Township of Limerick, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
It is the intent of this article to establish clear standards for activities that may be associated with a variety of zoning districts or types of land use and to cross-reference provisions in Chapter 155, Subdivision and Land Development, that regulate activities in one or more zoning districts. Except where noted in this article, these regulations apply to all zoning districts within the Township.
[Amended 6-19-2012 by Ord. No. 330]
In addition to complying with the specific requirements in other applicable articles of this Zoning Chapter, proposals shall comply with the following additional regulations:
A. 
Subdivision and/or land development proposals are further regulated by the Limerick Township Chapter 155, Subdivision and Land Development.
B. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection B, regarding activities regulated by Chapter 155, Subdivision and Land Development, was repealed 8-15-2017 by Ord. No. 379.
Applications shall be filed with the Township for subdivision and/or land development and/or other uses of land as permitted by this chapter, in compliance with the following:
A. 
Ownership. The subject tract or land area shall be in one ownership or shall be subject to a joint application filed by the owners of the entire site, under single direction, using one overall plan.
B. 
Proposed plans.
(1) 
Subdivision and/or land development applications shall include a proposed plan in compliance with the Limerick Township Chapter 155, Subdivision and Land Development, and all other applicable Township ordinances.
(2) 
Applications for permitted uses which are not subdivisions or land developments shall include a proposed plan in sufficient detail and clarity to enable the Township to determine compliance with all applicable regulations.
(3) 
The proposal for a tract or land area may be carried out in a single phase or in sections, in compliance with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code,[1] and shall be in compliance with a development agreement which shall be:
(a) 
Binding to the overall tract and its development.
(b) 
Acceptable to the Board of Supervisors, under the advice of the Township Solicitor.
(c) 
Recorded with the final plan.
(d) 
Subject to renegotiation if the applicant proposes revisions to the approved plans.
[1]
Editor's Note: 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
All development in the Township shall be served by water supply and sewage disposal facilities which are appropriate for the type of land use, physical characteristics of the land, location in the Township and availability of existing water and sewage systems and shall be further regulated by the requirements below. All water supply facilities shall meet the requirements of § 155-30, Water supply, of Chapter 155, Subdivision and Land Development.
A. 
Individual on-site systems.
(1) 
Individual on-site water supply and sewage disposal facilities may be used in all zoning districts where central water and/or sewer facilities are not available.
(2) 
Written proof of compliance with the applicable state regulations must be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer before occupancy permits will be issued.
B. 
Common or shared on-site systems.
(1) 
Common or shared on-site water supply and/or sewage disposal facilities may be used in all zoning districts where central water and/or sewer facilities are not available.
(2) 
Common or shared facilities shall comply with the requirements of § 184-67 herein regarding ownership and maintenance of common land areas and improvements.
(3) 
Written proof of compliance with the applicable state regulations must be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer before occupancy permits will be issued.
C. 
Off-site facilities.
(1) 
Off-site central water and/or sewage facilities provided by a municipal authority or a utility certified by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission must be used for development in all zoning districts when they are available.
(2) 
Written proof of compliance with the applicable state regulations must be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer before occupancy permits will be issued.
Minimum lot width or frontage as required under this chapter shall be measured at the building line, as defined herein. For the purposes of measuring lot width at the building line, the following requirements apply:
A. 
For wedge-shaped lots which are narrower at the street than at the rear property line, the building line may be moved back to a point no more than twice the required front yard depth, measured from the street line. At this point, the lot width must equal the minimum lot width required for the district. At least 50 feet of street frontage shall be provided for each lot. Such flexibility in lot width measurement shall only be permitted around the bulb of a cul-de-sac.
[Amended 6-2-1998 by Ord. No. 196]
B. 
Where flag lots are permitted, the building line shall be oriented as parallel or concentric to the street from which access is provided as is feasible and shall be set back from the intervening property line at least the minimum front yard depth.
A. 
