[Added 8-10-2009 by Ord. No. 182]
A. Protect historic resources in New Garden Township as authorized under the Pennsylvania Constitution, Article I, § 27, and §§ 604 and 605 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. §§ 10604 and 10605;
B. Identify all buildings and structures which are important to the culture, history and tradition of the citizens of New Garden Township (hereafter "historic resource(s)") and to create an Historic Resources Map designating the categories of all such identified historic resources;
C. Confirm the establishment of an Historical Commission in and for New Garden Township;
D. Establish a process by which proposed changes or demolition affecting historic resources are reviewed by both the New Garden Township Historical Commission and the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors; and
E. Encourage the continued use and preservation of historic resources consistent with preserving the historic character of those resources and to facilitate their appropriate reuse.
A. Compliance. Any demolition, rehabilitation, enlargement, alteration or relocation of an historic resource shown on the Historic Resources Map shall occur only in full compliance with the terms of this article and other applicable regulations. For any historic resource shown on the Historic Resources Map, the requirements of this chapter shall apply, in addition to applicable zoning and other ordinances.
B. Preservation of other restrictions. It is not intended by this article to repeal, abrogate or impair any existing easements, covenants or deed restrictions.
C. Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ADAPTIVE REUSE
- An historic resource which undergoes a process of rehabilitation, thus making possible a compatible new use for the property through repair, alteration and additions which retain the historic character of the property by retention of distinctive material and features of the structure which convey its historical cultural or architectural value.
- An alteration of an historic resource by change of use theretofore existing to a new use which imposes other special provisions of law governing adaptive reuse rehabilitation and zoning regulations.
- CONVERSION, RESIDENTIAL
- A change in density and dwelling type of an existing historic resource by creating party walls and independent cooking, eating, bathing, housekeeping and sleeping areas, and thus creating a building containing two or more dwelling units with independent or common outside access.
- HISTORIC RESOURCE
- Any building or structure which historically is representative and contributing to an understanding of the broad patterns of local, state or national history and identified as an historic building on the Historic Resources Map adopted by this article.
- HISTORIC RESOURCES MAP
- The map and supporting materials more particularly described herein.
- The process of returning an historic resource to a state of utility through repair or alteration, which makes possible an efficient contemporary use while preserving those portions and features of the resource which are significant to its historical, architectural and cultural values.
A. Historic Resources Map. The Board of Supervisors authorizes the research and creation of an Historic Resources Map for the Township ("Map"). The Map shall locate and identify all historic resources located within New Garden Township. The Map, as amended, shall be retained in the records of the Township at the Township office.
B. Classifications. The Map shall delineate one classification of historic resources located in the Township. These resources are those historic resources designated by the Township as meriting a review prior to the Township issuing a permit for any relocation, rehabilitation, enlargement, alteration or demolition. Such historic resources shall:
(1) Have been constructed, or had any portion thereof constructed, prior to January 1, 1940; and
(2) Have significant character, interest or value as an example of development, heritage or character of New Garden Township; or
(3) Reflect the environment in an era of history characterized by a distinctive architectural style; or
(4) Embody distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style or engineering specimen.
(1) The Historic Resources Map may be revised by resolution or other action of the Board of Supervisors.
(2) Official list. An official list of all historic resources regulated hereunder, showing the classification of each resource, shall be maintained by the Township Historical Commission and staff and be updated on a regular basis to reflect any changes in classifications.
(1) There shall be a Historical Commission, which shall consist of not less than five members who shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors.
(2) The membership of the Commission shall meet the requirements as may be established from time to time by the Board of Supervisors. All members shall be residents of the Township.
(3) Each Commission member shall serve for a term of three years. The Board of Supervisors shall fill any vacancies in the Commission. Appointments to fill vacancies for unexpired terms shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term. Members may be reappointed for successive three-year terms.
B. Organization. The Commission shall annually elect a Chairman who will direct activities of the Commission. The Commission shall conduct business at regular public meetings. The Commission shall keep minutes of its meetings, public records of its business and shall submit a report of its activities to the Board of Supervisors by March 1 of each year.
A. Building, zoning and other permits. No building permit, zoning permit or other permit for the relocation, rehabilitation, enlargement or alteration of an historic resource shall be issued by the Zoning Officer until the New Garden Historical Commission has reviewed and commented thereon as herein set forth.
B. Zoning Officer. The Zoning Officer shall provide the Historical Commission with a complete copy of the permit application, together with any plans or diagrams required by this article, within five working days of receipt of a completed application.
C. New Garden Historical Commission. The Commission shall, within 30 days of receipt of the application from the Zoning Officer, review the plans for compliance with the standards contained herein and prepare a written report to the Zoning Officer, with a copy to be sent to the applicant, indicating whether the plans are in substantial compliance with the provisions hereof. The report shall make written suggestions as to what specific changes in the plans would bring them into substantial compliance.
