Borough of Mars, PA
Butler County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 270-77 Enforcement authorities.

A. 
Zoning Officer duties and powers. The provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced by a Zoning Officer, who shall be appointed by Council. It shall be the duty of the Zoning Officer and he shall have the power to:
(1) 
Receive and examine all applications for building permits and certificates of occupancy.
(2) 
Process building permits and certificate of occupancy applications for all permitted uses.
(3) 
Issue permits only where there is compliance with the provisions of this chapter and other Borough ordinances and with the laws of Butler County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Permits for construction of those uses that require a variance shall be issued only on the order of the Zoning Hearing Board or upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Permits requiring approval by Council shall be issued after receipt of written order from Council.
(4) 
Receive applications for conditional uses to Council and special use variances and forward these applications to the Zoning Hearing Board for action thereon.
(5) 
Following refusal of a permit, receive applications for interpretation appeals and variances and forward these applications to the Zoning Hearing Board for action thereon.
(6) 
Conduct inspections and surveys to determine compliance or noncompliance with the terms of this chapter.
(7) 
Issue stop, cease and desist orders and order, in writing, corrections of all conditions found to be in violation of the provisions of this chapter. Such written orders shall be served personally or by registered mail upon persons deemed by the Zoning Officer to be in violation of the terms of this chapter. It shall be unlawful for any person to violate such order issued lawfully by the Zoning Officer. Any person violating any such order shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
(8) 
With the approval of Council or when directed by them, institute, in the name of the Borough, any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use and restrain, correct or abate such violation so as to prevent the occupancy of or use of any building, structure or land or prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises.
(9) 
Revoke any order or zoning permit issued under a mistake of fact or contrary to the law or the provisions of this chapter.
(10) 
Record and file all applications for building permits and certificates of occupancy with accompanying plans and documents. All applications, plans and documents shall be a public record.
(11) 
Maintain a map or maps showing the current zoning districts of all land in the Borough.
(12) 
Register nonconforming structures and uses of lots in accord with this chapter.
B. 
The Planning Commission.
(1) 
The Planning Commission of the Borough of Mars shall receive from the Zoning Officer copies of all applications and amendments to this chapter and shall make findings and recommendations thereon, after which the Planning Commission shall forward such findings and recommendations to the Mars Borough Council.
(2) 
The Planning Commission shall recommend to the Zoning Hearing Board the number of parking spaces to be required for uses other than those identified elsewhere in this chapter.
(3) 
The Planning Commission shall, furthermore, initiate, direct, and review, from time to time, a study of the provisions of this chapter and make reports of its findings and recommendations to the Borough Council.
(4) 
The Planning Commission shall create bylaws to govern its actions and shall keep those current bylaws on file with the Borough Secretary.
(5) 
The Planning Commission shall review all site plan applications and shall make recommendations to Council for its action.
(6) 
The Planning Commission shall review and shall approve all signs greater than 12 square feet in area.
C. 
The Borough Council.
(1) 
The Borough Council shall have the duties of considering and adopting or rejecting proposed amendments to or the repeal of this chapter, as provided by law, and of establishing a schedule of fees and charges as stated in this chapter. Under no circumstances shall the duties of the Borough Council include hearings and deciding questions of enforcement that may arise.
(2) 
The Borough Council and all other boards and commissions of the Borough shall hold public hearings and make decisions in compliance with the Municipalities Planning Code of the State of Pennsylvania.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
(3) 
The Borough Council shall, from time to time, by resolution, establish a schedule of fees, charges, and expenses, and a collection procedure, for building permits, occupancy permits, appeals and other matters pertaining to this chapter. The schedule of fees shall be posted in the Borough office and shall be contained herein and may be altered or amended only by the Borough Council.
(4) 
No permit or variance shall be issued or appeal processed unless such costs, charges, fines or expenses have been paid in full, nor shall any action be taken on proceedings by the Zoning Hearing Board unless or until preliminary charges or fees have been paid in full.

§ 270-78 Building and zoning permits.

