City of Latrobe, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Zoning use noted on building permits. A building permit shall be required prior to the erection, construction or alteration of any building, structure or any portion thereof, prior to the moving of a building into the City, from one place in the City to another, prior to the change in use of a building or land, and prior to the change or expansion of nonconforming use. Zoning use shall be noted on the building permit, and this permit shall also be deemed to be the zoning use permit.
B. 
Time limitation.
(1) 
No building permit or construction, erection or alteration of any building or structure, or for any sign, shall be valid for more than six months from the date of issuance. Once a permit is issued, the Zoning Officer, for reasonable cause, may grant one or more extensions of time, each extension not to exceed 90 calendar days from the date of the expiration of the permit time period, or an extension thereof; provided, further, however, that a permit granted for demolition shall be valid for three months from the date of issuance.
(2) 
Code violations. When an official notice of code violation is issued, the permit period will coincide with the number of days given in the notice to remedy the violation.
C. 
Building permit required. No building or other structure shall be erected, moved, added to or structurally altered without a permit therefor issued by the Zoning Officer. No building permit shall be issued by the Officer except in conformity with the provisions of this Code of Ordinances of the City of Latrobe, unless the Officer receives a written order from the Zoning Hearing Board or from Council in the form of an administrative review, special exception, conditional use or variance as provided by this chapter.
D. 
Application for building permit. All applications for building permits shall be accompanied by plans drawn to scale, showing the actual dimensions and shape of the lot or buildings already existing, if any, and the location and dimensions of the proposed building or alteration. The application shall include such other information as lawfully may be required by the Zoning Officer, including existing or proposed buildings or alterations; existing or proposed uses of the building and land; the number of families, housekeeping units, or rental units the building is designed to accommodate; conditions existing on the lot, and such other matters as may be necessary to determine conformance with, and provide for the enforcement of this Zoning Chapter, and any other applicable ordinance of the City of Latrobe.
E. 
Notice of start work. The Zoning Officer shall be given at least 24 hours' notice by the owner or applicant prior to commencement of work at the site under zoning or building permits.
F. 
Occupancy permits.
(1) 
For new use, or the expansion or change of existing uses, or the addition of an allowable use.
(2) 
Upon completion of any building or structure for which a building permit has been issued, the owner for such building or structure shall apply to the Zoning Officer for an occupancy permit.
(3) 
The Zoning Officer shall inspect the premises and if satisfied that all conditions of this chapter have been met, the Zoning Officer shall issue an occupancy permit certifying that the premises comply with the provisions of this chapter and may be used for the purposes set forth in the zoning permit.
(4) 
If the Zoning Officer, upon inspection finds the premises to have been developed in violation of any of the conditions of the building permit, or occupancy provisions of this chapter, the Officer shall order the violations corrected to conform to the Ordinance and shall not issue an occupancy permit until satisfied these corrections have been made.
(5) 
If a property owner wishes to change the use of any building or structure or the property he owns, he shall apply to the Zoning Officer for an occupancy permit. Changes for which an occupancy permit shall be required include conversion from nonconforming to a conforming or less nonconforming use or conversion to another permitted use, or the addition of any other allowable use.
(6) 
If the Zoning Officer is satisfied that such change or addition of use is in conformance with all requirements of this chapter and of other development ordinances of the City, the officer shall issue an occupancy permit.
(7) 
Applications for occupancy permits for a change of use that are denied by the Zoning Officer may be appealed to the Zoning Hearing Board.
(8) 
The City will, upon request, issue an occupancy load permit based upon Labor and Industry Standards, for commercial and/or industrial properties, which standards shall supplant and supersede any contrary provisions set forth in the BOCA Building Code heretofore, or hereafter adopted by the City.
G. 
Application for permits. Application for permits shall be made in writing to the Zoning Officer.
H. 
Fees will be charged according to the rates set forth in the fee schedule in § 166-69.
A. 
