Township of Horsham, PA
Montgomery County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.

§ 230-10 Applicability of regulations.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following regulations shall govern in all districts.

§ 230-11 Nonconforming lots.

[Amended 2-26-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-3]
A single-family detached dwelling may be constructed on a nonconforming lot held in single and separate ownership on the date the lot became legally nonconforming, provided:
A. 
The lot area is not less than 80% of the lot area required in the zoning district at the time a permit is requested and issued;
B. 
If the lot is not served by public water and sewer, the applicant shall demonstrate compliance with all requirements of the Montgomery County Board of Health;
C. 
The streets and other improvements shown on the plan which created the lot have been completed and approved by the Township, whether or not said improvements have been accepted in dedication by the Township; and
D. 
The single-family dwelling constructed in accordance with this section shall be a permitted use in the district in which it is constructed and shall comply with all building and lot coverage, front, rear, and side yard requirements of the district in which the lot is located.

§ 230-12 Reduction of lot area.

No lot shall be so reduced that the area of the lot or the dimensions of the required open space shall be less than herein prescribed.

§ 230-13 Fences and walls.

[Amended 12-9-1998 by Ord. No. 1149]
A. 
Fences and walls in excess of four feet in height shall be prohibited within the minimum required front yard for each lot, provided that retaining walls required to stabilize changes in elevations shall be permitted to a height one foot above ground elevation retained. Fences and walls within the front yard not of natural materials like stone, brick or wood, shall have sufficient shrubs installed along the fence to soften the view of the fence from the street. The shrub requirement shall not apply to wire mesh installed as an integral part of a wood fencing system.
B. 
Fences and walls may be permitted within the required side and rear yard for each lot to a maximum height of 6.5 feet above ground level.
C. 
When a fence or wall exceeding six feet in height is erected within any required side or rear yard setback, the entire fence or wall shall contain openings therein equal to 50% of more of the area of the fence or wall.
D. 
Barbed wire or electrified fences (excluding invisible fencing for pets) shall be permitted only in connection with agricultural purposes on lots that exceed 10 acres in size, or for commercial and industrial uses if approved by the Horsham Township Council.

§ 230-14 Obstructions to vision at intersection.

Clear sight triangles of 60 feet measured along street right-of-way lines from their points of junction shall be provided at all intersections. Within the sight triangle, no wall, fence, or other structure shall be erected, altered or maintained, and no hedge, tree, shrub or other growth shall be planted or maintained which shall interfere with a free and unobstructed view down and across lands within such sight triangle.

§ 230-15 Accessory uses.

Accessory uses authorized in this chapter may include the following:
A. 
Uses accessory to agriculture. Noncommercial greenhouses; barn; keeping, breeding and management of livestock and poultry but in such quantities and to such extent as are customarily incidental to the principal use; preparation of products on the premises for use and the disposal thereof by marketing or otherwise.
B. 
Roadside stands shall be permitted only when accessory to farms and related agricultural activities and subject to all of the following conditions.
(1) 
All buildings and structures shall be setback at least 100 feet from a street ultimate right-of-way and property lines.
(2) 
No outdoor display, storage, processing equipment or parking of heavy vehicular equipment shall be permitted within the setbacks established in Subsection B(1) (above).
(3) 
The maximum floor area for roadside stands including all outside areas devoted to retail sales shall not exceed 500 square feet.
(4) 
Off-street parking shall be provided at the rate of one parking space per 100 square feet of retail area, plus one space per each employee of the largest shift.
(5) 
The lot area devoted to roadside stand use of a farm operation shall be identified on the plan and filed with the Township before the roadside stand operation may commence.
C. 
Uses accessory to dwelling.
(1) 
Private garage, private parking space.
(2) 
Swimming pool for use of family and guests only.
(3) 
Private greenhouses and storage buildings for garden tools.
(4) 
Stables, barn, and shelter for pets.
(5) 
Uses authorized in this chapter as accessory to a dwelling shall not be deemed to include a hospital, clinic, animal hospital, barbershop, beauty parlor, mortuary, other personal service shop, tearoom, hotel, boarding home or any other similar use.
(6) 
Home occupations as defined in § 230-5 and further regulated in § 230-22, herein.
D. 
Accessory use of utility. The placing of a public telephone booth shall be permitted in any district upon the following conditions:
(1) 
The location shall be approved in writing by the owner of the land; and
(2) 
The location shall not be in the right-of-way of any street; and
(3) 
The location shall be approved by the Zoning Officer of the Township; and
(4) 
A permit is obtained from the Building Inspector; and
(5) 
A permit fee as determined by the current Township fee schedule for each location is paid.

