Township of East Bradford, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 3-21-1988 by Ord. No. 97-1988]
The standards and requirements of this article are intended to afford appropriate levels of protection to those natural features within East Bradford Township that represent significant resource opportunities to the Township and its surrounding region or which, when subject to undue disturbance, may constitute threats to public health, safety and welfare. The Township considers adherence to these standards a basic prerequisite to any land development or disturbance otherwise authorized under this Zoning Ordinance or other regulations, and has designed the balance of the Zoning Ordinance to work in harmony with the terms of this article.
[Amended 5-12-1992 by Ord. No. 132-1992; 5-11-1993 by Ord. No. 145-1993; 11-12-1996 by Ord. No. 4-96; 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005; 10-11-2006 by Ord. No. 7-2006; 7-11-2017 by Ord. No. 3-2017]
A. 
Statutory authorization. The Legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has, by the passage of the Pennsylvania Flood Plain Management Act of 1978,[1] delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt floodplain management regulations to promote public health, safety, and the general welfare of its citizenry. Therefore, the Board of Supervisors of the Township of East Bradford does hereby order as follows.
[1]
Editor’s Note: See 32 P.S. § 679.101 et seq.
B. 
General provisions.
(1) 
Intent. The intent of this section is to:
(a) 
Promote the general health, welfare, and safety of the community.
(b) 
Encourage the utilization of appropriate construction practices in order to prevent or minimize flood damage in the future.
(c) 
Minimize danger to public health by protecting water supply and natural drainage.
(d) 
Reduce financial burdens imposed on the community, its governmental units, and its residents, by preventing excessive development in areas subject to flooding.
(e) 
Comply with federal and state floodplain management requirements.
(f) 
Fulfill the responsibility of the Township as a trustee of the people's right to clean air, pure water and the preservation of the natural scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment pursuant to Article I, Section 27, of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
(g) 
Conserve trees and other riparian vegetation, the existence of which helps to preserve fish and wildlife habitats, prevent stream bank erosion, maintain cool water temperatures and protect stream waters from sedimentation.
(h) 
Protect the quality and quantity of surface and subsurface water supplies adjacent to and underlying floodplain areas.
(i) 
Contribute to:
[1] 
The protection of stream waters against sedimentation.
[2] 
The prevention of stream bank erosion.
[3] 
The maintenance of cool water temperatures.
[4] 
The preservation of fish and wildlife habitats, through the protection of trees and other riparian vegetation.
(j) 
Maintain the scenic and aesthetic character of the streams and stream valleys, consistent with the goals of the East Bradford Township Comprehensive Plan, and support the particular objectives of the Lower Brandywine Scenic River Study.
(2) 
Applicability. It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, business or corporation to undertake, or cause to be undertaken, any construction or development anywhere within the Township of East Bradford unless a permit has been obtained from the Floodplain Administrator.
(3) 
Abrogation and greater restrictions. This section supersedes any other conflicting provisions which may be in effect in identified floodplain areas. However, any other ordinance provisions shall remain in full force and effect to the extent that those provisions are more restrictive. If there is any conflict between any of the provisions of this section, the more restrictive shall apply.
(4) 
Severability. If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of this section shall be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, such a decision shall not affect the remaining portions of the section, which shall remain in full force and effect, and for this purpose the provisions of this section are hereby declared to be severable.
(5) 
Warning and disclaimer of liability.
(a) 
The degree of flood protection sought by the provisions of this section is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on accepted engineering methods of study. Larger floods may occur or flood heights may be increased by man-made or natural causes, such as ice jams and bridge openings restricted by debris. This section does not imply that areas outside any identified floodplain areas or that land uses permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damages.
(b) 
This section shall not create liability on the part of the Township of East Bradford or any officer or employee thereof for any flood damages that result from reliance on this section or any administrative decision lawfully made thereunder.
C. 
Administration.
(1) 
Designation of Floodplain Administrator.
(a) 
The Zoning Officer is hereby appointed to administer and enforce this section and is referred to herein as the "Floodplain Administrator." The Floodplain Administrator may 1) fulfill the duties and responsibilities set forth in these regulations, 2) delegate duties and responsibilities set forth in these regulations to qualified technical personnel, plan examiners, inspectors, and other employees, or 3) enter into a written agreement or written contract with another agency or private sector entity to administer specific provisions of these regulations. Administration of any part of these regulations by another entity shall not relieve the community of its responsibilities pursuant to the participation requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations at 44 CFR 59.22.
(b) 
In the absence of a designated Floodplain Administrator, the Floodplain Administrator duties are to be fulfilled by the Township Engineer.
(2) 
Permits required. A permit shall be required before any construction or development is undertaken within any area of the Township of East Bradford.
(3) 
Duties and responsibilities of Floodplain Administrator.
(a) 
The Floodplain Administrator shall issue a permit only after it has been determined that the proposed work to be undertaken will be in conformance with the requirements of this and all other applicable codes and ordinances.
(b) 
Prior to the issuance of any permit, the Floodplain Administrator shall review the application for the permit to determine if all other necessary government permits required by state and federal laws have been obtained, such as those required by the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act 1966-537, as amended);[2] the Pennsylvania Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (Act 1978-325, as amended);[3] the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Act (Act 1937-394, as amended);[4] and the U.S. Clean Water Act, Section 404, 33 U.S.C. § 1344. The developer shall submit a copy of a water obstructions and encroachment permit and wetlands permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and/or the United States Army Corps of Engineers, as applicable, for the proposed use within the floodway or evidence from the appropriate regulatory agency that such a permit is not required. No permit shall be issued until this determination has been made.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq.
[3]
Editor's Note: See 32 P.S. § 693.1 et seq.
[4]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.
(c) 
In the case of existing structures, prior to the issuance of any development permit, the Floodplain Administrator shall review the proposed cost of improvements or repairs and the pre-improvement market value of the structure, so that a substantial improvement/substantial damage determination can be made, in accordance with FEMA's Substantial Improvement/Substantial Damage Desk Reference.
(d) 
In the case of existing structures, prior to the issuance of any development permit, the Floodplain Administrator shall review the history of repairs to the subject building, so that any cumulative substantial damage concerns can be addressed before the permit is issued.
(e) 
During the construction period, the Floodplain Administrator or other authorized official shall inspect the premises to determine that the work is progressing in compliance with the information provided on the permit application and with all applicable municipal laws and ordinances. He/she shall make as many inspections during and upon completion of the work as are necessary.
(f) 
In the discharge of his/her duties, the Floodplain Administrator shall have the authority to enter any building, structure, premises or development in the identified floodplain area, upon presentation of proper credentials, at any reasonable hour to enforce the provisions of this section.
(g) 
In the event the Floodplain Administrator discovers that the work does not comply with the permit application or any applicable laws and ordinances, or that there has been a false statement or misrepresentation by any applicant, the Floodplain Administrator shall revoke the permit and report such fact to the Board of Supervisors for whatever action it considers necessary.
(h) 
The Floodplain Administrator shall maintain in perpetuity, or for the lifetime of the structure, all records associated with the requirements of this section, including, but not limited to, finished construction elevation data, permitting, inspection and enforcement.
(i) 
The Floodplain Administrator is the official responsible for submitting a biennial report to FEMA concerning community participation in the National Flood Insurance Program as requested.
(j) 
The responsibility, authority and means to implement the commitments of the Floodplain Administrator can be delegated from the person identified. However, the ultimate responsibility lies with the person identified in the Floodplain Ordinance as the Floodplain Administrator/Manager.
(k) 
The Floodplain Administrator shall consider the requirements of 34 Pa. Code and the 2009 IBC and the 2009 IRC, or the latest revision thereof as adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(4) 
Application procedures and requirements.
(a) 
Application for such a permit shall be made, in writing, to the Floodplain Administrator on forms supplied by the Township of East Bradford. Such application shall contain the following:
[1] 
The name and address of the applicant.
[2] 
The name and address of the owner of the land on which proposed construction is to occur.
[3] 
The name and address of the contractor.
[4] 
The site location, including address.
[5] 
A listing of other permits required.
[6] 
A brief description of proposed work and estimated cost, including a breakout of flood-related cost and the market value of the building before the flood damage occurred where appropriate.
[7] 
A plan of the site showing the exact size and location of the proposed construction as well as any existing buildings or structures.
(b) 
If any proposed construction or development is located entirely or partially within any identified floodplain area, applicants for permits shall provide all the necessary information in sufficient detail and clarity to enable the Floodplain Administrator to determine that:
[1] 
All such proposals are consistent with the need to minimize flood damage and conform with the requirements of this and all other applicable codes and ordinances;
[2] 
All utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems, are located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage;
[3] 
Adequate drainage is provided so as to reduce exposure to flood hazards;
[4] 
Structures will be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement;
[5] 
Building materials are flood-resistant;
[6] 
Appropriate practices that minimize flood damage have been used; and
[7] 
Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, air-conditioning equipment, and other service facilities have been designed and located to prevent water entry or accumulation.
(c) 
Applicants shall file the following minimum information plus any other pertinent information as may be required by the Floodplain Administrator to make the above determination:
[1] 
A completed permit application form.
[2] 
A plan of the entire site, clearly and legibly drawn at a scale of one inch being equal to 100 feet or less, showing the following:
[a] 
North arrow, scale, and date;
[b] 
Topographic contour lines, if available;
[c] 
The location of all existing and proposed buildings, structures, and other improvements, including the location of any existing or proposed subdivision and development;
[d] 
The location of all existing streets, drives, and other accessways; and
[e] 
The location of any existing bodies of water or watercourses, identified floodplain areas, and, if available, information pertaining to the floodway and the flow of water, including direction and velocities.
[3] 
Plans of all proposed buildings, structures and other improvements, drawn at suitable scale showing the following:
[a] 
The proposed lowest floor elevation of any proposed building based upon North American Vertical Datum of 1988;
[b] 
The elevation of the base flood;
[c] 
Supplemental information as may be necessary under 34 Pa. Code, the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) or the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC), or the latest revision thereof as adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
[4] 
The following data and documentation:
[a] 
Detailed information concerning any proposed floodproofing measures and corresponding elevations.
[b] 
If available, information concerning flood depths, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces and other factors associated with a base flood.
[c] 
Documentation, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, to show that the effect of any proposed development within a Floodway Area [see § 115-42D(2)(a)] will not increase the base flood elevation at any point.
[d] 
Documentation, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, to show that the cumulative effect of any proposed development within an AE Area/District without floodway [see § 115-42D(2)(b)], when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, will not increase the base flood elevation at any point within the community.
[e] 
Documentation, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, to show that the cumulative effect of any proposed development within any identified floodplain area [see § 115-42D(3)] when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, will not cause any increase in the base flood elevation.
[f] 
A document, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, which states that the proposed construction or development has been adequately designed to withstand the pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces associated with the base flood. Such statement shall include a description of the type and extent of floodproofing measures which have been incorporated into the design of the structure and/or the development.
[g] 
Detailed information needed to determine compliance with § 115-42E(3)(f), Storage, and § 115-42E(4), Development which may endanger human life, including:
[i] 
The amount, location and purpose of any materials or substances referred to in § 115-42E(3)(f) and § 115-42E(4) which are intended to be used, produced, stored or otherwise maintained on site.
[ii] 
A description of the safeguards incorporated into the design of the proposed structure to prevent leaks or spills of the dangerous materials or substances listed in § 115-42E(4)(b) during a base flood.
[h] 
The appropriate component of the Department of Environmental Protection's Planning Module for Land Development."
[i] 
Where any excavation or grading is proposed, a plan meeting the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection to implement and maintain erosion and sedimentation control.
(d) 
Applications for permits shall be accompanied by a fee, payable to the municipality based upon the estimated cost of the proposed construction as determined by the Floodplain Administrator.
(5) 
Review by County Conservation District. A copy of all applications and plans for any proposed construction or development in any identified floodplain area to be considered for approval shall be submitted by the Floodplain Administrator to the County Conservation District for review and comment prior to the issuance of a permit. The recommendations of the Conservation District shall be considered by the Floodplain Administrator for possible incorporation into the proposed plan.
(6) 
Review of application by others. A copy of all plans and applications for any proposed construction or development in any identified floodplain area to be considered for approval may be submitted by the Floodplain Administrator to any other appropriate agencies and/or individuals (e.g., Planning Commission, Municipal Engineer, etc.) for review and comment.
(7) 
Changes. After the issuance of a permit by the Floodplain Administrator, no changes of any kind shall be made to the application, permit or any of the plans, specifications or other documents submitted with the application without the written consent or approval of the Floodplain Administrator. Requests for any such change shall be in writing and shall be submitted by the applicant to Floodplain Administrator for consideration.
(8) 
Placards. In addition to the permit, the Floodplain Administrator shall issue a placard, or similar document, which shall be displayed on the premises during the time construction is in progress. This placard shall show the number of the permit and the date of its issuance and be signed by the Floodplain Administrator.
(9) 
Start of construction.
(a) 
Work on the proposed construction or development shall begin within 180 days after the date of issuance of the development permit. Work shall also be completed within 12 months after the date of issuance of the permit or the permit shall expire unless a time extension is granted, in writing, by the Floodplain Administrator. The issuance of development permit does not refer to the zoning approval.
(b) 
The "actual start of construction" means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation, or the placement of a manufactured home on a foundation. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading, and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings, piers, or foundations or the erection of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main structure. For a substantial improvement, the actual start of construction means the first alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.
(c) 
Time extensions shall be granted only if a written request is submitted by the applicant, who sets forth sufficient and reasonable cause for the Floodplain Administrator to approve such a request, and the original permit is compliant with the chapter and FIRM/FIS in effect at the time the extension is granted.
(10) 
Enforcement.
(a) 
Notices. Refer to § 115-115.
