Township of Ross, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 400]
It is the purpose of this Part to prescribe the procedures by which the administration of this chapter shall take place. Nothing contained within this Part shall be interpreted as limiting the adoption of administrative regulations which do not supersede required stated procedures.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 401; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010]
1. 
For the administration of this chapter, a Zoning Officer, who shall not hold any elective office in the Township, shall be appointed.
2. 
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.
3. 
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.
4. 
The Zoning Officer is hereby authorized to institute civil enforcement proceedings as a means of enforcement when acting within the scope of his employment.
5. 
The Zoning Officer shall receive and examine all applications for building permits and certificates of occupancy.
6. 
The Zoning Officer shall process building permit and certificate of occupancy applications for all permitted uses.
7. 
The Zoning Officer shall issue permits only where there is compliance with the provisions of this chapter, with other Township ordinances, and with the laws of the commonwealth. Permits for construction of uses requiring a special exception or variance shall be issued only upon order of the Zoning Hearing Board or upon a final order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Permits requiring approval by the Board of Commissioners shall be issued only after receipt of approval from the Board of Commissioners.
8. 
The Zoning Officer shall receive applications for special exceptions and variances and forward these applications to the Zoning Hearing Board for action thereon.
9. 
The Zoning Officer shall, following refusal of a permit, receive applications for interpretation appeals and variances and forward these applications to the Zoning Hearing Board for action thereon.
10. 
The Zoning Officer shall conduct inspections and surveys to determine compliance or noncompliance with the terms of this Part.
11. 
The Zoning Officer shall receive all required fees, issue stop, cease and desist orders, and order in writing correction of all conditions found to be in violation of the provisions of this chapter. Such written orders shall be served personally or by certified mail upon persons deemed by the Zoning Officer to be violating the terms of this chapter. It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any such order issued lawfully by the Zoning Officer, and any person violating any such order shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
12. 
The Zoning Officer shall institute in the name of the Township any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use; to restrain, correct or abate such violations, so as to prevent the occupancy of or use of any building, structure, or land; or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises.
13. 
The Zoning Officer shall revoke any order or occupancy permit issued under a mistake of fact or contrary to the law or the provisions of this chapter.
14. 
The Zoning Officer shall record and file all applications for building permits and certificates of occupancy with accompanying plans and documents. All applications, plans and documents shall be a public record.
15. 
The Zoning Officer shall maintain a map or maps showing the current zoning classification of all land in the Township.
16. 
The Zoning Officer shall register nonconforming structures and uses of lots in accord with the provisions of § 27-1302.
17. 
Upon request of the Planning Commission or of the Zoning Hearing Board, the Zoning Officer shall present to such body, facts, records and any similar information on specific requests to assist such body in reaching its decision.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 402; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010]
Hereafter, no land use may be established or changed, reconstructed or building may be erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, razed, removed, and no building or structure may be used or occupied, or changed in use, until an occupancy permit has been secured from the Zoning Officer.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 403; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010]
1. 
In those instances where a occupancy permit is applied for, as set forth in this section, the application shall be made in writing by the owner, tenant, or vender 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. 
A statement as to the proposed use of the building or land.
B. 
A site plan or survey.
C. 
Provisions to be made for treatment and disposal of sewage and industrial wastes, water supply and storm drainage.
D. 
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.
E. 
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.
F. 
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.
G. 
Description of methods to be employed in controlling any excess noise, air pollution, smoke, fumes, water pollution, fire hazards or other safety hazards.
H. 
Any other data deemed necessary by the Zoning Officer to enable him to determine the compliance of the proposed development with the terms of this chapter.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 405]
1. 
It shall be unlawful to use or occupy or permit the use or occupancy of any building or lot, or part thereof, hereafter erected, connected or wholly or partly altered or enlarged in its use or structure until a certificate of occupancy has been issued therefor by the Zoning Officer. Said certificate of occupancy shall state that the proposed use of the building or land conforms to the requirements of this chapter.
2. 
No nonconforming structure or use of land shall be maintained, renewed, changed or extended until a certificate of occupancy has been issued by the Zoning Officer therefor. After enactment or amendment of this chapter, and upon notification by the Zoning Officer, owners or occupants of nonconforming structures or uses shall apply for certificates of occupancy. All certificates of occupancy for nonconforming structures or uses shall state specifically wherein the nonconforming use differs from the provisions of this chapter.
3. 
Certificates of occupancy shall be applied for coincident with the application for a building permit and shall be issued within 10 working days after the erection or alteration has been completed, inspected by the Zoning Officer and approved by said Zoning Officer as complying with the provisions of this Part.
4. 
Application for certificates of occupancy for a new or changed use of land where no building permit is required shall be made directly to the office of the Zoning Officer. Certificates of occupancy shall be issued, or written notice stating why a certificate of occupancy cannot be issued shall be given to the applicant no later than 10 days after the application has been received by the Zoning Officer.
5. 
A temporary certificate of occupancy may be issued by the Zoning Officer for a period not exceeding six months, during alterations as partial occupancy of a building pending its completion, provided that such temporary certificate may require such conditions and safeguards as will protect the safety of the occupants and the public.
