Township of Peters, PA
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Duties and power. The Township Council shall have the duties and power to:
(1) 
Amend the Comprehensive Plan for the Township.
(2) 
Enact or amend an official map, a zoning ordinance, an official zoning map, a subdivision and land development ordinance, a planned residential development ordinance, building code(s), and a housing code, in accordance with this chapter, other Township ordinances, and the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(3) 
Appoint a Township Zoning Hearing Board (Board), a Township Planning Commission (Commission), an International Building Code Appeals Board and approve the appointment of a Planning Director in accordance with the prescribed rules of the Municipalities Planning Code and remove Board or Commission members as provided for in the Administrative Code.
(4) 
May establish a Planning Department of such employees as may be necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter and other land use ordinances of the Township.
(5) 
Appropriate funds to finance the preparation of zoning ordinances and for administration, for enforcement and for actions to support or oppose, upon appeal to the courts, decisions of the Township Zoning Hearing Board.
(6) 
May utilize grants, monetary donations or volunteer services from private sources and from county, state and federal governments for the purposes of completing physical or policy improvements in the Township.
(7) 
May prescribe by ordinance reasonable fees with respect to the administration of a zoning ordinance and with respect to hearings before the Township Zoning Hearing Board. Fees for these hearings may include compensation for the Secretary and Township Zoning Hearing Board members, notice/advertising costs and necessary administrative overhead connected with the hearing. The costs, however, shall not include legal expenses of the Township Zoning Hearing Board, expenses for engineering, architectural or other technical consultants or expert witness costs.
(8) 
Shall hear and render final adjudication in the following matters:
(a) 
Applications for conditional use after referral to the Township Planning Commission for a recommendation.
(b) 
Lot plans for conditional uses.
(c) 
Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance.
(d) 
Applications for landowner curative amendments to the Zoning Ordinance after referral to the Township Planning Commission for recommendation, unless the applications are submitted to the Township Zoning Hearing Board.
(e) 
Municipal curative amendments.
(f) 
Appeals from the decision of the Zoning Officer or the Township Engineer in the administration of any land use ordinance or provisions thereof with reference to sedimentation and erosion control and stormwater management insofar as the same relate to application for final approval of a land development under the Subdivision and Land Development Regulations.
(g) 
Applications for watercourse permits.
(h) 
Applications for special permits.
B. 
Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance.
(1) 
Before voting on the enactment of an amendment, the Township Council shall hold a public hearing thereon, pursuant to public notice. In addition, if the proposed amendment involves an Official Zoning Map change, notice of said public hearing shall be conspicuously posted by the Township at points deemed sufficient by the Township along the perimeter of the lot to notify potentially interested citizens. The affected lot or area shall be posted at least one week prior to the date of the hearing. Written notice shall also be sent concurrently with the first public notice to all landowners whose lot is to be reclassified and to all landowners whose lot is within 600 feet of the proposed reclassified lot.
(2) 
In the case of an amendment other than that prepared by the Township Planning Commission, the Township Council shall submit each such amendment to the Township Planning Commission at least 30 days prior to the hearing on such proposed amendment to provide the Township Planning Commission an opportunity to submit recommendations. In order to evaluate the request being made, the Township Council may require reports assessing impacts on surrounding properties and traffic impacts on affected streets prepared by professionals in accordance with Township guidelines. See § 440-510.
(3) 
If after any public hearing held upon an amendment, the proposed amendment is changed substantially or is revised to include land previously not affected by it, the Township Council shall hold another public hearing pursuant to public notice, before proceeding to vote on the amendment and shall, at least 10 days prior to enactment, readvertise in a newspaper of general circulation a brief summary setting forth the provisions in reasonable detail together with a summary of the amendments.
(4) 
At least 30 days prior to the public hearing on the amendment by the Township Council, the Township shall submit the proposed amendment to the Washington County Planning Commission for recommendations.
(5) 
Within 30 days after enactment, a copy of the amendment to the Zoning Ordinance shall be forwarded to the Washington County Planning Commission.
(6) 
Publication, advertisement and availability of ordinances. Proposed zoning ordinances and amendments shall not be enacted unless notice of proposed enactment is given in the manner set forth in this section, and shall include the time and place of the meeting at which passage will be considered, a reference to a place within the Township where copies of the proposed ordinance or amendment may be examined without charge or obtained for a charge not greater than the cost thereof. The Township Council shall publish the proposed ordinance or amendment once in one newspaper of general circulation in the Township not more than 60 days or fewer than seven days prior to passage. Publication of the proposed ordinance or amendment shall include either the full text thereof or the title and a brief summary, prepared by the Township Solicitor and setting forth all the provisions in reasonable detail. If the full text is not included:
(a) 
A copy thereof shall be supplied to a newspaper of general circulation in the Township at the time the public notice is published.
(b) 
An attested copy of the proposed ordinance shall be filed in the Washington County law library or other Washington County office designated by the Washington County Commissioners, who may impose a fee no greater than that necessary to cover the actual costs of storing said ordinances.
A. 
Membership.
(1) 
The membership of the Township Planning Commission (Commission) shall consist of five residents of the Township. Their terms of office shall be four years and shall be so fixed that the term of one member shall expire each year.
(2) 
Appointments to fill vacancies shall only be for the unexpired portion of the term.
(3) 
Alternate members.
(a) 
The Township Council may also appoint at least one but not more than three residents of the Township to serve as alternate members of the Township Planning Commission. The term of office of an alternate member shall be three years. All alternates shall be entitled to participate in all proceedings and discussions of the Township Planning Commission to the same and full extent as provided by law for Commission members. Alternates shall hold no other office in the Township.
(b) 
Any alternate may participate in any Township Planning Commission proceeding or discussion but shall not be entitled to vote as a Planning Commission member unless designated as a voting alternate member. If, by reason of absence or disqualification of a member, a quorum is not reached, the Township Planning Commission Chairman shall designate as many alternate members of the Planning Commission to sit on the Commission as may be needed to provide a quorum. Any alternate Planning Commission member shall continue to serve on the Commission in all proceedings involving the matter or case for which the alternate was initially appointed until the Township Planning Commission has made a formal decision or recommendation on the matter or case. Designation of an alternate pursuant to this section shall be made on a case-by-case basis in rotation according to declining seniority among all alternates.
