City of Harrisburg, PA
Dauphin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Harrisburg by Ord. No. 23-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 7-503.1 General statement.

Whenever a subdivision of land or land development is desired to be effected in the City, a plan of the layout of such proposal shall be prepared, filed, and processed with the Planning Commission and City Council in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.

§ 7-503.2 Pre-application review.

A. 
Applicants are urged, but not required, to discuss possible development sites and plans with the staff of the Commission prior to submission of a preliminary plan. The purpose of the pre-application meeting or sketch plan review is to afford the applicant an opportunity to receive the advice and assistance of the Commission's staff. Such meeting and/or sketch plan review will be considered confidential between the applicant and staff. Submission of a sketch plan shall not constitute formal filing of a plan with the Commission. However, the applicant may request, by letter, a formal review of a sketch plan by the Commission, in which case the Commission will take action at a public meeting and comment by letter.
B. 
A sketch plan prepared for review and discussion should include those items listed in § 7-505.1 of this code. Although it is not required, the Commission recommends that the sketch plan be prepared by an engineer or surveyor (landscape architects may be employed in the preparation of a land development plan).
C. 
Prior to submitting a preliminary plan, the applicant is advised to consult with the City Engineer to determine if a traffic impact study will be required in accordance with Chapter 7-513, Traffic Impact Assessment, of this code.

§ 7-503.3 Preliminary plan applications.

A. 
A preliminary plan must be submitted for all subdivisions and land developments, with the exceptions noted in § 7-503.5 of this chapter. At the applicant's discretion, a minor plan may be submitted as a preliminary/final application, as noted in § 7-503.5.
B. 
Preliminary plans may be filed with the Commission staff by appointment on any business day; however, the Commission will officially review a plan at a particular meeting only if the plan was filed at least 15 business days prior to that meeting.
C. 
Approval of a preliminary plan application shall constitute approval of the proposed subdivision and/or land development as to the general design and intensity of development and the general arrangement of streets, lots, structures, and other planned facilities but shall not constitute final plan approval. The preliminary plan may not be recorded in the office of the Dauphin County Recorder of Deeds.
D. 
Preliminary plan approval will be effective for a one-year period from the date of City Council's approval of the preliminary plan application; therefore, final plan application for the entire project must be made within one year of preliminary plan approval, unless City Council grants a waiver by extending the effective time period of the approval.
E. 
All preliminary plan applications shall include the following:
(1) 
Seven copies of the preliminary plan. All plans shall be either black on white or blue on white paper prints;
(2) 
Three copies of all reports, notifications and certifications which are not provided on the preliminary plan;
(3) 
One application form, available from the Bureau of Planning;
(4) 
Filing fees, schedule available at the Bureau of Planning;
(5) 
One copy of all applicable supplementary data notices and certificates required in §§ 7-505.6 and 7-505.7; and
(6) 
Any additional copies of the plan deemed necessary by the Planning Commission.
F. 
All preliminary plans shall be prepared in conformance with the provisions of § 7-505.2 and any other requirements of law.
G. 
The Commission staff shall distribute one copy of the preliminary plan to each of the following for review:
(1) 
Dauphin County Planning Commission.
(2) 
City Engineer.
(3) 
Fire Chief.
(4) 
Police Chief.
(5) 
Other such agencies or utilities as necessary.
H. 
Based on comments received, the Commission staff shall prepare a report to the Commission on the completeness, impact and design suitability of the proposed subdivision or land development plan. The report shall include any recommended amendments and conditions.
I. 
The Commission will review the subdivision or land development plan and send its recommendations to City Council. The Commission will notify the applicant of its recommendation to Council within 10 business days after the meeting. Commission staff will report the Commission's finding to the Building and Housing Committee of City Council.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1-303).
J. 
City Council may choose to schedule a public hearing, pursuant to public notice, where the public may state concerns and ask questions.
K. 
City Council at a regular or special legislative session shall approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove the plan. A final decision must be rendered and communicated to the applicant not later than 90 days after the date the application was first heard by the Planning Commission, provided that the Commission has met within 30 days of the date the plan was filed with the Commission.
(1) 
If the Commission did not meet within 30 days of the date the plans were filed, a final decision must be rendered and communicated to the applicant within 120 days.
(2) 
Failure of City Council to render a decision and communicate it to the applicant within the time and in the manner required herein shall be deemed an approval of the application as presented, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time.
L. 
Within 15 business days after the meeting at which the preliminary or preliminary/final plan is reviewed, the City Clerk shall send written notice of Council's action to the following individuals:[2]
(1) 
Landowner or his agent thereof;
(2) 
Applicant;
(3) 
Firm that prepared the plan;
(4) 
Commission;
(5) 
City Engineer; and
(6) 
Fire Chief.
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1-303).
M. 
If the application has been approved with conditions or disapproved, the City Clerk shall notify the applicant, in writing, specifying the defects found in the application or plans and describing the requirements which have not been met and shall in each case cite the provisions of this code.
N. 
City Council may grant approval of the preliminary or preliminary/final plan subject to conditions acceptable to the applicant. If the conditions are not accepted within 45 days, the approval will be rescinded. The conditions must be in writing, and the acceptance of the conditions by the applicant must also be in writing. If such conditions are accepted, the additional information, changes or modifications shall be submitted and/or alterations noted on one copy of the plan provided to the Commission for review and approval by the staff.

