Borough of Girard, PA
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 2-8-1982 by Ord. No. 529]

§ 425-46 Purpose; scope.

[Amended 10-19-1992 by Ord. No. 614]
A. 
In an era of increasing urbanization and with a growing demand for housing of all types and design, the purpose of this article is to encourage innovations in residential development and renewal so that the growing demand for housing may be met by a greater variety in type, design and layout of dwellings and by the conservation and more efficient use of open space ancillary to said dwellings so that greater opportunities for better housing and recreation may extend to all citizens and residents of this Borough, and, in order to encourage a more efficient use of land and of public services and to reflect changes in the technology of land development so that economies secured may inure to the benefit of those who need homes and, in aid of these purposes, to provide a procedure which can relate the type, design and layout of residential development to the particular site and the particular demand for housing existing at the time of development in a manner consistent with preservation of the property values within existing residential areas and to insure that the increased flexibility of regulations over land development authorized herein is carried out under such administration standards and procedures as shall encourage the disposition of proposals for land development without undue delay, the following powers are granted.
B. 
This article insures that the provisions of this chapter which are concerned in part with the uniform treatment of dwelling type, bulk, density and open space within each zoning district shall not be applied to the improvement of land by other than lot-by-lot development in a manner that would destroy the objectives of this chapter.

§ 425-47 Objectives.

The objective of this article is to develop properties for single-family and multifamily housing which provide:
A. 
A suitable residential environment by utilizing the potential advantages of the site, including suitable placement of the buildings and facilities in relation to the site and surrounding influences.
B. 
A land use intensity appropriate to the character of the site and its location in the anticipated community pattern.
C. 
Adequate open space related to buildings and other land improvements.
D. 
Sufficient livability space (nonvehicular open space) for use of the occupants and for visual appeal.
E. 
Areas for outdoor recreation of a size and location to properly serve the needs of occupants.
F. 
Adequate and conveniently located car storage space.
G. 
Elevations and gradients appropriate for buildings, land improvements, drainage, and for safe, easy circulation for occupant use.
H. 
Night lighting for safe and convenient use of streets, driveways, parking areas, walks, steps and other facilities.
I. 
The preservation of desirable existing trees and other natural site features.
J. 
Plantings to enhance the appearance of buildings and grounds, to screen objectionable features and to control erosion.

§ 425-48 Definitions.

[Amended 10-19-1992 by Ord. No. 614]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
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.
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.
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
The provisions for development of 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 article, shall mean the written and graphic materials referred to in this definition.
ENGINEER
A professional engineer licensed as such in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, duly appointed as the engineer for a municipality, planning agency, or joint planning commission.
GOVERNING BODY
The Council in cities, boroughs and incorporated towns; the Board of Commissioners in townships of the first class; the Board of Supervisors in townships of the second class; the Board of Commissioners in counties of the second class through eighth class; or as may be designated in the law providing for the form of government.
LAND DEVELOPMENT
Any of the following activities:
A. 
The improvement of one lot or two or more contiguous lots, tracts or parcels of land for any purpose involving:
(1) 
A group of two or more residential or nonresidential buildings, whether proposed initially or cumulatively, or a single nonresidential building on a lot or lots regardless of the number of occupants or tenure; or
(2) 
The division or allocation of land or space, whether initially or cumulatively, between or among two or more existing or prospective occupants by means of, or for the purpose of, streets, common areas, leaseholds, condominiums, building groups or other features.
B. 
A subdivision of land.
C. 
"Land development" does not include development which involves:
(1) 
The conversion of an existing single-family detached dwelling or single-family semidetached dwelling into not more than three residential units, unless such units are intended to be a condominium;
(2) 
The addition of an accessory building, including farm building, on a lot or lots subordinate to an existing principal building; or
(3) 
The addition or conversion of buildings or rides within the confines of an enterprise which would be considered an amusement park. For the purposes of this subsection, an "amusement park" is defined as a tract or area used principally as a location for permanent amusement structures or rides. This exclusion shall not apply to newly acquired acreage by an amusement park until initial plans for the expanded area have been approved by the proper authorities.
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 persons having a proprietary interest in land, shall be deemed to be a landowner for the purpose of this article.
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 AGENCY
A planning commission, planning department, or a planning committee of the governing body.
PLAT
The map or plan of a subdivision or land development, whether preliminary or final.
PUBLIC NOTICE
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.

§ 425-49 General standards.

The planned development must meet all of the following general standards:
A. 
The planned development is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
B. 
The planned development is an effective and unified treatment of the development possibilities on the project site; and the development plan makes appropriate provision for the preservation of streams and stream banks, wooded cover, rough terrain and similar areas.
C. 
The planned development shall be planned and developed to harmonize with any existing or proposed development in the area surrounding the project site.
D. 
A performance bond for all improvements in the development must be posted as required.
E. 
Provision for sewerage treatment must be made and proof of such submitted with the application.

§ 425-50 Applicable districts; permitted uses.

A. 
Planned residential developments may be approved in the following zoning districts:
(1) 
R-1 Low-Density Residential with a land use intensity rating of 35.
(2) 
R-2 Medium-Density Residential with a land use intensity rating of 40.
(3) 
R-3 High-Density Residential with a land use intensity rating of 50.
B. 
Permitted uses include:
(1) 
Dwelling units in detached, semidetached, attached or multistoried structures or any combination thereof; and
(2) 
Those nonresidential uses deemed to be appropriate (by the Borough) for incorporation in the design of the planned residential development.

