Zoning Hearing Board members are “quasi-judicial”

(The latest in a series of posts on City government)

Breena Holland is an Associate Professor at Lehigh University in the Department of Political Science and the Environmental Initiative. She is a past and current director of Lehigh University’s South Side Initiative.

Dear Gadfly,

Can you please clarify something? Did you indicate that after deliberating, none of the ZHB members gave any explanation of their votes? I find that troubling. How would elected officials know whether to reappoint a ZHB member if there is no way get a sense of how they view and reason about local land use decisions? Do you know if ZHB members are prohibited from explaining their decisions, or whether they just remain silent so as to avoid being properly evaluated by those who appoint them later?

Thanks,

Breena

Yes, Breena — no explanations. All I have heard is that they enjoy “quasi-judicial” standing, which enables the out-of-view deliberation.

4 thoughts on “Zoning Hearing Board members are “quasi-judicial”

  1. I seem to remember that they have to publish a written decision on any contested case, giving the facts or ordinances on which they based it — but that probably doesn’t come until weeks after the decision.

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  2. Bethlehem Township deliberates with an open microphone. I know. I watched and listened to them. Startling! The Bethlehem City ZHB needs the disinfectant of sunlight. We can’t wait for them to die off.

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  3. That was a terrible and useless answer. You basically just repeated the question and agreed. How is that attitude changed or attacked? The ZBH members should be challenged to explain themselves.

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