Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code

Article VIII-A - Joint Municipal Zoning

Section 801-A. General Powers.

(a) For the purpose of permitting municipalities which cooperatively plan for their future to also regulate future growth and change in a cooperative manner, the governing body of each municipality, in accordance with the conditions and procedures set forth in this act, may cooperate with one or more municipalities to enact, amend and repeal joint municipal zoning ordinances in order to implement joint municipal comprehensive plans and to accomplish any of the purposes of this act.

(b) A joint municipal zoning ordinance shall be based upon an adopted joint municipal comprehensive plan and shall be prepared by a joint municipal planning commission established under the provisions of this act.

Section 802-A. Relation to County and Municipal Zoning. The enactment by any municipality of a joint municipal zoning ordinance whose land is subject to county or municipal zoning shall constitute an immediate repeal of the county or municipal zoning ordinance within the municipality adopting such ordinance as of the effective date of the joint municipal zoning ordinance.

Section 803-A. Ordinance Provisions. Joint municipal zoning ordinances may permit, prohibit, regulate, restrict and determine and may contain the same elements as authorized for municipal zoning ordinances by section 603.

Section 804-A. Zoning Purposes. The provisions of joint municipal zoning ordinances shall be designed to serve the same purposes for the area of its jurisdiction as is required by section 604 for municipal zoning ordinances.

Section 805-A. Classifications. The authorizations and requirements of section 605 shall be applicable to joint municipal zoning ordinances. No area of a municipality party to a joint municipal zoning ordinance shall be left unzoned.

Section 806-A. Statement of Community Development Objectives.

(a) Every joint municipal zoning ordinance shall contain a statement of community development objectives as defined by section 606.

(b) The statement of community development objectives shall be based upon the joint municipal comprehensive plan and may be supplemented by a statement of legislative findings of the governing bodies party to the joint municipal zoning ordinance as defined by section 606.

(c) The community development objectives for a joint municipal zoning ordinance shall relate to the area within the jurisdiction of the ordinance, shall identify the community development objectives of each municipality party to the joint municipal zoning ordinance and the relationship of these objectives to those of the area and shall, in addition, include the basis for the geographic delineation of the area which the ordinance regulates.

Section 807-A. Preparation of Proposed Zoning Ordinance. The requirements of section 607 as applicable to municipal zoning ordinances shall equally apply to the preparation of a joint municipal zoning ordinance except that:

(1) The joint municipal planning commission shall assume the preparation responsibilities of the planning agency and shall be directed by the governing bodies of the participating municipalities.

(2) At least one public meeting shall be held by the joint municipal planning commission within the area of jurisdiction of the proposed joint municipal zoning ordinance.

Section 808-A. Enactment of Zoning Ordinance.

(a) The procedural requirements of section 608 shall be applicable to the enactment of a joint municipal zoning ordinance.

(b) Each municipality party to a joint municipal zoning ordinance shall enact the ordinance and it shall not become effective until it has been properly enacted by all the participating municipalities.

(c) No municipality may withdraw from or repeal a joint municipal zoning ordinance during the first three years following the date of its enactment. If, at any time after the end of the second year following the enactment of a joint municipal zoning ordinance, a municipality wishes to repeal and withdraw from a joint municipal zoning ordinance, it shall enact an ordinance, which shall be effective no sooner than one year after its enactment, repealing the joint municipal zoning ordinance and shall provide immediately and concurrently one year’s advanced written notice of its repeal and withdrawal to the governing bodies of all municipalities party to the joint municipal zoning ordinance. The repeal and withdrawal may become effective within less than one year with the unanimous approval, by ordinance, of the governing bodies of all municipalities party to the joint municipal zoning ordinance.

Section 809-A. Enactment of Zoning Ordinance Amendments.

(a) The procedural requirements for amendments to a joint municipal zoning ordinance shall be as required by section 609, except that all proposed amendments shall also be submitted to the joint municipal planning commission for review at least 30 days prior to the hearing on such proposed amendments.

(b) The governing bodies of the other participating municipalities shall submit their comments, including a specific recommendation to adopt or not to adopt the proposed amendment, to the governing body of the municipality within which the amendment is proposed no later than the date of the public hearing. Failure to provide comments shall be construed as a recommendation to adopt the proposed amendments.

(c) No amendments to the joint municipal zoning ordinance shall be effective unless all of the participating municipalities approve the amendment.

Section 810-A. Procedure for Curative Amendments. Curative amendments shall be filed in accordance with the requirements of section 609.1 with the municipality within which the landowner’s property is located: Provided, however, That the governing body before which the curative amendment is brought shall not have the power to adopt any amendment to the joint municipal zoning ordinance without the approval of the other municipalities participating in the joint municipal zoning ordinance. The challenge shall be directed to the validity of the joint municipal zoning ordinance as it applies to the entire area of its jurisdiction.

