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Township of West Goshen, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 7-13-1993 by Ord. No. 4-1993]
This article is enacted for the following purposes:
A. 
To provide an opportunity for flexibility in lot designs and building arrangement not afforded by conventional lot-by-lot development.
B. 
To provide for a more varied and efficient development pattern.
C. 
To retain and protect open space areas within residential development.
D. 
To preserve scenic views and unique or sensitive landscapes and site features.
E. 
To support the specific objectives of the West Goshen Township Open Space and Recreation Plan.
A. 
The open space design options of this article shall be permitted only in the R-3 Residential District for single-family detached dwellings when approved as a conditional use where the applicant, to the satisfaction of the Board of Supervisors, proves and demonstrates compliance with all area and bulk regulations, design standards and criteria of this article.
B. 
The tract of land for which the open space design option is proposed shall consist of a contiguous area of at least 15 acres.
C. 
Development under the open space design option shall be served by public water service and public sewer service consistent with the West Goshen Township Sewage Facilities Plan (Act 537).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq.
D. 
The proposed development shall be consistent with the Chester County Future Land Use Plan and the West Goshen Township Open Space and Recreation Plan.
E. 
The tract of land to be developed shall be in one ownership or, if in multiple ownership, shall be developed according to a single plan with common authority and responsibility.
A. 
The procedures and requirements for a conditional use application established in § 84-74 of this chapter shall apply to an application for conditional use approval for development utilizing the open space design option provided for in this article. The applicant is strongly encouraged to submit a sketch plan to the West Goshen Township Planning Commission and to discuss community development and open space resource conservation objective with that Commission prior to filing a formal conditional use application.
[Amended 10-25-1994 by Ord. No. 3-1994]
B. 
In addition to otherwise fulfilling all applicable requirements of § 84-74 of this chapter and the Conservation Plan requirements of § 72-19 of this Code, the required conservation plan and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) shall be accompanied or supplemented by narrative and additional plan or graphic information which either the Planning Commission or the Board of Supervisors determines is needed to fulfill the following specific purposes:
[Amended 10-25-1994 by Ord. No. 3-1994]
(1) 
Provide a comprehensive inventory of open space resources.
(2) 
Indicated the proposed arrangement of dwelling units, vehicular and pedestrian circulation systems and open spaces so as to demonstrate how the tract warrants use of the open space design option provided for in this article.
(3) 
Provide a narrative assessment of the potential impacts of the proposed development upon open space resources.
(4) 
Suggest approaches to development design which mitigate the impacts upon or change to open space resources.
C. 
The Board of Supervisors may retain such consultants as it deems necessary to review and certify the accuracy of both the conservation plan and the EIA. The reasonable and necessary charges incurred for such consultants shall be paid for by the applicant.
A. 
For purposes of calculating the maximum permissible number of lots or dwelling units authorized by the open space design option provisions of this article, the net tract acreage shall be established by excluding the following areas from the gross area within the title lines of the tract, calculated in acres or parts thereof:
(1) 
Any land within the identified floodplain area.
[Amended 7-19-2017 by Ord. No. 5-2017]
(2) 
The existing areas (prior to the proposed development under the provisions of this article) within the tract perimeter set aside as rights-of-way for streets, public or private utilities and all areas of easements, including but not limited to storm drainage easements, water easements, sewage easements, utility easements and easements of access but excluding conservation easements.
(3) 
Any area of prohibitive steep slopes as defined in § 84-54B of this chapter.
(4) 
Any area of wetlands as defined for purposes of jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection or the United States Army Corps of Engineers, whichever is more extensive.
B. 
The maximum permissible number of lots or dwelling units on any tract utilizing the open space design option shall be calculated by multiplying the net tract acreage by two. The maximum number so calculated shall be reduced to the extent necessary to strictly comply with all other standards, criteria and regulations of this chapter and any other applicable Township regulatory ordinances.
C. 