§ 230-16 Height and setback requirements for accessory uses.

A. 
The maximum permitted height shall be 21 feet six inches for accessory buildings and structures located entirely within the required building envelope established for each lot in each zoning district.
B. 
The maximum permitted height of buildings or structures when located within required side or rear yards shall be 14 feet.
C. 
Accessory buildings or structures may be erected within one side yard provided that it is located no further forward than the rear line of the principal building line and provided that such building or structure shall not be less than seven feet each from the side and rear lot line. An accessory building may be erected in conjunction with an accessory building on an adjacent property when separated by a masonry wall free of any opening, and constructed on the common lot line, provided written consent of the Zoning Officer must be attached to and remain a part of the application for a building permit for the accessory building.
D. 
Accessory buildings or structures are not permitted within the minimum front yard established for each district nor within required buffer yard.

§ 230-17 Conversions.

The Zoning Hearing Board may allow as a special exception the conversion of a single-family dwelling into a dwelling for a greater number of families, subject to the following requirements:
A. 
Petition in favor of such exception shall be filed with the Zoning Hearing Board signed by the owners of 60% or more of the frontage in the same street within 500 feet of the designated lot.
B. 
Each dwelling unit shall not have less than 750 square feet of floor area.
C. 
The lot area per family is not reduced thereby to an amount less than 75% of that required by this chapter for the district in which the designated lot is located.
D. 
The yard and building area requirements for the district in which the building is located must be complied with.
E. 
There is no external alteration of the building except as may be necessary for reasons of safety. Fire escapes and outside stairways shall, where practicable, be located on the rear of the building.
F. 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall specify the maximum number of the families permitted to occupy such buildings and may prescribe such further conditions and restrictions as the Board may consider appropriate.
G. 
The off-street parking requirements of this chapter are met.
H. 
The conversion shall be authorized only for a dwelling with relatively little economic usefulness as a conforming use.

§ 230-18 Provision and use of water.

A. 
General.
(1) 
All potable water requirements shall be stated in the application for a building permit.
(2) 
No permit for construction, building or use of building and/or land shall be issued until satisfactory proof of the availability and supply of potable water is furnished the Zoning Officer.
(3) 
No wells may be dug or drilled on the premises except by permit.
(4) 
Where available, all potable water services shall be supplied by water distribution companies operating and supervised as municipal or public utilities by virtue of the laws of the commonwealth and the ordinances of the Township, unless waived by Township Council.
B. 
Commercial and industrial.
(1) 
Water required on the premises for commercial or manufacturing purposes, including air conditioning, shall be supplied by water distribution companies, unless the water distribution companies are not available, and provided a permit is granted by the water authority in accordance with the ordinances of the Township.
(2) 
Where surface or ground water sources are existing and available, or can be developed on the premises without impairment to similar services on adjacent or near property, or to public water supplies, they may be used for air conditioning with water recirculation upon special exception granted by the Zoning Hearing Board.

§ 230-19 Group development.

