Township of Middlesex, PA
Butler County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 10-3-2007 by Ord. No. 113; 11-21-2012 by Ord. No. 125]

§ 175-64
Purpose; legislative authority. 

§ 175-65
Design standards. 

§ 175-66
Common open space reservation. 

§ 175-67
Failure to maintain common open space. 

§ 175-68
Additional building setbacks. 

§ 175-69
Landscaping, signs, parking and loading regulations. 

§ 175-70
Vehicular and pedestrian access. 

§ 175-71
Screening. 

§ 175-72
Building spacing. 

§ 175-73
Application for tentative approval. 

§ 175-74
Public hearings. 

§ 175-75
Grant or denial of approval. 

§ 175-76
Criteria for approval. 

§ 175-77
Findings of fact. 

§ 175-78
Timing. 

§ 175-79
Certification of decision. 

§ 175-80
Status of plan after tentative approval. 

§ 175-81
Application for planned residential development final approval. 

§ 175-82
through § 175-91. (Reserved) 

§ 175-64 Purpose; legislative authority.

A. 

The purpose of the Planned Residential Development District is to:

(1) 

Encourage innovations in residential development to meet the growing demand for housing;

(2) 

Support greater variety in type, design and layout of dwelling units;

(3) 

Conserve open space and encourage a more efficient use of land, public services and infrastructure;

(4) 

Promote increased flexibility of land development and density regulations;

(5) 

Provide a procedure to relate the type, design and layout of residential development to the characteristics of a particular parcel to the characteristics of the Township's varying landscapes.

B. 

The authority for enacting these planned residential development provisions is Article VII of the Municipalities Planning Code.

Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10701 et seq.
All procedures and requirements of Article VII of the Municipalities Planning Code are incorporated herein.

§ 175-65 Design standards.

All design standards and improvements of the land development plan for a proposed planned residential development shall also meet the requirements set forth in the Middlesex Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance,

Editor's Note: See Ch. 150, Subdivision and Land Development.
except as expressly stated in this ordinance. If the provisions of this section are inconsistent with other provisions of this ordinance, the provisions of this section shall apply.

A. 

Planned residential development parcel.

(1) 

Planned residential developments are permitted within the R-1, R-2 and R-AG districts.

(2) 

The minimum number of acres that may be developed as a planned residential development parcel is 30 acres.

(3) 

The development parcel shall be serviced by public water and public sewers approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Utilities within the development parcel shall be registered with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) and/or local municipal authority.

(4) 

Ancillary nonresidential uses may be permitted in a planned residential development parcel only if all of the following criteria are met:

(a) 

Construction of the ancillary nonresidential units shall not be permitted until 80% of all proposed dwelling units in the planned residential development are constructed and occupied or ready for occupancy.

(b) 

The ancillary nonresidential uses shall be designed primarily to serve residents of the planned residential development.

(c) 

The ancillary nonresidential uses shall be limited to the ground or street floors of a residential building containing multifamily dwelling units or to a single freestanding building on the planned residential development parcel.

(d) 

The total floor area devoted to the ancillary nonresidential uses shall not exceed 15% of the total floor area of all buildings devoted to residential use in the planned residential development.

(e) 

Any freestanding building proposed to contain ancillary nonresidential uses shall not be located within 100 feet of any existing or proposed single-family dwelling within the planned residential development or outside the boundaries of the planned residential development parcel.

(f) 

The maximum surface area of any business identification sign for any ancillary nonresidential use shall not exceed 12 square feet. Such signs shall not be illuminated.

(g) 

Off-street parking for the ancillary nonresidential uses shall be provided in accordance with the requirements of Article XIII of this chapter for the uses.

B. 

Basic development parameters.

(1) 

Development Reference Table.

Dwelling Unit Type Land Uses Open Space Requirement (percentage of overall site acreage) Minimum Lot Size (square feet)
Type 1 Mixture of both of the following uses: detached single-family and attached single-family. No one use may exceed 75% of the overall mix 30% 7,500 per detached single-family unit; 4,500 per attached single-family unit
Type 2 Detached single-family only 40% 7,500 per detached single-family unit
(2) 

In order to encourage flexibility of development, variations shall be permitted in the density and intensity of land use throughout the entire planned residential development. Greater concentration of density and intensity of land use may be permitted so long as the overall density of the overall development defined in this ordinance is not exceeded.

(3) 

All single-family interior lots within a planned residential development shall have a minimum lot width of 60 feet as measured at the building setback line.

