Township of West Goshen, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 6-14-1983 by Ord. No. 2-1983]
This article is adopted pursuant to the authority conferred by the Airport Zoning Act, Act of April 17, 1945, P.L. 237, as amended.[1] It is hereby found that obstructions have the potential for endangering the lives and property of users of the existing airport located in the Township and property or occupants of land in its vicinity; that obstructions may affect existing and future instrument-approach minimums of the airport; and that obstructions may reduce the size of areas available for landing, takeoff and maneuvering of aircraft, thereby creating a danger to the health, safety and general welfare of the users thereof and the property or occupants of land in the vicinity thereof. Accordingly, it is declared that:
A. 
The creation or establishment of an obstruction has the potential of being a public danger or nuisance;
B. 
It is necessary in the interest of the public health, safety and general welfare that the creation or establishment of obstructions that are a hazard to air navigation be prevented; and
C. 
The prevention of these obstructions should be accomplished, to the extent legally permissible, by the exercise of the police power without compensation.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 74 Pa.C.S.A. § 5911 et seq.
For the purpose of this article, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
AIRPORT
See "commercial airport" per § 84-8.
AIRPORT ELEVATION
The highest point of an airport's usable landing area measured in feet from sea level, which is 465 feet.
APPROACH SURFACE
A surface longitudinally centered on the extended runway center line, extending outward and upward from the end of the primary surface and at the same slope as the approach zone height limitation slope set forth in § 84-111 of this article. In plan, the perimeter of the approach surface coincides with the perimeter of the approach zone.
APPROACH, TRANSITIONAL, HORIZONTAL AND CONICAL ZONES
These zones as set forth in § 84-110 of this article.
CONICAL SURFACED
A surface extending outward and upward from the periphery of the horizontal surface at a slope of 20:1 for a horizontal distance of 4,000 feet.
HAZARD TO AIR NAVIGATION
An obstruction determined to have a substantial adverse effect on the safe and efficient utilization of the navigable airspace.
HEIGHT
For the purpose of determining the height limits in all zones set forth in this article and shown on the Zoning Map, the datum shall be mean sea level elevation unless otherwise specified.
HORIZONTAL SURFACE
A horizontal plane 150 feet above the established airport elevation, the perimeter of which in plan coincides with the perimeter of the horizontal zone.
NONPRECISION INSTRUMENT RUNWAY
A runway having an existing instrument-approach procedure utilizing air navigation facilities with only horizontal guidance or having area-type navigation equipment for which a straight-in nonprecision-instrument-approach procedure has been approved or planned.
OBSTRUCTION
Any structure, growth or other object, including a mobile object, which exceeds a limiting height set forth in § 84-111 of this article.
PRIMARY SURFACE
A surface longitudinally centered on a runway. When the runway has a specially prepared hard surface, the primary surface extends 200 feet beyond each end of that runway; when the runway has no specially prepared hard surface or planned hard surface, the primary surface ends at each end of that runway. The width of the primary surface is 500 feet. The elevation of any point on the primary surface is the same as the elevation of the nearest point on the runway center line.
RUNWAY
A defined area in an airport prepared for landing and takeoff of aircraft along its length.
STRUCTURE
As defined in § 84-8, but also to include any object, including a mobile or immobile object, constructed or installed by man, including but without limitation buildings, towers, cranes, smokestacks, earth formation and overhead transmission lines.
TRANSITIONAL SURFACES
These surfaces extend outward at ninety-degree angles to the runway center line and the runway center line extended at a slope of seven feet horizontally for each foot vertically from the sides of the primary and approach surfaces to where they intersect the horizontal and conical surfaces.
TREE
Any object of natural growth.
In order to carry out the provisions of this article, there are hereby created and established certain zones which include all of the land lying beneath the approach surfaces, transitional surfaces, horizontal surfaces and conical surfaces as they apply to the airport. Such zones shall be depicted on an Airport Zoning Map to consist of one sheet and to be adopted as part of and on the effective date of this article. Such map shall be attached to the Township Zoning Map and become a part thereof. In addition, those areas designated as airport zones may also, in addition or substitution, be shown on the Township Zoning Map. An area located in more than one of the following zones is considered to be only in the zone with the more restrictive height limitation. The various zones are hereby established and defined as follows:
A. 
Nonprecision Instrument Runway Approach Zone. The inner edge of this Approach Zone coincides with the width of the primary surface and is 500 feet wide. The Approach Zone expands outward uniformly to a width of 2,000 feet at a horizontal distance 5,000 feet from the primary surface. Its center line is the continuation of the center line of the runway.
B. 
Transitional Zones. The Transitional Zones are the areas beneath the transitional surfaces.
C. 
Horizontal Zone. The Horizontal Zone is established by swinging arcs of five-thousand-foot radii from the center of each end of the primary surface of each runway and connecting the adjacent arcs by drawing lines tangent to those arcs. The Horizontal Zone does not include the Approach and Transitional Zones.
D. 
Conical Zone. The Conical Zone is established as the area that commences at the periphery of the Horizontal Zone and extends outward therefrom a horizontal distance of 4,000 feet.
A. 
Except as otherwise provided in this article, no structure shall be erected, altered or maintained and no tree shall be allowed to grow in any zone created by this article to a height in excess of the applicable height limit herein established for such zone. Such applicable height limitations are hereby established for each of the zones in question as follows:
(1) 
Nonprecision Instrument Runway Approach Zone: slopes 20 feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the end of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and extending to a horizontal distance of 5,000 feet along the extended runway center line.
