Township of West Manheim, PA
York County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 270-219 Duties of Zoning Officer.

The provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced by the West Manheim Township Zoning Officer. The Zoning Officer may designate other Township staff-persons to serve as Assistant Zoning Officer(s). Such designations may be subject to concurrence by the Board of Supervisors. Assistant Zoning Officers serve with the same authority and duties as the Zoning Officer. The Zoning Officer and Assistant Zoning Officers shall not hold any elective office within the Township, but may hold other appointed offices. The Zoning Officer shall have the power and the authority to perform all the following duties:
A. 
To receive, examine and process all applications and permits as provided by the terms of this chapter. The Zoning Officer shall also issue zoning permits for variances, special exceptions and conditional use variances after the same have been approved.
B. 
To record and file all applications for zoning permits or certificates of use and occupancy, and accompany plans and documents, and keep them for public record.
C. 
To inspect properties to determine compliance with all provisions of this chapter as well as conditions attached to the approval of variances, special exceptions, conditional uses and curative amendments.
D. 
To inspect nonconforming uses, structures, and lots and to keep a file record of such nonconforming uses and structures, together with the reasons why the Zoning Officer identified them as nonconformities, as a public record and to examine them periodically, with the view of eliminating the nonconforming uses under the existing laws and regulations.
E. 
Upon the request of the Board of Supervisors or Zoning Hearing Board, present to such bodies, facts, records, and any similar information of specific requests to assist such bodies in reaching their decisions.
F. 
To be responsible for keeping this chapter and the Official Zoning Map up-to-date, including any amendments thereto.
G. 
To render a preliminary decision regarding a proposed land use in accordance with Section 916.2 (and any subsequent amendments) of the MPC.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10916.2.
H. 
To revoke a permit or approval issued under the provisions of this chapter in case of any false statement or misrepresentation of fact in the application or on the plans on which the permit or approval was based or for any other cause set forth in this chapter, or as otherwise permitted by law.
I. 
To enforce the provisions of this chapter in accordance with the provisions of this Part 11.
J. 
To issue stop-work orders when the Zoning Officer determines that a violation of this chapter exists or that construction is being commenced in a manner not authorized by a zoning permit or in a manner violating any approvals issued under this chapter. The Zoning Officer may issue stop-work orders orally or in writing. If the Zoning Officer issues an oral stop-work order, the Zoning Officer shall subsequently confirm the oral stop-work order with a written notice within five days.

§ 270-220 Permits.

