Borough of Mifflinburg, PA
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 29-601 General Provisions.

[Ord. 84-14, 12/18/1984; as amended by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008]
For the purposes of administering and enforcing this Chapter, a Zoning Administrator shall be appointed and the Zoning Hearing Board, consisting of five members. The Borough Council shall appoint persons to these positions in consideration of capability and willingness to serve the Borough and in accordance with the provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act 247 of 1968, as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.

§ 29-602 General Procedure; Zoning Permit Required.

[Ord. 84-14, 12/18/1984; as amended by Ord. 88-11, 11/22/1988; and by Ord. 95-06, 10/17/1995; and by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008]
Persons desiring to construct, alter or change the use of any structure or lot, or to construct or place a sign, shall apply to the Zoning Administrator for a zoning permit by filing the appropriate application form and by submitting the required fee. The Zoning Administrator shall then either issue or refuse the permit or refer the application to the Zoning Hearing Board in the case with special exceptions or the Borough Council in the case of conditional use. After the zoning permit has been granted to the applicant, the applicant may then proceed to undertake the action allowed by the permit.

§ 29-603 Development Permits and Certificates.

[Ord. 84-14, 12/18/1984; as amended by Ord. 88-11, 11/22/1988; and by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008]
1. 
Under the terms of this Chapter, the following classes of zoning (not building) permits may be issued:
A. 
Permitted use: issued by the Zoning Administrator on the authority granted herein.
B. 
Special exception use: issued by the Zoning Administrator after review and upon the order of the Zoning Hearing Board.
C. 
Conditional use: Issued by the Zoning Administrator after review by the Planning Commission and upon the order of the Borough Council.
D. 
Permit on appeal or variance: Issued by the Zoning Administrator upon the order of and following review and hearing by the Zoning Hearing Board.
2. 
Zoning permits shall be issued in duplicate, and one copy shall be retained by the applicant. No person shall perform building operations of any kind unless a permit placard issued by the Zoning Administrator is displayed conspicuously on the premises. The Zoning Administrator or Borough Council (conditional use only) may revoke a zoning permit at any time if it appears that the application is in any material way false or misleading or that work being done upon the premises differs substantially from that specified in the application.
3. 
An application for a permit for any proposed work shall be deemed to have been abandoned six months after the date of filing unless such application has been diligently pursued or a permit shall have been issued. Reasonable extensions of time not exceeding 90 days may be granted at the discretion of the Zoning Administrator.
4. 
Expiration of Permit. If the work approved by issuance of any zoning permit has not begun within 180 days from the date of issuance, said permit shall expire. One extension up to 45 days may be granted at the discretion of the Zoning Administrator if requested in writing showing good cause by the applicant. If the work approved by issuance of any zoning permit has not been completed within two years from the date of issuance thereof, said permit shall expire. Further work on the premises shall not continue until a new zoning permit has been obtained.
5. 
Certificate of Zoning Compliance. Prior to the use or occupancy of any land or building for which a zoning permit is required or to any change of use of any existing structure or land, a certificate of zoning compliance shall be secured from the Zoning Administrator. A copy of the certificate of zoning compliance shall be kept on the premises and shall be shown to any officer of the Borough upon request. All applications for certificates of zoning compliance shall be in writing.

§ 29-604 Powers and Duties of the Zoning Administrator.

[Ord. 84-14, 12/18/1984; as amended by Ord. 88-11, 11/22/1988; and by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008]
The Zoning Administrator shall administer this Chapter in accordance with its literal terms and shall not have the power to permit any construction or any use or change of use which does not conform to the provisions herein. He shall have such duties and powers as are conferred on him by this Chapter and as reasonably implied for those purposes. In addition, the Zoning Administrator shall:
1. 
Receive application for, evaluate, and issue the zoning permits for uses and structures proposed within the terms of this Chapter.
2. 
Keep and maintain a permanent and public record and file of all activities undertaken by him in the performance of his official duties; including file copies of all applications received, permits issued, placards distributed, inspections and reports made in connection with any structure, dwelling, sign or land.
3. 
Make site visits and inspections as are necessary to perform his duties at any reasonable hour.
4. 
Issue permits for uses by approved variance, special exception or conditional use on order by the appropriate body.
5. 
The Zoning Administrator shall have a maximum of 30 days in which to either issue a zoning permit or to deny an application. All application denials shall be in writing to the applicant.
6. 
Be responsible for maintaining a true and correct copy of this Chapter and the Official Zoning Map with respect to any amendments thereto;
7. 
Issue certificates of zoning compliance in accordance with the provisions herein.
8. 
Identify and register nonconforming premises created as a result of this Chapter, or any amendments thereto.

