Borough of Girard, PA
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 425-45 Word usage; definitions.

[Amended 3-15-1982 by Ord. No. 530; 1-15-1991 by Ord. No. 592; 12-16-1991 by Ord. No. 599; 10-19-1992 by Ord. No. 614]
Words used in the present tense include the future; the singular includes the plural, and the plural includes the singular; and the word "shall" is mandatory and not permissive. The word "used" shall be deemed also to include "designed, intended or arranged to be used." As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY USE
A use customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use or building and located on the same lot with such principal use or building.
AGRICULTURE
Any agriculture use, as herein defined, including farming, pasturage, agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, viticulture, and forestry, including the harvesting of timber. It shall exclude all animal and poultry raising/husbandry.
ALLEY
A passage or way open to public travel which affords generally a secondary means of vehicular access to abutting lots and is not intended for general traffic circulation.
APPLICANT
A landowner or developer, as hereinafter defined, who has filed an application for development, including his heirs, successors and assigns.
APPLICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT
Every application, whether preliminary, tentative or final, required to be filed and approved prior to start of construction or development, including but not limited to an application for a building permit, for the approval of a subdivision plat or plan or for the approval of a development plan.
AREA
Area of a lot or site calculated from dimensions derived by horizontal projections of the site.
BASEMENT
A story having more than 50% of its clear height above the average level of the surrounding ground but with a floor elevation below grade. A basement shall be counted as 1/2 story for the purpose of height measurement if the vertical distance between the ceiling and the average level of the adjoining ground is more than five feet or is used for a dwelling unit.
BILLBOARD
A sign other than one indicating a business conducted on the premises; a sign upon which advertising matter of any character is printed, posted or lettered; and it may be either freestanding or attached to a surface of a building or other structure.
BOARD
Any body granted jurisdiction under a land use ordinance or under this chapter to render final adjudications.
BOARDINGHOUSE; ROOMING, TOURIST OR LODGING HOUSE
A building where lodging is provided, for compensation, for three or more persons.
BUILDING
A roofed structure enclosed by walls, columns, or piers for the shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, goods, materials or animals.
BUILDING HEIGHT
The vertical distance from the average elevation at grade level to the highest point of the deck of a flat roof or mansard roof or to the mean height between the eaves and the ridge for gable, hip and gambrel roofs.
BUILDING OR SETBACK LINE
Imaginary line parallel to or concentric with the nearest right-of-way line and which is located at the setback distance from the street right-of-way line, said line being a boundary or limit beyond which no permanent part of a building shall project.
BUILDING PERMIT
The written authorization issued by the Borough of Girard to permit the construction of a building or structure in accordance with this chapter and/or other ordinances and regulations.
BUSINESS SERVICE
Any mobile sales business activity which renders service to any portion of the Borough of Girard.
CARTWAY
That portion of a road which is paved, graded, or improved for travel by vehicles within a dedicated right-of-way.
CELLAR
A story having more than 50% of its clear height below the average level of the surrounding ground. A cellar shall be counted as 1/2 story for the purpose of height measurement if the vertical distance between the ceiling and the average level of the adjoining ground is more than five feet or if used for dwelling purposes.
CHURCH
An establishment designed and intended for religious instruction or public worship.
CLINIC
Any establishment where human patients are examined and treated by doctors and other licensed professionals, but not hospitalized overnight.
CLUB
An establishment operated for social, recreational, or educational purposes but open only to members and invited guests and not the general public.
COMMERCIAL
Retail and wholesale establishments, professional offices, lending institutions and food services engaging in an activity for profit.
COMMERCIAL/RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURE
Any mixed use of a structure for both commercial and residential use purposes.[1]
COMMON OPEN SPACE
A parcel or parcels of land or an area of water, or a combination of land and water, within a development site and designed and intended for the use or enjoyment of residents of a development, not including streets, off-street parking areas, and areas set aside for public facilities.
CONDITIONAL USE
A use permitted in a particular zoning district by the Borough Council pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and Article VI of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10601 et seq.
CONVERSION APARTMENT
The remodeling or conversion of a single-family dwelling unit into two or more separate living units, exclusive of basement and/or cellar dwellings. To be considered as a conversion, any proposed alterations must be confined to the interior of an already existing structure.
