Township of Lower Macungie, PA
Lehigh County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 1989-1, 1/3/1989; as amended by Ord. 1999-18, 12/16/1999, §§ 39-1, 39-4; and by Ord. 2011-12, 10/6/2011]
1. 
Creation; General Responsibilities. There is hereby created a Lower Macungie Township Planning Department. The Department shall be responsible for matters of Township planning, zoning, building construction, and inspections.
2. 
General Purposes and Intent. The Planning Department is established to compile comprehensive planning studies, including, but not limited to, a natural resources inventory and subsequent environmental policy analyses; and to permit a significant degree of in-house design overview, and developer guidance, specifically to include the site analysis/development suitability process and subsequent design concept formulation; to provide the Lower Macungie Township's plan reviewing and approving authorities with sufficient information and data to enable the Township officials to better understand, document, protect and legally defend Township policies, including, but not limited to, critical areas, farmland and agricultural preservation, unique ecosystems, endangered wildlife and plant species and their habitats, wetlands, stream corridors, groundwater/aquifer recharge zones as well as other areas displaying significant scenic, historic or amenity values within the Township.
3. 
Planning Department Director. For the administration of the Planning Department, the Board of Commissioners shall appoint a Director of Planning, who shall be, in the opinion of the Board of Commissioners, qualified for the duties of that position. The Director of Planning shall be in charge of the administration of the Department and shall exercise the powers and be subject to the duties that are granted or imposed on the Planning Department by this Part.
4. 
Duties and Responsibilities. The Lower Macungie Township Planning Department is hereby delegated the following powers, duties, rights and responsibilities:
A. 
To maintain and keep on file all official Township records regarding its actions, those of the Lower Macungie Township Zoning Hearing Board, the Township Planning Commission and those of the Board of Commissioners regarding all planning matters, subdivisions and land developments. In addition, the Department shall be responsible for maintaining all official records regarding Township zoning matters, building codes and inspections.
B. 
To make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners and Lower Macungie Township Planning Commission concerning the adoption or amendment of the Official Map and Comprehensive Plan, to assure that it is kept current and in keeping with the planning objectives of the Board of Commissioners.
C. 
To make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners and the Lower Macungie Township Planning Commission on proposed amendments to the Lower Macungie Township Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27], to assure that the Zoning Ordinance is kept current and in keeping with the planning objectives of the Board of Commissioners.
D. 
To prepare, recommend and administer subdivision, land and planned residential or other appropriate development regulations.
E. 
To prepare and present to the Board of Commissioners a Building Code and a Housing Code and make recommendations concerning proposed amendments thereto.
F. 
To do such other acts or make such studies as may be necessary to fulfill the duties and obligations imposed by this Part.
G. 
To prepare and present to the Board of Commissioners an environmental study or studies and to perform other activities as set forth in Subsection 2, "General Purposes and Intent."
H. 
To submit to the Board of Commissioners, on a yearly basis, a recommended capital improvements program.
I. 
To promote public interest in and understanding of the comprehensive plan and planning.
J. 
To make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners; governmental, civic and private agencies; and individuals as to the effectiveness of the proposals of such agencies and individuals.
K. 
To require from other departments and agencies of Lower Macungie Township such available information as relates to the work of the Planning Department.
L. 
To enter upon any land to make examinations and surveys, with the consent of the owner.
M. 
To prepare and present to the Board of Commissioners a study regarding the feasibility and practicability of using renewable energy sources in specific areas within Lower Macungie Township.
N. 
To receive and review subdivision and land development plans to determine whether or not said plans are sufficiently complete to permit the required review by the Planning Commission and the Board of Commissioners to begin.
5. 
In the performance of its powers and duties, any act or recommendation of the Planning Agency which involves engineering consideration, shall be subject to review and comments of the Township Engineer, whose report shall be incorporated and separately set forth in any report, written act or recommendation of the Planning Department.
[Ord. 1989-1, 1/3/1989; as amended by Ord. 2009-12, 8/20/2009, §§ I, II; and by Ord. 2011-12, 10/6/2011]
1. 
Creation of Planning Commission. The Board of Commissioners of Lower Macungie Township hereby creates a Planning Commission pursuant to the statutory mandates of the Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
2. 