§ 29-605 Powers and Duties of the Zoning Hearing Board. [1]

[Ord. 84-14, 12/18/1984; as amended by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008]
1. 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall be responsible for the interpretation of this Chapter and shall adopt and make available to the public rules for the exercise of its functions. The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear and decide appeals where it is alleged that an error has been made in the administration or enforcement of this Chapter, and shall hear and decide requests for special exceptions and variances. The Zoning Hearing Board shall perform such other duties as may be provided or made necessary by the Code or this Chapter, including the interpretation of boundaries, the holding of public hearings, the referral of any pertinent matter to the Planning Commission for review and recommendations, and the maintenance of records on all hearings, decisions and findings.
2. 
Referral to the Planning Commission. The Zoning Hearing Board may refer to the Commission all applications for special exceptions and variances and any other applications or appeals which, in the opinion of the Zoning Hearing Board, require the review of the Commission. In its review, the Commission shall consider the standards of this Chapter and such other standards of good planning practices as may be appropriate.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 29-605, Temporary Use Permit, and § 29-606, Notice of Violation, as amended, were deleted by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008.

§ 29-606 Variances.

[Ord. 84-14, 12/18/1984; as amended by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008]
1. 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear requests for variances where it is alleged that the provisions of this Chapter inflict unnecessary hardship upon the applicant.
A. 
The Board may grant a variance, provided that the following findings are made where relevant in a given case:
(1) 
That there are unique physical circumstances or conditions, including irregularity, narrowness, or shallowness or lot size or shape, or exceptional topographical or other physical conditions peculiar to the particular property, and that the unnecessary hardship is due to such conditions and not the circumstances or conditions generally created by the provisions of this Chapter in the district in which the property is located.
(2) 
That, because of such physical circumstances or conditions, there is no possibility that the property can be developed in strict conformity with the provisions of this Chapter, and the authorization of a variance is therefore necessary to enable the reasonable use of the property.
(3) 
That such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the appellant.
(4) 
That the variance, if authorized, will represent the minimum variance that will afford relief and will represent the least modification possible of the regulation in issue.
B. 
In granting any variance, the Zoning Hearing Board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as may seem necessary to implement the purposes of this Chapter. Further, the Zoning Hearing Board may reserve the right to modify or add such further conditions as are deemed necessary upon hearing evidence on a formal complaint to prevent or correct a nuisance.
2. 
Procedures.
A. 
A hearing shall be held in accordance with Section 908 of the Municipalities Planning Code,[1] giving due notification to the public, the applicant, the Zoning Administrator, the Borough Secretary, and to anyone making a timely request. A hearing notice shall be conspicuously posted on the affected tract of land.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10908.
B. 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall hold the hearing within 60 days of the applicant's request. Failure to schedule the hearing as required shall render the decision to have been made in favor of the applicant, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time.
C. 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall render a written decision within 45 days of the date of the last hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board. A copy of the final decision or of the findings shall be delivered to the applicant personally or mailed to him not later than the day following its date.

§ 29-607 Special Exceptions.

