[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Rosslyn Farms 9-8-2008 by Ord. No. 360. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Borough of Rosslyn Farms hereby creates a Board of Appeals consisting of three regular members and, at the option of the Council, one alternate member, to be appointed and to serve as set forth herein.
The Council of the Borough of Rosslyn Farms ("Council") shall by majority vote appoint three regular members to serve on the Board, and may, at its option, appoint one alternate member.
The Board members need not be residents of the Borough.
The initial members of the Board shall be appointed for the following terms:
Following appointment of each member of the initial Board, each new member or reappointed member shall thereafter serve for a term of three years.
The Code Official shall be an ex officio member of the Board but shall have no vote on any matter before the Board.
Appointments to fill any vacancies on the Board shall be made by the Council for the remainder of the vacant member's unexpired term.
Members may be reappointed by the Council for an unlimited number of terms.
All members shall serve at the pleasure of the Council and may be removed at any time, with or without cause, by a majority vote of the Council.
Members of the Board of Appeals shall possess the following general qualifications:
Such training and experience to enable the member to understand and evaluate matters relating to building construction;
Licensure as an architect or engineer; or
Training or experience as a construction inspector, building plan reviewer, qualified code enforcement officer, or qualified construction code inspector.
A member of the Board shall neither vote nor participate in any hearing in which such member has any personal, professional or financial interest.
The Board shall hear all appeals, requests for variances and requests for extensions of time under the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, 35 PS § 7210.101 et seq., and as required under the Property Maintenance Code.
The Board shall meet as is necessary and shall conduct its meetings and give notice thereof as may be required under Pennsylvania's Sunshine Act, 65 Pa. C.S.A. § 701 et seq.
All Board hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the Local Agency Law.
In the case of an appeal involving the construction of a one- or two-family residential building, the initial hearing before the Board shall be convened within 30 days of the appeal being filed, and the Board shall render its decision within five business days of the last hearing.
All Board hearings shall be recorded either by a court reporter or by a tape recording, such that a complete and accurate transcript of the hearing can be made. With the consent of all parties, the appeal, request for a variance or request for an extension of time may be determined based on the written documents, brief and argument submitted.
The Board shall consider only the following factors when deciding an appeal under Section 501 (c)(2) of the Act:
The Board shall have no authority to waive the requirements of the Uniform Construction Code.
The Board of Appeals shall not act upon matters relating to accessibility, as exclusive jurisdiction regarding accessibility is with the Department of Labor and Industry's Accessibility Advising Board, pursuant to Section 403.142 of the code.
Attendance of two members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for all purposes. However, either the appellant or appellant's representative can agree to have the Board hearing heard by only one member of the Board.
The fee for an appeal to the Board of Appeals shall be paid in advance at the time the appeal is filed and shall be set from time to time by resolution of the Council. Such fee shall be sufficient to cover the actual cost of the public notice of hearing, the attendance fee for the court reporter, the original transcript hearing fee, and administrative fees, as necessary.
There shall be no ex parte communications between any member of the Board and parties to the appeal.
The Board may consider the following factors when ruling upon a request for an extension of time or the request for a variance:
The reasonableness of the Uniform Construction Code's application in a particular case.
The extent to which the granting of a variance or an extension of time will pose a violation of the Uniform Construction Code 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 being made to come into compliance as quickly as possible.
Compensatory features that will provide an equivalent degree of protection to the Uniform Construction Code.
If the owner or owner's agent requests a hearing, the Board of Appeals shall schedule a hearing and notify the owner or owner's agent and Building Code Official of the date, time and place of the hearing.
The Board of Appeals shall provide a written notice of its decision to the owner or the owner's agent and to the Building Code Official.
An owner or owner's agent may seek a variance or extension of time or appeal a Building Code Official's decision by filing a petition with the Building Code Official or other person designated by the Board of Appeals on a form provided by the Borough.
The postmark date or the date of personal service of the petition on the Building Code Official will establish the filing date of the appeal, the request for variance or extension of time. Service of the petition may also be made on the Borough Secretary at 200 Rosslyn Road, Carnegie, Pennsylvania 15106.
An appeal or request for variance or extension of time to the Board of Appeals will automatically suspend an action to enforce an order to correct until the matter is resolved. An action under Section 403.84 (relating to an unsafe building, structure or equipment) may not be stayed.
In lieu of presenting testimony, upon the written consent of all parties, the Board of Appeals may decide the appeal, variance request or request for extension of time by reviewing the documents and written brief or argument submitted.
Unless otherwise required herein, the Board of Appeals shall hold a hearing within 60 days from the date of the applicant's request, unless the applicant has agreed, in writing, to an extension of time.
The Board shall elect one of its members to serve as Chairperson. The Chairperson shall have the power to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents.
The Board shall annually file a report to the Council on or before February 15 of each year, reporting on its activities for the previous calendar year.
The Board may, as necessary, secure the services of legal, architectural, engineering, or other professional consultants as may be necessary for its deliberations and decision, subject to the prior approval of the Council. In the event that the Solicitor for the Borough participates on behalf of the Borough in the matter then before the Board, the Solicitor may not then advise the Board.
At any hearing before the Board, the formal rules of evidence shall not apply. However, irrelevant or duplicative testimony and evidence may be excluded.
All decisions of the Board shall be in writing and shall be mailed to the appellant, the property owner, the Building Code Official and to any other person or entity that has participated as a party in the appeal other than as a witness. The decision shall be dated as of the date of mailing.
The decision of the Board shall contain findings of fact, conclusions of law, and reasons for its decision or shall otherwise constitute a "reasoned decision" on the issues then before it.
Except as otherwise required herein, the Board's decision shall be rendered within 30 days of the final hearing, unless the applicant consents, in writing, to a longer period of time.
In all appeals before the Board of Appeals, the appellant (applicant) shall bear the burden of proof in proceeding with the appeal.
The Council may, with or without the recommendation of the members of the Board of Appeals, amend these rules by a majority vote. However, no amendment shall be effective as to any appeal then pending before the Board. An appeal shall be deemed pending before the Board only upon the Borough's or Building Code Official's actual receipt of a petition for appeal.