6. 
Failure to obtain a certificate of occupancy shall be a violation of this chapter and may be subject to penalties as provided in this chapter.
7. 
The Zoning Officer shall maintain a record of all certificates of occupancy, and copies shall be furnished upon request, to any person having a proprietary or tenancy interest in the building or lot affected.
8. 
All applications for occupancy certificates shall be made on printed forms to be furnished by the Zoning Officer and shall contain accurate information as to the size of and location of the lot; the size and location of the buildings or structures on the lot; the dimensions of all yards and open spaces, and such other information as may be necessary to provide for the enforcement of this chapter.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 406]
1. 
In accordance with Part 13 of this chapter, owners or occupants of nonconforming uses shall apply for a certificate of occupancy. Such application will constitute registration of the nonconforming structures and uses.
2. 
If the owner of a nonconforming structure or use fails to apply for a certificate of occupancy within 30 days after receipt of the Zoning Officer's notice, the owner shall be fined for violating this chapter.
3. 
If the Zoning Officer shall find upon reviewing the application for an occupancy permit that the existing use is illegal or in violation of other ordinances or laws, or if he finds that the building for which the permit is requested has been constructed or altered for the existing use or any other use without full compliance with the Building Code [Chapter 5, Part 1] or this chapter in effect at the time of construction or alteration, he shall not issue the permit, but shall declare such use to be violation of this chapter.
4. 
Upon the change of any nonconforming structure or use to a conforming structure or use, the owner or occupant of such use may request that such use be deleted from any list of or map showing nonconforming structures or uses.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 407; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010]
Any appeal of a determination or action of the Zoning Officer where it is alleged that the Zoning Officer has failed to follow prescribed procedures or has misinterpreted or misapplied the provisions of this chapter, shall be made directly to the Zoning Hearing Board in accordance with Part 6.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 408; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010]
1. 
Expiration. Whenever the Board of Commissioners grants a conditional use or whenever the Zoning Hearing Board grants either a variance or special exception in accordance with all terms and conditions of this chapter, and in accordance with any other special conditions or requirements which are or may be set forth in such conditional use, variance or special exception, the applicant shall be duly notified at the time of notification of approval that the conditional use, variance or special exception shall expire at the end of one year from the date of notification of approval if:
A. 
The applicant has not secured the building permits or occupancy permits as required, within the one-year period.
B. 
The conditional use, variance or special exception required construction and the applicant has failed to begin construction within one-year period.
C. 
The conditional use, variance or special exception does not involve construction and no utilization of the conditional use, variance or special exception has been made within such one-year period. In the event of such expiration, the conditional use, variance or special exception previously granted shall be void, and the Zoning Officer shall revoke all permits which may have been issued.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 409]
An applicant whose conditional use, variance or special exception has expired under the provisions of § 27-409, may file a written request for an extension of the conditional use to the Township Commissioners or a written request for an extension of the variance or special exception to the Zoning Hearing Board. Such written request must be filed within 15 days of the date of expiration of the conditional use, variance or special exception.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 410]
1. 
The Board of Commissioners shall determine a schedule of fees, charges and expenses, as well as a collection procedure for special permits, variances, amendments and other matters pertaining to this chapter. Such schedule of fees shall be posted in the office of the Township Secretary and the Zoning Officer.
2. 
The Board of Commissioners shall be empowered to reevaluate the fee schedule and make necessary alterations which shall not be considered an amendment to this chapter, and may be adopted at any public meeting by resolution.
3. 
The required fees for zoning district amendments may vary according to advertising costs and thus shall be kept up-to-date by the Township. All such fees shall be paid to the Zoning Officer.
4. 
Special exceptions and variances shall be issued or acted upon only after fees have been paid in full, and the Zoning Hearing Board shall take no action on appeals until preliminary charges have been paid in full.
5. 
Any use requiring action by the Board of Commissioners shall be acted upon only after fees have been paid in full.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 411; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010]
1. 
Simultaneously with the submission of the preliminary subdivision or land development plat for a residential subdivision to the office of the Zoning Officer, as required in Chapter 22 [Subdivision and Land Development] of this Code, the subdivider or developer submitting the same shall deposit with the Zoning Officer a certain amount, as established from time to time by resolution, for each dwelling unit indicated on such preliminary subdivision or land development plat, whichever amount is greater. The maximum sum required to be deposited under the provisions of this section shall also be established from time to time by resolution. The Township may elect to waive this fee if a professional consultant has been retained by Township for review purposes.
2. 
Such sum shall be used by the Township to defray the cost of the review of preliminary subdivision or land development plats, the preparation of agreements as may be required in connection with the processing of such applications, the inspection and review of the construction of public facilities intended to serve such development to determine that such construction is completed in accordance with Township specifications, and the cost of inspection of completed improvements prior to acceptance of the same by the Township. Such costs include the actual cost to the Township of professional consultants, which may be required, and the actual cost of administrative assistance which may be required. The Township reserves the right to outsource the plan review and construction inspection of these developments to professional consultants retained by the Township.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 412; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010]
1. 
