§ 215-72Review by Township Engineer.
§ 215-73Site development.
§ 215-75Service streets.
§ 215-78Stormwater management.
§ 215-79Storm sewers and drainage facilities.
§ 215-80Sewage disposal.
§ 215-81Water supply.
§ 215-82Additional standards for private
improvements in land development plans.
§ 215-83Handicapped accessibility.
§ 215-84.1Wetlands and wetland buffers.
Any application for approval of a subdivision or land development shall conform to the standards set forth in this article. The standards specified in this article are minimum design requirements.
In reviewing any application for approval of a subdivision or land development, the Board of Commissioners shall refer the application for development to the Township Engineer for a recommendation concerning technical compliance with these design standards and the Township Construction Standards.
Grading, filling, removal of topsoil, erosion and sedimentation control.
All grading, filling, removal of topsoil and erosion and sedimentation control shall be performed in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 163 of the Code of the Township, Grading and Excavating, and the requirements of the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law
On any property where evidence exists of undermining, strip mining or other geologic hazards on the site, a geologic report by a qualified registered professional soils engineer regarding subsurface conditions and the probable measures needed to be considered in the design of the development, site grading and location of structures or design of their foundations, if any, shall be submitted with the application for preliminary approval of a subdivision or land development.
Poor soils. Landslide-prone soils and/or poor soils, listed herein, are defined by the Soils Survey of Allegheny County, the Soil Conservation Service and USDA. Proposed development activities on or within 50 feet of an area of poor soils shall be accompanied by a revegetation or reforesting plan that will restore the natural characteristics of the area, to the extent practicable. It shall further be accompanied by a detailed engineering study certified by a registered professional engineer licensed in the State of Pennsylvania and experienced in soils engineering and approved by the Township Engineer and containing the following, at a minimum:
Detailed site maps at a scale of not less than one inch equals 50 feet with existing and proposed two-foot contours.
An investigation of the geological structure of the site, confirmed by on-site test borings or pits.
Statement of special conditions.
Solutions accompanied by a slope stability analysis, demonstrating a factor of safety of greater than 1.4.
Detailed construction plans.
Steep slopes. All areas within development sites of three acres or more that have slopes in excess of 15% shall be shown on the plat required to be submitted with an application for preliminary approval of a subdivision or land development. Slopes shall be calculated by the applicant's engineer. All steep slopes within these developments shall be subject to the following regulations:
Slopes in excess of 40% in subdivisions for single-family dwellings.
In any subdivision proposed for single-family dwellings, natural or man-made steep slopes in excess of 40% existing on the site at the time of application shall not be disturbed by grading, alteration or removal of vegetation, except in the following cases:
To construct, extend or maintain public or private streets, stormwater management facilities or essential services within any public or private right-of-way or easement; or
To provide access to or to develop recreational facilities within common open space owned and maintained by a homeowners' association or condominium in a planned residential development or residential subdivision for the benefit of the residents.
To reclaim previously strip mined areas, provided the reclamation is performed in accordance with all requirement of the Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection (PA DEP) and the Township Grading Ordinance
Plans for single-family subdivisions shall include a certification by a registered professional engineer that slopes in excess of 40% shall not be disturbed, except under the above listed conditions.
On any lot in a subdivisions proposed for single-family dwellings, the top or toe of a steep slope in excess of 25%, whether natural or resulting from site grading, shall be at least 70 feet behind the front building line on the lot.
In all subdivisions and land developments, steep slopes between 25% and 40% existing on the site at the time of application may be disturbed by grading, alteration or removal of vegetation, provided a geotechnical report prepared by a civil engineer registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with experience in geotechnical engineering shall he submitted that indicates the following:
Slide-prone soils do no exist in the area proposed for grading, alteration or removal of vegetation.
The finished slopes after excavating or grading will be stable and will not create hazards for adjoining property from erosion, sedimentation or stormwater runoff.
The foundations of any structures proposed to be erected in any natural steep slope areas between 25% and 40% or any such steep slope areas that have been disturbed wild be structurally sound, including recommendations for special foundation design, if warranted.
Restoration of all such slopes from which cover has been removed shall be finished and seeded within a reasonable time after such clearance activity. The phrase "a reasonable time" shall mean within 30 days after grading and/or construction activities are completed, unless those activities are completed between November 1 and April 1. In such cases, the required seeding or sodding shall occur by May 1. In all cases, erosion and sedimentation control measures shall be maintained on the site until replacement cover can be accomplished.
In land developments that propose the construction of a new nonresidential building or structure or the enlargement of an existing nonresidential building or structure, slopes in excess of 40% existing on the site at the time of application may be disturbed by grading, alteration or removal of vegetation, provided a geotechnical report prepared by a civil engineer registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with experience in geotechnical engineering shall be submitted that demonstrates compliance with Subsection B(3), above, and the following additional requirements are met:
Grading, alteration or removal of vegetation on slopes in excess of 40% shall be limited to that area that is the minimum necessary to provide:
Grading shall be performed in compliance with the requirements of the Township Grading Ordinance, however, the finished slope that results after the completion of grading of steep slope areas in excess of 40% shall not he greater than a 2:1 slope, as defined by the Township Grading Ordinance.
In all residential zoning districts, for those portions of a lot having steep slope areas, as defined in this section herein, the following standards shall apply for all proposed uses:
Disturbance limits. Based upon steep slope category, the following disturbance limits shall be the maximum area of such slopes that may be regraded and/or stripped of vegetation:
|Steep Slope Category||Disturbance Limit|
|Slopes at least 15% but less than 20%||85%|
|Slopes at least 20% but less than 25%||75%|
|Slopes at least 25% but less than 30%||35%|
|Slopes 30% or greater but less than 40%||10%|
|Slopes 40% or greater||0%|
Nonresidential lots within the PED and PRD shall be permitted to disturb a maximum of 60% of steep slopes areas within each steep slope category, provided it is the minimum disturbance necessary to allow a permitted use as approved by the Township Engineer.
Planting and cutting of trees; removal of debris.
Large shade trees shall be adequately protected from injury and preserved to the extent practical.
All lot areas which slope towards streets or adjacent lots shall be required to be seeded with grass or planted with ground cover so as to prevent washing and erosion.
During construction, the developer shall remove and dispose of all uprooted trees, stumps, brush, rubbish, unused building materials and debris promptly in the interest of public safety.
Flood prone areas. Land identified as flood prone on maps issued by the Federal Insurance Administration shall be subject to the regulations of the National Flood Insurance Program and shall comply with the provisions of Chapter 164 of the Code of the Township, Floodplain Management.
As provided in Article IX, Waivers and Modifications, of the Township Subdivision Regulations, an applicant may request a waiver of requirements under this section. Applicants seeking to obtain a wavier shall submit a written request with the application for preliminary approval.
In addition to the requirements of Article IX, the applicant must also provide that an independent report prepared by a civil engineer registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with experience in geotechnical engineering shall be submitted that demonstrates the ability to develop in a safe manner.
Streets shall be planned to conform with the layout of existing and planned streets and be so located as to allow proper development of surrounding properties. Local streets shall be laid out so as to discourage through traffic. Collector streets should be designed to provide adequate flow of traffic from local streets to major community facilities and to arterial streets.
Topography. Proposed streets shall be planned to conform to the contour of the land, to the fullest extent possible to provide buildable lots, to have a suitable alignment and grade and to allow proper drainage.
Street grades. Minimum and maximum grades shall be provided on all streets in accordance with the requirements specified in the Township Construction Standards.
Right-of-way and paving widths; curbs; shoulders.
