[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Verona 2-12-2008 by Ord. No. 5-2008. Amendments noted where applicable.]
In order to hear and decide appeals of orders, decisions, or determinations made by the Building Official, or designee, relative to the interpretation of the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) and to decide requests for variances, there shall be and is hereby created a board of appeals, which shall be entitled the Uniform Construction Code Board of Appeals. The Uniform Construction Code Board of Appeals (UCC Board) of the Borough of Verona shall be the Board empowered to hear appeals from the enforcement of the Uniform Construction Code. Additionally, the UCC Board shall have the power and authority to hear any appeals with respect to any property maintenance code adopted by the Borough of Verona.
The Building Official(s) of the Borough of Verona shall be an ex officio member of the UCC Board but shall have no vote on any matter before the UCC Board.
The UCC Board shall adopt rules of procedure for conducting its business and shall render all decisions and findings in writing to the appellant with a duplicate copy to the Borough's Building Official.
Appeals to the UCC Board shall be in accordance with one of the two following options.
An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that the true intent of the UCC or the rules legally adopted thereunder have been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of the UCC do not fully apply, or an equally good or better form of construction is proposed.
An application for a variance from the literal conditions of the UCC shall be permitted, and the UCC Board shall consider the following factors when such an application for a variance is filed:
The reasonableness of the Uniform Construction Code's application in a particular case;
The extent to which granting a variance will pose a violation of the UCC or an unsafe condition;
The availability of professional or technical personnel needed to come into compliance;
The availability of materials and equipment needed to come into compliance;
The efforts made to come into compliance as quickly as possible; and
Compensatory features that will provide an equivalent degree of protection to the UCC.
Within the limits of funds appropriated by the Council for the Borough of Verona, the UCC Board may employ or contract for secretaries, clerks, legal counsel, consultants, and other technical and clerical services.
Any existing Building Code Board of Appeals other than the Zoning Hearing Board is hereby abolished and replaced with the Uniform Construction Code Board of Appeals. The UCC Board shall consist of three members, who shall be appointed by Council of the Borough for the Borough of Verona. The members shall serve indefinite terms and shall serve at the pleasure of the Council for the Borough of Verona. To conduct business, at least two members of the UCC Board shall be present.
The members of the Board shall serve without compensation.
If the Council for the Borough of Verona decides to remove a member from the UCC Board, Council for the Borough of Verona shall cast, at a public meeting, a majority vote to remove a member from the UCC Board.
The members of the UCC Board shall be qualified by training and/or experience to decide on matters pertaining to building construction. Training and experience may consist of licensure as an architect or engineer, experience in the construction industry, training or experience as an inspector or plan reviewer, and the like.
Members of the Council for the Borough of Verona and employees of the Borough may not serve on the UCC Board.
Members of the UCC Board shall reside within the Borough. However, the Borough may fill a position on the UCC Board with a qualified person who resides outside of the Borough when it cannot find a person within the Borough who satisfies the requirements of this section.
The UCC Board shall elect from its own membership officers, who shall consist of a Chairman and Vice Chairman. The Board may either elect a Secretary or appoint a nonmember as a Secretary. These officers shall serve at the pleasure of the UCC Board.
The Chairman shall perform all duties required by law, ordinance and prescribed rules. He shall preside at all meetings of the UCC Board and shall decide on all points of order and procedure. The Chairman shall have the power to administer oaths and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant documents and papers. The Chairman's signature shall be the official signature of the UCC Board and shall appear on all decisions as directed by the UCC Board.
The Vice Chairman, in the absence, disability or disqualification of the Chairman, shall perform all of the duties and exercise all of the powers of the Chairman.
The Secretary shall record and maintain permanent minutes of the UCC Board's proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon every question presented to the UCC Board or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating that fact. The Secretary shall cause to be made a stenographic record of all hearings and shall cause to be published, in a newspaper designed by the Borough, public notices of meetings or hearings as required by law.
The UCC Board shall promptly notify the Council for the Borough of Verona of any vacancies that occur. Should a vacancy occur among the officers of the UCC Board, such office shall be filled by election at the next meeting of the full UCC Board.
If there is an appeal as described in § 75-1A, the UCC Board shall conduct a hearing. The hearing shall commence within 60 days of the date of the official notice filed by the appellant (applicant).
The appeal shall be filed on the official forms of the Borough. No application shall be accepted as complete unless the form is totally completed and all necessary exhibits attached. The Borough may prescribe a reasonable fee to cover administrative and legal costs of the appeal hearing. Such fee is nonrefundable and shall be paid at the time of filing of an appeal.
The UCC Board shall ensure that proper public notice of the hearing is provided. Whenever a hearing has been scheduled, public notice shall be given to the general public by means of publication once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper designated by the Borough. Such notice shall state the time and place of the hearing and the particular nature of the matter to be considered. The first publication shall not be more than 30 days and the second publication shall not be less than seven days prior to the date of the hearing.
Written notice shall be given to the applicant and the Borough's Building Official.
The UCC Board shall conduct a public hearing and shall render a decision or, where no decision is called for, findings. The UCC Board shall keep a stenographic record of the proceedings. A transcript of the proceedings and copies of graphic or written material received in evidence shall be made available to any party at cost.
At the conclusion of the final hearing, the UCC Board shall render a decision (or findings) and provide a copy of the final written decision (or findings) within 45 days of the final hearing date. The UCC Board shall also provide a copy of the decision (or findings) to the Borough's Building Official as well as any other party that has requested a copy of the decision (or findings).
The parties to the hearing shall be the Borough of Verona and any person affected by the appeal who has made a timely appearance of record before the UCC Board. All persons who wish to be considered parties shall enter appearances in writing on forms provided by the UCC Board.
All parties shall have the right to be represented by counsel and shall be afforded the opportunity to respond and present evidence and argument, and to cross-examine adverse witnesses on all relevant issues.
The UCC Board shall determine what evidence it deems to be acceptable.
No member of the UCC Board shall sit in hearing or vote on any matter in which he is personally or financially interested.
A tie vote shall be considered a rejection of the application (appeal) under consideration.
When the UCC Board does not meet and/or render a decision as required, the decision shall be deemed to have been rendered in favor of the Borough. When a deemed decision is granted to the Borough by the UCC Board, the UCC Board shall, within 10 days of the date when the deemed approval is ripe for approval, provide written notice to the Council for the Borough of Verona of such deemed approval. The UCC Board shall inform the Council for the Borough of Verona why the deemed approval occurred.
Appeals to final decisions or findings of the UCC Board shall be in accordance with applicable Commonwealth of Pennsylvania laws.