City of Harrisburg, PA
Dauphin County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
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.]
CROSS-REFERENCES
Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law, Act of July 31, 1970, P.L. 653, as amended (35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.).

§ 7-507.1 Application.

The following principles, standards and requirements will be applied by City Council and the Planning Commission in their review and evaluation of all subdivision and land development plan applications:
A. 
The standards and requirements contained herein shall be considered the minimum for the promotion of the public health, safety, convenience and general welfare.
B. 
Where literal compliance with the standards and requirements contained herein is clearly impractical, City Council may modify or waive such standards through the waiver process set forth in § 7-503.6 of this code.
C. 
Subdivision and land development plans shall give due consideration to official plans of the City or to such parts thereof as may be adopted pursuant to statute.
D. 
Proposed land uses shall conform to the City's Zoning Code.
E. 
For land developments, proposed structures, in general, shall be harmonious with the character of the surrounding neighborhood.
F. 
Land subject to hazards to life, health or property, such as may arise from fire, floods, disease or other causes, shall not be subdivided or developed unless such hazards have been eliminated or unless the plan shall show adequate safeguards against them, which shall be approved by the appropriate regulatory agencies.

§ 7-507.2 Streets.

A. 
General standards.
(1) 
Proposed streets shall be properly related to such street plans or parts thereof as have been officially adopted by the City and shall be coordinated with existing or proposed streets in adjoining subdivisions or land developments. Proposed streets shall be properly related to county, regional or state transportation plans as have been prepared and adopted as prescribed by law.
(2) 
Streets shall be laid out to preserve the integrity of their design. Local access streets shall be laid out to discourage their use by through traffic, and, where possible, collector and arterial streets shall be designed for use by through traffic.
(3) 
Proposed private streets (streets not offered for dedication) are prohibited, unless they meet the design standards of these regulations.
(4) 
Streets shall be related to the topography so as to establish usable lots and satisfactory street grades.
(5) 
Proposed street arrangements shall make provisions for the continuation of existing streets in adjoining areas, the proper projection of streets into adjoining undeveloped or unplatted areas, and the continuation of proposed streets to the boundaries of the tract being subdivided.
(6) 
The dedication of half streets at the perimeter of new subdivisions is prohibited.
(7) 
Alleys shall be discouraged in residential districts, unless site design calls for rear access parking, which is encouraged. In commercial or industrial areas, adequate alleys or off-street loading and unloading space is required where needed for loading and unloading or access purposes.
B. 
Street classification. Three functional classifications of streets and roads are established as follows:
(1) 
Arterial. This classification includes streets which provide intra-county or inter-municipal traffic of substantial volume. Generally, these streets should accommodate operating speeds of 35 miles per hour.
(2) 
Collector. This classification is intended to include those streets which connect minor streets to arterial streets. They may serve intra-county and intra-municipal traffic. They may serve as traffic corridors connecting residential areas with industrial, shopping and other services. They may penetrate residential areas. Generally, these highways will accommodate operating speeds of 25 to 35 miles per hour.
(3) 
Minor. This classification is intended to include streets and roads that provide direct access to abutting land and connections to higher classes of roadways. Traffic volumes will be low and travel distances generally short. These streets and roads should be designed for operating speeds of 25 miles per hour or under.
C. 
Street widths.
(1) 
Cartways shall have a minimum of eleven-foot travel lanes for each direction of travel.
(2) 
On-street parking lanes shall be a minimum of eight feet for each side where parking is permitted.
(3) 
Minimum street right-of-way and cartway widths shall be as follows:
Street Type
Right-of-Way Width
(feet)
Cartway
(feet)
Arterial streets
As determined by the governing body and Planning Commission after consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Collector streets
60
22
Minor streets
50
22
Cul-de-sac (diameter)
100
80
Alley or service drive
30
22
(4) 
Provision for additional cartway width and/or right-of-way may be required when determined to be necessary by the City in specific cases for:
(a) 
Public safety and convenience.
(b) 
Parking in commercial and industrial areas and in areas of high-density development.
(5) 
Short extension of existing streets with lesser right-of-way and/or cartway widths than prescribed in this section may be permitted; provided, however, that no section or new right-of-way less than 30 feet in width shall be permitted.
(6) 
All streets shall be crowned to allow for surface drainage.
D. 
Cul-de-sac or dead-end streets.
(1) 
Dead-end streets are prohibited unless designed as cul-de-sac streets.
(2) 
Any dead-end street, for access to an adjoining property or because of authorized phased development, shall be provided with a temporary cul-de-sac within the subdivision, and the use of such turnaround shall be guaranteed to the public until such time as the street is extended.
(3) 
Cul-de-sac streets, permanently designed as such, shall not exceed 500 feet in length.
(4) 
