Township of Lower Mount Bethel, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 2013-11, 9/9/2013]
All provisions of this chapter shall be administered by the Board of Township Supervisors of Lower Mount Bethel Township, or by the Township Secretary, Township Zoning Officer, or other Township official as designated by the Board. All plans, applications, correspondence, complaints, requests for waivers, or appeals shall be delivered to the Township municipal office.
[Ord. 2013-11, 9/9/2013]
1. 
Any amendment to this chapter shall be in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[1]
A. 
Power of Amendment. The Board of Supervisors may, from time to time, amend or repeal this chapter. When doing so, the Board shall proceed in accordance with applicable law.
B. 
Sources of Amendment. Proposals for an amendment to this chapter may be initiated by the Board of Supervisors on its own motion, by the Planning Commission, or by any landowner of land within the Township, as follows:
(1) 
Proposals Originated by the Board of Supervisors. The Board shall refer every proposed amendment originated by said Board to the Township Planning Commission and the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission. The Township Planning Commission shall have at least 30 days prior to a public hearing scheduled to discuss the amendment to submit to the Board of Supervisors a report containing its recommendations, including any additions or modifications to the original proposal, all as provided for in the MPC.
(2) 
Proposals Originated by the Planning Commission. The Township Planning Commission may, at any time, transmit to the Board of Supervisors any proposal for the amendment or repeal of this chapter.
(3) 
Proposals Originated by a Landowner. If a landowner desires to request the Township to amend this chapter, it shall do so by submitting the required forms, fees and escrow deposits with the Township as may be established by resolution from time to time. The Board may refer the proposal to the Planning Commission for consideration or may take no action on the request.
C. 
Hearings. Before voting on the enactment of any amendment, the Board of Supervisors shall hold a public hearing thereon with notice as required by law.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
[Ord. 2013-11, 9/9/2013]
1. 
While this chapter contains the minimum standards for the protection of the public welfare, the Township may modify the minimum standards as necessary to serve the public interest of the Township and its citizens.
2. 
If the literal enforcement of any provision of this chapter will exact undue hardship because of peculiar conditions pertaining to applicant's land or the nature of the application, the Township may grant a modification or waiver in writing to such applicant, provided that such modification or waiver will not be contrary to the public interest and the purpose and intent of this chapter is observed.
3. 
All requests for modifications or waivers shall be in writing, be signed by the applicant and shall accompany and be a part of the application for development. The request shall state in full the grounds and facts upon which the request is based, the provision or provisions of the ordinance involved, and the minimum modification necessary. Additionally, the applicant shall provide a cost estimate for those improvements required by this chapter from which a modification or wavier is sought. Any request for modification or waiver may be referred to the Planning Commission for advisory comments.
4. 
In granting modifications or waivers, the Township may impose such conditions as will, in its judgment, substantially secure the objectives of the standards or requirements so modified or waived. In the event that the Township grants waivers for street trees, buffer landscape plantings, or other landscaping/screening required by this chapter, the Township may require alternate plantings or plantings at other locations within the development.
5. 
The Township shall keep a written record of its actions on all requests for modifications or waivers.
A. 
If a modification or waiver is granted, it shall be referenced in the conditions of approval of the plan and shall apply only to the subject application.
B. 
A listing of any modifications or waivers granted shall be placed on the final plan prior to recording by the Township.
[Ord. 2013-11, 9/9/2013]
If, during the course of construction or completion of a subdivision or land development, minor changes, alterations or modification of a final plan become necessary, such changes may be approved only after written acceptance by the Township Engineer. Substantial revisions to any such final plan may be approved only after written acceptance by the Township Engineer and written approval of the Board of Supervisors. If approved, substantial revisions to any final plan shall cause the rerecording of the final plan after such approvals are obtained and the final plan is revised to reflect the approved changes.
[Ord. 2013-11, 9/9/2013]
The Township shall assign a subdivision application number to all applications, and all matters referring to each such plan submitted by the applicant and its professional consultants shall be identified with and filed with reference to the subdivision number. The Township shall keep a record of its findings, decisions and recommendations relative to all subdivision or land development applications filed for review.
[Ord. 2013-11, 9/9/2013]
1. 