The following regulations shall apply in Residential Districts R-6 and R-7, Commercial District C-1, Industrial Districts I-1, I-2 and I-3, and Office/Nonmanufacturing District O-1, and in any case where group apartment development or more than one building or use is permitted on a lot.
A. 
The proposed development shall be constructed in accordance with an overall plan and shall be designed as, or as part of, a single architectural and landscaping scheme. All buildings on a lot shall be arranged in a group of buildings, and the group of buildings as a unit shall comply with the area and yard regulations of the district.
B. 
The tract of land on which each permitted use is conducted shall be owned and operated as a single or common management and maintenance unit, with common open spaces, parking, utility, and maintenance facilities.
C. 
The distance at the closest point between any two buildings or groups of attached buildings shall not be less than 30 feet, except in Office/Nonmanufacturing and Industrial Districts, where the distance shall be not less than 60 feet. In no case shall the minimum distance between buildings be less than the average height of adjoining buildings.
D. 
All public utility lines and similar facilities servicing the proposed development and its area shall be installed underground, and electric transformers shall be installed underground or within the walls of a completely enclosed building.

§ 230-20 Floodlighting.

A. 
Floodlighting in all districts shall be diffused or shielded in such a manner as not to create any hazardous situation for passing vehicular traffic or a nuisance to persons residing in the area.
B. 
The maintained horizontal illumination shall not exceed one footcandle at ground elevation at the perimeter property line or zoning district boundary line.

§ 230-21 Corner lots.

In all districts corner lots shall have two front yards followed by one rear yard and if applicable one side yard.

§ 230-22 Home occupations.

Home occupations, as defined in § 230-5 and permitted under the provisions of this chapter, shall comply with the following regulations and standards:
A. 
Home occupations may be permitted under the following conditions:
(1) 
By right as an accessory use to a dwelling on lots having a lot area of 12,000 square feet or greater and a lot frontage of not less than 50 feet, unless a flag lot which shall have a minimum lot frontage of 25 feet.
(2) 
By special exception as an accessory use to a dwelling on lots having a lot area less than 12,000 square feet.
B. 
Three paved off-street parking spaces, in addition to those required of residence units, shall be required and shall not be located within any required setback areas.
C. 
No other persons except a resident in the dwelling shall practice the occupation therein.
D. 
No more than two persons shall be employed by the practitioner at any one time.
E. 
The area used for the practice of a home occupation shall occupy no more than 15% of the total floor area of the dwelling unit. Each dwelling or residential lot shall be limited to no more than one home occupation.
F. 
No storage of materials or products in open areas shall be permitted.
G. 
No retail sales shall be permitted except for articles or works of art produced solely on the premises, and in no event shall goods be publicly displayed on the premises.
H. 
No heat or glare shall be perceptible at or beyond the lot boundaries.
I. 
No potentially dangerous effluent or fumes from operations shall be discharged.
J. 
No material designed for use as an explosive shall be produced or stored on the premises.
K. 
A sign identifying a home occupation shall not exceed the size of one square foot in area and shall be deducted from the maximum number of signs permitted in the schedule of sign regulations.
L. 
Home day care for not more than a total of three children, unrelated to the caregiver, shall be permitted as a home occupation.
M. 
Day-care facilities. Permitted only within a single-family detached dwelling when authorized as a special exception, home day care may be permitted for greater than three but not more than a total of six children, unrelated to the caregiver, subject to all the following conditions:
(1) 
The lot must conform to the minimum frontage, width, area and yard requirements of the district in which it is situate and shall not be reduced.
(2) 
An outdoor lot area of at least 2,000 square feet shall be reserved for a play area and shall be located in the rear yard only, and not within any required side yard.
(3) 
There shall be a minimum of 40 square feet of floor space per child, inclusive of space occupied by furniture and equipment, but exclusive of closets, halls, bathrooms, kitchens and areas related thereto, which shall be on the first or second floor above grade of the single-family detached dwelling structure utilized for such purpose. A second means of pedestrian access from the second floor, if required by any public law or regulation, shall be covered and enclosed so as to be concealed from view from perimeter property lines.
(4) 
A minimum outdoor play area of 65 square feet of contiguous area shall be provided for each child as a recreational area for the children. This area shall not include any impervious surface or parking areas. The play area shall not be located in the minimum yard areas required by this chapter or other Township ordinances. Play areas shall not include any swimming or ornamental pool.
(5) 
Areas for outdoor recreation shall be visually screened for immediate year-round basis to a height of not less than four feet when natural shrubbery or evergreen trees are utilized or six feet when a fence is utilized.
(6) 
The building shall conform to any and all regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for child day care, as well as all applicable regulations for fire and panic, and have no barriers for the handicap, and shall conform to all Township codes. All applicable state or county licenses and certifications of approval shall be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer as a condition of occupancy.
(7) 
Signs and outdoor illumination shall be prohibited except as may be permitted under Article XXXIII.