§ 425-51 Calculation of project densities.

The type and number of dwelling units which may be constructed within a planned development will be determined by using the Land Use Intensity Rating System, which is described as follows, and within the required land use intensity rating set forth in this chapter for each zoning district where planned residential developments are permitted, i.e., R-1, R-2, and R-3.
A. 
Land Use Intensity System.
(1) 
The Land Use Intensity System correlates the land area, floor area, open space, livability space, recreation space, and car storage capacity of a planned residential development to prevent overdevelopment or overcrowding of a building site.
(2) 
The system lets the developer choose the type of residential construction he wishes to build, i.e., single-family homes, two-story townhouses, multifamily apartments, etc. The system also indicates the type of construction which can be developed at any given intensity.
(3) 
For example, a land use intensity (LUI) of 40 permits one- or two-story townhouses, two-story detached units, or two-story apartments and then prescribes the land use intensity standards such as maximum floor area and minimum open space for the type of residential construction selected.
B. 
The Land Use Intensity Ratio Table. The Land Use Intensity Ratio Table shows the ratios for floor area, open space, livability space, and car storage which apply at various levels of land use intensity. Also shown, for each of the several common residential building types, is the optimum range of land use intensity characteristics for such building type when used alone on a site.
C. 
Land use intensity rating. The land use intensity for a planned residential development shall conform to the land use intensity rating for the zoning district in which the development is located.
(1) 
Rating scale. In order to measure the land use intensity of proposed sites and project plans, the Borough shall use the Land Use Intensity Table. These ratings correlate the land area, floor area, open space, livability space, recreation space, and car storage capacity of a project.
(2) 
Rating for the site. After analyzing the characteristics of various sites and their relation to the Borough's Comprehensive Plan, the Borough determined a land use intensity rating for various zoning districts. The determination of the land use intensity rating is important, as it represents the maximum land use intensity acceptable to the Borough for the current use of the site for a housing development. If a portion(s) of a site is located in more than one zoning district, the land use intensity rating for each zoning district shall apply to each portion(s) alone in substantially the same manner as it would if the portion were a separate site.
(3) 
Number of living units. The total number of living units will depend upon the size (square footage) of various individual dwelling units. However, the total floor area for all dwelling units shall not exceed the permitted floor area for the site as calculated by multiplying the area of the site by the permitted floor area ratio.
D. 
Building types. For each of several common building types, the Land Use Intensity Ratio Table shows the optimum range of land use intensity which is characteristic of the building type where used alone on all or a part of a site. To determine the building type or types usually suitable to a site, compare the land use intensity rating with the possible building combinations shown in the left-hand margin of the table. For example, an intensity rating of 45 suggests two-story townhouses and two-story apartments. Any single building type (common or special) or any group of varied building types are acceptable on a site, provided the requirements stated below are met:
(1) 
The sizes and types of living meet long-term needs.
(2) 
The property has adequate visual appeal.
(3) 
The property can be operated and maintained at costs reasonably related to income.
(4) 
The land use and other site planning standards of this chapter are met.
(5) 
Zoning and other local regulations are complied with.
E. 
Residential uses and nonresidential uses. For these land use standards, the measurements for FAR, OSR, LSR, RSR, OCR, TCR, etc., include only such land area, floor area, open space and car storage as are allocated for residential use and for uses incidental to, and compatible with, the residential use, such as recreation facilities serving the occupants or a coffee shop in a recreation building.
F. 
Land use standards for the site. The land use intensity rating ascribes to the site the land use standards shown for that intensity number as shown on the Land Use Intensity Table and in this chapter. The standards or ratios are defined as follows:
(1) 
The maximum floor area ratio (FAR): the maximum square footage of total floor area (all stories) permitted for each square foot of land area.
(2) 
The minimum open space ratio (OSR): the minimum square footage of open space which shall be provided for each square foot of land area.
(3) 
The minimum livability space ratio (LSR): the minimum square footage of livability (nonvehicular) outdoor space which shall be provided for each square foot of land area.
(4) 
The minimum recreation space ratio (RSR): the minimum square footage of recreation space required for each square foot of land area.
(5) 
The minimum occupant car ratio (OCR): the number of parking and garage spaces without time limits required for each living unit.
(6) 
The minimum total car ratio (TCR): the total number of parking and garage spaces required for each living unit, including spaces without time limits (primarily for occupants) and spaces available for limited time periods (primarily for guests).
G. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING AREA (BA)
The total land area covered by residential buildings, measured horizontally from the faces of the exterior walls (or the exterior lines of omitted walls) at main grade level. Entrance platforms, steps and terraces are not countable as building area.
FLOOR AREA (F) and FLOOR AREA RATIO (FAR)
The total floor area for residential use on all floors of a building or buildings, measured from the outside faces of the exterior walls, including halls, lobbies, stairways, elevator shafts, enclosed porches, balconies and below-grade floor areas used for habitation and residential access.
(1) 
Noncountable:
(a) 
Open terrace, patio, atrium or balcony;
(b) 
Carport, garage, breezeway or toolshed;
(c) 
Special purpose areas for the common use of all the occupants, such as a recreation room or social hall;
(d) 
Staff space for therapy or examination in care housing;
(e) 
Basement spaces not used for living accommodations; or
(f) 
Any commercial or other nonresidential space.
(2) 
The floor area ratio (FAR) times the land area (LA) equals the maximum amount of floor area (FA) acceptable for the development of a property. (FAR x LA = FA; or FA divided by LA = FAR.)