A. 
Requirements for zoning permits.
(1) 
A zoning permit, issued by the Zoning Officer stating that the buildings or proposed uses fully comply with the provisions of this chapter, and the provisions of all other relevant ordinances (e.g., Chapter 235, Subdivision and Land Development), shall be required prior to any:
(a) 
Approval of a building permit; and
(b) 
Alteration or development of any improved or unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations, including the construction or installation of animal waste impoundments, lakes, ponds, dams or other water retention basins; or
(c) 
Land and/or building being occupied by a principal use; or
(d) 
Land and/or building changed from one principal use to another; or
(e) 
Building and/or structure hereafter being erected or established, constructed, altered, extended, relocated, removed or demolished, except as provided below.
(2) 
No zoning permit shall be required for repairs or maintenance of any structure or land, provided such repairs do not change the use or the exterior dimensions of the structure, or otherwise violate the provisions of this chapter.
(3) 
Application for zoning permits shall be made in writing to the Zoning Officer.
(4) 
Such zoning permits shall be granted or refused within 90 days from date of application.
(5) 
No zoning permit shall be issued except in conformity with:
(a) 
All applicable regulations of this chapter;
(b) 
Any conditions imposed upon the site by the Zoning Hearing Board or the Board of Supervisors; and
(c) 
Any recorded subdivision and/or land development plan.
(6) 
In all instances in which the Zoning Officer expresses a reasonable doubt as to the ability of a proposed use to meet all of the above-described requirements, it will be incumbent upon the applicant to furnish adequate evidence in support of his application. If such evidence is not presented, the zoning permit will be denied.
(7) 
Application for a zoning permit shall be made by the owner or lessee of any building or structure, or the agent of either; provided, however, that if the application is made by a person other than the owner, it shall be accompanied by a written authorization of the owner or the qualified person making an application, that the proposed work is authorized by this owner. The full names and addresses of the owner, lessee, applicant, and of the responsible officers, if the owner or lessee is a corporate body, shall be stated in the application.
(8) 
The Zoning Officer may call upon other Township staff and/or Township-appointed consultants in the review of submitted materials for applications.
(9) 
The Zoning Officer may revoke a zoning permit or approval issued under the provisions of this chapter in case of any false statement or misrepresentation of fact in the application or on the plans on which the permit or approval was based or for any other cause set forth in this chapter.
(10) 
Where a zoning permit is required by this chapter, but the work is commenced or the use is commenced or changed prior to obtaining such permit, the fees set by ordinance or resolution of the Township Board of Supervisors for such permit shall be doubled. The doubling of the permit fee shall be required to reflect the additional expense incurred by the Township resulting from the need to inspect the property, respond to any complaints, and issue any enforcement notices and/or process the application as soon as it is received. The payment of such increased permit fee shall not relieve any person from complying with all requirements of this chapter or any other applicable Township ordinances or from any penalties or enforcement actions authorized by this chapter or the MPC.
(11) 
Issuance of permits. Upon receiving the application, the Zoning Officer shall examine the same within a reasonable time after filing a complete application. If the application or plans do not conform to the provisions of all pertinent local laws, including but not limited to subdivision and/or land development approval, and/or do not include copies of all other permits and approvals required for work proposed in the application or supporting plans, including but not limited to permits and approvals by the PA DEP and/or PennDOT, the Zoning Officer shall reject such application in writing, stating the reasons therefor. The Zoning Officer shall inform the applicant of his right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board in the event such application is rejected. If satisfied that the proposed work and/or use conforms to the provisions of this chapter and all laws and ordinances applicable thereto, copies of required permits and approvals by the PA DEP and/or PennDOT, and that the certificate of use and occupancy as required herein has been applied for, the Zoning Officer shall issue a zoning permit therefor as soon as practical but not later than 90 days from receipt of the application.
(12) 
Reconsideration of application. An applicant whose request for a zoning permit has been denied by the Zoning Officer may make a later application for a permit, provided all deficiencies which were the basis for the prior denial of the permit have been eliminated. The Zoning Officer shall not be required to make a new inspection of the application if this condition is not met.
(13) 
Expiration of permit. The zoning permit shall expire after one year from the date of issuance; provided, however, that the same may be extended every six months for a period not to exceed an additional one year, upon written request by the applicant which demonstrates good cause to the Zoning Officer.
(14) 
Compliance with this chapter. The zoning permit shall be a license to proceed with the work and should not be construed as authority to deviate from any of the provisions of this chapter, except as approved by the Zoning Hearing Board.
(15) 
Compliance with permit and plot plan. All work or uses shall conform to the approved application and plans for which the zoning permit has been issued as well as the approved plot plan.
(16) 
Display of zoning permit. All approved zoning permits shall be prominently displayed on the subject property during construction, renovation, reconstruction, repair, remodeling or the conduct of other site improvements. Such permit displays shall occur within five days of permit issuance, or prior to the commencement of actual work on the site, whichever occurs first. Such permit display shall be contiguous until the site receives its certificate of use and occupancy.
B. 
Temporary use permits.
(1) 
The Township recognizes that service organizations and landowners within the Township may, from time to time, desire to institute a specific use for a brief period of time. The Township recognizes that certain temporary uses, such as a fund-raising auction for a service organization conducted on lands of a third party, may provide benefits for the entire Township.
(2) 
Where the proposed temporary use is permitted as a use by right in the zoning district, such as a sale of flowers from a tent prior to a holiday, the applicant shall apply to the Zoning Officer for a zoning permit. If the temporary use will be operated from a temporary, removable structure and shall have a duration of not more than 14 calendar days at any time, the Zoning Officer may issue a zoning permit upon the applicant's presentation of evidence that adequate off-street parking shall be provided, any signs will be temporary in nature, and any signs shall not exceed the number or area which would be permitted for a permanent use. The off-street parking for a temporary use may be shared with off-street parking for an existing permanent use. The Zoning Officer shall issue the temporary zoning permit that shall specify the dates upon which the temporary use may be operated, the temporary structures which may be erected and the temporary signs which may be erected.