With the exception of flag lots, as defined herein, all lots shall abut a public street, or a private street that meets all Township specifications, for at least 50 feet at the right-of-way line of the public street; and said 50 feet must be usable for purposes of ingress and egress to the lot. Flag lots shall abut a public or private street for at least 25 feet; this access strip must be usable for ingress and egress to the lot.
B. 
Preexisting landlocked parcels may be developed with one single-family detached house provided with a twenty-five-foot-wide easement of access, and provided that the usable portion of the lot meets all other lot size and dimensional requirements of the district in which it is located.
A. 
All front yard setbacks required under this chapter shall be calculated from the ultimate right-of-way of the street on which the lot fronts, as specified in Chapter 155, Subdivision and Land Development.
B. 
If there is a pronounced uniformity or alignment of fronts of existing buildings, the front yard of a proposed building in any district may, by special exception granted by the Zoning Hearing Board, be decreased in depth to the average alignment of existing buildings located within 100 feet from each side of the proposed building on the same side of the street and within the same block.
[Amended 12-20-2011 by Ord. No. 328; 8-15-2017 by Ord. No. 379]
Corner lots shall meet the minimum front yard setback requirements for the applicable districts on both intersecting streets. An accessory structure shall not be placed in the front yard (that minimum setback area where the principal building can be placed, as defined). An accessory structure shall not be located between the principal building and the street on the principal façade of the building (the side of the building that has the front door). (NOTE: The setback line for an accessory structure of a house that sits on an angle facing the corner and not in line with either street, the principal facade line would be extended along the building line until it intersects the two front yard lines.)
[Amended 6-2-1998 by Ord. No. 196]
A. 
The owner of a travel-trailer type vehicle designed for living or sleeping purposes may place said vehicle on a lot as a temporary residence for a period not exceeding one year, provided that the placement of said vehicle occurs only during the construction of a dwelling on said lot, that proper facilities for water and sewage disposal have been approved by the County Health Department and that the trailer shall be removed upon completion of said dwelling.
B. 
Temporary sales uses. The following provisions shall regulate temporary seasonal retail sales of Christmas trees:
[Amended 9-6-2016 by Ord. No. 371]
(1) 
Such sales shall only be permitted in a district permitting retail sales or as accessory to a lawful nonconforming principal commercial use.
(2) 
An application for a temporary sales use permit shall be submitted on a form prepared by the Zoning Officer. The application fee shall be established and revised by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
(3) 
The retail sales use shall be limited from the fourth Friday of every November until December 31.
(4) 
The retail sales shall meet setback requirements of the applicable zoning district and shall not obstruct sight triangles.
(5) 
Only two sign faces shall be permitted which shall each have a maximum sign area of six square feet. Such sign shall not be illuminated.
(6) 
The applicant shall prove to the Zoning Officer that adequate parking and traffic control will be available for both the temporary sales and any other use of the property. The Zoning Officer may place conditions upon the permit to address parking and traffic control.
C. 
Carnivals. The following provisions shall regulate temporary seasonal carnivals:
(1) 
Such use shall only be permitted in a commercial district, another district permitting such use or on a lot with a minimum lot area of two acres occupied by an established place of worship, fire company or similar community service use granted nonprofit status by the Internal Revenue Service.
(2) 
The carnival shall be limited to two time periods per lot per year. Each time period shall not exceed seven days in length. A temporary use permit shall be obtained from the Zoning Officer.
(3) 
The carnival shall not obstruct sight triangles.
(4) 
Temporary signs are not regulated during the carnival.
(5) 
The applicant shall prove to the Zoning Officer that adequate parking and traffic control will be available for both the carnival and any other use of the property. The Zoning Officer may place conditions upon the permit to address parking and traffic control.
Flag lots, as defined herein, are permitted in the R-1 and R-2 Districts, including areas where the R-1 requirements apply due to lack of public water service, at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors on the recommendation of the Planning Commission, in compliance with the other applicable requirements of this chapter and of Chapter 155, Subdivision and Land Development.
[Added 6-7-2005 by Ord. No. 251]
All outdoor lighting of property shall comply with the standard set forth in the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance at §§ 155-17 and 155-17.1.
A. 