Unless future extension is clearly impractical or undesirable, the turnaround right-of-way shall be placed adjacent to the tract boundary with sufficient additional width provided along the boundary line to permit extension of the street at full width.
(5) 
All cul-de-sac streets, whether permanently or temporarily designed as such, shall be provided at the closed end with a fully paved turnaround. The minimum diameter to the pavement edge or curbline shall be 80 feet, and the minimum diameter of the right-of-way line shall be 100 feet.
(6) 
The center-line grade on a cul-de-sac street shall not exceed 10%, and the grade of the diameter of the turnaround shall not exceed 5%.
E. 
Horizontal curves.
(1) 
Whenever street lines are deflected in excess of 10°, connection shall be made by horizontal curves.
(2) 
To ensure adequate sight distance, minimum center-line radii for horizontal curves shall be as follows:
(a) 
Minor streets: 150 feet.
(b) 
Collector streets: 300 feet.
(c) 
Arterial streets: 500 feet.
(3) 
A tangent of at least 100 feet shall be introduced between all horizontal curves on collector and arterial streets.
(4) 
To the greatest extent possible, combinations of the minimum radius and maximum grade shall be avoided.
F. 
Intersections.
(1) 
Streets shall intersect as nearly as possible at right angles, and no street shall intersect another at an angle of less than 75° or more than 105°.
(2) 
Intersections involving the junction of more than two streets are prohibited.
(3) 
Streets intersecting another street shall either intersect directly opposite to each other or shall be separated by at least 125 feet between center lines, measured along the center line of the street being intersected.
(4) 
Intersections shall be approached on all sides by a straight leveling area, the grade of which shall not exceed 5% within 60 feet of the intersection of the nearest right-of-way lines.
(5) 
Intersections with major streets shall be located not less than 800 feet apart, measured from center line to center line, along the center line of the major street.
(6) 
At intersections of streets, the curb or edge of pavement radii shall not be less than the following:
Intersection
Minimum Simple Curve Radii of Curb or Edge of Pavement
(feet)
Collector with collector street
35
Collector with minor street
25
Minor street with minor street
15
Radius corners or diagonal cutoffs must be provided on the property lines, substantially concentric with or parallel to the chord of the curb radius corners.
G. 
Sight distance.
(1) 
Sight distance, in general, refers to the maximum distance that a driver can see objects such as traffic signs, pavement markings, fixed objects, vehicles and pedestrians.
(2) 
Corner sight distance refers to the maximum length of highway along which a driver stopped at an intersection or driveway can continuously see another vehicle approaching on another roadway or driveway. For the purpose of measuring the available corner sight distance, the height of both the driver's eyes and the approaching vehicle should be assumed to be 3 1/2 feet above the road surface. In addition, the driver's eyes should be assumed to be 10 feet from the near edge of the intersecting roadway or driveway or the near edge of the closest travel lane in the event there is parking permitted on the intersecting roadway or driveway.
(3) 
Sight distances shall be approved by the City Engineer.
H. 
Street grades.
(1) 
The grades of streets shall not be less than the minimum or more than the maximum requirements listed below:
Type of Street
Minimum Grade
Maximum Grade
All streets
0.5%
Arterial streets
As determined by the governing body after consultation with the Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Collector streets
5%
Minor streets
8%
Alleys
8%
Street intersection
5%
(2) 
On minor streets and alleys, grades greater than 10% shall not be more than 400 feet in length, or as determined by the City Engineer.
(3) 
Vertical curves shall be used in changes of street grade when the algebraic difference exceeds 1%. Vertical curves shall be provided to permit the following minimum sight distances:
(a) 
Minor streets: 200 feet.
(b) 
Collector streets: 300 feet.
(c) 
Arterial streets: 400 feet.
I. 
Slopes of banks along streets. The slope of banks along streets, measured perpendicular to the street center line, shall be no steeper than the following:
(1) 
One foot of vertical measurement for four feet of horizontal measurement for fills.
(2) 
One foot of vertical measurement for four feet of horizontal measurement for cuts.
J. 
Access roads and drives.
(1) 
Direct access from residential lots to an arterial street shall be avoided whenever possible. Where such direct access cannot be avoided, adequate turnaround space shall be provided behind the right-of-way lines.
(2) 
Private driveways on corner lots shall be located at least 40 feet from the point of intersection of the nearest street right-of-way line.
(3) 
The width of access roads or driveways shall be in accordance with the following standards:
(a) 
For multifamily residential, mobile home parks and all nonresidential development or subdivisions, access roads shall be no less than 24 feet in width at the street line and shall clearly be defined by the use of curbing.
(b) 
For single-family residential subdivisions, driveways shall be no less than 10 feet in width and no greater than 20 feet in width at the street line.
(4) 
In order to provide for safe and convenient ingress and egress points, access roads and driveway entrances shall be rounded at the following minimum radius:
(a) 
For multifamily residential, mobile home parks and all nonresidential development(s) or subdivision(s), access road entrances shall be rounded at a minimum radius of 20 feet.
(b) 
For single-family residential subdivisions, driveway entrances shall be rounded at a minimum radius of 10 feet.
(5) 
The grades on access roads or driveways shall not exceed the following:
(a) 
Eight percent when access is to an arterial street.
(b) 
Ten percent when access is to a collector or minor street.

