, then he/she shall issue the certificate of use and occupancy.
C. 
A temporary certificate of use and occupancy may be issued for a maximum period of six months pending the completion of all or part of the premises; provided, that the designated Borough staff person(s) is satisfied that the applicant will utilize necessary safeguards to protect the public safety.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 108]
1. 
The Borough Council may amend, challenge or repeal any or all portions of this chapter on: (A) its own motion; or, (B) upon agreeing to hear a written request of any person, entity or the Planning Commission.
2. 
Before voting on the enactment of an amendment, the Borough Council shall hold a public hearing thereon, following the procedural requirements of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq., including public notice.
3. 
Review of Amendments.
A. 
In the case of an amendment other than that prepared by or under the direction of the Planning Commission, the Borough Council shall submit each such amendment to the Planning Commission at least 30 days prior to their hearing on such proposed amendment; the Planning Commission shall be permitted an opportunity to provide recommendations.
B. 
JPC Review. The Borough shall submit the proposed amendment to the Joint Planning Commission (JPC) for recommendations at least 30 days prior to the hearing on such proposed amendment.
C. 
No action shall be taken by the Borough Council until any JPC or Borough Planning Commission comments are received, unless 30 days pass without such comments being received.
4. 
Changes After a Hearing. If, after any public hearing held upon an amendment, the proposed amendment is revised, or further revised, to include or exclude land previously not affected by it, the Borough Council shall hold another public hearing, pursuant to public notice, before proceeding to vote on the amendment.
5. 
Application for Amendment. Any request for amendment of this chapter (including supplement, change or repeal) by any person or entity (other than the Borough staff, Planning Commission, Borough Council or committee appointed by the Borough Council or under the direct oversight of such entity) shall include the following:
A. 
A statement of why the change would be in the best interests of the Borough.
B. 
A statement of how the proposal will relate to the Borough Comprehensive Plan.
C. 
A statement addressing any adverse affects on adjacent residences.
D. 
A statement addressing any major traffic access, traffic safety or congestion concerns.
E. 
A map showing the proposed boundaries of any proposed map changes, the existing zoning of the land and of adjacent lands and the current uses of adjacent lots.
F. 
A statement explaining proposed extensions and major improvements, if needed, of public water and sewer systems to serve the land area.
6. 
Traffic Impacts of Zoning Amendments. The Planning Commission or the Borough Council may require an applicant for a zoning amendment to fund a traffic impact study following standard methods and completed by a qualified traffic engineer. Such a study shall take into account the entire land area-proposed for a change, with an emphasis on the net projected traffic increases from the proposed amendment compared to the existing zoning, based upon reasonable assumptions about the intensity and type of development.
7. 
Notification of Proposed Zoning Map Amendment. If a zoning map amendment is requested by a private entity and is not considered at the same public hearing as zoning map amendments proposed by Borough officials, then at least 10 days prior to the hearing on the proposed change, the applicant shall send or have delivered in person written notice of the proposed change. The applicant shall provide a signed letter to the Zoning Officer stating that such notice has been sent. Such notice shall include the hearing date and time and a Borough official to contact for more information. Such notice shall be provided to all owners of record of all property proposed to be rezoned (other than the applicant) and all property directly abutting or directly across the street from the land to be rezoned.
8. 
Time Guideline on Reviewing Amendment. If a zoning amendment is properly requested in writing and submitted together with any required fees to the Zoning Officer outside of the curative amendment process, the Planning Commission should hold an initial public meeting on such proposed amendment within 60 days of receiving such request, unless the Commission determines at a regular meeting that such request is not worthy of further consideration.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 109]
A landowner who desires to challenge on substantive grounds the validity of this chapter which 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 with a written request that this challenge and proposed amendment be heard and decided as provided in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 111]
1. 
Appointment. The appointment of the Zoning Officer(s) shall be confirmed by the Borough Council. The Zoning Officer(s) shall not hold any elective office within the Borough, but may hold other appointed offices.
2. 
Duties and Powers. The Zoning Officer shall:
A. 
Administer this chapter.
B. 
Direct applicants to provisions regarding required procedures.
C. 
Receive and examine all applications required under the terms of this chapter and issue or refuse permits within this chapter.
