[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Ephrata 11-2017 by Ord. No. 15314. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established a Property Maintenance and Codes Appeals Board to conduct hearings and render decisions on appeals from the actions of the Borough Manager and Code Enforcement Officers and officials of the Borough of Ephrata authorized by the Code of the Borough of Ephrata that relates to property maintenance, property nuisance, residential rental permitting and such other ordinances of the Borough as grant jurisdiction.
The Board shall have the following powers and duties:
To establish policies and procedures necessary to carry out its duties and to interpret the provisions of property maintenance, property nuisance, residential rental permitting and such other ordinances of the Borough as grant jurisdiction.
To hear appeals of orders and actions of the Borough Manager and the code enforcement officers and officials of the Borough and to affirm, amend or reverse such orders or actions.
To recommend legislation affecting the substance and enforcement of any code or ordinance within its jurisdiction.
To conduct a hearing on all appeals within 60 days of the filing date of each appeal unless, for good and sufficient cause, the Board extends the time for a reasonable period not to exceed an additional 60 days.
For good cause shown, to grant extensions of time in which to comply with the provisions of any code or ordinance that is the subject of an appeal.
In addition to the powers and duties set forth herein, the Board shall have such powers and duties as provided for in any Borough Code, ordinance or other law or regulation conferring appropriate jurisdiction.
The Property Maintenance and Codes Appeals Board shall consist of three members who are qualified by experience and training to pass on matters pertaining to property maintenance and property management, one of whom shall be an owner, manager or responsible agent as defined in § 253-4 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata.
All members of the Board shall be residents of the Borough of Ephrata.
The Board shall be appointed by the Council of the Borough of Ephrata as the chief appointing authority and shall hold office at the pleasure of the Borough Council.
Initial terms shall be drawn by lot for three-, four- and five-year terms, and subsequent terms shall be for five years, so that not more than one term will expire in a given year.
Borough employees, members of the Borough's governing body and current uniformed employees of the Borough's Police Department may not serve as members of the Board.
The Borough Manager, or his/her designee, shall serve as an ex officio advisory member of the Board but shall have no vote on any matter before the Board.
The code officer or official shall be an ex officio member but shall have no vote on any matter before the Board.
The Board may consist of one or more members of the Ephrata Borough Uniform Construction Code Appeals Board.
The Council of the Borough of Ephrata shall appoint one or more alternate members who shall be called by the Board Chairman to fill such seat or seats as may be required to constitute a three-member board or a quorum thereof to hear appeals during the absence or disqualification of a member. Alternate members shall possess the qualifications required for board membership except that no alternate member shall be required to be an owner, manager or responsible agent as set forth hereinabove.
The Board shall annually select one of its members to serve as Chairman.
A member shall not hear an appeal in which that member has a personal, professional or financial interest.
The Borough Secretary shall designate a qualified person to serve as recording secretary to the Board. The recording secretary shall file a detailed record of all proceedings in the office of the Borough Secretary.
Compensation of members may be established by resolution of the Council of the Borough of Ephrata as authorized by law.
[Amended 2-12-2018 by Ord. No. 1541]
The Board shall meet upon notice from the Chairman within 60 days of the filing of an appeal, or at stated periodic meetings not more than 60 days from the filing of an appeal.
All hearings before the Board shall be open to the public. The appellant, the appellant's representative, the code officer or official and any person whose interests are affected shall be given an opportunity to be heard. A quorum shall consist of not less than 2/3 of the board membership. The Board shall schedule meetings and provide public notice of meetings in accordance with 65 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 701-716 (relating to the Sunshine Act).
The Board shall adopt and make available to the public through the Borough Secretary procedures under which a hearing will be conducted. The procedures shall not require compliance with strict rules of evidence, but shall mandate that only relevant information be received.
When the full Board is not present to hear an appeal, either the appellant or the appellant's representative shall have the right to request a postponement of the hearing.
The Board shall affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the Borough Manager or Code Enforcement Officer or official only by a concurring vote of a majority of the total number of appointed Board members. The decision shall be rendered not later than 45 days from the date of the last hearing held in the matter. The appeal shall be deemed granted if the Board fails to act within this time period.
The decision of the Board shall be in writing and shall be recorded. Copies of the decision shall be furnished to the appellant in person or by first-class mail and to the code officer or official within five business days from the date of the decision.
The Code Enforcement Officer or official shall take immediate action in accordance with the decision of the Board.
Appeals from the decision of the Board shall be made to the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas not later than 30 days from the entry of the decision and order of the Board pursuant to the provisions of 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
Appeals of notice and orders (other than "imminent danger" notices) shall stay the enforcement of the notice and order until the appeal is heard by the Board.
A fee for an appeal shall be established by resolution of the Council of the Borough of Ephrata, which fee shall not exceed the actual costs of publishing the hearing notice, court reporter services and other necessary administrative services.