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Powers and functions
A. Appeals from Zoning Administrator. The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that the Zoning Administrator has failed to follow prescribed procedures or has misinterpreted or misapplied any provision of a valid ordinance or map or any valid rule or regulation governing the action of the Zoning Administrator. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to deny to the appellant the right to proceed directly in Court, where appropriate, pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. Sections 1091 to 1098 relating to mandamus.

B. Challenge to validity of Zoning Ordinance or Map. The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear challenges to the validity of the Zoning Code, Ordinance or Map except as indicated in §§ 595-41B and 595-41C. In all such challenges, the Board shall take evidence and make a record thereon as provided in § 595-39, Hearings. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board shall decide all contested questions and shall make findings on all relevant issues of fact, which shall become part of the record on appeal to the Court.

C. Special exceptions. Where Council has in this chapter stated special exceptions to be granted or denied by the Zoning Hearing Board pursuant to express standards and criteria, the Board shall hear and decide requests for such special exceptions after receipt of the Planning Commission's recommendations in accordance with such standards and criteria. In granting a special exception, the Board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards, in addition to those expressed in the chapter, as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of Act 247 and this chapter. The Board shall grant a special exception only if it finds adequate evidence presented by the applicant that the proposed special exception is duly authorized under provisions of this chapter, that the application falls within the terms of the specific provisions allowing for special exceptions, and that the proposed use complies with all other requirements of this chapter and the following criteria:
(1) The special exception shall not cause overcrowding of the land beyond what would normally be expected from the proposed use.
(2) The special exception shall not impair the adequate supply of light and air to adjacent properties.
(3) The special exception shall not burden the water, sewer, school, park or other public facilities beyond what would be normally expected from the proposed use.
(4) The proposed use shall not substantially change the character of any surrounding residential neighborhood, after considering any proposed conditions upon approval such as limits upon hours of operation.
(5) The proposed use will promote preservation or adaptive reuse of the sites and structures identified by the Local Historic District regulations.
(6) The special exception shall not cause congestion in public streets or transportation systems beyond what would normally be expected from the proposed use.
(7) The special exception shall not create a significant hazard to the public health and safety, such as fire, toxic or explosive hazards.
(8) The proposed use shall be suitable for the site, considering the disturbance of steep slopes, mature woodland, wetlands, floodplains, springs and other important natural features.
(9) The proposed use, located on the particular property at issue, having all of the characteristics as proposed, and considering the present characteristics of neighboring lands will not cause negative impacts over and above those typically associated with such uses located and operated in a usual manner.

D. Variances.
(1) The Zoning Hearing Board shall hear requests for variances where it is alleged that the provisions of this chapter inflict unnecessary hardship upon the applicant. The Board may grant a variance, provided the following findings are made where relevant in a given case:
(a) That there are unique physical circumstances or conditions, including irregularity, narrowness or shallowness of lot size or shape, or exceptional topographical or other physical conditions peculiar to the particular property, and that the unnecessary hardship is due to such conditions and not the circumstances or conditions generally created by the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance in the neighborhood or district in which the property is located;
(b) That because of such physical circumstances or conditions there is no possibility that the property can be developed in strict conformity with the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance and that the authorization of a variance is therefore necessary to enable the reasonable use of the property;
(c) That such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the appellant;
(d) That the variance, if authorized, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood or district in which the property is located, nor substantially or permanently impair the appropriate use or development of adjacent property, nor be detrimental to the public welfare;
(e) That the variance, if authorized, will represent the minimum variance that will afford relief and will represent the least modification possible of the regulation at issue; and
(f) That, in the case of a use variance, the variance if authorized will meet the dimensional standards set forth in the zoning district where the use is permitted by right. In the case where a use is permitted in more than one district, the more restrictive dimensional standards shall apply.
(2) In granting the variance, the Board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of Act 247 and this chapter.
(3) Variances shall expire if the applicant fails to submit the next required application within six months. The Zoning Administrator may grant up to two extensions of time for additional periods not exceeding 90 days each.

E. Unified appeals. Where the Zoning Hearing Board has jurisdiction over a zoning matter, the Board shall also hear all appeals which an applicant may elect to bring before it with respect to any municipal ordinance or requirements pertaining to a development plan or development. In any such case, the Board shall have no power to pass upon the nonzoning issues but shall take evidence and make a record thereon as provided in § 595-39, Hearings. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board shall make findings on all relevant issues of fact, which shall become part of the record on appeal to the Court.

F. Parties appellant before Board. Appeals under § 595-40A and proceedings to challenge an ordinance under § 595-40B may be filed with the Zoning Hearing Board in writing by the landowner affected, any officer or agency of the City, or any person aggrieved. Requests for a variance under § 595-40D and for special exception under § 595-40C may be filed with the Board by any landowner or any tenant with the permission of such landowner.

G. Time limitations.
(1) Persons aggrieved. No person shall be allowed to file any proceeding with the Zoning Hearing Board later than 30 days after an application for development, preliminary or final, has been approved by an appropriate municipal officer, agency or body if such proceeding is designed to secure reversal or to limit the approval in any manner unless such person alleges and proves that he/she had no notice, knowledge, or reason to believe that such approval had been given. If such person has succeeded to his interest after such approval, he/she shall be bound by the knowledge of his predecessor in interest.
(2) The failure of anyone other than the landowner in appeal from an adverse decision on a tentative or preliminary plan from an adverse decision by a Zoning Administrator on a challenge to the validity of an ordinance or map shall preclude an appeal from a final approval except in the case where the final submission substantially deviates from the approved tentative or preliminary approval.

H. Stay of proceedings.
(1) Upon filing of any proceeding referred to in § 595-40F and during its pendency before the Zoning Hearing Board, all land development pursuant to any challenged ordinance, order or approval of the Zoning Administrator or of any agency or body, and all official action thereunder, shall be stayed unless the Zoning Administrator or any other appropriate agency or body certifies to the Board facts indicating that such stay would cause imminent peril to life or property, in which case the development or official action shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order, which may be granted by the Board or by the Court having jurisdiction of zoning appeals on petition after notice to the Zoning Administrator or other appropriate agency or body.
(2) When an application for development, preliminary or final, has been duly approved and proceedings designed to reverse or limit the approval are filed with the Board by persons other than the applicant, the applicant may petition the Court having jurisdiction of zoning appeals to order such persons to post bond as a condition to continuing the proceedings before the Board.
Application fee: There is no fee