Thomas Jaagus, Chairman
Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor
Patrick McKenna, Esquire
Gawthrop Greenwood, P.C.
17 East Gay Street
P.O. Box 562
West Chester, PA 19381-0562
Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB)
The Zoning Hearing Board is a quasi-judicial body comprised of five members, all of whom are appointed by the Board of Supervisors and must be residents of Thornbury Township. The Zoning Hearing Board conducts legally binding hearings and renders decisions on appeals, variances, and special exceptions to the Township’s Zoning Ordinance.
All Zoning Hearing Board Applications to the Thornbury Township Zoning Hearing Board shall be made in writing on the Zoning Hearing Board Application form provided by Thornbury Township and shall be in accordance with the Thornbury Township Zoning Ordinance Chapter 155 and the Pennsylvania Municipalites Planning Code (herein referred to as the MPC). The completed application, with all required fees, required site plans and any other required information, shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer. The Applicant is responsible to see that a Township Official stamps the date of receipt on the Zoning Hearing Board Application.
Under the provisions of the MPC §913.3 only a landowner or a tenant with written permission of the landowner shall file a Zoning Hearing Board Application with respect to request for a variance and/or special exception. Other appeals may be filed with the Zoning Hearing Board under the MPC §913.3 by the landowner affected, the municipality or any person aggrieved.
1. Application: Complete the application forms and submit them to the Township Office along with any plans or other documentation. Please be sure to sign and date the application and submit eight complete copies to the Township.
2. Plan Submission Requirements: Submit to the Township eight (8) copies of any plan, drawing, document, diagram, photograph and any other information to be presented to the Zoning Hearing Board.
3. Proof of Ownership: If the Applicant is the owner of the property in question, please attach a copy of the Deed to the property; if the Applicant is owner of equitable title, or tenant with permission of owner of legal title, please attach proof of equitable ownership or lease.
4. Owners Authorization: When an Applicant is not the owner of record, an “Owner Authorization” form must be completed by the Owner(s), and the form with the owners signature must be submitted with the application. See, Owner Authorization Form.
5. Application Fees: The application fee must be submitted with the application. Checks should be made payable to “Thornbury Township”.
Hearing Procedure & Policy
The Zoning Hearing Board meets on demand at the Township Building, 800 E Street Road, West Chester, PA 19382. Notice of hearing shall be givien in accordance with the PA Municipalities Planning Code §908.
A complete application requires that all fees are paid, site plans comply with all regulations and all appropriate submission procedures and relevant sections of the Zoning Hearing Board Application are fully completed. All materials must be received at the time of submission. If an application is not fully completed, the application will not be accepted.
Upon receipt of the completed Zoning Hearing Board Application the Zoning Hearing Board shall schedule a reasonable time and date for a public hearing and shall provide a minimum of ten (10) day notice thereof as follows:
- Publish a Notice of the Public Hearing twice in local newspaper of general circulation.
- Serve written notice to the Applicant(s) by U.S.P. S. regular first-class mail.
- Serve written notice to the Township by U.S.P.S. regular first-class mail.
- Serve notice to all property owners within 500 feet on the same street as the subject property will be provided by the Township; and, notice to all property owners within a 150 foot radius of the subject property, not on the same street, will be provided by the Township using labels submitted by Applicant(s) along with the ZHB application. All notices sent by the Township to these property owners shall be by U.S.P.S. regular first-class mail.
In addition, notice of such hearing shall be conspicuously posted on the affected tract of land by Thornbury Township a minimum of seven (7) days before the hearing. The Applicant(s) is responsible for the maintenance on the notice. If the notice is removed or destroyed, the property owner must immediately obtain another notice and conspicuously post it. [MPC §908(1)].
Decision Rendered by ZHB
The Zoning Hearing Board is permitted forty-five (45) days to render a written decision following the last hearing. A signed copy of the written decision will be sent by certified mail to the Applicant(s) no later than the day following its date of execution.
Please note: As required by the MPC, Building and Zoning Permits cannot be issued until the written Decision is received by the Applicant(s) and Thornbury Township.
Appeal Decision of ZHB
Applicant(s) shall have a right to appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County within thirty (30) days after the entry of the decision, or, in case of a deemed decision, within 30 days after the date upon which notice of said deemed decision is given as set forth in Section 908(9) of the MPC.