A. 
Hereafter, no land use may be established or changed, no building or structure may be erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, razed, or removed and no building or structure may be used or occupied, or changed in use, until a zoning permit has been secured from the Zoning Officer. In the instance where a building permit is required and applied for, such application shall be considered for both the building permit and the zoning permit. In those instances where no building permit is required, an application for a certificate of occupancy for a new or changed use of building or land shall be considered both an application for a certificate of occupancy and the zoning permit.
B. 
In the R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-4 Districts, a certificate of occupancy is only provided and required at the completion of permitted construction. In these districts, a certificate of occupancy is not required due to a change of ownership, tenant or occupant. An occupancy permit shall not be required for apartments that are not individually metered for utilities. An occupancy permit shall be required for all other rental properties when a change of tenant or occupant occurs.
C. 
Application and issuance of zoning permits. Application for a zoning permit shall be made, in writing, by the owner, tenant, vendee under contract of sale, or an authorized agent on a form supplied by the Borough. The application shall be filed with the Zoning Officer. As circumstances require, site plans and building plans may be required. See § 270-79C for the site plan submission requirements.

§ 270-79 Site plans.

A. 
Site plan submission and review procedures. Hereafter, except as provided herein, no site plan shall be approved by Council except in accordance with the procedures outlined in this section.
B. 
Submission procedure. Site plans shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer at least 15 days prior to the first Monday of any month. The Zoning Officer shall review all plans for adequacy of information. When all necessary information is available, the Zoning Officer shall refer the plan to the Planning Commission for recommendation, then to Council for action.
C. 
Submission content. A comprehensive site plan or plans in other than R-1 and R-2 single-family structures, bearing the seal of a registered architect, engineer or professional land surveyor, shall be submitted and approved prior to any building permit request. The site plan shall be accompanied by a general map showing the site location. The site plan shall provide the following information as it is applicable to the individual site:
(1) 
Owner and zoning district of the site.
(2) 
Owner, use and zoning district of all adjacent properties.
(3) 
Height, bulk and placement of all buildings.
(4) 
Area, actual and required.
(5) 
Scale, North arrow and date.
(6) 
Tract boundary and all metes and bounds.
(7) 
Road access, public and private internal roads and walks.
(8) 
Grades, existing and proposed.
(9) 
Drainage, existing and proposed.
(10) 
Utilities, existing and proposed.
(11) 
Wooded areas.
(12) 
Floodplains (twenty-five-, fifty-, and one-hundred-year).
(13) 
Soil characteristics.
(14) 
Erosion and sedimentation controls.
(15) 
Yard depths and widths.
(16) 
Parking areas, paving types and loading berths.
(17) 
Signs.
(18) 
Site illumination and illumination areas.
(19) 
Landscaping.
(20) 
Screening.
(21) 
Open space and recreational areas.
(22) 
Plans of the proposed structures.
(23) 
Description of industrial or commercial operations.
D. 
Approval procedure. The Zoning Officer shall review all site plans for adequacy of information. Whenever the Council deems it necessary, the applicant shall be required to submit a cash escrow for an independent review of the site plan to ensure the plans comply with this chapter or other applicable requirements. The escrow shall be in an amount to cover the actual independent review fee only, and an accounting of disbursements shall be given to the applicant. When all necessary information is available, the Zoning Officer shall refer the site plan to the Planning Commission for its review. A recommendation shall then be made to the Council for its action.
E. 
Submission requiring a variance. If a proposed site plan requires the granting of a variance, as well as site plan approval, the review by the Planning Commission shall precede the hearing on the variance, since changes made as the result of the Planning Commission review may affect the need for a variance. Action taken by the Zoning Hearing Board shall precede action by Council on the site plan.
F. 
Submission requiring a special exception. If a proposed site plan requires the approval of a special exception, as well as site plan approval, the hearing on the special exception shall precede the review of the site plan by the Planning Commission.
G. 
Revised site plan submission. Any approved site plan that has been substantially altered or revised shall be reapproved in the same manner as it was originally approved. If a previously approved site plan is revised, and the revisions are minor, the Zoning Officer, with the concurrence of the Chairman of the Planning Commission, may approve the revised site plan.

§ 270-80 Building regulations.

The building code shall be adopted by separate ordinance of the Borough.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See Ch. 107, Construction Codes, Uniform.

§ 270-81 Certificates of occupancy.

A. 
A certificate of occupancy shall be obtained every time a tenancy or use in any building in any zoning district changes.
B. 
A certificate of occupancy shall be issued once the project is substantially complete. That is the point in which all of the work is essentially complete and only cosmetic work is to be finished. In no case shall a certificate of occupancy be issued when items injurious to the health and welfare of the public or the occupants remain to be completed.

§ 270-82 Fees.

Fees are to be assigned by resolution of Council and shall be charged for each certificate of occupancy issued by the Borough.