Township of Hatfield, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Nothing herein contained shall be constructed to render inoperative any enforceable restriction established by covenants running with the land, and which restrictions are not prohibited by or are not contrary to the regulations herein established.
When an unimproved lot of record is situated on the same street frontage with two improved lots or one unimproved lot and one improved lot, the front yard requirement for that district may be modified so that the front yard shall be an average of the existing and as required front yard. But in no case shall the front yard be less than 25 feet from the ultimate right-of-way.
No lot area shall be so reduced that the area of the lot or the dimension of the open spaces shall be less than herein prescribed.
As a special exception, one dwelling quarter for a watchman or caretaker employed on the premises shall be permitted in connection with any administrative offices, laboratories or industrial establishments.
On any lot, no wall, fence, sign 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 located at or near the intersection of any two roads, or a road and railroad and railway, or at any curve in any road, as may be necessary to assure a full and unobstructed view in all directions at such crossing or curves and to so prevent the use of such lands for any purpose or in any manner which may interfere with or obstruct the vision of persons traveling upon such highways.
No building and no part of a building shall be erected within or shall project into or over any required yard in any district, except that, in residential districts, the following shall apply:
A. 
An unroofed, open patio or terrace may be erected to extend into a required front or rear yard a distance of not more than 10 feet, provided that in no case shall it extend into such yard more than 40% of the required depth of the yard.
B. 
A buttress, chimney, cornice, eave or gutter of a building may project not more than 18 inches into a required yard.
C. 
Open, unenclosed fire escapes, steps, bay windows and balconies may project no more than three feet into a required yard.
[Amended 7-22-2015 by Ord. No. 659]
A. 
Residential uses. No fence or wall, except a retaining wall or wall of a building permitted under the terms of this chapter, over six feet in height shall be erected within any of the open spaces required by this chapter. No fence or wall shall extend beyond the front building line of a lot on which it is located; however, in the case of a lot with more than one street frontage, a fence not exceeding four feet in height may be erected within the front yard(s) which do not include the main entrance (front door) of the home so long as the fence is set back at least five feet from the ultimate right-of-way.
B. 
Nonresidential uses. No fence or wall over six feet in height shall be erected within any of the open spaces required by this chapter.
C. 
No fence shall be permitted within any easements benefiting Hatfield Township, Hatfield Township Municipal Authority, or any other regulatory agency without the written permission of that agency and Hatfield Township.
Accessory uses authorized in this article shall be the following:
A. 
Uses accessory to agriculture. Greenhouse, roadside stand for the sale of products produced on the premises, barn, keeping, breeding and management of livestock and poultry, and preparation of products produced on the premises.
B. 
Uses accessory to single-family detached and single-family semidetached dwellings. Private garages, private greenhouses, private parking spaces, shelter for domestic pets, private storage sheds, private swimming pools (including pool houses and cabanas), private tennis courts and private stables; provided, that:
(1) 
All accessory structures shall be located entirely within the permissible building area (exclusive of all mandatory setback areas), but not to include the front of the main building.
(2) 
Private swimming pools shall be constructed in accordance with applicable Township ordinances and shall not be located in front yards. All pools, filters, heaters or any facilities incidental thereto shall be not less than 10 feet from all side and rear property lines.
(3) 
Private tennis courts and all facilities incidental thereto shall be located in rear yards and shall be not less than 15 feet from the side and rear property lines. Tennis courts shall have drainage systems approved by the Township Engineer, specifically with respect to the discharge of water onto adjacent properties.
(4) 
Private stables and the keeping of horses shall be permitted only when the lot area is not less than two acres. Grazing areas shall be suitably fenced to contain the horses at all times. Buildings or structures used for the housing and stabling of horses shall be located in the rear yard not less than 50 feet from any property line and not less than 100 feet from any street line.
C. 