Administration. The duty of administering and enforcing the provisions of this chapter is hereby conferred upon the Zoning Officer. The Zoning Officer shall administer the Zoning Chapter in accordance with its literal terms, and shall not have the power to permit any construction or any use or change of use which does not conform to the Zoning Chapter.
B. 
Duties. The duties of the Zoning Officer shall be:
(1) 
To examine all applications for permits.
(2) 
To issue permits only for construction and uses which are in accordance with the regulations of this chapter and other applicable ordinances as may be subsequently amended.
(3) 
To record and file all applications by tax parcel number for permits with the accompanying plans.
(4) 
To receive all required fees and issue all necessary cease-and-desist orders.
(5) 
To inspect nonconforming uses, buildings and signs, and keep a filed record of such nonconforming uses and buildings by tax parcel number as a public record and examine them periodically.
(6) 
Upon the request of the City Planning Commission, the Zoning Hearing Board or Council, to present to such bodies facts, records, and any similar information on specific requests to assist such bodies in reaching their decisions.
(7) 
To be responsible for keeping up-to-date this Zoning Chapter and accompanying Zoning District Map.
C. 
Appeals. Any appeal from a determination of the Zoning Officer shall be made directly to the Zoning Hearing Board.
D. 
Notification of violation. If it appears to the Zoning Officer that a violation of the Zoning Chapter has occurred, the Zoning Officer shall initiate enforcement proceedings by sending an enforcement notice to the owner of record of the parcel on which the violation has occurred, to any person who has filed a written request to receive enforcement notices regarding that parcel, and to any other person requested in writing by the owner of record. The enforcement notice shall state at least the following:
(1) 
The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the City intends to take action.
(2) 
The location of the property in violation.
(3) 
The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of the ordinance.
(4) 
The date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and the date before which the steps must be completed.
(5) 
That the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board within 30 days of receipt of the complaint.
(6) 
That failure to comply with the notice within the time specified, unless extended by appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board, constitutes a violation.
E. 
Causes of action. Council, an officer of the City with express permission of Council, or any aggrieved owner or tenant of real property who shows that his property or person will be substantially affected by the alleged violation, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such violation. The Zoning Officer shall respond to the complaint with a notice outlining the steps that will be taken within 10 working days after the receipt of the complaint.
Enforcement remedies:
A. 
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of the zoning ordinance enacted under this act or prior enabling laws shall, upon being found liable therefore in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the City, pay a judgment of not more than $600 plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the City 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 district justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the City 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 district justice's determination 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 district justice and thereafter each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. All judgments, costs and reasonable attorney fees collected for the violation of the Zoning Chapter shall be paid over to the City.
B. 
In addition to above, the Zoning Officer may issue a cease-and-desist order. Failure to comply with the cease-and-desist order may, in addition to the remedy set forth above, result in the City seeking appropriate injunctive relief before a court of appropriate jurisdiction.
[Added 6-9-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-8]
A. 
Creation. A Zoning Hearing Board is hereby established and created. The Members of the Board shall be appointed by the Council of the City of Latrobe and shall consist of five members. The term of office of each member shall be for a period of five years. The term of office for the two members initially appointed for the new positions created hereby shall be as follows: One new member shall be appointed for a term of two years. Thereafter, all members, and their successors, shall be appointed for a term of five years. Appointments to fill vacancies during a term shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term.
B. 
Alternates to Zoning Hearing Board. The Council of the City of Latrobe may, from time to time, appoint at least one but no more than three residents of the City of Latrobe to serve as alternate members of the Latrobe Zoning Hearing Board. It shall be within the discretion of Latrobe City Council to determine how many positions of alternates shall be needed and required at any given time. The term of office of an alternate member shall be three years. It is the intent of this provision that if more than one alternate is appointed, the initial term(s) shall be staggered so that subsequent reappointments for a three-year term shall also be staggered. When seated pursuant to the provisions of Subsection C as set forth below, an alternate shall be entitled to participate in all proceedings and discussions of the Board to the same and full extent as provided by Law for Board members, including specifically the right to cast a vote as a voting member during the proceedings, and shall have powers and duties as set forth in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code[1] and this section and as otherwise provided by law. Alternates shall hold no other office in the municipality of the City of Latrobe including membership on the Planning Commission and Zoning Officer and any other body or board by which appointment is made by the Mayor of the City and Latrobe City Council. Any alternate may participate in any proceedings or discussion of the Board but shall not be entitled to vote as a member of the Board nor be compensated pursuant to the provisions of Section 907 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code unless designated as a voting alternate member pursuant to Subsection C below.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
C. 
