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Township of Northampton, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977]
All provisions of this chapter shall be administered by the Board of Township Supervisors of Northampton Township or by a Township official as designated by the Board (for purposes of clarity, hereinafter called the "Zoning Officer"). All plans, applications, correspondence, complaints, requests for variances or appeals shall be delivered to the township offices and submitted through the Township Manager's office to the Zoning Officer.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977; as amended by Ord. 294, 8/9/1989]
1. 
If any mandatory provisions of this chapter are shown by the applicant/developer to be unreasonable and cause undue hardship as they apply to any proposed subdivision or land development plan because of peculiar conditions pertaining to the land in question or when an alternative standard can be demonstrated to provide equal or better results, the Board of Supervisors may modify or waive such mandatory provisions so that substantial justice may be done and the public interest secured, provided that such modification or waiver will not have the effect of nullifying the intent and purpose of this chapter.
A. 
The applicant/developer shall request such modifications or waivers, in writing, and shall state in full the grounds and facts of unreasonableness or hardship on which the request is based, the provision or provisions of the Chapter involved and the minimum modification necessary.
B. 
In granting modifications and waivers, the Board of Supervisors may impose such conditions as will, in its judgment, secure substantially the objectives of the standards or requirements so modified or waived.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977]
If, during the course of construction or completion of a subdivision or land development, changes, alterations or modifications of a final plan become necessary, such changes may be approved only after written acceptance by the Township Engineer and written approval of the Board of Township Supervisors. Substantial revisions to any such final plan shall cause the rerecordation of the final plan after such approvals are obtained.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977; as amended by Ord. 294, 8/9/1989]
1. 
Any amendment to this chapter shall be in accordance with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, as amended, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq. Resolutions adopted by the Board of Township Supervisors pursuant to the terms and conditions of this chapter regarding fees, paving and construction standards and changes in other design criteria specifically permitted by resolution of the Board shall not be considered as an amendment to this chapter.
A. 
Authorization. The Board of Supervisors may from time to time amend, supplement, change, modify or repeal this chapter. When doing so, the Board shall proceed in the manner prescribed in this Part.
B. 
Procedure.
(1) 
Sources of Amendment. Proposals for amendment, supplement, change, modification or repeal may be initiated by the Board of Supervisors or its own motion or by the Planning Commission.
(a) 
Proposals Originated by Board of Supervisors. The Board shall refer every proposed amendment, supplement, change, modification or repeal originated by said Board to the Township Planning Commission and the Bucks County Planning Commission. Within 30 days of the submission of said proposal, the Township Planning Commission shall submit to the Board of Supervisors a report containing its recommendations, including any additions or modifications to the original proposal.
(b) 
Proposals Originated by Planning Commission. The Township Planning Commission may at any time transmit to the Board of Supervisors any proposal for the amendment, supplement, change, modification or repeal of this chapter.
(2) 
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. No amendment shall become effective until after such hearing, at which parties in interest and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard. If, after any public hearing held on an amendment, the proposed amendment is revised or further revised, the Board may hold another public hearing, pursuant to public notice, before proceeding to vote on the amendment.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977]
1. 
Subdivision and Land Development Control. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any land in the Township or any other person, firm or corporation to subdivide any lot, tract or parcel of land or to lay out, construct, open or dedicate for public use or travel any street, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, drainage facilities or other facilities in connection therewith or for the common use of occupants of buildings within the subdivision or land development unless and until final plans of such subdivision or development shall have been prepared by a registered professional engineer or registered land surveyor, submitted to and approved in writing thereon by the Township Board of Supervisors and recorded in the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds office in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
2. 
Sale of Lots; Issuance of Building Permits; Erection of Buildings.
A. 
No lot in a subdivision may be sold and no permit to erect, alter or repair any building upon land in a subdivision or land development may be issued unless and until the municipal improvements required by the Board of Supervisors in connection therewith have either been constructed or guaranteed as hereinafter provided.
B. 
No building in a subdivision or land development depending for ingress and egress upon the improvement of any street or streets herein provided for shall be permitted to be occupied before improvements are fully completed from an existing paved street to and across the front of the lot on which the building is located and/or to a sufficient depth along the side of the lot to service any driveway, driveways or parking spaces.
C. 
No building depending upon public water and sewer facilities shall be permitted to be occupied before such facilities are fully provided and operational.
[Ord. 158, 3/9/1977; as amended by Ord. 294, 8/9/1989; and by Ord. 561, 4/25/2012]
1. 
In addition to 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. The description by metes and bounds in the instrument of transfer or other documents used in the process of selling or transferring shall not exempt the seller or transferor from such penalties or from the remedies herein provided.
2. 
The Township may refuse to issue any permit or grant any approval necessary to further improve or develop any real property which has been developed or which has resulted from a subdivision of real property in violation of this chapter. The authority to deny such a permit or approval shall apply to any of the following applicants:
A. 
The owner of record at the time of such violation.
B. 
The vendee or lessee of the owner of record at the time of such violation, without regard as to whether such vendee or lessee had actual or constructive knowledge of the violation.
C. 
The current owner of record who acquired the property subsequent to the time of violation without regard as to whether such current owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the violation.
D. 
The vendee or lessee of the current owner of record who acquired the property subsequent to the time of violation without regard as to whether such vendee or lessee had actual or constructive knowledge of the violation.
3. 
As an additional condition for issuance of a permit or the granting of an approval to any such owner, current owner, vendee or lessee 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.
4. 
Magisterial district judges shall have initial jurisdiction in proceedings brought under Subsection 5 below.
5. 
Enforcement Remedies.
A. 
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated the provisions of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township, pay a judgment of not more than $500, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the Township as a result thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or be 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 Township 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 the ordinance 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.
B. 
The Court of Common Pleas, upon petition, may grant an order of stay, upon cause shown, tolling the per diem judgment pending a final adjudication of the violation and judgment.
C. 
Nothing contained 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.