Township of Palmer, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Palmer 7-3-1961 as Ord. No. 36. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Shade Tree Commission — See Ch. 32.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 165.
Zoning — See Ch. 190.

§ 160-1 General requirements; construction specifications.

[Amended 3-17-1969 by Ord. No. 96; 7-11-1972 by Ord. No. 126; 7-16-1990 by Ord. No. 234]
A. 
All pavements constructed and all curbs and sidewalks placed on any street in the Township of Palmer, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, shall meet the requirements of this ordinance and shall be subject to approval by the Township Engineer.
(1) 
The following terms shall apply:
CONSTRUCTION OBSERVER
A representative of the Township or Engineer authorized to observe any and all construction operations governed by this ordinance.
DEVELOPER
The individual, partnership, corporation or other entity undertaking the improvement of land within the Township pursuant to the Subdivision and Land Development Regulations.
[1]
ENGINEER
The Township Engineer or his authorized representative.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 165, Subdivision and Land Development.
(2) 
Safety. The Engineer, acting on behalf of the Township, assumes no responsibility for or control over the developer's or his contractor's safety programs, nor any responsibility for the developer's or his contractor's work procedures, methods, sequences, techniques of construction, equipment, etc. Representatives of the Engineer are at the site only on behalf of the Township to determine compliance with the applicable documents, and to determine the acceptability of the final product.
(3) 
It shall be the responsibility of the developer and/or his contractors to post the notice to workers (available at the Township Office) on the project site at a location accessible to all workers.
(4) 
The developer and his contractors shall be responsible for compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and ordinances such as Department of Labor and Industry regulations, state and local blasting permit requirements, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other applicable safety codes, etc. The construction observer does not have the authority to stop the work because of a safety violation.
(5) 
Construction observers do not have the authority to approve, in the field, all changes from the approved plans or specifications. Any and all requests for deviation from the approved plans or specifications shall be submitted in writing by the developer to the Engineer and must be accompanied by supporting engineering data.
(6) 
Mix design information for all materials used in constructing streets, curbs and sidewalks shall be submitted to and approved by the Engineer prior to the delivery of the materials to the project site. Escrow release certifications will not be processed until such mix design information has been submitted and approved.
(7) 
No connections shall be made to existing Township streets without prior approval and without three business days advance notice to the Township to allow for scheduling of Township observation personnel.
B. 
Street construction specifications.
(1) 
General.
(a) 
All Township roads shall consist of the following courses, unless a particular course is hereinafter excluded:
[1] 
Wearing course.
[2] 
Base course.
[3] 
Subbase course.
(b) 
All new Township roads shall be curbed.
[Amended 11-17-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-342]
(c) 
The following cross-slopes shall be maintained:
[1] 
Cartway: 1/4 inch per foot sloped toward the edge of road.
[2] 
Sidewalk area: 3/8 inch per foot sloped toward the edge of road.
(2) 
Materials.
(a) 
Construction of all Township roads designated on the Township Zoning Map[2] as being either arterial, collector or local streets shall meet the following thickness requirements:
[1] 
Arterial streets:
[a] 
ID-2 bituminous wearing course: 1 1/2 inches.
[b] 
Bituminous concrete base course (BCBC): 5 1/2 inches.
[c] 
Subbase: three inches.
[2] 
Collector streets:
[a] 
ID-2 bituminous wearing course: 1 1/2 inches.
[b] 
Bituminous concrete base course (BCBC): 4 1/2 inches.
[c] 
Subbase: three inches.
[3] 
Local streets:
[a] 
ID-2 bituminous wearing course: one and one-half (1 1/2) inches.
[b] 
Bituminous concrete base course (BCBC): three and one-half (3 1/2) inches.
[c] 
Subbase: three inches.
[2]
Editor's Note: The Township Zoning Map is on file in the Township offices.
(b) 
All materials and construction methods used in the construction of streets shall meet the following requirements as set forth in PennDOT Specifications, Publication 408, current edition.
Material
Section
Subgrade
210
Subbase
350
Bituminous concrete base course (BCBC)
305
Bituminous wearing course ID-2
420
Plain cement concrete curb
630
Cement concrete sidewalks
676
(3) 
Construction methods.
(a) 
Trenches.
[1] 
All utility trenches (such as for sanitary and storm sewers, waterlines, gas mains, and electrical facilities) within cartways shall be backfilled in thin layers (not thicker than eight inches) and mechanically tamped. All trenches shall be allowed to settle for at least 90 days before permanent subbase course, bituminous concrete base course, or bituminous wearing course ID-2 pavement may be constructed.
[2] 
When a special case arises where a utility trench would have less than 90 days of settlement time, all trench backfill shall be 2A modified or 2RC stone, tamped and capped with eight inches of clay at subgrade elevation. This shall apply whenever a permanent subbase course or bituminous concrete base course and bituminous wearing course ID-2 pavement is to be constructed.
(b) 