(b) 
Penalties. Refer to § 115-116.
(11) 
Appeals.
(a) 
Any person aggrieved by any action or decision of the Floodplain Administrator concerning the administration of the provisions of this section may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board. Such appeal must be filed, in writing, within 30 days after the decision, determination or action of the Floodplain Administrator.
(b) 
Upon receipt of such appeal, the Zoning Hearing Board shall consider the appeal in accordance with the Municipal Planning Code[5] and any other local ordinance.
[5]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
(c) 
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Zoning Hearing Board may seek relief therefrom by appeal to court, as provided by the laws of this state, including the Pennsylvania Flood Plain Management Act.[6]
[6]
Editor's Note: See 32 P.S. § 679.101 et seq.
D. 
Identification of floodplain areas.
(1) 
Identification. The identified floodplain area shall be:
(a) 
Any areas of Township of East Bradford, classified as special flood hazard areas (SFHAs) in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and the accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) dated September 29, 2017, and issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the most recent revision thereof, including all digital data developed as part of the Flood Insurance Study; and
(b) 
Any community-identified flood hazard areas. The above-referenced FIS and FIRMs, and any subsequent revisions and amendments, are hereby adopted by Township of East Bradford and declared to be a part of this section.
(2) 
Description and special requirements of identified floodplain areas. The identified floodplain area shall consist of the following specific areas:
(a) 
The Floodway Area shall be those areas identified in the FIS and the FIRM as floodway and which represent the channel of a watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without increasing the water surface elevation by more than one foot at any point. This term shall also include floodway areas which have been identified in other available studies or sources of information for those special flood hazard areas where no floodway has been identified in the FIS and FIRM.
[1] 
Within any floodway area, no encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, or other development, shall be permitted unless it has been demonstrated through hydrologic and hydraulic analysis performed in accordance with standard engineering practice that the proposed encroachment would not result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
[2] 
The following shall not be placed or caused to be placed in the designated floodway: fences, except two-wire fences, or other matters which may impede, retard or change the direction of the flow of water or that will catch or collect debris carried by such water or that are placed where the natural flow of the stream or floodwaters would carry the same downstream to the damage or detriment of either public or private property adjacent to the floodplain.
[3] 
Within any floodway area, no new construction or development shall be allowed, unless the appropriate permit is obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Office.
(b) 
The AE Area/District shall be those areas identified as an AE Zone on the FIRM included in the FIS prepared by FEMA for which base flood elevations have been provided.
[1] 
The AE Area adjacent to the floodway shall be those areas identified as an AE Zone on the FIRM included in the FIS prepared by FEMA for which base flood elevations have been provided and a floodway has been delineated.
[2] 
AE Area without floodway shall be those areas identified as an AE Zone on the FIRM included in the FIS prepared by FEMA for which base flood elevations have been provided but no floodway has been determined.
[a] 
No permit shall be granted within any AE Zone without floodway, no encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, or other development, shall be permitted unless it has been demonstrated through hydrologic and hydraulic analysis performed in accordance with standard engineering practice that the proposed development, together with all other existing and anticipated development, would not result in an increase in flood levels of more than one foot within the entire community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.
[b] 
No new construction or development shall be located within the area measured 50 feet landward from the top-of-bank of any watercourse, unless the appropriate permit is obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Office.
(c) 
A Area/District.
[1] 
The A Area/District shall be those areas identified as an A Zone on the FIRM included in the FIS prepared by FEMA and for which no base flood elevations have been provided. For these areas, elevation and floodway information from other Federal, State, or other acceptable sources shall be used when available. Where other acceptable information is not available, the base flood elevation shall be determined by using the elevation of a point on the boundary of the identified floodplain area which is nearest the construction site.
[2] 
In lieu of the above, the municipality may require the applicant to determine the elevation with hydrologic and hydraulic engineering techniques. Hydrologic and hydraulic analyses shall be undertaken only by professional engineers or others of demonstrated qualifications, who shall certify that the technical methods used correctly reflect currently accepted technical concepts. Studies, analyses, computations, etc., shall be submitted in sufficient detail to allow a thorough technical review by the municipality. In the absence of any of the above data or documentation, the community may require elevation of the lowest floor to be at least three feet above the highest adjacent grade.
(d) 
The AO and AH Area/District shall be those areas identified as Zones AO and AH on the FIRM and in the FIS. These areas are subject to inundation by one-percent-annual-chance shallow flooding where average depths are between one foot and three feet. In Zones AO and AH, drainage paths shall be established to guide floodwaters around and away from structures on slopes.
(e) 
Community-identified flood hazard areas shall be those areas where Township of East Bradford has identified local flood hazard or ponding areas, as delineated and adopted on a Local Flood Hazard Map using best available topographic data and locally derived information, such as flood of record, historic high-water marks, soils or approximate study methodologies.
(3) 
Changes in identification of area. The identified floodplain area may be revised or modified by the Board of Supervisors where studies or information provided by a qualified agency or person documents the need for such revision. However, prior to any such change to the special flood hazard area, approval must be obtained from FEMA. Additionally, as soon as practicable, but not later than six months after the date such information becomes available, a community shall notify FEMA of the changes to the special flood hazard area by submitting technical or scientific data. See § 115-42E(1)(b) for situations where FEMA notification is required.
(4) 
Boundary disputes. Should a dispute concerning any district boundary arise, an initial determination shall be made by the Zoning Officer. Any party aggrieved by this decision may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board under the provisions of Article XVI of this chapter. The burden of proof shall be on the appellant.
(5) 
Jurisdictional boundary changes. Prior to development occurring in areas where annexation or other corporate boundary changes are proposed or have occurred, the community shall review flood hazard data affecting the lands subject to boundary changes. The community shall adopt and enforce floodplain regulations in areas subject to annexation or corporate boundary changes which meet or exceed those in 44 CFR 60.3.
E. 
Technical provisions.
(1) 
General.
(a) 
Alteration or relocation of watercourse.
[1] 
No encroachment, alteration, or improvement of any kind shall be made to any watercourse until all adjacent municipalities which may be affected by such action have been notified by the municipality, and until all required permits or approvals have first been obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Office.
[2] 
No encroachment, alteration, or improvement of any kind shall be made to any watercourse unless it can be shown that the activity will not reduce or impede the flood-carrying capacity of the watercourse in any way.
[3] 
In addition, FEMA and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, shall be notified prior to any alteration or relocation of any watercourse.
(b) 
When the Township of East Bradford proposes to permit the following encroachments: 1) any development that causes a rise in the base flood elevations within the floodway; or 2) any development occurring in Zones A1-30 and Zone AE without a designated floodway which will cause a rise of more than one foot in the base flood elevation; or 3) alteration or relocation of a stream (including but not limited to installing culverts and bridges), the applicant shall (as per 44 CFR 65.12):
[1] 
Apply to FEMA for conditional approval of such action prior to permitting the encroachments to occur.
[2] 
Upon receipt of the FEMA Administrator's conditional approval of map change and prior to approving the proposed encroachments, a community shall provide evidence to FEMA of the adoption of floodplain management ordinances incorporating the increased base flood elevations and/or revised floodway reflecting the post-project condition.
[3] 
Upon completion of the proposed encroachments, the applicant shall provide as-built certifications. FEMA will initiate a final map revision upon receipt of such certifications in accordance with 44 CFR Part 67.
(c) 
Any new construction, development, uses or activities allowed within any identified floodplain area shall be undertaken in strict compliance with the provisions contained in this section and any other applicable codes, ordinances and regulations.
(d) 
Within any identified floodplain area, no new construction or development shall be located within the area measured 50 feet landward from the top-of-bank of any watercourse. Refer to § 115-45.3, Riparian buffer area (RBA) Conservation District, for further restrictions.
(e) 
Uses by right (all floodplain areas, unless prohibited by the underlying district).
[1] 
Agricultural uses, such as general farming, pasture, orchard, grazing, outdoor plant nurseries and truck farming. Such activities shall be conducted in accordance with a plan approved by the Chester County Soil and Water Conservation District or recognized soil conservation practices approved by the Township.
[2] 
Recreation uses.
[a] 
Recreation uses, such as a park, camp, picnic grounds, golf course, golf driving range, archery and shooting ranges, hiking and riding trails, hunting and fishing areas, game farm, fish hatchery, wildlife sanctuary, nature preserve and swimming areas.
[b] 
Recreational vehicles which have been permitted in compliance with this chapter shall be on site for fewer than 180 consecutive days and be fully licensed and ready for highway use.
[3] 
Construction of crossings of the floodway by railroads, roads, bridges and utility transmission lines.
[4] 
Sealed water supply wells and water pipelines.
[5] 
Storm and sanitary sewer outlets, which shall take the shortest route across the district to the point of discharge.
[6] 
Dams constructed for the purpose of potable water supply.
(f) 
Uses by special exception pursuant to § 115-42G(2)(b).
[1] 
Elevating or floodproofing of a nonconforming building or structure.
(g) 
Uses by right outside floodway.
[1] 
Sewage treatment plants and pumping station when constructed to prevent flooding of facilities.
(2) 
Elevation and floodproofing requirements. Within any identified floodplain area, any new construction or substantial improvements shall be prohibited. If a variance is obtained for new construction or substantial improvements in the identified floodplain area in accordance with the criteria in § 115-42H, then the following provisions apply:
(a) 
Residential structures.
[1] 
In AE, A1-30, and AH Zones, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated up to or above the regulatory flood elevation.
[2] 
In A Zones, where there are no base flood elevations specified on the FIRM, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated up to or above the regulatory flood elevation determined in accordance with § 115-42D(2)(c) of this section.
[3] 
In AO Zones, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor (including basement) at or above the highest adjacent grade at least as high as the depth number specified on the FIRM.
[4] 
The design and construction standards and specifications contained in the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) and in the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) or the latest edition thereof adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and ASCE 24 and 34 Pa. Code (Chapters 401 through 405 as amended) shall be utilized, where they are more restrictive.
(b) 
Nonresidential structures.
[1] 
In AE, A1-30 and AH Zones, any new construction or substantial improvement of a nonresidential structure shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated up to or above the regulatory flood elevation or be designed and constructed so that the space enclosed below the regulatory flood elevation:
[a] 
Is floodproofed so that the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water; and
[b] 
Has structural components with the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy.
[2] 
In A Zones, where no base flood elevations are specified on the FIRM, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated or completely floodproofed up to or above the regulatory flood elevation determined in accordance with § 115-42D(2)(c) of this section.
[3] 
In AO Zones, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have their lowest floor elevated or completely floodproofed above the highest adjacent grade to at least as high as the depth number specified on the FIRM.
[4] 
Any nonresidential structure, or part thereof, made watertight below the regulatory flood elevation shall be floodproofed in accordance with the W1 or W2 space classification standards contained in the publication entitled "Flood-Proofing Regulations" published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (June 1972, as amended March 1992) or with some other equivalent standard. All plans and specifications for such floodproofing shall be accompanied by a statement certified by a registered professional engineer or architect which states that the proposed design and methods of construction are in conformance with the above-referenced standards. There should be a statement submitted with the permit application and a statement submitted with the as-built floodproofing certificate prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy.
[5] 
Any nonresidential structure that will be floodproofed must submit the following to the Floodplain Administrator along with the nonresidential floodproofing certificate and prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy:
[a] 
An inspection and maintenance plan detailing the annual maintenance of floodproofed components ensuring that all components will operate properly under flood conditions. Components that must be inspected include at a minimum:
[i] 
Mechanical equipment such as sump pumps and generators;
[ii] 
Flood shields and closures;
[iii] 
Walls and wall penetrations; and
[iv] 
Levees and berms (as applicable).
[b] 
A flood emergency operation plan detailing the procedures to be followed during a flooding event, and must include information pertaining to how all components will operate properly under all conditions, including power failures. The design professional must produce the plan. An adequate plan must include the following:
[i] 
An established chain of command and responsibility with leadership responsibilities clearly defined for all aspects of the plan.
[ii] 
A procedure for notification of necessary parties when flooding threatens and flood warnings are issued. Personnel required to be at the building should have a planned and safe means of ingress and should have no other emergency response duties during a flood event. Alternates should be assigned in the event that the primary persons responsible are unable to complete their assigned duties under the plan.
[iii] 
A list of specific duties assigned to ensure that all responsibilities are addressed expeditiously. The locations of materials necessary to properly install all floodproofing components must be included in the list.
[iv] 
An evacuation plan for all personnel or occupants, those without duties for the flood emergency as well as those with duties for implementing the plan. All possible ingress and egress routes must be identified.
[v] 
A periodic training and exercise program to keep personnel and occupants aware of their duties and responsibilities. Training drills should be held at least once a year and should be coordinated with community officials.
[6] 
The design and construction standards and specifications contained in the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) and in the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) or the latest revision thereof as adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and ASCE 24 and 34 Pa. Code (Chapters 401 through 405, as amended) shall be utilized, where they are more restrictive.
(c) 
Space below the lowest floor.
[1] 
Fully enclosed space below the lowest floor (excluding basements) which will be used solely for the parking of a vehicle, building access, or incidental storage in an area other than a basement shall be designed and constructed to allow for the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters for the purpose of equalizing hydrostatic forces on exterior walls. The term "fully enclosed space" also includes crawl spaces.
[2] 
Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:
[a] 
A minimum of two openings having a net total area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed space installed on two separate walls.
[b] 
The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade.
[c] 
Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, or other coverings or devices, provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.