D. 
Receive complaints of violation of this chapter, and issue a written notice of violation to any person violating any provision of this chapter.
E. 
Keep records of applications, permits, certificates, written decisions and interpretations issued, of variances granted by the Board, of complaints received, of inspections made, of reports rendered and of notice or orders issued.
F. 
Make all required inspections and perform all other duties as called for in this chapter.
G. 
Not have the power to permit any activity which does not conform to this chapter or all other ordinances of the Borough known to the Zoning Officer.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 111; as amended by Ord. 1009, 12/4/2006]
1. 
Appointment and Term.
A. 
The existing Zoning Hearing Board is hereby continued and shall consist of three residents of the Borough. Members shall be appointed by Borough Council. Alternate members may be appointed as provided within the provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq. Members of the Board shall hold no other elected or appointed office in the Municipality, nor shall any member be an employee of the Municipality.
B. 
Terms. The term of office of the three member board shall be three years, and shall be so fixed that the term of office of one member shall expire each year.
2. 
Vacancies. The Board shall promptly notify Borough Council of any vacancies that occur. Appointments to fill a vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term.
3. 
Removal of Members. This shall be governed by § 905 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
4. 
Organization of Board. This shall be governed by § 906 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
5. 
Zoning Hearing Board Functions. The Zoning Hearing Board shall be responsible for the following:
A. 
Appeal of a Decision by the Zoning Officer.
(1) 
The Board shall hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant (a person affected or any agency of the Borough) that the Zoning Officer has failed to follow prescribed procedures, or has misinterpreted or misapplied any valid provision of this chapter.
(2) 
See time limitations for appeals in § 27-111(6).
B. 
Challenge to the Validity of the Ordinance or Map.
(1) 
The Board shall hear challenges to the validity of this chapter filed with the Board in writing by the landowner affected, any officer or agency of the Borough, or any person aggrieved.
(2) 
After the conclusion of the hearing(s), the Board shall decide all questions and shall make findings on all relevant issues of fact, within the time limits of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
C. 
Variance.
(1) 
The Board shall hear requests for variances filed with the Board in writing by any landowner (or any tenant with the permission of such landowner).
(2) 
Standards. The Board may grant a variance only within the limitations of state law. (As of 1993, the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq., provided that all of the following findings must be made, where relevant:
(a) 
There are unique physical circumstances or conditions (including irregularity, narrowness, or shallowness of lot size or shape, or exceptional topographical or other physical conditions peculiar to the particular property) and that the unnecessary hardship is due to such conditions and not the circumstances or conditions generally created by the provisions of this chapter in the neighborhood or district in which the property is located;
(b) 
Because of such physical circumstances or conditions, there is no possibility that the property can be developed in strict conformity with the provisions of this chapter and a variance is therefore necessary to enable the reasonable use of the property;
(c) 
Such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the appellant;
(d) 
The variance, if authorized, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood or district in which the property is located, nor substantially or permanently impair the appropriate use or development of adjacent property, nor be detrimental to the public welfare; and,
(e) 
The variance, if authorized, will represent the minimum variance that will afford relief and will represent the least modification possible of the regulation in issue.)
(3) 
Variance Conditions. In granting any variance, the Board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of this chapter and to protect the public health and safety. The Board may in variance cases prohibit certain otherwise permitted uses on a lot where the Board finds that such uses would be contrary to the public interest considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the variance.
(4) 
Side Yard Exceptions for Accessory Structures.
(a) 
The following provision shall only apply to the placement of a one story customarily accessory structure of less than 600 square feet of building floor area or a household swimming pool serving a dwelling unit if such structure or pool is proposed within the required setback area for such use along abutting lot lines of another lot(s).
(i) 
If all abutting property-owner(s) of record along such abutting affected lot line sign a notarized statement clearly stating that he/she does not object to such reduction of the required setback for the placement of such structure or pool, and the Zoning Officer determines that no other Borough requirement would prevent such placement of such structure or pool, then the Zoning Officer shall permit such reduction or waiver of such required accessory setback, without the requirement for a zoning variance.
(ii) 
In such case, future owners of such abutting lots shall not have the right to require movement of such structure or pool.