(4) 

Other area and bulk regulations. In addition to the setback requirements of § 175-68, development on a lot within the development parcel shall conform to the lot requirements outlined in Articles IV, VI, XIX and XXIII as applicable.

(5) 

All lots located within a planned residential development parcel shall be contiguous. Where more than one lot exists, said lots may not be divided by an existing right-of-way.

(6) 

Continuity of development.

(a) 

To maintain continuity between existing and proposed development patterns throughout the Township and transitions of density, if attached single-family units are proposed as part of a planned residential development, said residential uses shall be located between any nonresidential development proposed as part of the planned residential development and single-family residential development proposed as part of the planned residential development. If nonresidential development is not proposed, dwellings of greatest density shall be located closest to the arterial street/collector street to which the proposed development connects to as its primary entrance.

(b) 

Access to attached single-family units from an arterial street or collector street shall not be permitted. A minimum of four said units shall be accessible from any one designated access point along an arterial street or collector street.

C. 

Maximum permitted density for a planned residential development.

(1) 

R-AG Zoning District: four dwelling units per acre.

(2) 

R-1 Zoning District: six dwelling units per acre.

(3) 

R-2 Zoning District: eight dwelling units per acre.

(4) 

When a planned residential development parcel proposed for development pursuant to this article contains a minimum of 300 feet of frontage abutting a publically dedicated street, then the density for each zoning district comprising the entire development parcel may be increased by 10%.

(5) 

Calculation of maximum number of dwelling units. Fill in the following table on the applicable official form as issued by Middlesex Township.

3a Total site acreage acres
3b Minimum % of open space to be reserved %
3c Multiply Line 3a by Line 3b; subtract that number from the total site acreage identified in Line 3a. This equals the maximum acreage to be disturbed for development. acres
3d Maximum number of units. Multiply Line 3c by the density of the applicable district as identified in § 175-65C(1). units
3e Bonus number of units, if applicable, shall be applied to the number of units calculated in line 3d bonus units
(6) 

When calculating density, a fractional dwelling unit of 1/2 (0.5) or more shall be considered an entire dwelling unit, while a fractional less than 1/2 (0.5) shall be disregarded.

(7) 

In the event that a planned residential development parcel includes property in two or more zoning districts, the maximum number of lots within the planned residential development shall not exceed the proportionate share of the number of lots permitted if the property was the subject of a standard subdivision in each of the zoning districts.

(8) 

All data associated with the number of dwelling units shall be denoted on the site development parcel (parent parcel) master plan (development plan) to illustrate the location of dwelling units by type and the quantity of dwelling units by type by phase of development. In the event the applicant proposes to revise the total and/or allocation of dwelling units by type within any and/or all phase(s), the applicant shall resubmit the proposed overall master plan as part of an application for tentative approval.

§ 175-66 Common open space reservation.

A. 

The common open space shall be so dedicated or otherwise preserved and maintained so as to remain open and available for use by all residents of the development area. The common open space shall generally abut existing or potential open space land on adjacent lots or development parcels, and shall be designed as part of any larger contiguous and integrated greenway systems, as per the natural resources recommendations of the Township's Comprehensive Plan.

B. 

Common open space shall not include space devoted to streets or parking areas, but may include the portions of stormwater management facilities including spillways which do not exceed a slope gradient of 5:1 or less.

C. 

Recreational facilities and structures located in common areas shall be considered common open space, provided the total impervious surfaces constitute no more than 5% of the total open space.

(1) 

For access and visibility, the common open space shall have a minimum frontage of 100 feet on an existing or proposed street or shall adjoin an existing park or common open space that is accessible from a street. If such frontage is located on a private street, the Township shall reserve the right to decline ownership and maintenance responsibility for the common open space if offered by the developer. The minimum width of the common open space land shall be 50 feet at its narrowest dimension.

(2) 

Common open space shall be within 150 feet of an existing or proposed public street or shall be visible from said street if the recreation open space does not have frontage on said street.

(3) 

To the greatest extent possible, common open space shall be compact and contiguous area.

D. 

At least 25% of the common open space shall be located on generally level land. Generally level land shall be considered as areas with natural and/or man-made slopes with a gradient less than 15%.

E. 

In order to optimize safety and circulation of site development, the Township may require a proposed PRD adjacent to an established PRD or adjacent to land upon which a site development plan for another PRD may occur to provide a publicly accessible vehicular access right-of-way and/or road tap to the adjacent PRD and/or land. Said publicly accessible right-of-way and/or road tap may bisect required open space so long as the width of the bisect does not exceed 75 feet when measured perpendicular to the parcel line. The landowner shall be responsible for right-of-way, including road grading, clearing and a sign noting the future connection along the parcel line in the event the designated right-of-way does not currently connect to another constructed road tap. If there is a road tap to connect to, road construction of said tap must be provided.

