Township of Upper Hanover, PA
Montgomery County
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The Board of Supervisors of Upper Hanover Township may, from time to time, amend, supplement, change, modify or repeal this chapter, including the Zoning Map, by proceeding in the following manner and as otherwise required by law.
Every application for amendment of the Zoning Ordinance shall first be presented for review by the Board of Supervisors and shall contain the following:
A. 
The name, address, and interest of each person represented by the application, and the name and address of the applicants' representative.
B. 
A plan or map showing the extent of the area to be rezoned and the districts to be affected; streets bounding and intersecting the area; land use and zoning classification of abutting districts; and photographs of the area to be rezoned and abutting areas.
C. 
A statement of the circumstances in the proposed district and the abutting districts and any other factors on which the applicant relies as reasons for supporting the proposed rezoning.
D. 
The approximate time schedule for the beginning and completion of development in the area.
E. 
A site plan to scale indicating the location of structures, uses, areas for off-street parking and loading.
F. 
Information about the market area to be served by the proposed development, if a commercial use, including population, effective demand for proposed business facilities, and any other information describing the relationship of the proposed development to the needs of the market area.
G. 
An analysis with sufficient information regarding the impact on traffic, water supply, sewage disposal, environmental issues, and any other issues relevant to the proposal. This analysis would include, but is not limited to, an environmental assessment statement, in compliance with § 500-820; compliance with the performance standards of § 500-817; and submission of a traffic impact study in compliance with § 500-825 herein.
H. 
All reviews required by the Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection.
I. 
Any other information that may be required by the Zoning Officer, Planning Commission, or Board of Supervisors.
J. 
Fee as established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
Upon receipt of a complete application and appropriate fee, the Board of Supervisors shall review and consider the application as follows:
A. 
The application shall be referred to the Planning Commission when not prepared by it, and a period of not less than 30 days shall be available for its review and comment prior to any public hearing.
B. 
The application shall be referred to the Montgomery County Planning Commission, and a period of not less than 30 days shall be available for its review and comment prior to any public hearing.
C. 
The application shall be referred to adjoining municipalities that the required community analysis would deem to be affected, and a period of not less than 45 days shall be available for their review and comment prior to any public hearing.
D. 
The application shall be referred to the Upper Perkiomen Valley Regional Planning Commission, and a period of not less than 45 days shall be available for its review and comment prior to any public hearing.
[Added 4-14-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-01]
E. 
The application shall be referred to any other Township authorities or advisory committees that may be affected, and a period of not less than 30 days shall be available for their review and comment prior to any public hearing.
F. 
The Board of Supervisors, by resolution adopted at a regular or special meeting, shall fix the time and place of a public hearing on the proposed amendment and cause notice to be given as required in § 500-503 herein.
A. 
Notice of hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Township. Such notice shall state the time and place of the hearing and particular nature of the matter to be considered at the hearing. The first publication shall not be more than 30 days and the second publication shall not be less than seven days from the date of the hearing. The notice shall include reference to the time and place of the hearing as well as the place in the Township where copies of the amendment may be examined without charge or obtained for the cost of reproduction.
B. 
Publication of text. The full text of the proposed amendment or a reasonably detailed summary prepared by the Township Solicitor shall be published once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Township no less that seven days and no more than 60 days before a vote of enactment. If the full text is not published:
(1) 
A copy of the full text shall be supplied to the publishing newspaper at the time of publication.
(2) 
An attested copy of the full text shall be filed in the Montgomery County Law Library.
C. 
Mailed notice shall be mailed to every person or group who shall have registered with the Township their names and address for this purpose. At least 30 days prior to the hearing date, mailed notice shall be mailed by first class mail to the addresses to which real estate tax bills are sent for each property located within the area being rezoned.
[Amended 8-13-2002 by Ord. No. 02-14]
D. 
Perimeter posting. If the proposed amendment involves a Zoning Map change, notice of said public hearing shall be conspicuously posted along the perimeter of the affected tract by the Township at least one week prior to the public hearing, at points deemed by the Township to be sufficient to notify potentially interested citizens.