§ 230-23 No-impact home-based businesses.

[Added 3-12-2003 by Ord. No. 1154]
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:
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 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.

§ 230-24 Day-care centers.

Day-care centers as defined in § 230-5 shall comply with the following regulations and standards:
A. 
A lot area of not less than one and no more than four acres shall be provided for each day-care center.
B. 
A lot area of not less than 500 square feet shall be provided for each child that the facility is licensed to accommodate.
C. 
A lot width of 150 feet shall be provided along the ultimate right-of-way of a secondary or major street as designated in § 198-31 of Chapter 198, Subdivision and Land Development.
D. 
Public water and sanitary sewer utility service shall be provided.
E. 
Setbacks for buildings, parking and outdoor play areas shall comply with yards established for the district in which located but in no event shall be less than the following:
(1) 
Front, side and rear yards shall be provided on each lot which shall be not less than 50 feet.
(2) 
Parking areas shall be setback not less than 15 feet from all property lines.
(3) 
Outdoor play areas shall be setback not less than 15 feet from all property lines, shall not be permitted within the minimum front yard and shall be setback not less than 50 feet from any property line which adjoins a residential district.
F. 
See Article V, § 230-32, herein for additional standards of this chapter regarding parking and circulation.

§ 230-24.1 Adult commercial uses.

[Added 4-14-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-4]
A. 
An adult commercial store, adult entertainment cabaret, adult movie house, and other adult uses as defined below:
ADULT COMMERCIAL BOOKSTORE
An establishment with more than 15 square feet of floor area devoted to the display, selling and/or rental of pornographic materials which are pictures, drawings, photographs, videotapes, or other depictions or printed matter and paraphernalia, which if sold knowingly to a minor under 18 years of age would violate the criminal laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in effect at the same time.
ADULT ENTERTAINMENT CABARET
A public or private establishment which is licensed to serve food and/or alcoholic beverages, which features live sex, topless dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators, or similar entertainers, or a similar establishment to which access is limited to persons 18 years of age or older.
ADULT VIDEO/MOVIE HOUSE
An enclosed building used regularly and routinely for presenting, displaying or exhibiting obscene matter for observation by patrons therein, or a similar establishment to which access is limited to persons 18 years of age or older.
OTHER ADULT USES
Any business, activity or use, similar to or of the same general nature as the uses listed above.
B. 
The building or structure of such use shall be located no less than 500 feet from any residential use or district, and no less than 1,000 feet from any public or private school, church, recreation facility or any other religious, institutional or educational use.
C. 
No such use shall be located within 2,000 feet of a similar use.
D. 
No materials sold within shall be visible from any window, door or exterior of the building.
E. 
No person under the age of 18 years of age shall be permitted within an adult commercial store or sold any pornographic material.
F. 
The buffer and landscape requirements of § 230-31 of this chapter shall be met.
G. 
Parking: one off-street parking space for each 100 square feet of total floor area, plus one additional space for every two employees.

§ 230-25 Minimum lot frontage.

Each and every lot created for single and separate ownership shall be provided with a minimum continuous frontage equal to the required lot width at the building setback line along the ultimate right-of-way of a street, or legal right-of-way where ultimate and legal are coterminous, except for flag lots (see § 230-26) or lots situated around the bulb of a cul-de-sac, in which case the minimum frontage lot shall equal 50 feet.

§ 230-26 Flag lots.