§ 7-503.4 Final plan applications.

A. 
The applicant shall file with the Commission a final plan not later than one year after the date of approval of the preliminary plan. Such filing shall include as part of the formal submission all the materials and other data required under the final plan requirements and specifications noted in Chapters 7-503 and 7-505 of this code. Failure to comply with the time limitations herein provided shall make the approval of the preliminary plan null and void, unless an extension of time is requested by the applicant and for good cause granted by City Council.
B. 
An application for final plan approval can be submitted only after the receipt of preliminary plan approval in accordance with § 7-503.3.
C. 
Preliminary/final plans may be submitted for minor plans in accordance with § 7-503.5C of this code. Preliminary/final plans shall be approved by City Council in the same manner as preliminary plans.
D. 
No subdivision or land development plan shall receive final approval until a sewage planning module, if applicable, is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
E. 
The final plan shall incorporate all the changes and modifications required by City Council; otherwise, it shall conform to the approved preliminary plan. If the final plan deviates by more than 10% from the above, it will need to be resubmitted as a preliminary plan.
F. 
Before approval of a final plan, or a preliminary/final plan, the Commission and City Council must be assured by means of an improvement construction guarantee, in accordance with Chapter 7-515 of this code, that all required improvements will be installed by the applicant in strict accordance with the standards and specifications of the City and within a specified time after approval of the final plan. The bond or other security shall be made to and deposited with the City.
G. 
Final and preliminary/final plans may be filed with the Commission staff by appointment on any business day; however, the Commission will officially review a plan at a particular meeting only if the plan was filed at least 15 business days prior to that meeting.
H. 
All final plan applications shall include the following:
(1) 
Seven copies of the final plan. All plans shall be either black on white or blue on white paper prints.
(2) 
Three copies of all reports, notifications and certificates which are not provided on the final plan.
(3) 
One application form, available from the Bureau of Planning.
(4) 
Filing fee; schedule available at the Bureau of Planning.
(5) 
One copy of all applicable supplementary data, notices and certificates required in §§ 7-505.6 and 7-505.7 of this code.
(6) 
Such other copies of the plan deemed necessary by the Commission.
I. 
All final plans shall be prepared in conformance with the provisions of § 7-505.10 of this code and any other requirements of law.
J. 
The Commission staff shall distribute one copy of the final plan to each of the following for review:
(1) 
Dauphin County Planning Commission.
(2) 
City Engineer.
(3) 
Fire Chief.
(4) 
Police Chief.
(5) 
Other such agencies or utilities as necessary.
K. 
Based on the comments received, the Commission staff shall prepare a report to the Commission on the completeness, impact and design suitability of the proposed subdivision or land development plan. The report shall include any recommended amendments and conditions.
L. 
The Commission may choose to schedule a public hearing, pursuant to public notice, where the public may state concerns and ask questions.
M. 
The Planning Commission, at a regularly scheduled or special meeting, shall approve, conditionally approve or disapprove the final plan. A final decision must be rendered and communicated to the applicant not later than 90 days from the date the application was first heard by the Planning Commission, provided that the Commission has met within 30 days of the date plans were filed with the Commission. If the Commission did not meet within 30 days of the date plans were filed, a final decision must be rendered and communicated to the applicant within 120 days.
N. 
Failure of the Commission to render a decision and communicate it to the applicant within the time and in the manner required herein shall be deemed an approval of the application as presented, unless the applicant has agreed, in writing, to an extension of time or change in the prescribed manner. In general, the Commission will schedule the final plan for action at the first Commission meeting which is at least 15 days following filing.