LAND AREA (LA)
The land area used for LUI computations is the total site area within the property lines of the proposed site.
LIVABILITY SPACE (LS) and LIVABILITY SPACE RATIO (LSR)
The open space used for people, including lawns, planting space, walks, paved terraces and sitting areas and the unpaved portions of streets rights-of-way. No paved areas for car traffic or parking can be included as livability space. The livability space shall be so related to the land area that it is consistent with the character of the site and its location in the community; adequate for the exterior property attractiveness that is needed for long-term marketability; adequate for outdoor living space for the occupants; and not less than the minimum livability space ratio (LSR) shown in the Land Use Intensity Ratio Table for the selected land use intensity rating. The livability space ratio (LSR) times the land area (LA) equals the minimum amount of livability space acceptable for the development of a property. (LSR x LA = LS; LS divided by LA = LSR.)
OCCUPANT CAR SPACE (OCS) and OCCUPANT CAR RATIO (OCR)
A garage, carport or other parking space available to the residents without time limits. Occupant car space shall be so related to the living units that the relationship shall be consistent with the site and its location in the community; adequate to meet the needs of the occupants and their guests without interfering with normal traffic movements; adequate for the storage of the occupants' boats, trailers, recreational vehicles, and other permitted vehicles, as well as cars, as appropriate to the anticipated need; and not less than the minimum occupant car ratio (OCR) and minimum total car ratio (TCR) shown in the Land Use Intensity Ratio Table for the selected land use intensity rating. The occupant car ratio (OCR) times the number of living units (LU) equals the minimum number of car parking spaces (CPS) for residents in the development of a property. (OCR x LU = CPS; or CPS divided by LU = OCR.)
OPEN SPACE (OS) and OPEN SPACE RATIO (OSR)
The relation of open space to the land area shall be consistent with the character of the site and its location in the anticipated community pattern; adequate for the needs of the occupants for livability open space and for traffic and parking space; and not less than the minimum open space ratio (OSR) shown in the Land Use Intensity Ratio Table for the selected land use intensity rating. Open space is the sum of the uncovered open space and 1/2 of the covered open space.
(1) 
 — The horizontal area of the site not covered by building area (BA), plus open exterior balconies and roof area improved as recreation space (RS).
(2) 
 — The usable open space that is closed to the sky, having two clear, unobstructed open or partially opened sides (minimum 50% open). The square foot amount countable as covered open space may not exceed the square foot amount of the open sides. Examples: covered balconies, covered portions of improved roof area or spaces under buildings supported by posts, columns or cantilevers.
(3) 
The open space ratio (OSR) times the land area (LA) equals the minimum amount of open space acceptable for the development of a property. (OSR x LA = OS; or OS divided by LA = OSR.)
(1) 
General. Adequate recreation facilities for the residents shall be provided in locations easily accessible to the living units and where they do not impair the view and privacy of living units.
(2) 
Passive recreation. Attractive sitting areas shall be appropriate in size, type and number to the needs of the residents. The design and location of sitting areas may vary according to the type of projects, from a sun deck, balcony, or roof garden to a paved area overlooking a pleasant view, or a shaded area along a walk.
(3) 
Active recreation. Active recreation areas shall be appropriate for the needs of the residents. Activities may vary from horseshoe pitching, shuffleboard, swimming or tennis to golf, horseback riding, or boating in large projects. Well-equipped playgrounds of adequate size and number shall be provided where it is anticipated that children will occupy the premises.
(4) 
Required recreation space.
(a) 
The recreation space required by the Land Use Intensity Standards is that part of the livability space which provides one or more major open spaces in a planned residential development.
(b) 
The recreation space ratio (RSR) times the land area (LA) equals the minimum amount of recreation space acceptable for the development of a property. (RSR x LA = RS; or RS divided by LA = RSR.)
(c) 
The relation of total countable recreation space to the total floor area shall not be less than shown in the Land Use Intensity Table for the selected land use intensity rating determined. As part of the required recreation space (RS), permanent recreation space abutting the property and available for use by the residents may be considered.
(5) 
Countable as required recreation space.
(a) 
Where the required recreation is greater than 10,000 square feet, the smallest countable recreation area shall be 10,000 square feet. Small playgrounds or sitting areas less than 10,000 square feet in size count as livability space but do not count as required recreation space. Where several areas are to be counted as part of the required recreation space, each must be at least 10,000 square feet. The least dimension of a countable recreation area shall average not less than 100 feet and not be less than 50 feet at any point. Areas designated for recreation space shall be suitably developed for the intended purpose shown on the development plan. Areas such as steep slopes (hillsides), narrow ravines and/or stream valleys or other remnant-type parcels of land shall not be used or counted as required recreation space unless such parcels are specifically improved for the particular recreation activity proposed on the plan.
(b) 
Where the required recreation space is less than 625 square feet, a specific recreation area need not be designated on the development (site) plan, as it will be considered part of the required livability space. The dimensions for recreation areas under 10,000 square feet may be smaller than those for a countable recreation area. All areas counted as recreation space shall be at least 30 feet away from any point on the perimeter boundary line, and at least 20 feet away from any structure proposed as part of the development.
TOTAL CAR SPACE and TOTAL CAR RATIO (TCR)
The number of spaces (or space) available to the occupants without time limits (counted in OCR), plus the number of spaces available for limited time periods (primarily for guests). The total car ratio (TCR) times the number of living units (LU) equals the minimum number of car parking spaces acceptable for a development, including space for guest cars. (TCR x LU = TCS; or TCS divided by LU = TCR.)
425 LUIR.tif