(d) 
Historic structures. Historic structures undergoing repair or rehabilitation that would constitute a substantial improvement as defined in this section must comply with all ordinance requirements that do not preclude the structure's continued designation as an historic structure. Documentation that a specific ordinance requirement will cause removal of the structure from the National Register of Historic Places or the State Inventory of Historic Places must be obtained from the Secretary of the Interior or the State Historic Preservation Officer. Any exemption from ordinance requirements will be the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
(e) 
Accessory structures. Structures accessory to a principal building need not be elevated or floodproofed to remain dry but shall comply, at a minimum, with the following requirements:
[1] 
The structure shall not be designed or used for human habitation but shall be limited to the parking of vehicles or to the storage of tools, material, and equipment related to the principal use or activity.
[2] 
The floor area shall not exceed 200 square feet.
[3] 
The structure will have a low damage potential.
[4] 
The structure will be located on the site so as to cause the least obstruction to the flow of floodwaters.
[5] 
Power lines, wiring, and outlets will be elevated to the regulatory flood elevation.
[6] 
Permanently affixed utility equipment and appliances, such as furnaces, heaters, washers, dryers, etc., are prohibited.
[7] 
Sanitary facilities are prohibited.
[8] 
The structure shall be adequately anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, and lateral movement and shall be designed to automatically provide for the entry and exit of floodwater for the purpose of equalizing hydrostatic forces on the walls. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect or meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:
[a] 
A minimum of two openings having a net total area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed space.
[b] 
The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade.
[c] 
Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, etc., or other coverings or devices, provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.
[9] 
For accessory structures that are 200 square feet or larger in area (footprint) and that are below the base flood elevation, a variance is required as set forth in § 115-92H. If a variance is granted, a signed Declaration of Land Restriction (Nonconversion Agreement) shall be recorded on the property deed prior to issuance of the certificate of occupancy.
[10] 
Prohibit the storage of hazardous materials in accessory structures.
(3) 
Design and construction standards. The following minimum standards shall apply for all construction and development proposed within any identified floodplain area:
(a) 
Fill. Within any identified floodplain area, the use of fill shall be prohibited. If a variance is obtained in accordance with the criteria in § 115-42H, then the following provisions apply:
[1] 
No filling activity shall be permitted in the floodway except for construction of a bridge as otherwise authorized or permitted by law.
[2] 
If fill is used, it shall:
[a] 
Extend laterally at least 15 feet beyond the building line from all points;
[b] 
Consist of soil or small rock materials only; sanitary landfills shall not be permitted;
[c] 
Be compacted to provide the necessary permeability and resistance to erosion, scouring, or settling;
[d] 
Be no steeper than one vertical to two horizontal feet unless substantiated data justifying steeper slopes are submitted to and approved by the Floodplain Administrator; and
[e] 
Be used to the extent to which it does not adversely affect adjacent properties.
(b) 
Drainage facilities. Storm drainage facilities shall be designed to convey the flow of stormwater runoff in a safe and efficient manner. The system shall ensure proper drainage along streets and provide positive drainage away from buildings. The system shall also be designed to prevent the discharge of excess runoff onto adjacent properties.
(c) 
Water and sanitary sewer facilities and systems.
[1] 
All new or replacement water supply and sanitary sewer facilities and systems shall be located, designed and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damages and the infiltration of floodwaters.
[2] 
Sanitary sewer facilities and systems shall be designed to prevent the discharge of untreated sewage into floodwaters.
[3] 
No part of any on-site waste disposal system shall be located within any identified floodplain area except in strict compliance with all state and local regulations for such systems. If any such system is permitted, it shall be located so as to avoid impairment to it or contamination from it during a flood.
[4] 
The design and construction provisions of the UCC and FEMA No. 348, "Protecting Building Utilities From Flood Damages," and the International Private Sewage Disposal Code shall be utilized.
(d) 
Other utilities. All other utilities, such as gas lines, electrical and telephone systems, shall be located, elevated (where possible) and constructed to minimize the chance of impairment during a flood.
(e) 
Streets. The finished elevation of all new streets shall be no more than one foot below the regulatory flood elevation.
(f) 
Storage. All materials that are buoyant, flammable, explosive, or in times of flooding could be injurious to human, animal, or plant life and not listed in § 115-42E(4), Development which may endanger human life, shall be stored at or above the regulatory flood elevation or floodproofed to the maximum extent possible.
(g) 
Placement of buildings and structures. All buildings and structures shall be designed, located, and constructed so as to offer the minimum obstruction to the flow of water and shall be designed to have a minimum effect upon the flow and height of floodwater.
(h) 
Anchoring.
[1] 
All buildings and structures shall be firmly anchored in accordance with accepted engineering practices to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement.
[2] 
All air ducts, large pipes, storage tanks, and other similar objects or components located below the regulatory flood elevation shall be securely anchored or affixed to prevent flotation.
(i) 
Floors, walls and ceilings.
[1] 
Wood flooring used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be installed to accommodate a lateral expansion of the flooring, perpendicular to the flooring grain, without causing structural damage to the building.
[2] 
Plywood used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be of a marine or water-resistant variety.
[3] 
Walls and ceilings at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be designed and constructed of materials that are water-resistant and will withstand inundation.
[4] 
Windows, doors, and other components at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be made of metal or other water-resistant material.
(j) 
Paints and adhesives.
[1] 
Paints and other finishes used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be of marine or water-resistant quality.
[2] 
Adhesives used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be of a marine or water-resistant variety.
[3] 
All wooden components (doors, trim, cabinets, etc.) used at or below the regulatory flood elevation shall be finished with a marine or water-resistant paint or other finishing material.
(k) 
Electrical components.
[1] 
Electrical distribution panels shall be at least three feet above the base flood elevation.
[2] 
Separate electrical circuits shall serve lower levels and shall be dropped from above.
(l) 
Equipment.
[1] 
Water heaters, furnaces, air-conditioning and ventilating units, and other electrical, mechanical or utility equipment or apparatus shall not be located below the regulatory flood elevation and shall be anchored to resist flotation, collapse, and lateral movement.
[2] 
Ductwork shall be elevated to or above the regulatory flood elevation or floodproofed to remain water-resistant.
(m) 
Fuel supply systems. All gas and oil supply systems shall be designed to prevent the infiltration of floodwaters into the system and discharges from the system into floodwaters. Additional provisions shall be made for the drainage of these systems in the event that floodwater infiltration occurs.
(n) 
Uniform Construction Code coordination. The standards and specifications contained in 34 Pa. Code (Chapters 401 through 405), as amended, and not limited to the following provisions shall apply to the above and other sections and subsections of this section, to the extent that they are more restrictive and supplement the requirements of this section:
[1] 
International Building Code (IBC) 2009 or the latest revision thereof as adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Sections 801, 1202, 1403, 1603, 1605, 1612 and 3402 and Appendix G.
[2] 
International Residential Building Code (IRC) 2009 or the latest revision thereof as adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Sections R104, R105, R109 and R322 and Appendix E and Appendix J.
(4) 
Development which may endanger human life.
(a) 
Within any identified floodplain area, any structure of the kind described in Subsection E(4)(b) below shall be prohibited. No variance shall be granted.
(b) 
In accordance with the Pennsylvania Flood Plain Management Act[7] and the regulations adopted by the Department of Community and Economic Development as required by the Act, any new or substantially improved structure which will be used for the production or storage of any of the following dangerous materials or substances; or will be used for any activity requiring the maintenance of a supply of more than 550 gallons, or other comparable volume, of any of the following dangerous materials or substances on the premises; or will involve the production, storage, or use of any amount of radioactive substances, shall be prohibited. The following is a list of materials and substances that are considered dangerous to human life:
Acetone
Ammonia
Benzene
Calcium carbide
Carbon disulfide
Celluloid
Chlorine
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrocyanic acid
Magnesium
Nitric acid and oxides of nitrogen
Pesticides (including insecticides, fungicides, and rodenticides)
Petroleum products (gasoline, fuel oil, etc.)
Phosphorus
Potassium
Radioactive substances, insofar as such substances are not otherwise regulated
Sodium
Sulphur and sulphur products
[7]
Editor's Note: See 32 P.S. § 679.101 et seq.
(5) 
Special requirements for subdivisions and development. All subdivision proposals and development proposals containing at least 50 lots or at least five acres, whichever is the lesser, in identified floodplain areas where base flood elevation data are not available shall be supported by hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analyses that determine base flood elevations and floodway information. The analyses shall be prepared by a licensed professional engineer in a format required by FEMA for a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) and Letter of Map Revision (LOMR). Submittal requirements and processing fees shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
(6) 
Special requirements for recreational vehicles. Within any identified floodplain area recreational vehicles shall be prohibited. If a variance is obtained in accordance with the criteria in § 115-42H, then the following provisions apply:
(a) 
Recreational vehicles in Zones A, A1-30, AH and AE must:
[1] 
Be on the site for fewer than 180 consecutive days; and
[2] 
Be fully licensed and ready for highway use.
F. 
Prohibited activities.
(1) 
General. In accordance with the administrative regulations promulgated by the Department of Community and Economic Development to implement the Pennsylvania Flood Plain Management Act, the following activities shall be prohibited within any identified floodplain:
(a) 
The commencement of any of the following activities, or the construction, enlargement, or expansion of any structure used, or intended to be used, for any of the following activities:
[1] 
The construction, enlargement or expansion of hospitals (public or private).
[2] 
The construction, enlargement or expansion of nursing homes (public or private).
[3] 
The construction, enlargement or expansion of jails or prisons.
[4] 
The construction, enlargement or expansion of manufactured homes, a new manufactured home park or manufactured home subdivision, or substantial improvement to an existing manufactured home park or manufactured home subdivision.
[5] 
Clear-cutting of trees.
[a] 
Clear-cutting of trees, as defined in § 115-6 of this chapter, or the clearing of vegetation, except where such clearing is necessary:
[i] 
For construction permitted as a result of action by the Zoning Hearing Board;
[ii] 
As a reforestation measure;
[iii] 
As a means to eliminate dead, diseased or hazardous tree stands; or
[b] 
Where a clear-cutting operation is deemed permissible for one of the above reasons, it shall be consistent with the terms of a woodland management plan approved by the Board of Supervisors. Under no circumstances shall a clear-cutting operation be conducted within 25 feet of a stream.
[6] 
Sod farming.
[7] 
The installation of subsurface sewage disposal areas.
[8] 
A junkyard.
[9] 
Storage and/or use of portable toilets.
G. 
Existing structures in identified floodplain area.
(1) 
Existing structures. The provisions of this section do not require any changes or improvements to be made to lawfully existing structures. However, when an improvement is made to any existing structure, the provisions of § 115-42G(2) shall apply.
(2) 
Improvements. The following provisions shall apply whenever any improvement is made to an existing structure located within any identified floodplain area:
(a) 
Expansion or enlargement of an existing structure shall not be allowed within any Floodway Area/District.
(b) 
The modification, repair, reconstruction or improvement of any kind to a nonconforming structure or use in a floodway and the modification, expansion, enlargement, repair, reconstruction or improvement of any kind to a nonconforming structure or use located in a floodway fringe (AE Area) or approximated floodplain (A Area) must be authorized as a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board under the provisions of Article XVI of this chapter. In considering such special exceptions, the Zoning Hearing Board shall apply the following standards and criteria:
[1] 
Assure itself that the proposed change is consistent with the spirit, purpose and intent of the Zoning Ordinance.
[2] 
Assure itself that the proposed use is feasible and suitable in relation to the land use capabilities of the property in question, particularly its capabilities in terms of a suitable water supply, drainage, sewage disposal, topography, soil conditions and ecological considerations.
[3] 
Determine that the proposed change will serve the best interests of the Township, the convenience of the community, where applicable, and the public welfare.
[4] 
Ascertain the adequacy of sanitation and public safety provisions, where applicable, and require a certificate of adequacy or a permit for sewage and water facilities from the Chester County Health Department or the appropriate governmental agency in any case required herein or deemed advisable.
[5] 
The filling in of the floodway, floodway fringe or approximated floodplain is not permitted unless such activity is for the construction of a bridge otherwise permitted by applicable law. If any filling or alteration to the elevation of the ground in the floodway, floodway fringe or approximated floodplain or any alteration or relocation of any perennial stream is contemplated for the construction of a bridge as otherwise permitted by law, the Zoning Hearing Board shall determine that the developer has notified in writing, by certified mail, all adjacent communities which may be affected by such alterations and has submitted copies of such notification to the Township, the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and has, in addition, obtained a permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
[6] 
Any modification, alteration, repair, reconstruction or improvement of any kind to a nonconforming structure or use located in the Floodplain District to an extent or amount of less than 50% of its market value shall be elevated and/or floodproofed to the greatest extent possible.
[7] 
Any modification, alteration, repair, reconstruction as a result of substantial damage, expansion or improvement of any kind to a nonconforming structure or use regardless of location within the Floodplain District to an extent or amount of 50% or more of its market value shall be undertaken only in full compliance with the provisions of this chapter and any other applicable ordinances.
[8] 
All structures shall be constructed and placed on the lot so as to offer the minimum obstruction to the flow of water and shall be designed to have a minimum obstruction effect upon the flow and height of floodwater.
[9] 
The following materials shall be prohibited from storage below the base flood elevation: buoyant, flammable or explosive materials; materials which could be injurious to human, animal or plant life during periods of flooding; and materials capable of causing downstream damage or clogging of downstream drainage facilities during periods of flooding. In all cases buildings, structures, vehicles and materials shall be properly secured so as to prevent downstream or other damage during periods of flooding.
(c) 
No expansion or enlargement of an existing structure shall be allowed within an AE Area/District without floodway that would, together with all other existing and anticipated development, increase the BFE at any point.
(d) 
The above activity shall also address the requirements of the 34 Pa. Code, as amended, and the 2009 IBC and the 2009 IRC or most recent revision thereof as adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(e) 
Any modification, alteration, reconstruction, or improvement of any kind that meets the definition of "cumulative substantial damage" shall be undertaken only in full compliance with the provisions of this section.