Not less than 45% of the gross acreage of the tract shall be designed as contiguous open space and shall be restricted from further development by deed restriction or by declaration of covenants, restrictions and easements which shall be subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors and which shall be recorded contemporaneously with the development plan in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Designated restricted open space shall comply with all standards and criteria for restricted open space established in § 84-128 of this article.
D. 
Not more than 25% of the gross tract area shall be covered with impervious surfaces.
E. 
The following area and bulk regulations shall apply to individual single-family detached residential lots created under this article:
(1) 
Lot size: 7,500 square feet minimum.
(2) 
Lot width at building line: 80 feet minimum.
(3) 
Maximum building coverage: 35% of lot area.
(4) 
Maximum total impervious coverage: 50% of lot area.
(5) 
Building setback line: 20 feet minimum.
(6) 
Side yard: 10 feet minimum.
(7) 
Rear yard: 30 feet minimum.
(8) 
Maximum building height: 3 stories, not to exceed 30 feet.
A. 
General development standards.
(1) 
All applicable standards provided in § 84-55 of this chapter shall apply to any development utilizing the open space design option.
(2) 
All proposed dwelling units in a development utilizing the open space design option shall be situated so that they are set back a minimum of 50 feet from the predevelopment tract perimeter. Existing dwellings and dwellings resulting from the conversion of existing structures shall be exempt from this requirement.
(3) 
The development plan shall achieve safe and proper internal traffic circulation, safe pedestrian movement and convenient ingress and egress both within the development and to and from existing Township streets. Proposed development streets shall be connected to existing Township streets only at those locations where the applicant can demonstrate safe and convenient access without adverse impact. Regardless of the applicant's compliance with the area and bulk regulations of § 84-127E of this article, no building or structure shall be placed or constructed at any location within the development which adversely affects clear sight distances for vehicular traffic on any proposed development street or existing Township street or otherwise adversely impedes safe and convenient vehicular movement.
B. 
Historic resources. Historic resources, including historic structures, ruins or sites, historic streets or roads or other transport traces, paths and trails, shall be preserved through incorporation into development plans and designs.
C. 
Open space resource protection standards. In utilizing the open space design option, the proposed design shall limit disturbances of all open space resources identified in the conservation plan and the accompanying materials submitted in accordance with § 84-126 of this article.
(1) 
Where applicable, the applicant shall comply with the specific objectives of the West Goshen Township Open Space and Recreation Plan.
(2) 
The applicant shall demonstrate maximum conservation of scenic views from public streets and neighboring residential properties, utilizing existing vegetation, structures or changes in topography or providing landscaping to screen proposed development from view. In considering conditional use approval, the Board of Supervisors, in its sole discretion, may reduce screening requirements when the applicants submit individual building design plans with sufficient detail to demonstrate, in terms of how such buildings will be viewed from public streets or neighboring residential properties, reasonable replication of proportional relationships of form and massing evident in existing historic resources, including ratios of height to width, length of individual facade segment, roof pitch, relative size and placement of windows, doors and other facade details. The distance from point of public or neighboring view may also be considered as a mitigating factor by the Board of Supervisors in its review of plans for buildings within such view.
(3) 
Lands within the identified floodplain area shall comply with the provisions of Article XIX of this chapter.
[Amended 7-19-2017 by Ord. No. 5-2017]
(4) 
Lands within precautionary steep slopes or prohibitive steep slopes shall comply with the provision of § 84-54 of this chapter.
(5) 
Streams (both perennial and intermittent) and wetlands falling under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Corp of Engineers or the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection shall not be disturbed except for utility lines and permitted crossings providing necessary pedestrian, equestrian or vehicular access.
(6) 
Mature trees and woodlands, including any existing trees greater than four inches diameter at breast height (dbh), hedgerows, fence lines, rock outcroppings and other noted landscape features shall be preserved to the greatest degree feasible. Woodland removal shall not exceed 40% of total woodland area on any tract.
