MapLink™ | Procedures | Conditional Use Applications

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.
Conditional Use Applications
Statement of intent. This chapter provides for certain uses which are conditionally permitted within the Township as conditional uses, designated as such based upon the Supervisors' recognition that such uses may or may not be appropriate within such specific zoning districts where they are otherwise allowed. The Supervisors have therefore determined that procedures, standards and criteria as established in this section are appropriate to enable the Supervisors to evaluate and decide upon conditional use applications. Conditional uses are so classified because they have the potential for substantial impact upon the West Goshen Township community as it has developed. Consequently, these uses must comply with the minimum standards for conditional uses herein described in addition to the area and bulk regulations, design standards and general regulations stipulated as controlling within the zoning district in which the proposed conditional use is authorized. Failure of any proposed conditional use to comply with any of these standards and criteria shall be grounds for denial of a conditional use application. If there is a conflict between the standards set forth in this section and the other applicable criteria and standards elsewhere established in this chapter or other applicable Township ordinances, it is the legislative intent of the Supervisors that the more stringent standards shall always apply. It is not the intent of this section to abrogate or impair any other such standards or requirements.
Application submission procedure.
(1) Content of application.
(a) An application for conditional use approval shall be submitted on a form provided by the Township and shall be accompanied by the application fee, the amount of which shall be established by resolution of the Supervisors.
(b) Whenever a conditional use permit is required by this chapter for any use proposed or inherent in any proposed subdivision or land development, six copies of the conditional use application, accompanied by six copies of the conditional use plan, attachments and explanatory materials shall be filed with the Township contemporaneously with the filing of a preliminary plan for subdivision and/or land development, as applicable, complying with the West Goshen Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, codified in Chapter 72 of the West Goshen Code.
(c) Where a preliminary subdivision or land development plan is not required because the conditional use does not occur within the context of a development requiring subdivision or land development approval, the application for conditional use shall include a plan meeting the preliminary plan specifications established in Chapter 72: Subdivision of Land of the West Goshen Code.

Administrative application review procedure. The Zoning Officer shall review the application to determine if it is complete. If deficient in any required component, the Zoning Officer shall notify the applicant of the deficiencies in writing. If such identified deficiencies are not remedied promptly by the applicant, they shall constitute sufficient grounds for denial by the Supervisors of the application subsequent to public hearing should the Board deem such deficiencies to be substantially at variance with the requirements of this or other applicable Township ordinances.

Review and decision process for conditional use applications.
(1) Notice of the hearing shall be provided by the Township in accordance with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. The Board shall schedule the first hearing within 60 days from the date of the Township's receipt of the applicant's application, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time. Each subsequent hearing 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 should complete the presentation of his case-in-chief within 100 days of the first hearing. Upon the request of the applicant, the Board or Hearing Officer shall assure that the applicant receives at least seven hours of hearing 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 applicants 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.
(2) The hearing shall be conducted by the Board or the 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 Board. However, the appellant or the applicant, as the case may be, in addition to the Township, may, prior to the decision of the hearing, waive decision or findings by the Board and accept the decisions or findings of the hearing officer as final.
(3) Any substantial revisions to the application or plan made by the applicant subsequent to filing of the application or plan or its review by the Planning Commission shall be subject to review and recommendation by the Planning Commission as specified in Subsection D(1) of this section prior to the Supervisors' public hearing. In such event, the Zoning Officer shall secure from the applicant a written extension of the date within which the Supervisors must hold a public hearing pursuant to Subsection D(1) of this section. If the applicant fails to execute the extension, the Supervisors shall decide the conditional use application on the basis of the plan and application as originally filed.
(4) A stenographic record of the hearing shall be made by a certified court reporter, whose appearance fee shall be shared equally by the applicant and the Township. The cost of the original transcript shall be paid by the Supervisors only if they order it or by any party requesting an original transcript or by the person appealing from the decision of the Supervisors in the event of an appeal. In either case, the cost of additional copies shall be paid by the party or person requesting such copies.
(5) The Supervisors shall render a written decision or, when no decision is called for, make written findings on the conditional use application within 45 days after the last hearing before the Supervisors. The date for the Supervisors' decision may be extended by the applicant either on the record or in writing addressed to the Supervisors. Where the application is contested or denied, each decision shall be accompanied by findings of fact or conclusions based thereon, together with any reasons therefor. Conclusions based upon this chapter, the PaMPC or any 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. A copy of the decision or, where no decision is called for, of the findings, shall be delivered to the applicant personally or mailed to him no later than the day following its date. If, after the conclusion of the public hearing(s), the application is amended or revised, the Supervisors shall hold one or more public hearings thereon as may be necessary and shall issue a new decision thereon in conformance with the procedure established in this section. In the event that the Supervisors fail to commence the required hearing within 60 days from the date of the applicant's request for a hearing, or fail to complete the hearing no later than 100 days after the completion of the applicant's case-in-chief, unless extended for good cause upon application to the Court of Common Pleas, 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.
(6) In granting or denying a conditional use or establishing conditions will respect thereto, the Supervisors shall determine compliance with the standards and criteria established in this section to be mandatory. The burden shall be upon the applicant to prove his case by a fair preponderance of the credible evidence unless any rule of law shifts that burden to protestants. The standard required by this subsection shall be deemed a part of the definitional aspect under which a conditional use may be granted, and the failure of the applicant to establish his compliance with all of the standards shall constitute sufficient basis for denial of the application. In allowing a conditional use, the Supervisors may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards in addition to those otherwise expressed in this section as they deem necessary to implement the purposes of this chapter and any other applicable Township ordinances.
(7) Unless otherwise specified by the Board of Supervisors in the conditional use decision, a conditional use approval shall expire if the applicant fails to apply for a building permit or, if no building permit is required, a use and occupancy permit within one year from the date of the Board's decision approving the conditional use. In instances where the development which requires conditional use approval also requires subdivision or land development approval, the conditional use approval shall be valid for as long as the subdivision or land development plans are valid pursuant to Section 508 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, provided that the subdivision or land development plans are filed within one year after receiving conditional use approval. If the subdivision or land development plans are not filed within one year from the date of conditional use approval, the approval shall expire one year from the date of the Board's decision.
(8) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the applicant for a conditional use approval from obtaining all other required approvals mandated by this chapter and other applicable Township ordinances or regulations and the laws and regulations of state and federal regulatory authorities.