(3) 
The Zoning Hearing Board, by special exception, may authorize a temporary use in a zoning district where such use is not allowed if the applicant demonstrates compliance with the general standards for all special exceptions in § 270-233D, General criteria, of this chapter and with all of the following requirements:
(a) 
The temporary use shall not exceed five calendar days in any calendar year.
(b) 
The applicant shall demonstrate that adequate off-street parking and other facilities, including but not limited to sewage disposal facilities, are available for persons reasonably anticipated to attend the temporary use.
(c) 
The applicant shall provide a plan for addressing traffic to be generated by the temporary use. If necessary, the applicant shall arrange for the provision of fire police or other persons to direct traffic to the temporary off-street parking facilities.
(d) 
The applicant shall present evidence to demonstrate that the temporary use provides a benefit to the community.
(e) 
The applicant shall present evidence to demonstrate that the temporary use will not adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of the abutting and adjoining residents or the uses permitted within the zoning district in which the temporary use is proposed.
C. 
Application for all zoning permits.
(1) 
Applications shall contain a general description of the proposed work, development, use or occupancy of all parts of the structure or land and shall be accompanied by plans in sufficient detail as the Zoning Officer deems necessary from the following:
(a) 
Actual dimensions and shape of lot to be developed;
(b) 
Exact location and dimensions of any structures to be erected, constructed and altered;
(c) 
Existing and proposed uses, including the number of occupied units, businesses, etc., all structures are designed to accommodate;
(d) 
Off-street parking and loading spaces;
(e) 
Utility systems affected and proposed;
(f) 
Alteration or development of any improved or unimproved real estate;
(g) 
The size of structures and the number of employees anticipated;
(h) 
Any other lawful information that may be required by the Zoning Officer to determine compliance with this chapter;
(i) 
Copies of any applicable approved subdivision or land development plans.
(2) 
If the proposed activity requiring a zoning permit is located within the floodplain zone, the following information is specifically required to accompany all applications, as prepared by a licensed professional:
(a) 
The accurate location and elevation of the floodplain and floodway;
(b) 
The elevation, in relation to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD), of the lowest floor, including basements;
(c) 
The elevation, in relation to the NGVD, to which all structures and utilities will be floodproofed or elevated; and
(d) 
Where floodproofing is proposed to be utilized for a particular structure, the zoning permit application shall be accompanied by a document certified by a licensed professional engineer registered by the commonwealth, or a licensed professional architect registered by the commonwealth certifying that the floodproofing methods used meet all applicable codes and ordinances.
D. 
Applications for uses subject to land development approval. The uses set forth in this subsection below require review and approval as a land development in accordance with all applicable standards of Chapter 235, Subdivision and Land Development. The information required in Subsection C above to be submitted in the zoning permit application may be presented to the Zoning Officer in the form of a copy of the approved land development plan. Such zoning permit application shall not be acted upon by the Zoning Officer until approval of any such land development is granted by the Board of Supervisors. For purposes of this chapter, the following principal uses shall be considered land developments:
(1) 
All institutional uses.
(2) 
All commercial uses.
(3) 
All utilities.
(4) 
All industrial uses.
(5) 
The following residential uses:
(a) 
Multifamily dwellings.
(b) 
Mobile home parks.
E. 
Certificate of use and occupancy.
(1) 
A certificate of use and occupancy issued by the Zoning Officer stating that the buildings or proposed uses fully comply with the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of all other relevant ordinances (e.g., Chapter 235, Subdivision and Land Development) shall be required prior to any proposed building or use being occupied or established.
(2) 
It shall be unlawful to use and/or occupy a structure, building, sign and/or land for which a zoning permit is required herein until a certificate of use and occupancy permit for such structure, building, sign and/or land has been issued by the Zoning Officer as required herein.
(3) 
The application for a certificate of use and occupancy shall be in such a form as the Zoning Officer may prescribe and may be made on the same application as is required for a zoning permit.
(4) 
The application shall contain the intended use and/or occupancy of any structure, building, sign and/or land for which a zoning permit is required herein.
(5) 
The Zoning Officer shall inspect any structure, building, sign and/or land within 10 days upon notification that the proposed work that was listed under the zoning permit has been completed; and, if satisfied that the work is in conformity and compliance with the work listed in the issued zoning permit and other pertinent laws, the Zoning Officer shall issue a certificate of use and occupancy for the intended use listed in the original zoning permit application.
(6) 
The certificate of use and occupancy or true copy thereof shall be kept available for official inspection at all times.
(7) 
Upon request of a holder of a zoning permit, the Zoning Officer may issue a temporary certificate of use and occupancy for a structure, building, sign and/or land before the entire work covered by the permit shall have been completed, provided such portion or portions may be used and/or occupied safely prior to full completion of the work without endangering life or public welfare. The Zoning Officer shall also issue a temporary certificate of use and occupancy for such temporary uses as tents, use of land for religious or other public or semipublic purposes and similar temporary use and/or occupancy. Such temporary certificates shall be for a period of time to be determined by the Zoning Officer, however, in no case exceeding six months.
(8) 
A certificate of use and occupancy shall not be issued for structures and buildings located in subdivision and/or land developments requiring improvement guarantees in accordance with Article VI of Chapter 235, Subdivision and Land Development, until the structure or building abuts either a roadway which has been accepted by the Township for dedication or abuts upon a street which has been paved with a base wearing or binder course.
(9) 
For uses subject to the provisions of § 270-220D, regarding land development approvals, hereinabove, in which operation standards are imposed, no certificate of use and occupancy permit shall become permanent until 30 days after the facilities are fully operational when, upon a reinspection by the Zoning Officer, it is determined that the facilities are in compliance with all operation standards.