B. 
Conduct of business.
(1) 
The Commission:
(a) 
Shall elect its own Chairman and Vice Chairman as well as create and fill such other offices as it may determine. Officers shall serve annual terms and may succeed themselves.
(b) 
May make and alter bylaws and rules consistent with Township ordinances and laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(c) 
Shall make reports to the Township Council as often as necessary or as requested by the Township Council.
(2) 
In the performance of its duties and power, any act or recommendation which involves engineering consideration and compliance with this chapter shall be subject to the review and comments of the Township Engineer, which shall be incorporated and separately set forth in any report, written act or recommendation of the Commission.
C. 
Duties and power.
(1) 
The Township Planning Commission shall at the request of Township Council have the power and shall be required to:
(a) 
Prepare or amend a Comprehensive Plan for the development of the Township, as set forth in the Municipalities Planning Code, and present it to Township Council.
(b) 
Maintain and keep on file records of its actions.
(c) 
Review and approve commercial site plans.
(2) 
The Township Planning Commission, at the request of Township Council, may perform these duties outlined in Section 209.1 of the Municipalities Planning Code[1] including:
(a) 
Make recommendations to the Township Council concerning the adoption or amendment of an Official Map.
(b) 
Prepare and present to the Township Council a zoning ordinance and an official zoning map and make recommendations to the Township Council on proposed amendments to it.
(c) 
Prepare, recommend and administer subdivision and land development regulations.
(d) 
Prepare and present to the Township Council a building code and a housing code and make recommendations concerning proposed amendments thereto.
(e) 
Do such other acts or make such studies as may be necessary to fulfill the duties and obligations imposed by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
(f) 
Prepare and present to the Township Council any environmental study(ies) that may be appropriate to examine or identify recommended cautionary or preventative measures.
(g) 
Submit to the Township Council a recommended capital improvements program.
(h) 
Prepare and present to the Township 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.
(i) 
Promote public interest in and understanding of the Comprehensive Plan and community planning process.
(j) 
Make recommendations to governmental, civic and private agencies and individuals as to the effectiveness of the proposals of such agencies and individuals.
(k) 
Hold public hearings and meetings.
(l) 
Present testimony before any board.
(m) 
Require from other departments and agencies of the Township such available information as relates to the work of the Planning Department.
(n) 
In the performance of its functions, enter upon any land to make examinations and surveys with the consent of the landowner and/or developer.
(o) 
Prepare and present to the Township Council a study regarding the feasibility and practicability of using renewable energy sources in specific areas within the Township.
(p) 
Review the Zoning Ordinance, the Official Zoning Map, the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, the Official Map, provisions for planned residential development, and such other ordinances and regulations governing the development of land no less frequently then it reviews the Comprehensive Plan.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10209.1
A. 
Membership.
(1) 
The membership of the Township Zoning Hearing Board shall consist of five residents of the Township appointed by the Township Council. Their terms of office shall be five years and shall be so fixed that the term of office of one member shall expire each year.
(2) 
Appointments to fill vacancies shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term. Members of the Township Zoning Hearing Board shall hold no other office in Peters Township.
(3) 
Alternate members.
(a) 
The Township Council may also appoint at least one but not more than three residents of the Township to serve as alternate members of the Township Zoning Hearing Board. The term of office of an alternate member shall be three years. All alternates shall be entitled to participate in all proceedings and discussions of the Township Zoning Hearing Board to the same and full extent as provided by law for Township Zoning Hearing Board members. Alternates shall hold no other office in the Township.
(b) 
Any alternate may participate in any Township Zoning Hearing Board proceeding or discussion but shall not be entitled to vote as a Township Zoning Hearing Board member unless designated as a voting alternate member. If, by reason of absence or disqualification of a member, a quorum is not reached, the Township Zoning Hearing Board Chairman shall designate as many alternate members of the Township Zoning Hearing Board to sit on the Township Zoning Hearing Board as may be needed to provide a quorum. Any alternate Township Zoning Hearing Board member shall continue to serve on the Township Zoning Hearing Board in all proceedings involving the matter or case for which the alternate was initially appointed until the Township Zoning Hearing Board has made a final determination of the matter or case. Designation of an alternate pursuant to this section shall be made on a case-by-case basis in rotation according to declining seniority among all alternates.
B. 
Conduct of business.
(1) 
The Township Zoning Hearing Board shall:
(a) 
Elect from its own membership its officers, who shall serve annual terms as such and may succeed themselves. For the conduct of any hearing and taking of any action, a quorum shall be not less than a majority of all the Township Zoning Hearing Board members, but where three members are disqualified to act in a particular matter, the remaining members may act for the Township Zoning Hearing Board. The Township Zoning Hearing Board may appoint a hearing officer from its own membership to conduct any hearing on its behalf, and the parties may waive further action by the Township Zoning Hearing Board as provided in Subsection C.
(b) 
Have the ability to make, alter and rescind rules and forms for its procedure, consistent with the Township's ordinances and laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Township Zoning Hearing Board shall keep full public records of its business, which records shall be the property of the Township, and shall submit a report of its activities to the governing body as requested by the governing body.
(2) 
Expenditures. See § 440-900A(7).
C. 
Hearings.
(1) 
Date of hearing. The hearing shall be scheduled within 60 days from the date of the landowner's and/or developer's request, unless the landowner and/or developer has agreed in writing to an extension of time.
(2) 
Conduct. The Township Zoning Hearing Board shall conduct hearings, or the Township Zoning Hearing Board may appoint any member as a hearing officer. The Township Zoning Hearing Board shall determine the hearing's decision, or where no decision is called for, the hearing's findings, but, prior to the hearing's decision, the parties may waive may the Township Zoning Hearing Board's decision or findings and accept the hearing officer's decision or findings as final.
(3) 
Parties to the hearing. The parties to the hearing shall be the Township, any person affected by the application who has made timely appearance of record before the Township Zoning Hearing Board and any other person, including civic or community organizations that the Township Zoning Hearing Board permits to appear. The Township Zoning Hearing Board shall have power to require that all persons who wish to be considered parties enter appearances in writing on forms provided by the Township Zoning Hearing Board for that purpose.