Minimum widths of rights-of-way and minimum widths of paving shall be provided in accordance with the requirements specified in the Township Construction Standards. All streets shall be paved in accordance with the Township Construction Standards.
Curbs shall be provided on all streets in accordance with the Township Construction Standards.
Street shoulders shall be constructed which are uniformly and thoroughly compacted by rolling and which are level with the tops of curbs.
Culs-de-sac. A cul-de-sac shall not be approved when a through street is practical and shall not be more than 500 feet in length, unless an intermediate turnaround is provided at a distance of every 500 feet and a modification or exception to the maximum five-hundred-foot length of the cul-de-sac is granted in accordance with the requirements of Article IX of this chapter. A cul-de-sac shall have a minimum right-of-way radius and an outer minimum paving radius as specified in the Design Standards. The maximum grade of the turnaround portion of the cul-de-sac shall be 5%.
Temporary turnarounds. A temporary turnaround may be required where a road is constructed to an adjoining property line or where the terminus of a road adjoins property in a future phase of the plan. The temporary turnaround shall be paved. The right-of-way radius required for a temporary turnaround shall be a minimum of 50 feet and the outer paving radius of the temporary turnaround shall be 42 feet.
No fence, hedges, shrubbery, walls, planting (other than tress and grass) or similar obstructions shall be located within the right-of-way, and no such obstruction shall obscure visibility at any intersection. The location of fences and walls shall be further subject to the requirements of the Township Zoning Ordinance.
A clear sight triangle, as defined by this chapter, shall be maintained free of any obstructions at intersections so that there shall be a minimum clear sight triangle measured along the center line from the points of intersection in accordance with the requirements specified in the Township Construction Standards. The clear sight triangle shall be shown on the final plat for recording.
Street names. All new street names shall be approved by the Township and the Post Office. Names of new streets shall be sufficiently different in sound and spelling from existing names of streets in the Township or in the 911 service area so as not to cause confusion. A street which is planned as a continuation of an existing street shall bear the same name. Street signs shall be provided in accordance with § 215-69 of this chapter.
Sidewalks. The width and location of sidewalks shall conform to the standards specified in the Township Construction Standards. All sidewalks shall be constructed in accordance with the Township Construction Standards.
Crosswalks. Crosswalks may be required wherever necessary to facilitate pedestrian circulation and to give access to community facilities such as parks, playgrounds, schools or public buildings.
Service streets, as defined by this chapter, may be permitted in commercial and industrial developments where needed for loading, unloading or secondary access. Service streets shall be constructed in accordance with Township Construction Standards and shall meet the minimum design standards shown in Appendix I
Easements for sanitary sewers, water lines and stormwater management facilities shall be required to have a minimum width of 20 feet. Where a subdivision or land development is or will be traversed by a watercourse, there shall be provided a stormwater easement or drainage right-of-way of a width sufficient for the purpose, but not less than 20 feet.
The following standards shall apply to all lots proposed to be subdivided or developed in accordance with this chapter.
Minimum lot areas shall conform to the requirements of the Township Zoning Ordinance.
When a tract is subdivided into lots that are larger than the minimum lot area required by the Zoning Ordinance, such lots or parcels shall be so arranged as to permit a logical location and opening of future streets and resubdividing with provisions for adequate utility connections for each subdivision.
Frontage. All lots created by a subdivision shall have frontage along the right-of-way of a public street, and the width of the frontage shall conform to the requirements of the Township Zoning Ordinance. Every lot shall be accessible to emergency service, public safety and fire-fighting vehicles and equipment.
Double frontage. Double frontage lots shall be avoided; however, where a double frontage lot is the only practical alternative, vehicular access shall be limited to only one street and that street shall be the street with the lower volume of traffic, if physically feasible. The final plan shall contain a notation restricting vehicular access to one street frontage.
Side lines. Whenever practical, the side lines of a lot shall be at right angles or radial to the right-of-way lines of streets.
Front building lines. Front building lines of lots shall conform to the minimum requirements of the Township Zoning Ordinance and shall be shown on the final plat.
Grading. Lots shall be graded to provide drainage away from buildings, and water shall be drained to the street, rather than to adjoining property. The developer shall be required to provide drains or other drainage facilities, as approved by the Township Engineer, to drain off surface water within the development.
No driveway shall have a slope of more than 12%.
Driveways intersecting Township streets shall be constructed in accordance with the Township Construction Standards. Driveways intersecting state roads shall be constructed in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Design Manual, Part 2, Ordinance 18. Driveways entering county roads shall conform to the requirements of and shall be subject to a permit from the Allegheny County Department of Public Works.
Accessibility. Every lot, building and structure shall be accessible to emergency and public safety vehicles.
House numbers. House numbers shall be assigned by the developer, subject to the approval of the U. S. Postal Service, and shall be posted at each house so as to be easily visible and readable from the street.
This section shall be applicable to all subdivisions and land developments. It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, business or corporation to undertake any of the following activities without written approval from the Township:
Earth disturbing activities.
Diversion, impeding, rechanneling, straightening or piping of any natural or man-made watercourse (whether permanent or intermittent).
Installation of a stormwater system or sewer, pond or appurtenances thereto.
Placement of fill, structures or pipes in a floodplain as designated on the official floodplain map prepared for the Township by the Federal Insurance Administration or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Installation of impervious cover.
Commercial timbering activity or any deforestation (excluding the removal of isolated, diseased trees or trees whose location and/or health create a public danger).
Compliance with all other applicable sections of this chapter and any other applicable provisions of the Code of the Township governing grading, building permits, timbering permits and inspections and all applicable state and federal regulations governing these activities shall be prerequisite to the commencement of any work regulated by this section.
Exemptions. The following activities are specifically exempt from providing stormwater management:
Agricultural use of land when operated in accordance with a farm conservation plan approved by the Soil Conservation District or when it is determined by the Soil Conservation District that such use will not cause excessive erosion and sedimentation.
Use of land for home gardening or landscaping improvements, provided that such improvements do not significantly alter the runoff characteristics of the land.
Municipal liability. The degree of stormwater management required by the provisions of this section is considered reasonable. These regulations shall not create liability on the part of the Township, any appointed or elected official, the Allegheny County Conservation District or any officer, engineer or employee thereof for any erosion, sedimentation or flood damages that result from adherence to this section or any administrative decisions lawfully made thereunder. It is not the intention of the Township to guarantee the elimination of harm resulting from stream flow, floods, rain, storms, water runoff or erosion resulting therefrom. It is the intention of the Township to create reasonable stormwater management regulations that balance several competing interests with an emphasis on public safety.
Plan submission and approval requirements. Prior to final approval of a subdivision or land development, the stormwater management plan shall be approved by the Township Engineer. Submission of the stormwater management plans shall be concurrent with the application for preliminary and final approval of a subdivision or land development. The plan shall include evidence that the plan has been submitted to the Allegheny County Conservation District, and the final plan shall include any revisions resulting from review by the Conservation District.
Plan requirements. The stormwater management plan shall consist of three parts:
Part I: Narrative. A narrative report giving the purpose and engineering assumptions and calculations for control measures and facilities, including:
General description of the project; location of the project shown on USGS topographic map or Township GIS map.
General description of accelerated runoff control plan.
General description of erosion and sedimentation control plan.
Expected project time schedule, including anticipated start and completion dates.
Project's stormwater district, location and watershed characteristics.
On-site detention methods.
Hydraulic and hydrologic calculations, methodology and basis of design, demonstrating compliance with the requirements of the Township Construction Standards for calculations and design.
Brief soil description.