[Amended 12-9-1998 by Ord. No. 1149]
A. 
Flag lots shall exclude within the calculation of lot area, the area within the access strip up to a point where the minimum required lot width is achieved.
B. 
Each flag lot shall have fee simple ownership of the access strip to the public street, such strip having a minimum width of 25 feet, and a maximum width of 45 feet.
C. 
A flag lot may serve only one single-family detached dwelling. Flag lots for nonresidential uses or any other form of residential use are not permitted.
D. 
The length of the access strip shall be limited to a maximum of 1,000 feet.
E. 
No flag lot shall abut or be adjacent to another flag lot.
F. 
The minimum lot area of a flag lot in the R-1 and R-2 Districts shall be five acres. The minimum lot area of a flag lot in all other cases shall be two acres, unless larger lot areas are required by another section of this chapter.
G. 
In the R-1 and R-2 Districts there shall be a minimum front, side and rear yard setback for principal buildings from all property lines of 100 feet, and for all accessory buildings, 25 feet from all property lines. In all other cases, there shall be a minimum front yard of 60 feet; two minimum side yard setbacks of 80 feet in aggregate, with neither being less than 35 feet in width and a rear yard setback of 80 feet.

§ 230-27 Deed restriction and plan restrictions.

[Added 9-16-1998 by Ord. No. 1147]
All uses shall comply with any deed restrictions of record and any restrictions shown on a subdivision or land development plan of record, including, but not limited to, restrictions prohibiting or limiting the further subdivision of the property.

§ 230-28 Demolition of historic structures.

[Added 8-8-2001 by Ord. No. 1152; amended 4-13-2005 by Ord. No. 1157]
No structure listed as a Class I or Class II Historic Resource in accordance with Article XXXII of this chapter shall be demolished except upon grant of special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board. The Zoning Hearing Board shall consider, in making its decision, the recommendation of the Horsham Township Historical Advisory Commission render pursuant to § 230-202. The applicant shall demonstrate that there is no reasonable possibility of saving the structure. The Zoning Hearing Board may impose reasonable conditions upon the grant of the special exception.

§ 230-29 Municipal building.

[Added 12-23-2002 by Ord. No. 1153]
A. 
For purposes of this chapter, an unoccupied municipal building is a building to which the public does not have access, and to which no employees report for work on a regular basis. Examples of an unoccupied municipal building include, but are not limited to, wells, pump houses, sewer facilities, and storage buildings.
B. 
Minimum lot area.
(1) 
Occupied buildings and sewage treatment plants: one acre.
(2) 
Unoccupied buildings other than sewage treatment plants: the minimum lot size shall be determined by setback requirements.
C. 
Setback requirements. The following setback requirements shall apply to municipal buildings: provided, that the maximum required yard setback requirement shall not exceed that maximum requirement for the zoning district in which the municipal building is located.
(1) 
Occupied buildings shall have front, side and rear yards of not less than 50 feet; provided that when a municipal building other than a library abuts a residential use or district, the front, rear, and side yard shall not be less than 100 feet along that boundary of the municipal property which directly abuts said residential use or district.
(2) 
Unoccupied buildings shall have front, side and rear yards of not less than 25 feet.
D. 
Minimum lot width at building setback line: 100 feet.
E. 
Maximum building coverage. The maximum building coverage shall be identical to the maximum building coverage set forth for general uses in the zoning district in which the proposed municipal use is to be located.
F. 
Maximum impervious surface ratio. The maximum impervious surface ratio shall be identical to the maximum impervious surface ratio set forth for general uses in the zoning district in which the proposed municipal use is to be located.
G. 
Parking requirements. Parking shall be in conformance with Article V, § 230-32.
H. 
NOTE: The above dimensional requirements shall supersede the minimum site area, minimum lot area, setback, lot width, and setback requirements of all underlying districts as well as zoning overlay districts. All other performance standards and environmental regulations, including but not limited to, the environmental regulations set forth at § 230-49 of this chapter shall apply to municipal buildings.