If by reason of absence or disqualification of a member, a quorum is not reached, the Chairman, or Acting Chairman of the Board shall designate as many alternate members of the Board to sit on the Board as may be needed to provide a quorum. Any alternate member of the Board shall continue to serve on the Board in all proceedings involving the matter or case for which the alternate was initially appointed until the Board has made a final determination of the matter or case. Designation of an alternate pursuant to this section shall be made on a case-by-case basis in rotation according to declining seniority among all alternates. If more than one alternate is appointed at the same time, the first alternate appointed shall have seniority over the second alternate appointed who shall have seniority over the third alternate appointed.
D. 
Each member of the Board shall be required to provide at least seven days' notice to the Zoning Officer of any absence from a scheduled meeting. The purpose of this seven-day notice it required for the Zoning Officer to determine if a quorum will be present and to make provisions for an alternate if needed. Any notice given less than seven days prior to the scheduled meeting must be by reason of an unknown emergency to the member. If a member shall fail to give the required seven-day notice without the existence of an emergency or, if a member of the Board shall be absent for one-third or more of the scheduled meetings during any calendar year for any reason, then and in that event the following shall apply:
(1) 
The Zoning Officer shall request the resignation of the nonattending member. If said member should not resign, then and in that event, the member can be removed for cause by the Council of the City of Latrobe upon written statement of reasons therefor from the Zoning Officer and after public hearing.
(2) 
According to seniority, an alternate will be asked to become a regular member of the Board to fill the unexpired term of any removed member. If willing to do so, and after removal of the nonattending member, the alternate will become the mayor's designated appointee and shall be appointed as a regular member of the Board upon the vote of Council.
(3) 
If the alternate does not desire to become a regular member of the Board, then and in that event, a new regular member shall be appointed to fill the unexpired term of that member pursuant to the provisions of the Home Rule Charter.
(4) 
Should an individual cease to be an alternate during his/her term, Council shall thereafter fill the unexpired term of the alternate by appointment pursuant to the provisions of the Home Rule Charter.
A. 
Administrative review. The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Zoning Officer in the enforcement of this Zoning Chapter.
B. 
Special exceptions.
(1) 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall:
(a) 
Hear and decide, on a case-by-case basis, only such special exceptions as the Board is specifically authorized to pass on by the terms of this Zoning Chapter.
(b) 
Decide such questions as are involved in determining whether a special exception should be granted;
(c) 
Grant special exceptions with such conditions and safeguards as are appropriate under this chapter or the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code,[1] or deny a special exception when the request does not satisfy the general requirements hereinafter set forth below.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
(2) 
The special exception shall comply with all provisions of this Zoning Chapter for the zone in which the special exception is located; provided, however, that the Zoning Hearing Board shall have the power and authority to vary the terms of the Zoning Chapter. A special exception request seeking a deviation or variance from the applicable terms of the Zoning Chapter shall also be deemed to be a variance request for such deviation.
(3) 
Each special exception shall be considered an individual case and such exception shall conform to the standards of this article. In addition to the specific requirements for each of the special exceptions enumerated elsewhere in this article, the Zoning Hearing Board shall find that:
(a) 
The special exception fully complies with all other applicable nonzoning regulations of this or other City regulations.
