Township of Moon, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 579, 10/6/2004; as amended by Ord. 656, 4/9/2015]
1. 
Application. Upon receipt of a completed application for a building permit or a certificate of appropriateness for work to be done in a historic district, the Code Official shall act in accordance with the Construction Code [Chapter 5, Part 1] procedures, except as those procedures are modified by the following requirements:
A. 
The Code Official shall forward to the HARB copies of the completed application, together with copies of any plot plan and building plans and specifications filed by the applicant.
B. 
The Code Official shall not issue a building permit for any erection, addition, reconstruction or demolition of all or part of any building in a historic district until the Board of Supervisors has issued a certificate of appropriateness. If the Code Official issues a building permit without a certificate of appropriateness due to an administrative or clerical error said building permit shall be voided.
C. 
Anyone proposing to alter, reconstruct, repair or restore all or part of any building in a historic district should come before the HARB for an informal discussion prior to filing a completed application for a building permit or certificate of appropriateness.
D. 
The Code Official shall require applicants to submit a sufficient number of additional copies of material required to be attached to a completed application so that the information needed to make the determination set forth in this section will be available.
E. 
The Code Official shall maintain in his office a record of all such applications and final dispositions of the same.
2. 
HARB Review of Applications. Upon receipt of a completed application for a building permit or certificate of appropriateness under the jurisdiction of this chapter, HARB shall consider, but need not act upon, such application at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
A. 
Notification of Applicant of HARB Meeting. The owner of record or his or her representative(s) applying for a certificate of appropriateness and/or a building permit shall be advised of the time and place of said meeting and be invited to appear to explain his or her reasons. HARB may invite such other persons as it desires to attend its meeting.
B. 
Design Guidelines. In determining both oral and written recommendations to be presented to the Board of Supervisors concerning the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness authorizing a permit for the erection, addition, demolition, or demolition by neglect of all or a part of any building within a Historic District, HARB shall consider the design guidelines set forth in Part 3 of this chapter, and such design guidelines developed by the HARB pursuant to and congruent with the objectives of this chapter.
C. 
Time Frame for HARB Decision. HARB shall render a written decision and recommendation on any application for a building permit or certificate of appropriateness under its review within 45 working days after the first public meeting of the HARB at which the subject application is reviewed. This written decision and/or recommendation shall be submitted to the Board of Supervisors.
D. 
Application Disapproval by HARB. If the HARB decides to advise against the granting of a certificate of appropriateness, it shall so indicate to the applicant for a building permit. The disapproval shall indicate to the applicant the changes in plans and specifications, if any, which would protect (1) the distinctive historical character of the historic district and (2) the architectural integrity of the building or structure. The HARB shall withhold its report for five days to allow the applicant to decide whether or not to make the suggested changes in his plans and specifications. If the applicant determines that he or she will make the necessary changes, he or she shall so advise the HARB in writing, and the HARB shall so advise the Board of Supervisors in writing.
E. 
Contents of Written Report. The written report to the Board of Supervisors concerning HARB's recommendations on the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness shall set out the findings of fact and shall include, but not be limited to, the following matters:
(1) 
The exact location of the area in which the work is to be done.
(2) 
The exterior changes to be made or the exterior character of the structure to be erected.
(3) 
A list of the surrounding structures with their general exterior characteristics.
(4) 
The effect of the proposed change upon the general historic and architectural nature of the district.
(5) 
The appropriateness of exterior architectural features of the building, which can be seen from a public street or way.
(6) 
The general design, arrangement, texture, and material of the building and the structure and the relation of such factors to similar features of building or structures in the district.
(7) 
The opinion of HARB (including any dissent) as to the appropriateness of the work or project proposed as it will preserve or destroy the historic character and nature of the district.
(8) 
HARB's specific recommendations, based on findings of fact, to the Board of Supervisors for the issuance or denial for a certificate of appropriateness.
3. 
Board of Supervisors Review of Applications. Upon receipt of the written report from HARB as provided in Subsection 2E of this section, the Board of Supervisors shall consider, but need not act upon, such application at its next regularly scheduled meeting. The applicant shall be advised by the Code Official of the time and place of the meeting at which his/her application shall be considered. The applicant shall have the right to attend this meeting and be heard as to the reasons for filing this said application.
A. 
Design Guidelines. In determining whether or not to certify to the appropriateness of the proposed erection, addition or demolition, of all or a part of any building within a historic district, the Board of Supervisors shall consider the same factors as HARB set forth in Part 3 of this chapter and the HARB written report.
B. 
Written Decision. A letter indicating approval, approval with conditions or disapproval shall be in writing and shall be communicated to the applicant personally or mailed to the applicant at the applicant's last known address within 15 calendar days following the Board of Supervisors' decision. If the Board of Supervisors denies the completed application, then the written decision shall include the reasons therefore and indicating what changes in the plans and specifications would meet the conditions for protecting (1) the distinctive historical character of the district and (2) the architectural integrity of the building or structure. A copy of this written decision shall be issued to the applicant, the Code Official and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
C. 
Approval by the Board of Supervisors. If the Board of Supervisors approves the completed application, it shall issue a certificate of appropriateness authorizing the Code Official to issue a building permit for the work covered.
D. 
Denial by the Board of Supervisors. If the Board of Supervisors denies the application, then the Code Official, upon receipt of a written decision from the Board of Supervisors, shall deny the application for a building permit and so advise the applicant. The applicant may appeal this denial to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas within the time specified by law.
[Ord. 579, 10/6/2004; as amended by Ord. 656, 4/9/2015]
1. 