§ 425-52 Standards for required improvements.

Site planning, design and construction of all required improvements (streets; sidewalks; curbs; sewer, water and storm drainage systems; etc.) shall conform to the requirements specified in Chapter 370, Subdivision and Land Development, of the Code of the Borough of Girard, and the Borough developer standards referenced therein.

§ 425-53 Lot size and spacing of buildings; vehicle access.

A. 
The location of all structures shall be as shown on the final plans.
B. 
The proposed location and arrangement shall not be detrimental to existing or prospective adjacent dwellings or to the existing or prospective development of the neighborhood. There shall be no minimum or maximum percentage of lot coverage and no minimum lot width in the planned development. However, every dwelling shall have access to a public street, court, walkway, or other area dedicated to public use. No dwellings and no addition to any dwellings shall be erected within a distance of less than the height of the highest adjacent building or height of proposed structure, whichever is greater.
C. 
Vehicular access to dwellings by means of adequate service drive and/or emergency entrances shall be provided in all cases where dwellings do not front on a public street or where the Borough deems necessary for public safety. Furthermore, all plans must be reviewed by the Borough Fire Chief to insure that fire vehicles have adequate access to all structures.

§ 425-54 Perimeter requirements.

A. 
The requirements of this section apply only to structures located within 200 feet of the perimeter of a planned development.
B. 
If topographical or other barriers do not provide adequate privacy for existing uses adjacent to the planned development, the Borough may require either or both of the following:
(1) 
Structures located on the perimeter of the planned development must be set back by a distance sufficient to protect the privacy and amenity of adjacent existing uses, but in no case less than the height of the aforementioned buildings.
(2) 
Structures located on the perimeter of the planned development must be screened in such a manner which is sufficient to protect the privacy and amenity of adjacent existing uses.

§ 425-55 Common open space requirements.

A. 
The development plan will contain areas to be allocated for common open space which satisfy the standards governing the usability and quality of common open space that is contained in the minimum open space ratio.
B. 
No open area may be accepted as common open space under the provisions of this article unless it meets the following standards:
(1) 
The location, shape, size and character of the common open space must be suitable for the planned development.
(2) 
Common open space must be suitably improved for its intended use, but common open space containing natural features worthy of preservation may be left unimproved. The buildings, structures and improvements which are permitted in the common open space must be appropriate to the uses which are authorized for the common space and must conserve and enhance the amenities of the common open space having regard to its topography and unimproved condition. Lakes, swamps and other water bodies may not be used in computing common open space.
(3) 
The development schedule which is part of the development plan must coordinate the improvement of the common open space, the construction of buildings, structures and improvements in the common open space and the construction of residential dwellings in the planned development.
(4) 
If the final development plan provides for buildings, structures and improvements in the common open space which exceed $1,000, the developer must provide a bond in the estimated amount of the improvements assuring that the buildings, structures and improvements will be completed. The Council shall release the bond or other assurance when the buildings, structures or improvements have been completed according to the development plan.

§ 425-56 Conveyance and maintenance of common open space.