In residential zoning districts, all outside lighting of buildings, structures or other open areas shall be located, aimed, designed, fitted and maintained so that the glare or reflection visible from a street or residence adjacent to the building, structure or other open area being illuminated shall not project illuminance greater than 0.3 footcandle, measured in a plane perpendicular to the line of sight, at the property or boundary line.
[Amended 12-20-2011 by Ord. No. 327]
B. 
In all nonresidential zoning districts, all outside lighting shall be shielded so that the source of light shall not be visible from any point off the lot on which the building, structure, driveway or parking area being illuminated is located and so that only the building or area is directly illuminated thereby. In no case shall lights be permitted to be directed or reflected toward any residential district.
[Amended 12-20-2011 by Ord. No. 327]
C. 
In every district all outdoor lighting shall be arranged so as to protect the street or highway as well as adjoining properties from direct glare or hazardous interference of any kind. Any luminaire shall be equipped with some type of glare shielding device approved by the Township Engineer.
D. 
Outdoor lighting other than streetlighting shall comply with the following:
[Added 12-20-2011 by Ord. No. 327]
(1) 
All lighting shall be aimed, located, designed, fitted and maintained so as not to present a hazard to drivers or pedestrians by impairing their ability to safely traverse and so as not to create a nuisance by projecting or reflecting objectionable light onto a neighboring use or property.
(2) 
Directional lights such as floodlights, spotlights and sign lights shall be installed and aimed so that they do not project their output into the windows of neighboring residences, adjacent uses, past the object being illuminated, or onto a public roadway.
(3) 
Vegetation screens shall not be employed to serve as the primary means for controlling glare. Rather, such control shall be achieved primarily through the use of sharp cut-off fixtures, the appropriate application of mounting height, wattage, aiming angle, fixture placement and fixture design, etc., and the addition of shields and baffles as necessary.
(4) 
The intensity of illumination projected from any use onto a residential use shall not exceed 0.3 vertical footcandle, measured line of sight from any point on the receiving residential property.
(5) 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection D(5), regarding externally illuminated billboards and signs, was repealed 8-15-2017 by Ord. No. 379.
(6) 
Flag-lighting sources shall not exceed 10,000 lumens per flagpole. The light source shall have a beam spread no greater than necessary to illuminate the flag. The flags of the United States, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Montgomery County and Limerick Township shall be permitted to be illuminated from dusk till dawn. All other flags shall not be illuminated past 11:00 p.m.
(7) 
Under-canopy lighting such as gas station, hotel/theater marquee, drive-through windows, etc., shall be accomplished using flat-lens full-cutoff fixtures aimed straight down and shielded in such a manner that the lowest opaque edge of the fixture shall be below the light source.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 184-62, Public utilities, was repealed 6-2-1998 by Ord. No. 196. See § 184-20.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed to render inoperative any enforceable restriction established by covenants running with the land, and which restrictions are not prohibited by or are not contrary to the regulations herein established.
No building or structure in the Township shall exceed a height of 35 feet except as specified below.
A. 
Exceptions to building height limits. The height limitations of this chapter shall not apply to chimneys, place of worship spires, gables, cupolas, standpipes, flagpoles, monuments, transmission towers, radio or television antennas, water tanks and similar structures and necessary mechanical appurtenances, provided that:
[Amended 6-2-1998 by Ord. No. 196]
(1) 
No such exception shall cover at any level more than 10% of the area of the roof or the ground on which it is located; and
(2) 
The minimum setback from any property line of any freestanding structure more than 35 feet in height shall equal the height of the structure.
B. 
Agricultural buildings. A maximum height of 55 feet is permitted for agricultural buildings, provided that the setback from any property line equals the height of the building or structure, and provided that no maximum height shall apply to the agricultural silos or attached mechanical equipment.
[Amended 6-2-1998 by Ord. No. 196]
C. 
Fences and walls. No freestanding fence or wall (except for retaining walls) shall exceed six feet in height, except where necessary for the screening or shielding of outdoor storage or equipment areas, where permitted under this chapter, and/or refuse collection facilities, in compliance with § 184-66 herein.