D. Issuance of building/zoning permit. Upon receiving a report of substantial compliance from the Historical Commission, and provided that the plans satisfy all other requirements of the Township, the Zoning Officer shall issue appropriate permit(s).
E. Delay or denial of a building/zoning permit. If the Historical Commission's report indicates that the plans are not in substantial compliance with the standards contained herein, the Zoning Officer shall not issue permits until:
(1) The plans have been revised by the applicant in accordance with the Historical Commission's recommendations; or
(2) The Historical Commission documents a compromise that has been worked out with the applicant; or
(3) Ninety days have elapsed from the date of the filing of the completed application with the Township, and the applicant has advised the Zoning Officer and the Board of Supervisors (at a public meeting) that the recommendations of the Historical Commission will not be implemented.
F. Requirement of good faith. The applicant shall work, in good faith, with the Historical Commission to evaluate the Historical Commission's recommendations for changes in the application needed to bring the application in substantial compliance with this article.
A. The plan shall be prepared by a registered landscape architect or by a nurseryman or other individual deemed qualified by the Board of Supervisors.
B. The plan shall show all pertinent information, including the location, size and species of all individual trees and shrubs to be removed, planted or preserved.
C. Through screening, buffering and selection of plant material, the plan shall minimize the impact of the proposed development on the historic resource and protect its integrity of setting and any significant vegetation.
D. The landscape plan shall be submitted to the New Garden Historical Commission for its review and comments prior to any decision by the Board of Supervisors on the subdivision or land development plan.
A. Allowable modifications.
(1) Lot standards. In a subdivision proposing to use the lot averaging or cluster development option in accordance with Articles XV and XVI of the Zoning Ordinance, the lot size authorized in those articles may be adjusted downward for an identified Township historic resource in cases where the historic resource contains two or more contributing structures (barns, springhouses, etc.) to accommodate conversion of these structures to residential use to preserve the integrity of the historic resource.
(2) Number of dwellings. In subdivisions proposing to use the lot averaging or cluster development option, an additional dwelling unit may be created in excess of the maximum number of dwelling units otherwise permissible under this article for each contributing structure in a Township historic resource to be preserved as a dwelling unit in the subdivision plan.
(3) Setbacks. In proposed subdivisions, setback requirements may be modified, if necessary, to preserve the integrity of an identified historic resource.
B. Special use provisions for adaptive reuse or conversion.
(1) Bed-and-breakfast. Conversion to a bed-and-breakfast use of an historic resource (or contributing structure) may be allowed even if the building is not an owner-occupied single-family dwelling or does not meet the minimum lot size and setback requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.
(2) Residential. Conversion of a currently nonresidential historic resource (barn, springhouse, etc.) into residential use may be allowed even if the lot does not meet the size requirement of the base zoning. Multiple-family use may also be allowed as long as the property meets the area and bulk requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.
(3) Professional office. Conversion to professional office use of an historic resource may be allowed in a residential area without requiring all of the constraints of a home business.
C. Procedures. The Zoning Officer shall provide a copy of the plan to the Historical Commission which shall issue its recommendation to the Board of Supervisors within 30 days and whose report shall be admissible into evidence at a conditional use hearing.
A. The proposed relocation will have a detrimental effect on the historic resource;
B. The proposed relocation will provide an environment that will be a compatible cultural landscape, that is, one that is harmonious with the historic and/or architectural aspects of the building or structure;
C. The proposed relocation will further the achievement of the purposes described herein.
A. New Garden Township strongly recommends that any proposed rehabilitation, alteration or enlargement of an historic resource be in substantial compliance with the standards for rehabilitation which are then currently adopted by the Township. At the time of enactment of this article, those standards are as printed in Appendix A, Editor's Note: Appendix A, Standards for Rehabilitation, is on file in the Township offices. attached hereto and incorporated herein. The standards for rehabilitation, alteration or enlargement of historic resources may be amended from time to time by resolution of the Township.
B. For an application to rehabilitate, alter or enlarge an historic resource to be eligible for any additional use or zoning opportunities, it shall meet the following standards:
(1) Floor area: No historic resource may be enlarged beyond what is minimally necessary to accommodate the expanded use.
(2) Additions. For an historic resource, an addition shall only be permitted if it does not negatively impact the front or major facade of the historic resource.
(3) Signs. Signs for historic resources shall adhere to the following standards:
(a) Number: No more than one sign may be erected on any one street frontage of any lot.
 A sign may be placed flat upon the wall of the building to which it relates or constitute part of the architectural design of such building; the size of such sign shall not exceed 10 square feet; or
 A sign may project from the building to which it relates a maximum of six feet; such sign shall be limited to two faces and shall not exceed 10 square feet per face; or
 A sign may be freestanding, with two faces, with an area not exceeding 10 square feet per face, with the top of the sign not to exceed eight feet from the ground level.
