MapLink™ | Procedures | Standards for review of proposed exception or variance

Hello! Content on this website is provided as a convenience and is for informational use only. Be sure to review the Terms of Use for all of the details related to your use of this website.
Standards for review of proposed exception or variance
(1) In any instance where the Board is required to consider a request for a special exception or variance in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, the Board shall, to the full extent permitted by law, consider the following factors where appropriate:
(a) The statement of community objectives of the Zoning Ordinance.
(b) The size, scope, extent and character of the exception or variance desired and assure itself that such requests are consistent with the spirit, purpose and intent of the Zoning Ordinance.
(c) The suitability of the property for the use desired and the extent to which the new or expanded use is susceptible to regulation by appropriate conditions and safeguards.
(d) The effect of the proposed use upon the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community.
(e) Where pertinent, the effects of the proposed change with respect to conserving the value of buildings; safety from fire, panic and other dangers; adequacy of light and air; the overcrowding of land; and the congestion of population.
(f) The character and type of development in the area surrounding the location for which the request is made and determine that the proposed change or modification as permitted will constitute an appropriate use in the area and will not substantially injure or detract from the use of surrounding property or from the character of the neighborhood.
(g) Guide the development of highway frontage insofar as possible so as to limit the total number of access points, reduce the need for on-street parking and encourage the frontage of buildings on parallel marginal roads perpendicular to the highway.
(h) Consider the probable effects of proposed development on highway congestion and ensure that adequate access arrangements are provided in order to protect major highways from undue congestion and hazard.
(2) In the case of a variance in addition to any applicable standards of the subsections above, the more specific requirements or criteria contained in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code shall apply.
(3) In granting any variance or special exception, the Board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards in addition to those expressed in this chapter as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of the Planning Code and Zoning Ordinance, which conditions and safeguards may relate to but not be limited to aesthetics, screening, lighting, noise, safety and the minimization of noxious, offensive or hazardous elements. Each special exception shall be clearly authorized by a provision of this chapter and shall comply with any more specific standards relating to such exception contained in this chapter.
(4) In the case of a request for a special exception or variance, it shall be the responsibility of the applicant to present such evidence as is necessary to demonstrate that the proposed use or modification complies with the pertinent criteria or standards set forth in this section or adoption by reference to the Municipalities Planning Code. The applicant for a special exception shall have the burden of proof that his application falls within the provisions of this chapter and that granting his application will not be contrary to the public interest.