Borough of Lewistown, PA
Mifflin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Lewistown 3-24-1986 by Ord. No. 86-2 (Ch. 1, Part 5B, of the 1986 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building Appeals Board — See Ch. 10.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 125.
Mobile home parks — See Ch. 148.
Zoning — See Ch. 240.

§ 70-1 Creation of Zoning Hearing Board.

Pursuant to the authority granted Council by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code,[1] the existent three-member Zoning Hearing Board created under previous ordinances of the Borough is confirmed as, and shall continue as, the Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.

§ 70-2 Appointment of members of Board; terms of office.

A. 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall be comprised of three residents of the Borough appointed by Council. No elected official of the Borough, no appointed officer or appointed official of the Borough, no employee of the Borough, and no member of the Planning Commission, Board of Building Appeals, Recreation Board, Police Civil Service Commission or any other board, commission, bureau or agency of the Borough shall be eligible for appointment to the Zoning Hearing Board, and no member of the Zoning Hearing Board shall serve in any of those offices or positions or on any of those boards, commissions, bureaus or agencies unless he first resigns from the Zoning Hearing Board.
B. 
The term of office of each member of the Zoning Hearing Board shall be three years; the term to expire on the second Monday in January or at such time thereafter when a successor to the member is appointed by Council. The terms of office of the three members of the Zoning Hearing Board shall be so staggered that the term of office of one member expires each year.

§ 70-3 Vacancy; removal of member.

A. 
If a vacancy occurs in the Zoning Hearing Board other than by expiration of the term of a member, Council shall fill the vacancy by appointing a resident of the Borough to serve for the balance of the unexpired three-year term.
B. 
The circumstances and procedures for removing a member of the Zoning Hearing Board from office shall be those prescribed by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.

§ 70-4 Compensation and reimbursement of expenses.

The members of the Zoning Hearing Board shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed by Council for necessary and reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

§ 70-5 Meetings and hearings of Zoning Hearing Board.

[Amended 9-22-1986 by Ord. No. 86-4]
A. 
Beginning on the second Tuesday in February and to and including the second Tuesday in February of the following year, the Zoning Hearing Board shall hold regular meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 7:30 p.m. for the purposes of conducting hearings on cases before it, taking formal and final action on such cases before it as may be ready for the entry of decisions, and resuming hearings in those cases before it where previously scheduled hearings were continued, postponed, rescheduled or otherwise adjourned for resumption at a later date. If there are no cases pending before the Zoning Hearing Board which require hearings, the entry of decisions or other action at a regularly scheduled meeting, the Chairman of the Zoning Hearing Board may cancel that particular meeting.
B. 
Despite anything implied to the contrary in Subsection A, the Zoning Hearing Board may schedule such additional regular meetings and may hold such special meetings as it may determine are necessary or appropriate and, after taking into consideration the time limitations and procedural requirements prescribed by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and other applicable laws, may schedule, reschedule, postpone, continue or adjourn hearings on cases before it for or to such dates and times as it may determine are reasonably necessary or appropriate in order to accommodate the parties to the case, their counsel, the public, the hearing stenographer, or others, or in order to satisfy any time limitations or procedural requirements prescribed by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code or other applicable law.
C. 
Pursuant to the provisions of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act,[1] all regular and special meetings of the Zoning Hearing Board and all hearings conducted by the Zoning Hearing Board shall be open to the public.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 65 Pa.C.S.A. § 701 et seq.

§ 70-6 Public notice of meetings of Board.

A. 
During the month of January in each calendar year, the Administrative Secretary to the Zoning Hearing Board shall give public notice of the dates, times and places of the regular meetings of the Zoning Hearing Board scheduled under § 70-5A and shall include in that notice a general statement of the purposes of the regular meetings. This public notice shall be published and concomitantly posted at least four days before the date of the first regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board scheduled under § 70-5A.
B. 
The Administrative Secretary to the Zoning Hearing Board shall give public notice of the date, time and place of an additional regular meeting or a special meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board and shall include in that notice a general statement of the purpose of the meeting. This public notice shall be published and concomitantly posted at least two days before the date of the meeting. A public notice given under § 70-14, pertaining to notice of a meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board to take formal and final action on a case before it, shall be deemed to constitute compliance with the requirements of this § 70-6B.

§ 70-7 Officers; administrative and technical support.

A. 
Each year at the first regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board scheduled for February, the members of the Zoning Hearing Board shall elect one member as Chairman of the Zoning Hearing Board and one member as Vice Chairman of the Zoning Hearing Board. The officers of the Zoning Hearing Board shall serve for one year or until their successors are elected by the members of the Zoning Hearing Board. The officers of the Zoning Hearing Board may succeed themselves.
B. 
Council shall assign the Borough Secretary (or Assistant Borough Secretary), or the Borough Manager shall assign some other employee of the Borough, to serve as Administrative Secretary to the Zoning Hearing Board. The duties of the Administrative Secretary shall be to provide the Zoning Hearing Board with such administrative services as scheduling meetings, giving notice of meetings, preparing agendas for meetings, preparing minutes of meetings, scheduling hearings, giving notice of hearings, securing the services of a hearing stenographer, securing the services of an attorney to serve as hearing or case counsel to the Board, preparing agendas for hearings, distributing copies of hearing decisions, and other like services.