Section 811-A. Area of Jurisdiction for Challenges. In any challenge to the validity of the joint municipal zoning ordinance, the court shall consider the validity of the ordinance as it applies to the entire area of its jurisdiction as enacted and shall not limit consideration to any single constituent municipality.

Section 812-A. Procedure for Joint Municipal Curative Amendments.

(a) The governing bodies of all the participating municipalities may declare the joint municipal zoning ordinance or portions thereof substantially invalid and prepare a municipal curative amendment pursuant to section 609.2.

(b) The provisions of section 609.2(4) shall apply to all municipalities participating in the joint municipal zoning ordinance.

(c) (1) In the case of a joint municipal curative amendment involving two or three municipalities, the municipalities shall have nine months from the date of declaration of partial or total invalidity to enact a curative amendment.

(2) Subject to the limitation contained in clause (3), where there are more than three municipal parties, the nine-month period shall be extended on additional month for each municipality in excess of three that is a party to the joint municipal zoning ordinance.

(3) Notwithstanding the additional periods provided for in clause (2), a curative amendment shall be enacted by the parties to a joint municipal zoning ordinance not later than one year from the date of declaration of partial or total invalidity.

Section 813-A. Publication, Advertisement and Availability of Ordinances. The content of public notices and the procedures for the advertisement and enactment of joint municipal zoning ordinances and amendments shall be regulated by section 610.

Section 814-A. Registration of Nonconforming Uses. The registration of nonconforming uses shall be as specified by section 613.

Section 815-A. Administration.

(a) The governing bodies of the municipalities adopting the joint municipal zoning ordinance may establish a joint zoning hearing board pursuant to the authority of section 904, except that:

(1) The joint municipal zoning ordinance shall either create a joint zoning hearing board to administer the entire joint municipal zoning ordinance or provide for the retention or creation of individual zoning hearing boards in each of the individual participating municipalities to administer the new joint municipal zoning ordinance as to properties located within each of the individual participating municipalities.

(2) These same procedures shall be followed by a joint zoning hearing board as set forth in Article IX for individual municipal zoning hearing boards.

(b) The joint municipal zoning ordinance shall specify the number of zoning officers to be appointed to administer the ordinance pursuant to section 614. One zoning officer may be appointed by each municipality to administer the ordinance within the municipal boundaries or a single zoning officer may be appointed to administer the ordinance throughout the jurisdiction of the ordinance.

Section 816-A. Zoning Appeals. All rights and procedures provided in Articles IX and X-A shall pertain to joint municipal zoning.

Section 817-A. Enforcement Penalties. Penalties for violation of a joint municipal zoning ordinance shall be as specified in section 617.1.

Section 818-A. Enforcement Remedies.

(a) Enforcement remedies shall be as specified in section 617.

(b) In addition, the provisions of a joint municipal zoning ordinance shall be binding upon the municipalities and may be enforced by appropriate remedy by any one or more of the municipalities against any other municipality party thereto.

Section 819-A. Finances.

(a) The governing body of a municipality may appropriate and receive funds for a joint municipal zoning ordinance in the same manner as authorized for a municipal zoning ordinance by section 617.2.

(b) A joint municipal zoning ordinance shall specify the manner and extent of financing the costs for administration and enforcement, including the financial responsibilities for defending legal challenges to the ordinance.

Section 820-A. Exemptions. The exemptions for a joint municipal zoning ordinance shall be those identified by section 619.

Section 821-A. Existing Bodies. Municipalities which, on or before the effective date of this amendatory act, established joint bodies under former Article XI-A of this act, shall have five years from the effective date of this amendatory act to comply with the provisions of this article.

Table of Contents

  • Article I General Provisions (click here)
  • Article II Planning Agencies (click here)
  • Article III Comprehensive Plan (click here)
  • Article IV Official Map (click here)
  • Article V Subdivision and Land Development (click here)
  • Article V-A Municipal Capital Improvement (click here)
  • Article VI Zoning (click here)
  • Article VII Planned Residential Development (click here)
  • Article VII-A Traditional Neighborhood Development (click here)
  • Article VIII Zoning Challenges; General Provisions (click here)
  • Article VIII-A Joint Municipal Zoning (click here)
  • Article IX Zoning Hearing Board and other Administrative Proceedings (click here)
  • Article X Appeals (click here)
  • Article X-A Appeals to Court (click here)
  • Article XI Intergovernmental Cooperative Planning and Implementation Agreements (click here)
  • Article XI-A Joint Municipal Zoning (click here)
  • Article XII Repeals (click here)

 

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