Township of Unity, PA
Westmoreland County
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Undue hardship. If any mandatory provisions of this chapter are shown by the applicant, to the satisfaction of the Board of Supervisors to be unreasonable, to cause undue hardship, or that an alternate standard can provide equal or better results, the Board of Supervisors may grant a modification to that provision. A modification may be granted provided it will not be contrary to the public interest and provided the purpose and intent of this chapter is maintained. A hardship must result from the application of this chapter on the property subject to development and not from the applicant's lack of knowledge of the terms of this chapter. Evidence of a modification granted by the Board of Supervisors on other properties, subdivisions or land developments shall not be considered as a basis for relief or modification.
Written requests by developer. All requests for modification shall be in writing and signed by the applicant. The request shall fully state the reasons the developer believes the challenged provision is unreasonable or creates an unreasonable hardship and shall detail what the developer believes to be the minimum modification of such standard acceptable to carry out the intent and purpose of this chapter.
Greater profit not grounds for request. It is not sufficient proof of hardship to show that a greater profit would result if the modification were granted.
Requests considered. The Board of Supervisors shall consider modification requests that:
Are necessary to meet objectives of this chapter and the Comprehensive Plan;
Encourage flexibility and creativity in design of plans to protect environmentally sensitive areas; and
Are otherwise consistent with the objectives of this chapter and the Comprehensive Plan.
Advisory opinion from planning commission. The Board of Supervisors may request an advisory opinion from the planning commission on any modification request. The Board of Supervisors may, at their sole discretion, schedule a public hearing on a request for modification.
Conditional approval. In granting modifications, the Board of Supervisors may impose such conditions it deems necessary to carry out the objectives of the standard(s) or requirement(s) modified.
Record of requests. The Township shall keep a written record of all requests for modifications.
Notation on recorded plan. If a modification is granted a notation describing the modification shall appear on the plan, and shall apply only to the plan or development for which the modification was sought.
Request to be included with application. Any written request for a modification shall be included in the application for development. Such request shall cite the section(s) of the ordinance to be modified, the extent of modification and the reasons for the modification.
Written decision. In the event the Board of Supervisors grants a request for modification, the Board shall set forth the reasons for the modification in writing and enter same into the minutes of the Board of Supervisors at a duly advertised public meeting.
Notice of hazardous condition. Where the Township has determined that any existing excavation, embankment or fill is a hazard, the Code Enforcement Officer shall give written notice to the property owner that such hazard exists and shall order that such hazard be corrected by the owner within a reasonable time specified in the notice.
Remediation by Township; action against property owner. If, after such notification, the property owner has not corrected the condition within the time specified in the notice, then the Township may enter upon the property to correct the condition and assess the costs of same against the property owner by the filing of a municipal claim against the property or any other action permissible at law for the collection of municipal debt.
Review by engineer. Whenever the Township determines that any proposed excavation or fill is a hazard, it may require the property owner to have any proposed corrective action certified by a soils engineer or an engineering geologist, and reviewed and approved by the Township Engineer.
Civil enforcement and penalties for violation. Any person, partnership, corporation or other entity violating 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 less than $300 nor more than $600 plus all court costs, and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township in the pursuit thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or payable until a court of competent jurisdiction determines that a violation exists. Where a civil judgment for a violation of this chapter has not been timely paid, the violator shall be liable for the penalty imposed, including daily penalties for continuing violations of not less than $300 nor more than $600 for each day a violation exists, plus court costs and reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the Township in the subsequent enforcement proceedings.
Conveyance not a defense. The transfer of all or any portion of the property subject to this chapter shall not exempt the seller or transferor from such penalties or from the remedies herein provided for any violation of this chapter occurring during the seller or transferor's period of ownership. In such circumstances, both the seller/transfer or and buyer/transferee may be deemed jointly and severally liable for any violation and/or responsible to remedy same.
Joint and several liability. The owner or tenant of any structure or premises or land or lot or part thereof, or any agent, architect, attorney, banker, builder, contractor or other person who commits, participates in, assists in or maintains such violation may each be found to be in separate violation of this chapter and be subject to those penalties herein provided.
Refusal of development permits and approvals. The Township may refuse to issue any permit or grant any approval necessary to further improve or develop any real property subject to development or resulting from a subdivision of real property in violation of this chapter or any other ordinance referenced herein.
Cumulative remedies. The remedies available to the Township in the enforcement of this chapter are cumulative. Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed or construe to preclude the Township from taking such other legal action, at law or in equity, necessary to prevent or remedy any violation or otherwise enforce the terms of this chapter.