COUNCIL
The Girard Borough Council, Girard Borough, Erie County, Pennsylvania.
COVERAGE
That percentage of the lot area covered by principal and accessory use structures.
DECISION
Final adjudication of any board or other body granted jurisdiction under any land use ordinance or this chapter to do so, either by reason of the grant of exclusive jurisdiction or by reason of appeals from determinations. All decisions shall be appealable to the Court of Common Pleas of the county and judicial district wherein the Borough lies.
DENSITY
The number of families that may be housed on a lot or group of lots divided by the area in acres of the lot or group of lots computed, exclusive of any portion of a road right-of-way.
DETERMINATION
Final action by an officer, body or agency charged with the administration of any land use ordinance or applications thereunder, except the following:
A. 
The Borough Council;
B. 
The Zoning Hearing Board; or
C. 
The Planning Commission, only if and to the extent the Planning Commission is charged with final decision on preliminary or final plans under Chapter 370, Subdivision and Land Development, or Article VII, Planned Residential Development, of this chapter. Determinations shall be appealable only to the boards designated as having jurisdiction for such appeal.
DEVELOPER
Any landowner, agent of such landowner, or tenant with the permission of such landowner, who makes or causes to be made a subdivision of land or a land development.
DEVELOPMENT PLAN
The provisions for development, including a planned residential development, a plat of subdivision, all covenants relating to use, location and bulk of buildings and other structures, intensity of use or density of development, streets, ways and parking facilities, common open space and public facilities. The phrase "provisions of the development plan," when used in this chapter, shall mean the written and graphic materials referred to in this definition.
DRIVE-IN FACILITY
A commercial business that provides service to the occupants of a vehicle from a window, booth, or other structure designed to provide such service without the occupants leaving the vehicle. This shall include, but not be limited to, such establishments as drive-in banks, restaurants, laundries, and service stations. Also included in this category are automobile washing facilities that are designed to allow the vehicle to be driven or propelled through or into a wash bay.
DWELLING
Any building designed or used as a permanent or temporary living quarters for human habitation.
DWELLING, MULTIFAMILY
A building or portion thereof designed for or occupied by three or more families living independently of each other with separate living, cooking, sanitary and entrance facilities for each. Multifamily structures are only permitted as planned residential developments and must be developed in accordance with Article VII of this chapter.
DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY
A detached building arranged or used for occupancy by one family. Only one dwelling is permitted on each lot of record.
DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY
A building or portion thereof designed for or occupied by two families living independently of each other with separate living, cooking, sanitary and entrance facilities for each.
ENGINEER
A professional engineer licensed as such in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, duly appointed as the Engineer for the Borough of Girard.
ESSENTIAL SERVICES
The erection, construction, alteration or maintenance by public utilities or municipal or other governmental agencies of underground or overhead gas, electrical, steam or water transmission or distribution systems, including poles, wires, mains, drains, sewers, pipes, hydrants, and other similar equipment and accessories in connection therewith, reasonably necessary for the furnishing of adequate services by such public utilities or municipal or other governmental agencies for the public health or safety or general welfare.
FAMILY
One or more persons living together in a single dwelling unit as a traditional family or the functional equivalent of a traditional family. It shall be a rebuttable presumption that four or more persons living together in a single dwelling unit, who are not related by blood, adoption or marriage, do not constitute the functional equivalent of a traditional family. In determining the functional equivalent of a traditional family, the following criteria shall be present:[2]
A. 
The group shares the entire dwelling unit.
B. 
The group lives and cooks together as a single housekeeping unit.
C. 
The group shares expenses for food, rent, utilities or other household expenses.
D. 
The group is permanent and stable, and not transient or temporary in nature.
E. 
Any other factor reasonably related to whether the group is the functional equivalent of a family.
GARAGE, PARKING
A building or part thereof, other than a private garage, used for the storage of motor vehicles for rental purposes or where any such vehicles are kept for hire.
GARAGE, PRIVATE
An accessory building or part of a main building used primarily for the storage of motor vehicles as an accessory use by members of the family or families housed in the building to which such garage is accessory.