Duties and Responsibilities of the Planning Commission.
A. 
Prepare a comprehensive plan at the request of the Board of Commissioners.
B. 
Make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners concerning the adoption or amendment of the official map.
C. 
Make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners on proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27].
D. 
Recommend subdivision, land and planned residential development regulations.
E. 
Do such other act and make such studies as may be necessary to fulfill the duties and obligations imposed by this Part.
F. 
Promote public interest in and understanding of the comprehensive plan and planning.
G. 
Make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners, governmental, civic and private agencies and individuals as to the effectiveness of the proposals of such agencies and individuals.
H. 
Hold public hearings and meetings.
I. 
Require from other departments and agencies of the Township such available information as relates to the work of the Planning Commission.
J. 
Enter upon any land to make examinations and surveys, with the consent of the owner.
K. 
In the performance of its powers and duties, any act or recommendation of the Planning Commission which involves engineering consideration, shall be subject to review and comments of the Township Engineer, whose report shall be incorporated and separately set forth in any report, written act or recommendation of the Planning Commission.
3. 
Membership; Terms of Office.
A. 
The Planning Commission shall consist of seven members who shall be appointed by the Board of Commissioners for a term of office of four years or until their successors are appointed and qualified. The terms of office of the members shall be so fixed that not more than two members shall be reappointed or replaced during any future calendar year.
B. 
Present members of the Planning Commissions shall continue in office until the end of the term for which they were appointed and, thereafter, shall be reappointed or replaced as hereinbefore provided.
C. 
Establishment of Future Membership Terms. Effective January 1, 2010, the future membership terms of the members of the Planning Commission shall be reestablished as follows:
(1) 
The member or successor member whose term is to expire June, 2010, under his or her current appointment shall be reappointed or replaced at the first Board of Commissions meeting in January, 2011.
(2) 
The members or successor members whose terms are due to expire June, 2011, under their current appointments shall be reappointed or replaced at the first Board of Commissioners meeting in January, 2012.
(3) 
The member or successor member whose term is to expire June, 2012, under his or her current appointment shall be reappointed or replaced at the first Board of Commissions meeting in January, 2013.
(4) 
The members or successor members whose terms are due to expire June, 2013, under their current appointments shall be reappointed or replaced at the first Board of Commissioners meeting in January, 2014.
(5) 
The new member who is to be appointed to fill the vacant seat created by amendment in Subsection 3A of this section shall be appointed to a four-year term effective January, 2009. Thereafter, this member or his or her replacement shall be appointed to a four-year term at the first Board of Commissions meeting in January, 2013.
4. 
Qualification. All members of the Planning Commission shall reside within the Township and serve without pay, although members may be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in performance of their duties as Commission members.
5. 
Vacancy Appointment. An appointment to fill a vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term. All vacancies arising from any reasons shall be filled by appointment by the Board of Commissioners.
6. 
Restrictions. A maximum of one Planning Commission member on a six-member commission may be officers or employees of the Township.
7. 
Rules of Procedure. The Planning Commission shall elect its own chairman and create and fill such other offices as it may deem necessary. The Commission may make and alter rules for its procedures consistent with the ordinances of the Township and the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It shall keep a record of its resolutions, transactions, findings and determinations, which record shall be a public document. The Commission shall make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners, for appointment of such employees and staff as it may deem necessary for its work and recommend contracts with planners and other consultants for such technical services as it may require. The Commission shall incur only such expenditures as shall be necessary and proper, and all such expenditures shall be authorized by the Board of Commissioners and shall be within amounts appropriated by the Board of Commissioners or made available to the Commission by the Board of Commissioners from other sources.
8. 
Annual Reports. The Commission shall annually, at the regular meeting of the Township Commissioners, in June of each year, make a report to the Commissioners of their transactions, findings and determinations.
9. 
Development Plans. The Planning Commission may make reports and recommendations to the Board of Commissioners, agencies and citizens regarding public and private improvements in relation to its plans and general community development. It may publish the development plan or sections thereof and such other reports and recommendations as, in the opinion of the Commission, are necessary to attain the objectives of this Part. The Planning Commission shall have such powers as will reasonably enable it to carry out its purpose and promote Township planning.