(c) Lighting of signs: Freestanding signs shall only be illuminated from ground level.
(d) Materials: Natural materials are preferred for signs relating to historic resources. Under no circumstances will plastic, internally illuminated signs be allowed in relation to an identified Township historic resource.
§ 200-176 Procedures for demolition of historic resources; enforcement; violations and penalties; appeals.
A. Application: The applicant shall file with the Zoning Officer, who shall forward the same to the Historical Commission within five days, the following items:
(1) One copy of the application for demolition;
(2) Complete documentation of the resource proposed for demolition, including recent interior and exterior photographs, exterior measurements and plans of each level;
(3) A site plan showing all buildings on the property; and
(4) An explanation of the reasons for demolition and the future use of the site. This must include:
(a) A statement of whether the property is capable of generating a reasonable return with the resource left in place;
(b) A statement of whether the resource is adaptable to some other use which would result in a reasonable return;
(c) A financial statement of whether rental or other use of the property in its current or an improved condition can provide a reasonable rate of return;
(d) A statement that a demonstrable, good-faith attempt has been made to sell the resource to someone interested in preserving it; and
(e) A proposed site plan for development after the demolition.
(5) No permit for demolition may be issued until the applicant has obtained Township approval of plans for the development.
B. Documentation of historic resources. Within 30 days of the Township's receipt of a completed application for demolition of any historic resource, the applicant shall permit the Historical Commission, at a mutually agreeable time and date, to enter the historic resource and document, for the Township records, the historic resource and the property associated therewith. Such documentation may include, but is not limited to photographic and video documentation. Documentation authorized by this section shall be conducted on a date and time agreeable to both the Historical Commission and the applicant. All such documentation shall become the property of the Township. The Historical Commission will not disturb or move any personal property of the applicant during such documentation.
C. Review meeting. Within 30 days of receipt of a complete application, the Historical Commission shall, at a regular or special meeting, review the application for demolition. The applicant will be notified, in writing, of the meeting and encouraged to present written and photographic evidence in support of his application. In reviewing the application, the Historical Commission shall take into account:
(1) The effect of demolition on the historical significance and architectural integrity of neighboring contributing historic resources;
(2) Economic feasibility of adaptively reusing the resource proposed for demolition;
(3) All conceivable alternatives to demolition of the resource, including relocation of the structure;
(4) Any expert testimony, such as, but not limited to, certified engineering reports regarding the structural stability of the resource that would indicate threats to public safety.
D. Historical commission written recommendation. Within 15 days following conclusion of the meeting, the Historical Commission shall set forth its recommendation in a written report to the Board of Supervisors and the applicant.
(1) In specific cases, as will not be contrary to the public interest, where, owing to demonstrated special conditions, as determined herein, a literal enforcement of the provisions of this section would result in unnecessary hardship, the Historical Commission may recommend that the Board grant an exemption from the requirements of this section, subject to such terms and conditions as the Historical Commission may recommend so that the spirit of this article shall be observed and substantial justice done.
(2) Every recommendation of the Historical Commission shall be in writing and shall state the reasons for the decision. The decision shall contain the findings of fact that constitute the basis for the decision. In any case where the Historical Commission objects to the issuance of a permit required under this section, the Historical Commission shall furnish the applicant with a copy of the Historical Commission's decision, together with a copy of any recommendations the Historical Commission may have made for changes necessary to be made before the application will be reconsidered by the Historical Commission.
(3) In case of hardship, the Historical Commission may contribute to the documentation prescribed by the Board.
E. Township's response. Within 30 days of the review of the demolition application by the Historical Commission, or such extended time as may be agreed upon by the applicant, the Township shall approve the demolition application consistent with applicable law.
F. Demolition by neglect.
(1) Demolition by neglect shall not be used as an automatic excuse by an applicant as justification for an active demolition application.
(2) When an owner has held an identified historic resource property for at least five years and allowed the property to fall into the category of demolition by neglect due to lack of routine maintenance and cannot provide that the negligence has occurred due to lack of financial ability to provide maintenance, such owner shall be deemed in violation of the terms of this section.
(3) Enforcement and penalties that pertain to active demolition shall also pertain to passive (by neglect) demolition.
G. Enforcement; violations and penalties. Any person who violates the terms of this article shall be subject to the penalties imposed under § 200-146, as well as applicable penalties imposed under Township building and fire codes.
H. Appeal procedures. Any person aggrieved by a recommendation of the Historical Commission and decision by the Board may, within 30 days after receiving notice of the decision, either file an appeal therefrom to the Zoning Hearing Board or apply for reconsideration of the initial decision by filing with the Zoning Officer a written notice requesting the Board to review said decision. In such event, the Board's decision shall be considered a final adjudication under the MPC.