E. 
Change to amendment. If after any public hearing the proposed amendment is changed substantially or is revised to include land not previously affected, the Board of Supervisors shall hold another public hearing, pursuant to public notice, not less than 10 days before proceeding to a vote on the amendment.
F. 
Notice of change to amendment. When a public hearing is required in accordance with Subsection E above, at least 10 days before voting to enact the Board of Supervisors shall publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the Township a brief summary setting forth in reasonable detail the provision of the amendment along with a summary of the changed portions of the amendment.
A. 
The Board of Supervisors shall vote on the proposed amendment within 90 days of the last public hearing or a new public hearing shall be required.
B. 
Within 30 days of enactment, a copy of the amendment shall be forwarded to the Montgomery County Planning Commission.
Curative amendments allow landowners and the Township to take legal action to correct invalid portions of the Township's Zoning Ordinance and/or Map. Landowner curative amendments are governed by § 500-505A herein, and municipal curative amendments are governed by § 500-505B herein. An alternative method of challenge for landowners or persons aggrieved by a use or development permitted on the land of another is governed by § 500-612C herein.
A. 
Landowner curative amendments. A landowner who desires to challenge on substantive grounds the validity of a map or ordinance provision which prohibits or restricts the use or development of land in which he has an interest may submit a curative amendment to the Board of Supervisors with a written request for a hearing and decision on the challenge and proposed amendment. The hearing shall commence within 60 days of the landowner's request unless the landowner requests or consents to an extension of time.
(1) 
In addition to the written request, the application to the Board of Supervisors shall contain the plans and explanatory materials describing the use or development proposed by the landowner in lieu of the use or development permitted by the challenged ordinance or map.
(a) 
Such plans or other materials shall not be required to meet the standards prescribed for preliminary, tentative or final approval or for issuance of a permit, so long as they provide reasonable notice of the proposed use or development and a sufficient basis for evaluating the challenged ordinance or map in light thereof.
(b) 
Nothing herein contained shall preclude the landowner from first seeking a final approval before submitting his challenge.
(2) 
The request shall also be accompanied by an amendment or amendments to the ordinance proposed by the landowner to cure the alleged defects therein.
(3) 
The Township's Solicitor shall represent the Board of Supervisors and advise it at the hearing(s). In addition, the Board of Supervisors may retain an independent attorney to present the defense of the challenged ordinance or map on its behalf and to present witnesses on its behalf.
(4) 
Public notice of the hearing shall include notice that the validity of the ordinance or map is in question and shall specify the place and time where a copy of the request and its accompanying materials may be examined by the public.
(5) 
Based upon the testimony presented at the hearing(s), the Board of Supervisors shall determine whether the challenged ordinance or map is defective, as alleged by the landowner. If the challenge is found to have merit, the Board of Supervisors may accept the landowner's curative amendment with or without revision or may adopt an alternative amendment which will cure the challenged defects.
(6) 
In reaching its decision, the Board of Supervisors shall consider the plans and explanatory material submitted by the landowner, and shall also consider:
(a) 
The impact of the proposal upon roads, sewer facilities, water supplies, schools and other public service facilities;
(b) 
If the proposal is for residential use, the impact of the proposal upon regional housing needs and the effectiveness of the proposal in providing housing units of a type actually available to and affordable by classes of persons otherwise unlawfully excluded by the challenged provisions of the ordinance or map;
(c) 
The suitability of the site for the intensity of use proposed by the site's soils, slopes, woodland, wetlands, floodplains, aquifers, natural resources and other natural features;
(d) 
The impact of the proposed use on the site's soils, slopes, woodland, wetlands, floodplains, aquifers, natural resources and natural features; the degree to which these are protected or destroyed; the tolerance of the resources to development; and any adverse environmental impacts; and
(e) 
The impact of the proposal on the preservation of agriculture and other land uses which are essential to public health and welfare.
(7) 
The Board of Supervisors shall render its decision within 45 days after the conclusion of the last hearing.