[Ord. 84-14, 12/18/1984; as amended by Ord. 86-5, 9/16/1986; and by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008]
1. 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear and decide special exceptions as may be provided in this Chapter. The granting of a special exception shall be made when the Zoning Hearing Board makes a finding that satisfactory provisions and arrangements have been made for the following concerns:
A. 
Ingress and egress to and from the premises, with particular reference to vehicular and pedestrian safety and convenience, traffic flow and control, and the access in case of fire or emergency.
B. 
Off-street parking and loading.
C. 
Refuse and service areas.
D. 
Appropriate screening and buffering from residential, municipal, or quasi-public uses.
E. 
Mitigation of noise, glare, odor, electrical disturbance, and other forms of nuisance which may affect the health and safety of residents or workers on adjacent properties.
F. 
General compatibility with adjacent uses and properties with respect to bulk, scale, and traffic generation.
G. 
Such uses shall not conflict with the direction of building development in accordance with the Borough's Comprehensive Plan.
H. 
The Zoning Hearing Board may reserve the right to modify or add conditions or safeguards as it deems necessary to prevent the special exception from becoming a nuisance.
I. 
Structures located within the Residential-Suburban (RS), Residential-Urban (RU) and the Residential-Manufactured Housing (RMH) Districts and used as business offices are subject to the following additional standards:
(1) 
The use of the structure or any adaptation of the structure shall not materially and adversely alter the residential character of the neighborhood.
(2) 
The use of the structure or any adaptation of the structure shall not materially and adversely involve destruction of open areas, grass, lawns, landscaping and trees, except for changes made to meet parking, screening or other requirements set forth in this Chapter, and such open areas, lawns and landscaping shall be appropriately maintained.
(3) 
The use of the structure or any adaptation of the structure shall meet all pertinent supplemental regulations found in this Chapter.
(4) 
The Zoning Administrator may revoke any permit granted if unauthorized expansion of a business office occurs. Such revocation shall entitle the applicants to a rehearing before the Board.
(5) 
No more than 25% of the lots in any one block [as defined in Subsection I(5)(a)] in any Residential-Suburban, Residential-Urban or Residential-Manufactured Housing District, as designated on the Official Map of the Borough of Mifflinburg (existing at the date of the application for said special exception), shall be approved for business use.
(a) 
"Block," as defined in this section, shall mean all lots adjacent to both sides of a street lying between two successive intersecting streets.
(b) 
A street abutting another street, but not passing through and beyond the limits of that street, is considered to be an intersecting street.
2. 
Procedures.
A. 
A hearing shall be held in accordance with Section 908 of the Municipalities Planning Code, giving due notification to the public, the applicant, the Zoning Administrator, the Borough Secretary, and to anyone making a timely request. A hearing notice shall be conspicuously posted on the affected tract of land.
B. 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall hold the hearing within 60 days of the applicant's request. Failure to schedule the hearing as required shall render the decision to have been made in favor of the applicant, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time.
C. 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall render a written decision within 45 days of the date of the last hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board. A copy of the final decision or of the findings shall be delivered to the applicant personally or mailed to him not later than the day following its date.

§ 29-608 Appeals.

[Ord. 84-14, 12/18/1984; as amended by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008]
All appeals with respect to the provisions, administration or enforcement of this Chapter shall be governed by Article X of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act of 1968, P.L. 805, No. 247, as amended, and as follows:
A. 
Any person or official of the Borough aggrieved or affected by any provision of this Chapter, or decision or order of the Zoning Administrator may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board or directly to the Court of Common Pleas as per Article IX of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act of 1968, P.L. 805, No. 247, as amended. Such appeal shall be taken within 30 days of the action being appealed by filing a written notice of appeal with the Zoning Administrator and the Zoning Hearing Board, specifying the grounds thereof.
B. 
Any person or official of the municipality aggrieved or affected by a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board or Borough Council may appeal directly to the Court of Common Pleas. Any order or decision of the Zoning Hearing Board not appealed within 30 days shall be final.
C. 
Stay of Proceedings. An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from unless the Zoning Administrator certifies to the Zoning Hearing Board, after the notice of appeal shall have been filed, that, by reason of facts stated in the certificate, a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property, in which case proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order, which may be granted by the Zoning Hearing Board after notice to the Zoning Administrator, or by the Court of Common Pleas.
D. 
Information Required on Petition to the Zoning Hearing Board. All appeals from a decision of the Zoning Administrator and applications for variance or special exception to the Board shall be in the form and shall include the following:
(1) 
The name and address of the applicant or appellant.
(2) 
The name and address of the owner of the lot to be affected by the proposal.
(3) 
A brief description and location of the lot to be affected.
(4) 
A statement of the present zoning, improvements, and present use of the lot or structure in question.
(5) 
A statement of the provision of this Chapter in question, and why the proposal should be granted, or the error alleged and the relief being sought.
(6) 
A reasonably accurate description of the present improvements and the additions or changes intended and a plot plan of the property affected.
E. 
Expiration of Appeal Decision. Unless otherwise specified by the Zoning Hearing Board, a decision on any appeal or request shall expire if the applicant fails to obtain any necessary permit or to comply with the conditions of said authorized permit within 90 days from the date of authorization thereof.