(f) 
Existing manufactured homes:
[1] 
Shall be:
[a] 
Placed on a permanent foundation;
[b] 
Elevated so that the lowest floor of the manufactured home is at least 1 1/2 feet above base flood elevation; and
[c] 
Anchored to resist flotation, collapse, or lateral movement (including additions).
[2] 
Equipment requirement.
[a] 
Water heaters, furnaces, air-conditioning and ventilating units, and other electrical, mechanical or utility equipment or apparatus shall not be located below the regulatory flood elevation and shall be anchored to resist flotation, collapse, and lateral improvement.
[b] 
Ductwork shall be elevated to or above the regulatory flood elevation or floodproofed to remain water-resistant.
[3] 
Where there are existing manufactured homes, adequate surface drainage and access for a manufactured home hauler shall be provided.
[4] 
When manufactured homes are to be elevated on pilings, lots shall be large enough to permit steps; piles shall be placed in stable soil no more than 10 feet apart; and reinforcement shall be provided for pilings more than six feet above the ground level.
[5] 
Over-the-top ties shall be provided at each of the four corners of the manufactured home, with two additional ties per side at intermediate locations, with manufactured homes less than 50 feet long requiring one additional tie per side.
[6] 
Frame ties shall be provided at each corner of the home, with five additional ties per side at intermediate points, with manufactured homes less than 50 feet long requiring four additional ties per side.
[7] 
All components of the anchoring system shall be capable of carrying a force of 4,800 pounds.
[8] 
Installation of manufactured homes shall be done in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions as provided by the manufacturer. Where the applicant cannot provide the above information, the requirements of Appendix E of the 2009 International Residential Building Code or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's "Permanent Foundations for Manufactured Housing," 1984 Edition, draft or latest revision thereto, and 34 Pa. Code, Chapters 401 through 405, shall apply.
[9] 
Consideration shall be given to the installation requirements of the 2009 IBC and the 2009 IRC or the latest revision thereto as adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and 34 Pa. Code, as amended, where appropriate and/or applicable to units where the manufacturer's standards for anchoring cannot be provided or were not established for the proposed units' installation.
H. 
Special exceptions and variances.
(1) 
General.
(a) 
If compliance with any of the requirements of this section would result in an exceptional hardship to a prospective builder, developer or landowner, the Township of East Bradford Zoning Hearing Board, in accordance with the provisions of Article XVI, may, upon request, grant relief from the strict application of the requirements.
(b) 
In the case of an appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board for a special exception under the provisions of § 115-42G(2), the applicant shall have the right to supply additional testimony and evidence to the Zoning Hearing Board requesting relief from such hardship.
(2) 
Variance procedures and conditions. Requests for variances shall be considered by the Township of East Bradford Zoning Hearing Board in accordance with the procedures contained in § 115-42C(11) and the following:
(a) 
No variance shall be granted within any identified floodplain area that would cause any increase in BFE. In A Area/District, BFEs are determined using the methodology in § 115-42D(2)(c).
(b) 
No variances shall be granted for a proposed accessory structure that exceeds 600 square feet in size. A signed Non-Conversion Agreement is required as a condition of receiving the variance.
(c) 
No variance shall be granted for any of the prohibited activities (§ 115-42F) or development which may endanger human life (§ 115-42E).
(d) 
If granted, a variance shall involve only the least modification necessary to provide relief.
(e) 
In granting any variance, the Township of East Bradford Zoning Hearing Board shall attach whatever reasonable conditions and safeguards it considers necessary in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare and to achieve the objectives of this section.
(f) 
Whenever a variance is granted, the Township of East Bradford Zoning Hearing Board shall notify the applicant in writing that:
[1] 
The granting of the variance may result in increased premium rates for flood insurance.
[2] 
Such variances may increase the risks to life and property.
(g) 
Review of request for variance.
[1] 
In reviewing any request for a variance, the Township of East Bradford Zoning Hearing Board shall consider, at a minimum, the following:
[a] 
That there is good and sufficient cause.
[b] 
That failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant.
[c] 
That the granting of the variance will neither:
[i] 
Result in an unacceptable or prohibited increase in flood heights, additional threats to public safety, or extraordinary public expense; nor
[ii] 
Create nuisances, cause fraud on, or victimize the public or conflict with any other applicable state or local ordinances and regulations.
[d] 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall grant a special exception or variance only upon determination that it is the minimum necessary to afford relief considering the flood hazard. In the case of requirements for floodproofing, the highest feasible class of floodproofing, as defined by floodproofing regulations promulgated by the office of the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, shall be provided.
[e] 
In any case where the Zoning Hearing Board shall grant a special exception or variance to permit the erection of a structure in the Floodplain District, or a special exception or a variance to permit a change in use of a structure already existing in the Floodplain District, the Board shall, for the protection of prospective purchasers and lessees, impose the following conditions:
[i] 
Require the applicant to advise prospective purchasers and/or lessees that the lot is located either entirely or partially, as the case may be, in the Floodplain District.
[ii] 
Require that, before settlement or change in use, as the case may be, may take place, the purchaser or lessee shall acknowledge in writing that he has been advised that the premises are partially or entirely in the Floodplain District, and a signed copy of such acknowledgment shall be delivered to the Township by the applicant.
[iii] 
A deed restriction shall be created and placed on record to run as a covenant with the land, which restriction shall contain the following provision:
"This lot is entirely (partially) within the area of the one-hundred-year flood as defined by the East Bradford Township Zoning Ordinance."
[2] 
A complete record of all variance requests and related actions shall be maintained by the Township of East Bradford Zoning Hearing Board. In addition, a report of all variances granted during the year shall be included in the annual report to the FEMA.
[3] 
Notwithstanding any of the above, however, all structures shall be designed and constructed so as to have the capability of resisting the one-percent-annual-chance flood.
A. 
Intended purposes. The purposes of this section are as follows:
(1) 
To promote the public health, safety and welfare by the protection of steep slope areas and by encouraging the retention of open space located and designed so as to constitute a harmonious and appropriate part of the physical development of East Bradford Township.
(2) 
To permit only those uses of steep slope areas which are compatible with the conservation of natural conditions and which maintain stable soil conditions by minimizing disturbances to vegetative ground covers and by restricting the regrading of steep slope areas.
(3) 
To limit soil erosion and the resultant destruction of the land, siltation of streams and damage to the property of individuals.
(4) 
To protect low-lying areas from flooding by limiting the increase in stormwater runoff caused by grading of sloped areas, changes of ground cover or the erection of structures.
(5) 
To maintain the ecological integrity and habitat value of steeply sloped areas, i.e., indigenous vegetation and wildlife, which could be adversely affected by otherwise permitted disturbances.
(6) 
To allow the continuing replenishment of groundwater resources and the maintenance of springs.
(7) 
To support the particular objectives of the Lower Brandywine Scenic River Study.
B. 
General provisions.
(1) 
Compliance. No area within the Steep Slope Conservation District shall hereafter be used without full compliance with the terms of this section and other applicable regulations.
(2) 
Steep Slope Conservation District Overlay Concept. The Steep Slope Conservation District shall be deemed an overlay on any zoning district(s) now or hereafter enacted to regulate the use of land in East Bradford Township.
(a) 
The Steep Slope Conservation District shall have no effect on the permitted uses in the underlying zoning district, except where said uses are intended to be located within the boundaries of the Steep Slope Conservation District, as defined herein, and said uses are in conflict with the permitted uses set forth in this section.
(b) 
In those areas of the Township where the Steep Slope Conservation District applies, the requirements of the Steep Slope Conservation District shall supersede the requirements of the underlying zoning district(s).
(c) 
Should the Steep Slope Conservation District boundaries be changed as a result of legislative or administrative actions or judicial decision, the zoning requirements applicable to the area in question shall revert to the requirements of the underlying zoning district(s) without consideration of this section.
(d) 
For any parcel or any part thereof on which the Steep Slope Conservation District is an overlay, should the underlying zoning classification(s) be changed as a result of legislative or administrative actions or judicial decision, such change(s) in classification shall have no effect on the boundaries of the Steep Slope Conservation District, unless an amendment to said boundaries was included as part of the proceedings from which the subsequent change(s) originated.
(3) 
Preservation of other restrictions. It is not intended by this section to repeal, abrogate or impair any existing easements, covenants or deed restrictions. However, where this section imposes greater restrictions, the provisions of this section shall prevail.
(4) 
Municipal liability. Any determination that a proposed use complies with this chapter or any approval of a subdivision or land development plan or any issuance of a building permit within or near the Steep Slope Conservation District shall not constitute a representation, guaranty or warranty of any kind by the Township, or by any official or employee thereof, of the practicability or safety of the proposed use and shall create no liability upon the Township, its officials or employees. This chapter does not imply that areas outside the Steep Slope Conservation District boundaries or land uses permitted within said district will always be totally free from the adverse effects of erosion.
C. 
Designation and interpretation of district boundary.
(1) 
The Steep Slope Conservation District includes those areas of land which are determined to have a slope in excess of 20% in accordance with § 95-13C(1)(c) of the Subdivision and Land Development Chapter of the East Bradford Township Code. The Steep Slope Conservation District is further divided into areas with slope from 20% to 30% and areas of prohibitive slope, which areas slope in excess of 30%, and steep slope areas are further categorized as naturally occurring slopes and man-made slopes, all of which are regulated as provided below.
[Amended 12-9-1997 by Ord. No. 5-1997]
(2) 
Boundary interpretation and appeals procedure.
(a) 
Each application for construction or land disturbance within the Steep Slope Conservation District shall be submitted in accordance with Subsection E(1) below. Any area of the Steep Slope Conservation District that falls within the subject lot or lots shall be interpolated and shown on the site plan required under Subsection E(1)(a)[2] through shading of such area or areas.
(b) 
Where an interpretation is needed as to the exact location of the boundaries of the district in relation to a given parcel, an initial determination shall be made by the Township Engineer. Any party seeking such a determination may submit a topographic survey of the property and any other pertinent documentation for consideration. The Township Engineer shall make a written report of the results of his initial determination, a copy of which shall be provided to the Board of Supervisors. The cost of these determinations shall be borne by the applicant.
(c) 
Any party aggrieved by any such determination of the Township Engineer or other decision or determination under this section may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board. The party contesting the location of the district boundary shall have the burden of proof in case of any such appeal.
D. 
Permitted uses.
(1) 
Standards applicable to all uses within the Steep Slope Conservation District.
(a) 
All grading shall be minimized, and shall be undertaken in accordance with all applicable Township ordinances and regulations. No grading shall be undertaken within any area of the Steep Slope Conservation District except where approved in conjunction with a use permitted under the terms of this section.
(b) 
Finished slopes of all cuts and fills shall not exceed 33%, unless the applicant can demonstrate that steeper slopes can be stabilized and maintained adequately to prevent erosion.
(2) 
Regulations applying to man-made slopes.
[Amended 12-9-1997 by Ord. No. 5-1997]
(a) 
Where man-made steep slopes are isolated from naturally occurring steep slope areas and can be altered without affecting said naturally occurring steep slope areas, they can be altered by right where such alteration is required in conjunction with a permitted use in the zoning district in which the slopes occur, subject to the requirements of Subsection E(1)(a)[2] and E(1)(a)[5] below. Man-made steep slopes shall also comply with the following requirements:
[Amended 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005]
[1] 
The proposed finished slope shall be less severe than the existing finished slope.
[2] 
The burden of proof that the slopes are man-made should be on the applicant, by presentation of a previous plan of the property or other satisfactory evidence (photographs, etc).
(b) 
Where man-made slopes are adjacent to naturally occurring steep slope areas and cannot be altered without affecting said naturally occurring steep slope areas, then the alteration of such man-made slopes shall be subject to the following regulation applying to the naturally occurring steep slope.
(3) 
Regulations applying to naturally occurring steep slopes.
[Added 12-9-1997 by Ord. No. 5-1997]
(a) 
The following uses shall be permitted by right in all steep slope areas:
[1] 
Parks and passive recreational uses, consistent with the goals of watershed protection.
[Amended 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005]
[2] 
Logging and woodcutting, where such activity is limited to highly selective removal of trees and when conducted in conformity with conservation practices approved by the Chester County Conservation District. A logging plan must be prepared by a registered forester and reviewed by the Township. No clear cutting will be permitted. Precautions shall be taken to minimize destruction of or injury to understory brush and trees.
[Amended 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005]
[3] 
Agricultural uses when conducted in conformity with conservation practices, including minimum tillage methods, approved by the Soil Conservation Service or the Chester County Conservation District.
(b) 
Uses permitted by right in prohibitive slope areas. Prohibitive slopes may not be disturbed by grading, building or other construction activity unless such grading or construction activity is required to gain roadway, driveway or utility line access suitable for the proposed use to a portion of an existing property otherwise inaccessible and unless the maximum area of disturbance of the naturally occurring slope does not exceed 5,000 square feet.
[Amended 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005]
(c) 
The following uses shall be permitted by right in steep slope areas in excess of 20% but not exceeding 30 percent grade:
[1] 
The minimum grading required to gain roadway, emergency, driveway or utility line access to a portion of a property where it can be demonstrated that no other routing which avoids steep slopes is feasible.
[2] 
No more than 50% of the ground area of a single-family dwelling, including necessary improvements to accommodate construction of the home on the lot.
[Amended 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005]
[3] 
Retaining walls when constructed in conjunction with a permitted use in the zoning district in which the slopes occur and when such retaining walls are constructed at the down slope edge of the steep slope with no part of the retaining wall (segmented wall tie backs, standard wall footings, etc) protruding into prohibitive steep slope areas.
[Amended 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005]
[4] 
Private or public water supply wells and individual on-site sanitary sewage disposal systems where it can be demonstrated that no other location for such facilities is available on the lot.
[5] 
Yard area of any permitted use in the zoning district in which the slopes occur.