(b) 
If the abutting property owner does not provide such waiver, that lack of support shall not by itself prevent the Board from granting a variance.
D. 
Special Exception Uses.
(1) 
The Board shall hear and decide requests for all special exceptions filed with the Board in writing by any landowner (or any tenant with the permission of such landowner), as provided in this chapter and in accordance with such standards and criteria contained in this chapter and the procedures in § 27-119.
(2) 
Conditions. In granting a special exception, the Zoning Hearing Board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards, in addition to those expressed in this chapter, as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of this chapter and to protect the public health, safety and general welfare.
(3) 
See special exception use process in § 27-119.
E. 
Hearings. See § 27-112.
F. 
Records and Reports. The staff to the Board shall keep full public records of its business.
G. 
Court Appeals. In the case of an appeal from the Board to the court of common pleas, the appellant shall make the return required by law and should promptly notify the Borough Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor of such appeal.
H. 
Appeal by the Zoning Officer. See § 27-105(4).
6. 
Time Limits for Appeals. The time limitations for appeals shall be as follows:
A. 
No person shall be allowed to file any appeal with the Zoning Hearing Board later than 30 days after the decision by the Zoning Officer that is being appealed has been officially issued, or appeal with the County Court of Common Pleas later than 30 days after a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board has been officially issued, except as may be provided under § 914.1 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10914.1.
B. 
The failure of an aggrieved person other than the landowner to appeal an adverse decision directly related to a preliminary subdivision or land development plan shall preclude an appeal from a final plan approval except in the case where the final submission substantially deviates from the approved preliminary plan.
C. 
This thirty-day time limit for appeals shall not apply to the revocation of a permit under § 27-107(6).
7. 
Stay of Proceedings. See § 916 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10916.
8. 
Time Limits on Permits and Variances. The following time limits shall apply to a zoning permit or the zoning portion of a building permit, but shall not limit the time limits for a permit under the Borough Building Code:
A. 
After a variance is approved or a conditional or special exception approval is officially authorized under this chapter, then a zoning permit shall be secured by the applicant within 12 months after the date of such approval or authorization. Such action under such permit shall then substantially begin within 12 months of the issuance of the permit.
B. 
If the applicant submits complete plans for a required site plan review or subdivision or land development approval or special exception or conditional use approval that is related to the variance or issuance of a permit under this chapter within the above time limits, then such time limits shall begin after such plan review is completed or such plan approval is granted.
C. 
For good cause the Zoning Officer may, upon application in writing stating the reasons therefore, extend in writing the twelve-month application period to up to 18 months.
D. 
If an applicant fails to obtain the necessary permits within the above time period, or, after obtained, the permittee fails to diligently commence substantial construction within 12 months or allows interruptions in substantial construction of longer than six months, it shall be conclusively presumed that the applicant has waived, withdrawn or abandoned the approval, and all such approvals, variances and permits shall be deemed automatically rescinded.
E. 
Any building construction shall be completed within 30 months of issuance of an applicable permit, unless a written extension is granted by the Zoning Officer for good cause, or unless a more restrictive requirement is established by the Borough Building Code [Chapter 5]. Otherwise, a permit shall be considered to have automatically expired at the end of such thirty-month period.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 112]
1. 
The Board shall conduct hearings and make decisions in accordance with the following:
A. 
Notice of Hearings. Notice of all hearings of the Board shall be given as follows:
(1) 
Ad. Public notice shall be published, as defined by § 107 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10107. The notice shall state the time and place of the hearing and the particular nature and property address of the matter to be considered.
(2) 
Posting. Notice of such hearing shall be conspicuously posted on the affected tract of land at least one week prior to the hearing. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that such notice is posted and remains posted until the hearing. Such notice shall state the time and place of the hearing and a general description of the request.
(3) 
Persons Given Notice.
(a) 
Written notice shall be mailed or personally delivered to the applicant or his/her representative listed on an official application form.
(b) 
Notice should be delivered or mailed to the Chairperson of the Planning Commission, the Borough Manager, the President of Borough Council and the last known address of owners of record of property that is abutting or directly across the street from the subject property. The applicant shall provide the Borough with a list of such property owners. Failure of the Borough to notify all such persons shall not by itself invalidate any action by the Board.
