Township of Butler, PA
Butler County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The regulations, restrictions and boundaries set forth in this chapter may from time to time be amended, supplemented, changed or repealed; provided, however, that no such action may be taken until after a public hearing pursuant to public notice, as defined by this chapter, is conducted in relation thereto, at which, parties, interests and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard.
B. 
An amendment, supplement, change or repeal in this chapter may be initiated by:
(1) 
A resolution or request by the Township Board of Commissioners;
(2) 
An official proposal by the Planning Commission; or
(3) 
An application presented by the property owner or contract purchaser on forms and accompanied by information prescribed by the Township submitted to the Zoning Officer who sets the schedule for reviewing the application and forwards it to the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners.
C. 
All requests for amendment, supplement, change or repeal in this chapter shall first be referred to the Planning Commission.
[Amended 12-17-2012 by Ord. No. 869]
A. 
Upon receipt of a petition for an amendment of this chapter, the Planning Commission shall review said petition during the course of a regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting and shall forward its findings and recommendations to the Township Board of Commissioners for action. The application shall be accompanied by a check made payable to the Township, in an amount established by resolution of the Township Board of Commissioners for such applications, and the applicant shall agree to pay, in addition, all costs of mailing in connection with the application, such costs to be billed by the Township.
B. 
A copy of all proposed amendments, whether initiated by the Board of Commissioners, the Planning Commission, or a landowner or contract purchaser, shall be submitted to the County Planning Commission at least 30 days prior to the Board of Commissioners' public hearing for comment. The findings and determinations of the Planning Commission shall be made in writing, with copies transmitted to the applicant, to the Township Board of Commissioners and to the Butler County Planning Commission within 15 days after such hearing.
[Amended 12-17-2012 by Ord. No. 869]
A. 
When the Planning Commission recommends approval of an amendment, supplement or change, it shall forward its findings and recommendations to the Township Board of Commissioners for action. When, after consideration of the Planning Commission's report and findings, the Township Board of Commissioners finds such amendment is a public necessity, benefits the general welfare of the Township or constitutes good zoning practices, and after public hearing before the Commissioners held pursuant to public notice, as defined by this chapter, it shall then so amend this chapter.
B. 
In the case of an amendment, other than that prepared by the Planning Commission, the Township Board of Commissioners shall submit each such amendment to the Planning Commission at least 30 days prior to the Commissioners' public hearing on such proposed amendment to provide the Planning Commission an opportunity to submit recommendations. If, after a public hearing before the Commissioners is held upon an amendment, the proposed amendment is revised, or further revised, to include land not previously affected by it, the Township Board of Commissioners shall hold another public hearing, pursuant to public notice, before proceeding to vote on the amendment.
C. 
If the amendment involves a change of zoning district boundaries initiated by an application presented by a landowner or contract purchaser, the owners of property within the area proposed for rezoning and within 400 feet of the edge of the perimeter of the proposed boundary line of the area proposed for rezoning shall be informed by letter sent by regular mail, at least 30 days prior to the public hearing. The area shall be posted in at least one prominent location 14 days prior to the public hearing.
D. 
If the amendment involves a change of zoning district boundaries initiated by resolution or request of the Board of Commissioners or by an official proposal for the Planning Commission for any total area of more than 50 acres, the requirements to notify property owners within 400 feet of the area proposed for rezoning shall not apply, provided that the Township notifies landowners within the area proposed for rezoning and posts the perimeter of the area proposed for rezoning, at least 14 days prior to the Commissioners' public hearing, with one copy of the notice placed for every 400 feet along the perimeter boundary of the area proposed for rezoning which is visible from adjoining occupied properties.
E. 
Before voting on the proposed amendment, the Board of Commissioners shall give notice of the proposed enactment in accordance with the provisions of Section 610 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act 247, as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10610.
If an application for rezoning is denied by the Township Board of Commissioners, another application for a change to the same zoning district shall not be filed within a period of one year from the date of denial, except upon the initiation of the Township Board of Commissioners or with the permission of or upon the initiation by the Planning Commission, after a showing of a change of circumstances which would warrant a rehearing.
A. 
Landowner curative amendments.
(1) 
Any landowner who wishes to challenge, on substantive grounds, the validity of this chapter or map or any provision thereof which prohibits or restricts the use or development of land in which he has an interest may prepare and submit a curative amendment to the Board of Commissioners, in the form he proposes it be adopted, together with a written request that his challenge and proposed amendment be heard. The Board shall hold a public hearing, pursuant to public notice, on the matter within 60 days of receiving the request at a regular monthly meeting.
(2) 
The curative amendment and challenge shall be referred to the Township Planning Commission and County Planning Commission at least 30 days prior to the public hearing for review and comment. The Board shall conduct the hearing in accordance with regulations governing a hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board as stipulated in § 300-36B of this chapter.
(3) 
If the Township does not accept a landowner's curative amendment brought in accordance with this section and a court subsequently rules that the challenge has merit, the court's decision shall not result in a declaration of invalidity for this entire chapter, but only for those provisions which specifically relate to the landowner's curative amendment and challenge.
(4) 
If the Township Board of Commissioners determines that a validity challenge has merit, the Board of Commissioners may accept a landowner's curative amendment, with or without revision, or may adopt an alternative amendment which will cure the challenged defects. The Board of Commissioners shall consider the curative amendments, plans and explanatory material submitted by the landowner 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 this chapter or map.
(c) 
The suitability of the site for the intensity of use proposed by the site's soils, slopes, woodlands, wetlands, floodplains, aquifers, natural resources and other natural features.
(d) 
The impact of the proposed use on the site's soils, slopes, woodlands, wetlands, 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.
(e) 
The impact of the proposal on the preservation of agriculture and other land uses which are essential to public health and welfare.
B. 
Township curative amendments. If the Township determines that this chapter or any portion thereof is substantially invalid, it shall take the following action:
(1) 
The Township shall declare, by formal action of the Board of Commissioners, that all or a particular part or parts of this chapter are substantively invalid and propose to prepare a curative amendment to overcome such invalidity. Within 30 days of the declaration, the Board shall make specific findings by resolution specifying the alleged invalidities and shall commence preparation of the curative amendment.
(2) 
Within 180 days after date of the declaration, the Township shall either enact the amendment, as provided by this article, or reaffirm the validity of the chapter as it stood prior to the declaration. During the one-hundred-eighty-day period, the Board shall not be required to entertain any requests for landowner curative amendments nor shall any landowner claim rights as a result of the declared invalidity resolved by the curative amendment. Having used the curative amendment procedure, the Board may not use said procedure for at least 36 months after the date of enacting the curative amendment or reaffirming the validity of the chapter, unless a state statute or court decision imposes a new obligation and a curative amendment is based on that statute or decision.