(4) 
Powers of the hearing officer. The presiding hearing officer or the Township Zoning Hearing Board's Chairman or Acting Chairman 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 requested by the parties.
(5) 
Rights of the parties. The parties shall have the right to be represented by counsel and shall be afforded the opportunity to respond, to present evidence, to argument and to cross-examine adverse witnesses on all relevant issues.
(6) 
Rules of evidence. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, but irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded.
(7) 
Record and transcripts. The presiding Township Zoning Hearing Board or the hearing officer, as the case may be, shall keep a stenographic record of the proceedings. The landowner and/or developer and the Township Zoning Hearing Board shall equally share the stenographer's appearance fee. The Township Zoning Hearing Board shall pay the cost of the original transcript if the transcript is ordered by the Township Zoning Hearing Board or hearing officer, or if a party appeals the Township Zoning Hearing Board's decision, the appealing party shall pay the cost of the original transcript. In either event, the cost of additional copies shall be paid by the person requesting such copy or copies. In other cases, the party requesting the original transcript shall bear the cost thereof.
(8) 
Communications. The Township Zoning Hearing Board or the hearing officer shall not:
(a) 
Communicate, directly or indirectly, with any party or his representatives in connection with any issue involved except upon notice and opportunity for all parties to participate;
(b) 
Take notice of any communication, reports, staff memoranda, or other materials except for advice from its solicitor, unless all parties are afforded an opportunity to contest the material so noticed; and
(c) 
Inspect the lot or its surroundings after the commencement of hearings with any party or his representative, unless all parties are given an opportunity to be present.
(9) 
Decisions.
(a) 
The Township Zoning Hearing Board or the hearing officer, as the case may be, shall render a written decision or, when no decision is called for, make written findings on the application within 45 days after the last hearing before the Township Zoning Hearing Board or hearing officer. Where the application is contested or denied, each decision shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions based thereon together with the reasons therefor. Conclusions based on any of this chapter's provisions or of any ordinance, rule or regulation shall contain a reference to the provision relied on and the reasons why the conclusion is deemed appropriate in the light of the facts found. If the hearing is conducted by a hearing officer, and there has been no stipulation that his decision or findings are final, the Township Zoning Hearing Board shall make his report and recommendations available to the parties within 45 days and the parties shall be entitled to make written representations thereon to the Township Zoning Hearing Board prior to final decision or entry of findings, and the Township Zoning Hearing Board's decision shall be entered no later than 30 days after the report of the hearing officer.
(b) 
Where the Township Zoning Hearing Board fails to render the decision within the period required by this subsection, or fails to hold the required hearing within 60 days from the date of the landowner's and/or developer's request for a hearing, the decision shall be deemed to have been rendered in favor of the landowner and/or developer unless the landowner and/or developer has agreed in writing or on the record to an extension of time. When a decision has been rendered in favor of the landowner and/or developer because of the failure of the Township Zoning Hearing Board to meet or render a decision as herein above provided, the Township Zoning Hearing Board shall give public notice of said decision within 10 days from the last day it could have met to render a decision in the same manner as provided in Subsection C of this section. If the Township Zoning Hearing Board shall fail to provide such notice, the landowner and/or developer may do so. (Notice starts the 30 days for appeal.) Nothing in this subsection shall prejudice the right of any party opposing the application to appeal the decision to a court of competent jurisdiction.
(c) 
Notification of decision. A copy of the final decision or, where no decision is called for, of the findings shall be delivered to the landowner and/or developer personally or mailed to him not later than the day following the date of the final decision or findings. To all other persons who have filed their name and address with the Township Zoning Hearing Board not later than the last day of the hearing, the Township Zoning Hearing Board shall provide by mail, or otherwise, brief notice of the decision or findings and a statement of the place at which the full decision or findings may be examined.
D. 
Jurisdiction. The Township Zoning Hearing Board shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and render a final adjudication in the following matters:
(1) 
Substantive challenges to the validity of any land use ordinance, except those brought before the Township Council pursuant to § 440-908.
(2) 
Challenges to the validity of a land use ordinance raising procedural questions or alleged defects in the process of enactment or adoption. Challenges shall be raised by an appeal taken within 30 days after the effective date of said ordinance.
(3) 
Appeals from the determination of the Zoning Officer, including, but not limited to, the granting or denial of any permit, or failure to act on the application therefor, the issuance of any cease-and-desist order or the registration or refusal to register any nonconforming use, structure or lot.
(4) 
Appeals from a determination by the Township Engineer or the Zoning Officer with reference to the administration of any floodplain or flood hazard ordinance or such provisions within the Zoning Ordinance.
(5) 
Applications for variances from the terms of the Zoning Ordinance and floodplain regulations. See § 440-903.
(6) 
Applications for special exceptions under the Zoning Ordinance or floodplain regulations. See § 440-903B.
(7) 
Appeals from the Zoning Officer's determination under § 440-915.
(8) 
Appeals from the determination of the Zoning Officer in the administration of any land use ordinance or provision thereof with reference to sedimentation and erosion control and stormwater management insofar as the same relate to development not involving the Subdivision Land Development Regulations.
(9) 
Disputes concerning zoning district boundaries. See Part 4.
A. 
Variance.
(1) 
The Township Zoning Hearing Board shall hear requests for variances where it is alleged that the Zoning Ordinance's provisions inflict unnecessary hardship upon the landowner and/or developer, including variances to the Floodplain Regulations as per Parts 8, 10 and 11. The Township Zoning Hearing Board shall afford the Township Planning Commission the opportunity to make a recommendation on any variance application affecting lot plan review of a nonconforming nonresidential lot. By rule, the Township Zoning Hearing Board may prescribe the form of application and shall require preliminary application to the Zoning Officer. The Township Zoning Hearing Board may grant a variance, provided that the following findings are made where relevant in a given case:
(a) 
That 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 lot, and that the unnecessary hardship is due to such conditions and not the circumstances or conditions generally created by the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance in the neighborhood or district in which the lot is located.
(b) 
That because of such physical circumstances or conditions, there is no possibility that the lot can be developed in strict conformity with the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance and that the authorization of a variance is therefore necessary to enable the reasonable use of the lot.
(c) 
That such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the appellant. Financial hardship shall not be construed as the basis for granting a variance.
(d) 
That the variance, if authorized, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood or district in which the lot is located, nor substantially or permanently impair the appropriate use or development of adjacent lots, nor be detrimental to the public welfare.
(e) 
That 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.
(2) 
In granting any variance, the Township Zoning Hearing Board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and this chapter.
B. 
Special exception.
(1) 
Township Planning Commission. The Township Planning Commission shall be afforded the opportunity to make a recommendation to the Township Zoning Hearing Board on any application for a special exception, on any variance request involving a land development plan, or variance that pertains to the change in use of a nonconforming lot, building or structure.
(2) 
Township Zoning Hearing Board.
(a) 
The Township Zoning Hearing Board shall hear requests and grant or deny the special exceptions specifically stated in Part 4.
(b) 
The Township Zoning Hearing Board shall determine its decisions in accordance with the following standards and criteria:
[1] 
Determine that the proposed special exception will not substantially injure or detract from the use of neighboring lots or from the character of the neighborhood and that the use of lots adjacent to the area included in the proposed change or plan is adequately safeguarded.
[2] 
Determine that the proposed special exception will serve the best interests of Peters Township, the convenience of the community, and the public welfare.
[3] 
Consider the effect of the proposed special exception upon the logical efficient and economical extension of public services and facilities, such as public water, sewers, police and fire protection, and public schools.
[4] 
Impose such conditions, in addition to those required, as are necessary to assure that the intent of this chapter is complied with, which conditions may include, but are not limited to, harmonious design of buildings, planting and its maintenance as a sight or sound screen, the minimizing of noxious, offensive or hazardous elements, adequate standards of parking, and sanitation.
[5] 
Determine that the unique circumstances for which the special exception is sought were neither created by the owner of the lot, nor were due to or the result of general conditions in the zoning district in which the lot is located.
[6] 
Consider the suitability of the proposed location of a use with respect to probable effects upon highway traffic and assure adequate access arrangements in order to protect major streets and highways from undue congestion and hazard.
[7] 
Ascertain the adequacy of sanitation and public safety provisions, where applicable, and require a certificate of adequacy of sewage and water facilities from a governmental health agency in such case required herein or deemed advisable.
[8] 
Financial hardship shall not be construed as the basis for granting special exceptions.
[9] 
In granting a special exception, the Township 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 the law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and this chapter.
[10] 
In consideration of an application for special exception (and conditional uses wherever these standards are adopted by reference in this chapter), the landowner and/or developer shall have the burden of proving that the proposed use does not conflict with the general purposes and intent of this chapter as determined both by the standards and criteria enumerated herein, or any other conditions which the Township Zoning Hearing Board deems necessary to implement the purposes of the law of this Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and this chapter.
(c) 
In hearing a request for a special exception, the Township Zoning Hearing Board shall afford to the Township Planning Commission the opportunity to make a recommendation on the request.
(d) 
The Township Zoning Hearing Board shall exercise its discretion in the decision on a special exception by stipulating in its decision whether or not any further expansion of the use is implied or limited.
(e) 
Effect of special exception approval. When an application for a special exception has been filed with the Township Zoning Hearing Board, and the subject matter of such application would ultimately constitute either a land development or a subdivision as defined in the Subdivision and Land Development Regulations, no change or amendment of the zoning, subdivision or other governing ordinance or plans shall affect the decision on such application adversely to the landowner and/or developer and the landowner and/or developer shall be entitled to a decision in accordance with the provisions of the governing ordinances or plans as they stood at the time the application was duly filed; provided, further, that should such an application be approved by the Township Zoning Hearing Board, the landowner and/or developer shall be entitled to proceed with the submission of either land development or subdivision plans within a period of six months or longer as may be approved by the Township Zoning Hearing Board following the date of such approval in accordance with the provisions of the governing ordinances or plans as they stood at the time the application was duly filed before the Township Zoning Hearing Board. If either a land development or subdivision plan is so filed within said period, such plan shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 371, Stormwater Management, and specifically to the time limitations which shall commence as of the date of filing such land development or subdivision plan.
(f) 
These provisions shall apply to any special exception application filed on or after November 29, 2005. Previously approved special exceptions shall be affected as follows: if no preliminary plan has been filed, the landowner and/or developer shall have six months from November 29, 2005, in which to do so, and in that event, all provisions stipulated above shall apply; if preliminary plans for the entire development or any section thereof have been filed prior to November 29, 2005, such special exception shall not be affected by any change in municipal ordinances or plans pertaining to zoning classification or density, or lot, building, street or utility location, enacted subsequent to the filing of the special exception application, provided that the special exception approval did not contain a specific and express provision to the contrary.
A. 
Role. The Planning Director, in addition to being the administrator of the Planning Department, shall exercise only those powers and be subject to only those duties specifically conferred by ordinance.
B. 
The duties of the Planning Director in administering this chapter shall be:
(1) 
Modification of the Comprehensive Plan.
(2) 
Preparation and modification of Township maps and zoning ordinances.
(3) 
Highway layout.
(4) 
Traffic and parking problems.
(5) 
Use design and layout of Township structures, buildings, land, parks and other Township lots.
(6) 
The engineering, zoning enforcement and International Building Code enforcement operations. The Planning Director shall make an annual report of Planning Department activities to the Township Council by March 1 of each year.
A. 
Role. The duty of administering and enforcing the provisions of this chapter is hereby conferred upon the Zoning Officer, who shall have such powers as are conferred on him by this chapter and are reasonably implied for that purpose. The Zoning Officer may be the Planning Director or an employee of the Planning Department, but shall not hold any elective office in the Township.
B. 
The duties of the Zoning Officer in administering this chapter shall be:
(1) 
Examine all applications for permits.
(2) 
Approve permits only for construction and uses which are in accordance with the regulations of this chapter and other applicable ordinances and as may be subsequently amended.
