[Ord. 2012-04, 12/10/2012, § 1]
Consistent with action by the Township taken in adopting Ord. 110, the Township hereby reaffirms the creation and establishment of the Lower Mount Bethel Township Planning Commission. The Planning Commission is now organized as a planning agency under the provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act 247 of July 31, 1968, reenacted and amended by Act 170 of December 21, 1988, P.L. 1329, as subsequently amended from time to time ("MPC"), 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
[Ord. 2012-04, 12/10/2012, § 2]
The Planning Commission shall consist of five members who shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Elected or appointed officers or employees of the Township may serve on the Planning Commission consistent with the terms of the MPC. All members so appointed shall be citizens of Lower Mount Bethel Township.
The term of office of the members shall be four years and shall expire on December 31, or until a successor is appointed, except that the term of not more than two members shall expire annually.
The Chairperson of the Planning Commission shall promptly notify the Board of Supervisors concerning vacancies on the Planning Commission. In the event of vacancies on the Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors shall appoint a member to fill the unexpired term.
Members of the Planning Commission may receive compensation in an amount established by the Board of Supervisors from time-to-time by resolution which shall not exceed the rate of compensation authorized to be paid to members of the Board of Supervisors. The members of the Planning Commission may be reimbursed for necessary and reasonable expenses.
The Planning Commission shall hold an annual Reorganization Meeting on the first meeting of the year prior to conducting any business. During the Reorganization Meeting, the members of the Planning Commission shall appoint a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, a Secretary and any other officers deemed necessary by the members of the Planning Commission. The officers shall serve in their position for a period of one year or until their successors are appointed. Officers may succeed themselves.
[Ord. 2012-04, 12/10/2012, § 3]
Meetings of the Planning Commission shall be held at such times and at such places as shall be determined by the Planning Commission. Regularly scheduled meetings shall be duly advertised in January by the Township Solicitor. The Planning Commission shall notify the Township Solicitor of the date and time of said regular meetings prior to December 15, to allow sufficient time for advertising of the regular meetings. Special meetings may be conducted upon proper advertisement as required in the Second Class Township Code.
Minutes for all meetings shall be taken by the Planning Commission's Secretary and following the Planning Commission's approval of the minutes, shall be submitted to the Township Secretary for record keeping.
A quorum of the Planning Commission shall consist of at least three Planning Commission members. Once a quorum is constituted, a simple majority of members is required to approve an item of the Planning Commission's business. If a quorum is not present, no official business can be conducted though meetings and discussions can occur.
[Ord. 2012-04, 12/10/2012, § 4]
The Planning Commission shall have the power to adopt rules and regulations pertaining to the conduct of its business at meetings.
The Planning Commission shall, at the request of the Board of Supervisors, have the power and shall be required to:
Prepare the Comprehensive Plan for the development of the Township as set forth in the MPC and present it for the consideration of the Board of Supervisors.
Maintain and keep on file records of its actions. All records and files of the Planning Commission shall be in the possession of the Township.
Provide an annual report to the Board of Supervisors summarizing the actions and discussions of the Planning Commission during the previous calendar year. Such report shall be provided to the Board no later than March 1, of the succeeding year.
At the request of the Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission may:
Make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors concerning the adoption or amendment of an Official Map.
Prepare and present to the Board of Supervisors a zoning ordinance and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on proposed amendments to the existing zoning ordinance.
Prepare, recommend and administer subdivision and land development and planned residential development regulations. The Planning Commission shall make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors relative to compliance of an application with the terms of such regulations, relative to requested waivers and/or modifications from the terms of such regulations, etc. The Board of Supervisors shall make the final decision concerning approval or denial of all subdivision and land development and planned residential development applications.
Prepare and present to the Board of Supervisors a building code and a housing code and make recommendations concerning proposed amendments thereto.
Do such other acts or makes studies as may be necessary to fulfill the duties and obligations imposed by the MPC.
Prepare and present to the Board of Supervisors an environmental study.
Submit to the Board of Supervisors a recommended capital improvements program.
Prepare and present to the Board of Supervisors a water survey, which shall be consistent with the State Water Plan and any applicable water resources plan adopted by a river basin commission. The water survey shall be conducted in consultation with any public water supplier in the area to be surveyed.
Promote public interest in, and understanding of, the Comprehensive Plan and planning.
Make recommendations to the governmental, civic, and private agencies and individuals as to the effectiveness of the proposals of such agencies and individuals.
Hold public meetings.
Present testimony before any board.
Require other departments and agencies of the Township such available information as relates to the work of the planning agency.
In the performance of its functions, enter upon any land to make examinations and land surveys with the consent of the owner.
Prepare and present to the Board of Supervisors a study regarding the feasibility and practicability of using renewable energy sources in specific areas within the Township.
[Ord. 2012-04, 12/10/2012, § 5]
The Planning Commission may, with the consent of the Board of Supervisors, accept and utilize any funds, personnel or other assistance made available by the County, the Commonwealth, or the Federal government, or any other agencies, or from private sources. The Board of Supervisors may enter into agreements or contracts regarding the acceptance or utilization of the funds or assistance in accordance with the governmental regulations of the Township.