§ 270-221 Schedule of fees, charges and expenses.

A. 
The Board of Supervisors shall establish by resolution a schedule of fees, charges, and expenses and collection procedures for zoning permits, certificates of use and occupancy, uses by special exception, conditional uses, variances, and appeals and other matters pertaining to this chapter, including petitions for amendments.
B. 
The schedule of fees shall be available for inspection in the office of the Zoning Officer and may be altered or amended by the Board of Supervisors.
C. 
Such alterations shall not be considered an amendment to this chapter and may be adopted as a resolution at any public meeting by the Board of Supervisors.
D. 
Until all application fees, charges, and expenses have been paid in full, no action shall be taken on any application or appeal.

§ 270-222 Prohibited acts.

The following shall constitute a violation of this chapter and shall be subject to the provisions of § 270-223, Enforcement, of this chapter:
A. 
The construction, alteration, maintenance or use of any structure, building, sign, land or landscaping or the change of use, area of use, percentage of use or displacement of the use of any structure, building, sign, land or landscaping without first obtaining a zoning permit;
B. 
The use of any building, structure, sign and/or land without receipt of a certificate of use and occupancy;
C. 
The use or maintenance of any building, structure, sign and/or land for a use or in a manner with is not in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;
D. 
The use of property for a use different from that set forth in any zoning permit or certificate of use and occupancy which has been granted for the property without applying for and being granted a zoning permit and certificate of use and occupancy for such new or different use or the excavation, grading of or earthmoving activities on any property in preparation for the erection of a structure or change in use of a property without first obtaining a zoning permit;
E. 
The failure to comply with any other provision of this chapter;
F. 
The violation of any conditions imposed upon the grant of a special exception or variance by the Zoning Hearing Board or by a court of competent jurisdiction if a special exception or variance is granted by such court;
G. 
The violation of any conditions imposed upon the grant of a conditional use by the Board of Supervisors or by a court of competent jurisdiction if a conditional use is granted by such court; and
H. 
The inclusion of false or misleading information on any application filed with the Township.

§ 270-223 Enforcement.

A. 
Enforcement notice.
(1) 
Whenever the Zoning Officer determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this chapter, or of any regulation adopted pursuant thereto, the Zoning Officer shall initiate enforcement proceedings by sending an enforcement notice as provided in this section.
(2) 
The enforcement notice shall be sent to the owner of record of the parcel on which the violation has occurred, to any person who has filed a written request to receive enforcement notices regarding that parcel, and to any other person requested in writing by the owner of record.
(3) 
An enforcement notice shall state at least the following:
(a) 
The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the Township intends to take action.
(b) 
The location of the property in violation.
(c) 
The specific violation with a description of the requirements that have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of this chapter.
(d) 
The date before which the steps for compliance with the applicable provisions of this chapter must be commenced, not to exceed 30 days from receipt of notice, and the date before which the steps must be completed.
(e) 
An outline of remedial action that, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter, or any part thereof.
(f) 
A statement indicating that the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board within a prescribed period of time, in accordance with procedures set forth elsewhere in this chapter.
(g) 
A statement indicating that failure to comply with the notice within the time specified, unless extended by appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board, constitutes a violation, with possible sanctions clearly described.
B. 
Causes of action. In case any building, structure, landscaping, or land is, or is proposed to be, erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, converted, maintained or used in violation of this chapter or any other Township ordinances, code or regulation, the Board of Supervisors, or any officer of the Township, or any aggrieved owner or tenant of real property who shows that his property or person will be substantially affected by the alleged violation, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such building, structure, landscaping or land, or to prevent, in or about such premises, any act, conduct, business or use constituting a violation. When such action is instituted by a landowner or tenant, notice of that action shall be served upon the Township at least 30 days prior to the time the action is begun by serving a copy of the complaint on the Board of Supervisors. No such action may be maintained until such notice has been given.