(c) 
Also, such notice shall be mailed or delivered to the address of any other person or group (including civic or community organizations) who has made a written timely request (including an address) for such notice.
(d) 
All notice under this subsection should be intended to be received or posted at least seven days prior to the hearing date.
(e) 
Notice of decisions. See § 27-112(J).
(4) 
Adjacent Municipalities. In any matter which relates to a lot which lies within 200 feet of the boundary of another municipality and where the Zoning Officer determines the proposed activity may have significant impact on that municipality, the Borough staff should transmit to the offices of the adjacent municipality a copy of the official notice of the public hearing on such matter prior to the hearing date.
(5) 
Fees. The Borough Council may, by resolution, establish a reasonable fee schedule, based on cost, to be paid by: a) the applicant for any notice required by this chapter; and, b) those persons requesting any notice not required by this chapter.
B. 
Parties in Hearings.
(1) 
The parties to a hearing shall be the Borough, any person affected by the application who has made timely appearance of record before the Board and any other person, including civic or community organizations permitted to appear by the Board.
(2) 
The Board shall have power to require that all persons who wish to be considered parties enter appearances in writing on forms provided by the Board for that purpose.
(3) 
The Board may determine which objectors have standing on a particular application.
C. 
Oaths and Subpoenas. The Chairperson of the Board or Hearing Officer shall have power to administer oaths and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant documents and papers, including witnesses and documents reasonably needed by and requested by the parties.
D. 
Representation by Counsel. The parties shall have the right to be represented by legal counsel and shall be afforded the opportunity to respond and present evidence and argument and cross-examine adverse witnesses on relevant issues.
E. 
Evidence and Record. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, but irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded. The Board, at its option, may exclude written comments from persons who are not present at a hearing. The Board or the hearing officer, as applicable, shall keep a record of the proceedings as required by state law.
F. 
Communications Outside of Hearings.
(1) 
The Board shall not meet with, visit the site with or directly communicate specifically on the matter with the applicant or any officially protesting party or their representatives in connection with any issue involved, except if opportunity is provided for the applicant and any officially protesting party to participate.
(2) 
The Board shall not take notice of any communication, reports, staff memoranda or other materials directly affecting a proposed application unless the parties are afforded an opportunity to examine and contest the material so noticed or unless such materials are already a matter of public record. This restriction shall not apply to advice from the Board's Solicitor.
G. 
Advisory Reviews. The Zoning Hearing Board may request that the Planning Commission, County Conservation District or Borough Engineer provide an advisory review on any matter before the Board.
H. 
Initiation of Hearings. A hearing required under this chapter shall be initiated within 60 days of the date of an applicant's request for a hearing, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time. A request for a hearing by an applicant shall not be accepted prior to submission of a duly filed application.
I. 
Decision/Findings.
(1) 
The Board shall render a written decision or make written findings (when no decision is called for) on each application within 45 days after the last hearing on that application before the Board, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time.
(2) 
Where the application is contested or denied, the decision shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions based thereon, together with the reasons for such conclusions.
(3) 
Any conclusion based on any provision of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq., or of this chapter should contain a reference to the provision relied on.
J. 
Notice of Decision.
(1) 
A copy of the final decision or a copy of the findings (when no decision is called for), shall be personally delivered or mailed to the applicant or his or her representative or their last known address not later than the time limit established by § 907 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10907.
(2) 
A copy of any final decision should be, but is not required to be, personally delivered or mailed to any persons who officially were accepted by the Board at the hearing as objectors to the applicant's request.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 113]
1. 
In General. All appeals of activities and approvals within the jurisdiction of this chapter shall conform with Article X-A of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 11001-A et seq.
2. 
Procedural Defects in Enactment. Allegations that this chapter or any amendment was enacted in a procedural defective manner shall be appealed directly to the court and be filed not later than 30 days from the intended effective date of this chapter or amendment.
3. 
To the Zoning Hearing Board. Appeals to the Board shall comply with § 27-112, "Hearings."
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 114]
See § 619 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10619.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 115]
The minimum lot area requirements of this chapter shall not apply to uses or structures owned by Emmaus Borough or an Emmaus Borough Authority for uses and structures that are intended for a legitimate governmental, public health and safety, stormwater management or public utility purpose.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 116; as amended by Ord. 1009, 12/4/2006]
1. 
