Article VII of Chapter 128 of the Code provides the procedural requirements and general provisions for amendments, records, preventive remedies and enforcement powers that may be utilized by Muhlenberg Township.
The provisions established under Article VII shall be subject to the interpretation of the Muhlenberg Township Board of Commissioners, Planning Commission and/or Engineer. Should a dispute arise concerning the interpretation of these regulations, the person aggrieved by the interpretation may file an appeal with the Board of Commissioners. In all cases, the burden of proof and submission of technical evidence shall be the responsibility of the applicant or person appealing the interpretation of the Muhlenberg Township Board of Commissioners, Planning Commission and/or Engineer.
Where the provisions of this chapter conflict with the specific provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, the specific provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code shall be complied with unless otherwise directed by the Board of Commissioners.
Before voting on the enactment of a proposed amendment to this Part 1 of this chapter of the Code, the Board of Commissioners shall hold a public hearing pursuant to public notice. The amendment or a summary setting forth the principal provision of the amendment shall be published once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in Muhlenberg Township. Such notice shall state the time and place of the hearing and the particular nature of the matter to be considered at the hearing. The first publication shall not be more than 30 and the second publication shall not be less than seven days from the date of the hearing. The notice shall include a reference to the place within Muhlenberg Township where copies of the proposed amendment may be secured or examined.
In case of an amendment other than that prepared by the Muhlenberg Township Planning Commission, the Board of Commissioners shall submit each such amendment to the Planning Commission for recommendation at least 30 days prior to the date fixed for the public hearing on such proposed amendment.
The recommendation of the Planning Commission shall be made in writing to the Board of Commissioners within 30 days. The recommendation shall include a specific statement as to whether or not the proposed amendment is in accordance with the objectives of the Muhlenberg Township Comprehensive Plan.
At least 30 days prior to the hearing on the proposed amendment, the Board of Commissioners shall submit the proposed amendment to the Berks County Planning Commission. The recommendation of the Berks County Planning Commission shall be made to the Board of Commissioners within 30 days, and the proposed action shall not be taken until such recommendation is made. If, however, the Berks County Planning Commission fails to act within 30 days, the Board of Commissioners shall proceed without its recommendation.
Before voting on the enactment of a proposed amendment to this Part 1 of this chapter of the Code, the Board of Commissioners shall publish the proposed amendment once in one newspaper of general circulation in Muhlenberg Township not more than 60 days nor less than seven days prior to passage. Publication of the proposed amendment shall include either the full text or the title and a brief summary prepared by the Muhlenberg Township Solicitor and setting forth all the provisions in reasonable detail.
In the event substantial amendments are made to the proposed amendment before voting on enactment, the Board of Commissioners shall at least 10 days prior to enactment advertise in one newspaper of general circulation in Muhlenberg Township a brief summary setting forth all the provisions in reasonable detail together with a summary of the amendments.
The Muhlenberg Township Planning Commission and the Board of Commissioners shall keep a record of their findings, decisions, and recommendations relative to all subdivision and land development plans filed for review and action.
Upon written request to the Muhlenberg Township Engineer, such records shall be made available to the public for review at the Muhlenberg Township Municipal Building.
In addition to other remedies, Muhlenberg 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 provided.
All appeals concerning the review, application, interpretation and decisions authorized by this Part 1 of this chapter of the Code shall be in accordance with the appropriate provisions that are established within the Muhlenberg Township Code and the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
All appeals concerning an alleged error in the processing or enactment of any components of this Part 1 of this chapter of the Code shall be raised by appeal taken directly from the action of the Board of Commissioners to the appropriate court, which shall not be filed later than 30 days from the effective date of this Part 1 of this chapter of the Code.
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of this Part 1 of this chapter of the Code shall, upon being found liable in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by Muhlenberg Township, pay a judgment of not more than $500 plus all court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the municipality as a result thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or 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, Muhlenberg 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 determines otherwise, as prescribed by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
The Court of Common Pleas, upon petition, may grant an order of stay, upon cause shown, tolling the per diem fine pending a final adjudication of the violation and judgment.