(3) 
Record and file all applications for plan review with the accompanying plans.
(4) 
Obtain and maintain records of lowest floor and floodproofing elevations for new construction and substantial improvements constructed within floodplain areas.
(5) 
Approve permits for uses by special exception, conditional use or subject to granted variances only after such uses and buildings are approved in accordance with the regulations of this chapter.
(6) 
Issue all necessary enforcement orders for zoning violations.
(7) 
Inspect nonconforming uses and signs and keep a filed record, specifying the nonconformity of such nonconforming uses and signs as a public record, and to examine them periodically.
(8) 
Upon the request of the Township Planning Commission or of the Township Zoning Hearing Board, present such body facts, records, and any similar information on specific requests to assist such body in reaching its decision.
(9) 
Render such preliminary opinions as may be required by this chapter.
(10) 
Be responsible for keeping up-to-date this Zoning Ordinance and the accompanying Official Zoning Map.
(11) 
Post written notice of public hearings on an affected tract of land at least one week prior to the hearing.
(12) 
Enforce the operating performances standards in this chapter.
A. 
Role. The duty of administering and enforcing the currently adopted building codes and such other ordinances as may be designated by the Township Manager shall be conferred on the Building Official.
B. 
Duties. The duties of the Building Official shall be the same as the Zoning Officer as defined in § 440-905.
A. 
Enforcement actions.
(1) 
Causes for enforcement action. In case any building, structure, landscaping or land is, or is proposed to be, erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, converted, maintained or used in violation of any ordinance enacted under the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code or prior enabling laws, the Township Council or, with the approval of the Township Council, an officer of the Township, or any aggrieved owner or tenant of real property who shows that his lot or person will be substantially affected by the alleged violation, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such building, structure, landscaping or land, or to prevent, in or about such premises, any act, conduct, business or use constituting a violation. When any landowner and/or developer institutes such an action, notice of that action shall be served upon the Township at least 30 days prior to the time the action is begun by serving a copy of the complaint on the Township Council. No such action may be maintained until such notice has been given.
(2) 
Permits. No permit of any kind as provided in this chapter shall be approved by the Township Zoning Officer for any purpose except in compliance with the literal terms of this chapter, or decision of the Township Zoning Hearing Board, or the courts.
B. 
Enforcement notice.
(1) 
If it appears to the Township that a violation of the Zoning Ordinance has occurred, the Township shall initiate enforcement proceedings by sending an enforcement notice as provided in this section.
(2) 
The enforcement notice shall be sent to the owner of record of the lot on which the violation has occurred, to any person who has filed a written request to receive enforcement notices regarding that lot, 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 lot(s) in violation;
(c) 
The specific violation with a description of the requirements that have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of the 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 Township Zoning Hearing Board within 14 days in accordance with procedures set forth in this chapter; and
(f) 
That failure to comply with the notice within the time specified, unless extended by appeal to the Township Zoning Hearing Board, constitutes a violation, with possible sanctions clearly described.
C. 
Jurisdiction. District Justices shall have initial jurisdiction over proceedings brought under this chapter.
D. 
Enforcement remedies.
(1) 
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance enacted under the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code or prior enabling laws shall, upon being found liable therefore 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 District Justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure.
(2) 
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 the ordinance 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 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 the Zoning Ordinance shall be paid over to the Township.
(3) 
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.
(4) 
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.
E. 
Remedies/penalties provided by other statutes. In addition to any remedies and penalties provided by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code for a violation of the Peters Township Zoning Ordinance, the Township may also seek remedies and penalties under the applicable Pennsylvania statutes or regulations of any violation relating to an erosion/sedimentation plan or permit (25 PA Code, Chapter 102) dam, water obstruction or encroachment permit granted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (Dam Safety and Encroachment Act, 32 P.S. §§ 693.1 through 693.27), or stormwater management controls (Storm Water Management Act, 32 P.S. § 680.1 et seq.).
A. 
Landowner curative amendment.
(1) 
A landowner and/or developer who desires to challenge on substantive grounds the validity of a zoning ordinance or the Official Zoning Map, or any provision thereof, which prohibits or restricts the use or development of land in which he has an interest may submit a curative amendment to the Township Council with a written request that his challenge and proposed amendment be heard and decided as provided in the Municipalities Planning Code.
(2) 
The Township Council shall commence a hearing thereon within 60 days of the request. See § 440-912 for procedure.
B. 
Municipal curative amendment. If the Township Council determines that its Zoning Ordinance or any portion thereof is substantially invalid, it shall take the following actions:
(1) 
The Township shall declare by formal action, its Zoning Ordinance or portions thereof substantively invalid and propose to prepare a curative amendment to overcome such invalidity. Within 30 days following such declaration and proposal, the Township Council shall:
(a) 
By resolution make specific findings setting forth the declared invalidity of the Zoning Ordinance that may include:
[1] 
References to specific uses that are either not permitted or not permitted in sufficient quantity;
[2] 
Reference to a class of use or uses which require revision; or
[3] 
Reference to the entire ordinance that requires revisions.
(b) 
Begin to prepare and consider a curative amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to correct the declared invalidity.
(2) 
The procedures, protections and restrictions outlined in the Municipalities Planning Code shall apply.
A. 
General. Any action by the Township Council, its departments, agencies and appointed authorities shall be submitted to the Township Planning Commission for its recommendations when the proposed action relates to:
(1) 
The location, opening, vacation, extension, widening, narrowing, or enlargement of any street, public ground, pierhead or watercourse;
(2) 
The location, erection, demolition, removal or sale of any public structure located within the Township;
(3) 
The adoption, amendment or repeal of an official map, subdivision and land development ordinance, zoning ordinance, the Official Zoning Map, or provisions for planned residential development, or capital improvements program; or
(4) 
The construction, extension or abandonment of any waterline, sewer line or sewage treatment facility.
B. 
The recommendations of the Township Planning Commission including a specific statement as to whether or not the proposed action is in accordance with the objectives of the formally adopted Comprehensive Plan shall be made in writing to the Township Council within 45 days.
C. 