D. 
Outdoor storage and outdoor display. Outdoor storage or outdoor display located between a building and a lot line adjacent to a residential district shall not exceed 12 feet in height.
[Added 4-23-2019 by Ord. No. 395]
No building and no part of a building shall be erected within or shall project into any required yard in any district, except that:
A. 
An unenclosed porch, not more than 14 feet in height, may be erected to extend into a required front or rear yard a distance of not more than 10 feet, provided that in no case shall it extend into such front or rear yard more than 1/2 the required depth of the yard.
B. 
A terrace, platform or landing place, not covered by a roof, canopy or trellis, which does not extend above the level of the first floor of the building may be erected to extend into a required yard a distance of not more than 10 feet, provided that it shall not extend into such yard more than 1/2 the required depth or width of the yard.
C. 
A porte-cochere or carport may be erected over a driveway in a required side yard, provided that such structure is:
(1) 
Not more than 14 feet in height and 20 feet in length.
(2) 
Entirely open on at least three sides, exclusive of the necessary supporting columns and customary architectural features.
(3) 
At least 10 feet from the side lot line.
[Amended 6-2-1998 by Ord. No. 196]
D. 
A buttress, chimney, cornice, pier or pilaster of a building may project not more than 18 inches into a required yard.
E. 
Open, unenclosed fire escapes, steps, bay windows and balconies may project no more than three feet into a required yard.
F. 
Accessory buildings as permitted under § 184-71 shall be permitted in required yards in compliance with the minimum setback requirements for such buildings.
[Amended 9-4-2012 by Ord. No. 334]
In all single-family attached, multifamily and nonresidential developments, refuse collection facilities must be provided by the applicant, either inside the building(s) or within an area enclosed by either walls or opaque fencing.
A. 
Refuse areas are prohibited between the street right-of-way and any building, and between the side property lines and any building. Refuse areas shall only be permitted behind or to the rear of the building. In the case of double frontage lots, refuse areas are permitted between the side yard setback and the building on the side located closest to the roadway of lowest classification.
B. 
Walls or fencing shall be designed to shield the refuse facilities from direct view from adjacent properties to a height of at least six feet but no more than 12 feet high. Refuse materials may not exceed the height of the fence. Such facilities shall be architecturally compatible with the building(s) as determined by the Township.
C. 
The refuse area shall be located at least 10 feet from any adjacent nonresidential zoning district and at least 75 feet from any adjacent residential zoning district or ultimate right-of-way.
D. 
The refuse area shall not interfere with circulation within the parking lot.
E. 
Facilities shall be designed in a manner which can accommodate large collection trucks and shall be large enough to accommodate recycling containers.
F. 
Refuse facilities attached to or within buildings shall be subject to the same building setbacks as the buildings.
G. 
Landscaping is required around these facilities in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 155, Subdivision and Land Development.
Common elements, including but not limited to open space, recreation, sewer, water and stormwater management facilities which will not be publicly owned shall be subject to a form of ownership established in private agreements acceptable to the Board of Supervisors, upon recommendation of the Township Solicitor. Such private ownership, including but not limited to corporate, individual, condominium, landlord or fee-simple homeowners' or landowners' association, shall be governed by the following:
A. 
Access to and use of these common elements may be restricted to the following:
(1) 
Property owners or tenants within the development.
(2) 
Nearby property owners or tenants who wish to join.
B. 
Perpetual maintenance shall be guaranteed by trust indenture or similar instrument, approved by the Board of Supervisors, upon recommendation of the Township Solicitor, which instrument shall:
(1) 
Be recorded with the Recorder of Deeds of Montgomery County simultaneously with the recording of the final plan.
(2) 
Restrict the common elements by deed restrictions granting the Township the right to enforce the restrictions.
(3) 
Include provisions for:
(a) 
Bonds posted by the developer to cover expenses incurred before formation of a homeowner's association.
(b) 
Adjustment of association fees to account for inflation.
(c) 
A reserve fund to cover capital improvements and/or unforeseen major maintenance requirements.