(2) 
Transitional Zones: slopes seven feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the sides of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and the approach surface and extending to a height of 150 feet above the airport elevation, except that a building may be constructed within the Transitional Zone to a maximum height of up to 50 feet (subject to the height limitations imposed by other provisions of this chapter with respect to the permitted height of buildings in any zoning district, which provisions shall apply) as provided in Subsection E of this section. In addition to the foregoing, there are established height limits sloping seven feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the side of and at the same elevation as the approach surface and extending to where they intersect the conical surface, which is 465 feet above mean sea level.
(3) 
Horizontal Zone: established at 150 feet above the airport elevation or at a height of 615 feet above the mean sea level.
(4) 
Conical Zone: slopes 20 feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the periphery of the Horizontal Zone and at 150 feet above the airport elevation and extending to a height of 350 feet above the airport elevation.
B. 
Excepted height limitations. Nothing in this article shall be construed as prohibiting the construction or maintenance of any structure or growth of any tree to a height up to 50 feet above the surface of the land, except within the primary surface area, where no permanent structure or tree shall be permitted above the elevation of the primary surface, subject to the other applicable height regulations of this chapter for the applicable zoning district.
Notwithstanding any of the other provisions of this chapter, no use may be made of land or water within any zone established by this article in such manner as to create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communication between the airport and aircraft, make it difficult for pilots to distinguish between airport lights and others, result in glare in the eyes of pilots using the airport, impair visibility in the vicinity of the airport, create bird strike hazards or otherwise in any way endanger or interfere with the landing, takeoff or maneuvering of aircraft intending to use the airport.
A. 
Regulations not retroactive. The regulations prescribed by this article shall not be construed to require the removal, lowering or other change or alteration of any structure or tree not conforming to the regulations as of the effective date of this article or otherwise interfere with the continuance of a nonconforming use. Nothing contained herein shall require any change in the construction, alteration or intended use of any structure, the construction or alteration of which was begun prior to the effective date of this article and is diligently prosecuted.
B. 
Marking and lighting. Notwithstanding the preceding provision of this section, the owner of any existing nonconforming structure or tree is hereby required to permit the installation, operation and maintenance thereon of such marker and lights as shall be deemed necessary the Zoning Officer to indicate to the operators of aircraft in the vicinity of the airport the presence of such airport obstruction. Such markers and lights shall be installed, operated and maintained at the expense of West Goshen Township.
A. 
Future uses.
(1) 
Except as specifically provided in Subsection A(1)(a), (b) and (c) hereunder, no material change shall be made in the use of land, no structure shall be erected, altered, extended or otherwise established and no tree shall be planted in any zone hereby created unless a permit there for shall have been applied for and granted. Each application for a permit shall indicate is desired with sufficient particularity to permit it to be determined whether the resulting use, structure or tree would conform to the regulations herein prescribed. If such determination is in the affirmative, the permit shall be granted, subject to the other requirements and conditions of this chapter. No permit for a use inconsistent with the provisions of this article shall be granted unless a variance has been approved in accordance with Subsection D of this section.
(a) 
In the area lying within the limits of the Horizontal Zone and Conical Zone, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 75 feet of vertical height above the ground, except when, because of terrain, land contour or topographic features, such tree or structure would extend above the height limits prescribed for such zones.
(b) 
In areas lying within the limits of the Approach Zones, but at a horizontal distance of not less than 4,200 feet from each end of the runway, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 75 feet of vertical height above the ground, except when such tree or structure would extend above the height limit prescribed for such Approach Zones.
(c) 
In the areas lying within the limits of the Transitional Zones beyond the perimeter of the Horizontal Zone, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 75 feet of vertical height above the ground, except when such tree or structure, because of terrain, land contour or topographic features, would extend above the height limit prescribed for such Transitional Zones.
(2) 
Nothing contained in any of the foregoing exceptions shall be construed as permitting or intending to permit any construction or alteration of any structure or growth of any tree in excess of any of the height limits established by this article except as set forth in § 84-111B.
B. 
Existing uses. No permit shall be granted that would allow the establishment or creation of an obstruction or permit a nonconforming use, structure or tree to become a greater hazard to air navigation than it was on the effective date of this article or any amendments thereto or than it is when the application for a permit is made.
C. 
Nonconforming uses. The extension, restoration, cessation or abandonment of nonconforming trees or structures shall be governed by the nonconforming use regulations set forth in Article XV of this chapter; provided, however, that no permit shall be granted that would permit such structure or tree to exceed the applicable height limit or otherwise deviate from the zoning regulations provided for in this article.
D. 
Variances. Any person who desires to erect or increase the height of any structure or permit the growth of any tree or use property in a manner which is not in strict accordance with the regulations prescribed in this article must apply to the Zoning Hearing Board for a variance from such regulations. The application for a variance shall be accompanied by a determination made by the Federal Aviation Administration of the affect of the proposal on the operation of air navigation facilities and the safe, efficient use of navigable air space within the area affected by this article. Such variances shall be allowed where it is duly found that a literal application or enforcement of the regulations will result in unnecessary hardship and that the relief granted will not jeopardize the public health, safety and general welfare or create a hazard to air navigation.
E. 
Obstruction marking and lighting. Any permit or variance granted may, if such action is deemed advisable to effectuate the purpose of this article, be so conditioned as to require the owner of the structure, tree or other obstruction in question to install, operate and maintain, at the owner's expense, such markings and lights as may be necessary. If deemed proper by the Zoning Hearing Board, this condition may be modified to require the owner to permit the Township, at its expense, to install, operate and maintain the necessary markings and lights.
Where there exists a conflict between any of the regulations or limitations prescribed in this article and any other regulations applicable to the same area, whether the conflict be with respect to the height of structures or trees or the use of land or any other matter, the more stringent limitation or requirement shall govern and prevail.
If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this article should be declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction for any reason whatsoever, such declaration shall not affect the remaining portions of this article which shall remain in full force and effect. To that end, the provisions of this article are hereby declared to be severable.