Solar energy systems. Solar energy systems shall be permitted as an accessory use to a principal use permitted under this chapter. Systems shall be designed to supply no more power than required by the principal use on the property.
[Added 9-7-2011 by Ord. No. 628]
(1) 
Roof-mounted solar energy systems shall not extend more than three feet above the existing roof plane and shall not exceed the maximum allowable height requirement for the district in which they are located.
(2) 
Ground-mounted solar energy systems shall be permitted when authorized as a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board. Such uses shall be subject to the general requirements of § 282-230 and the following specific standards:
(a) 
Ground-mounted systems shall be set back from property lines a distance equal to the required setback for a principal building or a distance equal to the height of the system, whichever is greater. In all cases, the entire installation must be located behind the rearmost portion of the principal building.
[Amended 12-21-2016 by Ord. No. 669]
(b) 
Installation shall be designed such that any reflection is directed away or is properly buffered from adjoining properties.
(c) 
The support structure shall be screened from adjoining properties by evergreen plantings.
(d) 
The maximum height of a ground-mounted system shall be 16 feet at the highest point of the structure.
[Amended 8-9-2000 by Ord. No. 464]
No flag lot shall be hereafter created, except within the ER or RA-1 Zoning Districts and pursuant to the following conditions:
A. 
The parcel of land being developed is of such a shape, size and configuration that the use of a flag lot(s) is a reasonable method of developing and providing access to the site.
B. 
Calculation.
(1) 
Flag lots are permissible based on the number of lots ultimately approved and/or developed on a parcel, as follows:
(a) 
For subdivision up to three lots, one flag lot is permitted.
(b) 
For subdivisions of four to 15 lots, two flag lots are permitted.
(c) 
For subdivisions of 16 to 30 lots, three flag lots are permitted.
(d) 
For subdivisions of 31 to 45 lots, four flag lots are permitted.
(e) 
For subdivision of 46 or more lots, no more than five flag lots are permitted.
(2) 
These calculations and the number of allowable flag lots shall be based on the configuration of the overall property/parcel(s) as of the effective date of this section. Where development is staged or approved/developed pursuant to subdivision applications submitted at different times, the total number of permissible flag lots is to be based on the total number of subdivided lots ultimately approved for the entire parcel as it was originally configured. A sketch plan indicating the overall development scheme envisioned for the entire parcel must be submitted with any application seeking subdivision of only a portion of the parcel.
C. 
No more than two flag lot access strips may be located adjacent to each other, and any additional flag lot access strip to another such lot shall be separated by a full, standard lot width, as required by the district in which the land is located.
D. 
The access strip serving any flag lot shall have a minimum width of 25 feet and shall not exceed 300 feet in length, as measured from the street right-of-way to the flag front line. No portion of the access strip shall be counted as a part of the required lot area.
E. 
A single-family attached dwelling is the only type of dwelling unit or other use permitted upon a flag lot.
F. 
A driveway serving a flag lot shall be a minimum of 14 feet in width for its entire length, shall be unobstructed for a height of 13 feet six inches, shall not exceed a 10% grade, shall be paved, and shall be capable of supporting a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds.
[Amended 6-27-2007 by Ord. No. 561]
G. 
The front yards of flag lots (the required yard closes to the street to which the flag lot gains access) must include a buffer planting, as required by § 250-38 of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, along the full width of the lot.
[Amended 12-8-2004 by Ord. No. 536]
H. 
Notwithstanding the general definition of front yard set forth in § 282-6 of this chapter, the front yard of any flag lot shall be a yard extending the full width of the lot and extending in depth from the flag front line to the nearest point of any structure on the lot.
I. 
The required lot area and front yard dimension of flag lots shall be 150% of the minimum otherwise specified for the zoning district in which the lot is located.
[Added 6-27-2007 by Ord. No. 561]
J. 