When a claim of unreasonable economic hardship is made due to the effect of this chapter, the property owner of record must present evidence sufficient to prove that as a result of the HARB's action, he/she is unable to obtain a reasonable return or a reasonable beneficial use from a resource. The property owner of record shall submit by affidavit to the HARB some or all of the information below at the discretion of the HARB.
A. 
Date the property was acquired by its current owner.
B. 
Price paid for the property (if acquired by purchase) and a description of the relationship, if any between the buyer and the seller of the property.
C. 
Mortgage history of the property, including current mortgage and the annual debt service, if any, for the previous two years.
D. 
Current market value of the property.
E. 
Equity in the property.
F. 
Past and current income and expense statements for the past two years.
G. 
Past capital expenditures during ownership of current owner.
H. 
Appraisals of the property obtained within the previous two years.
I. 
Income and property tax factors affecting the property.
J. 
All appraisals obtained within the previous two years by the property owner or applicant in connection with purchase, offerings for sale, financing or ownership of the property, or a statement from the property owner that none was obtained.
K. 
All studies commissioned by the property owner as to profitable renovation, rehabilitation or utilization of any structures or objects on the property for alternative use, or a statement from the property owner that none was obtained.
L. 
Estimate(s) of the cost of the proposed erection, reconstruction, alteration, restoration, demolition or razing and an estimate(s) of any additional cost(s) that would be incurred to comply with the recommendations of the HARB for changes necessary for it to recommend approval of a certificate of appropriateness.
M. 
Form of ownership or operation of the property, whether sole proprietorship, for profit or nonprofit corporation, limited partnership, joint venture or other.
N. 
Any other information or documentation deemed relevant by the HARB.
2. 
Should the HARB determine that the property owner's present return is not reasonable, it must consider whether there are other uses currently allowed that would provide a reasonable return and whether such a return could be obtained through investment in the property for rehabilitation purposes. The HARB may choose to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that special economic incentives be developed to assist the property owner in maintaining it and obtaining a suitable economic return or achieving a reasonable beneficial use.
3. 
The HARB may seek the assistance of appropriate local, statewide or national preservation organizations in developing solutions, which would relieve the property owner's economic hardship. If the HARB chooses to explore such options, the HARB may delay issuing a certificate of appropriateness for demolition on the basis of economic hardship for a period of 90 days in addition to time periods otherwise applicable.
4. 
Should the applicant satisfy the HARB that he/she will suffer an unreasonable economic hardship if a certificate of appropriateness is not approved, and should the HARB be unable to develop with the Township or appropriate local, statewide and national preservation organization a solution which can relieve the owner's economic hardship, then the HARB shall recommend a certificate of appropriateness for demolition.
[Ord. 579, 10/6/2004; as amended by Ord. 656, 4/9/2015]
All buildings and structures within a historic district shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound, and reasonably protected against decay and deterioration. Examples of such deterioration include:
A. 
Deterioration of exterior walls or other vertical supports.
B. 
Deterioration of roofs or other horizontal members.
C. 
Deterioration of exterior chimneys.
D. 
Deterioration of crumbling of exterior stucco or mortar.
E. 
Ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs, or foundations, including broken window or doors.
F. 
Deterioration of any feature so as to create a hazardous condition, which could lead to the claim that a demolition is necessary for the public safety.
[Ord. 579, 10/6/2004; as amended by Ord. 656, 4/9/2015]
1. 
Notice to Person Responsible. Whenever the Code Official determines that there has been a violation of this chapter or has grounds to believe that a violation has occurred (such as through the (A) failure to apply for a certificate of appropriateness or a building permit required for the erection, addition, demolition, demolition by neglect or razing of any building or structure which can be seen from a public way, and (B) failure to comply with HARB approved work) notice shall be given in the manner prescribed in Subsections 2 and 3, below, to the person responsible for the violation and/or the owner of the subject property.
2. 
Form. Such notice prescribed in Subsection 1, above, shall be in accordance with the following:
A. 
Be in writing.
B. 
Include a description of the subject property sufficient for identification.
C. 
Include a statement of the violation or violations and why the notice is being issued.
D. 
Include a correction order allowing a reasonable time to make the repairs and improvements required to bring the subject property and/or structure into compliance with the provisions of this chapter, and/or to abate the violation.
3. 
Method of Service. Such notice shall be deemed to be properly served if a copy thereof is:
A. 
Delivered personally.
B. 
Sent by certified mail or regular first-class mail to the last known address.
C. 
Posted in a conspicuous place on the subject property in or about the structure affected by such notice.
[Ord. 579, 10/6/2004; as amended by Ord. 656, 4/9/2015]
The Township shall have the power to institute any proceedings at law or in equity necessary for the enforcement of this chapter.
[Ord. 579, 10/6/2004; as amended by Ord. 656, 4/9/2015]
Any person, firm, or corporation who shall violate any provision of this Part, or fails to comply therewith, or with any of the requirements thereof, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000 plus costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township, and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment to the extent permitted by law for the punishment of summary offenses. A separate offense shall arise for each day or portion thereof in which a violation of this Part is found to exist and for each section of this Part found to have been violated. The Township may also commence appropriate actions in equity or other to prevent, restrain, correct, enjoin, or abate violations of this Part. All fines and penalties collected for violations of this Part shall be paid to the Township Treasurer. The initial determination of ordinance violation is hereby delegated to the Township Manager, the Police Department, the Code Official, the authorized designee of the Township Manager, and to any other officer or agent that the Township Manager or the Board of Supervisors shall deem appropriate.