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Zoning Resolution Article 9



9.0       Purpose


In recent years, the characteristics and impacts of an ever-increasing number of new and unique uses, together with the broadening of numerous conventional uses, have fostered the development of more flexible regulation designed to accommodate these activities in a reasonable and equitable manner, while safeguarding both the property rights of all individuals and the health, safety and general welfare of the community.  Toward these ends, it is recognized that this resolution should provide for more detailed evaluation of each use conditionally permissible in a specific district with respect to such considerations as location, design, size, method(s) of operation, intensity of use, public facilities requirements and traffic generation. Consequently, conditional use permits are not affected by the transfer of ownership, provided the use remains the same.


9.1       Contents of Conditional Use Permit Application


Any owner, or agent thereof, of property for which a conditional use is proposed shall make an application for a conditional use permit by filing it with the Zoning Inspector, who shall within seven days transmit it to the Board of Zoning Appeals.  Such application at a minimum shall contain the following information:


1.      Name, address and phone number of the applicant;

2.      Legal description of the property;

3.      Zoning district;

4.      Description of existing use;

5.      Description of proposed conditional use;

6.      A plan of the proposed site for the conditional use showing the location of all buildings, parking and loading areas, streets and traffic accesses, open spaces, refuse and service areas, utilities, signs, yards, landscaping features and such other information as the board may require;

            7.      A narrative statement discussing the compatibility of the proposed use with the existing use of adjacent properties and with the Comprehensive Plan, to include an evaluation of the effects on adjoining properties of such elements as traffic circulation, noise, glare, odor, fumes and vibration;


            8.      A list containing the names and mailing addresses of all owners of property within five hundred (500) feet of the property in question;


            9.      A fee as established by resolution;


          10.      A narrative addressing each of the applicable criteria contained in Section 9.2.


9.2       General Standards for All Conditional Uses


                     The board shall review the particular facts and circumstances of each proposed use in terms of the following standards and shall find adequate evidence showing that such use at the proposed location:


  1. Is in fact a conditional use as established under the provisions of Article 9 and appears on the Schedule of District Regulations adopted for the zoning district involved;

  2. Will be in accordance with the general objectives,. Or with any specific objective, of the County’s Comprehensive Plan and/or Zoning Resolution;

  3. Will be designed, constructed, operated and maintained so as to be harmonious and appropriate in appearance with the existing or intended character of the general vicinity and that such use will not change the essential character of the same area;

  4. Will not be hazardous or disturbing to existing or future neighboring uses;

  5. Will be served adequately by essential public facilities and services such as highways, streets, police and fire protection, drainage structures, refuse disposal, water and sewer and school;  or that the persons or agencies responsible for the establishment of the proposed use shall be able to provide adequately any such services;    

  6. Will  not create excessive additional requirements at public cost for public facilities and services and will not be detrimental to the economic welfare of the community;

  7. Will not involve uses, activities, processes, materials, equipment and conditions of operation that will be detrimental to any person, property or the general welfare by reason of excessive production of traffic, noise, smoke, fumes, glare or odors;

  8. Will have vehicular approaches to the property whish shall be so designed as not to create an interference with traffic on surrounding public thoroughfares;

  9. Will not result in the destruction, loss, or damage of a natural, scenic, or historic feature of major importance.


9.3         Public Hearing


              The Board of Zoning Appeals shall hold a public hearing within thirty (30) days

              after it receives an application for a conditional use permit submitted by an

              Applicant through the Zoning Inspector.


9.4         Notice of Public Hearing


              Before conducting the public hearing required in Section 9.3, notice of such

              hearing shall be given in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the

              Township at least ten (10) days before the date of said hearing. The notice shall

              set forth the time and place of the hearing and shall provide a summary

              explanation of the conditional use proposed.


9.5         Notice to Parties of Interest


              Prior to conducting a public hearing required in Section 9.3, written notice of

              such hearing shall be mailed by the Secretary of the Board of Zoning Appeals,

              by first class mail, at least ten (10) days before the date of the hearing to all

              parties of interest, to include all property owners listed on the application. The

              notice shall contain the same information as required in Section 9.4 for notices

              published in newspapers. 


9.6       Action by the Board of Zoning Appeals


            Within thirty (30) days after the date of the public hearing required in Section 9.30, the board shall take one of the following actions:


            1.   Approve issuance of the conditional use permit by making an affirmative finding writing that the proposed conditional use is to be located in a district wherein such use may be conditionally permitted.  Such written finding may also prescribe supplementary conditions and safeguards as specified in Section 9.7.  Upon making an affirmative finding, the Board shall direct the Zoning Inspector to issue a conditional use permit for such use which shall list all conditions and safeguards specified by the board for approval.


            2.   Make a written finding that the application is deficient in information or is in need of modification and is being returned to the applicant.  Such finding shall specify the information and/or modifications which are deemed necessary.


            3.   Make a written finding that the application is denied, such finding specifying the reason(s) for disapproval.  If an application is disapproved by the board, the applicant may seek relief through the Court of Common Pleas.


9.7    Supplementary Condition and Safeguards


            In granting approval for any conditional use, the board may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards in conformance with this resolution.  Any violation of such conditions and safeguards, when made a part of the terms under which the conditional use if granted, shall be deemed a punishable violation of this resolution.  The conditions are as follow:


            a.   The location, width, radius and number of driveways entering onto any public street;

            b.   The requirement and barriers be established to prevent access to a public street at any other location than established driveways;

            c.   A limitation upon access to certain public streets where there are more than one public street abutting the property;

            d.   Limitations upon the use of required setbacks for the parking of motor vehicles, storage or display of goods for sale or use, or the location of dumpsters;

            e.   Limitations on the intensity and location of lighting and requirements that lighting be shielded form adjoining properties;

            f.    Requirements that surface water be detailed, channelized or otherwise carried from the property to public storm sewers so as to avoid injury to adjoining properties;

            g.   Requirements that culverts be installed parallel to the road under any proposed driveway so as not to interfere with the existing flow of surface water.  The size of the culvert shall be determined based upon accepted engineering standards.


9.8       Expiration of Conditional Use Permit


            A conditional use permit shall be deemed to authorize any one particular conditional use and said permit shall automatically expire if such conditionally permitted use has not been instituted or utilized within one year of the date on which the permit was issued, or if for any reason such use shall cease for more than two years.


 9.9      Certificate for Conditional Use


            a.   The Zoning Inspector shall upon his own initiative, or shall upon the request of any owner,       issue a certificate for any conditional use deemed valid.

            b.   The purpose of this section is to protect the owners of lands or structures that are of a conditional nature.  No fee shall be charged for such a certificate.  One copy of the certificate shall be returned to the owner, one shall be sent to the Erie County Department of Planning and Development and one copy shall be retained by the Zoning Inspector, who shall maintain as a public record a file, along with an indexed overlay of all such certificates.

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