All flag lots shall be provided with stormwater management facilities designed to mitigate the effect of any existing drainage issues on the site as well as the expected increased runoff from proposed construction. All roof water, downspouts, and sump pump discharges shall be controlled as part of the stormwater management plan. Documentation necessary to evaluate compliance with this section shall be submitted with any subdivision application proposing to create a flag lot.
[Added 6-27-2007 by Ord. No. 561]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 282-204, Reverse frontage lots, was repealed 7-22-2015 by Ord. No. 659.
[Amended 5-14-1997 by Ord. No. 420KK]
A. 
The purpose of this section is to provide for conditional uses as otherwise set forth in this chapter which are of an unusual nature so that their operation may give rise to unique problems with respect to their impact upon neighboring properties or public facilities.
B. 
The following criteria shall be utilized by the Board of Commissioners when acting upon any conditional use application and it shall be the burden of the applicant to prove conformity with these criteria:
(1) 
Where applicable, there shall be market analysis showing need and impact of the proposed use.
(2) 
That the establishment, maintenance, or operation of the conditional use will not be detrimental to or endanger the public health, safety, morals, comfort or general welfare.
(3) 
That the conditional use will not be injurious to the use and enjoyment of the properties in the immediate vicinity for the purposes already permitted nor substantially diminish and impair property values within the neighborhood.
(4) 
That the establishment of the conditional use will not impede the normal and orderly development or improvement of the surrounding property for uses permitted in the district.
(5) 
That adequate utility access roads, drainage and/or necessary facilities have been or are being provided beyond those normally contemplated for the neighboring properties.
(6) 
That adequate measures have been or will be taken to provide ingress and egress designed so as to minimize traffic congestion on public streets beyond what the normal impact would be by a permitted use.
C. 
Application for conditional use. All applications for conditional use shall be made to the Board of Commissioners in writing. The application shall contain all of the information customarily provided for applications to the Zoning Hearing Board as well as any information specified elsewhere in this chapter for the particular conditional use being requested. Application fees and costs shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners in the case of a change or amendment to the Zoning Map or this chapter.
D. 
Notice. 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 Board of Commissioners. 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.
E. 
The hearing shall be held within 60 days from the date of the applicant's request, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time.
F. 
The Board of Commissioners shall render a written decision or, when no decision is called for, make written findings on the application within 45 days after the last hearing before the Board.
G. 
Conditional use approval shall expire if the applicant fails to obtain a permit in connection therewith within one year of the date of the order of the Board of Commissioners.
[Added 11-24-2003 by Ord. No. 513]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 282-206, Commuter rail stations, was repealed 5-28-2008 by Ord. No. 569.
[Amended 8-9-2000 by Ord. No. 464]
Except for flag lots created pursuant to this chapter, each and every lot hereafter created shall abut a public street for a minimum distance equal to 75% of the required lot width for the zoning district in which the lot is located.
In the case of lots with more than one street frontage, yards abutting a street shall be treated as front yards with respect to all regulations contained in this chapter. The first of any remaining yards on such lots shall be treated as a rear yard, and any other yards shall be treated as side yards.
The exterior storage of motor vehicles is prohibited in all residential districts. The exterior storage of junk is prohibited in all districts.
Home occupations as defined in Article II and permitted under the provisions of this chapter shall comply with the following regulations and standards:
A. 
The occupation shall be conducted only by members of the family residing on the premises and shall be conducted entirely within the dwelling or a building accessory thereto.
B. 
No more than one additional person (not a resident in the dwelling) shall be employed by the practitioner of the home occupation to provide secretarial, clerical or other similar assistance.
C. 
No article may be sold or offered for sale that is not produced by members of the immediate family residing on the premises.
D. 
There shall be no public display of goods on the premises.
E. 
Parking for any home occupation shall be provided in accordance with Article XXIV, Off-Street Parking and Loading, and shall be no closer than 25 feet to any property line.
F. 
The space devoted to any home occupation shall not exceed 400 square feet.