GARAGE, REPAIR
Premises where motor vehicles are serviced and repaired, including engine overhaul and body work.[3]
HOME OCCUPATION
Any use customarily carried on entirely within a dwelling by occupants thereof, which use is clearly incidental and subordinate to the use of the dwelling for dwelling purposes and which does not change the residential character thereof.
HOTEL/MOTEL
A building containing rooms which are used, rented or hired out to guests for sleeping purposes, and where only a central kitchen and dining room are provided with the building for guests and the general public, and provides separate sanitary facilities.
HUMAN BODY MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENT
A service facility with any type of treatment center, whether institutional, nonprofit or otherwise, designed to provide any method of pressure on, or friction against, or stroking, kneading, rubbing, tapping, pounding, vibrating or stimulating of external soft parts of the body with the hands or with the aid of any mechanical or electrical apparatus or appliance, with or without such supplementary aids as rubbing alcohol, lineaments, antiseptics, oils, powder, creams, lotions, ointments, or other similar preparations commonly used in this practice.
[Added 2-19-2001 by Ord. No. 673]
JUNKYARD
Land or structures used for the collecting, storage, processing and sale of scrap metal, scrapped, abandoned or junked motor vehicles, machinery, equipment, wastepaper, glass, rags, containers and other discarded materials. It shall not include, however, refuse or garbage kept in a proper container for the purpose of prompt disposal. The dismantling of two or more used vehicles or trailers or the storage, sale, or dumping of two or more partially dismantled or obsolete or wrecked vehicles or trailers shall be considered a junkyard.
KENNEL
The boarding, breeding, housing, keeping or medical treatment of three or more dogs six months old or older.
LANDOWNER
The legal or beneficial owner or owners of land, including the holder of an option or contract to purchase (whether or not such option or contract is subject to any condition); a lessee, if he is authorized under the lease to exercise the rights of the landowner or other person having a proprietary interest in land, shall be deemed to be a landowner for the purpose of this chapter.
LAND USE INTENSITY SYSTEM
The method for determining/calculating the residential density in a planned residential development. The system correlates the land area, floor area, open space, livability space, recreation space and car storage space for a planned residential development to prevent overdevelopment or overcrowding of a building site. Under this system, a land use intensity rating is assigned to each zoning district where planned residential developments are permitted. The rating controls the overall density of development.
LIGHT MANUFACTURING
The processing or fabrication of certain materials and products which does not produce objectionable noise, vibration, air pollution, fire hazard or other disturbances or dangers to neighboring properties.
LOADING SPACE
A portion of a lot usable for the loading or unloading of motor vehicles.
LOT
A designated parcel, tract or area of land established by a plat or otherwise as permitted by law and to be used, developed or built upon as a unit.
LOT, AREA OF
The total horizontal ground area of a lot computed, exclusive of any portion of the right-of-way of any public or private thoroughfare, street, road, alley, or easement of access of use, but including any easement for essential services.
LOT, CORNER
A lot at the junction of and fronting on two or more intersecting street rights-of-way.
LOT, DEPTH OF
A mean horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines.
LOT OF RECORD
Any lot which, individually or as a part of a subdivision, has been recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of Erie County prior to the effective date of this chapter.
LOT, WIDTH OF
A mean horizontal distance between the side lot lines measured along the front setback line.
MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY
Encompasses all of the major groups in the manufacturing division (20-39) of the Standard Industrial Classification of the Federal OMB.
MOBILE HOME
A transportable, single-family dwelling intended for permanent occupancy, contained in one unit or in two or more units designed to be joined into one integral unit capable of again being separated for repeated towing, which arrives at a site complete and ready for occupancy, except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations, and constructed so that it may be used without a permanent foundation.
MOBILE HOME LOT
A parcel of land in a mobile home park, improved with the necessary utility connections and other appurtenances necessary for the erection thereon of a single mobile home.
MOBILE HOME PARK
A parcel or contiguous parcels of land which has been so designated and improved that it contains two or more mobile home lots for the placement thereon of mobile homes.
MOTEL
See "hotel."
MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY
A body politic and corporate created pursuant to the Act of June 19, 2001, P.L. 287, No. 22 (53 Pa.C.S.A. § 5601 et seq.), known as the "Municipality Authorities Act."[4]
NO-IMPACT HOME-BASED BUSINESS
A business or commercial activity administered or conducted as an accessory use which is clearly secondary to the use as a residential dwelling and which involves no customer, client or patient traffic, whether vehicular or pedestrian, pickup, delivery or removal functions to or from the premises in excess of those normally associated with residential use. The business or commercial activity must satisfy the following requirements:[5]
A. 
The business activity shall be compatible with the residential use of the property and surrounding residential uses.
B. 
The business shall employ no employees other than family members residing in the dwelling.
C. 
There shall be no display or sale of retail goods and no stockpiling or inventory of a substantial nature.
D. 
There shall be no outside appearance of a business use, including, but not limited to, parking, signs or lights.
E. 
The business activity may not use any equipment or process which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors or electrical or electronic interference, including interference with radio or television reception, which is detectable in the neighborhood.
F. 
The business activity may not generate any solid waste or sewage discharge in volume or type which is not normally associated with residential use in the neighborhood.
G. 
The business activity shall be conducted only within the dwelling and may not occupy more than 25% of the habitable floor area.
H. 
The business may not involve any illegal activity.
NONCONFORMING LOT
A lot, the area or dimension of which was lawful prior to the adoption or amendment of this chapter, but which fails to conform to the requirements of the zoning district in which it is located by reason of such adoption or amendment.
NONCONFORMING STRUCTURE
A structure or part of a structure manifestly not designed to comply with the use or extent of use provisions of this chapter or amendment heretofore or hereafter enacted, where such structure lawfully existed prior to the enactment of this chapter or amendment or prior to the application of this chapter or amendment to its location by reason of annexation. Such nonconforming structures include, but are not limited to, nonconforming signs.
NONCONFORMING USE
A use, whether of land or of structure, which does not comply with the applicable use provisions in this chapter or amendment heretofore or hereafter enacted, where such use was lawfully in existence prior to the enactment of this chapter or amendment, or prior to the application of this chapter or amendment to its location by reason of annexation.
OFF-STREET PARKING SPACE
A private parking space, whether or not enclosed, located off the sidewalk and right-of-way of any public or private road.
OPEN SPACE
Any area of land which is predominantly free of structures.
PLACEMENT TREATMENT FACILITY
A service facility with any type of treatment center or residence program, whether institutional, nonprofit or otherwise, designed to provide services to treat or accommodate, in a group care setting, two or more persons required to have supervision authorized by a court of law for protection, detention, confinement or incarceration. This facility is for reasons such as adult or child abuse care, delinquency, drug or substance dependency, and civil or criminal violation. This facility includes orphanages, boarding schools for troubled children, halfway and probation centers, jails and prisons, etc., where supervision is court ordered for attendance or for overnight, extended stay, and/or permanent placement.
PLANNED RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
An area of land, controlled by a landowner, to be developed as a single entity for a number of dwelling units, or combination of residential and nonresidential uses, the development plan for which does not correspond in lot size, bulk, type of dwelling, or use, density or intensity, lot coverage and required open space to the regulations established in any one district created, from time to time, under the provisions of this chapter.
PLANNING COMMISSION
The Planning Commission of the Borough of Girard, Erie County, Pennsylvania.
PUBLIC BUILDING
A building generally open to the public and used for public use and functions. The term includes, but is not limited to, schools, day-care centers, museums, airport terminals, hospitals, stores, restaurants, office buildings, convention centers and government buildings.
[6]
PUBLIC GROUNDS
Includes parks, playgrounds, trails, paths and other recreational areas and other public areas; sites for schools, sewage treatment, refuse disposal and other publicly owned or operated facilities; and public owned or operated scenic and historic sites.
PUBLIC HEARING
A formal meeting held pursuant to public notice by the Borough Council or Planning Commission, intended to inform and obtain public comment, prior to taking action in accordance with this chapter.
PUBLIC MEETING
A forum held pursuant to notice under the Act of October 15, 1998, P.L. 729, No. 93 (65 Pa.C.S.A. § 701 et seq.), known as the "Sunshine Act."[7]
PUBLIC NOTICES
Notice published once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Borough. Such notice shall state the time and place of the hearing and the particular nature of the matter to be considered at the hearing. The first publication shall not be more than 30 days and the second publication shall not be less than seven days from the date of the hearing.
