ZONING HEARING BOARD

Description of the Board

The South Whitehall Township Zoning Hearing Board is a five-member board of residents appointed by the Board of Commissioners.

Currently there are two positions to be filled on the Zoning Hearing Board—one full-time, and the “alternate” position is also vacant.  If you are interested in either of these positions, click on FORMS, where the Volunteer Board Membership Application can be printed out.  Please complete and forward to South Whitehall Township, Attn:  Township Manager’s Office.

The current members of the Zoning Hearing Board are:

Zoning Hearing Board Members

  • Don Klein
  • Mark Leuthe
  • David Eisenberg
  • Ken Navitsky
  • Matthew Mobilio

The Zoning Hearing Board is a quasi-judicial body that reviews appeals under the Township Zoning Ordinance. Therefore, they should not be directly contacted by any person having an interest in an appeal. Communication with the Zoning Hearing Board, prior to a hearing, should be accomplished only through the Zoning Hearing Board’s Solicitor and/or the Township Zoning Officer.

The Zoning Hearing Board’s Solicitor is Attorney Maria Mullane.

The Township’s Zoning Officer is Laura Harrier.

The Zoning Hearing Board hears the following types of appeals:

  • Requests for variances: Variances are dispensations from the strict provisions of the Zoning Ordinance granted by the Zoning Hearing Board. Normally they are only granted when the applicant can demonstrate that physical constraints make it impossible or unduly burdensome to comply with the Zoning Ordinance. Also, the variance requested should not put the property out of character with the surrounding neighborhood. The Zoning Hearing Board may, if it wishes to, establish conditions of approval in rendering a decision.
  • Requests for a Favorable Interpretation: Where there is a conflict between the applicant’s reading of the Zoning Ordinance and the Zoning Officer’s reading of the Ordinance, the applicant can appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board for a favorable interpretation that agrees with his/her own.
  • Special Exceptions: Certain schedules for certain zone districts have “Special Exception Uses” contained within them. Special Exception Uses are permitted uses that may be potentially detrimental. They are permitted only after a review by the Zoning Hearing Board, and permission is subject to any conditions the Zoning Hearing Board may attach.
  • Temporary Uses: When an event or activity that is not specifically listed as a permitted use in the Zoning Ordinance is planned for a short duration of time, applicants shall first seek permission from the Zoning Hearing Board. They must comply with any conditions the Board attaches.
  • Validity Challenges to the Land Use Ordinance: From time to time, the Township’s Land Use Ordinance may be challenged by a person who alleges defects in the Ordinance or raises procedural-type questions.

Applications for an appeal must be submitted by the cut-off date for the meeting as listed below. Be advised, however, that the Board normally meets only on the fourth Wednesday of each month. The other dates are for emergency purposes only.

Written decisions of the Board are sent to the appellants (and objectors, if any) within 45 days after the decision is announced.

Meeting Schedule

All meetings are open to the public.