[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Pine 11-1-2004 by Ord. No. 324. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A Board of Appeals, consisting of three members as set forth herein, is hereby created for the Township of Pine.
The Board of Supervisors shall, by majority vote, appoint three residents of the Township of Pine to the Board of Appeals.
The first such appointments to the Board of Appeals shall be as follows: one member (Jeffrey Krill) for a term expiring December 31, 2005; one member (George Haberman) for a term expiring December 31, 2006; and one member (Michael Pfeifer) for a term expiring December 31, 2007.
Appointments following the initial terms specified above shall be for periods of three years. Appointments to fill any vacancies in membership shall be made by the Board of Supervisors for the remainder of the vacant position's unexpired term. Members may be reappointed by the Board of Supervisors for successive terms without limitation. The term provisions of this section notwithstanding, all members of the Board of Appeals shall hold their office at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors and may be removed at any time, with or without cause, by majority vote of the Board of Supervisors.
If the Township of Pine, at any time hereafter, cannot find a resident of the Township of Pine who satisfies the requirements of this chapter to serve on the Board of Appeals, then the Board of Supervisors may appoint a qualified person who resides outside of the Township of Pine.
Members of the Board of Supervisors or the Township's Building Code Administrators shall not serve as members of the Board of Appeals.
Members of the Board of Appeals should exhibit and possess the following qualifications:
Training and experience sufficient to understand and to pass on matters pertaining to building construction. Such training and experience may consist of licensure as an architect or engineer, experience in the construction industry, and training or experience as an inspector or plan reviewer.
Good judgment and an ability to work cooperatively with others.
Ability to inspire the confidence, respect and support of the community.
Time to attend the meetings and hearings of the Board of Appeals and to undertake and complete its assignments.
A member of the Board of Appeals shall not cast a vote nor participate in a hearing on any appeal, request for variance, or request for extension of time in which the member has a personal, professional, or financial interest.
Pursuant to Section 501(c) of the Act and Section 403.121 of the Code, the Board of Appeals shall hear and rule on: appeals, requests for variances and requests for extensions of time. An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that the true intent of the Act or the Code has been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of the Act or the Code do not fully apply, or an equivalent form of construction is to be used.
The Board of Appeals shall meet as is necessary and shall schedule its meetings and hearings (and also provide public notice thereof) in accordance with Pennsylvania's Sunshine Act (65 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 701 to 716).
The Board of Appeals may not act upon appeals, requests for variance, or requests for extension of time which relate to accessibility under the Act, as jurisdiction regarding accessibility is exclusive to the Department of Labor and Industry's Accessibility Advisory Board pursuant to Section 403.142 of the Code.
The members of the Board of Appeals shall elect one of their members to serve as its Chairperson to preside at its meetings and hearings. Such Chairperson shall have the power to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant documents, including witnesses and documents requested by the parties.
Attendance of two members of the Board of Appeals shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of its business and the disposition of any appeal, request for variance, or request for extension of time.
Fees and costs assessable by the Township of Pine (including filing fees for each separate appeal, request for variance, and request for extension of time) and pertinent to the activities of the Board of Appeals shall be paid in advance by the owner or owner's agent, as same are set forth in the current standard Township fee schedule (Chapter A144 of the Code of the Township of Pine) and herein. Such fees and costs shall include, but are not limited to, the actual costs incurred by the Township for publicly advertising any hearing which may be requested. No refund of such fees and costs shall be made in the event that a party withdraws the matter from consideration by the Board of Appeals.
An owner or owner's agent may seek a variance or an extension of time or appeal a Building Code Official's decision by filing a petition with the Township's Building Code Official or other person so designated by the Board of Appeals to receive same. All such requests shall be made on forms provided by the Township of Pine.
The postmark date or the date of personal delivery will establish the filing date of the appeal, request for variance, or extension of time.
An appeal or request for variance or extension of time to the Board of Appeals will automatically suspend an action to enforce an order to correct until the matter is resolved; provided, however, that an action under Section 403.84 of the Code (relating to unsafe building, structure or equipment) may not be stayed.
The Board of Appeals shall decide an appeal, variance request or request for extension of time by reviewing documents and upon written brief or argument, unless the owner or owner's agent requests a hearing on same. In the event of such request, the Board of Appeals shall schedule a hearing and shall notify the owner and the owner's agent and the Township's Building Code Official of the date, time, and location of the hearing. The parties to the hearing shall be the owner, the owner's agent, the Township, and any other person or entity permitted to appear by the Board of Appeals. At any such hearing the formal rules of evidence shall not apply, but irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded from the hearing. All parties shall have the right to be represented by counsel and afforded the opportunity to present and respond to evidence and argument and to cross-examine adverse witnesses on all relevant issues. If necessary, an initial hearing may be continued by the Board of Appeals to a subsequent date or dates. At the request of any party, a stenographic record may be kept of any hearing. The appearance fee for a stenographer shall be paid by the party who requests the keeping of such record. The cost of a transcript of the hearing shall be paid to the stenographer by the respective party requesting same. Should the Board of Appeals request a transcript of the hearing, the cost of its copy of the transcript shall be paid by the Township.
The Board of Appeals shall hold a hearing within 60 days from the date of a request for same, unless the owner or owner's agent has agreed in writing to an extension of such time for hearing.
The Board of Appeals shall consider only the following factors when deciding an appeal under Section 501(c)(2) of the Act:
The Board of Appeals may consider the following factors when ruling upon a request for extension of time or a request for variance:
The reasonableness of the Code's application in a particular case.
The extent to which the granting of a variance or an extension of time will pose a violation of the Code or an unsafe condition.
The availability of professional or technical personnel needed to come into compliance.
The availability of materials and equipment needed to come into compliance.
The efforts being made to come into compliance as quickly as possible.
Compensatory features that will provide an equivalent degree of protection to the Code.
The Board of Appeals shall provide a written notice of its decision to the owner or the owner's agent, and to the Township within 45 days of the submission of documents and written brief or argument or, in the event of a hearing, within 45 days of the end of the last hearing.