Notwithstanding any other provision of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, no action by the Township Council shall be invalid nor shall the same be subject to challenge or appeal on the basis that such action is inconsistent with, or fails to comply with, the provisions of the Comprehensive Plan.
D. 
Relating to the Peters Township School District. Any proposed action of the Peters Township School Board relating to the location, demolition, removal, sale or lease of any school district structure or land shall be submitted to the Township Planning Commission for its recommendation 45 days prior to the execution of such proposed action by the Board.
A. 
The owner/developer shall enter into an agreement with the Township prior to the issuance of a building permit that those improvements not completed within one year or those improvements not completed prior to building occupancy will be guaranteed by posting a bond in the form of cash, certified check, or escrow deposit; or federal or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania chartered lending institution irrevocable letters of credit and restrictive or escrow accounts in such lending institution shall be deemed acceptable financial security; released only with Township permission, in the amount of 110% of the estimated cost of completion, to include labor as well as materials.
B. 
The costs shall be estimated by the Building Official and the Township Engineer. The minimum guaranty shall be $1,000.
Appeals under § 440-916 may be filed with the Township Zoning Hearing Board in writing by the landowner affected, by any agent or buyer of the lot with the landowner's permission, by any officer or agency of the Township, or by any person aggrieved. Requests for a variance and for special exception under this chapter may be filed with the Township Zoning Hearing Board by any landowner and/or developer.
A. 
A landowner and/or developer who, on substantive grounds, desires to challenge the validity of an ordinance or map or any provision thereof which prohibits or restricts the use or development of land in which he has an interest shall submit the challenge either:
(1) 
To the Township Zoning Hearing Board under this section; or
(2) 
To the Township Council.
B. 
Persons aggrieved by a use or development permitted on the land of another by an ordinance or map, or any provision thereof, who desire to challenge its validity on substantive grounds shall first submit their challenge to the Township Zoning Hearing Board for a decision thereon under this section.
C. 
The submissions referred to in Subsections A and B shall be governed by the following:
(1) 
In challenges before the Township Zoning Hearing Board, the challenging party shall make a written request to the Township Zoning Hearing Board that it hold a hearing on its challenge. The request shall contain the reasons for the challenge. Where the landowner and/or developer desires to challenge the validity of such ordinance and elects to proceed by curative amendment under § 440-908, his application to the governing body shall contain, in addition to the requirements of the written request hereof, the plans and explanatory materials describing the use of development proposed by the landowner and/or developer in lieu of the use of development permitted by the challenged ordinance or map. Such plans or other materials shall not be required to meet the standards prescribed for preliminary, tentative or final approval or for the issuance of a permit, so long as they provide reasonable notice of the proposed use or development and a sufficient basis for evaluating the challenged ordinance or map in light thereof. Nothing herein contained shall preclude the landowner and/or developer from first seeking a final approval before submitting his challenge.
(2) 
If the landowner and/or developer makes a submission to the Township Council under § 440-908 the request also shall be accompanied by an amendment or amendments to the ordinance proposed by the landowner and/or developer to cure the alleged defects therein.
(3) 
If the submission is made to the Township Council, the Township Solicitor shall represent and advise Township Council at the hearing or hearings referred to.
(4) 
The Township Council may retain an independent attorney to present the defense of the challenged ordinance or map on its behalf and to present its witnesses on its behalf.
(5) 
Based upon the testimony presented at the hearing or hearings, the Township Council or the Township Zoning Hearing Board, as the case may be, shall determine whether the challenged ordinance or map is defective, as alleged by the landowner and/or developer. If a challenge heard by the Township Council is found to have merit, the Township Council shall proceed as provided in Section 609.1 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[1] If a challenge heard by the Township Zoning Hearing Board is found to have merit, the decision of the Township Zoning Hearing Board shall include recommended amendments to the challenged ordinance that will cure the defects found. In reaching its decision, the Township Zoning Hearing Board shall consider the amendments, plans and explanatory material submitted by the landowner and/or developer 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 the ordinance or map;
(c) 
The suitability of the lot for the intensity of use proposed by the lot's soils, slopes, woodlands, wetlands, floodplains, aquifers, natural resources and other natural features;
(d) 
The impact of the proposed use on the lot's soils, slopes, wetlands, woodlands, floodplains, 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.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10609.1.
(6) 
The Township Council or the Township Zoning Hearing Board, as the case may be, shall render its decision within 45 days after the conclusion of the last hearing.
(7) 
If the Township Council or the Township Zoning Hearing Board, as the case may be, fails to act on the landowner and/or developer's request within the time limits referred to above, a denial of the request is deemed to have occurred on the 46th day after the close of the hearing.
D. 
The Township Zoning Hearing Board or Township Council, as the case may be, shall commence its hearings within 60 days after the request is filed unless the landowner and/or developer requests or consents to an extension of time.
E. 
Public notice of the hearing shall include notice that the validity of the ordinance or map is in question and shall give the place where and the times when a copy of the request, including any plans, explanatory material or proposed amendments may be examined by the public.
F. 
The challenge shall be denied when:
(1) 
The Township Zoning Hearing Board or Township Council, as the case may be, fails to commence the hearing within the time limits set forth in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
(2) 
The Township Council notifies the landowner and/or developer that it will not adopt the curative amendment.
(3) 
The Township Council adopts another curative amendment that is unacceptable to the landowner and/or developer.
(4) 
The Township Zoning Hearing Board or Township Council, as the case may be, fails to act on the request 45 days after the close of the last hearing on the request, unless the time is extended by the mutual consent of the landowner and/or developer and Township.
G. 