(d) 
Within the Steep Slope Conservation District, the total amount of impervious surface that may be installed or maintained shall not exceed 50% of the maximum amount of impervious surface permitted in the zoning district in which the slopes occur.
E. 
Administration. Administration of this section is governed by Article XIX of this chapter. In addition, the following requirements shall apply:
[Amended 12-9-1997 by Ord. No. 5-1997]
(1) 
Application procedures.
(a) 
Before a permit is issued for any construction or land disturbance activity on land within or affecting the Steep Slope Conservation District, the following material, in full or in pertinent parts, shall be submitted for review by the Township Engineer:
[1] 
A site plan of the property indicating existing and proposed structures, other impervious surfaces, storm drainage facilities, utility services and retaining walls. The site plan shall also locate and identify existing vegetation proposed to be disturbed in the Steep Slope Conservation District as well as proposed landscaping to be installed.
[2] 
An earthmoving plan for the property which indicates existing grades in accordance with § 95-13C(1)(a) of the East Bradford Township Code and proposed grades within the area of the proposed activity, disturbance or construction. All areas within the Steep Slope Conservation District shall be shaded on the plan in a manner to distinguish slopes in the range of 20% to 30% from those areas in excess of thirty-percent slope.
[3] 
Architectural plans, elevations and sections of buildings along with plans for retaining walls proposed to be constructed in the Steep Slope Conservation District.
[4] 
A plan, profile and typical cross section showing the construction and provisions for drainage of any proposed street, emergency access or driveway, sealed by a registered professional engineer.
[5] 
All grading and construction plans shall show provisions for erosion and sediment control and stormwater management.
(b) 
No approval or zoning compliance permit shall be authorized by the Zoning Officer without the Township Engineer's review of the material and his recommendations thereon.
[Amended 8-10-2004 by Ord. No. 4-2004]
(2) 
The following additional criteria shall apply to the review of plans for land disturbance in the Steep Slope Conservation District:
[Amended 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005]
(a) 
Disturbance to particularly sensitive areas of the site shall be minimized. In planning for the site, special emphasis shall be given to the protection of:
[1] 
Areas sloped 25% or greater.
[2] 
Perched water tables, springs, seeps and other resources which may impact the groundwater geology of the site.
(b) 
The concentration of runoff shall be avoided to prevent erosion down slope of the proposed development.
(c) 
Removal of or disturbance to existing vegetation on the site shall be limited to the area of construction necessary for the proposed improvements only. Any vegetation removed or disturbed shall be replaced in kind or per the recommendations of the Township Landscape Architect immediately.
(d) 
Important visual qualities of the site and slopes shall be retained, such as (but not limited to) vegetation, hilltops or ridge lines, rock outcroppings or individual rocks and the natural terrain. Any accidental disturbance to these features must be mitigated or replaced in kind or with an equal acceptable to the Zoning Officer and/or Township Engineer or Township Landscape Architect.
(e) 
Roadway or driveway construction, when permitted by other sections of this chapter, shall utilize cross slopes that compliment the natural topography, minimizing cutting and filling operations. Retaining walls shall be utilized where grading without retaining walls results in a path of disturbance double the width of the proposed roadway or driveway.
(f) 
Innovative, imaginative building techniques that are well suited to steeply sloped conditions shall be utilized, consistent with other applicable codes and regulations.
(g) 
The equilibrium of the slope, as characterized by the existing interrelationships among the soil, geology, surface and ground water and vegetation shall not be altered. The applicant shall submit a report, completed by a professional engineer registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, stating that the aforementioned characteristics have been identified and analyzed, and the engineer has concluded that the proposed construction will not result in a failure of the slopes afterward and reasons why the slopes will remain stable.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 115-44, Soils with seasonally high water table, was repealed 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005.
[Amended 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005; 12-13-2006 by Ord. No. 8-2006]
A. 
Applicability. The requirements in this section shall apply to all lot activity which would cause disturbance or removal of existing vegetation, including but not limited to all lot improvements regulated by Chapter 45, Building Construction, of the Code, or any other lot activity requiring a Township permit or other approval.
B. 
Limitations to vegetation disturbance. Vegetation disturbance, including disturbance of valued woodlands, on any lot shall be minimized.
(1) 
Calculation.
(a) 
No vegetated areas shall be disturbed in such a manner that the number of existing trees having a dbh of 12 inches or greater shall be removed pursuant to the following calculation, where x is the total acreage of existing woodlands, y is the acreage of woodlands permitted to be removed and z is the total lot acreage (gross):
y = x - 0.5(z)
(b) 
If y (acreage of woodlands permitted to be removed) is negative, woodland removal is prohibited. If y is a fractional amount, it shall be rounded down to the next whole number.
(2) 
Subject to the provisions of Subsection E herein, clearing of trees for any purpose shall not result in the removal of more than 20% of any existing tree mass; tree line; hedgerow; or individual freestanding trees having a dbh of six inches or greater, as inventoried within the total tract area. The required inventory shall include the location of existing individual trees, tree masses and their associated vegetation layers, mature trees and other vegetation such as hedgerows; wetland vegetation; old field; meadow, pasture or cropland; orchard; cultivated and ornamental garden areas; etc. Said removal limit of 20% shall be inclusive of prior tree mass removal on the lot or tract, as indicated by County GIS data or other tree mass data or resources available to the Township dating back to March 21, 1988.
[Amended 8-10-2010 by Ord. No. 2-2010]
(3) 
Trees designated as William Penn trees shall not be disturbed or removed from any location on a site, except as necessary for widening of an existing public road, extension of a public utility when there is no alternative route, or if the tree is deemed hazardous by a certified arborist. Such removal shall be reviewed and approved by the Township Engineer in consultation with Township staff and consultants. The limitation on disturbance extends to the tree's canopy and root zone, which is the area on the ground directly below the outer extent of the tree's canopy. All proposed improvements must be placed outside of the canopy and root zone.
(4) 
In the event that grading will be performed on a site which shall result in the removal of more than 5,000 square feet of the vegetation on the site at any time, a permit shall be required in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 90, Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control, of the Code, regardless of whether such a permit is otherwise required.
(5) 
Regulations regarding tree and other vegetation removal shall not extend to deadwood or diseased plants. The Township shall have discretion to require removal of unhealthy or unsafe trees of any size.
(6) 
Undisturbed woodlands to remain shall interconnect with existing woodlands or wooded areas of adjacent properties to preserve continuous woodland corridors and allow for the natural movement and migration of wildlife and the regeneration and dispersion of native vegetation.
(7) 
Disturbance or removal of vegetation occupying environmentally sensitive areas shall be undertaken only as permitted herein to minimize the adverse impacts of such actions. This shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, vegetation performing important soil stabilizing functions on floodplains, stream and pond banks, riparian buffer areas and sloping lands. In addition to any other requirements of the Code, no stripping of vegetation shall be conducted in areas of greater than twenty-percent slopes unless specific approval is obtained from the Zoning Officer after having consulted with the Township Engineer. All disturbance or removal shall be reviewed and approved by the Township Engineer in consultation with Township staff and consultants.
(8) 
All cartways, buildings, driveways and utility easements shall be located in such a manner so as to minimize disturbances to existing vegetation. Lot activities shall be consistent with the preservation of existing trees. Clearing of woodland to provide for construction access shall be minimized by locating access clearings so as to coincide with ultimate driveway locations. Otherwise, access clearings should be located such that each clearing serves two or more adjacent lots.
(9) 
Grade changes to occur at any location on the property shall not result in an alteration to soil or drainage conditions which would adversely affect existing vegetation to be retained following site disturbance, unless adequate provisions are made to protect such vegetation and its root systems.
C. 
Establishment of tree protection zone. All trees, tree masses and their associated vegetation layers, mature trees and other vegetation to within 25 feet of a building or structure, parking area or driveway, stormwater management system or other proposed improvement shall be considered within a tree protection zone and protected from damage during construction activities with approved fencing, or other barrier, to the limits of the tree protection zone. A minimum of 70% of the root zone of trees along the perimeter of the tree protection zone shall be protected from damage, either by fencing or other means, such as retaining walls, aeration pipes, or a temporary layer of mulch topped with plywood in areas of vehicular traffic. Where there are site constraints, such as existing pavement or structures, a property line, or a watercourse, the limit of the tree protection zone and/or fence may be modified with the approval of the Township Engineer and/or landscape architect. If 70% of the root zone cannot be protected, the tree should be removed and replaced subject to Subsection E herein.
[Amended 9-9-2008 by Ord. No. 2-2008]
(1) 
The limits of tree protection fencing shall be clearly delineated on a plan. Its installation, prior to earth movement, and removal, following construction or disturbance activities, shall be listed in the sequence of construction. Details noting placement and materials shall be provided on the plans.
(2) 
There shall be no encroachment and/or compaction of soil and roots within the tree protection zone by excavation or trenching, change of grade, storage of materials, soil, debris or vehicles. In addition, there shall be no storage of toxic materials, including petroleum-based products, within 75 feet of a tree protection zone or within 75 feet of the top of slope in steep slope areas as defined by code.
(3) 
Trees shall not be used for roping, cables, signs or fencing. Nails, screws, bolts, fasteners, spikes and similar devices shall not be driven into trees.
(4) 
Tree protection zone fencing is subject to periodic monitoring by the Township. Any downed fencing shall be replaced immediately.
D. 
Tree removal procedures adjacent to tree protection zones. The following procedures shall be followed to ensure that trees within tree protection zones are not damaged by tree removal activities outside of the tree protection zone.
(1) 
Roots from trees within the tree protection zone, which must be trimmed as a result of earth disturbance outside of the tree protection zone, shall be cut by a backhoe or similar equipment aligned radially to the tree. This method reduces the lateral movement of the remaining roots, reducing the possibility of damage to the intertwined roots of surrounding trees and other vegetation.
(a) 
Within four hours of any severance of roots, all roots that have been exposed and/or damaged shall be trimmed cleanly and covered temporarily with peat moss, moist burlap or biodegradable material to keep them moist and protected from disease until permanent cover is installed. Permanent cover shall be installed within 72 hours of the initial severance of roots.
(b) 
Tree stumps which are located within 10 feet of a tree protection zone shall be removed by means of a stump grinder or similar device which will minimize disturbance to existing intertwined roots within a tree protection zone. A stump shall be ground and removed to a point at least six inches below ground level.
(2) 
Trees that are to be removed shall not be felled, pushed or pulled into a tree protection zone.
E. 
Compensatory planting. Where the applicant demonstrates that additional tree and woodland removal beyond the permitted 20% is necessary to permit development in accordance with this Chapter 115, Zoning, of the Code, where trees within the tree protection zone are removed and/or where trees 36 inches or greater in diameter are removed from any location on the site, a compensatory planting plan shall be provided to the Codes Enforcement Officer in accordance with the regulations set forth below. For subdivision and land development applications submitted in accordance with Chapter 95, the Board of Supervisors, in consultation with the Planning Commission and Environmental Advisory Council, will determine whether proposed tree and woodland removal meets the requirements of this section.
[Amended 8-10-2010 by Ord. No. 2-2010]
(1) 
Compensatory plantings in accordance with § 115-45E shall be provided at a ratio of:
(a) 
One shade tree for each 1,000 square feet of woodland removed beyond the permitted 20%.
(b) 
One shade tree for each tree six inches and greater in diameter removed within the tree protection zone during the course of project construction.
(c) 
Three shade trees for each non-William Penn tree 36 inches or greater in diameter removed from any location on the site. This includes trees located within areas to receive improvements and trees subject to the permitted twenty-percent cap of woodland removal.
(d) 
Six shade trees for each William Penn tree removed from any location on the site. Compensatory planting may only be provided as four-inch caliper trees of the same species as that removed.
(2) 
Compensatory planting required by Subsection E(1), above, shall be provided as shade trees, reforestation planting, or any combination thereof, comprised of the following plant types;
(a) 
One shade tree, of two to 2 1/2 inches in caliper; or
(b) 
Two evergreen trees (eight feet in height) or deciduous understory trees (two-inch caliper for single-stem trees or eight feet in height for multistem trees) or 10 shrubs (24 inches in height) per required shade tree, for up to 50% of the requirement; or
(c) 
Reforestation plantings in accordance with § 115-45F below.
(3) 
Compensatory plantings are in addition to other required plants, such as buffer, parking lot and foundation planting.
(4) 
Plant material shall conform to the standards contained within § 115-45.1, Planting requirements.
(5) 
A chart tabulating the number of trees or area of woodland being removed, and the number and type of replacement plantings shall be placed on the plans.
(6) 
Compensatory plantings may be placed in any suitable location on the site, and may be used to enhance other requirements, such as buffering. Trees and shrubs should be identified by a symbol or note. Reforestation areas shall be clearly outlined; individual saplings need not be shown.
(7) 
In the event that the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Zoning Officer that constraints incident to the land itself render it impractical to locate on the lot the required number of compensatory plantings, then, at the election of the Zoning Officer, the applicant shall, at the direction of the Zoning Officer:
(a) 
Install fewer, but larger and/or more valuable compensatory trees.
(b) 
Rehabilitate existing on-site woodlands and/or riparian buffers.
(c) 
If agreed to by the applicant, provide for compensatory planting or funds to install such compensatory planting on an off-site location selected by, or acceptable to, the Township.
F. 
Reforestation is encouraged as an option for compensatory planting on those sites large enough to support a minimum reforestation area of 1/2 acre. Reforestation areas should be designed and placed so they will mature into healthy woodlands, with priority given to locations adjacent to existing woodlands, along riparian corridors or where forest creation is desirable.
(1) 
Reforestation plantings shall conform to the following:
(a) 
Trees shall be container grown with a minimum height of four feet.
(b) 
The trees shall be planted at a rate of 300 trees per acre of reforestation area, with an on-center spacing of 12 feet.