A maintenance program for control facilities shall be included in the narrative, describing the method of disposal of materials removed from the control facilities or the project area and a schedule for routine maintenance and cleaning of the permanent facilities.
Part II: Preliminary Plans. A comprehensive plan, in preliminary form (or in combined preliminary and final plan form), designed to safely handle the stormwater runoff, detain the increased stormwater runoff and control erosion and sedimentation. The plan shall provide and be accompanied by maps and other descriptive material indicating the feasibility of the plan and showing the following:
The extent and area of each watershed tributary to the existing and future drainage channels in the development.
The street, storm sewers and other storm drains to be built, the basis of their design and outfall and outlet locations and elevations, receiving stream or channel and its high-water elevation, the functioning of the drains during high-water conditions.
The parts of the proposed parking area pavements planned to be depressed to provide stormwater storage or conveyance.
Existing streams and floodplains to be maintained and new channels to be constructed, their locations, cross sections and profiles.
Proposed culverts and bridges to be built, their materials, elevations, waterway openings and basis of design.
Existing detention ponds and basins to be maintained, enlarged or otherwise altered and new ponds or basins to be built and the basis of their design.
The estimated location and percentage of the total development land area that will be used for impervious surfaces after construction is completed.
The slope, type and size of all proposed and existing sewers and other waterways.
All existing topographic conditions of the site, including elevations, watercourses, trees and other significant natural features.
All existing buildings, structures, sewers, waterlines and other significant man-made features.
Estimated, depth, shape, size and storage of any proposed retention facility.
A land development plan showing the dimensions of the site with the existing and proposed structures properly located, together with contours of the terrain after proposed grading.
A survey showing property lines, easements and rights-of-way.
Part III: Final Plan. Upon approval of the preliminary plan, a final plan shall be submitted to the Township Engineer. The final plan shall provide all descriptive material and maps previously submitted with the preliminary plan and shall include the following additional information:
All calculations, assumptions and criteria used in the design of the storm sewer system, detention facilities and sediment and erosion control operations.
All plans and profiles of proposed storm sewers and open channels, including horizontal and vertical controls, elevations, sizes, slopes and materials.
Locations, dimensions and design details required for construction of all facilities.
For all detention basins, a plot or tabulation of storage volumes with corresponding water surface elevations and basin outflow rates for those water surface elevations.
For all detention basins, design hydrographs of inflow and outflow for the peak design flows from the site under natural and developed conditions.
A description of operation for all detention basins.
Contours that accurately describe the final topography after completion of the project.
The staging of earthmoving activities and program of operation.
All information relative to the design and operation of emergency spillways.
Emergency routing of outfall for storm runoff in the event of failure of off-site drainage structures.
When major control facilities, such as retention basins requiring a PA DEP permit are planned, soil structures and characteristics shall be investigated. Plans and data prepared by a licensed professional engineer or geologist with education and experience in soil mechanics shall be submitted. These submissions shall consider and offer design solutions for frost heave potential, shrink/swell potential, soil bearing strength, water infiltration, soil settling characteristics, fill and backfilling procedures and soil treatment techniques as required to protect the improvements or structures.
All erosion and sedimentation control measures, temporary as well as permanent, in sufficient detail to indicate the effectiveness of the plan.
Evidence of compliance with Township Construction Standards for stormwater control and erosion and sedimentation methods.
Lots that cannot utilize the development's facilities. Single-family lots in a subdivision that, for terrain reasons, cannot utilize the subdivision's stormwater retention system, shall provide stormwater retention in accordance with the following:
Retention facilities shall consist of gravel filled sumps, ponds, tanks or other approved facilities sized in accordance with the Township Construction Standards. All runoff from roof areas shall be discharged into these facilities.
Storage volumes for roof areas greater than 5,000 square feet shall be calculated using other methods noted herein, subject to approval by the Township Engineer.
All stormwater retention facilities shall be located at least five feet from foundation walls. All pipe from roof drains shall be minimum Schedule 40 PVC pipe or approved equal to a point five feet from the structure.
Maintenance criteria for stormwater control facilities.
Maintenance during development. Maintenance during development shall be the responsibility of the developer and/or landowner and shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
Removal of silt from all debris basins, traps or other structures or measures when 40% of the capacity is filled with silt.
Disposal of collected silt in a manner that will not adversely affect the environment.
Periodic maintenance of temporary control facilities such as replacement of straw bale dikes, straw filters or similar measures.
Establishment or reestablishment of vegetation by seeding and mulching or sodding of scoured areas or areas where vegetation has not been successfully established.
Installation of necessary controls sufficient to protect against problems caused by storm events within design frequencies.
Removal of all temporary measures and installation of permanent measures upon completion of the project.
Maintenance following completion of development. After acceptance of the public improvements in a plan, or where there are no public improvements, after issuance of a certificate of completion of the private improvements, maintenance shall be the responsibility of the landowner, a homeowners' association or the developer and shall include:
Mowing to maintain adequate stands of grass and to control weeds. Chemical weed control may be used if state and Township regulations are met. Selection of seed mixtures should reflect the type of maintenance desired by the Township.
Removal of silt from all permanent structures that trap silt or sediment in order to keep material from building up in grassed waterways and other permanent structures resulting in reduced capacity.
The Township shall inspect all permanent facilities to determine continuing compliance with this subsection and take corrective action, if necessary. The Township reserves the right to enter upon private property to make reasonable periodic inspections.
Adherence to approved plan. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to undertake any earth-disturbing activity on any property except as provided for in the stormwater management plan approved pursuant to these regulations. It shall be unlawful to alter or remove any control structure required by the approved stormwater management plan or allow property to remain in a condition that does not conform to the approved stormwater management plan.
A land operations permit shall be required prior to the commencement of any land disturbance activity regulated by this section.
All applications for permits shall be submitted on forms provided by the Township and shall include the application fee required by Subsection J.
All such land operations permits shall expire six months from the date of issuance unless the construction thereunder is commenced prior to such expiration.
No permit shall be issued unless and until the final stormwater management plan has been approved by the Township.
Surety to guarantee the proper installation of the approved stormwater management facilities shall be included in the performance bond for the subdivision or land development.
Filing fees. A filing fee shall accompany the application for permits. No application shall be accepted by the Township, nor shall it be acted upon, unless payment is made according to the fee schedule established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
Inspection and engineering fees. An inspection and engineering fee shall accompany the application for permits. The amount of the fee, established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners, shall be sufficient to cover the following costs:
Prohibition against nonstormwater dischargers.
No person in the municipality shall allow, or cause to allow, stormwater discharges into the municipality's separate storm sewer system which are not composed entirely of stormwater, except as provided in Subsection K(1)(b) below and discharges allowed under a state or federal permit.
Discharges which may be allowed, based on a finding by the municipality that the discharge(s) do not significantly contribute to pollution to surface waters of the commonwealth, are:
Discharges from fire-fighting activities.
Potable water sources including dechlorinated waterline and fire hydrant flushings.
Routine external building washdown (which does not use detergents or other compounds).
Air conditioning condensate.
Water from individual residential car washing.
Water from crawl space pumps.
Uncontaminated water from foundation or from footing drains.
Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands.
Pavement washwaters where spills or leaks of toxic or hazardous materials have not occurred (unless all spill material has been removed) and where detergents are not used.
Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges.
In the event that the municipality determines that any of the discharges identified in Subsection K(1)(b) significantly contribute to pollution of waters of the commonwealth, or is so notified by DEP, the municipality will notify the responsible person to cease the discharge.