Where, after the effective date of this chapter, a curative amendment proposal is approved by the grant of a curative amendment application by the Township Council pursuant to Section 909.1(b)(4) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code[2] or the Township Zoning Hearing Board sustains a validity challenge pursuant to Section 909.1(a)(1) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code[3] or the court acts finally on appeal from denial of a curative amendment proposal or a validity challenge, and the proposal or challenge so approved requires a further application for subdivision or land development, the developer shall have two years from the date of such approval to file an application for preliminary approval pursuant to Chapter 385. Within the two-year period, no subsequent change or amendment in the zoning, subdivision or other governing ordinance or plan shall be applied in any manner which adversely affects the rights of the landowner and/or developer as granted in the curative amendment or the sustained validity challenge. Upon the filing of the preliminary plan, the provisions in Chapter 371, Stormwater Management, shall apply. Where the proposal appended to the curative amendment application or the validity challenge is approved but does not require further application under any subdivision or land development ordinance, the developer shall have one year within which to file for a building permit. Within the one-year period, no subsequent change or amendment in the zoning, subdivision or other governing ordinance or plan shall be applied in any manner which adversely affects the rights of the landowner and/or developer as granted in the curative amendment or the sustained validity challenge. During these protected periods, the court shall retain or assume jurisdiction for the purpose of awarding such supplemental relief as may be necessary.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10909.1(b)(4).
[3]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10909.1(a)(1).
A. 
No person shall be allowed to file any proceeding with the Township Zoning Hearing Board later than 30 days after any application for development, preliminary or final, has been approved by an appropriate municipal officer, agency or body if such proceeding is designed to secure reversal or to limit the approval in any manner unless such person alleges and proves that he had no notice, knowledge, or reason to believe that such approval had been given. If such person has succeeded to his interest after such approval, he shall be bound by the knowledge of his predecessor in interest. The failure of anyone other than the landowner and/or developer to appeal from an adverse decision by a Zoning Officer on a challenge to the validity of an ordinance or map pursuant to § 440-912 and Section 916.2 of the Municipalities Planning Code,[1] shall preclude an appeal from a final approval except in the case where the final submission substantially deviates from the approved tentative or preliminary approval.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10916.2.
B. 
All appeals from determinations adverse to the landowner and/or developer shall be filed by the landowner and/or developer within 30 days after notice of the determination is issued.
A. 
Upon filing of any proceeding referred to in Section 913.3 of the Municipalities Planning Code[1] and during its pendency before the Township Zoning Hearing Board, all land development pursuant to any challenged ordinance, order or approval of the Zoning Officer or of any agency or body, and all official action thereunder shall be stayed unless the Zoning Officer or any other appropriate agency or body certifies to the Township Zoning Hearing Board facts indicating that such a stay would cause imminent peril to life or lot. If such a cause is demonstrated, the development or official action shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order by the Township Zoning Hearing Board or by the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County on petition after notice to the Zoning Officer or other appropriate agency or body. When an application for development, preliminary or final, has been duly approved and proceedings designed to reverse or limit the approval are filed with the Township Zoning Hearing Board by persons other than the landowner and/or developer, the landowner and/or developer may petition the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County to order such persons to post bond as a condition to continuing the proceedings before the Township Zoning Hearing Board.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10913.3.
B. 
After the petition is presented, the Court shall hold a hearing to determine if the filing of the appeal is frivolous and is for the purpose of delay. At the hearing, evidence may be presented on the merits of the case. It shall be the burden of the landowner and/or developer for a bond to prove the appeal is frivolous. After consideration of all evidence presented, if the Court determines that the appeal is frivolous and is for the purpose of delay, it shall grant the petition for a bond. The appellee may waive the right to petition the Court to order the appellants to post bond but such waiver may be revoked if an appeal is taken from the final decision of the Court.
C. 
The question whether or not such a petition would be granted and the amount of the bond shall be within the sound discretion of the court. An order denying a petition for bond shall be interlocutory. An order directing the responding party to post a bond shall be interlocutory.
D. 
If a respondent takes an appeal to the petition for a bond from an order of the court dismissing a zoning appeal for refusal to post a bond and the appellate court sustains the order of the court below to post a bond, the respondent to the petition for a bond shall be liable for all reasonable costs, expenses and attorney fees incurred by the petitioner upon motion of the petitioner and after hearing in the court having jurisdiction of zoning appeals.
In order not to delay unreasonably the time when a landowner and/or developer may secure assurance that the ordinance or map under which he proposed to build is free from challenge, and recognizing that the procedure for preliminary approval of his development may be too cumbersome or may be unavailable, the landowner and/or developer may advance the date from which time for any challenge to the ordinance or map will run under § 440-913 by the following procedure:
A. 
The landowner and/or developer may submit plans and other materials describing his proposed use or development to the Zoning Officer for a preliminary opinion as to their compliance with the applicable ordinances and maps. Such plans and other materials shall not be required to meet the standards prescribed for preliminary, tentative or final approval or for the issuance of a building permit so long as they provide reasonable notice of the proposed use or development and a sufficient basis for a preliminary opinion as to its compliance.
B. 
If the Zoning Officer's preliminary opinion is that the use or development complies with the ordinance or map, notice thereof shall be published once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Township. Such notice shall include a general description of the proposed use or development and its location, by some readily identifiable directive, and the place and times where the plans and other materials may be examined by the public. The favorable preliminary approval under § 440-913 and the time therein specified for commencing a proceeding with the Township Zoning Hearing Board shall run from the time when the second notice thereof has been published.
A. 
Jurisdiction and venue on appeal; time for appeal. All appeals from all land use decisions shall be taken to the Court of Common Pleas of the judicial district wherein the land is located and shall be filed within 30 days after entry of the decision as provided in 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5572 (relating to time of entry of order) or, in the case of a deemed decision, within 30 days after the date upon which notice of said deemed decision is given as set forth in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
B. 
Appeals to court; commencement; stay of proceedings.
(1) 
Land use appeals shall be entered as of course by the prothonotary or clerk upon the filing of a land use appeal notice that concisely sets forth the grounds on which the appellant relies. The appeal notice need not be verified. The land use appeal notice shall be accompanied by a true copy thereof.
(2) 
Upon filing of a land use appeal, the prothonotary or clerk shall forthwith, as of course, send to the governing body, board or agency whose decision or action has been appealed, by registered or certified mail, the copy of the land use appeal notice, together with a writ of certiorari commanding said governing body, board or agency, within 20 days after receipt thereof, to certify to the court its entire record in the matter in which the land use appeal has been taken, or a true and complete copy thereof, including any transcript of testimony in existence and available to the governing body, board or agency at the time it received the writ of certiorari.
