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§ 265-1403 BOARD PROCEEDINGS.

  1. The Zoning Officer shall accept complete applications and shall provide them to the Zoning Hearing Board within 5 working days of receipt.
  2. The Board shall advertise each hearing stating the purpose thereof, the location of the subject property when applicable, the name of the applicant, a brief description of the appeal, and the date, time, and location scheduled. Advertisements shall occur in accordance with public notice. Where the hearing relates to property, said property shall be posted with the aforesaid information no later than 1 week prior to the scheduled hearing. The Zoning Officer shall notify the applicant and Borough Council of the date, time, and purpose of the respective hearing.
  3. The first hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board or hearing officer shall be commenced within 60 days from the date of receipt of the applicant’s application, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time. Each subsequent hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board or hearing officer shall be held within 45 days of the prior hearing, unless otherwise agreed to by the applicant in writing or on the record. An applicant shall complete the presentation of his case-in-chief within 100 days of the first hearing. Upon the request of the applicant, the Zoning Hearing Board or hearing officer shall assure that the applicant receives at least 7 hours of hearings within the 100 days, including the first hearing. Persons opposed to the application shall complete the presentation of their opposition to the application within 100 days of the first hearing held after the completion of the applicant’s case-in-chief.  An applicant may, upon request, be granted additional hearings to complete his case-in-chief provided the persons opposed to the application are granted an equal number of additional hearings. Persons opposed to the application may, upon the written consent or consent on the record by the applicant and municipality, be granted additional hearings to complete their opposition to the application provided the applicant is granted an equal number of additional hearings for rebuttal.
  4. The Zoning Hearing Board shall conduct the hearings or the Zoning Hearing Board may appoint any member or an independent attorney as a hearing officer. The decision, or, where no decision is called for, the findings shall be made by the Zoning Hearing Board; however, the appellant or the applicant, as the case may be, in addition to the Borough Council, may, prior to the decision of the hearing, waive decision or findings by the Zoning Hearing Board and accept the decision or findings of the hearing officer as final.
  5. The chairman or acting chairman of the Zoning Hearing Board or the hearing officer presiding shall have power to administer oaths and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant documents and papers, including witnesses and documents requested by the parties.
  6. Parties to every hearing shall be the Borough, the applicant(s), and any effected party that enters a verbal or written appearance or statement at the hearing. The Zoning Hearing Board may require attendees to enter a written appearance as a condition of being a party.
  7. The parties shall have the right to be represented by counsel and shall be afforded the opportunity to respond and present evidence and argument and cross-examine adverse witnesses on all relevant issues.
  8. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, but irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded.
  9. The Zoning Hearing Board shall keep a stenographic record of each hearing.
  10. The Zoning Hearing Board or the hearing officer shall not communicate, directly or indirectly, with any party or his representatives in connection with any issue involved except upon notice and opportunity for all parties to participate, shall not take notice of any communication, reports, staff memoranda, or other materials, except advice from their solicitor, unless the parties are afforded an opportunity to contest the material so noticed and shall not inspect the site or its surroundings after the commencement of hearings with any party or his representative unless all parties are given an opportunity to be present.
  11. The Zoning Hearing Board or the hearing officer, as the case may be, shall render a written decision or, when no decision is called for, make written findings on the application within 45 days after the last hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board or hearing officer. Where the application is contested or denied, each decision shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions based thereon together with the reasons therefore. Conclusions based on any provisions of the MPC or of any ordinance, rule or regulation shall contain a reference to the provision relied on and the reasons why the conclusion is deemed appropriate in the light of the facts found. If the hearing is conducted by a hearing officer and there has been no stipulation that his decision or findings are final, the Zoning Hearing Board shall make his report and recommendations available to the parties within 45 days and the parties shall be entitled to make written representations thereon to the Zoning Hearing Board prior to final decision or entry of findings, and the Zoning Hearing Board’s decision shall be entered no later than 30 days after the report of the hearing officer. Excepting validity challenges, where the Zoning Hearing Board fails to render the decision within the period required by this subsection or fails to commence or complete the required hearing as provided herein, the decision shall be deemed to have been rendered in favor of the applicant unless the applicant has agreed in writing or on the record to an extension of time. When a decision has been rendered in favor of the applicant because of the failure of the Zoning Hearing Board to meet or render a decision as hereinabove provided, the Zoning Hearing Board shall give public notice of said decision within 10 days from the last day it could have met to render a decision in the same manner as provided in subsection (1) of this Section. If the Zoning Hearing Board shall fail to provide such notice, the applicant may do so.  Nothing in this subsection shall prejudice the right of any party opposing the application to appeal the decision to a court of competent jurisdiction.
  12. A copy of the final decision or, where no decision is called for, of the findings shall be delivered to the applicant personally or mailed to him not later than the day following its date. To all other persons who have filed their name and address with the Zoning Hearing Board not later than the last day of the hearing, the Zoning Hearing Board shall provide by mail or otherwise, brief notice of the decision or findings and a statement of the place at which the full decision or findings may be examined, or may choose to mail a complete copy of the decision.
  13. The Zoning Officer shall keep written files or meeting transcripts, evidence presented, correspondence, applications, names and addresses of parties, evidence of delivery by certified mail of notice and decisions to all applicable parties, and other files which shall remain the property of the Borough Council.
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