O. 
Within 15 business days after the meeting at which the final plan is reviewed, the staff shall send written notice of the Commission's action to the following individuals:[1]
(1) 
Landowner or agent.
(2) 
Applicant.
(3) 
Firm that prepared the plan.
(4) 
City Engineer.
(5) 
Fire Chief.
(6) 
Police Chief.
(7) 
City Clerk.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1-303).
P. 
If the application has been approved with conditions or disapproved, the Commission staff will notify the above individuals, in writing, of the defects in the application and will identify the requirements which have not been met by citing the provisions of the statute or code relied upon.
Q. 
The Planning Commission may grant approval of the final plan subject to conditions acceptable to the applicant. If the conditions are not accepted within 45 days, the approval will be rescinded. The conditions must be in writing, and the acceptance of the conditions by the applicant must also be in writing.
R. 
If such conditions are accepted, the additional information, changes or modifications shall be submitted and/or alterations noted on one copy of the plan provided to the Commission for review and approval by the staff.
S. 
After the Commission's approval of the final plan or City Council's approval of the preliminary/final plan and the required changes, if any, have been made, the applicant shall proceed to prepare paper copies of the final plan, two sets for the Commission, one set for the City Engineer, and one set for the Dauphin County Recorder of Deeds. The applicant shall deliver these copies to the Commission's staff, signed by the owner and notarized with the seal and signature of the engineer, surveyor or landscape architect as appropriate. The staff will obtain the other signatures and certifications, provided that plans are submitted no more than 85 days from the Commission's final approval action, unless the Commission grants a waiver by extending the effective time period of the approval.
T. 
Upon approval and certification of a final plan, the applicant shall record the plan in the office of the Dauphin County Recorder of Deeds.
(1) 
Should the applicant fail to record the final plan within 90 days of the Commission's final plan approval or City Council's preliminary/final plan approval, the plan shall be null and void, unless the Commission grants a waiver by extending the effective time period of the approval.
(2) 
The applicant must file the plan with the Dauphin County Recorder of Deeds and have the book, volume, page number and date noted on the plan. Three fully executed sets (showing the recorded book, volume, page number and date) should be returned to the Commission staff, two for the Commission's files and one for the City Engineer.
(3) 
The final plan shall be filed with the Dauphin County Recorder of Deeds before proceeding with the sale of lots.
(4) 
The final plan shall be filed with the Dauphin County Recorder of Deeds before proceeding with the construction of any improvements.
(5) 
No subdivision or land development plan may be recorded unless it bears all authorizing signatures.
(6) 
No changes, erasures, modifications or revisions shall be made on any final plan of a subdivision or land development unless the plan is first resubmitted to the Commission.
(7) 
Recording the final plan, after approval of the Commission, shall have the effect of an irrevocable offer to dedicate all streets and other areas designated for public use, unless reserved by the landowner as provided in Subsection T(8) of this section. However, the approval of the Commission shall not impose any duty upon the commonwealth, county, or City concerning acceptance, maintenance, or improvement of any such dedicated areas or portions of the same until the proper authorities of the commonwealth, county, or the City actually accept the same by ordinance or resolution, or by entry, use, or improvement.
(8) 
The landowner may place a notation on the final plan to the effect that there is no offer of dedication to the public of certain designated areas, in which event the title to such areas shall remain with the owner, and the commonwealth, county, and the City shall assume no right to accept ownership or right-of-way.

§ 7-503.5 Plans exempted from standard procedures.