Upon notice provided by the municipality under Subsection K(1)(c), the discharger will have a reasonable time, as determined by the municipality, to cease the discharge consistent with the degree of pollution caused by the discharge.
Nothing in this Section shall affect a discharger's responsibilities under state law.
Prohibition connections. The following connections are prohibited, except as provided in Subsection K(1)(b) above:
Any drain or conveyance, whether on the surface or subsurface, which allows any nonstormwater discharge including sewage, process wastewater, and wash water, to enter the separate storm sewer system, and any connections to the storm drain system from indoor drains and sinks; and
Any drain or conveyance connected from a commercial or industrial land use to the separate storm sewer system which has not been documented in plans, maps, or equivalent records, and approved by the municipality.
Requirement for erosion and sediment controls.
No regulated earth disturbance activities within the municipality shall commence until approval by the municipality of an erosion and sediment control plan for construction activities.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has regulations that require an erosion and sediment control plan for any earth disturbance activity of 5,000 square feet or more, under 25 Pa. Code § 102.4(b).
In addition, under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 92, a DEP NPDES construction activities permit is required for any earth disturbance one acre of more with a point source discharge to surface waters or the municipality's storm sewer system or five acres or more regardless of the planned runoff (hereinafter collectively referred to as "regulated earth disturbance activities"). This includes earth disturbance on any portion of, part of, or during any stage of, a larger common plan of development.
Evidence of any necessary permit(s) for regulated earth disturbance activities from the appropriate DEP regional office or County Conservation District must be provided to the municipality. The issuance of a NPDES construction permit [or permit coverage under the state-wide general permit (PAG-2)] satisfies the requirements of Subsection L(1).
A copy of the erosion and sediment control plan and any required permit, as required by DEP regulations, shall be available at the project site at all times.
Post-construction stormwater runoff controls for new development and redevelopment, including operations and maintenance of stormwater BMPs.
No regulated earth disturbance activities within the municipality shall commence until approval by the municipality of a plan which demonstrates compliance with state water quality requirements after construction is complete.
The BMPs must be designed to protect and maintain existing uses (e.g., drinking water use, cold water fishery use) and maintain the level of water quality necessary to protect those uses in all streams, and to protect and maintain water quality in "special protection" streams, as required by state-wide regulations at 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93 (collectively referred to herein as "state water quality requirements").
To control post-construction stormwater impacts from regulated earth disturbance activities, state water quality requirements can be met by BMPs, including site design, which provide for replication of preconstruction stormwater infiltration and runoff conditions, so that post-construction stormwater discharges do not degrade the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of the receiving waters. As described in the DEP Comprehensive Stormwater Management Policy (#392-0300-002, September 28, 2002), this may be achieved by the following:
Infiltration: replication of preconstruction stormwater infiltration conditions;
Treatment: use of water quality treatment BMPs to ensure filtering out of chemical and physical pollutants from the stormwater runoff; and
Streambank and streambed protection: management of volume and rate of postconstruction stormwater discharges to prevent physical degradation of receiving waters (e.g., from scouring and erosion).
DEP has regulations that require municipalities to ensure design, implementation and maintenance of best management practices (BMPs) that control runoff from new development and redevelopment (hereinafter "development") after regulated earth disturbance activities are complete. These requirements include the need to implement postconstruction stormwater BMPs with assurance of long-term operations and maintenance of those BMPs.
Evidence of any necessary permit(s) for regulated earth disturbance activities from the appropriate DEP regional office or County Conservation District must be provided to the municipality. The issuance of a NPDES construction permit [or permit coverage under the state-wide general permit (PAG-2)] satisfies the requirements of Subsection M(1).
Whenever the municipality finds that a person has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this section, the municipality may order compliance by written notice to the responsible person. Such notice may require without limitation:
The performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting;
The elimination of prohibited discharges;
Cessation of any violating discharges, practices, or operations;
The abatement or remediation of stormwater pollution or contamination hazards and the restoration of any affected property;
Payment of a fine to cover administrative and remediation costs;
The implementation of stormwater BMPs; and
Operation and maintenance of stormwater BMPs.
Failure to comply within the time specified shall also subject such person to the penalty provisions of this section. All such penalties shall be deemed cumulative and shall not prevent the municipality from pursuing any and all other remedies available in law or equity.
Suspension and revocation of permits and approvals. Any building, land development or other permit or approval for regulated earth disturbance activities issued by the municipality may be suspended or revoked by the governing body for:
Noncompliance with or failure to implement any provision of the permit;
A violation of any provision of this section; or
The creation of any condition or the commission of any act during construction or development which constitutes or creates a hazard or nuisance, pollution or which endangers the life or property of others.
Violations and penalties.
Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be subject to a fine of not more than $600 for each violation, recoverable with costs, or imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both. Each day that the violation continues shall be a separate offense.
In addition, the municipality, through its Solicitor, may institute injunctive, mandamus or any other appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity for the enforcement of this section. Any court of competent jurisdiction shall have the right to issue restraining orders, temporary or permanent injunctions, mandamus or other appropriate forms of remedy or relief.
Landscaping guidelines for stormwater management facilities.
Overview. All aboveground stormwater management facilities in South Fayette Township shall be landscaped to improve their aesthetics, enhance water quality and improve wildlife habitat. The intent of this requirement is to insure that these structures are developed in a manner that will yield the greatest environmental and amenity benefit to the community.
The entire stormwater management easement shall be landscaped. At least 40% of the plantable area of the easement shall be planted to vegetation other than turf grass. The following objectives should be considered when choosing the types of plants and their placement, in order to:
"Plantable area" is defined as all areas that can be landscaped with vegetation other than grass. All nonplantable areas will be clearly delineated on the landscape plan. Nonplantable areas include steep embankments and stormwater management easement access areas. Public utility rights-of-way are not considered plantable unless permission has been granted by the responsible utility.
A detailed landscape plan of the stormwater management parcel must be included as part of the stormwater management plan submittal. A landscape architect's, licensed in the State of Pennsylvania, signature and seal is required.
A waiver of these requirements may be requested as outlined in Article IX of this chapter. To obtain a waiver, the applicant must comply with the standards of Article IX, as well as show just reason why landscaping, as per these guidelines, would not enhance the stormwater management parcel. If a waiver is granted, the as-built plans will still need to show the no planting areas.
Design criteria. Landscaping shall enhance the aesthetic appeal of the facility. The following design standards shall apply:
The facility should blend with the overall landscaping of the site. The facilities must be designed with irregular naturalistic curved outlines. Rectangular is not natural.
Trees and shrubs should be planted around the perimeter of wet ponds and at inflow points to help reduce thermal impacts. Ornamental grasses and other tall perennials can be used at outfalls to reduce thermal impacts.
Trees shall be a minimum of two inches caliper, shrubs shall be minimum three gallons size and herbaceous material shall be a minimum of one gallon size.
Wildflower may be used on embankments. The grass component of the wildflower mix shall be doubled and the slopes shall be no steeper than 5:1.
Landscaping should be designed to block human access to potential hazards such as pools and steeper slopes but not block maintenance access.
At least 50% of the plant material shall be native vegetation that is self-sustaining and does not require frequent mowing or continued irrigation is recommended. Species that require full shade, species that are susceptible to winter kill or are prone to wind damage should be avoided. Invasive species are not permitted.
Landscaping shall not impede the flow of water in the facility or impede the function of the facility.
Stormwater facilities shall be planted with a minimum of three different species. No one species shall make up more than 60% of the number of seeds or plants to be planted.
Proposed landscaping shall minimize the need for herbicides, fertilizers or pesticides before, during and after construction and on a long-term basis.
No trees or shrubs will be allowed anywhere on the embankment, within 15 feet of either toe of the embankment or within 25 feet of the riser.
Trees are not permitted on slopes greater than 3:1 within the stormwater easement.
Bare soil shall not be exposed above the normal summer water level on more than 10% of the area within the stormwater facilities or within 15 feet of stormwater facilities and their associated drainage structures, berms, embankments, access routes, dedicated public tracts, easements and rights-of-way after one growing season.
Bare soil shall not be exposed on more than 50% of the area below the normal summer water level in wet pool facilities after one growing season.
Trees or shrubs shall be planted or allowed to grow on water-impounding berms. All trees must be planted in the center of the berm.
Trees and shrubs shall not be planted within 10 feet of pipe inlets or outlets, flow spreaders or man-made drainage structures. Deep-rooting trees and shrubs shall not be planted within 15 feet of perforated pipes.
At least one evergreen tree shall be planted on the west side and one on the south side of all wet pool facilities and aboveground detention systems.
A minimum of two inches depth of well-rotted compost or topsoil shall be tilled into all surfaces to be planted.
Floatable or erodible materials (i.e., wood chips, beauty bark, straw mulch, etc.) shall not be used on the interior slopes of stormwater facilities.
Seed mixes may be applied via hydroseeding or broadcast application.
Planting holes for trees and shrubs should be three times deeper and wider than the diameter of the root ball and five times deeper and wider for container-grown stock. Planting holes must be backfilled with uncompacted topsoil or a mixture of soil and compost.
Planting should be installed between March 1 and May 30 or between September 15 and November 15. If planting occurs in late spring or summer, irrigation will be necessary to ensure survival.
Landscape plan requirements. The plan view of the facility must show, at a minimum:
Existing and proposed topography.
Plant and materials list.
Planting plan/layout. Delineate areas within the easement that must be planted as grass.
Delineate the embankment area and fifteen-foot nonplantable areas.
Delineate the stormwater maintenance easement, including the maintenance access.
Delineate slopes of 3:1 or greater.
Delineate public utility easements.
General landscape notes.
Landscape architect seal and signature.
Size and grade. Storm drains shall be adequate for the anticipated runoff when the area is fully developed. The minimum diameter of storm sewers shall be 15 inches, and the minimum grade shall be 1%, unless recommended by the Township Engineer and approved by the Board of Commissioners in accordance with the procedure specified in Article IX of this chapter.
Manholes. For pipe sizes of 24 inches or less, manholes shall be spaced at a maximum of 400 feet and for larger pipe sizes, the maximum distances between manholes shall be 600 feet. In addition, manholes shall be installed at all points of abrupt changes in horizontal alignment and vertical grade. Inlets may be substituted for manholes where practical.
Inlets. Inlets of the type shown in the Township Construction Standards shall be installed. Inlets at street intersections shall be placed on the tangent and not on the curved portions.
Castings. Manholes and inlet castings shall be as indicated in the Township Construction Standards.
Stormwater roof drains. Stormwater roof drains shall be connected directly to underground pipes which shall flow into an approved storm drainage system. This storm drainage system may include dry wells or sumps. All pipe from roof drains shall meet the requirements of the Township Construction Standards.
Watercourses. Open watercourses shall not be permitted within the rights-of-way of streets. The stopping, filling up, confining or other interference with, or changing the course of drains, ditches, streams and watercourses in the Township shall not be permitted unless approval in writing is obtained from the Board of Commissioners. A permit must be obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for construction or changes in a watercourse subject to the regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Bridges and culverts. All bridges and culverts shall be designed to support expected loads and to carry expected flows and shall be designed to meet current standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. All bridges and culverts shall be subject to all permits required by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Dams and Encroachments.
Where public sewers are reasonably accessible, the developer shall provide public sewers in the subdivision or land development. Installation of sanitary sewers and appurtenances shall be in accordance with the regulations of the Municipal Authority.
Where public sewers are not reasonably accessible and extension of public sewers is not expected to take place in the foreseeable future, on-site sewage disposal, approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and/or the Allegheny County Health Department shall be provided.
Where public water supply is available, the developer shall connect to such public water supply and construct a system of water mains with a connection for each lot.
Where public water is not available, the developer shall supply acceptable evidence of the availability of water. The developer may be required to make one or more test wells in the area to be platted, if such evidence is deemed not acceptable. Copies of well logs from said test wells which are obtained shall include the name and address of the well driller and shall be submitted with the plan to the Board of Commissioners.
If a private water supply is permitted, individual private wells shall be located at least 25 feet from property lines; 50 feet from all septic tanks; approximately 100 feet from all tile disposal fields and other sewage disposal facilities; 10 feet from all cast-iron sewer lines; 30 feet from any vitrified sewer tile lines; and shall not be located within any floodplain.
Lighting of property. Parking and pedestrian areas on the property shall be lighted to create a level of not less than one footcandle when measured three feet above the pavement throughout the paved areas on the property. Such lighting may be from freestanding lampposts within the parking areas, from nearby streetlights or from lights mounted on buildings. Lighting shall be shielded or aimed so as not to create glare conditions on adjacent streets or properties. Light standards in parking areas shall be protected from accidental damage by vehicles.
All areas of the property not paved or occupied by buildings shall be landscaped and maintained in grass, shrubs, trees, ground cover, mulching materials or other natural materials planted in accordance with accepted minimum standards. At least 5% of the total area of the property shall be set aside for landscaping. Lot areas not covered by buildings, sidewalks, pavement or other improvements shall be seeded with grass or other appropriate groundcover material compatible with the landscape and architectural design and condition of the surrounding areas. Landscaping materials shall not obstruct sight distances at access points to the property.
Where required by the Township Zoning Ordinance, buffer areas shall be provided which comply with the design standards specified in the Zoning Ordinance. A landscaping plan shall be submitted which shows compliance with this chapter, any buffer area requirements and required landscaping and screening of parking areas and loading areas.
Garbage and trash containers. All organic rubbish and discarded materials shall be placed in tight verminproof containers on the property and shall be secured in side or rear yards screened from public view by means of a solid face fence or wall. Containers shall be emptied not less frequently than once a week. On properties where food is served in paper containers, covered waste receptacles shall be conspicuously located on the premises for use by patrons. The management shall be responsible for maintaining the property free of litter.
Parking areas. Parking areas shall be designed in accordance with the provisions of the Township Zoning Ordinance. Ingress and egress and interior circulation on the site shall be designed to ensure safety and minimize congestion. Adequate provision shall be made for safe pedestrian circulation within the parking areas and from the parking areas to the buildings. Fire lanes shall be adequately marked and maintained in locations approved by the Township.
All subdivision and land development plans shall be designed to meet the current standards of the commonwealth and federal law with respect to handicapped accessibility, and verification of compliance shall be provided to the Township.
Manholes shall be vacuum tested and all sanitary sewer lines shall be lamped and air tested by the developer in the presence of the Municipal Authority's inspector. Air tests shall be conducted in accordance with the specifications established by currently accepted engineering standards.
All construction materials used in sewers, streets, sidewalks and other required improvements shall be tested by a qualified testing laboratory, if required by the Township Engineer. The cost for such tests shall be borne by the developer.
Copies of the test reports shall be provided to the Township Engineer and to the developer.
Purpose and intent.
The purpose and intent of this section is to protect natural wetland systems and sustain natural wetland hydroperiods, to minimize activities that degrade, destroy or otherwise negatively impact wetland values and functions and, where appropriate, to reestablish and restore productive wetland systems. Further, it is the purpose and intent of this section to promote ecological stability, improve water quality, prevent flooding and protect property and environmental resources.
Wetlands serve many important hydrological and ecological values and functions. They reduce the impact of flooding by acting as natural retention and water storage areas. Wetlands act as groundwater recharge areas for the surficial aquifer and protect water supplies for environmental, urban and agricultural use. Wetlands protect groundwater table levels and help minimize damage from fires. Wetlands provide inflows of clean water to the rivers and estuaries through surface and ground water connections and minimize urban runoff by filtering water. They provide green space and biological diversity and serve to cool the atmosphere. Wetlands act as productive biological systems providing habitat, foraging and denning areas for a variety of animal species. Wetlands are important to our community values and aesthetic appearance.
The intent of this section is to protect natural wetland systems. Man-made excavations in uplands, except those that are navigable and connected to waters of the commonwealth, are not protected by this section. While man-made wetlands exempt under this section are not protected as natural wetlands, development review shall assure that impacts to them do not adversely affect drainage or natural systems.
All wetlands in the Township of South Fayette shall be protected. No negative impacts shall be allowed within wetlands or wetland buffers except as specifically provided for in Subsection L, Exceptions and waivers. All development must be consistent with the wetland protection requirements of this section and South Fayette Township Comprehensive Plan (hereinafter referenced as the Comprehensive Plan). Compliance with these requirements must be demonstrated by the applicant prior to the issuance of any development approval or order.
The requirements of this section to protect wetlands and wetland buffers shall apply to all activities, whether urban or agricultural. A clearing permit shall be required for any clearing in order to demonstrate compliance with this section.
Where illegal activities in violation of the Comprehensive Plan, the South Fayette Township Code, the South Fayette Township Zoning Ordinance or the South Fayette Township Subdivision and Land Development Regulations have altered any wetland area so that all or part of the original area no longer meets the definition of a wetland or has negatively impacted a wetland, restoration shall be required at the site of the alteration. Restoration of buffers, habitat and hydrology of the original wetland area shall be required. The wetland shall be protected as a natural wetland. In addition to the requirements of this section, any applicant must comply with all the requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Title 25 (Clean Streams Law), Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Rules and Regulations), and to obtain any other permits which may be required by federal, state, county or municipal law or ordinance.
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A condition in which molecular oxygen is virtually absent.
- The regulated area surrounding a wetland or stream.
- Peat-accumulating wetland that generally receives water from surface runoff and (or) seepage from mineral soils in addition to direct precipitation; generally alkaline; or slightly acid.
- HYDRIC SOILS
- Soil that is wet long enough to produce anaerobic conditions.
- HYDROPHYTIC VEGETATION
- Plants that have the ability to grow, effectively compete, reproduce and/or persist in anaerobic soil conditions. Lists of these plants are available from the Environmental Protection Agency or Fish and Wildlife Agency.
- NATURAL WETLAND HYDROPERIOD
- The normal seasonal fluctuations in the surface and ground water levels of wetlands and the resulting duration of surface flooding in response seasonal rainfall.
- NORMAL CONDITIONS
- Refers to the soil and hydrologic conditions that are normally present, without regard to whether the vegetation has been removed.
- OBLIGATE HYDROPHYTES
- Species that are found only in wetlands as opposed to ubiquitous species that grow either in wetlands or an upland.
- UPLAND SOIL
- A general term for nonwetland; elevated land above low areas along streams or between hills; any elevated region from which rivers gather drainage.
- WATER BODY
- Any natural or artificial pond, lake, reservoir or other area which ordinarily or intermittently contains water and which has a discernible shoreline, but not including a natural drainage system.
- Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include water bodies, streams, floodways and floodplains. Wetlands are an ecosystem type, generally occurring between upland and deep-water areas, that performs many important functions, including fish and wildlife habitat, flood protection, erosion control and water quality maintenance. Wetlands must contain more than 50% of the composition of the dominant species obligate wetland (OBL), facultative wetlands species (FACW) and/or facultative (FAC) species.
- WETLAND HYDROLOGY
- Inundation by water sufficient to support hydrophytic vegetation and develop hydric soils.
- WETLAND MITIGATION
- Restoration of wetlands, enhancement of wetlands, preservation of wetlands or creation of wetlands for the purpose of providing compensation for wetland degradation or loss.
This section is intended to protect natural wetlands even when impacted by man-made excavations. This section is not intended to protect man-made excavations created in uplands except those that are connected to the waters of the commonwealth.
While man-made wetlands exempt under this policy are not protected as natural wetlands, development review shall assure that impacts to them do not adversely affect drainage or natural systems.
In determining if a wetland which meets the definition in Subsection C above is a natural system protected, the following standards shall apply:
Only man-made wetlands clearly excavated in uplands are exempt.
Connected to the waters of the state, whether excavated in uplands or wetlands, are not exempt.
Artificially created wetlands where there were no wetlands at the time of excavation and where there are no wetlands adjacent to the bank top of the excavation are exempt.
Man-made wetlands which are within or directly adjacent to natural wetlands shall be protected as part of the natural wetland system.
If there is not sufficient evidence to prove that the area delineated as a wetland both was man-made in upland soils and is not within or adjacent to a natural wetlands, then the system shall be protected as a natural wetlands.
All major subdivisions, site plans, plats, PRDs and/or PEDs shall be required to show wetland boundaries within the area of the proposed plan. Said wetlands shall be delineated by a qualified biologist or engineer in a manner consistent with those described in the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual. All those contemplating land purchase or development are urged to obtain field delineations of wetlands prior to decisions on land use and project design.
At the time of application to the Township, all subdivisions, site plans, plats, PRD and/or PED applicants must demonstrate the submittal of necessary wetland permit applications to appropriate federal, state and/or county authorities. No final approval shall be granted without the receipt of necessary permits from the aforementioned political subdivisions.
Wetland buffers. Wetland buffers and setbacks from wetland buffers shall be provided and maintained in accordance with the following requirements:
Buffers shall be measured landward of the boundary of the wetland, wetland vegetation or mangrove tree line, the mean high water line or the ordinary high water mark, whichever is further landward. For natural bluffs with slopes steeper than one foot vertical to three feet horizontal, required buffers shall start at the top of the bank.
For natural creeks, rivers, water bodies connected to waters of the commonwealth and waters of the state, a wetland buffer zone with a minimum of 25 feet shall be required.
For wetlands less than or equal to 1/20 of an acre, a wetland buffer zone with a minimum of 25 feet shall be required. For wetlands greater than 1/10 of an acre, a wetland buffer zone with a minimum of 50 feet shall be required.
For isolated wetlands and any other wetlands not covered in Subsection F(1)(b), an upland buffer zone with a minimum of 50 feet shall be provided.
The following protective measures will be required to assure protection of the wetlands. These requirements are more restrictive than the buffers and setbacks required for natural creeks, rivers and water bodies connected to the commonwealth. These special protective measures will be incorporated as conditions of approval during the site plan review process to ensure that the biological, scenic and navigational qualities of wetlands are maintained. These measures shall be applied to all site and/or development plan approvals and to all clearing of native vegetation on lots of record greater than one acre in size and/or any new plats. Development adjacent to wetlands shall be governed by the following regulations:
In order to reduce nutrient inflows to wetlands, the location of sludge spreading, sewage plants, on-site disposal systems, septic tank leachfields, effluent percolation ponds and irrigation quality storage ponds must be 300 feet from the wetland, as measured under Subsection F(1)(a).
In order to maintain and protect breeding of threatened and endangered wildlife species, the required buffer on sites where threatened and endangered species nest or den within shall extend 300 feet outward from a nest or den. A biological survey conducted by an environmental professional will be required if there is indication that a threatened or endangered species would be likely to use the affected habitat for nesting or denning. The survey shall be conducted during the timeframe of the most recent normal nesting or denning period of the species and shall be updated if the development order is to be issued more than one year after the submittal of the application.
Setbacks for construction and building maintenance activities. Wetland buffers shall be protected from encroachment during construction and building maintenance activities as follows: New construction (including fin proposed adjacent to wetland buffer zones and upland preserve areas) shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet for primary structures; setbacks for accessory structures, such as but not limited to pool decks, screen enclosures and driveways, shall be five feet. Graded areas landward of these required buffer protection areas shall not exceed a slope of one foot vertical to four feet horizontal. All slopes shall be properly stabilized to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer.
Performance standards. The following performance standards shall be followed for all wetland areas and wetland buffers:
Vegetation removal. The removal of natural vegetation from wetlands and from buffer zones surrounding wetlands shall be governed by the following regulations:
Clearing or direct removal of vegetation shall not occur except in compliance with an approved preserve area management plan developed by a qualified biologist or engineer.
All materials that are cleared from the wetland or buffer zone shall be removed from the site and not piled or stored within the wetland.
Dredging and filling. Dredging and filling activities within 300 feet of wetlands shall be governed by the following regulations.
Dredging or filling shall not occur within the wetlands or the buffer zone surrounding the wetlands except in compliance with the provisions of the Township excavation, fill and mining regulations.
An additional separation with a minimum width of 200 feet shall be maintained between the outer edge of any wetland buffer and any lake excavation unless an alternative plan utilizing an impermeable barrier is approved by Township Engineer in consultation with Allegheny County Conservation District. Any excavation which is likely to result in drawdown of the water table through pumping or through off-site outfalls must be separated a minimum of 200 feet from any wetland.
Filling which occurs landward of a wetland buffer zone shall be immediately stabilized and contained to prevent runoff of sediment into buffer zones or wetlands.
Construction within or adjacent to wetlands and wetland buffer zones. No alteration or construction shall be allowed within wetlands or buffer zones except as specifically provided in Subsection L, Exceptions and waivers.
The structure and foundation of docks shall be designed to accommodate surface water flows and shall not be designed to impede, interrupt or impound surface water flows. Public and private dock structures shall be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and with any applicable Township building code.
Routine maintenance of existing structures shall be permitted but shall be performed in the least intrusive manner possible and shall not result in additional damage to the wetland or wetland buffer zone.
All pilings shall be secured, placed or set to the desired depth by the least disruptive method based on existing site characteristics.
Boardwalks shall be designed to minimize wetland disruption while allowing access for wildlife and water viewing. Where boardwalks are provided for golf course access and for access between facilities, they must be part of an overall site plan designed to minimize wetland intrusion.
The use of heavy equipment shall be minimized in the wetland areas and/or buffer zones.
There shall be no temporary filling of the wetlands area or buffer zone for construction.
Waste disposal. Disposal of wastes in and around wetlands and buffer zones shall be governed by the following regulations:
The discharge of domestic, industrial, leachate or agricultural wastewater containing heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides or any other toxic substance(s) in excess of concentrations established by state, federal and/or county guidelines into the waterways, wetlands or buffer zones shall be prohibited.
Sludge, sewage and septic systems which are adjacent to wetlands shall be set back from such wetlands in accordance with Subsection F(1)(e).
The disposal of hazardous material in designated areas shall not occur within 300 feet of a wetlands.
Any new solid waste disposal facility shall be subject to the wetland protection provisions of this subsection and designed in such a manner as to have no negative effect on the wetlands or buffer zones.
The disposal of residential, commercial and/or industrial solid waste shall not occur within a wetland or wetland buffer.
Stormwater and surface management. Management of water in and around wetlands is critical to the survival of a healthy wetlands system. Stormwater and surface water management in and around wetlands and buffer zones shall be governed by the following regulations:
Maintenance of wetland hydrology and water quality.
Direct discharge of stormwater into wetlands or buffer zones shall be subject to conditional use approval. Stormwater must be provided retention and/or detention water quality treatment prior to being discharged into wetlands or wetland buffer zones. Stormwater retention and/or detention basins shall be used to maintain postdevelopment discharges at predevelopment levels.
Stormwater basins and outflow structures shall be designed to assure that the water quality, rate of runoff and seasonal runoff volumes are in accordance with allowable release rates of the project area as determined by the Township Engineer. Timing and volume of water discharge shall be appropriate to restore and/or maintain the natural hydroperiod.
Stormwater basins shall be designed and constructed with sediment traps and litter or trash screens. The retention and/or detention basins shall be vegetated, and the use of herbicides and pesticides within the retention and/or detention basin for vegetation and insect control shall be discouraged.
Any alteration of water levels within wetlands shall be prohibited unless determined necessary to restore or maintain the natural hydroperiod of the wetland system by way of a surface water management plan approved by the Township Engineer in consultation with the Allegheny County Conservation District. Outflow structures shall be designed to assure wet season water tables will be maintained throughout the development and that quality, rate, timing and volume will maintain sustainable on-site wetlands and healthy receiving waters.
Timing and volume of water discharge shall be appropriate to restore and/or maintain the natural hydroperiod.
Applicants for development must comply with Township Stormwater Management Ordinance and stormwater facility landscaping requirements.
Permitted uses within wetland buffers. All permitted uses require the issuance of a wetlands permit by the Zoning Officer. Permitted uses are:
Conditional uses within wetland buffers. Conditional uses are:
Stormwater management facilities.
Roadways, driveways, grading and draining.
Recreational and educational facilities.
Developers seeking to recreate a wetland, through mitigation of wetland areas to be impacted by a proposed development, may apply for a conditional use. Such a use would allow the developer to participate in any relocation program through the Department of Environmental Protection, USDA or the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
The developer may also choose to propose a relocation to another area without the help of the aforementioned organizations.
In all cases, the developer shall be required to recreate the wetlands at a ratio of 1.5 times the acreage of the wetland area to be impacted by the proposed development. Said wetland area shall be recreated within the Township within the same watershed (as recognized by the United States Geological Survey) as the impacted wetlands.
The developer shall submit plans by a qualified engineer or biologist showing on two-foot contours both the site to be impacted and the site of the mitigated wetland with the parcel boundaries of the sites. The types and amounts of vegetation for both the impacted wetland and the mitigated wetland shall be indicated on the plan. The ratio, mix and types of vegetation in the mitigated wetland must reasonably reflect that of the impacted wetlands. The Township may accept written confirmation from any of the organizations mentioned in this section that the wetland shall be recreated following the guidelines of this section. The applicant may then submit a simplified map of the mitigated wetland's boundaries within the site's parcel boundaries.
In all cases, the developer must deposit with the Township a financial security from an authorized bonding company or federal or commonwealth chartered lending institution in the amount of 110% of the cost of completion of required improvements as estimated by a licensed professional engineer as of 90 days following the date scheduled for completion by the Township Engineer. Release of such securities shall follow Township established bond release policy.
Unless the developer dedicates the area of the proposed wetland as a conservation casement in accordance with wetlands relocation programs conducted by the organizations stated previously, the developer must dedicate said area as a wetlands easement to the Township, noting the easement on the deed of the property. The developer shall deposit with the Township a financial security from an authorized bonding company or federal or commonwealth chartered lending institution in the amount of 10% of the cost of completion of required improvements as estimated by a licensed professional engineer. This financial security shall be held for 18 months as security for any maintenance.
The mitigation option as a conditional use may be granted through the consideration of the following:
Lots of record. Buffers and setbacks may be altered on certain lots of record to provide reasonable use of such lots of record under the following circumstances. It is not the intent that this subsection be used in conjunction with a division of a lot of record into more than one lot.
Lots of record on the adoption date of this section which are less than one acre in size shall be exempt from the buffer provisions as outlined in Subsection F and shall remain exempt if such lots or parcels are subsequently subdivided, provided that such lots or parcels are not part of a contiguous, commonly owned lot or parcel that is larger than five acres at the time of subdivision. This waiver or exception shall not affect other buffer requirements contained in Subsection F.
Retaining walls for primary or accessory structures may be placed five feet waterward from the upland edge of the buffer or upland transition zone on residential lots of record so existing on December 31, 2004, if slopes are maintained and the buffer area is replanted in native vegetation compatible with elevations and proximity to water; and provided that all zoning district setback criteria are met.
Exceptions and waivers. This section is not intended to result in a taking of property under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution or Section Five of the Tenth Article of the Pennsylvania Constitution, and waivers and exceptions may be granted by South Fayette Township Board of Commissioners under the procedures and provisions of this section where a landowner proves that the implementation of this section will result in such a taking. All wetland alteration allowed under these waivers and exceptions shall be sufficiently mitigated to ensure that there is no net loss of functions or the spatial extent of wetlands in the Township of South Fayette. If waivers or exceptions are allowed under this subsection, the use of heavy equipment shall be minimized, and there shall be no temporary filling of any wetland area or buffer zone. No exceptions or waivers to these standards shall be granted except in accordance with this subsection and under the conditions and provisions described below. The provisions of this subsection may be waived for access purposes only under the following circumstances:
Access to uplands. Where the owner of the property demonstrates that encroachment of wetlands or wetland buffers is necessary for access and no reasonable upland alternative exists, an exception or waiver shall be granted only when appropriate environmental agencies, including the Allegheny County Conservation District and the Township Engineer, certify in writing that the encroachment is the least damaging alternative and the encroachment is the minimum encroachment capable of providing the required access and the applicant submits an acceptable proposal for mitigation which will minimize damage to wetlands or buffers. That applicant must also meet any and all other county, state and federal requirements for the crossing of a wetland.
Bridges in public rights-of-way. An exception from these regulations may be granted for proposed or approved bridges in a public right-of-way crossing estuarine waters or waters of the state so that public access may be maintained. For proposed bridges within public rights-of-ways crossing estuarine waters or waters of the state, public access shall be allowed by clearing that portion of the affected wetland vegetation so long as a revegetation and management plan is reviewed, adopted and implemented in accordance with applicable state regulations. The Township Engineer shall approve a request for access under this subsection only after receiving a satisfactory plan of the proposed development which shall demonstrate the need for access and shall designate the property boundaries. The plan shall also demonstrate the reason for the development and other information as may be required by the South Fayette Township Code, the Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision and Land Development Regulations. The decision of the Township Engineer may be appealed to the South Fayette Township Board of Commissioners.
Waivers and exceptions for public utilities. An exception from these regulations may be granted where the applicant demonstrates that encroachment of wetlands, or wetland buffers, as defined in this Land Development Regulation, is necessary for the construction and/or maintenance of a public utility, subject to the following conditions:
The construction or maintenance activity is for a linear facility that cannot be accomplished without wetland impacts;
The utility has demonstrated that the encroachment is necessary and that no reasonable upland alternative exists;
The activity is designed and located in such a manner that the least amount of damage to the wetlands is assured;
The applicant has submitted a proposal for reforestation and/or mitigation to offset the impact;
Permits have been received from the appropriate state and federal environmental agencies and copies of those permits have been submitted to the Township prior to issuance of the Township permit;
The Allegheny County Conservation District and/or Township Engineer has reviewed the application and has determined, in writing, that the proposed encroachment is the least damaging alternative;
The applicant has provided proof of ownership or easement over the property to be encroached;
The applicant has demonstrated that the construction and/or maintenance activity will maximize the preservation of native indigenous vegetation; and
The utility demonstrates that, should fill be required, the minimum necessary is used to assure reasonable access to the property or construction activity.
Boardwalks, docks and boat ramps. An exception from these regulations may be granted when a plan for elevated observation boardwalks and single-family residential docks, multi-slip docks, boat ramps and commercial docks has been designed and located in such a manner that the least amount of damage to the wetland and wetland buffer is assured; and the plan meets the provisions of the dock regulations and has been approved by the Township Engineer and been approved by the appropriate state and federal agencies.
Clearing for access under this subsection. The Township Engineer shall approve any authorized request for clearing under this subsection only after receiving a satisfactory plan of the proposed development which shall demonstrate the need for access and shall designate the boundaries. The plan shall also demonstrate the reason for the development and other information as may be required by South Fayette Township Code, the Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision and Land Development Regulations. The decision of the Township Engineer may be appealed to the South Fayette Township Board of Commissioners. The South Fayette Township Board of Commissioners may approve the subject request upon a finding of compliance with this subsection.
Removal of exotic vegetation. An owner of land may impact wetlands and wetland buffers for the sole purpose of removal of exotic vegetation only if a plan for such removal (including revegetation with appropriate native plant material, if necessary, and using methods that are the least intrusive to the wetland and wetland buffers) has been approved by the Township Engineer and the Allegheny County Conservation District.
Violations. Correction of a violation of applicable wetland preservation regulations shall consist of the following:
Where evidence indicates that drainage, clearing or other development or man-made impacts has taken place and in violation of applicable wetland development restrictions in effect at the time the violation occurred, restoration shall be required before any development permits or orders are issued or within 90 days after receiving a notice of violation. This requirement shall include submittal of a minimum two-year letter of credit, or other acceptable financial alternative, to assure the successful restoration of the particular violation.
Where illegal activities in violation of the South Fayette Township Code, the Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision and Land Development Regulations have altered any wetland area so that all or part of the original area no longer meets the definition of a wetland or has negatively impacted a wetland, restoration shall be required at the site of the alteration. Restoration of buffers, habitat and hydrology of the original wetland area shall be required. The wetland shall be protected as a natural wetland.
If the recipient of the notice of violation requests a hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board, then the provisions of Subsection M(1) above shall not apply until final action by the Zoning Hearing Board. The recipient of the notice may, at its option, proceed with the corrective actions provided for in Subsection M(1) above before Zoning Hearing Board acts on the notice.
If the matter goes to a hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board upon request of the recipient of the notice of violation or if correction has commenced but has not been completed in accordance with Subsection M(1), then the Zoning Hearing Board shall hear the case and issue a final decision on the notice of violation.
In addition to the foregoing, the Zoning Hearing Board may assess monetary penalties provided by law.
Should the violation continue beyond the time specified for correction as provided above or if the violator fails to take the corrective actions provided above within reasonable time, the Code Inspector shall notify the Zoning Hearing Board and request a hearing.
If a repeat violation is found, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a notice of violation, but is not required to give the violator further time to correct the violation. The Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the Zoning Hearing Board and request a hearing. The case may be heard by the Zoning Hearing Board and penalties and corrective measures imposed in accordance with this subsection, even if the repeat violation has been corrected prior to the Board hearing, and the notice shall so state.
If the Code Inspector has reason to believe a violation or the condition causing the violation presents a serious threat to the public health, safety and welfare, or if the violation is irreparable or irreversible in nature, the Code Inspector shall make a reasonable effort to notify the violator and may immediately notify Zoning Hearing Board and request a hearing.