§ 270-224 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Jurisdiction. Magisterial District Judges shall have initial jurisdiction over proceedings brought under § 270-223 of this chapter.
B. 
Enforcement remedies.
(1) 
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township, pay a judgment of not more than $500, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township as a result thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or be payable until the date of the determination of a violation by the Magisterial District Judge. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation, unless the Magisterial District Judge determining that there has been a violation further determines that there was a good faith basis for the person, partnership or corporation violating this chapter to have believed that there was no such violation, in which event there shall be deemed to have been only one such violation until the fifth day following the date of the determination of a violation by the Magisterial District Judge and thereafter each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. All judgments, costs and reasonable attorney fees collected for the violation of this chapter shall be paid over to the Township.
(2) 
The court of common pleas, upon petition, may grant an order of stay, upon cause shown, tolling the per diem fine pending a final adjudication of the violation and judgment.
(3) 
Nothing contained in this section shall be construed or interpreted to grant any person or entity other than the Township the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this section.
C. 
Public nuisance. Any development initiated or any building or structure constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, altered, or relocated, not in compliance with this chapter, may be declared by the Board of Supervisors to be a public nuisance and abatable as such.

§ 270-225 Conditional uses.

A. 
Filing of conditional use. For any use permitted by conditional use, a conditional use must be obtained from the Board of Supervisors. In addition to the information required on the zoning permit application, the conditional use application must show:
(1) 
Ground-floor plans and elevations of proposed structures, except that only typical elevation drawings need to be submitted for proposed residences.
(2) 
Names and addresses of abutting and adjacent property owners.
(3) 
A scaled drawing (site plan) of the site with sufficient detail and accuracy to demonstrate compliance with all applicable provisions of this chapter.
(4) 
A written description of the proposed use in sufficient detail to demonstrate compliance with all applicable provisions of this chapter.
B. 
General criteria. Each applicant must demonstrate compliance with the following to the satisfaction of a majority of the Board of Supervisors:
(1) 
The proposed use shall be consistent with the purpose and intent of this chapter.
(2) 
The proposed use will not effect a change in the character of the subject property's neighborhood as anticipated by its zoning designation(s).
(3) 
Adequate public facilities are available to serve the proposed use (sewer, water, and other utilities, vehicular access, etc.).
(4) 
For development within the Floodplain Protection Overlay, that the applicant complies with those requirements listed in Chapter 141, Floodplain Management, of the Code of the Township of West Manheim.
(5) 
The proposed use shall comply with those criteria specifically listed in Article XVII, Specific Use Standards, of this chapter. In addition, the proposed use must comply with all other applicable regulations of this chapter.
(6) 
The proposed use will not substantially impair the integrity of the West Manheim Township Comprehensive Plan.
C. 
Conditions. The Board of Supervisors, in approving conditional use applications, may attach conditions considered necessary to protect the public welfare and the purposes listed above, including conditions which are more restrictive than those established for other uses in the same zoning district. These conditions shall be enforceable by the Zoning Officer, and failure to comply with such conditions shall constitute a violation of this chapter and be subject to the penalties described in this article.
D. 
Site plan approval. Any site plan presented in support of the conditional use pursuant to § 270-225A above shall become an official part of the record for said conditional use. Approval of any conditional use will also bind the use in accordance with the submitted site plan; therefore, should a change in the site plan be required as part of the approval of the use, the applicant shall revise the site plan prior to the issuance of a zoning permit. Any subsequent change to the use on the subject property not reflected on the originally approved site plan shall require the obtainment of another conditional use approval.
E. 
Hearing procedures.
(1) 
Before voting on the approval of a conditional use, the Township Supervisors shall hold a public hearing thereon, pursuant to public notice. The Township Supervisors shall submit each such application to the Planning Commission at least 30 days prior to the hearing on such application to provide the Planning Commission an opportunity to submit recommendations. If, after any public hearing held upon application, the proposed application is revised, the Township Supervisors shall hold another public hearing, pursuant to public notice, before proceeding to vote on the application.
(2) 
All public hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements outlined in § 270-229 of this chapter, except that any reference to the "Zoning Hearing Board" shall be replaced with the "Township Supervisors," and any reference to "special exception" shall be replaced with "conditional use."
F. 
Expiration of conditional use. Unless otherwise specified by the Board of Supervisors, a conditional use which has been authorized by the Board of Supervisors shall expire if the applicant fails to obtain a zoning permit within 12 months from the date of authorization thereof or fails to commence a substantial amount of work within 12 months from the date of issuance of the permit for such work.