§ 29-609 Hearings.

[Ord. 84-14, 12/18/1984; as amended by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008]
Upon the filing with the Zoning Hearing Board of an appeal or request for variance or granting of special exception, or the hearing of unified appeals as per Section 913.1 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act of 1968, P.L. 805, No. 247, as amended, the Zoning Hearing Board shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal or application, give public notice to the parties of interest, and decide upon the appeal within 45 days after the conclusion of the hearing. Any such hearing shall be conducted in accordance with Section 908 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act of 1968, P.L. 805, No. 247, as amended. If the Board fails to render a decision by the time set forth above, the decision shall be deemed to have been in favor of the appellant or applicant. At the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney and be heard.

§ 29-610 Amendments.

[Ord. 84-14, 12/18/1984; as amended by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008]
The Borough Council may from time to time consider amendments to the provisions herein or the boundaries of the Official Zoning Map. In the case of an amendment prepared by other than the Planning Commission, the Borough Council shall submit each amendment to the Planning Commission at least 30 days prior to the hearing of such amendment for recommendations. If, after public hearing, the amendment is revised, the Borough Council shall hold another public hearing prior to proceeding to vote on a proposed amendment. In addition, a copy of the proposed amendment shall also be provided to the County Planning Commission for its review and comment at least 30 days prior to hearing on the amendment.
A. 
Curative Amendments. A landowner may desire to challenge on substantive grounds the validity of this Chapter or Official Zoning Map or any provision thereof which prohibits or restricts the use or development of land in which he has an interest. To do so, the landowner must submit to the Borough Council a written request that his challenge and proposed amendment be heard and decided as provided by Section 1004 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act of 1968, P.L. 805, No. 247, as amended. The Borough Council shall commence this process in accordance with Section 609.1 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act of 1968, P.L. 805, No. 247, as amended.
B. 
Procedure for Petition to Amend. The petition for amendment shall contain, as fully as possible, all relevant information and shall be signed by at least one record owner of property in the Borough, whose signature shall be notarized, attesting to the truth and correctness of all the facts and information presented in the petition. The fees established by the Borough Council for the purpose of defraying the costs of such proceedings shall accompany the filing of the petition.
C. 
Any change made in the boundary of a zoning district or the reclassification of a zoning district adopted in accordance with the procedure above and specified in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act of 1968, P.L. 805, No. 247, as amended shall be made and shall be duly certified by the Borough Secretary and shall thereafter become part of the permanent and official records of the Borough.

§ 29-611 Violations and Penalties.

[Ord. 84-14, 12/18/1984; as amended by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008]
1. 
If it appears to the municipality that a violation of any zoning ordinance enacted has occurred, the municipality shall initiate enforcement proceedings by sending an enforcement notice as provided in this section. 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. Such written notice shall be served personally or by certified mail, indicating the nature of the violation and ordering the action necessary to correct same. Such enforcement notice shall state at least the following:
A. 
The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the municipality intends to take action.
B. 
The location of the property in violation.
C. 
The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of this Chapter.
D. 
The date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and the date before which the steps must be completed.
E. 
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 in this Chapter.
F. 
That failure to comply with notice within the time specified, unless extended by appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board, constitutes a violation, with possible sanctions clearly described.
2. 
In any appeal of an enforcement notice to the Zoning Hearing Board, the municipality shall have the responsibility of presenting its evidence first.
3. 
Any filing fees paid by a party to appeal an enforcement notice to the Zoning Hearing Board shall be returned to the appealing party by the municipality if the Zoning Hearing Board, or any court in a subsequent appeal, rules in the appealing party's favor.
4. 
Penalties. Any person, partnership, or corporation who or which shall violate the provisions of any part of this Chapter enacted under the provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $500. In default of payment of the fine, such person, the members of such partnership, or the officers of such corporation shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than 60 days. Each day that a violation is continued shall constitute a separate offense. All fines collected for the violation of a zoning ordinance shall be paid over to the municipality whose ordinance has been violated.

§ 29-612 Filing Fees.

[Ord. 84-14, 12/18/1984; as amended by Ord. 2008-1, 4/15/2008]
Filing fees shall be payable to the municipality and shall be received by the Zoning Administrator. Filing fee amounts shall be established by a resolution of the Borough Council.