A. 
All land shown on the final development plan as common open space must be conveyed and/or maintained under one of the following options:
(1) 
It may be conveyed to a public agency which will agree to maintain the common open space and any buildings, structures or improvements which have been and will be placed in it, in which case the general public must have use of the open space.
(2) 
It may be conveyed to the trustees provided for in an indenture establishing an association or similar organization for the maintenance of the planned development. The common open space must be conveyed to the trustees subject to covenants which are approved by the Borough Council, restrict the common space to the uses specified on the final development plan, and provide for the maintenance of the common open space in a manner which assures its continued use for its intended purpose.
(3) 
The developer/landowner may elect to assume the maintenance of all open space and/or the maintenance of all roads, parking areas, drainage facilities and recreation facilities. Should a developer choose this option, his intention to maintain such open space and facilities must be so stated in the development plan and application for tentative approval.
B. 
No common open space may be put to any use not specified in the final development plan unless the final development plan has been amended to permit that use. However, no change of use authorized under § 425-57 may be considered as a waiver of any of the covenants limiting the use of common open space areas, and all rights to enforce these covenants against any use permitted under § 425-57 are expressly reserved.
C. 
If the common open space is not conveyed to a public agency, one of the following methods of enforcement must be provided:
(1) 
The legal right to develop the common open space for the uses not specified in the final development plan must be approved by the Council.
(2) 
Restrictions governing the use, improvement and maintenance of the common open space must be stated as conditions to the conveyance of the common open space, the fee title to the common open space to vest in a public agency in the event of a substantial default in the stated conditions.
(3) 
If the common open space is not maintained in reasonable order and condition and in accordance with the development plan, the Council may serve written notice to the organization responsible for maintenance or to the residents of the planned residential development, setting forth:
(a) 
The manner in which the organization has failed to maintain the common open space in reasonable condition.
(b) 
A demand that such deficiencies of maintenance be corrected within 30 days thereof.
(c) 
The date and place of a hearing thereon which shall be held within 14 days from the date of the notice.
(d) 
If the deficiencies set forth in the original notice or in the modifications thereof shall not be corrected within said 30 days or any extension thereof, the Council may enter upon said common space and maintain the same for a period of one year in order to preserve the taxable values of the properties within the planned residential development and to prevent the common open space from becoming a public nuisance. Maintenance by the Borough shall not constitute a taking of said common space, nor vest in the public any rights to use the same. Before the expiration of said year, the Borough shall, upon its own initiative or upon the request of the organization theretofore responsible for the maintenance of the common space, call a public hearing, after giving notice to said organization and/or to the residents of the planned residential development. The hearing will be held by the Borough or its designated agency and shall provide said organization or the residents of the planned residential development opportunity to show cause why the Borough shall not, at its option, continue said maintenance for a succeeding year. If the Borough or its designated agency determines that said organization is ready and able to maintain said common open space in a reasonable condition, the Borough shall cease to maintain said common open space at the end of a said year. If the Borough determines that such organization is not ready and able to maintain said common open space in a reasonable condition, the Borough may, in its discretion, continue to maintain said common open space during the next succeeding year and, subject to similar hearing and determination, in each year thereafter. The decision of the Borough shall be subject to appeal to court in the same manner, and within the same time limitation, as is provided for zoning appeals by Act 247 of 1968, as amended.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
(e) 
The cost of such maintenance by the Borough shall be assessed ratably against the properties within the planned residential development that have the right of enjoyment of the common open space and shall become a lien on said properties. The Borough, at the time of entering upon said common space for the purpose of maintenance, shall file a notice of lien in the office of the Prothonotary of Erie County, Pennsylvania, upon the properties affected by the lien within the planned residential development.
D. 
This article further establishes the special requirements and procedures which are applicable for any building or land development intended to be maintained under the condominium form of ownership. Furthermore, this article provides for the revocation of an approved condominium and subsequent recording of same by appropriate means. The procedure set forth in this section shall be followed by all applicants proposing to develop land or buildings to be maintained under the condominium form of ownership, or to convert existing land or buildings from their present ownership to the condominium form of ownership.
(1) 
Requirements. In addition to all other requirements set forth in this article and not in conflict with the requirements of this section, a declaration, a declaration plan and a code of regulations shall be required for any proposed condominium and shall be approved by the Borough Council, as appropriate, in accordance with the requirements set forth in this section and the Uniform Condominium Act, July 2, 1980,[2] prior to submission of said documents for proper recording to the Recorder of Deeds of Erie County.
[2]:
Editor's Note: See 68 Pa.C.S.A. § 3101 et seq.

§ 425-57 Application for tentative approval.

[Amended 10-19-1992 by Ord. No. 614]
A. 
The application for a planned residential development shall be filed with the Borough Council or its designated representative by the landowner or his designated representative. The applicant shall provide a minimum of four copies of the complete application and related documents.
B. 
The application shall be accompanied by an application fee, plus such other fees as Council may from time to time establish by resolution.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
The application shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:
(1) 
Site development master plan.
(2) 
Topographical map:
(a) 
Existing topographical map.
(b) 
Proposed topographical map (grading plan).
(c) 
Unique features, i.e., wooded areas, streams, valleys, etc.
(3) 
Utilities plan, including:
(a) 
Existing and proposed sanitary sewers, including profiles.
(b) 
Existing and proposed water system, including fire prevention facilities.
(c) 
Stormwater management plan.
(d) 
Soil erosion and sedimentation plan.
(e) 
Lighting plan.
(f) 
Refuse collection plan.
(4) 
Street/thoroughfare plan, including:
(a) 
Proposed public streets/thoroughfares.
(b) 
Profiles for proposed public roadways.
(c) 
Typical cross section of proposed improvements, including road surface, shoulders, ditches and drainage areas.
(5) 
Open space and landscape development plan, including:
(a) 
Areas proposed as common open space.
(b) 
Proposed improvements to common open space, i.e., playgrounds, play areas, etc.
(c) 
Proposed screening or landscape buffer areas and plant lists.
(d) 
Typical landscape planting plan for multifamily structures.
(6) 
Typical building elevations and floor plans of proposed units, including floor areas per building/unit.
(7) 
Perimeter survey of proposed development area, including size (acreage), to be considered as prepared by a registered professional land surveyor.
(8) 
Land use intensity calculations based on proposed units and their respective floor areas.
(9) 
The substance of covenants, grants of easements, or other restrictions proposed to be imposed upon the use of the land, buildings, and structures, including proposed easements or grants for public utilities, stormwater retention facilities, open space facilities, etc.
(10) 
In the case of development plans which call for construction over a period of years, the developer must submit a phased development plan showing when each and all sections of the planned residential development will be filed (submitted) for final approval. This schedule must be updated annually on the anniversary of its approval until the development is completed and accepted.
(11) 
Water supply. If water is to be provided by means other than by private wells owned and maintained by the individual owners of lots within the planned residential development, applicants shall present evidence to the Borough Council that the planned residential development is to be supplied by a certified public utility, a bona fide cooperative association of lot owners, or by a municipal corporation, authority or utility. A copy of a certificate of public convenience from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission or an application for such certificate, a cooperative agreement, or a commitment or agreement to serve the area in question, whichever is appropriate, shall be acceptable evidence.
D. 
The foregoing shall be considered minimum requirements for acceptance of a complete planned residential development application, and all required documents shall be prepared in accordance with this chapter, Chapter 370, Subdivision and Land Development, and the developer standards, as amended. Where unique design concepts or other circumstances exist and where deviation from the required format is required, the developer shall submit such additional data as is necessary to fully and completely explain the proposal.
E. 
The application for tentative approval of a planned residential development shall include a written statement by the landowner setting forth the reasons why, in his opinion, a planned residential development would be in the public interest and would be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the development of the Borough.

