Town of McCandless, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 1052, passed 4-22-1991]
The Zoning Hearing Board shall hold hearings on appeals from rulings of the Zoning Officer, challenges to the validity of the Zoning Code or Zoning Map, and requests for variances, special exceptions or changes to other nonconforming uses. The hearing shall be held within 60 days of receipt of written request for a hearing, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time. Any prescribed fees shall be paid prior to the hearing.
[Ord. 741, passed 7-3-1978]
The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear and decide appeals where it is alleged that the Zoning Officer has failed to follow prescribed procedures or has misinterpreted or misapplied any provision of a valid code or map.
[Ord. 741, passed 7-3-1978]
The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear challenges to the validity of the Zoning Code or Zoning Map except challenges based on an alleged defect in the process of enactment or adoption. The Board shall decide all contested questions and shall make findings on all relevant issues of fact which shall become part of the record on appeal to the Court of Common Pleas.
[Ord. 741, passed 7-3-1978]
The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear and decide requests for variances where it is alleged that the provisions of the Zoning Code inflict unnecessary hardship upon the applicant.
The Board may grant a variance provided 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 property, and that the unnecessary hardship is due to such conditions and not the circumstances or conditions generally created by the provisions of the Zoning Code in the neighborhood or district in which the property is located;
(b) 
That because of such physical circumstances or conditions, there is no possibility that the property can be developed in strict conformity with the provisions of the Zoning Code and that the authorization of a variance is therefore necessary to enable the reasonable use of the property;
(c) 
That such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the applicant;
(d) 
That the variance, if authorized, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood or district in which the property is located, nor substantially or permanently impair the appropriate use or development of adjacent property, nor be detrimental to the public welfare; and
(e) 
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.
In granting any variance, the Board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of this Code.
[Ord. 741, passed 7-3-1978; Ord. 1215, passed 5-24-1999]
The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear and decide requests for special exceptions for:
(a) 
Gas station as a principal use in C-3 Commercial District;
(b) 
Playground and/or neighborhood park as a principal use in an R-1 or R-2 Residential District;
(c) 
Convenience business in apartment buildings; and
(d) 
Higher fences (up to six feet) on lot lines adjacent to a swimming pool or to an unsightly commercial facility when the Board deems such a fence to be of benefit to all parties involved.
(e) 
Sexually oriented business in the D-Development District.
The decision shall be based on the standards and criteria stated in this Code. In granting a special exception, the Board may attach such reasonable conditions as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and this Zoning Code.
[Ord. 741, passed 7-3-1978]
The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear and decide requests for a change from an existing nonconforming use to another nonconforming use. The proposed use may not detract from the character of the neighborhood to a greater extent than the existing use. The Board shall evaluate any change in hours of operation, extent of activity, traffic generated, noise and any other appropriate matters in deciding if the proposed use is or is not more nonconforming than the existing use. In permitting such a change, the Board may require appropriate conditions and safeguards.
[Ord. 1052, passed 4-22-1991]
Time and place of the hearing and nature of the matter to be considered at a hearing shall be given to the public, the applicant, the Zoning Officer and any person who has made a timely request for same. The notice shall be published once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town with the first advertisement not more than 30 days and the second advertisement not less than seven days prior to the hearing. Notice shall be posted on the Town bulletin board and conspicuously posted on the affected tract of land at least one week prior to the hearing.
[Ord. 741, passed 7-3-1978]
The parties to the hearing shall be the Town, any person affected by the application who has made timely appearance of record before the Board and any other person, including civic or community organization permitted to appear by the Board. The parties shall have the right to be represented by counsel and shall be afforded the opportunity to respond and present evidence and argument and cross-examine adverse witnesses on all relevant issues.
[Ord. 741, passed 7-3-1978]
The Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Zoning Hearing Board shall have the power to administer oaths and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the productions of relevant documents and papers including witnesses and documents requested by the parties. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply but irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded.
[Ord. 741, passed 7-3-1978]
The Zoning Hearing Board shall not communicate directly or indirectly with any party or his representative in connection with any issue involved except upon notice and opportunity for all parties to participate, shall not take notice of any communication, reports, staff memoranda or other materials unless all parties are afforded an opportunity to contest the materials, and shall not inspect the site or its surroundings after the commencement of hearings with any party or his representative unless all parties are given an opportunity to be present.
[Ord. 1052, passed 4-22-1991]
The Zoning Hearing Board shall keep a stenographic record of the proceedings. The appearance fee for a stenographer shall be shared equally by the applicant and the Board. The cost of the original transcript shall be paid by the Board if the transcript is ordered by the Board or hearing officer, or 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. Copies of the graphic or written material received in evidence shall be made available to any party at cost.
[Ord. 1052, passed 4-22-1991]
(a) 
A copy of the final decision and/or findings shall be mailed to the applicant not later than the day following its date. The Zoning Hearing Board shall provide a brief notice of the decision or findings to all other persons who have filed a written request for same. Should more than 60 days elapse between receipt of a written request for a hearing and the start of the hearing, or more than 45 days elapse between the end of the last hearing and a written decision, a decision shall be deemed to have been rendered in favor of the applicant unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time.
(b) 
When a decision has been rendered in favor of the applicant because of the failure of the Board to meet or render a decision, the Board shall give public notice of such decision within 10 days after the last day that the Board could have met.
[Ord. 741, passed 7-3-1978]
Any decision or findings of the Zoning Hearing Board may be appealed to court by any party to the hearing within 30 days from the date of the decision or findings.
[Ord. 1216, passed 5-24-1999]
(a) 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear and decide requests for special exceptions as stated in this ordinance. A Special Exception shall not be granted by the Zoning Hearing Board unless and until:
(1) 
A written application for a special exception is submitted stating the grounds on which it is requested.
A. 
Written application must be made on a form provided by the Zoning Officer.
B. 
A site plan showing conformance with all Special Exception criteria regarding the site (area, parking, lighting, etc.).
(2) 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall conduct a public hearing in accordance with the procedures specified in Article 1349.
(3) 
The Zoning Hearing Board, before it grants a Special Exception, shall make findings of fact and state its reasons for granting the Special Exception, said findings of fact to include:
A. 
That the use will not endanger the public health or safety if located where proposed and developed and that the use will not allow conditions which will tend to generate nuisance conditions including but not limited to noise, dust, glare, vibration;
B. 
That the use meets all applicable express standards and criteria as specified in this ordinance, as well as the specifications set forth in the district where it is proposed to be located; and
C. 
That the location and the character of the use, if developed according to the plan as submitted and approved, will be in harmony with the area in which it is to be located and in general conformity with the Comprehensive Plan for the Town of McCandless.
(b) 
To insure the establishment of the above conditions, the Zoning Hearing Board shall have the authority to require and approve specific plans and may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it deems necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare.