Township of Lower Gwynedd, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
STATUTORY REFERENCES
General provisions and definitions — See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
GENERAL REFERENCES
Height of buildings; exceptions — See Ch. 1250, Section 1250.04(15).
Signs — See Ch. 1292.
Off-street parking and loading — See Ch. 1294.
Nonconforming uses — See Ch. 1296.
General provisions and definitions — See Ch. 1250, Section 1250.04.

§ 1298.01 Reduction of lot area.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
No lot shall be so reduced that the area of the lot or the dimensions of the required open spaces are less than those prescribed in this Zoning Code.

§ 1298.02 Obstructions of vision at intersections.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
On any lot, no wall, fence or other structure shall be erected, altered or maintained, and no hedge, tree, shrub or other growth shall be planted or maintained over three feet in height, which interferes with or obstructs vehicular or pedestrian vision at any intersection of streets or at any street or crosswalk.

§ 1298.03 Accessory uses and structures.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985; Ord. 257. Passed 6-21-1988; Ord. 368. Passed 12-13-1999]
Accessory uses and structures authorized in this Zoning Code include the following:
(a) 
Permitted Agricultural Uses. Greenhouses; roadside stands for the sale of products produced on the premises; and barns, sheds, silos or similar structures used for the keeping, breeding and management of livestock or poultry and for the processing of products produced on the premises. However, no such building or structure shall be erected within 150 feet of any property line. Also, no pigs or hogs shall be permitted in the Township.
(b) 
Permitted Residential Uses. Private garages, private greenhouses, private parking spaces, shelters for domestic pets, private storage sheds, private swimming pools (including pool houses and cabanas), private tennis courts, private stables and home occupations, provided that:
(1) 
All accessory structures shall be located entirely within the permissible building area (exclusive of all mandatory setback areas), but not to the front of the main building, or in the rear yard at least 10 feet behind the rearmost portion of the main building, and at least 10 feet from any side or rear property line, except that such distances shall be reduced to five feet in "C" Residential Districts only.
(2) 
Private swimming pools shall be constructed in accordance with applicable Township ordinances and shall not be located in front yards. All pools, filters, heaters or any facilities incidental thereto shall be not less than 25 feet from all side and rear property lines, except that such distance shall be reduced to fifteen feet in "C" and "CD" Residential Districts.
(3) 
Private tennis courts and all facilities incidental thereto shall be located in rear yards and shall be not less than fifteen feet from the side and rear property lines. Tennis courts shall have drainage systems approved by the Township Engineer, specifically with respect to the discharge of water onto adjacent properties.
(4) 
Private stables and the keeping of horses shall be permitted only when the lot area is not less than three acres. Grazing areas shall be suitably fenced to contain the horses at all times. Buildings or structures used for the housing and stabling of horses shall be located in the rear yard not less than 50 feet from any property line and not less than 100 feet from any street line.
(5) 
Caretaker's quarters, including a kitchen separate and apart from the kitchen serving the primary residence on the property, shall, by special exception, be permitted as an accessory use on a single-family, detached, residential dwelling lot subject to the following conditions and requirements in addition to those set forth in Section 1252.03(a) of this Code:
A. 
The gross area of the lot on which the primary residence and caretaker's quarters are located shall be a minimum of four acres.
B. 
The caretaker's quarters shall utilize an existing structure on the property which can be proven to have existed prior to 1985 and which is suitable for conversion into a caretaker's quarters.
C. 
The gross area of the caretaker's living quarters shall not exceed 1,200 square feet.
D. 
The caretaker's quarters shall be located within the building envelope of the lot.
E. 
The caretaker's quarters shall be occupied by a maximum of two individuals who shall be responsible for the maintenance or security of the principal residence or lot and/or the care of one or more of the occupants of the principal residence.
F. 
The caretaker's quarters shall be served by public sewer, unless it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Township and/or the Montgomery County Department of Health that the on-site septic system has the capacity to accept the flows reasonably expected from the caretaker's quarters (in addition to the flows from the principal residence).
G. 
No separate or additional road openings shall be permitted to allow independent access from the street serving the property to the caretaker's quarters.
H. 
If the special exception is granted, a deed restriction satisfactory in form and substance to the Township Solicitor shall be recorded against the lot to provide constructive notice of the limited use permitted of the caretaker's quarters as well as the requirement that those quarters be immediately removed at any time in the future if the conditions imposed by this section or by the Zoning Hearing Board are no longer being satisfied.

§ 1298.04 Street frontage required.

[Ord. 233A. Passed 6-18-1987]
Each and every lot hereafter created shall abut a public street for not less than 50 feet at the right-of-way line, except interior lots which shall abut the right of way and provide a minimum continuous access of not less than 25 feet.

§ 1298.05 Projections.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
No building or structure, or part thereof, shall project into any required yard in any district, except that:
(a) 
Cornices, eaves, gutters or chimneys may project into a required yard not more than eighteen inches.
(b) 
Bay windows and open balconies may project into a required yard not more than three feet.
(c) 
Unroofed, open terraces and patios may project into a required side yard not more than 10 feet, and into a rear yard not more than 20 feet, in an "A," "B," "C" or "CD" Residential District.

§ 1298.06 Height of fences and walls.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
No fence or wall greater than six feet in height shall be erected in any open space required under this Zoning Code.

§ 1298.07 Conditional uses.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985; Ord. 361. Passed 5-24-1999]
(a) 
The Board of Supervisors may grant approval of a listed conditional use for any district, provided that the standards and criteria set forth in this section are complied with by the applicant for the conditional use. The burden of proving compliance with such standards and criteria shall be on the applicant.
(b) 
The applicant shall establish, by credible evidence, that the use or other subject of consideration for approval complies with the declaration of legislative intent of this Zoning Code and with any declaration of legislative intent that may apply specifically to the district for which approval is sought.
(c) 
The applicant shall establish, by credible evidence, compliance with conditions of the use enumerated in that section which gives the applicant the right to seek a conditional use.
(d) 
The applicant shall establish, by credible evidence, that the proposed use or other subject of consideration for approval does not adversely affect neighboring land uses in any way and, further, that the proposed use or other subject of consideration for approval does not impose upon its neighbors in any way but rather blends in with them in a harmonious manner.
(e) 
The applicant shall establish, by credible evidence, that the proposed use or other subject of consideration for approval will be properly serviced by all existing public service systems. The peak traffic generated by the subject of the approval must be accommodated for in a safe and efficient manner, or improvements made in order to effect the same. Similar responsibility must be assumed with respect to other public service systems, including police protection, fire protection, utilities, parks and recreation.
(f) 
The applicant shall establish, by credible evidence, that the proposed use or other subject of consideration for approval will be properly designed with regard to internal circulation, parking, buffering and all other elements of proper design.
(g) 
The applicant shall provide the Board of Supervisors with sufficient plans, studies or other data to demonstrate that compliance with the permitted uses or with such other regulations as may be the subject of consideration for a conditional use approval is unreasonable or inappropriate for the instance at hand.
(h) 
The Board shall impose such conditions as are necessary to ensure compliance with the purpose and intent of this Zoning Code, which conditions may include planting and buffers, harmonious design of buildings and the elimination of noxious, offensive or hazardous elements.
(i) 
Unless otherwise specified in the decision of the Board of Supervisors, a conditional use shall expire if the applicant fails to obtain a permit in connection therewith within one year of the date of the order of the Board or court granting such conditional use. In those instances where land development/subdivision approval is a necessary prerequisite prior to obtaining a building permit, the conditional use shall expire if the applicant fails to make a diligent effort to obtain such approval within six months following the date of approval. Upon receipt of land development approval, the conditional use shall expire if a building permit is not obtained within six months of the date of the land development approval.

§ 1298.08 Exterior storage of motor vehicles and junk.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
The exterior storage of motor vehicles is prohibited in all residential districts. The exterior storage of junk is prohibited in all districts.

§ 1298.09 Yards for corner lots.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985; Ord. 390. Passed 9-18-2001; Ord. 409. Passed 7-22-2003]
(a) 
In the case of lots with more than one street frontage, all yards abutting a street shall be treated as front yards with respect to all regulations contained in this Zoning Code. The first of any remaining yards on such lots shall be treated as a rear yard and all other yards shall be treated as side yards.
(b) 
In the case of a corner lot that is created after the enactment of this provision, as a result of the subdivision process and the creation of a new street, all yards on that lot shall be equal in depth to the requirement for front yards, and the minimum lot area shall be increased by 20%.

§ 1298.10 Satellite earth stations.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985]
(a) 
In "AA," "AA-1," "A," "A-1," "B," "C," "CD," "CD-1" and "E" Residential Districts, satellite earth stations are permitted as accessory uses only and are subject to the following regulations:
(1) 
Not more than one satellite earth station is permitted per lot.
(2) 
Ground-mounted satellite earth stations are permitted in rear yards only.
(3) 
Ground-mounted satellite earth stations may not exceed 11 feet in height. A satellite earth station must be set back from side and rear property lines a minimum distance equal to the height of the satellite earth station, or according to the setbacks required for accessory buildings as set forth in Section 1298.03(b)(1), whichever is greater.
(4) 
Roof-mounted satellite earth stations are not permitted on buildings less than 40 feet in height.
(5) 
Use of a satellite earth station is limited to the property on which it is located.
(6) 
Ground-mounted satellite earth stations must be screened from streets and abutting residential properties with suitable planting.
(b) 
In "MF-1," "MF-2," "MF-3," "MF-3-A," "D," "D-1," "D-2," "D-3," "D-4," "PO," "MD," "F" and "F-1" Districts, satellite earth stations are permitted as accessory uses only and are subject to the following regulations:
(1) 
Roof-mounted satellite earth stations are permitted only on buildings 35 feet or greater in height.
(2) 
Ground-mounted satellite earth stations are not permitted between a principal building and any abutting street.
(3) 
Satellite earth stations which are not used for transmitting to other properties shall have a maximum height of 11 feet.
(4) 
Ground-mounted satellite earth stations placed in yards abutting a residential district shall be screened with suitable planting.

§ 1298.11 Home occupations.

[Ord. 223. Passed 12-10-1985; Ord. 233A. Passed 6-18-1987]
Home occupations, as defined in Section 1250.04(31) and permitted under this Zoning Code, shall comply with the following regulations and standards:
(a) 
The occupation shall be conducted only by members of the family residing on the premises and shall be conducted entirely within the dwelling or a building accessory thereto.
(b) 
Not more than one additional person who is not a resident in the dwelling shall be employed by the practitioner of the home occupation to provide secretarial, clerical or other similar assistance.
(c) 
No article may be sold or offered for sale that is not produced by members of the immediate family residing on the premises.
(d) 
There shall be no public display of goods on the premises.
(e) 
Parking for any home occupation shall be provided in accordance with Chapter 1294 and shall occupy no portion of any required front, side or rear yard.
(f) 
The space devoted to any home occupation shall not exceed 400 square feet.
(g) 
Home day-care for one child is permitted in the Township without regulation. Home day-care for two to a maximum of five nonresident children, located only in a single-family detached dwelling in which the caregiver resides, shall be considered a home occupation and shall be subject to the following requirements:
(1) 
The caregiver shall be registered or licensed by the commonwealth to provide child care services in the dwelling.
(2) 
There shall be no structural change to the exterior of the single-family detached dwelling to accommodate the day-care use.
(3) 
In no case shall home day-care be permitted on a lot with an area of less than 10,000 square feet.
(4) 
There shall be a minimum of 40 square feet of floor space per child, inclusive of space occupied by furniture and equipment, but exclusive of closets, halls, bathrooms, kitchens and related areas. All of such floor space shall be on the first floor of the single-family detached dwelling.
(5) 
A minimum of 100 square feet of outdoor play space per child shall be available on the same lot. Such play space shall be:
A. 
In the rear yard of the lot only;
B. 
Enclosed by a fence or wall; and
C. 
Not less than 30 feet from neighboring residential buildings.
(6) 
The normal hours of operation shall not be earlier than 7:00 a.m. nor later than 7:00 p.m.
(7) 
A driveway shall be required in order to allow off-street pick-up and dropoff of children.
(8) 
No home day-care use shall be permitted within 750 feet of any other home day-care use.

§ 1298.12 Highway setbacks.

[Ord. 233A. Passed 6-18-1987]
In every single-family residential district, any lot that abuts a highway shall have the setback requirement for that respective yard doubled in size. For purposes of this section, the following roads shall be considered highways: Bethlehem Pike, Route 202, Sumneytown Pike, Pennlyn Pike, Norristown Road and Route 63.

§ 1298.13 Security lighting.

[Ord. 257. Passed 6-21-1988; Ord. 400. Passed 5-21-2002]
Exterior or interior lighting of a building or grounds for security purposes shall be permitted to exceed the limitations of hours of site lighting in any district of the Township if such security lighting meets the following requirements:
(a) 
Security lighting shall be color-corrected illumination which shall not be more than 14 feet above grade.
(b) 
Security lighting shall be screened so as not to permit the source of illumination to be seen from off the premises.
(c) 
Security lighting shall not create a nuisance or intrusion to the privacy of adjacent property owners or the public.
(d) 
Security lighting in the "D-1" and "F-1" Districts, when set back a minimum of 300 feet from an adjacent residential district and a minimum of 200 feet from an adjacent nonresidential district, may exceed the fourteen-foot height limitation stated above, but shall not be placed higher than 25 feet above grade.
(e) 
Security lighting in "F" Industrial Districts, when set back a minimum of 50 feet from an adjacent district, may exceed the fourteen-foot height limitation stated above, but shall not be placed higher than 25 feet above grade.

§ 1298.14 Municipal use relief. [1]

[Ord. 307. Passed 4-25-1994]
In any district where a municipal use is permitted, all regulations and restrictions of that district may be modified in connection with a proposed municipal use subject to the holding of a public hearing conducted in accordance with the procedures established herein for the granting of a conditional use.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Section 1298.14, Detention basins in yard areas, passed 2-16-1988 by Ord. 251, was repealed by Ord. 381, passed 1-16-2001. Said ordinance also renumbered Sections 1298.15 through 1298.18 as Section 1298.14 through 1298.17, respectively. For current provisions see Section 1241.06.

§ 1298.15 Limitations on accessory uses.

[Ord. 314. Passed 2-21-1995]
The term "accessory use" shall not include the following:
(a) 
The keeping or storage of a utility trailer more than eight feet in length or a travel trailer or boat more than 22 feet in length, unless the vehicle is parked or stored at all times in a fully enclosed garage. Permitted trailers and boats shall be kept or stored in the rear yard only.
(b) 
The keeping or storage of any truck more than 18 feet in length or 80 inches in width or more than 8,200 pounds' gross weight or gross vehicle weight rating, as those terms are defined in the Motor Vehicle Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or any vehicle equipped with any exterior equipment, such as hoists, ladders or towing mechanisms, unless the vehicle is parked or stored at all times in a fully enclosed garage. Said vehicles shall be limited to one per property and shall be used for the transportation of the occupant of the property to and from his or her place of business. All other commercial vehicles as mentioned above are prohibited.
(c) 
The storage of building supplies or trash, or any other storage which is determined to be a nuisance or a health, safety or fire hazard or which detracts in any way from the character of surrounding properties or neighborhood.

§ 1298.16 Height of accessory structures.

[Ord. 323. Passed 1-23-1996]
The maximum height of accessory structures as regulated in the various residential districts in this title may be increased one foot zero inches in height for each two feet zero inches in horizontal distance that is added to the minimum required setback from the side or rear property line, with the height being measured from the ground to the highest point of the structure at all given points along the path of travel from the setback line toward the interior of the lot, to a maximum height of 35 feet.

§ 1298.17 Riparian and wetlands buffers.

[Ord. 332. Passed 10-21-1996. Ord. 349. Passed 3-23-1998. Ord. 374. Passed 8-15-2000]
For the purpose of preventing groundwater contamination, reducing surface run-off and sedimentation of nearby streams and bodies of water, protecting sensitive wildlife habitats, minimizing disruption to the hydrology of riparian and wetlands sites and preventing damage to dwellings and properties as a result of construction on or adjacent to alluvial soils or construction adjacent to active creeks, streams, watercourses, waters of the Commonwealth, waters of the United States of America, riparian and wetlands buffers shall be established as follows:
(a) 
The minimum riparian or wetlands buffer shall extend outward 25 feet from the following:
(1) 
The edge of any wetlands as delineated on an official map approved by the Lower Gwynedd Township Board of Supervisors;
(2) 
The top of any banks of any active creek, stream or other watercourses;
(3) 
The edge of any waters of the commonwealth and/or waters of the United States of America; or
(4) 
The center line of any floodplain if the distance from the center line to the outside edge of the floodplain is less than 25 feet.
(b) 
Where the three hundred feet of land adjacent to a riparian or wetland boundary has an upland slope greater than 10%, the minimum buffer which shall be increased by four feet for each degree of slope above 10% shall be added to the minimum riparian or wetlands buffer set forth in Subsection (a) above.
(c) 
No filling, grading, clearing or development related to any structure or improvement, including stormwater management facilities, shall be permitted within any wetlands, active creeks, streams, watercourses, waters of the commonwealth, waters of the United States of America, wetlands buffers or riparian buffers. Upon proof that no reasonable engineering alternative exists, stormwater management facilities, utility crossings, public roads, private roads and driveway crossings may be permitted by conditional use. Any wetlands, active creeks, streams, watercourses, waters of the commonwealth, waters of the United States of America, wetlands buffers or riparian buffers permitted to be filled or otherwise destroyed by conditional use shall be replaced elsewhere on the site, in accordance with the applicable requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, so that the total predevelopment area shall not be reduced.

§ 1298.18 Home generator regulations.

[Added 1-28-2014 by Ord. No. 491]
The placement of emergency generators for single-family residential use shall be regulated by the following:
(a) 
All generators shall be placed within 7.5 feet of the principal building which they serve.
(b) 
All generators shall be placed in a side or rear yard.

§ 1298.19 Historic resource protection standards.

[Ord. 441. Passed 5-15-200]
(a) 
Purposes.
(1) 
To address Section 105 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, to promote the preservation of the Commonwealth's historic resources, and to encourage the preservation of historic resources through rezoning.
(2) 
To address Section 603 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, especially Section 603(b)(5) regarding the protection and preservation of historic resources; Section 603(c)(7) regarding provisions to promote and preserve areas of historic significance; and Section 603(g)(2) whereby zoning ordinances shall provide for protection of historic features and resources.
(3) 
To address Section 604 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, involving zoning purposes for preservation of historic values in the environment.
(4) 
To address Section 605 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, involving classifications, especially Section 605(2)(vi) by regulating uses and structures at or near places having unique historical, architectural or patriotic interest or value.
(5) 
To help implement the Lower Gwynedd Township Comprehensive Plan.
(6) 
To discourage the unnecessary demolition of historic resources.
(7) 
To encourage the protection of historic resources, including historic buildings, historic structures, historic sites, historic places, and historic landscapes.
(8) 
To encourage the continued use of historic resources and to facilitate their appropriate reuse.
(9) 
To help mitigate the adverse effects of proposed changes to historic resources.
(10) 
To establish a process by which proposed changes affecting historic resources are reviewed by the Zoning Hearing Board.
(b) 
Definitions. The definitions contained herein shall apply to this chapter and no other chapter, and shall apply in particular to this Section 1298.19:
(1) 
Alteration. A rearrangement of the exterior of a building such as the roof, walls, windows or doors; or any increase or decrease of the size of a building or structure; or the moving of a building or structure from one location to another.
(2) 
List of eligible historic resources. A building or structure listed on or determined to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places; or listed to be shown on the Lower Gwynedd Township Historic Resources Eligibility Map. Such buildings or structures shall meet one or more of the following qualifying criteria:
A. 
Resource is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history.
B. 
Resource is associated with the lives of persons significant in our past.
C. 
Resource embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, method of construction, represents the work of a master, possesses high artistic values, or represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components lack individual distinction.
D. 
Property has yielded or is likely to yield information important in prehistory or history. [Section 1298.19(b)(2).]
(3) 
Change. Any proposed rehabilitation, alteration, or enlargement of the exterior of a Historic Resource; or any proposed reuse of a historic resource; or any demolition of a historic resource.
(4) 
Demolition. The dismantling, removal, relocation, or tearing down of all or part of the exterior portion of a building or structure.
(5) 
Demolition by neglect. The act of passively allowing a building or structure to deteriorate by neglecting to effect minimal repairs or stabilize the structure in order to maintain its historic and structural integrity, or leaving a building or structure or other resource open to vandalism or vulnerable to decay by the elements.
(6) 
Determination of eligibility for the national register (DOE). The process wherein an historic resource is determined by the U.S. Department of the Interior as meeting the criteria on the National Register of Historic Places, but is not listed on the register.
(7) 
Additional eligibility criteria for the Lower Gwynedd Township Historic Resources Map. Sites, areas, and structures which are either more than 50 years old and valued due to their significance as examples and/or locations of architecture, construction techniques, events, customs, skills, arts, and/or persons of the past.
(8) 
Historic Resource(s). All buildings, sites, and structures shown on the Lower Gwynedd Township historic resources Map. These are sites, areas, and structures which are valued due to their significance as examples and/or locations of architecture, construction techniques, events, customs, skills, arts, and/or persons of the past.
(9) 
Lower Gwynedd Township Historic Resources Map. The map in the Appendix of this Code,[1] showing eligible historic resources and their respective locations, where the property owner has "opted in" to the coverage and regulations of this section by requesting "historic resource" designation for an eligible property pursuant to § 1298.19(f)(1).
[1]
Editor's Note: The map is not included herein but is attached to Ord. No. 441 and on file in the office of the Township Secretary.
(10) 
Public way. A street, road, bridge, or other thoroughfare that is owned and maintained by the state, the Township, or the county.
(11) 
Rehabilitation. The act or process of making possible a compatible use for a property through exterior repair, alterations, and additions while preserving those portions or features which convey its historical, cultural, or architectural values, in accordance with the use provisions of the Secretary of the Interior's Standards.
(12) 
Secretary of the Interior's Standards. The Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring and Reconstructing Historic Buildings.
(13) 
Standards. Regulations set forth in Section 1298.19(g) to evaluate the appropriateness of various proposed changes to historic resources or proposals to demolish historic resources. Such criteria enable the Township to make informed decisions when evaluating changes and demolition on a case-by-case basis.
(c) 
Use regulations.
(1) 
The use regulations for any historic resource shall be in accordance with those set forth in the district in which the historic resource is located, and the following:
A. 
A bed and breakfast facility may be allowed at an historic resource in any district as a special exception, according to the regulations for same in Sections 1252.03, 1298.19 and 1298.20.
B. 
Any new use proposed for a historic resource shall be evaluated as a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board in accordance with the standards of Section 1298.19(g).
C. 
Any proposed demolition of a historic resource shall be evaluated as a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board in accordance with the standards of Section 1298.19(i).
(d) 
Area and bulk regulations. The lot area and width regulations, as well as the yard regulations, and lot coverage regulations of the applicable zoning district within which the historic resource is located may be varied in order to protect and preserve the historic resource when approved as a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board.
(1) 
Instead of the demolition of an historic resource, a landowner or developer may (except in the case of a bed and breakfast application), as a special exception, be allowed to reduce the otherwise applicable area and bulk regulations, provided that all other zoning ordinance requirements related to the Flood Plain Conservation District are met. As a special exception, the Zoning Hearing Board may allow a reduction to the applicable area and bulk regulations, in the AA, AA-1, A, and A-1 Districts, provided that the historic resource meets or will be renovated to meet the standards in Subsection (g) below and is deed restricted (in a manner acceptable to the Township) to insure permanent protection from demolition and facade alteration (except with the written permission of the Township after a public hearing) for the historic resource lot, and further provided the following are met:
A. 
A lot area of not less than 18,000 square feet is provided for each lot and both public water and public sewer are available.
B. 
A lot width of not less than 85 feet at the building line is provided.
C. 
The front yard shall be not less than 25 feet.
D. 
The side yards shall be not less than 15 feet.
E. 
The rear yard shall be not less than 50 feet.
F. 
The total building coverage shall not exceed 25%.
G. 
The total impervious coverage shall not exceed 40%.
(2) 
As a special exception, the Zoning Hearing Board may allow a reduction to the applicable area and bulk regulations for the historic resource lot in the B District, provided that the historic resource meets or will be renovated to meet the standards in Subsection (g) below and is deed restricted (in a manner acceptable to the Township) to insure permanent protection from demolition and facade alteration (except with the written permission of the Township after a public hearing), and further provided the following are met:
A. 
A lot area of not less than 10,000 square feet is provided and both public water and public sewer are available.
B. 
A lot width of not less than 60 feet at the building line is provided.
C. 
The front yard shall be not less than 20 feet.
D. 
The side yards shall be not less than 10 feet.
E. 
The rear yard shall be not less than 40 feet.
F. 
The total building coverage shall not exceed 30%.
G. 
The total impervious coverage shall not exceed 45%.
(3) 
As a special exception, the Zoning Hearing Board may allow a reduction to the applicable area and bulk regulations for the historic resource lot in the C District, provided that the historic resource meets or will be renovated to meet the standards in Subsection (g) below and is deed restricted (in a manner acceptable to the Township) to insure permanent protection from demolition and facade alteration (except with the written permission of the Township after a public hearing), and further provided the following are met:
A. 
A lot area of not less than 6,500 square feet is provided and both public water and public sewer are available.
B. 
A lot width of not less than 50 feet at the building line is provided.
C. 
The front yard shall be not less than 10 feet.
D. 
The side yards shall be not less than 5 feet.
E. 
The rear yard shall be not less than 30 feet.
F. 
The total building coverage shall not exceed 35%.
G. 
The total impervious coverage shall not exceed 50%.
(4) 
As a special exception, the Zoning Hearing Board may allow an increase to the building and impervious coverage regulations in the nonresidential districts D, D-1, D-2, D-3, D-4, F, F-1, MD, and PO, provided that the historic resource is saved and provided the following are met:
A. 
The building coverage limits that would be otherwise applicable may be increased up to 5% to allow for the adaptive reuse of an historic resource.
B. 
The impervious coverage limits that would be otherwise applicable may be increased up to 5% to allow for the adaptive reuse of an historic resource.
(e) 
Historic overlay concept. For any property shown on the Historic Resource Map, when the property owner chooses to pursue a special exception, the requirements of this section shall apply, in addition to the otherwise applicable requirements of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, and the underlying zoning district regulations.
(f) 
Historic resources Map.
(1) 
Historic resources in Lower Gwynedd Township shall be as shown upon the map attached to and made part of this chapter which shall be known as the official "Lower Gwynedd Township Historic Resources Map," which shall be adopted by the Lower Gwynedd Township Board of Supervisors and which may be amended from time to time by the Board of Supervisors. The said map and all the notations, references and other data shown thereon is hereby incorporated herein by reference into this section and shall be as much a part of this section as if all were fully described herein.[2] Only eligible properties which have been requested (in writing) by the owner to be historic resources shall be shown. Historic resources which have not been protected by a permanent, historic deed restriction may be removed from the map (and from coverage by the regulations of this section) by written notice to the Township from the property owner.
[2]
Editor's Note: The map is not included herein but is attached to Ord. No. 441 and on file in the office of the Township Secretary.
(2) 
Revisions or amendments to map. The Historic Resources Map may be revised from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
(3) 
Official inventory. Lower Gwynedd Township shall maintain an updated Inventory of properties eligible for historic resource listing (as determined from time to time by the Historic Advisory Committee or the Township Planning Commission) using the criteria of Section 1298.19(b)(6) and (7) above to be shown on the Historic Resources Map. (This list shall be available at the Township office.)[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: The Historic Resources Eligibility List is included as Appendix II at the end of this Part.
(g) 
Standards for rehabilitation of historic resources.
(1) 
Any proposed change to a historic resource shall comply with the D.S.D.I. Secretary of the Interior Standards, latest edition, adapted as follows:
A. 
New buildings and structures shall not be constructed within 100 feet of an historic resource, without the completion of a historic resource impact study in accordance with Section 1298.19(h).
B. 
A property shall be used as it was historically or be given a new use (consistent with this section or the Zoning Ordinance) that requires minimal change to its distinctive materials, features, spaces, and spatial relationships.
C. 
The historic character of historic buildings, structures, and sites shall be retained and preserved. The removal of distinctive materials or alteration of features, spaces, and spatial relationships that characterize a property shall be avoided. Historic building features such as porches, chimneys, and dormers shall not be demolished or modified to obscure their character.
D. 
Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or elements from other historic properties, shall not be undertaken.
E. 
Changes to a property that have acquired significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.
F. 
Distinctive materials, features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a property shall be preserved. Samples of proposed repair, renovation or restoration materials shall be submitted for approval by the Township.
G. 
Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature will match the old in design, color, texture, and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary and physical evidence satisfactory to the Township.
H. 
Chemical or physical treatments, if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible. Treatments that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. Materials to be treated shall be tested in concealed areas before their use is authorized by the Township.
I. 
Archeological resources shall be protected and preserved in place. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.
J. 
New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials, features, and spatial relationships that characterize the property. The new work will be differentiated from the old and will be compatible with the historic materials, features, size, scale and proportion, and massing to protect the integrity of the property and its environment. Such new work shall not attempt to match the original design of the historic resource.
K. 
New additions, and adjacent or related new construction within 100 feet of a historic resource shall be undertaken in such a manner that, if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.
(h) 
Historic resource impact study.
(1) 
Applicability. An historic resources impact study shall be required when any of the following are proposed:
A. 
Subdivision or land development plans which will lead to the new construction of buildings, roads, driveways, parking areas, and other structures within 100 feet of the exterior walls of a historic resource.
B. 
A permit application or construction plan which propose demolition of a historic resource.
C. 
General bridge or road construction or substantial repair of same, passing within 200 feet of any exterior walls of a historic resource.
(2) 
The historic resource impact study shall be prepared and submitted with the subdivision, land development or other permit application.
(3) 
Contents. The study shall contain the following information:
A. 
Background information.
1. 
A general site description, including topography, watercourses, vegetation, landscaping, existing buildings, structures, drives, and other features.
2. 
Identification description and classification of all historic resources located on the subject tract, on tracts immediately adjacent to the subject tract or road, and within the area reasonably affected by the proposed construction on the subject tract or road.
3. 
Physical description of all historic resources.
4. 
Statement of the significance of each historic resource, relative to the Township, the county and the state.
5. 
A sufficient number of four-by-six-inch photographs to show every historic resource in its setting and from public ways, with four views, if possible, showing all four sides of the historic resource.
6. 
Narrative description of the historical development of the subject historic resource, tract or road.
B. 
Proposed change.
1. 
Site plan depicting all existing and proposed buildings and structures on the property.
2. 
Existing and proposed floor plans.
3. 
Description of impact on each historic resource, with regard to architectural integrity, historic setting and future use.
4. 
General description of effect of noise, traffic and any other impacts generated by the proposed change on each historic resource.
5. 
Timetable or phasing plan.
C. 
Mitigation measures.
1. 
Recommendations shall be included for mitigating the project's impact on historic resources, including design alternatives, construction alternatives, buffering and landscaping.
D. 
Authorship.
1. 
The historic resource impact study may be prepared by a land planner, architect, architectural historian, or other qualified professional, who has prepared at least one other similar study in Pennsylvania.
(i) 
Demolition of Historic Resources.
(1) 
No historic resource as depicted on the Historic Resources Map may be demolished unless the property owner first submits an historic resource impact study in accordance with Section 1298.19(h), then obtains a permit for such demolition after fully complying with the requirements of this section. The "demolition" referenced in this section specifically includes demolition by neglect. Unoccupied structures are required to be tightly sealed and weathertight, with utilities turned off for safety.
(2) 
Permit requirements. No historic resource within Lower Gwynedd Township shall be demolished unless in compliance with the requirements of this chapter. In particular, the Building Inspector, or such other person or agency charged by the Board of Supervisors with the issuance of permits for demolitions, shall not issue a permit for any proposed demolition that is not in compliance with this chapter.
A. 
If such an historic resource is determined to be a victim of neglect and the owner, after written notice, fails to rehabilitate the resource or apply for a demolition permit, the Township may determine that the historic resource is being demolished and may require the owner to participate in the permit process.
B. 
Proposed demolition of historic resources. Any complete application to demolish a historic resource received by the Township shall be forwarded by the Zoning Officer for formal acceptance of the application at the Board of Supervisors' next public meeting. This meeting will begin the demolition permit review period. The review period begins with the formal acceptance of the application at the Board of Supervisors' meeting, and ends 90 days after formal acceptance of the Application.
(3) 
Timetable for review and action on an application for a demolition permit related to the historic resource.
A. 
The application shall include all information required by Section 1298.19(i)(5) and all applicable statutes, ordinances and regulations. Fifteen copies of the application and supporting documentation shall be initially submitted.
B. 
The Zoning Officer shall determine if the application includes all of the information required by Section 1298.19(i)(3)(A). If any application is incomplete, it shall not be accepted for filing, the formal review period shall not begin and the application shall be returned to the applicant with a written list of the missing information.
C. 
The application shall be accepted for filing when the Zoning Officer determines that the application is complete. The Township shall advise the applicant in writing of the filing date of the application. Complete applications shall then be accepted at the next following Board of Supervisors' public meeting, and action on such application shall be required by the Township within 90 days of such formal acceptance.
D. 
The filed application shall be reviewed by an Historic Advisory Committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors or, if no such Committee has been appointed, by the Planning Commission or a subcommittee thereof. The review and recommendations of the Historic Advisory Committee or Planning Commission shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Board of Supervisors within such time as to permit the Board to meet the deadline for action on the demolition permit application provided for above.
E. 
During the course of the review of the application and prior to any action by the Township within the required ninety-day period, the application may be revised by the applicant. Fifteen copies of any revised application shall be submitted and shall note the dates of any and all revisions and a summary of the nature thereof. Upon the submission of the revised application, any previously submitted application shall be deemed withdrawn from consideration and a new ninety-day time period shall commence from the date of the filing of the revised application.
F. 
The decision of the Township on the permit application shall be in writing and shall be communicated to the applicant personally or mailed to the applicant at the address shown on the application within the above-mentioned ninety-day period.
G. 
The decision of the Township shall be appealable under the Local Agency Law.
(4) 
Review of all demolition permit applications. All applications for demolitions received by the Township shall be reviewed against the Historic Resources Map. If the application concerns an historic resource, the Zoning Officer shall advise the applicant that he must comply with the procedures and requirements of this section.
(5) 
Application requirements for the demolition of historic resources. In addition to applicable requirements under the Building Code, an applicant seeking a permit to demolish an historic resource shall submit 15 copies of a written report, including the following information with regard to that resource:
A. 
Owner of record.
B. 
Reasons why the demolition cannot be avoided.
C. 
Proposed method of demolition.
D. 
Future uses of the site and whether historic elements or materials from the demolished resource can be incorporated.
E. 
Alternatives to demolition which have been explored and why they have been rejected.
(6) 
In reviewing the application, the following shall be considered:
A. 
The effect of demolition on the historical significance and architectural integrity of neighboring contributing historic resources.
B. 
Economic feasibility of adaptively reusing the resource proposed for demolition.
C. 
Alternatives to demolition of the resource;
D. 
Special incentives to encourage the owner to maintain the structure.
(7) 
Subject to the exception set forth in Section 1298.19(i)(7)(C) below, the Board of Supervisors, after reviewing the written recommendations of the Historic Advisory Committee or the Planning Commission, shall choose one of the following courses of action:
A. 
The demolition permit shall be issued if, in the opinion of the Board, the applicant demonstrated by substantial evidence that one or both of the following factors exist:
1. 
The structure is in such a deteriorated condition that it is not structurally or economically feasible to preserve or restore it, provided that any hardship or difficulty claimed by the applicant that is self-created or the result of any failure to maintain the structure in good repair cannot qualify as a basis for the issuance of a demolition permit.
2. 
The denial of the application would deny the owner of the structure all economically viable use of the property. The applicant shall have the burden of providing all information, financial or otherwise, necessary to determine whether one or both of the foregoing factors exist.
B. 
If the Township determines that the demolition permit shall issue, the Township's order may provide that the Township or its authorized agents shall be permitted an additional period of 45 days to document the resource proposed for demolition, prior to the actual demolition of the resource. Such documentation may include photographs, floor plans, measured drawings, archeological survey, and any other comparable form of documentation desired by the Board, or recommended by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Historic American Buildings Survey, and the Historic American Engineering Record.
C. 
Notwithstanding the presentation of the economic or financial criteria set forth in Section 1298.19(i)(7)(A), the Board of Supervisors may direct that the demolition permit be denied because of the architectural or historic significance of the historic resource and the permit not be issued if one or more of the following factors exist:
1. 
The structure is of such unique or important historic significance that its demolition would be materially detrimental to the public interest.
D. 
In the event that the owner withdraws the application, the Board shall issue a report indicating same. Any request to withdraw an application shall be in writing and submitted to the Board.
(8) 
Information. In making the determination, and in order for the applicant to meet its burden, under Section 1298.19(i)(7)(A), the Board of Supervisors may request that the applicant provide some or all of the following information:
A. 
Amount paid for the property, date of purchase, and party from whom purchased, including a description of the relationship, whether business or familial, if any, between the owner and the person from whom the property was purchased.
B. 
Assessed value of the land and improvements thereon according to the most recent assessment.
C. 
For depreciable properties, a financial statement prepared by an accountant or broker of record.
D. 
All appraisals obtained by the owner in connection with his purchase or financing of the property, or during his ownership of it.
E. 
Bona fide offers received for sale or rent of the property, and prices asked, if any.
F. 
Any consideration by the owner as to profitable, adaptive uses for the property suggested by the Township or others.
(9) 
Reasonable costs incurred by the Board for the review of the plans or studies submitted by the applicant shall be reimbursed by the applicant to the Township.
(10) 
Enforcement.
A. 
Remedies, fines and penalties. Any person who violates the requirements of this section shall be subject to the remedies, fines and penalties imposed under this chapter, and under any other applicable law.

§ 1298.20 Parking structures.

[Added 1-27-2009 by Ord. No. 462]
(a) 
The erection and use of structured parking facilities shall be permitted only in the "F-1" Zoning District subject to the following regulations:
(1) 
Parking structures shall be permitted only upon demonstration to the satisfaction of the Township that the site will be no more intensely developed (as to permitted square footage of building and to required number of parking spaces) than could be achieved through the use of surface parking alone.
(2) 
Parking structures shall be located entirely within the principal building envelope, except in the instance where the subject property is adjacent to a divided, limited access highway. Adjacent to such a highway, the parking structures may be located up to the parking setback line.
(3) 
The design, layout and sizes of the parking spaces, driveways, ramps and other elements of the parking structure shall be subject to the review of the Township Traffic Engineer and the approval of the Township.
(4) 
The exterior facade of the parking structure shall be of a compatible design with the occupied structures on the site. Compatibility of design shall be accomplished through the use of like materials, similar detailing and harmonious proportioning of the design elements. The design shall be subject to the review and approval of the Board of Supervisors at the appropriate stage in the land development approval process.
(5) 
There shall be no projection of lighting or other elements above the required guardrail height on the roof deck of parking structures, except for minimal access shelters over stair enclosures.
(6) 
Parking structures shall be effectively screened from off-site view through the use of other buildings or berms and landscaping. Berms shall be a minimum of eight feet high, and the plantings on top of the berm shall be a minimum of 10 feet in height and shall be planted in sufficient density to provide an opaque screen. Parking structures adjacent to a divided, limited access highway shall be exempt from the above requirements, but shall be subject to the requirement of a softening buffer composed of deciduous trees as approved by the Township. In addition, any openings into parking structures adjacent to these highways shall be architecturally treated (through the use of screens, louvers, etc.) in a manner so as to obscure the direct view of the automobiles parked in the structure.
(7) 
Parking structures shall in all cases be 10 feet lower in height than the occupied buildings that they serve on the site, and their perimeter length shall not exceed the perimeter length of the occupied buildings that they serve.