[Added 2-25-1998 by Ord. No. 420SS]
In recognition of the quasi-public nature of wireless communications systems, the following regulations shall apply:
A. 
Legislative intent.
(1) 
To accommodate the need for wireless communications antennas while regulating their location and number in the Township.
(2) 
To minimize adverse visual effects of wireless communications antennas and antenna support structures through proper design, siting and vegetative screening.
(3) 
To avoid potential damage to adjacent properties from antenna support structure failure and falling ice through engineering and proper siting of antenna support structures.
(4) 
To encourage the joint use of any new antenna support structures to reduce the number of such structures needed in the future.
B. 
Use regulations.
(1) 
A wireless communication site with antenna that is attached to an existing communications tower, smoke stack, water tower or other tall structure is permitted in all zoning districts. The height of the antenna shall not exceed the height of the existing structure by more than 15 feet.
(2) 
A site with antenna that is not mounted on an existing structure is prohibited in any residential district or within 200 feet of a residential district. Such sites may be located in nonresidential districts when authorized by special exception.
(3) 
All other uses ancillary to the antenna and associated equipment (including a business office, maintenance depot, vehicle storage, etc.) are prohibited from the site, unless otherwise permitted in the zoning district in which the site is located.
C. 
Standards of approval of special exceptions. In addition to the standards contained in § 282-230, the following standards shall apply; the burden of proof rests with the applicant:
(1) 
The communications company is required to demonstrate, using technological evidence, that the antenna must go where it is proposed in order to satisfy its function in the company's grid system.
(2) 
If the communications company proposes to build a tower (as opposed to mounting the antenna on an existing structure), it is required to demonstrate that it contacted the owners of buildings or structures tall enough to accommodate the needs of the proposed user within a one-fourth-mile radius of the site proposed, asked permission to install the antenna on those structures and was denied for reasons other than economic ones. This includes, without limitation, smoke stacks, water towers, tall buildings, antenna support structures of other communications companies, other communications towers (fire, police, etc.) and other tall structures. The Township may deny the application to construct a new tower if the applicant has not made a good faith effort to mount the antenna on an existing structure.
(3) 
Shared use. In order to reduce the number of antenna support structures needed in the community in the future, the proposed support structure shall be required to accommodate other users, including other communication companies and local police, fire and ambulance companies. If rental is charged, it must be demonstrated to be commercially reasonable.
D. 
Standards of approval of all wireless communication antenna.
(1) 
Antenna height. The applicant shall demonstrate that the antenna is the minimum height required to function satisfactorily. In any case, the maximum height of a new antenna shall be 200 feet.
(2) 
Setbacks from the base of antenna support structure. If a new antenna support structure is constructed (as opposed to mounting the antenna on an existing structure), the minimum distance between the base of the support structure or any guy wire anchors and any property line shall be the largest of the following:
(a) 
Antenna height.
(b) 
The minimum setback in the underlying zoning district.
(c) 
Forty feet.
(3) 
Antenna support structure safety. The applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed antenna and support structure are safe and the surrounding areas will not be negatively affected by support structure failure, falling ice or other debris, electromagnetic fields or radio frequency interference. All support structures shall be fitted with anti-climbing devices, as approved by the manufacturers.
(4) 
Fencing. A fence shall be required around the antenna support structure and other equipment, unless the antenna is mounted on an existing structure. The fence shall be six feet in height.
(5) 
Landscaping. In addition to the landscaping requirements of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance,[1] the following landscaping shall be required to screen as much of the support structure as possible, the fence surrounding the support structure and any other ground level features (such as a building), and in general soften the appearance of the site. The Township may permit any combination of existing vegetation, topography, walls, decorative fences or other features instead of landscaping if they achieve the same degree of screening as the required landscaping. If the antenna is mounted on an existing structure and other equipment is housed inside an existing structure, landscaping shall not be required.