Prior to commencing construction of the subbase, the subgrade shall be inspected and approved by the Engineer. After acceptance by the Engineer, the subgrade shall not be excavated for any purposes without the express permission of the Engineer. The placement of subbase material, as well as subsequent pavement courses, may proceed only after the Engineer has accepted the underlying course.
(c) 
Bituminous concrete base course (BCBC) shall not be placed on surfaces that are wet or at a temperature of 35º F. or lower, or when the air temperature is 35º F. or lower. When work is halted because of weather conditions, limited tonnage en route to the project may be placed, if permitted by the Engineer. A bituminous prime coat of the subbase course is not required before placement of the BCBC.
(d) 
Placement of bituminous wearing course ID-2 shall be permitted during the period April 1 to October 15 annually, provided that temperature conditions as listed in Subsection B(3)(e)[3] below are met; and provided, further, that no paving will be permitted during inclement weather. When the bituminous wearing course ID-2 is placed adjacent to curbs to form a bituminous gutter, it shall be sealed with AC-20. Excess bituminous material shall be removed to the satisfaction of the Engineer.
(e) 
Placement of bituminous wearing course ID-2 may be permitted during the period October 16 to November 15 under the following conditions:
[1] 
Bituminous wearing course ID-2 shall be hauled in properly covered and insulated trucks.
[2] 
Bituminous wearing course ID-2 shall not be placed on damp or wet surfaces.
[3] 
Bituminous wearing course ID-2 shall not be placed when the air temperature is 40º F. or lower, nor when the temperature of the base or binder on which it is to be placed is 40º F. or lower.
[4] 
Extra precautions shall be taken in drying the aggregate to be used in the mix, controlling the temperature of the delivered material and compacting the mixture.
[5] 
Bituminous wearing course ID-2 shall not be placed if, on the date preceding placement, it rained or snowed and the temperature fell below freezing during the previous evening.
[6] 
Bituminous wearing course ID-2 shall not be placed after November 15 without a written request from the developer and the subsequent express written consent of the Township Supervisors and Township Engineer.
C. 
Concrete curb specifications.
(1) 
General.
(a) 
The concrete curb shall be six inches in width at the top, eight inches in width at the base and 21 inches in depth on all streets.
(b) 
Construction of plain cement concrete curb shall meet the requirements of Section 630 - Plain Cement Concrete Curb, PennDOT Specifications, Publication 408, current edition. This shall include the placement of concrete curb with an acceptable, self-propelled machine (slip-form machine).
(2) 
Materials. All materials used in the construction of curbs shall meet the requirements of Section 630.2 of PennDOT Specifications, Publication 408, current edition.
(3) 
General construction methods.
(a) 
Excavation; fill. The excavation or fill for curb shall be carried to the proper depth and grade as directed by the Engineer. The subgrade shall then be thoroughly compacted and so shaped that the surface of the same shall be at the required depth below the grade for the finished curb.
(b) 
Placing concrete. After the subgrade and foundation have been prepared, the concrete, conforming to these specifications shall be laid or placed in the forms and thoroughly tamped and spaded to ensure the filling of all voids and to secure a concrete of maximum density with all corners full and square. All concrete must be finished with a wooden float and true to the lines and grades given.
(c) 
The forms shall not be removed until satisfactory curing has taken place. After removing the forms the exposed surface should be rubbed down or floated to a smooth, even surface, as necessary. If any holes or defects develop, they shall be filled with mortar composed of one part cement and two parts sand and then floated with a wooden float to a smooth, even surface.
D. 
Concrete sidewalk specifications.
(1) 
General.
(a) 
A crushed stone base course of No. 2A Modified shall be provided to form a compacted base four inches deep.
(b) 
In general and unless otherwise stated herein, construction of cement concrete sidewalks shall meet the requirements of Section 676 - Cement Concrete Sidewalks, PennDOT Specifications, Publication 408, current edition.
(2) 
Materials. All materials used in the construction of sidewalks shall meet requirements of Section 676.2 of PennDOT Specifications, Publication 408, current edition.
(3) 
Construction. The concrete shall be not less than four inches in depth and shall have a transverse grade of 3/8 inch per foot upward from the curbing. In driveway areas, the sidewalk and the apron shall be constructed of concrete six inches in depth on a four-inch base of thoroughly compacted crushed stone (2A Modified) according to the Palmer Township Standard Construction Details.
E. 
Record plans.
(1) 
Records plans shall be prepared by the developer's Engineer from information recorded by the developer's contractors during construction. Such record plans shall be submitted to the Engineer upon the completion of the street construction. The following information is required on the street grade and profile record plans:
(a) 
Any construction changes that were made shall be noted and documented on the record plans by drawing a line through the proposed design data and noting the record data.
(b) 
The record plans shall include, but not be limited to, the "as-constructed" curb and/or pavement grades for intersections and all other areas that were changed from the design plan. The record profile grades should be shown where they differ from the original design.
(2) 
After the record plans are reviewed and approved, three prints and a Mylar tracing of each shall be provided to the Engineer for a permanent record.