§ 7-507.3 Easements.

A. 
Easements shall be provided for drainage facilities and overhead or underground public utility facilities in consultation with the City Engineer, electrical utility companies, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and telephone utility companies, as follows:
(1) 
The minimum width of such easements shall be 20 feet, 10 feet on each side of the line. In the case of a double line (both sewer and water for example), since each line must be 10 feet apart with 10 feet on each side of the lines, the easement would be 30 feet.
(2) 
Wherever possible, such easements shall be centered on the side or rear lot lines or along the front lot line.
B. 
Where a subdivision is traversed by a watercourse, drainageway, channel, or stream, there shall be provided a drainage easement conforming substantially to the line of such watercourse, drainageway, channel or stream and of such width as will be adequate to preserve the unimpeded flow of natural drainage or for the purpose of widening, deepening, relocating, improving or protecting such drainage facilities, or for the purpose of installing a stormwater sewer.

§ 7-507.4 Blocks.

A. 
The length, width, shape and design of blocks shall be determined taking into consideration the provision of adequate sites for buildings of the type proposed, the land use and/or zoning requirements, the topography of the land being subdivided or developed, and the requirements for safe and convenient vehicular and pedestrian circulation.
B. 
Blocks shall not exceed 750 feet in length and must be compatible with the City's existing grid system.
C. 
Residential blocks shall generally be of sufficient depth to accommodate two tiers of lots, except where reverse frontage lots bordering an arterial or collector street are used or where, due to the contour of the land or the necessary layout of the subdivision, there is insufficient depth between intersecting streets for such two-tier design.
D. 
Blocks for commercial and industrial areas may vary from the elements of design contained in this section if the nature of the use requires other treatment. In such cases, off-street parking for employees and customers shall be provided along with safe and convenient limited access to the street system. Space for off-street loading shall also be provided with limited access to the street system. Extension of streets, railroad access right-of-way, and utilities shall be provided as necessary.

§ 7-507.5 Lots.

A. 
General standards.
(1) 
The size, depth, width and orientation of lots shall conform to applicable zoning regulations of the City.
(2) 
Insofar as practical, side lot lines should be at right angles to straight street lines or radial to curved street lines.
(3) 
Where feasible, lot lines should follow municipal boundaries rather then cross them, in order to avoid jurisdiction problems.
(4) 
If, after subdividing, there exist remnants of land, they shall be incorporated into existing or proposed lots.
B. 
Lot frontage.
(1) 
All lots shall abut a public street, existing or proposed, or a private street if it meets the requirements of these regulations.
(2) 
Double or reverse frontage lots shall be avoided except where required to provide separation of residential development from major streets or to overcome specific disadvantages of topography or orientation.
C. 
Building setbacks.
(1) 
Corner lots shall have extra width as required by the City's Zoning Code.
(2) 
Front, side and rear building setbacks shall conform to the Zoning Code.
D. 
Lots for other than residential uses. The lot width and area requirements of properties reserved or laid out for uses other than residential shall provide adequate space for yards and off-street loading, unloading and parking facilities. Plans for contemplated construction on subdivided lots should be provided in sufficient detail to assure that these requirements are being satisfied.
E. 
Space between buildings for land development.
(1) 
The space between buildings where land development is proposed shall be provided in accordance with the following schedule:
(See Note)
Space Between Buildings
(feet)
F to F
70
F to S
50
F to R
70
S to R
30
S to S
30
R to R
50
C to C
20
Note: F = Front
S = Side
R = Rear
C = Corner
(2) 
The space between buildings shall be increased one foot for each additional foot that the height of the building exceeds 35 feet.