§ 425-58 Procedure for granting tentative approval.

[Amended 10-19-1992 by Ord. No. 614]
A. 
All applications for tentative approval shall be filed with the Borough Council, or its designated representative, who shall:
(1) 
Issue a written dated receipt acknowledging submission of the application, the date of which shall begin the review process.
(2) 
Forward copies of the application and related plans to the following agencies for review and comment:
(a) 
The Borough Planning Commission. The Commission shall forward its comments to the Council within 30 days or forfeit its rights of review.
(b) 
The Borough Engineer, who shall review the application as to the accuracy of the data submitted under § 425-57C(1) through C(10) of this article, as amended. The Engineer shall have 45 days to complete his review.
(c) 
The Erie County Department of Planning (ECDP). The ECDP shall forward its comments to the Council within 30 days or forfeit its right of review.
B. 
Public hearings.
(1) 
Within 60 days after the filing of an application for tentative approval of a planned residential development pursuant to this chapter, a public hearing pursuant to public notice on said application shall be held by the Borough Council.
(2) 
Public notice shall be given, and written notice shall be given to the applicant, the Zoning Officer and to any person who has made timely request for the same. Written notices shall be given at such time and in such manner as shall be prescribed by rules of the Borough Council. In addition to the written notice provided herein, written notice of said hearing shall be conspicuously posted on the affected tract of land at least one week prior to the hearing.
(3) 
The parties to the hearing shall be the Borough, any person affected by the application who has made timely appearance of record before the Borough Council, and any other person, including civic or community organizations permitted to appear by the Borough Council. The Borough Council shall have power to require that all persons who wish to be considered parties enter appearances in writing on forms provided by the Borough Council for that purpose.
(4) 
The Chairman, or Acting Chairman in the absence of the Chairman, of the Borough Council shall have power to administer oaths and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant documents and papers, including witnesses and documents requested by the parties.
(5) 
The parties shall have the right to be represented by counsel and shall be afforded the opportunity to respond and present evidence and argument and cross-examine adverse witnesses on all relevant issues.
(6) 
Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, but irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded.
(7) 
The Borough Council shall keep a stenographic record of the proceedings. The appearance fee for a stenographer shall be shared equally by the applicant and the Borough Council. The cost of the original transcript shall be paid by the Borough Council if the transcript is ordered by the Borough Council or shall be paid by the person appealing from the decision of the Borough Council, if such appeal is made, and, in either event, the cost of additional copies shall be paid by the person requesting such copy or copies. In other cases, the party requesting the original transcript shall bear the cost thereof.
(8) 
The Borough Council shall not communicate, directly or indirectly, with any party or his representatives in connection with any issue involved, except upon notice for all parties to participate; shall not take notice of any communication, reports, staff memoranda, or other materials, except advice from the Solicitor, unless the parties are afforded an opportunity to contest the material so noticed; and shall not inspect the site or its surroundings after the commencement of hearings with any party or his representative unless all parties are given an opportunity to be present.
(9) 
The Borough Council may continue the hearing from time to time and may refer the matter back to the Planning Commission for a report; provided, however, that, in any event, the public hearing or hearings shall be concluded within 60 days after the date of the first public hearing.

§ 425-59 Grant or denial of tentative approval.