(b) 
The use of the property will be of such location, size and character that, generally, it will be in harmony with the appropriate and orderly development of the zone in which the use is situated and will not be detrimental to the orderly development of adjacent properties nor inconsistent with any officially adopted development plan for the City
(c) 
Adequate ingress and egress from parking areas is so designed as to cause minimum interference with traffic on abutting streets.
(d) 
If use of the property involves hazardous materials, as defined by a federal or state regulation, then and that event, the Zoning Hearing Board shall require the posting of appropriate security for the removal, disposal or cleanup of the hazardous material. The security shall remain in effect during the term of the business and shall be required of any subsequent successors or assigns. Failure to maintain the required security shall be grounds for a cease-and-desist order for the termination of the operation of business by the Zoning Officer. The provisions of this Subsection B(3)(d) shall continue in full force and effect after the granting of any special exception.
C. 
Variances. The Zoning Hearing Board shall authorize upon appeal in specific cases such variance from the terms of this Zoning Chapter as will not be contrary to the public interest where, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the provisions of this chapter would result in unnecessary hardship. A variance from the terms of this chapter shall not be granted by the Board unless:
(1) 
A written application for a variance is submitted by one who has standing, that being a landowner, a buyer under a contract for sale of real estate, or a tenant with the landowner's written permission demonstrating that:
(a) 
There are unique physical circumstances or conditions, including irregularity, narrowness or shallowness of lot size or shape or exceptional topographical or other physical conditions peculiar to the particular property, and that the unnecessary hardship is due to such conditions and not the circumstances and conditions generally created by the provisions of the Zoning Chapter in the neighborhood or district in which the property is located.
(b) 
Because of such physical circumstances or conditions, there is no possibility that the property can be developed in strict conformity with the provisions of the Zoning Chapter and that the authorization of a variance is therefore necessary to enable the reasonable use of the property.
(c) 
Such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the applicant.
(d) 
The variance, if authorized, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood or district in which the property is located, nor substantially or permanently impair the appropriate use or development of adjacent property, nor be detrimental to the public welfare.
(e) 
The variance, if authorized, will represent the minimum variance that will afford relief and will represent the least modification possible of the regulation in issue.
D. 
Reversing decisions of Zoning Officer.
(1) 
In exercising its powers, the Zoning Hearing Board may, as long as such action is in conformity with the terms of this Zoning Chapter, reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or may modify the order, requirement, decision, or determination as necessary.
(2) 
A majority of the quorum of the Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of the Officer, or to decide any matter upon which it is required to act with regard to this chapter.
E. 
Initiating action before the Board. All action before the Board shall be initiated by a written application for hearing which shall be filed with the Zoning Officer at least 21 days prior to the meeting at which the matter is to be heard. All applications shall be made on forms specified by the Zoning Officer. No application shall be accepted unless the same shall be fully and legibly completed and unless the applicant has standing, all exhibits and supplemental material required by the application shall be attached and all fees required shall have been paid.
F. 
Time limitations.
(1) 
Landowner appeals. All appeals from determinations adverse to the landowner shall be filed by the landowner within 30 days' after notice of the determination is issued.
(2) 
Appeal of persons aggrieved. No aggrieved person shall be allowed to file any proceeding with the Board with regard to a determination of a zoning matter later than 30 days after an application for development, preliminary or final, has been approved by the Zoning Officer.
(3) 
Any person or persons, board or bureau of the City aggrieved by any decision by the Zoning Hearing Board may within 30 days of the decision by the Zoning Hearing Board seek review of such decision by a court of record, in the manner provided by the laws of the commonwealth and particularly by Article X of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Article X of the Municipalities Planning Code has been repealed. For current provisions, see Article X-A, 53 P.S. § 11001-A et seq.
G. 
Hearings.
(1) 
Hearing schedule. The Board may conduct hearings and make decisions at any regular or special meeting. In no instance will a hearing be scheduled later than 60 days from the date of the applicant's request for a hearing, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time.
(2) 
Notification of hearing.