(a) 
An evergreen screen shall be required to surround the site. The screen can be either a hedge (planted three feet on center maximum) or a row of evergreen trees (planted 10 feet on center maximum) . The evergreen screen shall be a minimum height of six feet at planting and shall grow a minimum of 15 feet at maturity.
(b) 
In addition, existing vegetation on and around the site shall be preserved to the greatest extent possible.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 250, Subdivision and Land Development.
(6) 
In order to reduce the number of antenna support structures needed in the community in the future, the proposed support structure shall be required to accommodate other users, including other communication companies and local police, fire and ambulance companies. If rental is charge, it must be demonstrated to be commercially reasonable.
(7) 
The communication company must demonstrate that it is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.
(8) 
Required parking. If the site is fully automated, adequate parking shall be required for maintenance workers. If the site is not automated, the number of required parking spaces shall equal the number of people on the largest shift.
(9) 
Antenna support structures should be painted silver or have a galvanized finish retained in order to reduce the visual impact. Support structures may be painted green up to the height of nearby trees. No antenna support structure may be artificially lighted, except when required by the FAA or by the Township.
(10) 
A full site plan shall be required for all sites, showing the antenna, antenna support structure, building, fencing, buffering, access and all other items required in the Township's Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.[2] The site plan shall not be required if the antenna is to be mounted on an existing structure.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 250, Subdivision and Land Development.
(11) 
The support structure's foundation shall be designed to accommodate a two-hundred-foot antenna, regardless of the initial installation.
[Added 5-10-2000 by Ord. No. 462]
Public notice shall be given by the applicant for any major land development or subdivision at such time and in such manner as shall be prescribed by rules of the Township Board of Commissioners. In addition to this notice, written notice shall be conspicuously posted on the affected tract of land at least 10 days prior to the first appearance of the applicant before the Township Planning Commission.
[Added 4-23-2003 by Ord. No. 507]
In order to establish an adult use, the following criteria must be satisfied in addition to any other applicable criteria set forth in this chapter and/or elsewhere. No adult use may be established:
A. 
Less than 500 feet from any residential use or residential zoning district.
B. 
Less than 750 feet from the ultimate right-of-way of a road or street with an ultimate right-of-way greater than 50 feet wide.
C. 
Less than 750 feet from any business enterprise oriented primarily toward children.
D. 
Less than 1,000 feet from any church, hospital, school and/or park.
E. 
Less than 1,000 feet from any other adult use.
F. 
Less than 1,500 feet from a municipal boundary.
[Added 5-12-2010 by Ord. No. 601]
An outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliance shall be operated for the sole purpose of furnishing heat and/or hot water to a principal or accessory structure pursuant to the following criteria:
A. 
Outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliances shall be permitted only in the ER Estate Residential District, the RA-1 Residential District and the LI Light Industrial District and shall not be permitted in any other zoning districts.
B. 
An outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliance shall be located a minimum of 100 feet from all property lines.
C. 
Only natural, untreated wood and/or fuel as recommended by the appliance manufacturer shall be burned in an outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliance. Items such as, but not limited to, garbage, household trash or rubbish, waste oil, plastic, newspapers or magazines, asphalt products, rubber and/or any material not recommended by the appliance manufacturer are prohibited from being burned in the appliance.
D. 
All outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliances that are used in Hatfield Township shall be manufactured to meet or exceed the most recent standards for manufacture of outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliances promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection or any other federal or state agency which promulgates regulations regarding the manufacture of such appliances, whichever is more strict. Outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliances that are not labeled as being certified at least Phase 2 by the EPA are prohibited.
E. 
All outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliances must be UL-approved and must be installed in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements.
F. 
Prior to installing or operating an outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliance, a permit must be obtained from the Hatfield Township Safety and Code Enforcement Department. Proof of compliance with all of the provisions of this section shall be required prior to the issuance of a permit. A permit may be revoked at any time by Hatfield Township for violation of any provision of this section.