(c) 
The planting mixture shall contain a minimum of 60% native canopy trees and a maximum of 40% understory tree species.
(d) 
Plant material shall be subject to the quality, selection and placement criteria of § 115-45.1B and the guarantee of § 115-45.1D.
(2) 
Planting procedures shall be listed on the plans.
(3) 
Maintenance and management guidelines shall be provided for reforestation areas, to ensure their continued survival.
(4) 
Reforestation plans, procedures, budget, and management guidelines shall be submitted to the Township Landscape Architect for review and approval.
G. 
Vegetated area maintenance standards in residential areas.
(1) 
Intent of regulations. It is the intent of these regulations that, within or adjacent to predominately residential areas, property owners shall not permit vegetation to become overgrown to the point of becoming unsightly and/or unhealthy. At the same time, plants that are grown for a useful or ornamental purpose, fields in agricultural use, and areas of significant natural value should not be subject to excessive, unnecessary or hindering standards of maintenance.
(2) 
Terms of management. Where applicable, as determined by Subsections G(3) and G(4) below, the following practices for the control of vegetation on properties within East Bradford Township shall be adhered to:
(a) 
On developed properties, grassed areas shall be controlled to a maximum height of 12 inches during the growing season.
(b) 
Mowing shall be timed for the most effective control of the specific vegetation (e.g., Ragweed and Canada thistle to be mowed in mid-summer before flower buds are set).
(c) 
Selective control of noxious vegetation may be practiced by means other than mowing. Selective control shall include the following, in order of preferred method: hand pulling, mechanical removal, burning, trimming; use of herbicides shall be the least preferable means of control.
(3) 
Conditions of applicability. Except as exempted under Subsection G(4) below, the terms of this section shall apply to any lot within a subdivision or land development in which average lot size is three acres or less or any preexisting lot of three acres or less, whether or not created through a prior subdivision. Lots shall be considered established, for purposes of this section, upon final approval of the Township and recording in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of Chester County.
(4) 
Exemptions from the terms of this section.
(a) 
Character of the lot: uses, existing vegetation. The terms of this section, where otherwise applicable, may be waived when a lot, or portion thereof, exhibits one or more of the following uses and/or vegetative characteristics.
[1] 
Floodplain (as delineated in § 115-42 of this Chapter) or marsh.
[2] 
Meadow, wildflower meadow, berry patch.
[3] 
Hedgerow.
[4] 
Agriculture, as defined in § 115-6 of this chapter, including land left fallow for up to one year.
[5] 
Areas undergoing a directed process of natural succession.
[6] 
Areas of common open space within a residential development under control of a homeowners' association, where the terms of the management contained in the association bylaws have been approved by the Board of Supervisors.
(b) 
Character of the abutting uses. The terms of this section may be waived where:
[1] 
None of the lands abutting or across a road from the lot are being put to development uses (residential, institutional, commercial, industrial); or
[2] 
All abutting developed lands are owned by (and occupied by no one other than) the party owning the lot in question, and/or abutting landowners waive enforcement of the terms of this section against the lot.
(5) 
Enforcement.
(a) 
Interpretation, administration and enforcement of the terms of this section shall be the responsibility of the East Bradford Township Zoning Officer. Any appeal from his decision shall be handled in accordance with Article XVI of this chapter.
(b) 
In evaluating the applicability of these requirements and exemptions, the Zoning Officer shall, as he deems necessary, consult with the Township Engineer or other organizations or individuals with conservation expertise. Such consultation shall, to the maximum extent possible, involve the affected landowner, and shall be conducted for the purpose of attaining the greatest consistency with the stated intent of these regulations.
[Added 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005[1]]
A. 
Applicability. The requirements of this section shall apply to all lot improvements regulated by Chapter 45 of the Code. The requirements and standards prescribed herein shall be considered the minimum requirements and standards for all plans submitted. Standards established by other Township ordinances or by state and federal rules and regulations shall apply where those standards are more restrictive than the standards set forth herein. All portions of a property not covered by buildings or paved surfaces shall be landscaped utilizing combinations of existing vegetation, trees, shrubs, lawns, ground cover and mulch in accordance with this section. Landscaping and its maintenance should help preserve the resources of East Bradford Township by utilizing such methods as specifying native plants, xeriscaping (using drought-tolerant plants), using drip irrigation systems and sustainable materials.
B. 
General landscape provisions. With the exception of compensatory and reforestation plantings, all proposed landscape material shall conform to the following standards:
(1) 
Nursery-grown plant material shall conform to those listed in the American Standard for Nursery Stock, ANSI Z60.1, current edition, published by the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA).
(a) 
Deciduous trees shall have a minimum caliper of three to 3 1/2 inches, measured at a point six inches above finish grade.
(b) 
Single-stemmed ornamental trees shall have a minimum caliper of two inches, measured at a point six inches above finish grade, and a minimum height of eight feet. Multistemmed trees shall have a minimum height of eight feet.
(c) 
Evergreen trees shall have a minimum height of eight feet.
(d) 
Shrubs utilized for buffering and screening purposes shall be a minimum of 24 inches in height.
(e) 
Shrubs proposed in other areas of the site, including parking lot islands and foundation plantings, shall be a minimum of 18 inches in height or spread, depending on normal growth characteristics of the species.
(f) 
Ground covers, perennials and annuals shall be appropriate to type.
(2) 
Multiplestemmed trees should be identified as such in the plant list and shall be counted as one tree.
(3) 
Plant materials selected shall be suitable to the site's microclimate, be appropriate for the intended function, be proportional to site features, promote diverse natural plant associations and minimize the amount of maintenance required. To promote diversity, no more than 30% of any plant type (e.g., trees, shrubs) shall be of one species.
(4) 
Plants which interfere with the function of utilities, compromise safety, are easily susceptible to disease or pest infestations or are aggressively invasive in nature shall not be permitted.
(5) 
Plant materials shall be spaced appropriate to their species and function in the landscape. Trees shall be offset a minimum of 15 feet from overhead utility lines, light poles, traffic signs and fire hydrants, 10 feet from underground utility lines and, where possible, five feet from sidewalks and driveways.
(6) 
Where the requirements of this section conflict with other requirements of this chapter, the more restrictive requirement shall apply.
C. 
Plan requirements. Plans shall be submitted at the time of applications pursuant to Chapter 45 and shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The signature and seal of the registered landscape architect who prepared the plans.
(2) 
A plant list, which shall include the quantity, botanical and common names of the plants, their size at installation and the method of root containment.
(3) 
Standard specifications for installation, including a guarantee note and planting distances from utilities.
(4) 
A note indicating that shrubs shall be placed in continuous mulched beds.
(5) 
Details for landscape installation, including any specialty features.
(6) 
Irrigation system layout and pipe sizing, if applicable.
(7) 
Berm contours, referenced to existing and proposed grades, if applicable.
(8) 
A standardized note shall be required to be placed on all approved plans stating the following: "The Applicant is responsible to install plantings as depicted on the plans and in accordance with the East Bradford Code. A certificate of occupancy or other final permit approval for the construction or activity shall not be issued by the Township Building Inspector until the required plantings are installed or until an escrow agreement satisfactory to the Township solicitor is finalized to assure installation and maintenance of such plantings."
D. 
Guarantee and maintenance. All landscape materials depicted on the approved landscape plan shall be financially secured, guaranteed and maintained for a period of two years following final permit approval and included within and secured by a maintenance agreement required by the Township and in a recordable form acceptable to the Township Solicitor. In addition, the guarantee shall provide for timely removal and replacement of plantings which do not survive. This guarantee shall be applicable to existing plant material which is contributing to the minimum planting requirements stated herein. The applicant shall pay for the services of the Township Landscape Architect to monitor and report on compliance with these requirements to the Township.
E. 
Credit for existing preserved plant material. Where preserved, existing trees and shrubs currently lie within 15 feet of a proposed right-of-way or feature, these plants may be credited toward the required planting, with approval of the Zoning Officer, and subject to the following:
(1) 
The plants must be of viable health and character.
(2) 
Shade trees must be capable of reaching a mature height of 35 feet and width of 15 feet.
(3) 
Existing plants found to be in poor health or lacking normal growth habit during the two-year guarantee period shall be replaced with nursery-grown plant material, capable of meeting the minimum requirements toward which the existing material was credited. Plants with 50% or more dead vegetation or wood are considered dead and require replacement. Replacement plants are subject to the two-year guarantee. A note to this effect shall be placed on the plans.
F. 
Buffer planting. Buffer yards shall be provided as required in § 115-52 of this Chapter 115, Zoning. The following standards shall be applied in buffer yards:
[Amended 12-13-2006 by Ord. No. 8-2006]
(1) 
The following is the minimum amount of plant material required per 100 linear feet of unvegetated buffer length for each buffer type. The standard shall be prorated for portions of buffers less than 100 feet in length.
(a) 
Screen buffers (50 feet): two shade trees, eight evergreen trees, and 20 shrubs. Screen buffer plantings shall be designed to minimize all adverse impacts that the proposed development may have on the adjacent land use.
(b) 
Perimeter buffers (25 feet): three shade trees, three evergreen trees, and 10 shrubs. Perimeter buffer plantings may be grouped or clustered to provide views of project identification signs or prominent site features; however, no more than 100 feet shall be permitted between any two plants.
(2) 
Buffer plantings may be placed anywhere within the required buffer yard, except that no plant may be placed within five feet of a property line. Naturalistic placement and vertical layering of plant material is encouraged. Buffers shall be designed to complement and integrate with existing buffer plantings and natural areas on adjacent properties. Buffer plantings may be increased at the discretion of the land owner of the proposed development.
(3) 
Preserved, existing plant material may be counted toward satisfying the minimum buffer requirements for that portion of the buffer in which they are present. The quantity of required buffer plants may be reduced by the quantity of existing plants within the vegetated length of the buffer. To be considered as buffer material, the existing vegetation must be of reasonable health and character, woody, noninvasive, and collectively able to meet the desired buffer intensity level. Supplemental plant material shall be required where the existing vegetation is lacking. For example, if the existing vegetation is comprised of deciduous trees and shrubs, then the evergreen tree element must be provided.
(4) 
A minimum of 75% of the required plant material shall be native to the region.
(5) 
To encourage diversity in design, and to accommodate changes in availability of plant material, shade trees may be substituted at the rate of two ornamental trees per shade tree for up to 50% of the shade tree requirement.
(6) 
Shrubs shall consist of a mixture of evergreen and deciduous types, according to site conditions. Shrub plantings which provide a mixture of mature heights and four seasons of interest are encouraged. Shrubs shall be clustered and placed in continuous mulched beds.
(7) 
Earthen berms shall be provided as an integral component of buffers, where topographic conditions permit their construction. Other nonvegetative elements, such as fences, walls and garden features, as determined by the Township Landscape Architect, may be used in conjunction with required plantings and berms to enhance the buffer's functionality or to improve the site's security or aesthetics. Nonvegetative elements shall comply with the following requirements:
(a) 
They shall not impede stormwater runoff, nor divert it off site, or interfere with natural drainage patterns.
(b) 
They shall be placed outside of clear sight triangles and shall not impair the function of utilities.
(c) 
Earthen berms shall average from three feet to five feet in height, with side slopes not exceeding 33%. They shall be placed in a manner that is complementary to the surrounding environment, generally undulating within the buffer width.
(d) 
If walls or fences are placed along the property line, the finished side shall face outward. Gates may be needed to facilitate maintenance or access. If these features are set within the buffer yard, plant material should be placed on both sides to break up their linear appearance.
(e) 
Landscape features, such as gazebos, flagpoles or water features, may be placed within the buffer yards, so long as the intensity of screening is not compromised by these features.
(8) 
The remainder of the buffer area shall be covered with grass, ground covers, mulch or other pervious surfaces suitable to the level of anticipated stormwater runoff and appropriate erosion control.
(9) 
Plant material shall conform to the standards of this section. Plant material which may become a nuisance to neighboring properties or that will threaten the ecological balance of adjacent woodlands and natural areas shall be avoided.
(10) 
All elements within buffer areas are to be continually and regularly maintained by the property owner. A note to this effect shall be placed on the plans.
(11) 
Buffer plantings are subject to periodic Township assessment by the Zoning Officer.
(12) 
A combination of berming, and planting of vegetation, trees and shrubs, shall be employed to create an opaque buffer to prevent visibility from arterial streets, as well as major or minor collector streets, into the lot or tract.
G. 
Street trees. Street trees shall be provided along both sides of all existing or proposed public and private streets that abut or lie within any lot; along access driveways serving two or more nonresidential properties; and along streets proposed for extension or widening. Street trees are in addition to other required plantings, such as buffer, parking lot and compensatory plantings.
(1) 
Street trees shall be provided at a ratio of at least one tree per 50 linear feet, or fraction thereof, of street line or cartway edge. The trees may be arranged either formally or informally, as best suits the character of the development and the surrounding streetscape.
(a) 
In a formal arrangement, the trees shall be arranged so they are relatively evenly spaced. They shall be staggered on opposite sides of the street, so that a tree is located approximately every 25 linear feet, as measured along the center line of the street.
(b) 
In an informal arrangement, the trees may be clustered in groups along the length of the right-of-way. The groupings should be staggered on opposite sides of the street so that the entire street may benefit from their shade. The setback distance from the right-of-way line should be staggered from two feet to 10 feet. Trees within the clusters should be spaced no closer than 20 feet apart to allow for canopy development. The maximum distance between clusters of street trees on the same side of the street shall be no greater than 100 feet.
(c) 
Other alternate arrangements, meeting the intent of this chapter, may be approved by the Zoning Officer.
(2) 
The trees shall be placed a minimum of two feet outside of the existing or proposed right-of-way line. Where a right-of-way line is not proposed, the trees shall be placed a minimum of five feet away from the edge of the cartway. Street trees shall not be placed within clear sight triangles.