§ 160-2 Permit required to lay or relay curbs and sidewalks.

[Amended 4-9-1974 by Ord. No. 150]
All persons desiring to lay or relay curb or sidewalk shall apply for a permit to the Building Inspector.

§ 160-3 Fee.

[Amended 9-17-1973 by Ord. No. 146]
The fee to be paid to the Township for permits shall be set by the Board of Supervisors by resolution.

§ 160-4 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 9-17-1973 by Ord. No. 146; 10-25-1988 by Ord. No. 227]
A. 
Any person, partnership, corporation, trust or other entity which or who shall violate any of the provisions of this ordinance or who shall fraudulently do work for the Township which does not conform to these standards shall be liable, upon conviction in a summary proceeding before any Alderman, District Magistrate or Justice of the Peace, to pay a fine or penalty to the Township, and for the use of the Township, of not less than $10 nor more than $600 or to be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a period not exceeding 30 days, as provided by law.
B. 
Each day of violation of the particular code or ordinance applicable shall be considered a separate offense, for which the fines and penalties stated herein may be imposed on a daily basis.
C. 
For collection of fines and penalties, see § 1-16E of Chapter 1, General Provisions.

§ 160-5 Widths and grades.

[Added 9-17-1973 by Ord. No. 146]
The widths and grades of streets and sidewalks shall be as set by the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 165, Subdivision and Land Development.

§ 160-6 Driveways.

[Added 9-17-1973 by Ord. No. 146; 7-16-1990 by Ord. No. 234]
In areas of sidewalk, driveway aprons shall be constructed of concrete six inches in depth on a four-inch base of thoroughly compacted crushed stone (2A Modified) according to the Palmer Township Standard Construction Details.

§ 160-7 Short title.

[Added 9-17-1973 by Ord. No. 146]
This ordinance shall be known and may be cited as "Township Ordinance No. 36."

