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Board of Supervisors (Conditional Uses)
Review by the Planning Commission. The Board of Supervisors shall request an advisory opinion from the Planning Commission on any application for a conditional use. The Planning Commission shall submit a report of such advisory opinion prior to the date of the public hearing held by the Board of Supervisors on an application.
The Board of Supervisors shall refuse an application for conditional use where opponents to the application establish by a preponderance of evidence that the application is contrary to the health, safety and morals or general welfare of the community at large.
Transportation impact study.
A transportation impact study shall be submitted with an application for a conditional use when the proposed use meets the applicability criteria set forth in§ 500-3205C of this chapter.
(1) The transportation impact study shall be conducted and prepared in accordance with the requirements of § 500-3205C of this chapter.
(2) The Board of Supervisors shall review the impact study to analyze its adequacy in solving any traffic problems that will occur due to the proposed use. The Board of Supervisors shall consider the impact study and the analysis of the impact study before the application is allowed or denied. In acting on the application, the Board of Supervisors may, if adverse impacts or major problems are identified:
(a) Reject the application.
(b) Require specific on- or off-site improvements as a condition of approval.
(c) Require a reduction of the intensity of use as a condition of approval.
(d) A combination of Subsection C(2)(b) and (c) hereinabove.
Conditional use applications shall be governed by the following:
(1) The landowner shall make a written request to the Board of Supervisors that it hold a hearing on his application. The request shall contain a statement reasonably informing the Board of Supervisors of the matters that are in issue.
(2) The application shall be accompanied by plans and other material describing the use or development proposed. Such plans and other materials shall provide a sufficient basis for evaluating the applicant's request. Information required by this chapter shall accompany the application.
(3) The Board of Supervisors shall hold a hearing pursuant to public notice upon the request, commencing not later than 60 days after the request is filed, unless the applicant requests or consents in writing to an extension of time. In addition, the Board shall render a written decision within 45 days after the last hearing.
Fees.
The applicant for any hearing on a conditional use request before the Board of Supervisors shall at the time of making application pay a fee in accordance with a fee schedule adopted by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, or as such schedule may be amended from time to time. In addition, an escrow deposit may be required, as established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
Validity of ordinance; substantive questions.
A. A landowner 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 Board of Supervisors under § 500-3106B(3) of this chapter, together with a request for a curative amendment.
B. The submissions referred to in § 500-3114A and § 500-3114B shall be governed by the following:
(1) If the submission is made by the landowner to the Board of Supervisors under § 500-3114A(2), the request also shall be accompanied by an amendment or amendments to the ordinance proposed by the landowner to cure the alleged defects therein.
(2) If the submission is made to the Board of Supervisors, the Township Solicitor shall represent and advise it at the hearing or hearings.
(3) The Board of Supervisors 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.
(4) Based upon the testimony presented at the hearing or hearings, the Board of Supervisors or the Zoning Hearing Board, as the case may be, shall determine whether the challenged ordinance or map is defective, as alleged by the landowner. If a challenge heard by the Board of Supervisors is found to have merit, the Board of Supervisors may accept a landowner's curative amendment, with or without revision, or may adopt an alternative amendment which will cure the challenged defects. If a challenge heard by the Zoning Hearing Board is found to have merit, the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board shall include recommended amendments to the challenged ordinance which will cure the defects found. In reaching its decision, the Zoning Hearing Board or the Board of Supervisors, as the case may be, shall consider the 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 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 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, aquifers, 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.
(f) The Board of Supervisors or the Zoning Hearing Board, as the case may be, shall render its decision within 45 days after the conclusion of the last hearing.
(g) If the Board of Supervisors or the Zoning Hearing Board, as the case may be, fails to act on the landowner's request within the time limits referred to in § 500-3114C(5)(f), a denial of the request is deemed to have occurred on the 46th day after the close of the last hearing.
C. The Zoning Board or Board of Supervisors, as the case may be, shall commence its hearings within 60 days after the request is filed unless the landowner requests or consents to an extension of time.
D. 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.
E. The challenge shall be deemed denied when:
(1) The Zoning Hearing Board or Board of Supervisors, as the case may be, fails to commence the hearing within the time limits set forth in Subsection D.
(2) The Board of Supervisors notifies the landowner that it will not adopt the curative amendment.
(3) The Board of Supervisors adopts another curative amendment which is unacceptable to the landowner.
(4) The Zoning Hearing Board or Board of Supervisors, 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 mutual consent by the landowner and Township.
F. Where, after the effective date of this chapter, a curative amendment proposal is approved by the grant of a curative amendment application by the Board of Supervisors pursuant to § 500-3106B(3) of this chapter or a validity challenge is sustained by the Zoning Hearing Board pursuant to § 500-3106A of this chapter or the court as 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 440: Subdivision and Land Development. Within the two-year period, no subsequent change or amendment in the zoning, subdivision and land development or other governing ordinance or plan shall be applied in any manner which adversely affects the rights of the applicant as granted in the curative amendment or the sustained validity challenge. 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 and land development or other governing ordinance or plan shall be applied in any manner which adversely affects the rights of the applicant 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.
G. If a municipality does not accept a landowner's curative amendment and a court subsequently rules that the challenge has merit, the court's decision shall not result in a declaration of invalidity for the entire Zoning Ordinance and Map but only for those provisions which specifically relate to the landowner's curative amendment and challenge.
Court appeals.
All appeals from all land use decisions rendered pursuant to this article 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 or, in the case of a deemed decision, within 30 days after the notice of said deemed decision is given as set forth in § 500-3111K of this chapter.
See Article XXXI: Zoning Hearing Board and Board of Supervisors for more information.
See Government for more information on the Board of Supervisors.