(3) 
Street trees shall be limbed up to a height of six feet above grade. This shall be noted on the plant list and in the planting notes or specifications.
(4) 
Plant material shall conform to the standards of this section.
(5) 
To control problems associated with monoculture, a variety of trees shall be used in each street tree planting. No more than 20 trees of a single species should be placed in a planting arrangement. Changes in species should occur at street intersections, changes in horizontal alignment or at natural interruptions, such as a stream crossing. Seventy-five percent of the proposed street tree species shall be native to the region. Tree species that are tolerant of pollution, salt and soil compaction are preferable. Long-lived tree species and those that do not drop nuisance or hazardous fruits and seed pods are preferable.
(6) 
When existing preserved trees are utilized to satisfy part of the street tree requirement, the total length of right-of-way subject to calculation may be reduced by the length of right-of-way containing existing trees meeting these requirements. The quantity of required street trees shall not be reduced by the quantity of existing trees within the vegetated length of right-of-way.
H. 
Parking areas. All parking lots and vehicle storage areas accommodating five or more vehicles shall be designed and effectively landscaped with trees and shrubs to provide shade, mitigate the temperatures of paved areas and break up large expanses of pavement. Except where noted, parking lot plantings are in addition to other required plantings.
(1) 
The perimeter of parking areas, including access drives and stacking lanes for drive-through businesses, shall be landscaped to soften the feature's appearance in accordance with the following:
(a) 
A planting strip a minimum of 10 feet in width shall be provided around the perimeter of these features. When the feature abuts a buffer yard required by this Chapter 115, Zoning, and where the proposed buffer yard plantings are sufficient to meet the criteria of this section, additional plantings are not required. This should be noted on the plan.
(b) 
The planting strip may contain a variety of plant material, but the material shall be capable of providing a continuous screen at a minimum height of 24 inches.
(c) 
The plant material shall be placed a minimum of two feet from the edge of pavement to allow for vehicle overhang and door opening. Required plantings shall be set far enough away from the edge of pavement in areas anticipated for snow removal storage to avoid crushing plants.
(d) 
Earthen berms may be a component of the perimeter planting strip, but shall not reduce the plant material requirement.
(2) 
Landscaped areas totaling not less than 10% of the area within the proposed parking lot shall be provided as raised planting islands and be continually maintained. The area within the proposed parking lot shall be defined to include access aisles, landscape islands and parking spaces or storage areas suitable for parking. Driveways, where no parking is proposed, shall not be included in this calculation. Perimeter planting strips shall not be considered as part of the required interior parking lot landscaping; however, planting islands abutting the perimeter of the parking lot shall be considered.
(3) 
Planting islands shall be distributed throughout the parking lot according to:
(a) 
A raised planting island, a minimum of 10 feet in width and the length of the parking stall, shall be spaced not more than every 15 parking stalls and at the ends of rows of parking stalls. Interior islands shall be placed opposite each other in adjacent rows of parking to reduce the number of raised islands and to increase the area available for tree roots.
(b) 
Raised divider strips, a minimum of 10 feet in width, shall be placed between every two parking bays (four rows of parking) running the length of the rows. If a sidewalk is proposed within the divider strip, the width of the island shall be increased to accommodate the sidewalk width and provide a planting area.
[Amended 12-13-2006 by Ord. No. 8-2006]
(4) 
Shade trees shall be provided within the required islands and adjacent to the parking lot or vehicle storage area at a ratio of one tree per 10 parking spaces. When adjacent to parking stalls and pedestrian use areas, the trees shall be limbed up to a height of six feet above grade. This shall be noted on the plant list and in the planting notes or specifications.
(5) 
A minimum of 50% of the proposed shade trees shall be native to the region.
(6) 
To encourage diversity in design and to accommodate changes in availability of plant material, shade trees may be substituted at the rate of two ornamental trees per shade tree for up to 50% of the shade tree requirement.
(7) 
The remainder of the planting areas shall be planted with a variety of shrubs and ground cover plantings. The plantings within the islands, where clear visibility must be maintained, shall grow lower than or be maintained at a maximum height of 30 inches. A note to this effect shall be placed on the plans. Plantings in divider islands or along the perimeter, where visibility is not compromised, may grow taller.
(8) 
Plant material shall conform to the standards of this section. They shall be species resistant to road salts.
I. 
Loading area and site element screening. Views of all loading areas, equipment and storage areas or yards and utilitarian site elements shall be screened or lessened to the greatest extent possible, especially when such areas are adjacent to residential properties or face public rights-of-way or patron parking areas.
(1) 
The portions of loading areas that are not enclosed within buildings shall be screened by fences, walls, architectural elements and/or evergreen plantings to a minimum height of 10 feet.
(2) 
The vehicular use, or open, end of loading areas shall be screened from public view as close to the edge of pavement as practicable by fences, walls, architectural elements, at a minimum height of six feet, and/or evergreen plantings provided at a minimum height of 10 feet at planting.
(3) 
Site element screens shall be placed around the perimeter of all other utilitarian areas, such as equipment and storage areas or yards, and the nonaccessible sides of trash enclosures and utility boxes, subject to the following requirements:
(a) 
Site element screens shall be comprised of opaque architectural elements softened by plantings, or by evergreen and dense deciduous plant material, capable of reaching a minimum height of six feet at maturity to provide a year round visual screen.
(b) 
Screens shall be placed as close to the element being screened as practicable.
(c) 
Screens surrounding fenced equipment or storage yards shall also contain one shade tree per 50 feet, or fraction thereof, of perimeter fencing.
(4) 
Plant material shall conform to the standards of this section.
(5) 
Where the applicant demonstrates that proposed buffer plantings, required by Subsection F, will adequately screen these areas, the site element screen requirement may be approved subject to such adequate screening where approved by the Zoning Officer.
[Amended 12-13-2006 by Ord. No. 8-2006]
J. 
Stormwater management areas. Plantings shall be provided around all stormwater management areas and structures to soften views of these features and visually unite them with the natural or proposed landscape in accordance with the following:
(1) 
Naturalistic groupings of a mixed variety of plantings shall be provided along the visible areas of basins, berms and outflow structures as appropriate to the type and/or construction of such features. For example, plants may not be appropriate on the rim of a bermed basin because of the possibility of roots breaching the berm, but they are appropriate along the rim of an excavated basin. In the above example, plantings at the toe of the bermed basin are appropriate.
(2) 
Where possible, outflow structures should be softened by shrubs or perennial plantings.
(3) 
The use of low-maintenance, water-purifying meadow plantings in conjunction with native trees and shrubs is encouraged, especially when such features are proposed adjacent to other natural environmental systems.
K. 
Unit landscaping. Foundation plantings shall be provided to soften the architectural facade of each proposed or expanded commercial, industrial, institutional or apartment building in accordance with the following:
(1) 
Plants shall be provided in the quantities shown below and placed along the sides of the building intended for occupant, public or customer use.
(a) 
For each four dwelling units in an apartment building or continuing care facility: one deciduous tree, one evergreen tree and 12 shrubs.
(b) 
For each 100 linear feet of wall on commercial or industrial buildings: one deciduous tree, two evergreen trees and five shrubs.
(c) 
For each 100 linear feet of wall of institutional building or building expansion: five deciduous trees, two evergreen trees and 25 shrubs.
(2) 
Plants are encouraged to be placed near the buildings or between buildings to create a setting for the building, along blank walls and in locations where additional landscaping is needed.
(3) 
Compliance with this section shall be tabulated in a chart, placed on the plans.
(4) 
Plant material shall conform to the standards of this section.
L. 
Plantings, including but not limited to vegetation, trees, shrubs, lawns, ground cover or mulch shall not be planted or installed during nongrowth periods commencing November 1, and running through and until March 1 of each calendar year. Further, no lot disturbance shall occur prior to the nongrowth period, unless applicant commences and fully completes installation of all plantings in a disturbance area prior to the commencement of the non-growth period.
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also repealed former § 115-45.1, Conservation of woodlands, added 2-8-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005. See now § 115-45.2, Conservation of valued woodlands.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 115-45.2, Conservation of valued woodlands, added 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005, was repealed 12-13-2006 by Ord. No. 8-2006.
[Added 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005; amended 12-13-2006 by Ord. No. 8-2006; 5-12-2015 by Ord. No. 9-2015; 7-14-2020 by Ord. No. 03-2020]
A. 
The purposes of this section are as follows:
(1) 
To promote the public health, safety and welfare by the protection of riparian areas and by encouraging the retention of open space located and designed so as to constitute a harmonious and appropriate part of the physical development of East Bradford Township.
(2) 
To protect the Christina River Basin as required by other governing agencies.
(3) 
To regulate uses and structures, and provide transitional areas, at or near watercourses, floodplains, wetlands and other bodies of water.
(4) 
To regulate uses, activities and development within the RBA that would impair the function of the buffer to mitigate flood impact through the absorption of stormwater runoff.
(5) 
To establish continuous vegetated strips along water bodies which serve to filter and remove pollution-laden runoff from entering water bodies and protect against streambank erosion and tree loss.
(6) 
To promote stabilized streambanks which will reduce downstream transport of eroded sediment and pollutants.
(7) 
To provide food, cover and thermal protection for aquatic organisms and other wildlife.
(8) 
To preserve species-rich vegetative communities along and adjacent to water bodies.
B. 
RBA Conservation District general provisions.
(1) 
Compliance. No area within the RBA Conservation District shall hereafter be used without full compliance with the terms of this section, Chapter 115, Zoning, Chapter 95, Subdivision and Land Development, and other applicable regulations.
(2) 
Riparian Buffer Area Conservation District overlay concept. The RBA Conservation District shall be deemed an overlay on any zoning district(s) now or hereafter enacted to regulate the use of land in East Bradford Township.
(a) 
The RBA Conservation District shall have no effect on the permitted uses in the underlying zoning district, except where said uses are intended to be located within the boundaries of the RBA Conservation District, as defined herein, and said uses are in conflict with the permitted uses set forth in this section. These regulations apply only to those portions of a tract or lot which come under the RBA Conservation District; portions not under the District shall conform to the standards of the underlying zoning district.
(b) 
In those areas of the Township where the RBA Conservation District applies, the greater requirements of the RBA Conservation District shall supersede the requirements of the underlying zoning district(s). In the case of a conflict between the provisions of the RBA Conservation District and other ordinance provision or regulation, the more restrictive provisions shall apply, as determined by the Township Engineer or his/her designee.
(c) 
Should the RBA Conservation District boundaries be reduced as a result of legislative or administrative actions or judicial decision, the zoning requirements applicable to the area in question falling outside of the RBA Conservation District shall revert to the requirements of the underlying zoning district(s) without consideration of this section.
(d) 
For any parcel or any part thereof on which the RBA Conservation District is an overlay, should the underlying zoning classification(s) be changed as a result of legislative or administrative actions or judicial decision, such change(s) in classification shall have no effect on the boundaries of the RBA Conservation District unless an amendment to said boundaries was included as part of the proceedings from which the subsequent change(s) originated.
(3) 
Preservation of other restrictions. This section does not repeal, abrogate or impair any existing easements, third-party landowner agreements, covenants or deed restrictions related to the establishment, perpetual maintenance/repair and/or improvement to a riparian buffer area. However, if a third-party landowner agreement expires and the landowner does not elect to renew the agreement, the riparian buffer area regulations specified in this section shall then apply.
(4) 
Municipal liability. Any determination that a proposed use complies with this chapter or any approval of a subdivision or land development plan or any issuance of a building permit within or near the RBA Conservation District shall not constitute a representation, guaranty or warranty of any kind by the Township or by any official or employee thereof of the practicality or safety of the proposed use and shall create no liability upon the Township, its officials or employees. This chapter does not imply that areas outside the RBA Conservation District boundaries or land uses permitted within said district will always be totally free from the adverse effects of erosion, pollution or other effects of nearby riparian areas.
(5) 
To the extent any other codes, ordinances and regulations are inconsistent with the provisions of this section, the more stringent provision shall apply, as determined by the Township Engineer, or his/her designee.
C. 
RBA Conservation District areas.
(1) 
Area defined. The riparian buffer area (RBA) consists of land which forms a transition zone between aquatic and terrestrial environments.
(a) 
The RBA consists of all of the following land areas:
[1] 
One hundred feet on either side of the normal water surface edge of perennial and intermittent streams and lakes.
[2] 
All of a wetland greater than 20,000 square feet in area, plus an additional 100 feet of adjacent land.
(b) 
The RBA shall consist of two areas:
[1] 
Area 1: Area 1 begins at each edge of the water body as specified in § 115-45.3C(2)(b) and shall extend landward a minimum width of 50 feet, measured in accordance with § 115-45.3C(2)(b) from the water body, drainageway or wetland.
[2] 
Area 2: Area begins at the outer edge and on each side of Area 1 and extends 50 feet further landward to a minimum total width of 100 feet of RBA, including Area 1. Where a water body is listed as "impaired" (see PADEP "Integrated Water Quality Report, 2012," or, if applicable, a later revision thereof, for a listing of impaired water bodies) or has been designated "special protection waters" by PADEP, Area 2 shall begin at the outer edge of Area 1 and extend further landward 100 feet to a minimum total width of 150 feet, including Area 1. In such cases, Area 2 may be reduced to the standard fifty-foot width if Area 1 is enhanced and/or converted to a forested riparian buffer area per a plan that is prepared by a landscape architect registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and approved by the Township Landscape Architect. An agreement with the Township to perpetually maintain, repair, improve and/or enhance the riparian buffer area shall be submitted to the Township for review and shall be recorded at the Chester County Recorder's office within 90 days of approval by the Township.
(2) 
Area identification and calculation.