§ 160-8 Conflict with other ordinances.

[Added 9-17-1973 by Ord. No. 146]
If the provisions of this ordinance conflict with those of any other ordinance or law, the most restrictive of the two shall prevail.

§ 160-9 Repealer.

[Amended 9-17-1973 by Ord. No. 146[1]]
Township Ordinance No. 26 of October 6, 1958,[2] and all ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former § 160-5 as § 160-9.
[2]
Editor's Note: Formerly Art. II of this chapter, entitled "Private Driveways or Alleyways."

§ 160-10 Street openings, alterations and encroachments.

[Added 5-20-1974 by Ord. No. 152]
No railroad or street railway shall hereafter be constructed upon any Township right-of-way or road, nor shall any railroad or street railway crossings, nor any gas pipe, water pipe, electric conduits or other piping be laid upon or in, nor shall any telephone, telegraph or electric light or power poles, or any coal tipples or any other obstructions be erected upon or in any portion of a Township road or right-of-way except under such conditions, restrictions and regulations relating to the installation, safety, maintenance and restoration thereof, as may be prescribed herein and in permits granted by the Township for such purpose.

§ 160-11 Application for street opening permit.

[Added 5-20-1974 by Ord. No. 152]
The application for a permit required by § 160-10 shall be on a form prescribed by the Township and submitted to the Township in triplicate. The application shall be accompanied by a fee in accordance with the schedule of fees set forth by the Department of Transportation for highway occupancy permits and restoration charges. In addition, the applicant shall submit three copies of a sketch showing such dimensions as the location of the intended facility, existing utilities, width of the traveled roadway, right-of-way lines and a dimension to the nearest intersecting street.

§ 160-12 Issuance of permit; conformance with regulations.

[Added 5-20-1974 by Ord. No. 152]
A permit shall be issued to the applicant so long as all the aforementioned requirements of §§ 160-10 and 160-11 and permit conditions are complied with. All restoration shall conform to this ordinance.

§ 160-13 Written notice to Township.

[Added 5-20-1974 by Ord. No. 152]
Upon completion of the work and restoration and at such other times as the Township may require, the applicant shall give written notice thereof to the Township.

§ 160-14 Inspection; correction of defective work.

[Added 5-20-1974 by Ord. No. 152]
Upon completion of the work authorized by the permit described in §§ 160-10 to 160-13, the Township shall inspect the work and, when necessary, enforce compliance with the conditions, restrictions and regulations prescribed herein and by the permit. Where any settlement or defect in the work occurs, if the applicant shall fail to rectify any such settlement or other defect within 60 days after written notice from the Township to do so, the Township may do the work and shall impose upon the applicant the cost thereof, together with an additional 20% of such cost.

§ 160-15 Removal of obstacles.

[Added 5-20-1974 by Ord. No. 152]
Anything installed pursuant to §§ 160-10 through 160-14 of this ordinance which interferes with use or access to roads shall be removed at once upon notice from Palmer Township to so remove.

§ 160-16 Revocation of permits.

[Added 7-9-1974 by Ord. No. 155]
A. 
Plumbing or building permits or permits for street, driveway, curb, drainage or sidewalk construction or for work contemplated by § 160-10 hereof may be revoked for failure to carry on operations in a reasonably safe manner or for carrying on work in such a manner as violates Township ordinances or injures Township roads or deposits undue amounts of earth or mud upon the same.
B. 
The Township may also revoke or withhold issuance of building or zoning permits in any subdivision in which road, drainage or utility construction does not conform to this ordinance, Township standards or a subdivision plan or in which construction of roads, drainage or utilities is not proceeding contemporaneously with construction of buildings.

§ 160-17 Safety standards.