When Site Plan Required. A separate site plan review by the Planning Commission is required for any of the following uses when the Zoning Officer decides that a site plan review is necessary to determine compliance with this chapter:
A. 
A new principal non-residential building or use of land;
B. 
An expansion of more than 2,500 square feet in the floor area of any non-residential building;
C. 
Any new or expanded impervious area of greater than 4,000 square feet;
D. 
Any conversion of a principal residential building to a principal non-residential use; except in the R-HO and B-C Districts; or
E. 
Any change from one principal non-residential use to a type of principal non-residential use that is significantly different, and would require the addition of 10 or more off-street parking spaces; and
F. 
Any use not approved by Borough Council as a subdivision, land development or conditional use.
2. 
Site Plan Procedures. The following procedures shall be followed for any use required to be reviewed under this section:
A. 
Submission. Eight complete copies of any required site plan shall be submitted to the Borough. The Zoning Officer shall refuse to accept an application if it does not contain sufficient information to determine compliance with this chapter. A minimum of one copy shall be retained in Borough files. The site plan shall include the information listed in § 27-117.
B. 
Timing. The applicant shall submit a complete site plan within a minimum of 15 days prior to the first Planning Commission meeting at which the site plan is intended to be reviewed. The Planning Commission shall be given an opportunity to review the site plan and provide any comments in writing to the Zoning Officer within the time guideline stated in subsection (C), below.
C. 
Zoning Officer Action. The Zoning Officer shall review the site plan and determine its compliance or non-compliance with this chapter. The Zoning Officer shall make such determination within 60 days after the first scheduled Planning Commission regular meeting that occurs a minimum of 15 days after the receipt of a complete site plan submission.
D. 
Notice. The Borough should mail or personally deliver a copy of the decision to the applicant or his/her representative within 15 days after such decision. If a proper application is denied, the Zoning Officer should state reason(s) for such denial.
3. 
Compliance With Approved Plan. See § 27-107(8).
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 117]
1. 
The following information, as applicable, shall be submitted by the applicant for any conditional use or any use requiring a site plan under § 27-116 or 27-118, except for information waived by the Zoning Officer as not applicable or necessary:
A. 
A statement describing the proposed use.
B. 
Layout. A site layout drawn to scale (one inch equals 20 feet, one inch equals 30 feet, one inch equals 40 feet, one inch equals 50 feet or another scale pre-approved by the Zoning Officer or Borough Engineer) showing the location, dimensions and area of each lot; the location, dimensions and height of proposed and any existing structures; the required setback areas; the proposed density of residential uses; the location and width of proposed or abutting streets; and the proposed areas to be used for different purposes within the development, including outdoor storage or display areas. If the plan involves one phase of what eventually may be a larger development, then the interrelationships of those phases shall be shown.
C. 
Landscaping. The width of any buffer yard and the heights, spacing and general species of plants to be used for screening. General numbers, locations and types of landscaping to be provided in off-street parking lots, along streets and in other areas.
D. 
Parking. The locations and numbers of parking spaces; the location and widths of aisles; the location and sizes of off-street loading areas. The method of calculating the off-street parking requirement, based upon § 27-601.
E. 
Lighting and Signs. The height, location and approximate intensity of exterior lighting. The sign area, height, location and general method of lighting of signs.
F. 
Sidewalks. The location of any proposed sidewalks (with width) and curbing.
G. 
Utilities. Proposed method of providing wastewater treatment and water supply (such as "Public Water and Public Sewage Services extended 100 feet from existing mains").
H. 
Nuisances and Safety. A description of any proposed industrial or commercial operations or storage in sufficient detail to indicate potential nuisances and hazards regarding noise, large trucks, glare, air pollution, odors, dust, fire or toxic or explosive hazards or other significant hazards to the public health and safety; together with proposed methods to control such hazards and nuisances.
I. 
Grading and Stormwater.