§ 70-8 Rules of procedure.

The Zoning Hearing Board may make such rules to govern its meetings, hearings or hearing procedures and may require the use of such forms in connection with its proceedings or procedures as are permitted by and consistent with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code[1] and other applicable laws.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.

§ 70-9 Functions, duties and powers.

The functions and duties of the Zoning Hearing Board shall be those prescribed by, and the powers of the Zoning Hearing Board shall be those granted by, the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.

§ 70-10 Cases over which Zoning Hearing Board has jurisdiction.

The Zoning Hearing Board shall have jurisdiction over those types of cases assigned to it by the authority of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and those types of cases assigned to it by the authority of Chapter 148, Mobile Home Parks, and Chapter 125, Flood Damage Prevention, of the Code of the Borough of Lewistown.

§ 70-11 Filing of a case; fee.

A. 
All forms, statements, documents, sketches, plans and other materials comprising the case papers of the petitioner to the Zoning Hearing Board shall be submitted to the Administrative Secretary to the Zoning Hearing Board and shall be accompanied by the filing fee prescribed by the separate Borough Costs and Fees Schedule adopted by Council.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The current Borough Costs and Fees Schedule is on file in the Borough's offices.
B. 
The Administrative Secretary to the Zoning Hearing Board shall examine the case papers submitted by a petitioner within two business days after the case papers have been submitted. The Administrative Secretary shall ensure that: 1) the filing fee has been paid; 2) all information required by any Zoning Hearing Board form has been disclosed; 3) all forms, statements, documents, sketches, plans and other materials comprising the case papers are complete; and 4) the request, appeal, challenge or other substantive basis of the case is not time-barred. If the Administrative Secretary is satisfied that all the foregoing prerequisites have been met, the Administrative Secretary shall accept the case papers for filing and mark the case papers filed as of the date when they were accepted by the Administrative Secretary.
C. 
If the Administrative Secretary does not accept the case papers for filing under Subsection B, the Administrative Secretary shall give the petitioner a brief written explanation setting forth the reasons why the case papers were not accepted for filing and the manner in which the matters faulted might be corrected in order that the case papers might be accepted for filing.

§ 70-12 Scheduling hearing on case; notice.

[Amended 5-13-1996 by Ord. No. 1996-3]
A. 
Upon the filing of the case papers under § 70-11B, the Administrative Secretary to the Zoning Hearing Board shall fix a date, time and place for the public hearing to be conducted by the Zoning Hearing Board on the case. The date fixed by the Administrative Secretary for the public hearing may, but need not, be the date of a regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board scheduled under § 70-5A. In any event, the date fixed by the Administrative Secretary for the public hearing shall be not more than 60 days and not less than 20 days, after the date on which the case papers in the matter were accepted for filing by the Administrative Secretary under § 70-11B.
B. 
The Administrative Secretary shall give public notice of the date, time and place fixed under Subsection A of this section for the Zoning Hearing Board's public hearing on the case and shall include in that notice:
(1) 
The name of the petitioner;
(2) 
A citation of the case number assigned to the case;
(3) 
A statement of the particular nature of the case, including a reference to the location of the land, building or structure involved in the case;
(4) 
A statement of the relief requested or the remedy sought by the petitioner; and
(5) 
A reference to the Borough office where the case papers are on file and where they may be examined during normal business hours.
C. 
The Administrative Secretary shall ensure that counterparts of the public notice of the hearing are published and posted and mailed or delivered as follows:
(1) 
A counterpart of the notice shall be published in the newspaper once each week for two consecutive weeks, with intervals of at least five calendar days between each publication. The first publication shall appear not more than 30 days and the second publication shall appear not less than seven days prior to the date of the hearing.
Information Note. As used in this Subsection C(1) and in §§ 70-13A and B and 70-14, the term "newspaper" shall mean and include: The Sentinel (a newspaper of general circulation in the Borough of Lewistown) and, because of the additional publication requirement imposed by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Advertising Act [45 Pa.C.S.A. § 308(a)], the Mifflin County Legal Journal. Thus, the notice to be published under this Subsection C(1) is to be published twice in the Mifflin County Legal Journal as well as twice in The Sentinel.
(2) 
Not more than 30 days and not less than 10 days prior to the date of the hearing, a counterpart of the notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the Lewistown Municipal Building.
(3) 
Not more than 30 days and not less than 10 days prior to the date of the hearing, a counterpart of the notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the land involved in the case or on the land on which the building or structure involved in the case is located.
(4) 
Not more than 30 days and not less than 10 days prior to the date of the hearing, a counterpart of the notice shall be mailed by ordinary mail to the petitioner; the owner of the land, building or structure involved in the case if the owner is different from the petitioner; and any person who has made a timely request that notice be specifically given him.
(5) 
Not more than 30 days and not less than seven days prior to the date of the hearing, a counterpart of the notice shall be mailed by ordinary mail or delivered by hand to: the Building Codes, Property Codes and Zoning Code Department; the Borough Manager; the Borough Secretary; the President of Council; and the Chairman of the Planning Commission.
D. 
In addition to the counterparts of the notice to be given under Subsection C of this section, counterparts of the notice may be given to such other persons, at such times and in such manner as the Zoning Hearing Board or the Administrative Secretary to the Zoning Hearing Board may deem appropriate under the circumstances of the case before the Board.