Simultaneously with the submission of a site plan in connection with commercial and/or industrial land development, the developer submitting the same shall deposit with the Zoning Officer an amount, as established from time to time by resolution, per square foot based upon the area of the first floor of all buildings indicated on such site plan, whichever amount is greater. However, the maximum sum required to be deposited under the provisions of this section shall also be established from time to time by resolution. The Township may elect to waive this fee if a professional consultant has been retained by Township for review purposes.
2. 
Such sum shall be used by the Township to defray the cost of the review of the site plan, the preparation of agreements as may be required in connection with the processing of the same, the inspection and review of the construction of public facilities intended to serve such commercial and/or industrial land development in order to determine that such construction is completed in accordance with Township specifications, and the cost of inspecting of completed improvements prior to the acceptance of the same by the Township. Such costs include the actual cost to the Township for professional consultants, which may be required, and the actual cost of administrative assistance, which may be required. The Township reserves the right to outsource the plan review and construction inspection of these developments to professional consultants retained by the Township.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 413; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010]
1. 
In the event additional or miscellaneous applications are required to be made in connection with the review by the Planning Commission of any proposed residential subdivision and/or commercial and/or industrial land development site plans, the subdivider or developer making such additional or miscellaneous applications shall simultaneously, with the submission of the same, deposit with the Zoning Officer an amount, as established from time to time by resolution, in addition to any other sums required to be deposited as set forth herein.
2. 
The above amount shall be used by the Township to defray the cost of the review of any such additional or miscellaneous applications filed subsequent to the original application or the original site plan. Such costs include the actual cost to the Township of professional consultants which may be required to properly process such additional or miscellaneous applications and the actual cost of administrative assistance which may be required in connection with the same.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 414; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010]
Whenever a violation of this chapter occurs, or is alleged to have occurred, any person may file a written complaint. Such complaint stating fully the causes and basis thereof shall be filed with the Zoning. Officer. The complaint must also contain the complainant's name, address and telephone number. The Zoning Officer or his designee shall properly record such complaint, immediately investigate, and take action thereon as provided in this chapter.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 415; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010]
1. 
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 in this Part.
2. 
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.
3. 
An enforcement notice shall state at least the following:
A. 
The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the Township 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 chapter.
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 chapter.
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.
4. 
In any appeal of an enforcement notice to the Zoning Hearing Board the Township shall have the responsibility of presenting its evidence first.
5. 
Any filing fees paid by a party to appeal an enforcement notice to the Zoning Hearing Board shall be returned to the appealing party by the Township if the Zoning Hearing Board, or any court in a subsequent appeal, rules in the appealing party's favor.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2001, § 416; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010]
1. 
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township, pay a judgment of not more than $500 plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township as a result thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or payable until the date of the determination of a violation by the magisterial district judge. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation, unless the magisterial district judge determining that there has been a violation further determines that there was a good faith basis for the person, partnership or corporation violating this chapter to have believed that there was no such violation, in which event there shall be deemed to have been only one such violation until the fifth day following the date of the determination of a violation by the magisterial district judge and thereafter each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. All judgements, costs and reasonable attorney fees collected for the violation of zoning ordinances shall be paid over to the Township whose ordinance has been violated.
2. 
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.
3. 
Nothing contained in this section shall be construed or interpreted to grant to any person or entity other than the Township the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this section.
4. 
Magisterial district judges shall have initial jurisdiction over proceedings brought under this section.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2001, § 417]
1. 
Definitions. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated in this section. Where terms are not defined, they shall have their ordinarily accepted meanings or such as the context may imply.
AUTHORITY
The Girty's Run Joint Sewer Authority.
BUILDING PERMIT
A building permit to be issued by the Township of Ross for:
(1) 
New construction.
(2) 
Conversion of a single-family residential dwelling unit into a multifamily unit.
(3) 
The conversion, enlargement or alteration of a structure which would require additional plumbing and increase the water usage in the structure.
PERSON
Any individual, agent, firm, corporation, partnership or association.
2. 
Sewer Permit or Clearance Certificate.
A. 
Girty's Run Watershed.
(1) 
A person requesting the Township to issue a building permit for a property located within the Girty's Run Watershed and subject to the Authority's jurisdiction must submit a valid sewer tap-in permit or clearance certificate issued by the Authority along with his application for the building permit. No building permit, as the term is defined herein, shall be issued without the sewer tap-in permit or clearance certificate.
(2) 
Advising Authority. In the event a building permit is issued pursuant to this chapter, the Authority shall be notified and a copy of the application and permit forwarded to the Authority.
B. 
Areas Outside the Girty's Run Watershed. A person requesting the Township issue a building permit for a property located outside of the Girty's Run Watershed must submit proof of sewage disposal whether in the form of a valid sewer tap-in permit or validation by the Department of Environmental Protection for on-site disposal. No building permit, as the term is defined herein, shall be issued without such sewer tap-in permit or validation.