A. 
Any replatting or resubdivision of a recorded plan, or revision of approved final plans which have not yet been recorded, excluding lot grading plan in subdivisions, shall be considered as a new application and shall comply with all requirements of this chapter, except that plans may be changed, provided that in making such changes:
(1) 
No lot or tract of land shall be created that does not meet the minimum design standards required by this code and other existing City regulations.
(2) 
No structure shall be relocated which does not meet the minimum design standards required by this chapter and other existing City regulations.
(3) 
No increase is made to the overall density.
(4) 
The stormwater management facilities are not altered in a manner which significantly affects the discharge of stormwater onto an adjacent property or significantly relocates a major stormwater management facility within the project. The staff has the right to submit to the Commission for review any alteration of a stormwater management facility.
(5) 
Street locations and block sizes shall not be changed.
(6) 
The character and land use of the original application shall be maintained.
B. 
In every case where a plan alteration conforms to the above:
(1) 
The applicant shall submit to the Commission five black on white or blue on white paper copies of the revised final plan and one application form. The application form is available from the Bureau of Planning.
(2) 
The Commission staff shall distribute one copy of the revised final plan to each of the following for review:
(a) 
Dauphin County Planning Commission.
(b) 
City Engineer.
(c) 
Fire Chief.
(d) 
Police Chief.
(3) 
Upon review of the revision, the staff will, in writing, advise the applicant whether or not the revision complies with the above.
(4) 
If the revision complies, the applicant shall prepare four paper copies of the plan for recording, one copy for the City Engineer, two copies for the Commission's files and one copy for the Dauphin County Recorder of Deeds. These copies will be certified by the Commission as specified in § 7-503.4S of this chapter.
(5) 
The plans shall then be recorded as specified in § 7-503.4T of this chapter.
C. 
In the case of any proposed subdivision or land development plan of no more than 10 lots or units which does not require provision for a new street, the applicant may concurrently submit combined preliminary and final plans for review and approval by the Commission and City Council. In such instances, the applicant shall submit a plan which shall be designated "preliminary/final." All other plans shall be submitted in accordance with § 7-503.3 of this chapter.
D. 
The lease, conveyance, sale, or transfer of land for the sole purpose of increasing the lot size of an adjacent contiguous lot shall comply with the following lot add-on procedure, provided that the proposal does not alter a subdivision plan of record, create additional lots, or result in a nonconformity with the design standards found in this Subdivision and Land Development Code or with other existing City regulations:
(1) 
In every case where a proposal conforms to the above, the applicant shall comply with the following procedures:
(a) 
Submit to the Commission staff five black on white or blue on white paper copies of a lot add-on plan, prepared to the standards specified in § 7-505.11 of this code, and one application form, available from the Bureau of Planning.
(b) 
The Commission staff shall distribute one copy of the lot add-on plan to each of the following:
[1] 
Dauphin County Planning Commission.
[2] 
City Engineer.
[3] 
Fire Chief.
[4] 
Police Chief.
(2) 
Upon review of the revision, the staff will, in writing, advise the applicant whether or not the proposal qualifies as a lot add-on plan.
(3) 
If the plan qualifies, the applicant shall prepare four paper copies of the plan for recording; one copy for the City Engineer, two copies for the Commission's files and one copy for the Dauphin County Recorder of Deeds. These copies will be certified by the Commission as specified in § 7-503.4S of this chapter.
(4) 
The plan shall then be recorded as specified in § 7-503.4T of this chapter.
(5) 
The plan shall be filed with the Dauphin County Recorder of Deeds prior to the execution of a deed for the land.

§ 7-503.6 Procedure for requesting waiver.

A. 
A request for a waiver may be submitted to the Commission at any time. All requests shall be accompanied by a plan prepared at least to the minimum standards of a sketch plan (see § 7-505.1) and a statement, which may be included on the plan, which shall identify:
(1) 
The specific section of this chapter which is requested to be waived.
(2) 
Provisions proposed as an alternate to the requirements.
(3) 
Justification for the waiver.
B. 
At a scheduled public meeting, the Commission shall review the request to determine:
(1) 
If compliance with the provisions of this chapter creates an undue hardship or appears to be unreasonable as it applies to the particular property; or
(2) 
If the applicant demonstrates that an alternative proposal will allow for equal or better results.
C. 
The Commission will forward its recommendations to City Council and the applicant.
D. 
City Council shall approve, conditionally approve or deny the waiver by resolution.
E. 
After the meeting at which the waiver was reviewed, the City Clerk shall send notice of Council's action to the following individuals:
(1) 
Landowner or his agent.
(2) 
Applicant.
(3) 
Firm that prepared the plan.
(4) 
Commission.
(5) 
City Engineer.
F. 
If City Council denies the request, the City Clerk will notify the above individuals, in writing, of the justification for denial. If City Council grants the request, the plan shall include a note which identifies the specific waiver as granted with the date of City Council's action.
G. 
The Planning Commission shall keep a written record of all action on all requests for waivers.