The Zoning Hearing Board is a quasi-judicial body that renders decisions on specific types of land use appeals and applications. Members of the Zoning Hearing Board are appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Although the Zoning Hearing Board functions like a court, formal court procedures are not strictly required. The primary purpose of the Zoning Hearing Board is to help assure fair and equitable application and administration of the zoning ordinance. The Zoning Hearing Board hears appeals from the Zoning Officer’s determinations and grants relief from the literal enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance in certain hardship situations by means of a variance. The right to appeal for relief is an important step in ensuring that due process is followed when restricting the use of private property for a predetermined public good. The Zoning Hearing Board also hears applications for special use and challenges to the substantive validity of ordinances. The Zoning Hearing Board has no legislative power; it can neither make nor modify zoning policy. Neither does the Zoning Hearing Board have enforcement powers. The Zoning Hearing Board schedules hearings on applications and appeals that come before it, takes evidence, and issues written decisions with findings of fact and conclusions of law. A Zoning Hearing Board must limit its scope of activities to those permitted by the Municipalities Planning Code and by the local zoning ordinance.
Scheduled as needed.
John A. Koury, Jr., Esquire (O'Donnell, Weiss, Mattei, PC), Solicitor