MapLink™ | Procedures | Enforcement, Violations and Remedies

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Enforcement, Violations and Remedies
Enforcement. This chapter shall be enforced by the Zoning Officer of the Township. No zoning permit or certificate of use and occupancy shall be granted by him for any purpose, except in compliance with the literal provisions of this chapter. The Zoning Officer may be authorized to institute civil enforcement proceedings as a means of enforcement when acting within his/her scope of employment.

(1) Failure to secure a zoning permit prior to a change in use of land or structure, or the erection, construction or alteration of any structure or portion thereof, shall be a violation of this chapter. It shall be a violation of this chapter to undertake other actions which are contrary to the terms of this chapter or any conditions placed upon the approval of special exceptions, variances and conditional uses. Each day that a violation is continued shall constitute a separate offense.
(2) If it appears to the Township that a violation of this chapter enacted under the Act or prior enabling laws has occurred, the Township shall initiate enforcement proceedings by sending an enforcement notice as provided in the following:
(a) The enforcement notice shall be sent to the owner of record of the parcel on which the violation has occurred, to any person who has filed a written request to receive enforcement notices regarding that parcel and to any other person requested in writing by the owner of record.
(b) An enforcement notice shall state at least the following:
[1] The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the Township intends to take action.
[2] The location of the property in violation.
[3] The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of this chapter.
[4] The date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and the date before which the steps must be completed.
[5] That the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the ZHB within a prescribed period of time in accordance with procedures set forth in this chapter.
[6] That failure to comply with the notice within the time specified, unless extended by appeal to the ZHB, constitutes a violation, with possible sanctions clearly described.

Enforcement remedies. Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of this chapter enacted under the Act or prior enabling laws shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township, pay a judgment of not more than $500, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the Township as a result thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or be payable until the date of the determination of a violation by the Magisterial District Judge. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable Rules of Civil Procedure. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation, unless the Magisterial District Judge determining that there has been a violation further determines that there was a good faith basis for the person, partnership or corporation violating this chapter to have believed that there was no such violation, in which event there shall be deemed to have been only one such violation until the fifth day following the date of the determination of a violation by the Magisterial District Judge, and thereafter each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. All judgments, costs and reasonable attorney's fees collected for the violation of this chapter shall be paid over to the Township.

Causes of action. In case any building, structure, landscaping or land is or is proposed to be erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted, maintained or used in violation of this chapter, enacted under the Act or prior enabling laws, the Board of Supervisors or, with the approval of the Board of Supervisors, an officer of the Township, or any aggrieved owner or tenant of real property who shows that his property or person will be substantially affected by the alleged violation, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such building, structure, landscaping or land or to prevent, in or about such premises, any act, conduct, business or use constituting a violation. When any such action is instituted by a landowner or tenant, notice of that action shall be served upon the Township at least 30 days prior to the time the action is begun by serving a copy of the complaint on the Board of Supervisors of the Township. No such action may be maintained until such notice has been given.

See § 270-9.1: Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) for complete, detailed information on the ZHB.