Township of Tobyhanna, PA
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Township Board of Supervisors shall appoint a zoning administrative officer, to be known as the "Zoning Officer," who shall not hold any elective office in the Township, to serve for such period as the Supervisors, by resolution, shall designate. He shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by the Board of Supervisors.
The Zoning Officer shall enforce the provisions of this chapter or other regulations made pursuant to the provisions of Article XX of the Second Class Township Code,[1] and such officer shall institute, in the name of the Township, any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent the unlawful erection, construction, alteration, conversion, maintenance or use, or to restrain, correct or abate such violation, so as to prevent the occupancy of any building, structure or land or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises.
Editor's Note: Former Article XX, regarding zoning, was repealed July 31, 1968, by P.L. 805, No. 247. See now 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
It shall be the duty of the Zoning Officer to:
Administer this chapter in accordance with its literal terms.
Prohibit any construction, use or change of use not in conformance with this chapter.
Examine all application for zoning permits.
Issue zoning permits for construction and for uses which are specified in this chapter.
Issue zoning permits for construction, alterations or uses requiring variances or special exceptions only pursuant to the order of the Zoning Hearing Board.
Issue zoning permits for construction, alterations or uses requiring conditional use approvals only pursuant to the order of the Board of Supervisors.
Arrange for presubmission conferences as required by this chapter.
Revoke by order a zoning permit issued under a mistake of fact, or contrary to law of the provisions of this chapter.
Order and require the abatement forthwith or otherwise of a violation of the provisions of this chapter.
Record and file all applications for permits with accompanying plans and documents.
Issue occupancy permits, building permits, sign permits and encroachment permits (for driveways) as required by this chapter.
Make such reports and at such time as the Board of Supervisors may require.
Identify and register nonconforming uses and structures.
The Zoning Officer shall issue permits only where there is compliance with the provisions of this chapter, with other Township ordinances and with the laws of the commonwealth and the federal government.
[Added 6-8-2009 by Ord. No. 481]
[Amended 6-8-2009 by Ord. No. 481]
Zoning permits shall be secured from the Zoning Officer prior to the erection of or addition to any building, structure or portion thereof; prior to the change in use to a more intensive or restrictive use of a building or land; and prior to the change or extension of a nonconforming use. No permit shall be required for interior alterations with no change in use, but said construction or alteration shall nevertheless conform to the provisions of this chapter and all other Township ordinances. The Zoning Officer shall be notified of any such construction or alteration before work commences. Zoning permits shall be issued with a two-year life, provided that if work is not commenced within 90 days after issuance of the zoning permit, the permit shall automatically expire, and a new permit shall be required before such work commences. An applicant for a zoning permit must comply with all Township ordinances and state and federal laws. No zoning permit shall be issued until an applicant has complied, to the satisfaction of the Township, with all requirements set forth in this chapter and all other chapters and requirements of the Township Code of Ordinances.
Applications for permits shall be made, in writing, to the Zoning Officer on forms furnished by the Township. Such applications shall contain all information necessary for the Zoning Officer to ascertain whether the proposed erection, exterior and structural alterations, addition, use or change to a more intensive or restricted use complies with the provisions of this chapter. The Zoning Officer may require that the applicant employ a registered surveyor or engineer to establish and certify measurements, when it is deemed necessary to ensure compliance with provision of this chapter.
Zoning permits not requiring action of the Zoning Hearing Board or the Board of Supervisors shall be granted or refused within seven days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, after the written application has been filed with the Zoning Officer; otherwise, fees for the same shall be waived.
After issuance of the zoning permit and until construction or alteration is completed, said permit shall be displayed prominently on or attached to the building for which issued, so that said permit can be observed from the outside.
Upon completion of the erection or alteration of any building or portion thereof authorized by a zoning permit, the holder of such permit shall notify the Zoning Officer of such completion and request an occupancy permit, in writing. An occupancy permit shall either be granted or denied within 10 days of the written application thereof. The granting of an occupancy permit shall be certification by the Zoning Officer that the work has been inspected and approved as being in conformity with the provisions of the zoning permit, of this chapter and all other applicable ordinances and regulations. All applications, together with accompanying plans and documents, shall become and be preserved as a public record, subject to the disposition of the Board of Supervisors.
The owner of the premises occupied by a lawful nonconforming use or structure may secure a certificate of nonconforming use from the Zoning Officer. Such certificate shall be for the purpose of certifying to the owner his right to continue such nonconforming use.