[Amended 10-19-1992 by Ord. No. 614]
A. 
The Borough Council, within 60 days following the conclusion of the public hearing(s) provided for in this article, or within 180 days after the date of filing of the application, whichever occurs first, shall, by official written communication to the landowner:[1]
(1) 
Grant tentative approval for the development plan as submitted;
(2) 
Grant tentative approval subject to specified conditions not included in the development plan as submitted; or
(3) 
Deny tentative approval to the development plan.
[1]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Failure to act within said period shall be deemed to be a grant of tentative approval of the development plan as submitted. However, if tentative approval is granted subject to conditions, the landowner may, within 30 days after receiving a copy of the official, written communication of the Borough Council, notify such Borough Council of his refusal to accept any or all said conditions, in which case the Borough Council shall deny tentative approval of the development plan. If the landowner does not notify the Borough Council of his refusal to accept all said conditions within the thirty-day period, tentative approval of the development, with all said conditions, shall stand as granted.
C. 
The grant or denial of tentative approval by official written communication shall include not only conclusions but also findings of fact related to the specific proposal. It shall set forth the reasons for the granting of approval, with or without conditions, or for the denial of approval. Said communication shall also set forth, with particularity, in what respects the development plan would or would not be in the public interest, including, but not limited to, findings of fact and conclusions on the following:
(1) 
Whether the development plan is or is not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the development of the Borough;
(2) 
The extent to which the development plan departs from zoning and subdivision regulations otherwise applicable to the subject property, including, but not limited to, density, bulk and use, and the reasons why such departures are or are not deemed to be in the public interest;
(3) 
The purpose, location, and amount of the common open space in the planned residential development, the reliability of the proposals for maintenance and conservation of the common space, and the adequacy or inadequacy of the amount and purpose of the common open space as related to the proposed density and type of residential development;
(4) 
The physical design of the development plan and the manner in which it does or does not make adequate provision for public services, provide adequate control over vehicular traffic, and further the amenities of light and air, recreation, and visual enjoyment;
(5) 
The relationship, either beneficial or adverse, of the proposed planned residential development to the neighborhood in which it is proposed to be established; and
(6) 
In the case of a development plan which proposed development over a period of years, the sufficiency of the terms and conditions intended to protect the interests of the public and of the residents of the planned residential development in the integrity of the development plan.
D. 
When a development plan is granted tentative approval, with or without conditions, the Borough Council may set forth, in the official written communication, the time within which an application for final approval of the development plan shall be filed; or, in the case of a development plan which provides for development over a period of years, the periods of time within which applications for final approval of each part thereof shall be filed. Except upon the consent of the landowner, the time established between the grant of tentative approval and application for final approval shall not be less than three months; and in the case of developments over a period of years, the time between applications for final approval of each part of a plan shall not be less than 12 months.

§ 425-60 Status of plan after tentative approval.

A. 
The official written communication provided for in this article shall be certified by the Borough Secretary and shall be filed in his office, and a certified copy shall be mailed to the landowner. Where tentative approval has been granted, the same shall be noted on the Zoning Map.
B. 
Tentative approval of a development plan shall not qualify a plat of the planned residential development for recording or authorize development or the issuance of any building permits. A development plan given tentative approval as submitted, or with conditions accepted by the landowner, shall not be modified or revoked, nor otherwise impaired, by action of the Borough during the preparation of an application for final approval without the consent of the landowner, provided that the landowner has not defaulted nor violated any of the conditions of tentative approval; and an application(s) for final approval is filed within the time period specified in the official written communication granting tentative approval.
C. 
If the landowner abandons a development plan between the time tentative approval was granted, but prior to receiving final approval, the tentative approval shall be revoked, and the area included in the development plan shall again be subject to all applicable local ordinances. "Abandonment by the developer" shall mean that the developer has notified the Borough Council of his intentions to abandon the project or failed to file an application(s) for final approval within the time period stated in the grant of tentative approval.

§ 425-61 Application for final approval.

A. 
There shall be no sale of lots until final approval.
B. 
Final approval shall not be given until all improvements have either been completed in accordance with tentative plan approval or a performance bond in the estimated amount of improvements not completed is posted with the Borough. Bonding shall be in accord with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, as amended.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
C. 
Within six months following the tentative approval of the development plan, the applicant shall file with the Borough Council a final development plan containing, in final form, the information required on the preliminary plan. The Council may extend, upon written request of the landowner, the period for filing the final development plan up to six months, provided good cause is shown.
D. 
A public hearing on an application for final approval of the development plan, or part thereof, shall not be required, provided the development plan, or part thereof, submitted for final approval is in compliance with the development plan theretofore given tentative approval and with any specified conditions attached thereto.
E. 
Within 30 days after the application for final approval is filed, the Borough shall grant final approval of the development plan if it meets all requirements of this article and the official written communication granting tentative approval.
F. 
If the final development plan as submitted contains variations from the development plan given tentative approval, the Borough may refuse to grant final approval and shall, within 30 days from the filing of the application for final approval, so advise the landowner, in writing, of said refusal, setting forth the reasons why one or more of said variations are not in the public interest.
G. 
If the final development plan is disapproved, the landowner may either:
(1) 
Refile his application for final approval without the objected variations.
(2) 
File a written request with the Borough asking that it hold a public hearing on the application for final approval. The request must be submitted during the period of time the landowner is entitled to apply for final approval or within 30 additional days, if the time for applying for final approval shall have already passed at the time when the landowner was advised that the development plan was not in substantial compliance.
(a) 
Procedure if a public hearing is requested.
[1] 
The hearing shall be held within 30 days pursuant to public notice after the request was submitted by the landowner.
[2] 
The hearing shall be conducted in the manner prescribed in this article for public hearings on applications for tentative approval.
[3] 
Within 30 days after the conclusion of the hearing, the Borough shall, by official written communication, grant or deny final approval to the development plan.
[4] 
The grant or denial of final approval of the development plan shall, in cases arising under this section, be presented in the same format required for an application for tentative approval. (See § 425-57.)