Any application for sketch plan review, any application for preliminary approval and any application for final plan approval shall not be deemed to be administratively complete and will not be substantively reviewed until the fee and escrow deposits, in accordance with Part 3 and as set forth below, shall have been paid.
2. 
A subdivision or land development application fee (nonrefundable) shall be submitted with any application for sketch plan review and with any application for preliminary or final plan approval the amount(s) of which shall be fixed from time to time by the Board of Supervisors by resolution.
3. 
A subdivision or land development escrow deposit shall also be submitted with any application for sketch plan review and with any application for preliminary or final plan approval to cover the reasonable costs of plan review and process. The escrowed funds shall be used to reimburse the Township for actual expenditures incurred to review and processing, including but not limited to the fees of the Township Engineer, Township Solicitor, other Township consultants, and other reviews authorized by the MPC or this chapter. If the Township uses the funds on deposit with the Township, the applicant shall promptly replenish the escrow deposit account to the amount required by the Township's deposit schedule such that sufficient funds shall be available to pay the fees of the Township's professional consultants. Failure of the applicant to replenish the escrow account within seven days of written notification, and as appropriate in other circumstances, shall be sufficient reason for the Township to cause the solicitor to prepare a resolution denying the application, at the applicant's expense. No application will be placed on an agenda for consideration, review, vote or discussion, except for possible denial of the plan, if an escrow account is not current. Any unexpended balance in the subdivision or land development escrow deposit shall become part of the second deposit required in Subsection 4, below, except that in the case of an escrow established at the time of preliminary plan application, any unexpended balance upon approval of the preliminary plan shall first become part of the escrow deposit submitted with the subsequent final plan application to the extent applicable. Charges for professional consultants of the Township that are to be paid by the applicant shall be viewed in the broadest possible sense allowable by applicable law to ensure that the applicant, and not Township taxpayers, is responsible for fees and expenses arising because of the submission of the application.
4. 
As a condition of final plan approval, following the establishment of any required performance guarantee, a second escrow deposit shall be required to cover the cost of: (a) inspections of improvements and construction; (b) materials or site testing; (c) engineering and legal fees incurred by the Township; and (d) maintenance costs (e.g., snow removal, stormwater management, etc.) prior to the approval or acceptance of the improvements by the Township, as applicable, all as set forth in an agreement to be signed by the applicant and Township in accordance with Part 6. Any unexpended balance in the escrow deposit following approval or acceptance of improvements by the Township shall be returned to the applicant in accordance with the agreement to be signed by the applicant and Township in accordance with Part 6. The amount of this second escrow deposit shall be based upon the recommendation of the Township Engineer.
[Ord. 2013-11, 9/9/2013]
1. 
It shall be unlawful to record any subdivision plan in any public office, unless the same shall evidence thereon, by endorsement or otherwise, the approval of the Board of Supervisors following application to the Township as required by this chapter.
2. 
The Township shall have all of the remedies provided by law to enforce compliance with the provisions of this chapter including but not limited to those remedies provided in Sections 511, 515.1 and 515.3 of the MPC as the same may, from time to time, be revised,[1] or any successor legislation thereto.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. §§ 10511, 10515.1 and 10515.3, respectively.
3. 
Any owner, or agent of the owner, of any land located within the Township who sells or transfers any land by reference to, or exhibition of or by other use of, a plan of a subdivision before the same has been finally approved by the Board of Supervisors and recorded within the Office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for Northampton County shall be subject to the sanctions and penalties herein set forth. The Board of Supervisors may also enjoin such transfer or sale by injunction.
4. 
In addition to any other remedies, the Township may institute and maintain appropriate actions by law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate violations, to prevent unlawful construction, to recover damages and to prevent illegal occupancy of a building, structure or premises.
5. 
As an additional condition for issuance of a permit or the granting of an approval to any such owner, current owner, vendee (buyer) or lessee (renter) for the development of any such real property, the Township may require compliance with the conditions that would have been applicable to the property at the time the applicant acquired an interest in such real property.
6. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed or interpreted to grant to any person or entity other than the Township the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this section.
[Ord. 2013-11, 9/9/2013]
Appeals from the actions of the Board of Supervisors with respect to any application for subdivision or land development approval shall be governed by the provisions of the MPC, as they may be amended from time to time,[1] or any successor legislation thereto.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.