PUBLIC UTILITY BUILDING
A building used exclusively for utilities, such as water, sewer, electric or heat, provided to the general public for compensation.
[8]
REPORT
Any letter, review, memorandum, compilation or similar writing made by any body, board, officer or consultant, other than a solicitor, to any other body, board, officer or consultant for the purpose of assisting the recipient of such report in the rendering of any decision or determination. All reports shall be deemed recommendatory and advisory only and shall not be binding upon the recipient, board, officer, body or agency, nor shall any appeal lie therefrom. Any report used, received or considered by the body, board, officer or agency rendering a determination or decision shall be made available for inspection to the applicant and all other parties to any proceeding upon request, and copies thereof shall be provided at cost of reproduction.
RESIDENT TREATMENT FACILITY
A service facility with any type of treatment center or residence program, whether institutional, nonprofit or otherwise, designed to provide health services to treat or accommodate, in a group care setting, two or more persons in need of assistance for reasons such as age, mental or physical handicap or disease, emotional or psychological disturbance, injury or disability. These facilities include hospitals and clinics, geriatric and rehabilitation centers, nursing and convalescent homes, group care and personal care homes, etc., where assistance is given for outpatient, overnight, extended stay, and/or permanent residency.
RETAIL TRADE BUSINESS
Encompasses all of the major groups in the retail trade division (52-59) of the Standard Industrial Classification of the Federal OMB and includes building materials and garden supplies, general merchandise stores, food stores, automotive dealers and service stations, apparel and accessory stores, furniture and home furnishing stores, eating and drinking places, and miscellaneous retail.
RETAIL TRADE SALES
Sale of goods or articles directly to the consumer in individual or small quantities as a line of work or occupation in the ordinary course of business.
[9]
SERVICES BUSINESS
Encompasses all the major groups in the services division (70-89) of the Standard Industrial Classification of the Federal OMB and includes business services, auto repair and service and garages, miscellaneous repair services, motion pictures, amusement and recreation services, health services, legal services, educational services, social services, museums and botanical and zoological gardens, membership organizations, private households, miscellaneous services, and agricultural services.
SEXUALLY ORIENTED BUSINESS OPERATIONS
An adult arcade, adult bookstore or adult video store, adult cabaret, adult motel, adult motion-picture theater, escort agency, nude model studio, or sexual encounter center.
[Added 2-19-2001 by Ord. No. 673]
SIGN
Any structure or device to attract attention by words or graphic display.
SPECIAL EXCEPTION
A use permitted in a particular zoning district pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and Articles VI and IX of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. §§ 10601 et seq., 10901 et seq.
STORY
The portion of a building included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the floor next above it, or if there be no floor above it, the space between such floor and the ceiling above it.
STREET
Includes street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, freeway, parkway, lane, alley, viaduct and other ways used or intended to be used by vehicular traffic or pedestrians, whether public or private.
STRUCTURE
Any man-made object having an ascertainable stationary location on or in land or water, whether or not affixed to the land.
TRAVEL TRAILER
A recreational vehicle, with wheels, designed for overnight occupancy or camping purposes, capable of being towed by a passenger vehicle.
TRUCK TERMINAL
A facility to accommodate the service, repair and storage of trucks and other motorized equipment, which provides warehousing activities.
VARIANCE
Relief granted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and Articles VI and IX of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
YARD, FRONT
An open space extending the full width of the lot between the building and the road right-of-way line.
YARD, REAR
An open space extending the full width of the lot between the building and the rear lot line.
YARD, SIDE
An open space extending from the front yard to the rear yard between the building and the nearest side lot line.
ZONING CERTIFICATE
The written authorization issued by the Zoning Officer for the use of land or buildings or other structures.
ZONING MAP
The map containing the zoning districts of the Borough of Girard, Erie County, Pennsylvania, together with all amendments subsequently adopted.
ZONING OFFICER
The Zoning Officer or authorized representative appointed by the Girard Borough Council, Borough of Girard, Erie County, Pennsylvania.
[1]:
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[2]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[3]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[4]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[5]:
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[6]:
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[7]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[8]:
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[9]:
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).