Township of Caln, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Caln 10-13-1981 by Ord. No. 1981-10. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 59.
[Amended 3-31-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-04; 8-9-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-02; 1-31-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-02[1]]
Pursuant to the authority granted in Ord. No. 2009-06, Caln Township entered into an intergovernmental cooperation agreement with 17 other municipalities to form an intergovernmental regional board of appeals known as the Western Chester County Regional UCC Board of Appeals (the "Board of Appeals"). The Board of Appeals was created for the purposes of establishing a body for the joint administration and enforcement of the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, 35 P.S. § 7210.101-1103 (the "UCC"), and to establish a hearing board of appeals to hear requests for variances, extensions of time and appeals from Code administrator's decisions under the UCC.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed Ord. No. 2012-02 and Res. No. 2012-10, and provided that the Western Chester County Board of Appeals be designated as the Board of Appeals for Caln Township to hear appeals from decisions of the Township Building Official filed pursuant to Act 45 of 1999 (35 P.S. § 7210.101 et seq.) and the Township's Building Codes. The ordinance further provided that any reference in the Township’s Code to the Board of Appeals shall refer to the Western Chester County Board of Appeals.
[Amended 3-31-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-04; 8-9-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-02; 1-31-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-02]
A. 
The Board of Appeals shall have jurisdiction in all disputes of any nature or description arising from the grant or denial of any permit or order or action of the Caln Township Building Official under the following chapters of the Caln Code:
(1) 
Chapter 59, Building Construction.
(2) 
Chapter 60, Existing Building Code.
(3) 
Chapter 77, Electrical Standards.
(4) 
Chapter 79, Energy Conservation.
(5) 
Chapter 83, Fire Prevention.
(6) 
Chapter 86, Fuel Gas Code.
(7) 
Chapter 98, Mechanical Standards.
(8) 
Chapter 114, Plumbing Code.
(9) 
Chapter 120, Property Maintenance Code.
(10) 
Chapter 122, Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings.
B. 
Any and all references in any chapter of the Caln Code to the Board of Appeals shall hereafter refer to the Western Chester County Regional UCC Board of Appeals.
[Amended 3-31-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-04; 8-9-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-02; 1-31-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-02]
The Board of Appeals shall be organized, meet and conduct hearings in accordance with the intergovernmental agreement and any rules and regulations adopted by the Board of Appeals from time to time.
[Amended 8-9-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-02; 1-31-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-02]
The Township, any of its agencies, any other governmental office, agency or department of the county, state or federal government having jurisdiction over the land in question, the landowner, the occupant of the land, any purchaser or optionee under an agreement of sale or option for having a direct, pecuniary or proprietary interest in lands immediately adversely affected by any action of the Building Official in the administration of Chapter 59 (all hereinafter referred to as "persons aggrieved") may appeal such action of the Building Official to the Board of Building Appeals, who shall hear and determine the same under the Local Agency Law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
[Amended 8-9-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-02; 1-31-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-02]
A. 
Membership of Board. The Board of Building Appeals shall consist of three members appointed by the Board of Commissioners of Caln Township, one such member to be appointed for three years, one for two years and one for one year, and thereafter each new member to serve for three years or until his successor has been appointed and qualified.
B. 
Qualifications of Board members. Each member shall have a general working knowledge and understanding of construction, techniques, materials and design, and his qualifications to serve shall be left to the sole, absolute and unfettered discretion of the Board of Commissioners of Caln Township.
C. 
Absence of members. During the absence of a member, by reason of disability or disqualification, the Board of Commissioners shall designate a qualified substitute.
D. 
Chairman of the Board. The Board shall select one of its members to serve as Chairman and one of its members to serve as Secretary to the Board. The Secretary of the Board shall keep a detailed record of all proceedings on file in the Department of Building Inspection.
E. 
Exemption of members. A member of the Board shall not pass on any question in which he is engaged as contractor or material or in the preparation of plans or specifications, or in which he has any personal interest.
[Amended 8-9-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-02; 1-31-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-02]
The members of the Board of Building Appeals shall receive such compensation as may from time to time be determined by the Board of Commissioners. In addition, the Board of Building Appeals and members thereof shall be reimbursed for all out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
A. 
Notice of meeting. The Board shall meet upon notice of the Chairman which shall be given to all members of the Board, all adjacent property owners, the applicant, the landowner, the Board of Commissioners, the Township Solicitor, the Building Official and to all persons holding or occupying property immediately adjacent to the premises, the subject of the appeal. The giving of notice to an owner shall be deemed notice to the occupant of any property. In addition, notice shall be advertised once in a newspaper of general circulation within the Township and not less than seven nor more than 21 days prior to the date of the hearing. Where notices have been sent to any person entitled to receive notices under the terms hereof, the failure to receive such notice shall not be a basis for the invalidation of the hearing nor deprive the Board of jurisdiction nor compel readvertising.
B. 
Public hearing. All hearings shall be open to the public and shall be conducted under and pursuant to the procedure designated in the Local Agency Law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum, and the majority of the members present and voting may render a decision on any matter before the Board. At the hearing, the appellant shall be entitled to be represented by counsel and those persons enumerated in Subsection A as well as any other persons authorized by the Board, in its discretion, who shall be permitted to intervene as parties.
C. 
Adjourned meeting. When the necessary number to constitute a quorum of the Board are not present, if the testimony has not been concluded or for any other reason in the discretion of the Board, the Board may continue the hearing to a future date certain.
A. 
Action of the Board. The Board shall affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the Building Official by a majority vote of the members of the Board hearing the appeal. The failure to obtain a majority vote shall constitute affirmance of the action of the Building Official.
B. 
Limitations of jurisdiction. The Board shall be empowered to render decisions concerning the propriety of the Building Official's actions under Chapter 59 of the Caln Code to which jurisdiction is granted to this Board. Therefore, an alleged refusal to issue a building permit based upon an alleged noncompliance with any other ordinance, code, statute, rule or regulation shall be limited to whether or not the certificate of compliance was attached to the application, and the Board of Building Appeals shall not have jurisdiction or power to inquire into the propriety of the grant or refusal of such certification, it being the intent that this section shall not impair exclusive jurisdiction of the Board of Commissioners, the Zoning Hearing Board, the Chester County Department of Health, the Department of Environmental Resources or any other reviewing agency within the jurisdiction set forth in their respective enabling legislation.
C. 
Rendering of opinion. The Board shall render a written opinion within 45 days of the close of the hearings and shall make findings of fact relevant to said application and apply the applicable law to said findings of fact in the rendering of its decision. Copies of the opinion and decision shall be mailed by first class to each party before the Board and to the Board of Commissioners; provided, however, that failure to render a decision within the forty-five-day period herein stated shall not constitute an affirmance or denial, but any party shall have the right to seek an order in mandamus from the Court of Common Pleas directing the filing of such opinion if the Board of Building Appeals fails to render such an opinion within 45 days.
D. 
Enforcement of decision. The Building Official shall take immediate action in accordance with the decision of the Board.
The municipality, whether or not a party before the Board of Building Appeals, and any party other than a discretionary party before the Board who is aggrieved by the decision of the Board of Building Appeals may appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County within 30 days from the date of the rendering of the decision of the Board, and the Court of Common Pleas shall review the record on certiorari to determine whether or not the Board of Building Appeals abused its discretion or committed an error at law.