Each municipality that has enacted a zoning ordinance is required by the Municipalities Planning Code to establish a Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB). Three residents are appointed to the ZHB by the Supervisors for three year terms. One additional resident is appointed by the Supervisors to serve as an alternate. The two main functions of the board are to hear requests for variances and for special exceptions. A variance is permission granted by the ZHB for a waiver or modification of some regulation which, if strictly adhered to, would result in unnecessary hardship to the applicant. Unique physical circumstances that do not allow the property to be developed in conformity with the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance must be present. It must also be determined that the applicant did not create the situation and that the variance, if granted, would not alter the character of the surrounding properties or be detrimental to public welfare. If a variance is granted, the ZHB may attach reasonable conditions as it deems necessary to implement the intent of the act. A special exception allows a certain use in a particular zoning district. If a special exception is granted, the ZHB may attach to the reasonable conditions as it deems necessary to implement the intent of the ordinance.
Solicitor: Stanley Laskowski, Esq. 3631 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110. Phone 717-743-1682.
East Hanover Township