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Township of Unity, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Zoning Officer shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors and is hereby vested with the authority to:
A. 
Administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter in accordance with its terms. The Zoning Officer shall not have the power to permit any construction or any use or change of use which does not conform to this chapter.
B. 
Issue permits required by this chapter.
C. 
Maintain a permanent file with all permits and applications required under this chapter as public records.
D. 
Identify and register all nonconforming lots, uses and structures as required by law, together with the reasons why the use or structure is nonconforming and issue any necessary permit to the owner of said use or structure.
A. 
If it appears to the Township that a violation of this chapter, or prior enabling laws have occurred, the Township shall initiate enforcement proceedings by sending an enforcement notice as provided in this section.
B. 
The enforcement notice shall be sent 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/or to any other person requested, in writing, by the owner of record to receive notice.
C. 
An enforcement notice shall state at least the following:
(1) 
The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the Township 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 this chapter.
(4) 
The date on or before which steps for compliance must be commenced and the date by which such steps must be completed.
(5) 
That the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board within a prescribed period of time in accordance with procedures set forth in this chapter.
(6) 
That failure to comply with the notice within the time specified, unless extended by appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board, constitutes a violation, with possible sanctions clearly described.
(7) 
In any appeal of any enforcement notice to the Zoning Hearing Board the Township shall present its evidence first.
(8) 
Any filing fees paid by a party to appeal an enforcement notice to the Zoning Hearing Board shall be returned to the appealing party by the Township if the Zoning Hearing Board, or any court in a subsequent appeal, rules in the appealing party's favor.
Any person, partnership, corporation or other entity violating 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 less than $300 nor more than $600 plus all court costs, and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township in the pursuit thereof. Each day that a violation continues to exist after the date specified in the enforcement notice to correct same, shall constitute a separate violation and be subject to a separate penalty, without the necessity of initiating a separate action. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or payable until a court of competent jurisdiction determines that a violation exists. Where a civil judgment for a violation of this chapter has not been timely paid, the violator shall be liable for the penalty imposed, including daily penalties of not less than $300 nor more than $600 for each day a violation continues, plus court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Township in subsequent enforcement proceedings.
A. 
The transfer or attempted transfer of all or any portion of the premises upon which the violation occurs shall not exempt the seller or transferor from such penalties or from the remedies herein provided for violations occurring during the seller or transferor's period of ownership.
B. 
The owner or tenant of any structure or premises or land or lot or part thereof, or any agent, architect, attorney, banker, builder, contractor or other person who commits, participates in, assists in or maintains such violation may each be found to be in separate violation of this chapter and be subject to those penalties herein provided.
C. 
The Township may refuse to issue any permit or grant any approval necessary to further improve or develop any real property subject to development, or resulting from a subdivision of real property, in violation of this chapter or any other ordinance referenced herein.
D. 
The Township may refuse to issue any permit or grant any approval necessary to further improve or develop any real property subject to development, or resulting from a subdivision of real property, where a violation of this chapter or any other ordinance referenced herein, exists on the property for which the permit or approval is sought.
All permits and approvals issued under this chapter shall expire one year from the date the permit is issued or approval given, unless the construction of the structure contemplated therein is completed or an occupancy permit for the operation of the use is issued by the Township. Any variance or special exception use granted or approved by the Zoning Hearing Board shall expire one year from the date the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board is issued unless the construction of the structure contemplated therein is completed or an occupancy permit for the operation of the use is issued by the Township. Any conditional use granted or approved by the Board of Supervisors shall expire one year from the date the decision of the Board of Supervisors is issued unless the construction of the structure contemplated therein is completed or an occupancy permit for the operation of the use is issued by the Township. In the event the applicant cannot complete construction or obtain an occupancy permit within one year, such applicant may request the Board of Supervisors for an extension of time, not to exceed one year.
The remedies available to the Township in the enforcement of this chapter are cumulative. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be deemed or construed to preclude the Township from taking such other legal action, at law or in equity, necessary to prevent or remedy any violation or otherwise enforce the terms of this chapter.