D. 
Open space designation and management standards.
(1) 
Areas designated as restricted open space shall be consistent with the West Goshen Township Open Space and Recreation Resources Plan. The location and layout of restricted open space shall be configured so as to promote adherence to the open space resource protection standards of this section and shall further conform to the following conditions:
(a) 
A portion of the designated restricted open space equal in area to no less than 15% of the gross tract area shall exclude areas comprised of identified floodplain areas, wetlands and slopes in excess of 20%.
[Amended 7-19-2017 by Ord. No. 5-2017]
(b) 
No portion of the designated restricted open space shall be included within the minimum required restricted open space area where:
[1] 
Occupied by existing or proposed impervious surfaces.
[2] 
Comprised of areas not less than 100 feet in width, except when part of a trail system or pathway network.
[3] 
Occupied by stormwater management facilities, provided that, at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors, areas devoted to stormwater management facilities may be included within the minimum required restricted open space area where the applicant proves to the satisfaction of the Board that such facilities are designed to:
[a] 
Promote recharge of the groundwater system.
[b] 
Be designed, appropriate and available as active or passive recreational use or scenic enjoyment.
[c] 
Otherwise conform to the purposes, standards and criteria for open space set forth in this article.
(2) 
Areas designated for open space purposes may be used for any of the following:
(a) 
Crop or pasture land.
(b) 
Cultivation of nursery stock or orchard trees.
(c) 
Woodland, meadow, wetland, wildlife habitat, game preserve or similar conservation-oriented area.
(d) 
Public common or private park or outdoor recreation area.
(3) 
Subject to the provisions of measurement of minimum required open space specified in this article, stormwater management facilities, water well and subterranean water facilities and lines which form a part of the public water system serving the development and subterranean sanitary sewer lines forming a part of the public sanitary sewer system serving the development may be located within restricted open space areas; provided, however, that no sanitary sewer plant or facilities of any kind shall be permitted within the restricted open space areas. Where any of the foregoing permitted facilities are so located, perpetual deeds of easement containing metes and bounds descriptions of the easements and provisions for access to and maintenance of those facilities shall be prepared by the applicant and submitted to the Township Engineer and Township Solicitor for their approvals and shall be recorded contemporaneously with the development plan.
(4) 
At the discretion of the Board of Supervisors, a portion of the required restricted open space may be utilized to meet the requirements of the West Goshen Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, specified in § 72-35 of the West Goshen Code, where all of the criteria of this § 84-128 and § 72-35 are met.
(5) 
Except to provide for permitted open space uses specified in this section, designated open space shall be restricted from further subdivision or development by deed restriction, conservation easements or other agreement in form and content acceptable to the Board of Supervisors, approved by the Township Solicitor and duly recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds of Chester County, Pennsylvania, contemporaneously with the development plan.
(6) 
The provisions of ownership and maintenance of common facilities established in the West Goshen Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, specifically § 72-40 of this Code, shall apply to restricted open space created under this article.
(7) 
The development plan submitted with the conditional use application shall be accompanied by a declaration of covenants, easements, conditions and restrictions to which all areas designated on the development plan as restricted open space shall be subject, together with the bylaws of any legal entity or organization by which such entity or organization is proposed to be governed. In addition to the requirements specified in § 72-40B of this Code, the proposed declaration shall be revised to add such additional conditions and requirements as are specified as conditions for approval of the conditional use by the Board of Supervisors and required for inclusion in the declaration or as shall otherwise be reasonably required by the Township Engineer or the Township Solicitor. Continued maintenance and funding of the restricted open space shall be as specified and provided for in § 72-40C of this Code and shall be required to be specified in the recorded declaration.
In allowing a conditional use utilizing the open space design option, the Board of Supervisors may attach such additional reasonable conditions and safeguards in addition to those expressed in this article, as it may deem necessary to implement the purposes of this article.