(a) 
Initial identification of the watercourses/water bodies shall be made using the United States Geological Survey quadrangle maps or more accurate information, as available. Field verification to determine evidence and location of channelized flow is required for a specific determination.
(b) 
Measurements for the Area 1 and Area 2 boundaries are to be made horizontally, perpendicular to the topography lines from the following reference points: top of bank of perennial streams, center line of intermittent streams and mean water level edge of lakes.
(c) 
Measurements shall be made at appropriate intervals perpendicular to these reference points so as to accurately reflect the terrain of the adjacent land.
(d) 
The width of existing impervious areas, such as roadways, parking lots, structures, sidewalks and the like, shall not count towards the RBA requirements. This provision shall not apply to properties listed as a Class I Historic Resource in the Township Historic Resource Inventory.
(e) 
The Township Engineer shall make final determination of the boundaries of the RBA.
(3) 
Exceptions. An RBA shall not be designated along industrial ponds, man-made ponds off line of perennial streams or man-made ponds on line of intermittent streams, sewage lagoons, man-made irrigation ditches, stormwater management basins and other artificial features with a similar water quality or storage function.
(4) 
Any party aggrieved by any determination of the Township and its Engineer or other decision or determination under this section may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board. The party contesting the location of the district boundary shall have the burden of proof in case of any such appeal.
D. 
RBA use regulations. Whenever the underlying zoning district permits the following uses, such uses may be permitted in the RBA; any use not specifically permitted by this section is prohibited. All uses shall be designed so as to prevent woodland or habitat fragmentation and have the least overall environmental impact on the RBA.
(1) 
Area 1 permitted uses.
(a) 
Public or private open space, exclusive of structures and impervious cover, without disturbance of vegetation.
(b) 
Maintenance of existing public utilities, including, but not limited to, transmission lines, roads, drainage facilities, gas and sewer and water facilities.
(c) 
Public water-dependent uses, including only lakes and ponds.
(d) 
Removal of nonnative vegetation, consistent with accepted forest management practices and without disturbance to underlying soils.
(e) 
Public passive recreational trails. Relocation of preexisting trails, where necessary, shall be at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors, with the advice of the Planning Commission.
(f) 
Road crossing which is within 15° of perpendicular to the water body.
(g) 
Public utility crossing which is perpendicular to the water body.
(h) 
Stormwater outfall, provided that the discharge velocity from the terminal end of the pipe or the associated energy dissipation practice does not exceed two feet per second for the two-year frequency storm event. In addition, all other feasible methods shall be used to convert concentrated flow to uniform, shallow sheet flow, filter sediments and control erosion.
(i) 
Unimproved public trails of a maximum width of four feet. The only maintenance permitted in this area to maintain a four-foot width is hand trimming of vegetation without disturbance to the vegetation roots.
(j) 
Improved public trails consisting of compacted stone or pavement of a maximum width of eight feet when the area between the trail and the top of stream is enhanced and/or converted to a forested riparian buffer area to achieve compensation for loss of riparian buffer width per a plan that is prepared by the Township Landscape Architect or a landscape architect registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and approved by the Township Landscape Architect. Alternatively, compensation for lost riparian buffer width due to the trail construction also may be achieved within the same drainage area as the overall trail project as part of a project intended for use in reducing the total maximum daily load (TMDL) to the stream as required by the Township TMDL plan filed with PADEP.
(2) 
Area 2 permitted uses.
(a) 
Any use permitted in Area 1.
(b) 
Agricultural uses excepting those that require till, require chemical application or include the grazing of animals. In addition, agricultural operations must utilize soil conservation practices consistent with an approved conservation plan. Such uses shall not be permitted in Area 2 along those streams or waterways designated as "exceptional value" or "high-quality special protection waters" by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(c) 
Parking area for public open space or a municipal park that is constructed of crushed stone and/or roadway stabilization fabrics or standard pavement if approved by the Board of Supervisors. The construction of the parking area shall comply with the provisions of § 115-42, Floodplain District regulations, if located within a flood hazard area.
(d) 
Sewer and/or water lines and other utility transmission lines running parallel to the water body along the RBA, provided that any disturbance is, at a minimum, mitigated with the provisions of the RBA management plan, as required by § 115-45.3G, Riparian buffer area management plan requirements. These lines shall be located as far from Area 1 as practical.
(e) 
Passive recreational areas that contain no impervious cover and do not disturb vegetation.
(f) 
Stormwater management facilities. In addition, discharge velocities from the terminal end of the pipe or the associated energy dissipation practice shall not exceed two fps for the two-year frequency storm event. All other feasible methods shall be used to convert concentrated flow to uniform, shallow sheet flow, filter sediment and control erosion.
E. 
Standards for RBA uses.
(1) 
Any proposed construction or land disturbance activity within the RBA shall be limited to the disturbance required to facilitate the uses permitted in § 115-45.3D.
(2) 
In addition to the standards and procedures of the RBA regulations, the following standards shall be met:
(a) 
The RBA is being proposed for land disturbance because no other alternative location within the site is feasible or practical for the proposed use and the proposed use is essential for the proposed development or use of the site.
(b) 
The proposed development and the resultant disturbance to the land and existing vegetative cover will not cause runoff and/or related environmental problems off the site.
F. 
Management of vegetation within an RBA for all new land development projects and proposed permitted uses within an RBA.
(1) 
Area 1 vegetation shall remain undisturbed except for removal of invasive exotic plants, and individual trees presenting unusual hazards, such as potentially blocking culverts, etc.
(2) 
A program of revegetating or renovating Area 1 is required if the existing vegetation is nonnative, if turf grass is present, or if canopy trees are lacking. This shall include the planting of native seedling trees and/or shrubs along with a low-maintenance ground cover, such as meadow grasses. Any proposed planting shall be done by hand or with the use of light machinery in a manner that minimizes disturbance and best controls soil erosion.
(3) 
Area 2 shall be converted to meadow or be planted with woody vegetation.
(4) 
The vegetation within the RBA shall be inspected by the property owner or his/her agent every two years.
(5) 
Maintenance of vegetation shall include the control of invasive exotic plants and pests, especially if they are threatening the health of adjacent vegetation, the care of new plantings, and the remediation of areas of erosion, as necessary to maintain healthy vegetation with a dense root mass.
G. 
Riparian buffer area management plan requirements.
(1) 
An RBA management plan shall be submitted at the time of final plan submission for a subdivision/land development or with a stormwater management and erosion and sediment pollution control permit application. In the case of a land development or use permitted by conditional use in other sections of Zoning Ordinance, the RBA management plan shall be submitted along with the application for conditional use approval.
(2) 
The RBA management plan shall contain the following information:
(a) 
A narrative describing the development of the subject property, a description of the features of the RBA within the subject property and any proposed development impacts within the delineated RBA.
(b) 
The number and placement of markers identifying the RBA.
(c) 
A narrative describing the significance of the RBA, any planting which may occur, and the maintenance activities which will be performed. Such narrative shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following language:
"The RBA shall be inspected every two years by the property owner and immediately following severe storms for evidence of sediment deposit, erosion or concentrated flow channels, as well as the reemergence of invasive exotics. Prompt corrective action shall be taken to stop erosion and restore sheet flow."
(3) 
The RBA management plan shall include, but not be limited to, the required aspects of the plan indicating compliance with terms of the East Bradford Township Code, shall be financially secured, guaranteed and maintained by a maintenance agreement required by the Township and be in a recordable form acceptable to the Township Solicitor. The guarantee shall provide for timely removal or remedying of all instances of noncompliance with the approved plan, including but not limited to replacement or remediation of improperly disturbed areas or habitats. The guarantee shall be applicable to existing and installed features of the approved plan. The applicant shall pay for the services of a landscape architect, arborist or similarly qualified professional to monitor and report on compliance with these requirements to the Township.
H. 
Uses and/or structures rendered nonconforming by adoption of RBA regulations. Following adoption of this section, any use or structure which is situated within the boundaries of an RBA which does not conform to the use provisions of § 115-45.3D or other RBA regulation shall become a nonconforming use or structure, regardless of its conformance to the district in which it is located without consideration of this section. The expansion or continuance of said nonconforming use or structure shall be governed by the requirements of Article XVIII of this Chapter 115, Zoning. However, the Zoning Hearing Board shall also ensure that the standards contained in this section are applied to the expansion or continuance of said nonconforming use or structure.
A. 
In any use or development of a tract where permanent open space is to be created and/or retained, the landowner or applicant shall, whenever possible and in conjunction with other applicable ordinances, include in such open space those agriculturally suited soils whose acreage, configuration and location offer future opportunity for agricultural use.
B. 
In the siting of individual structures on lots, areas of agriculturally suited soils should be left free of structures or paving whenever possible, to allow opportunities for gardens and other agricultural uses.
[Amended 2-8-2005 by Ord. No. 4-2005]
A. 
Initial construction on each area planned to be disturbed on any site shall consist of stripping and piling of topsoil. Upon completion of other construction, the entire amount of topsoil stripped shall be replaced on the site with minimal compaction of the new surface unless otherwise exempted by the Township Engineer. No topsoil shall be disposed of, by sale or otherwise, off the site. Subsoil may be disposed of at the option of the landowner or developer.
B. 
Topsoil removed by grading operations shall be redistributed and stabilized as quickly as possible following the completion of a project or project phase. All exposed earth surfaces shall be stabilized by the following methods or approved equal:
[Amended 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005]
(1) 
Seeding, mulching with hay or straw mulch at rates recommended for temporary stabilization on the erosion control plan or landscaping on slopes of 10% or less.
(2) 
Sodding, hydroseeding combined with properly sized erosion control blanket or application of stone on slopes exceeding 10%.
C. 
Grading, stripping, removal of topsoil or any disturbance of previously undisturbed or stabilized areas is prohibited during the nongermination period from November 1 to March 1. Prior to and during that time period, all exposed areas not draining to a sedimentation basin or sediment trap shall be planted with winter wheat, winter rye or an approved equal vegetative land cover, approved by the Township Engineer or Landscape Architect, and shall be covered with erosion control blanketing and shall not be disturbed during the nongermination period. Earthmoving operations may continue on areas draining to a sedimentation basin or sediment trap during the nongermination period, provided that existing sediments within these facilities are cleaned out prior to the end of the germination period and as needed during the nongermination period.
[Amended 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005]
D. 
Sod farming is prohibited within the Floodplain District. When conducted outside the Floodplain District, any sod farming operation shall comply with all applicable standards for erosion control and stormwater management contained in §§ 95-26 and 95-35 of Chapter 95, Subdivision and Land Development.
E. 
There shall be an eight-foot grass strip between any existing road, cartway and any area from which topsoil is being stripped or sod removed. This area is retained to maximize infiltration of stormwater. The Board of Supervisors, with the appropriate input from Township staff, the Planning Commission and the Environmental Advisory Council, may modify or require additional measures where topography or other conditions so dictate.
[Added 11-8-2005 by Ord. No. 9-2005; amended 12-13-2006 by Ord. No. 8-2006]
All activities described herein shall be subject to review and approval by the Zoning Officer.
A. 
Roadside vegetation shall not be removed unless noxious, diseased or dead. Vegetation may be trimmed to allow proper sight distance at intersections and passage of vehicles along the roadway in accordance with proper techniques as commonly accepted in the art of landscaping and the provisions of this chapter. Vegetation shall not be controlled or removed by the use of herbicides.
B. 
No parking shall occur along a scenic roadway unless a special single event permit is obtained from the Township.
C. 
Deciduous trees located along a scenic roadway within the road right-of-way containing a dripline that extends over the roadway may not be removed unless diseased or dead. Any removed trees must be replaced with equal species at a 2:1 ratio that will provide the same or similar dripline at the equivalent maturity of the removed trees.
D. 
Hedgerows, native shrubs, wild berry and other native plants located within the right-of-way of a scenic road may not be removed unless diseased or dead. Any removed species shall be replaced with equal species at a 1:1 ratio.
E. 
Any damage to vegetation or the soils/embankments which support such vegetation within the right-of-way of a scenic road as a result of, including, but not limited to a vehicle accident, winter maintenance operations, general roadway maintenance operations, excessive drainage from upslope properties, etc., or intentional damage not required to establish minimum driveway sight distance as defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation shall be mitigated immediately to restore both the vegetation and soils/embankments damaged. Mitigation shall be at a 1:1 ratio using equal species and appropriate soils for reestablishing the damaged vegetation. All efforts to reestablish the vegetation, including watering, fertilization, etc., shall be undertaken by the parties responsible for the damages.
F. 
Fencing that precludes observation of scenic vistas along a scenic roadway installed along the right-of-way is prohibited. Fencing installed along the right-of-way line must be no greater than four feet in height and contain 30% of open areas to view scenic vistas through the fencing. Fencing styles must blend into the surrounding of the scenic roadway and cannot detract from the scenic vista nor draw attention to the fencing over the scenic vista.
G. 
Otherwise authorized signage which detracts from the scenic nature of the roadway or blocks vistas along the scenic roadway is prohibited. Illuminated signs are prohibited.
H. 
Signage for private businesses erected along a scenic roadway may not be internally illuminated. Colors for such signage must be limited to earth tones found in the surrounding area, including the name of the establishment.
I. 
Road hazard and other regulatory roadway signage shall be the minimum size allowed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
J. 
Billboards shall not be erected to be viewed along scenic roadways nor shall they be visible from scenic roadways.
K. 
Drainage improvements along a scenic roadway shall be limited to nonstructural means in areas of slope of 6% longitudinal gradient or flatter, unless roadway embankment or vegetation disturbance is necessary in avoiding the use of drainage structures. In steeper areas, any required outfalls, energy dissipaters or other visible structural elements of the drainage system shall be appropriately landscaped to enhance the scenic road aesthetics.
L. 
All tree replacement requirements noted above shall be in accordance with all landscaping standards contained in the Township Code.