Planning / Zoning
The Planning and Zoning Office is responsible for the administration of the Zoning Ordinance, which is designed to:
- Support and encourage order and beauty in the development of the City's environment for the convenience and pleasure of present residents, and future residents through sound land development practices and the provision of adequate public utilities and facilities.
- Protect the integrity of existing residential areas.
- Protect existing and proposed industrial areas to insure the economic stability of the New Castle area.
- Protect and provide for existing and future commercial areas within the City.
The duties of the Zoning Officer, as stated in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code are:
- Receive appeals and applications for Conditional Uses, Special Exceptions, and Variances, and forward them to the governing body or the Zoning Hearing Board, as appropriate; Schedule, advertise, and post notices on property subject to a Zoning Hearing Board hearing at least one week prior to the hearing; Post a notice on the affected tract or area involved with a zoning map amendment at least one week prior to the hearing; Provide applicant and other parties with copies of items sent to the Zoning Hearing Board; Provide testimony at hearings of the Zoning Hearing Board.
- Issue permits only where there is compliance with the provisions of the zoning ordinance, with other municipal ordinances, and with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Permits for construction or uses requiring special exceptions or variances shall be issued only upon order of the Zoning Hearing Board. Permits requiring Conditional Use shall be issued by City Council.
- Identify and register non-conforming uses and structures and record the reasons.
- Conduct inspections and surveys as prescribed by the governing body or ordinance to determine compliance or non-compliance with the terms of the zoning ordinance.
- Issue enforcement notices and orders in writing by certified or registered mail or served personally as described below upon persons, firms, or corporations deemed by the Zoning Officer to be violating the terms of the ordinance, directing them to correct all conditions found in violation.
- Act on behalf of the municipality in any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, demolition, maintenance or use of any building or structure, to restrain, correct, or abate such violation.
- Revoke by order, a building or zoning certificate issued under a mistake of fact, or contrary to the law or the provisions of the ordinance.
- Record and file all applications and plans for permits and the action taken thereon (which are public documents).
- Maintain a map showing current zoning districts and may make determinations of any zoning map district boundary question.
- Present facts, records, or information to assist Zoning Hearing Board.
- Zoning Officer shall not issue a building permit or zoning certificate for construction or alteration of a building until the final approval of the subdivision is in full compliance with the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.