The Board's purpose is to help assure fair and equitable application and administration of the Borough's Zoning Ordinance by hearing appeals on the Zoning Officer's decisions and granting relief from the literal interpretation of the ordinance in certain hardship situations.  Unlike other boards and commissions, the Zoning Hearing Board has no legislative power; it can neither make nor modify zoning policy.  Rather, it is a quasi-judicial body and its powers are somewhat judicial in nature.

5 Major Functions of the Zoning Hearing Board

  1. Request for variances:  The Zoning Hearing Board will hear an applicant's allegation that the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance inflict unnecessary hardship.

  2. Request for Special Exceptions:  A special exception is permission for an applicant to use land in a district for a purpose different from those permitted outright.

  3. Appeals to Actions of the Zoning Officer:  Appeals occur when an applicant alleges that the Zoning Officer has failed to follow prescribed procedures or has misinterpreted an ordinance or provision.

  4. Challenges to Validity of the Ordinance of Map:  Validity claims on the constitutionality of ordinances restricting the use or development of land and those applied to a specific property are handled by the Zoning Hearing Board.

  5. Unified Appeals:  Where the Board has jurisdiction over a zoning matter in any of the above, it can also hear appeals with respect to any other municipal ordinance pertaining to the same development or plan.