(a) 
Whenever a hearing has been scheduled, public notice shall be given to the general public by means of publication once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation with the community. Such notice shall state the time and place of the hearing and the particular nature of the matter to be considered. The first publication shall not be more than 30 days and the second publication shall not be less than seven days prior to the date of the hearing.
(b) 
Written notice shall be given to the applicant, the Planning Commission, the Zoning Officer and to any person who has made a timely request for such notice.
(c) 
In addition to the notice provided herein, the Zoning Officer shall conspicuously post notice of said hearing on the affected tract of land no less than seven days prior to the date of the hearing.
(3) 
Conduct of hearing. The hearing shall be conducted by the Zoning Hearing Board or the Board may appoint any member as a hearing officer. The decision, or where no decision is called for, the findings, shall be made by the Board, but the appellant or the application, as the case may be, in addition to the City, may waive in writing or on the record, the decision or findings by the Board and accept the decision or findings of the hearing officer as final.
H. 
Information required on appeals to the Board. All appeals from a decision of the Zoning Officer and applications to the Board shall be in writing on forms prescribed by the Board. Every appeal or application shall include the following:
(1) 
The name and address of the applicant or appellant.
(2) 
The name and address of the owner of the zone lot to be affected by such proposed change or appeal.
(3) 
A brief description and location of the zone lot to be affected by such proposed change or appeal.
(4) 
A statement of the present zoning classification of the zone lot in question, the improvements thereon and the present use thereof.
(5) 
A statement of the part of this chapter under which the appeal is made, and reasons why it should be granted, or a statement of the section of this chapter governing the situation in which the alleged erroneous ruling is being appealed, and the reasons for this appeal.
(6) 
A reasonably accurate description of the present improvements, and the additions or changes intended to be made under this application, indicating the size of such proposed improvements, and when requested, a description of the material and general construction thereof. In addition, there shall be attached a plot plan of the real property to be affected, indicating the location and size of the lot and size of improvements thereof and proposed to be erected thereon.
A. 
Establishment of Fee Schedule. The City Council shall, by action as required by law, establish a schedule of fees, charges and expenses and a collection procedure for building permits, appeals to the Zoning Hearing Board and other matters pertaining to this Zoning Chapter. The schedule of fees shall be posted in the office of the Zoning Officer and may be altered or amended only by the City Council.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said schedule is on file in the City offices.
B. 
Until all applicable fees, charges and expenses have been paid in full, no applicant shall have standing and no action shall be taken on any application or appeal. Further, no application shall be valid to toll the running of any time period until the applicant has standing and all appropriate fees have been paid.
A. 
The regulations, restrictions and boundaries set forth in this Zoning Chapter may from time to time be amended, supplemented, changed or repealed; provided, however, that no such action may be taken until after a public hearing in relation thereto by the City Council, at which time interested parties and residents shall have an opportunity to be heard. At least 14 days notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the City at least once in each of two successive weeks.
B. 
If the amendment is initiated by any parties other than the Planning Commission, the City Council shall submit each such amendment to the Planning Commission at least 30 days prior to the hearing on such proposed amendment to provide the Planning Commission the opportunity to submit recommendations. If after any public hearing held upon an amendment, the proposed amendment is revised or further revised, to include land previously not affected by it, the City Council shall hold another public hearing, pursuant to public notice, before proceeding to vote on the amendment.
A conditional use, upon application to the Zoning Officer, shall be submitted to the Latrobe Planning Commission for recommendation of approval or disapproval and then to the Council of the City of Latrobe for final approval or disapproval.
A. 
An application for a conditional use shall be on a form, and in the manner, prescribed by the Zoning Officer.
B. 
The application shall be presented to Council for final action within 60 days of receipt by the Zoning Officer of a fully completed and signed application submitted by the owner (or a purchaser under a binding agreement of sale) of the subject property.
C. 
The sixty-day time period may be extended by consent of the applicant, either in writing or upon the record at any proceedings.
D. 
Failure by the City Council to timely act upon a properly submitted application for conditional use within the time period set forth above shall result in a deemed approval of the application.