§ 70-13 Notice of rescheduled, postponed, continued or adjourned hearings.

A. 
Rescheduled or postponed meetings.
(1) 
If notice of a hearing has been given under § 70-12, but before the hearing is convened it is rescheduled or postponed to a different date, time or place, the Administrative Secretary to the Zoning Hearing Board shall give public notice of the date, time and place to which the hearing was rescheduled or postponed and shall include in that notice:
(a) 
The name of the petitioner;
(b) 
The case number of the case;
(c) 
A general statement of the nature of the case; and
(d) 
A statement giving the date for which the hearing had originally been scheduled and explaining that the hearing was rescheduled or postponed.
(2) 
Not less than seven days prior to the date on which the rescheduled or postponed hearing is to be held, a counterpart of this notice shall be published in the newspaper one time; a counterpart posted in the places described in §§ 70-12C(2) and (3); a counterpart mailed by ordinary mail to each of the persons referred to in § 70-12C(4); and a counterpart mailed by ordinary mail or delivered by hand to each of the persons referred to in § 70-12C(5).
B. 
Continued meetings.
(1) 
If a hearing is convened but then continued indefinitely by consent of the parties, and thereafter the parties agree to resume the hearing on a given date, the Administrative Secretary to the Zoning Hearing Board shall give public notice of the date, time and place at which the hearing will be resumed and shall include in that notice:
(a) 
The name of the petitioner;
(b) 
The case number of the case;
(c) 
A general statement of the nature of the case; and
(d) 
A statement giving the date on which the hearing was convened and explaining that the hearing was continued indefinitely but is now to be resumed.
(2) 
Not less than seven days prior to the date on which the hearing is to be resumed, a counterpart of this notice shall be published in the newspaper one time; a counterpart posted in the places described in §§ 70-12C(2) and (3); a counterpart mailed by ordinary mail to each of the persons referred to in § 70-12C(4); and a counterpart mailed by ordinary mail or delivered by hand to each of the persons referred to in § 70-12C(5).
C. 
If a hearing is convened but the extent of the testimony or other factors warrant adjourning the hearing for resumption at a later date, the Zoning Hearing Board, by public announcement at the hearing, may adjourn the hearing to a stated date, time and place for resumption of the hearing. Except for the public announcement at the hearing, no further notice of the adjournment of the hearing to the stated date, time and place need be given.

§ 70-14 Notice of meeting to take formal and final action on case.

Because any meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board to take formal and final action on a case (whether the meeting is held immediately following the hearing on the case or at a later date) is subject to the requirements of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act,[1] the Administrative Secretary to the Zoning Hearing Board shall give public notice of the date, time and place of the meeting at which the Board plans to take formal and final action on the case and shall include in that notice: a) the name of the petitioner; b) the case number of the case; c) a general statement of the nature of the case; and d) a general statement of the purpose of the meeting. The notice of the meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board to take formal and final action on the case may be given as part of the public notice required to be given under § 70-12 or as part of a public notice required to be given under § 70-13A or B. However, if the notice of the meeting of the Board to take action on the case is not given as part of the public notice under § 70-12 or as part of a public notice under § 70-13A or B, then not less than two days prior to the date of the meeting to take action on the case a counterpart of the notice of the meeting to take action on the case shall be published in the newspaper one time; a counterpart posted in the place described in § 70-12C(2); and a counterpart mailed by ordinary mail or delivered by hand to each of the persons referred to in § 70-12C(4) and (5).
[1]
Editor's Note: See 65 Pa.C.S.A. § 701 et seq.

§ 70-15 Public records.

The Zoning Hearing Board shall keep complete and full records of its activities, hearings, actions and decisions, and these records shall be public records within the meaning and scope of the Pennsylvania Open Records Act.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Right-To-Know Law, 65 P.S. § 67.101 et seq.