The Planning and Zoning Department is particularly important to the Commissioners and Planning Commission by providing technical support and guidance in the following areas:
Planning (Current and Long-Term)
Assist in coordinating work and analysis related to the Township Comprehensive Plan and other planning policies,
Assist in the preparation of the subdivision/land development ordinance, zoning ordinance and other related ordinances,
Assist in the analysis of development applications proposing to rezone land in the Township,
Conduct technical reviews and make recommendations on land development and subdivision plan applications and zoning permits,
Maintain maps and data regarding land and property in the Township,
Process and issue building, zoning, and other development permits,
Carry out long-range community development programs,
Provide staff support to the Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board, and
Oversee records and other projects and/or at the request of the Board of Commissioners, Planning Commission or Township Manager.
In Pennsylvania, the primary means of managing land use activities is through municipal zoning. The public involvement in private land use matters and business activities in the Township typically begins with an application to the municipal zoning office for a zoning permit, which is required for construction and other activities to verify and authorize the legal use of property in accordance with the zoning regulations.
As prescribed by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act 247, the Township Zoning Officer is the sole official responsible for enforcement of the zoning ordinance. This official has various enforcement and procedural duties that may include:
Making determinations regarding an applicant's project or use specifications and compliance with the requirements of the zoning ordinance and zoning map,
Administering the zoning ordinance "in literal terms,"
Responding to requests for service related to alleged illegal uses and activities,
Approving home occupations,
Coordinating enforcement actions and due process related to zoning enforcement, and
Participating in Zoning Hearing Board meetings in an official capacity and witnessing during appeals to his/her land use determinations.