(8) 
The challenge shall be deemed denied when:
(a) 
The Board of Supervisors fails to commence the hearing within the required time limits;
(b) 
The Board of Supervisors notifies the landowner that it will not adopt the curative amendment;
(c) 
The Board of Supervisors adopts another curative amendment which is unacceptable to the landowner; or
(d) 
The Board of Supervisors fails to act on the request 45 days after the close of the last hearing on the request, unless the time is extended by mutual consent of the landowner and municipality. If the Board of Supervisors fails to act on the request within 45 days of the last hearing, a denial of the request is deemed to have occurred on the 46th day after the close of the last hearing.
(9) 
Where a curative amendment proposal is approved by the grant of a curative amendment application by the Board of Supervisors or the court acts finally on appeal from denial of a curative amendment proposal, and the proposal so approved requires further application for subdivision or land development, the developer shall have two years from the date of such approval to file an application for preliminary plan approval under the normal plan approval process. Within the two-year period, no subsequent change or amendment in the zoning, subdivision or other governing ordinance or plan shall be applied in any manner which adversely affects the rights of the applicant as granted in the curative amendment.
(10) 
Where the proposal appended to the curative amendment application is approved but does not require further application under any subdivision or land development ordinance, the developer shall have one year within which to file for a building permit. Within the one-year period, no subsequent change or amendment in the zoning, subdivision or other governing ordinance or plan shall be applied in any manner which adversely affects the rights of the applicant as granted in the curative amendment.
(11) 
During the one- or two-year protected periods, the court shall retain or assume jurisdiction for the purpose of awarding such supplemental relief as may be necessary.
(12) 
A landowner who has challenged on substantive grounds the validity of a zoning ordinance or map change by submission of a curative amendment under this section may not submit an additional substantive challenge involving the same parcel, group of parcels or part thereof until the status of that landowner's original challenge has been finally determined or until it is withdrawn.
[Added 8-13-2002 by Ord. No. 02-14]
B. 
Municipal curative amendment. The following regulations apply if the Board of Supervisors determines that the Township's Zoning Ordinance or any portion thereof is substantially invalid;
(1) 
The Board of Supervisors shall declare by formal action its Zoning Ordinance or portions thereof substantively invalid and propose to prepare a curative amendment to overcome such invalidity. Within 30 days following such declaration and proposal, the Board of Supervisors shall:
(a) 
By resolution, make specific findings setting forth the declared invalidity of the Zoning Ordinance, which may include:
[1] 
References to specific uses which are either not permitted or not permitted in sufficient quantity.
[2] 
Reference to a class of use or uses which require revision.
[3] 
Reference to the entire ordinance which requires revisions.
(b) 
Begin to prepare and consider a curative amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to correct the declared invalidity.
(2) 
Within 180 days from the date of the declaration and proposal, the Board of Supervisors shall enact a curative amendment to validate or reaffirm the validity of its Zoning Ordinance in accord with the procedures established in §§ 500-502, 500-503, and 500-504 of this chapter.
(3) 
Upon initiation of the procedures in § 500-505B herein, the Board of Supervisors shall not be required to entertain or consider any landowner's curative amendment filed under § 500-505A herein subsequent to the declaration and proposal based upon the grounds identical to or substantially similar to those specified in the resolution required by § 500-505B(1)(a) herein.
(4) 
Upon completion of the procedures in § 500-505B herein, no rights to a cure shall accrue to any landowner on the basis of the substantive invalidity of the unamended zoning ordinance for which a curative amendment has been enacted from the date of the declaration and proposal.
(5) 
The Board of Supervisors may not utilize the municipal curative amendment procedure for a thirty-six-month period following the date of enactment of a curative amendment or reaffirmation of the validity of its Zoning Ordinance. However, if after the date of declaration and proposal there is a substantially new duty or obligation imposed upon the Township by virtue of a change in statute or by virtue of a Pennsylvania Appellate Court decision, the Township may utilize the municipal curative amendment to fulfill said duty or obligation.