Borough of Lansdowne, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The purpose of this article is to set forth procedures for the administration and enforcement of this chapter, in accordance with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act 247, as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
A. 
A Zoning Officer, who shall hold no elective office within the Borough, shall be appointed by Council and may be removed at the will of Council. Council may designate an employee as the officer's deputy who shall exercise all the powers of the Zoning Officer during his or her absence or temporary disability.
B. 
The Zoning Officer shall administer this chapter in strict accordance with its literal terms and shall not interpret its provisions in any other way. In no case shall a permit be granted for construction, use, or change of use that does not conform to this chapter. The Zoning Officer is authorized to institute civil enforcement proceedings as a means of enforcement when acting within the scope of this chapter.
C. 
All appeals from decisions of the Zoning Officer shall be taken in the manner set forth in this chapter.
In the discharge of his or her duties, the Zoning Officer shall have the authority to enter, at any reasonable hour, any structure or land in the Borough to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
In case any building is proposed to be constructed or used in violation of this chapter, or if any land is proposed to be used in violation of this chapter, the appropriate action or private cause of action to prevent, restrain, correct, or abate such use may be taken by:
(1) 
Borough Council.
(2) 
The Zoning Officer.
(3) 
Any other official of the Borough designated by Borough Council.
(4) 
Any aggrieved owner or tenant of real property who shows that his or her property or person will be affected substantially by the alleged violation.
B. 
When any action is instituted by a landowner or tenant, notice of the action shall be given to Borough Council and the Zoning Officer at least 30 days prior to the time the action is begun by serving him or her a copy of the complaint. No action may be maintained until such notice has been given.
A. 
Every person or corporation seeking to use land or a structure or to erect a structure in the Borough of Lansdowne shall submit an application for a zoning permit to the Zoning Officer on a form provided for that purpose, together with such plans, documents and fees as may be required.
B. 
No land or structure shall be used or structure erected unless a valid zoning permit has been issued.
C. 
A zoning permit shall be acted on within 90 days of submission except when the application involved a subdivision or land development, in which case the time limit for action on an application for a zoning permit shall be the same as that provided for plan review by the Municipalities Planning Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.
D. 
Any application for the use of land or a structure or the erection of a structure which does not strictly comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be denied. An appeal from the decision of the Zoning Officer may be taken to the Zoning Hearing Board if such appeal is taken within 30 days.
E. 
Zoning permits shall expire if either the use indicated or the erection of the proposed structure has not commenced within a period of 12 months from the date of the granting of the permit; provided, however, that the Zoning Officer may issue extensions beyond the twelve-month period for commencement of construction if the Zoning Officer finds good cause therefor.
(1) 
The permit shall remain valid so long as the use continues unchanged or the structure is completed as approved.
(2) 
The permit shall lapse if, subject to the provisions of Article X, the use or structure has been changed in a manner which is not in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The permit shall also expire if work on a structure which is not complete is stopped for a period of one year or longer.
F. 
Certificate of occupancy.
(1) 
Upon the completion of the erection or alteration of a structure or portion thereof, the holder of the zoning permit shall notify the Zoning Officer of this fact and apply for a postconstruction inspection.
(2) 
The Zoning Officer shall inspect the structure to determine if it was constructed in accordance with plans submitted with the application for the zoning permit.
(3) 
If the Zoning Officer determines that the structure or alteration thereto complies with the provisions of this chapter and all other relevant codes, the Officer shall within 30 days issue a certificate of occupancy.
(4) 
It shall be unlawful to occupy or otherwise use any structure or alteration thereto until a certificate of occupancy has been issued.
A. 
Reasonable fees may be levied for any activity required to administer this chapter. Where a fee is established, the activity shall not be executed or acted upon until the proper fee has been paid.
B. 
Fees shall be provided for by a separate fee schedule enacted by the Borough Council by resolution, from time to time.
C. 
The Borough Council may periodically review the fee schedule and amend it as appropriate at any public meeting without recourse to the public hearings and other procedures required to amend this chapter.
D. 
All fees paid in conjunction with the administration of this chapter shall be deposited to the Borough's account for use in the general fund.
E. 
The Borough Council shall be authorized to appropriate from general funds such moneys as are necessary to finance the administration, amendment, enforcement and legal defense of this chapter.
A. 
If it appears that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the Borough Council or the Borough Zoning Officer, when authorized by the Council, may institute enforcement proceedings by sending a notice as herein provided.
B. 
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.
C. 
The enforcement notice shall state at least the following:
(1) 
The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the municipality intends to take action.
(2) 
The location of the property in violation.
(3) 
The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of this chapter.
(4) 
The date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and the date before which the steps must be completed.
(5) 
That the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board within 10 days of the date of the notice.
(6) 
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 including but not limited to proceedings before the Magisterial District Judge and judgment as set forth in Sections 617.1 and 617.2 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code,[1] or as that Code may be amended, copies of which sections shall be attached to the notices, and/or proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such violation.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. §§ 10617.1 and 10617.2.
A. 
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 Borough, pay a judgment of not more than $1,000, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the Borough as a result thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or 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 Borough may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. All judgments, costs and reasonable attorney's fees collected for the violation of this chapter shall be paid over to the Borough.
B. 
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.
C. 
Nothing contained in this section shall be construed or interpreted to grant any person or entity other than the Borough the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this section.