Creation of Board. The Council of the City of Easton herein reestablishes a Zoning Hearing Board. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term "Board" shall refer to such Zoning Hearing Board.
The existing Zoning Hearing Board and the terms of its members shall continue under and in accordance with the provisions of this article. Matters pending before the Board at the time this chapter becomes effective shall continue and be completed under the former Zoning Code in effect.
The membership of the Zoning Hearing Board shall, as determined by Council, consist of five members and two alternates, all of whom must be residents of the City. All members are nominated by the Mayor and approved by City Council. The terms of office of the five members and two alternate Board members shall be five years and shall be so fixed that the term of office of no more that two members shall expire each year. The Board shall promptly notify the Mayor and Council of any vacancies which occur. Appointments to fill vacancies shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term. Members of the Board shall hold no other office in the City, except that no more than one member of the Board may also be a member of the Planning Commission.
[Amended 3-11-2015 by Ord. No. 5487]
The five-member Board shall not be changed to a three-member Board except upon an affirmative vote on the question by a majority of the electors of the City voting thereon at a referendum held at the municipal or general election prior to a year in which the terms of two of the members on the Board expire.
An alternate shall only serve as a voting member when a Board member cannot attend a meeting or a Board member has a conflict of interest.
[Added 3-11-2015 by Ord. No. 5487]
Any Zoning Hearing Board member may be removed for malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office or for other just cause by a majority vote of Council which appointed the member, taken after the member has received 15 days' advance notice of the intent to take such a vote. A hearing shall be held in connection with the vote if the member shall request it in writing.
The Zoning Hearing Board shall 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 the taking of any action, a quorum shall be not less than a majority of all members of the Board, but the 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 Board as provided in Article XXXVII, Hearings. The Board may make, alter and rescind rules and forms for its procedures consistent with ordinances of the City and laws of the commonwealth. The Board shall keep full public records of its business and shall submit a report of its activities to Council once a year.
Within the limits of funds appropriated by Council, the Zoning Hearing Board may employ or contract for secretaries, clerks, legal counsel, consultants and other technical and clerical services. Members of the Board may receive compensation for the performance of their duties, as may be fixed by Council, but in no case shall it exceed the rate of compensation authorized to be paid to the members of Council.
Applications for any purpose to be heard by the Zoning Hearing Board shall be accompanied by reasonable fees to defray the costs thereof as provided in Chapter 285, Fees, of the Code of the City of Easton.