(3) 
If the appellant is a person other than the landowner and/or developer of the land directly involved in the decision or action appealed from, the appellant, within seven days after the land use appeal is filed, shall serve a true copy of the land use appeal notice by mailing said notice to the landowner and/or developer or his attorney at his last known address. For identification of such landowner and/or developer, the appellant may rely upon the record of the Township and, in the event of good faith mistakes as to such identify, may make such service nunc pro tunc by leave of court.
(4) 
The filing of an appeal in court under this section shall not stay the action appealed from, but the appellants may petition the court having jurisdiction of land use appeals for a stay. If the appellants are persons who are seeking to prevent a use or development of the land of another, whether or not a stay is sought by them, the landowner and/or developer whose use or development is in question may petition the court to order the appellants to post bond as a condition to proceeding with the appeal. After the petition for posting a bond is presented, the court shall hold a hearing to determine if the filing of the appeal is frivolous. At the hearing, evidence may be presented on the merits of the case. It shall be the burden of the landowner and/or developers to prove the appeal is frivolous. After consideration of all evidence presented, if the court determines that the appeal is frivolous, it shall grant the petition for posting a bond. The right to petition the court to order the appellants to post bond may be waived by the appellee, but such waiver may be revoked by him if an appeal is taken from a final decision of the court. An order denying a petition for bond shall be interlocutory. An order directing the respondent to the petition for posting a bond to post a bond shall be interlocutory. If an appeal is taken by a respondent to the petition for posting a bond from an order of the court dismissing a land use appeal for refusal to post a bond, such responding party, upon motion of petitioner and, after hearing in the court having jurisdiction of land use appeals, shall be liable for all reasonable costs, expenses and attorney fees incurred by petitioner.
C. 
Intervention. Within the 30 days first following the filing of a land use appeal, if the appeal is from a board or agency of the Township, the Township and any landowner, developer or tenant of the lot directly involved in the action appealed from may intervene as of course by filing a notice of intervention, accompanied by proof of service of the same, upon each appellant or each appellant's counsel of record. All other intervention shall be governed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.
D. 
Hearing and argument of land use appeal. If, upon motion, it is shown that proper consideration of the land use appeal requires the presentation of additional evidence, a judge of the court may hold a hearing to receive additional evidence, may remand the case to the body, agency or officer whose decision or order has been brought up for review, or may refer the case to a referee to receive additional evidence, provided that appeals brought before the court pursuant to Section 916.1 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code[1] shall not be remanded for further hearings before any body, agency or officer of the Township. If the record below includes findings of fact made by the governing body, board or agency whose decision or action is brought up for review and the court does not take additional evidence or appoint a referee to take additional evidence, the findings of the governing body, board or agency shall not be disturbed by the court if supported by substantial evidence. If the record does not include findings of fact or if additional evidence is taken by the court or by a referee, the court shall make its own findings of fact based on the record below as supplemented by the additional evidence, if any.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10916.1.
E. 
Judicial relief.
(1) 
In a land use appeal, the court shall have power to declare any ordinance or map invalid and set aside or modify any action, decision or order of the governing body, agency or officer of the Township brought up on appeal.
(2) 
If the court finds that an ordinance or map, or a decision or order thereunder, which has been brought up for review unlawfully prevents or restricts a development or use which has been described by the landowner and/or developer through plans and other materials submitted to the governing body, agency or officer of the Township whose action or failure to act is in question on the appeal, it may order the described development or use approved as to all elements or it may order it approved as to some elements and refer other elements to the governing body, agency or officer having jurisdiction thereof for further proceedings, including the adoption of alternative restrictions, in accordance with the court's opinion and order.
(3) 
Upon motion by any of the parties or upon motion by the court, the judge of the court may hold a hearing or hearings to receive additional evidence or employ experts to aid the court to frame an appropriate order. If the court employs an expert, the report or evidence of such expert shall be available to any party, and he shall be subject to examination or cross-examination by any party. He shall be paid reasonable compensation for his services that may be assessed against any or all of the parties as determined by the court. The court shall retain jurisdiction of the appeal during the pendency of any such further proceedings and may, upon motion of the landowner and/or developer, issue such supplementary orders as it deems necessary to protect the rights of the landowner and/or developer as declared in its opinion and order.
(4) 
The fact that the plans and other materials are not in a form or are not accompanied by other submissions which are required for final approval of the development or use in question or for the issuance of permits shall not prevent the court from granting the definitive relief authorized. The court may act upon preliminary or sketch plans by framing its decree to take into account the need for further submissions before final approval is granted.
A. 
Evaluation. The Township will evaluate the proposed development of the proposed zoning in relationship to the potential development in the existing zoning. The Township Planning Commission and Township Council reserve the right to require additional information as part of the review and approval processes in order to evaluate the applicability of the rezoning.
B. 
Rezoning application requirements.
(1) 
To protect the safety, capacity and efficiency of the Township's existing infrastructure systems; to maintain fiscal responsibility; and to uphold the objectives of the Peters Township Comprehensive Plan, all rezoning applications shall be required to prepare a series of plans, analyses and reports to demonstrate the compatibility of the rezoning proposal.
(2) 
All rezoning applications shall be completed on the official forms provided by the Planning Director. Each plan, analysis and report shall be completed in accordance with the requirements defined in Chapter 385, Subdivision and Land Development, unless otherwise specified by the Planning Director.
(3) 
The Township Planning Commission and Township Council as part of the rezoning approval process will consider the conclusions of each plan, analysis and report.
(4) 
The plans, analyses and reports to be submitted as part of a rezoning application shall include the following:
(a) 
Preliminary plat.
(b) 
Topographic survey.
(c) 
Site conditions report.
(d) 
Phase one environmental assessment.
(e) 
Buildable area analysis.
(f) 
Infrastructure demand statement.
(g) 
Traffic network analysis, as specified in § 440-510.
(h) 
Fiscal impact analysis.
(i) 
An evaluation providing the following information shall be completed:
[1] 
Potential municipal and school district tax generation of the proposed development.
[2] 
Population projections including the number of school-aged children at build-out of the proposed development.
[3] 
Length of road to be dedicated to the Township.
[4] 
Length of sewer and water lines to be dedicated to the Township.