(1) 
Proposed and existing contours if earth disturbance is proposed (at two feet contours or other contours pre-approved by the Borough Engineer or Zoning Officer). Identification of any slopes between 15% and 25% and greater than 25% that are proposed to be impacted.*
(2) 
Proposed method of managing stormwater runoff, including stormwater calculations if the application will involve an increase of more than 5,000 square feet of total impervious coverage.*
(3) 
Delineation of any floodplains from the Official Floodplain Maps and any wetlands in areas proposed to be disturbed.*
J. 
Map. A location map showing the relation of the project to surrounding streets. Approximate lot lines of abutting lots within 50 feet of the project, with identification of abutting land uses.
K. 
Zoning district and major applicable requirements.
L. 
Preparer. Name and address of the person who prepared the site plan (which shall be a registered engineer, architect, landscape architect or surveyor, who shall certify such plan), the applicant and the owner of record of the land.
M. 
Tax map parcel number.
N. 
Certification of ownership and acknowledgement of plan, signed by owner or developer.
O. 
Applicable signature blocks.
P. 
Such other data or information as the Zoning Officer deems is reasonably necessary to determine compliance with Borough ordinances.
Note:
* This information is not required on a zoning site plan if such information will be submitted on a subdivision or land development plan for the use.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 118]
1. 
Applicability. Certain uses that are permitted by this chapter as "conditional uses" shall be required to follow the review and zoning approval procedures described in this section.
2. 
Procedure.
A. 
Submission.
(1) 
Three complete copies of any required site plan meeting the requirements of § 27-117 shall be submitted to the Borough.
(2) 
The Zoning Officer shall refuse to accept an incomplete application which does not provide sufficient information to determine compliance with this chapter.
B. 
Distribution. The Borough shall distribute at least one copy of the site plan to the Planning Commission. A minimum of one copy shall be retained in the Borough files. The Borough Fire Bureau should be given an opportunity for a review, if deemed appropriate by the Zoning Officer.
C. 
Zoning Officer Review. The Zoning Officer shall report in writing or in person to the Planning Commission or Borough Council stating whether the proposal complies with this chapter. The Zoning Officer or Planning Commission may request a review by the Borough Engineer.
D. 
Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall be given an opportunity to review the conditional use application and submit a recommendation to the Borough Council within the time limit in subsection (2)(E)(1), below.
E. 
Council Action.
(1) 
The Borough Council shall not act to approve or deny a conditional use application unless: (A) the Council has received the reports of the Zoning Officer and the Planning Commission; or, (B) unless a period of 60 days has passed from the date of the application.
(2) 
The Borough Council shall approve, conditionally approve or disapprove the conditional use submission within a maximum of 90 days from the date of the first scheduled Planning Commission regular meeting following the submission of a complete and proper application, unless the applicant has agreed to a written time extension.
(3) 
In granting a conditional use, the Borough Council may require such reasonable conditions and safeguards (in addition to those expressed in this chapter) as it determines are necessary to implement the purposes of this chapter.
(4) 
The decision of the Borough Council shall be in writing and shall be directly communicated to, delivered to or mailed to the last known address of the applicant or his/her representative.
3. 
Approval of Conditional Uses. The Borough Council shall approve any proposed conditional use if Council finds adequate evidence that the proposed use:
A. 
Complies with any specific requirements for the proposed use listed in § 27-402 or § 27-403.
B. 
Complies with other applicable sections of this chapter.
C. 
Generally will be capable of meeting applicable sections of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22].
D. 
Complies with all of the following standards:
(1) 
Other Laws. Will not clearly be in conflict with other Borough ordinances or state or federal laws or regulations known to the Borough. The Borough may require an applicant to prove compliance, or to prove that appropriate applications have been submitted to obtain such compliance.
(2) 
Traffic. Will not result in or significantly add to a significant traffic hazard or significant net increase in traffic congestion, after taking into any improvements proposed to be funded or completed by the applicant.
(3) 
Safety. Will not create a significant public safety hazard, including fire, toxic or explosive hazards.
(4) 
Stormwater Management. Will follow adequate, professionally accepted engineering methods to manage stormwater. Stormwater shall not be one of the criteria in making a decision under this chapter if the application clearly would be subject to a separate engineering review and an approval of stormwater management by the Planning Commission under the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22].
(5) 
Neighborhood. Will not negatively affect the desirable character of an existing residential neighborhood in a significant way.