(d) 
Funds for professional management.
(4) 
Authorize the Township to maintain the common elements and assess the private ownership accordingly if private ownership fails to function as required in the private agreements. This shall include but need not be limited to:
(a) 
Failure to clear streets and parking areas of snow.
(b) 
Failure to maintain stormwater control facilities.
(c) 
Failure to correct any hazardous conditions.
(d) 
Failure to perform, abide by and complete any duties, obligations or requirements as set forth in the private agreements and/or the final plan approval of the Board of Supervisors.
An application for any conditional use as specified in the various Articles of this chapter shall be considered by the Township Supervisors according to the following procedure:
A. 
Application.
(1) 
The application shall be submitted, in writing, to the Township Secretary. The application shall be accompanied by a filing fee adopted pursuant to the provisions of § 184-32.
[Amended 5-3-2005 by Ord. No. 249]
(2) 
The application shall include the request for approval of a conditional use and sufficient information to document compliance with the applicable standards of this chapter. A tentative sketch plan of the proposed development shall be included.
(3) 
The applicant shall provide prestamped and preaddressed envelopes for all landowners within 400 feet of the applicant's land, according to the requirements of § 184-38G herein.
(4) 
The Township Secretary shall submit one copy of the application to the Township Planning Commission for its reviews and recommendations, one copy to the Township Board of Supervisors and other copies to agencies and/or technical consultants whose review may be relevant.
[Amended 6-16-2015 by Ord. No. 360]
B. 
Public hearing.
(1) 
The Board of Supervisors shall schedule a public hearing within 60 days from the date of the application, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time and shall give public notice of such hearing. The Board shall render a written decision within 45 days after the last hearing before the Board. For the purpose of this subsection, the last hearing before the Board shall not terminate until the transcript of the hearing has been filed with the Board by the court stenographer. Upon receipt of the transcript, the Board shall give notice to the parties of the date of such filing and the forty-five-day period shall commence unless the parties have requested time to file with the Board requests for findings of fact and conclusions of law in which case the Board shall establish a time during which such filing are to be made.
[Amended 5-3-2005 by Ord. No. 249]
(2) 
The Board of Supervisors shall consider the comments and recommendations of the Township and County Planning Commissions, other advisors and those present at the public hearing prior to deciding to approve or deny the proposed use and any conditions to be imposed upon approval.
(3) 
Where the Board fails to render the decision within the required period or fails to hold the required hearing within 60 days of application, the decision shall be deemed to have been rendered in favor of the applicant unless the applicant has agreed, in writing or on the record, to an extension of time.
C. 
Decision.
[Added 6-2-1998 by Ord. No. 196]
(1) 
The Board of Supervisors shall render a written decision or, when no decision is called for, make written findings on the conditional use application within 45 days after the last hearing before the Supervisors.
(2) 
Where the application is contested or denied, each decision shall be accompanied by findings of fact or conclusions based thereon, together with any reasons therefor; conclusions based on any provisions of the Municipalities Planning Code or of any ordinance, rule or regulation shall contain a reference to the provision relied upon and the reasons why the conclusion is deemed appropriate in the light of the facts found.
(3) 
Deemed decision. Where the Board of Supervisors fails to make a decision within the time period required above, or fails to hold the required hearing within the time period required by state law, the decision shall be deemed to have been rendered in favor of the applicant, unless the applicant has agreed in writing or on the record to an extension of time.
(a) 
When a decision has been rendered in favor of the applicant because of the failure of the Board of Supervisors to meet or render a decision as required, the Board of Supervisors shall give public notice of the decision within 10 days from the last day it could have met to render a decision in the same manner as required by the public notice requirements of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
(b) 
If the Board of Supervisors shall fail to provide such notice, the applicant may do so.
(4) 
A copy of the final decision or, where no decision is called for, of the findings shall be delivered to the applicant personally or mailed to the applicant no later than the day following its date.
D. 
Standards. For an application for a conditional use, the Board of Supervisors shall consider the standards listed in § 184-43.
[Added 6-2-1998 by Ord. No. 196]