The Borough Council may from time to time amend, supplement or repeal any of the regulations and provisions of this chapter. The procedure for the preparation of a proposed zoning ordinance as set forth in § 607 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10607, is hereby declared optional.
Before voting on the enactment of an amendment, the Borough Council shall hold a public hearing thereon, pursuant to public notice. In addition, if the proposed amendment involves a Zoning Map change, notice of said public hearing shall be conspicuously posted by the Borough at points deemed sufficient by the Borough along the perimeter of the tract to notify potentially interested citizens. The affected tract or area shall be posted at least one week prior to the date of the hearing.
In the case of an amendment other than that prepared by the Planning Commission, the Borough Council shall submit each such amendment to the Planning Commission at least 30 days prior to the hearing on such proposed amendment to provide the Planning Commission an opportunity to submit recommendations.
If after any public hearing held upon an amendment the proposed amendment is changed substantially or is revised to include land previously not affected by it, the Borough Council shall hold another public hearing, pursuant to public notice, before proceeding to vote on the amendment.
At least 30 days prior to the public hearing on the amendment by the Borough Council, the Borough shall submit the proposed amendment to the county planning agency for recommendations.
Within 30 days after enactment, a copy of the amendment to this chapter shall be forwarded to the county planning agency.
A landowner who desires to challenge on substantive grounds the validity of this chapter or the Zoning Map or any provision thereof which prohibits or restricts the use or development of land in which he has an interest may submit a curative amendment to the Borough Council with a written request that his challenge and proposed amendment be heard and decided as provided in § 916.1 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (hereinafter "MPC"), 53 P.S. § 10916.1. The curative amendment and challenge shall be referred to the Planning Commission and the county planning agency as provided in § 609, and notice of the hearing thereon shall be given as provided in §§ 610 and 916.1 of the MPC (see 53 P.S. §§ 10609, 10610 and 10916.1).
The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with § 908 of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 10908, and all references therein to the Zoning Hearing Board shall, for purposes of this section, be references to the Borough Council. If the Borough does not accept a landowner's curative amendment brought in accordance with this subsection and a court subsequently rules that the challenge has merit, the court's decision shall not result in a declaration of invalidity for this entire chapter and Zoning Map, but only for those provisions which specifically relate to the landowner's curative amendment and challenge.
The Borough Council, if it determines that a validity challenge has merit, may accept a landowner's curative amendment, with or without revision, or may adopt an alternative amendment which will cure the challenged defects. The Borough Council shall consider the curative amendments, plans and explanatory material submitted by the landowner and shall also consider:
The impact of the proposal upon roads, sewer facilities, water supplies, schools and other public service facilities;
If the proposal is for a residential use, the impact of the proposal upon regional housing needs and the effectiveness of the proposal in providing housing units of a type actually available to and affordable by classes of persons otherwise unlawfully excluded by the challenged provisions of this chapter or the Zoning Map;
The suitability of the site for the intensity of use proposed by the site's soils, slopes, woodlands, wetlands, floodplains, aquifers, natural resources and other natural features;
The impact of the proposed use on the site's soils, slopes, woodlands, wetlands, floodplains, natural resources and natural features, the degree to which these are protected or destroyed, the tolerance of the resources to development and any adverse environmental impacts; and
The impact of the proposal on the preservation of agriculture and other land uses which are essential to public health and welfare.
If the Borough determines that this chapter, or any portion hereof, is substantially invalid, it shall take the following actions:
The Borough shall declare by formal action this chapter or portions hereof substantially invalid and propose to prepare a curative amendment to overcome such invalidity. Within 30 days of such declaration and proposal the Borough Council shall:
By resolution, make specific findings setting forth the declared invalidity of this chapter, which may include:
Begin to prepare and consider a curative amendment to this chapter to correct the declared invalidity.
Within 180 days from the date of the declaration and proposal, the Borough shall enact a curative amendment to validate, or reaffirm the validity of, this chapter pursuant to the provisions of § 609 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (hereinafter "MPC"), 53 P.S. § 10609, in order to cure the declared invalidity of this chapter.
Upon the initiation of the procedures as set forth in Subsection A, the Borough Council shall not be required to entertain or consider any landowner's curative amendment filed under § 609.1 of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 10609.1, nor shall the Zoning Hearing Board be required to give a report requested under § 909.1 or 916.1 of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 10909.1 or 10916.1, subsequent to the declaration and proposal, based upon the grounds identical or substantially similar to those specified by the resolution required by Subsection A(1). Upon completion of the procedures set forth in Subsections A and B, no rights to a cure pursuant to the provisions of §§ 609.1 and 916.1 of the MPC, 53 P.S. §§ 10609.1 and 10916.1, shall, from the date of the declaration and proposal, accrue to any landowner on the basis of the substantive invalidity of this chapter for which there has been a curative amendment pursuant to this section.
The Borough, having utilized the procedures set forth in this section, may not again utilize said procedure for a period of 36 months following the date of enactment of a curative amendment or reaffirmation of the validity of this chapter; provided, however, if after the date of declaration and proposal there is a substantially new duty imposed upon the Borough by virtue of a change in statute or by virtue of a Pennsylvania Appellate Court decision, the Borough may utilize the provisions of this section to propose a curative amendment to this chapter to fulfill said duty or obligation.
If it appears to the Borough that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the Borough 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.
An enforcement notice shall state at least the following:
The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the Borough intends to take action.
The location of the property in violation.
The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of this chapter.
The date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced, and the date before which the steps must be completed.
That the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board within a period of 10 days.
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.
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, the Borough Council or, with the approval of the Borough Council, an officer of the Borough, 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 any such action is instituted by a landowner or tenant, notice of that action shall be served upon the Borough at least 30 days prior to the time the action is begun by serving a copy of the complaint on the Borough Council. No such action may be maintained until such notice has been given.
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 $500 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, 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.
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.
Nothing contained in this section shall be construed or interpreted to grant to any person or entity other than the Borough the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this section.
Magisterial District Judges shall have initial jurisdiction over proceedings brought under this section.