(6) 
Site Planning. Will involve adequate site design methods, including plant screening and setbacks as needed to avoid significant negative impacts on adjacent uses.
(7) 
Performance Standards. Will not have a serious threat of inability to comply with the performance standards of this chapter, as stated in Part 5.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 119]
1. 
Purpose. The special exception process is designed to allow careful review of uses that have some potential of conflict with adjacent uses or areas.
2. 
Special Exception Procedure.
A. 
All applicants for a special exception use shall submit five sets of site plans for the proposed use to the Secretary of the Zoning Hearing Board together with a written application. The Zoning Officer may waive the site plan requirement for home occupations that are not intense and other uses not involving new buildings nor additional off-street parking. Photographs of the existing site or buildings may also be requested to be presented by the applicant.
B. 
All site plans shall contain the information required in § 27-107(4).
C. 
Borough Procedures.
(1) 
The Borough shall forward the application to the Zoning Hearing Board. A minimum of one copy shall be retained in the Borough files.
(2) 
The Zoning Officer should, prior to the next Zoning Hearing Board meeting where the application will be discussed, review the plan to determine compliance with this chapter and report these findings to the Zoning Hearing Board.
D. 
Planning Commission Review of Uses. See § 27-116, "Site Plan Reviews." Such Planning Commission review may or may not occur prior to a Zoning Hearing Board decision on a special exception.
E. 
Zoning Hearing Board Action on Special Exception Uses.
(1) 
The Board shall hear and decide such request for a special exception use under the procedures of Part 1 and the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
(2) 
The Board shall schedule the first hearing within 60 days of submittal of a proper application, unless granted a written extension by the applicant. The Board shall issue a decision within 45 days after the conclusion of the final hearing on the matter.
(3) 
The decision of the Board shall be in writing and shall be communicated to the applicant or their representative in accordance with Part 1.
3. 
Approval of Special Exception Uses. The Zoning Hearing Board shall approve any proposed special exception use if they find adequate evidence that any proposed use will meet:
A. 
All of the standards listed in § 27-118(3)(D).
B. 
Specific standards for the proposed use listed in § 27-402 and § 27-403.
C. 
All other applicable requirements of this chapter.
4. 
Conditions. In granting a special exception, the Board may require such reasonable conditions and safeguards (in addition to those expressed in this chapter) as it determines is necessary to implement the purposes of this chapter. Conditions imposed by the Zoning Hearing Board shall automatically become conditions of the construction permit issued pursuant thereto, and any failure to comply with said conditions shall be a violation of this chapter.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 120]
1. 
The following advisory guidelines are intended to assist applicants and the Borough in developing well-planned developments:
A. 
Natural Features. Seek to minimize grading changes and removal of mature trees. Seek to preserve the natural beauty of highly visible areas. Seek to preserve land along creeks and steep hillsides.
B. 
Circulation. Seek to separate pedestrian circulation from major routes of vehicle traffic. Minimize the number of access points along major roads. Avoid parking spaces backing into through traffic routes. Ensure adequate capacity of driveways and drive-through lanes to avoid traffic backing onto streets.
C. 
Utilities. Seek to place as many utility lines as possible underground.
D. 
Signs. Seek to minimize the lighting intensity of signs. Seek to avoid signs with overly bright, less attractive colors. Consider use of ground-mounted or wooden signs.
E. 
Compatibility. Seek to locate noisier and less compatible uses (such as loading docks) as far away from homes as possible. Seek to screen out views of less attractive activities from streets and homes.
[Ord. 776, 6/21/1993, § 121]
1. 
Neither the approval nor the granting of any review, issuance of permit or approval related to construction, activity within the floodplain, site plan review, subdivision or land development approval, erosion control, stormwater runoff, activity on steep slopes or any other review or permit of this chapter, by an officer, employee, consultant or agency of the Borough shall constitute a representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind by the Borough, or its employees, officials, consultants or agencies, of the practicality or safety of any structure, use or subdivision, and shall create no liability upon, nor a cause of action against such public body, official, consultant nor employee for any damage that may result pursuant thereto.
2. 
If the Zoning Officer mistakenly issues a permit under this chapter, the Borough shall not be liable for any later lawful withdrawal of such permit for valid cause shown.