[Added 7-9-1974 by Ord. No. 155; amended 7-16-1990 by Ord. No. 234]
In addition to the safety requirements of the Building Code,[1] all unattended open trenches in public streets or rights-of-way or front yards shall be covered or barricaded and flasher lights provided to clearly mark the trench at night. Barricading shall also be required in the daytime for such trenches, when unattended, if they are left open more than 24 hours. Filled trenches in public roads which present soft support or sharp elevations or depressions of more than 2 1/2 inches shall be marked with barricades and signs and, in addition, at night with flasher lights, lanterns or smudge pots. Filled trenches in shoulders which present soft support shall be marked at reasonable intervals with a sign saying "soft shoulder." Utility work areas in public streets or rights-of-way and open manholes shall be barricaded and marked at night in the same manner as open trenches. The Police Department shall have the right to require permittees or contractors to provide flagmen or policemen at construction or maintenance sites if activities will reduce the traffic lanes available for travel or present unusual traffic hazards. Construction or maintenance vehicles on public roads shall have warning lights.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 55, Building Code.

§ 160-18 Outrigger protection.

[Added 7-9-1974 by Ord. No. 155]
Except for emergency vehicles, all backhoes, cranes, elevating platforms and other vehicles operating on public roads with outrigger or jack-type supports shall have boards or other materials inserted between such supports and the pavement of any public road to prevent injury to the pavement. Failure to take such protective measures is hereby declared to be a nuisance, and the Township may, in addition to fines imposed by this ordinance, collect the cost of restoring injured roads from the persons or organizations responsible.

§ 160-19 Restoration.

[Added 7-9-1974 by Ord. No. 155; amended 7-16-1990 by Ord. No. 234]
After new curbing or sidewalks have been installed or after alteration of existing curbing or sidewalks, the trench in which the curbing or sidewalks are located shall be backfilled to appropriate street and property grade. Except for curbing and sidewalk trenches, refilling of trenches in the existing cartway of public streets shall be entirely with modified crushed stone or with other similar approved materials to a level eight inches below the existing adjacent subgrade with such degree of compaction as the Engineer shall require. The crushed stone backfill shall be capped with eight inches of well-compacted clay to reform subgrade. The pavement shall be restored by constructing courses of the same materials and thickness as represented by the adjacent existing pavement. Joints between existing paving and any patches, which may be permitted, shall be sealed with appropriate sealing materials. Open trenches in public roads or rights-of-way shall be filled in as soon as possible, and boring shall be carried out in lieu of open trenching whenever practical.

§ 160-20 Removal of snow, dirt and debris.

[Added 10-28-1986 by Ord. No. 216-B]
A. 
It shall be the duty of every owner and occupant of any dwelling, tenement, store, shop, place of business, church, school or any other building, be it public or private, fronting on any sidewalk in or upon any street in the Township of Palmer, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, to remove or cause to be removed all snow, ice or sleet from said sidewalks in front of and around their respective premises within 12 hours after the same has ceased to fall or accumulate thereon. Similarly, sidewalks fronting vacant lots or vacant buildings shall be cleaned as aforesaid by the owner or owners of such vacant lots or vacant buildings. Wherever and whenever it may be impossible to remove all snow, sleet or ice, as aforesaid, which may have become compacted by travel or formed on sidewalks so as to present a slippery surface, it shall be the duty of every owner and occupant of the premises abutting the same to cover such snow, sleet or ice with ashes, cinders, sand or any other suitable substance in such a manner as to facilitate safe walking upon the aforesaid sidewalks. No owner or occupant shall allow snow, sleet or ice to remain on or accumulate in any drain located on or near any sidewalk so as to impede the flow of water therein in case of thaw or rain.
B. 
No person, whether an owner, occupant or otherwise, shall place or cause the placement of any dirt or debris on or in the sidewalks fronting his respective premises.
C. 
No person, whether owner, occupant or otherwise, shall place or cause the placement of any materials or merchandise of any kind or description whatsoever, whether for sale, display, storage, construction or otherwise, in or on any sidewalk or gutter fronting his respective premises. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the temporary placing of necessary building material in or upon such sidewalks or gutters permitted under other Township rules and regulations.