[Amended 9-3-2002 by Ord. No. 430]
The Board of Supervisors may, from time to time, amend, supplement, change, modify or repeal this chapter, including the Zoning Map.[1] The Board of Supervisors shall, at least 45 days prior to a public hearing thereon, submit to the Township Planning Commission a copy of the proposed amendment, supplement, change, modification or repeal, as the case may be, and no action shall be taken thereon by the Board of Supervisors until such time as the Township Planning Commission shall submit to the Supervisors its written recommendation relative thereto, or until the expiration of 30 days from the time of submission by the Supervisors to the Planning Commission of said proposed action, whichever shall first occur. Before voting on the enactment of an amendment, the Supervisors shall hold a public hearing thereon, pursuant to public notice, as required by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[2] In addition, if the proposed amendment involves a Zoning Map change, notice of said public hearing shall be conspicuously posted by the Township using paper, cardstock or like material, with a bright red background, at points deemed sufficient by the municipality along the tract to notify potentially interested citizens. The affected tract or area shall be posted at least one week prior to the date of the hearing.
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is included at the end of this chapter.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10501 et seq.
In addition to the requirement that notice be posted for Zoning Map changes, where the proposed amendment involves a Zoning Map change, notice of the public hearing shall be mailed by the Township at least 30 days prior to the date of the hearing by first class mail to the addressees to which real estate tax bills are sent for all real property located within the area being rezoned, as evidenced by tax records within the possession of the Township. The notice shall include the location, date and time of the public hearing. A good faith effort and substantial compliance shall satisfy the requirements of this subsection.
The requirement of notice by mail shall not apply when the rezoning constitutes a comprehensive rezoning.
The Township shall submit the proposed change in ordinance to the Monroe County Planning Commission not less than 45 days prior to any such hearing for recommendation. The Supervisors shall vote on enactment within 90 days after the last public hearing.
A landowner who desires to challenge on substantive grounds the validity of this chapter or Zoning Map, or any provision thereof, which prohibits or restricts the use or development of any land in which he has an interest may submit a curative amendment to the Board of Supervisors with a written request that his challenge and proposed amendment be heard and decided as provided in Section 916.1 of the Municipalities Planning Code.[1] The Board of Supervisors shall commence a hearing thereof within 60 days of the request. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with § 155-67 of this chapter; however, all references therein to the Zoning Hearing Board shall, for purposes of this section, be referenced to the Board of Supervisors.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10916.1.
The Board of Supervisors shall consider, in addition to the plans and materials submitted by the landowner, five factors in considering the proposed amendment or alternative amendments to cure the challenged defects:
The impact on roads, sewers, water supply, schools and other infrastructures.
The impact on regional housing needs and affordable housing for those otherwise unlawfully excluded by the challenged provisions.
Intensity and suitability based on soils, slopes, woodlands, wetlands, aquifers, floodplains and other natural resources and features.
The impact of the proposed use on the aforementioned natural resources and features.
The impact on agricultural preservation and other land uses essential to public health and welfare.
In case any building, structure or land is, or is proposed to be, erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, converted, maintained or used in violation of any ordinance enacted under this chapter or prior enabling laws, the Board or Supervisors or with the approval of the municipality, in addition to other remedies, may institute in the name of the municipality any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such building, structure or land, or to prevent in or about such premises any act, conduct, business or use constituting a violation.
[Amended 6-21-1999 by Ord. No. 411]
Zoning permit fees, payable to the Township upon the filing of the application, shall be determined from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which shall violate the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $500. Each day that a violation is continued shall constitute a separate offense. All fines collected for the violation of this chapter shall be paid over to Tobyhanna Township.
If any section, subsection, sentence, exception, clause or phrase of this chapter shall be held for any reason to be unconstitutional or invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect its remaining portions. The Board of Township Supervisors hereby declares its intention to have enacted this chapter and each section, subsection thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more of its sections, subsections, clauses or phrases may be found by court action to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid.
The provisions of this chapter, so far as they are the same as those of ordinances in force immediately prior to the enactment of this chapter, are intended as a continuation of such ordinances. The provisions of this chapter shall not affect any act done or liability incurred, nor shall they affect any suit or prosecution pending or to be instituted to enforce any right or penalty or to punish any offense, under the authority of any ordinance repealed by this chapter.