In Pennsylvania, the Municipalities Planning Code is the uniform planning and land use enabling law for all municipalities and counties, including those under home rule, but not for the cities of Philadelphia (consolidated with Philadelphia county) and Pittsburgh.
The planning commission acts as an advisor to the borough council. Its principal role is stipulated in Section 209.1 of the MPC: A planning commission is required – at the request of the governing body – to prepare a comprehensive plan for the long-term growth, development, and well-being of the municipality. The planning commission is also empowered to:
- Make recommendations to the governing body concerning the adoption or amendment of an official map.
- Prepare and present to the governing body a zoning ordinance, and make recommendations to the governing body on proposed amendments to it.
- Prepare, recommend, and administer subdivision and land development and planned residential development regulations.
- Prepare and present to the governing body a building code and a housing code and make recommendations concerning proposed amendments thereto.
- Do such other acts or make studies as may be necessary to fulfill the duties and obligations imposed by the MPC.
- Prepare and present to the governing body an environmental study.
- Submit to the governing body a recommended capital improvements program.
- Prepare and present to the governing body a water survey, which shall be consistent with the State Water Plan and any applicable water resources plan adopted by a river basin commission. The water survey shall be conducted in consultation with any public water supplier in the area to be surveyed.
- Promote public interest in, and understanding of, the comprehensive plan and planning.
- Make recommendations to governmental, civic, and private agencies and individuals as teo the effectiveness of the proposals of such agencies and individuals.
- Hold public hearings and meetings.
- Present testimony before any board.
- Require from other departments and agencies of the municipality such available information as relates to the work of the planning agency.
- In the performance of its functions, enter upon any land to make examination and land surveys weith the consent of the owner.
- Prepare and present to the governing body a study regarding the feasibility and practicability of using renewable energy sources in specific areas within the municipality.
- Review the zoning ordinance, subdivision and land development ordinance, official map, provisions for planned residential development, and such other ordinances and regulations governing the development of land no less frequently than it reviews the comprehensive plan.
In addition to the duties and responsibilities authorized by Section 209.1 of the MPC, a governing body may by ordinance delegate approval authority to a planning commission for subdivision and land development applications.
The Riegelsville Borough Planning Commission consists of five borough residents appointed by Borough Council for four year terms. These members organize themselves as President, Vice President, and Secretary. The Planning Commission meets on the first Monday of each month, except for July and January.