§ 425-62 Status of plan after final approval.

[Added 10-19-1992 by Ord. No. 614]
A. 
A development plan, or any part thereof, which has been given final approval shall be so certified without delay by the Borough Council and shall be filed of record forthwith in the office of the Recorder of Deeds before any development shall take place in accordance therewith. Upon the filing of record of the development plan, the zoning and subdivision regulations otherwise applicable to the land included in such plan shall cease to apply thereto. Pending completion, in accordance with the time provisions stated in Section 508 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (hereinafter "MPC"), 53 P.S. § 10508, of said planned residential development or of that part thereof, as the case may be, that has been finally approved, no modification of the provisions of said development plan, or part thereof, as finally approved, shall be made, except with the consent of the landowner. Upon approval of a final plat, the developer shall record the plat in accordance with the provisions of Section 513(a) of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 10513(a), and post financial security in accordance with Section 509 of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 10509, and in accordance with Chapter 370, Subdivision and Land Development.
B. 
In the event that a development plan, or a section thereof, is given final approval, and thereafter the landowner shall abandon such plan or the section thereof that has been finally approved, and shall so notify the Borough Council, in writing, or, in the event the landowner shall fail to commence and carry out the planned residential development in accordance with the time provisions stated in Section 508 of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 10508, after final approval has been granted, no development or further development shall take place on the property included in the development plan until after the said property is reclassified by enactment of an amendment to this chapter in the manner prescribed for such amendments in Article VI of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 10601 et seq., and this chapter.

§ 425-63 Enforcement; modification of plan provisions.

To further the mutual interest of the residents of a planned residential development and the public in preserving the integrity of the development plan as approved, and to insure that modifications in the development plan shall not impair the reasonable reliance of said residents upon the provisions of the development plan, nor result in changes that would adversely affect the public interest, the enforcement and modification of the provisions of the development plan as finally approved, whether they are recorded by plat, covenant, easement or otherwise, shall be subject to the following provisions:
A. 
The provisions of the development plan relating to the use, bulk, and location of buildings and structures; the quantity and location of common open space, except as otherwise provided in this article; and the intensity of use or the density of residential units shall run in favor of the Borough and shall be enforceable in law or in equity by the Borough, without limitation on any powers of regulation otherwise granted the Borough.
B. 
All provisions of the development plan shall run in favor of the residents of the planned residential development, but only to the extent expressly provided in the development plan and in accordance with the terms of the development plan and to the extent said provisions, whether recorded by plat, covenant, easement or otherwise, may be enforced at law or equity by said residents acting individually, jointly or through an organization designated in the development plan to act on their behalf; provided, however, that no provisions of the development plan shall be implied, except as to those portions of the development plan which have been finally approved and have been recorded.
C. 
All those provisions of the development plan authorized to be enforced by the Borough under this section may be modified, removed, or released by the Borough, except grants or easements relating to the service or equipment of a public utility, subject to the following conditions:
(1) 
No such modification, removal, or release of the provisions of the development plan by the Borough shall affect the rights of the residents of the planned residential development to maintain and enforce those provisions at law or equity as provided in this section.
(2) 
No modification, removal or release of the provisions of the development plan by the Borough shall be permitted, except upon a finding by the Council following a public hearing thereon pursuant to public notice called and held in accordance with the provisions of this article that the same is consistent with the efficient development and preservation of the entire planned residential development, does not adversely affect either the enjoyment of land abutting upon or across the street from the planned residential development or the public interest, and is not granted solely to confer a special benefit upon any person.
D. 
Residents of the planned residential development may, to the extent and in the manner expressly authorized by the provisions of the development plan, modify, remove, or release their rights to enforce the provisions of the development plan, but no such action shall affect the right of the Borough to enforce the provisions of this section.

§ 425-64 Judicial review.

Any decision of the Girard Borough Council under this article granting or denying tentative or final approval of a development plan shall be subject to appeal to court in the same manner, and within the same time limitation, as provided for zoning appeals by Act 247 of 1968, as amended, and known as the "Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code."[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.

§ 425-65 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 10-19-1992 by Ord. No. 614]
A. 
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated the planned residential development provisions of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Borough, pay a judgment of not more than $500, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, incurred by the Borough as a result thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or payable until the date of the determination of a violation by the Magisterial District Judge. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Borough may enforce the judgment pursuant to the appropriate Rules of Civil Procedure. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation, unless the Magisterial District Judge determining that there has been a violation further determines that there was a good faith basis for the person, partnership or corporation violating these provisions to have believed that there was no such violation, in which event there shall be deemed to have been only one such violation until the fifth day following the date of the determination of a violation by the Magisterial District Judge, and thereafter, each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. All judgments, costs and reasonable attorneys' fees collected for the violation of planned residential development provisions of this chapter shall be paid over to the Borough.
B. 
The Court of Common Pleas, upon petition, may grant an order of stay, upon cause shown, tolling the per diem judgment pending a final adjudication of the violation and judgment.
C. 
Nothing contained in this section shall be construed or interpreted to grant to any person or entity other than the Borough the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this section.
D. 
Magisterial District Judges shall have initial jurisdiction over proceedings brought under this section.