§ 7-507.6 Building design guidelines.

In undertaking new construction, the developer shall be guided by the urban context in order to create a harmonious and integrated environment in land development:
A. 
Allowing for diversity, the form of buildings should, in most cases, strive to be compatible with existing structures, particularly on the perimeter of the development.
B. 
The attempt should be made to incorporate architectural details found on existing, adjacent buildings, such as bay windows, porches, cornice lines and dormers.
C. 
In selecting building materials, consideration should be given to utilizing materials which exist in the surrounding development.

§ 7-507.7 Natural features preservation.

The design and development of all subdivisions shall preserve, whenever possible, natural features which will aid in providing open space for recreation and conditions generally favorable to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City. Some of these natural features include the natural terrain of the site, woodland areas, large trees, natural watercourses and bodies of water, wetlands, rock outcroppings and scenic views.
A. 
Tree preservation and planting.
(1) 
Trees with a caliper of six inches or more as measured at a height of 4 1/2 feet above existing grade shall not be removed unless they are located within the proposed cartway or sidewalk portion of the street right-of-way or within 15 feet of the foundation area of a proposed building. In areas where trees are retained, the original grade level shall be maintained if possible so as not to disturb the trees.
(2) 
Where existing trees are removed along the street right-of-way, supplemental planting, in the form of appropriate street trees, shall be introduced. Such trees shall be planted at intervals of between 50 and 100 feet and preferably in random patterns.
(3) 
A landscape plan shall be developed for industrial, residential and multifamily residential subdivisions and land developments. Such plan shall indicate the vegetation or plant cover which will exist when landscaping is completed.
B. 
Lake, stream, and river frontage preservation.
(1) 
A maintenance easement for the City or its designee, with a minimum width of 25 feet, shall be provided along all stream and river banks and lake edges. Such easement, in all cases, shall be of sufficient width to provide proper maintenance.
(2) 
Lake, stream, and river frontage shall be preserved as open space whenever possible.
(3) 
Access shall be provided to the water and maintenance easement area. The width of such access points shall not be less than 50 feet.
C. 
Topography. The existing natural terrain of the proposed subdivision tract shall be retained whenever possible. Cut and fill operations shall be kept to a minimum.

§ 7-507.8 Erosion and sedimentation control.

A. 
In the event that any person shall intend to make changes in the contour of any land or engage in earthmoving activity, whether for subdivision, land development or any purpose, such person who is required to obtain a permit shall obtain such a permit from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) pursuant to the erosion rules and regulations promulgated under the Clean Streams Law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.
B. 
Additionally, the City shall notify DEP immediately upon receipt of an application for a building permit involving earthmoving activity which affects five acres or more of land.
C. 
The City shall not issue a building permit to those engaged in earthmoving activities requiring a DEP permit until the Department has issued such permit.
D. 
An erosion and sedimentation control plan must be prepared for a single lot or more where subdivision, land development or other earthmoving activity is proposed. The plan must be submitted:
(1) 
As required by the rules and regulations of the DEP referenced in Subsection A above;
(2) 
As required by the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law; and
(3) 
For areas in the floodplain.
E. 
Such erosion and sedimentation control plan shall be submitted to the City's Engineer and County Conservation District for review, and a copy of the plan and review comments shall be submitted to the Commission as part of the preliminary and final plan applications.
F. 
In the preparation of erosion and sediment control plans, the person preparing such plans shall consult the County Conservation District to determine the measures needed to control erosion and sedimentation. The current Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook, prepared by the Conservation Districts of Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties, shall be used in the preparation of such plans. Copies are available in the Conservation District office in each county.

§ 7-507.9 Design standards in floodplains.

Properties located within the floodplain zoning district of the City of Harrisburg, as created by Chapter 7-329 of the Zoning Code, shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 7-509 of this code.