The Zoning Hearing Board is a quasi-judicial body appointed by the Board of Supervisors.
The Board has the following powers:
- To hear and decide appeals from a decision or determination of any administrative official in connection with the Zoning Ordinance and amendments thereto. Such appeals must be made within 30 days after the date of the decision.
- To grant Special Exceptions, where the Special Exception is authorized by a provision of the Zoning Ordinance which applies to the Zoning District within the property, which is the subject of the application, lies. Such Special Exception will only be grated when the proposed use of the property use of the property and /or the physical characteristics of the property conform to the standards and criteria set forth by the Zoning Ordinance as prerequisites for the granting of the Special Exception. A Special Exception will not be granted where the public interest will be injured. The burden of proving that the grant of Special Exception would be contrary to the public interest shall be upon those opposing the grant of such a Special Exception.
- To grant Variances from the terms of the Zoning Ordinance. The Board may only grant a Variance where, owing to special conditions prevailing on the subject property, a literal enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance will result in an unnecessary hardship, meaning that the property owner will be prevented from making reasonable use of the property. The burden of proving the existence of an unnecessary hardship and proving that the proposal will not harm neighboring properties or the public good rests upon the applicant. The circumstances which give rise to such hardship must be unique to the subject property. The possibility that the applicant will gain a greater financial return if a Variance is granted does not in itself constitute a sufficient reason for the granting of a Variance.
No decision by the Zoning Hearing Board relieves any applicant from the responsibility of obtaining any required permits in the manner prescribed by Township Ordinance or State Law. Members are appointed to a staggered term.