F. 

For multi-phased developments, each respective phase shall include its proportionate percentage of open space of the total open space requirement as defined by this ordinance. See also §§ 175-80D and 175-81C.

G. 

Method of ownership for common open space.

(1) 

The land and facilities to be used for common open space shall be implemented in accordance with either of the two methods set forth below, or a combination of the two methods, as determined by the Board of Supervisors:

(a) 

The Board of Supervisors shall have the right of first refusal regarding the dedication of the required open space for public use to the Township. If the Township accepts such a dedication, the Township agrees to operate and maintain the dedicated land and facilities for the originally intended use as common open space.

(b) 

If the Board of Supervisors refuses acceptance of the required open space for public use to the Township, the land and/or facilities shall be conveyed to an organization established for the ownership and maintenance of the common open space.

[1] 

The organization shall covenant to operate and maintain the land and facilities as a common open space; such organization shall not be dissolved nor shall it dispose of the common open space, by sale or otherwise (except to an organization conceived and established to own and maintain the common open space), without first offering to dedicate the same to the Township.

[2] 

Common open space shall be recorded with Butler County independently from other portions of the planned residential development.

(2) 

The Township shall not be obligated to accept the dedication of the common open space or any portion thereof, where the Board of Supervisors determines that such dedication is not in the interest of the Township.

H. 

All data and area associated with dedicated open space shall be denoted on the plan to illustrate the location of said open space and the quantity of said open space. The total area of dedicated open space shall be provided on the plan as shall the minimum, and any amount in excess of the minimum, of dedicated open space per phase of development.

§ 175-67 Failure to maintain common open space.

In the event that the organization or any successor organization established to own and maintain the common open space shall at any time fail to maintain the same in accordance with the land development plan and in reasonable order and condition, the Township shall have the right to maintain the same and assess the cost of such maintenance on a prorata basis and as a lien against the lots within the planned residential development parcel that have a right of enjoyment of the common open space, pursuant to the authority and in accordance with the procedures and requirements contained in Section 705(f)(2) through (6) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code [53 P.S. § 10705(f)(2) through (6)], as amended.

§ 175-68 Additional building setbacks.

A. 

Purpose.

(1) 

To accommodate the future expansion of the Township's roadways in accordance with the Richland Township-Middlesex Township Joint Comprehensive Plan, the Middlesex Township Official Map and the recommendations outlined in the Township's Transportation Impact Fee Program Road Sufficiency Analysis and Capital Improvements Plan Reports;

(2) 

To protect private development from disturbances created by future transportation improvements; and

(3) 

To preserve the rural and historic landscape character of the Township's arterial and collector roadways.

B. 

Procedures.

(1) 

No lot that abuts a Township primary roadway as referenced in Table XX

Editor's Note: Table XX follows Subsection C(5)(c).
hereof shall be approved or recorded, no lot shall be sold nor any building or structure shall be built, altered, moved or enlarged in any manner unless and until a land development plan has been approved and recorded and until the improvements required in connection therein have either been constructed or guaranteed as herein provided.

(2) 

If the provisions of this section are inconsistent with other provisions of this ordinance, the provisions of this section shall apply.

C. 

Standards.

(1) 

All development parcels abutting a roadway identified in Table XX

Editor's Note: Table XX follows Subsection C(5)(c).
shall provide a right-of-way setback in conformance to the dimensions identified in Table XX. The right-of-way setback shall be located between the right-of-way line of the primary roadway and the lot's required yard setback.

(2) 

Front setbacks for internal lots within the development parcel shall be:

(a) 

Minimum front setbacks. The minimum front setback shall as follows:

[1] 

R-AG: 30 feet.

[2] 

R-1: 20 feet.

[3] 

R-2: 15 feet.

(b) 

Variable front setbacks. No more than three adjacent lots (herein called the series) shall be located at the minimum front lot line. The lot adjacent to the series shall have a variable front setback distance measuring no less than five feet, but not more than 10 feet in variation from the adjacent lots is encouraged. A maximum of three lots with this setback variation may occur.

(3) 

Rear setbacks. For interior lots abutting the boundary of the development parcel, the minimum rear setback is 60 feet. For interior lots abutting the boundary of the development parcel where a 10 foot buffer already exists, the minimum rear setback is 50 feet. For interior lots abutting the rear of another residential lot, the minimum rear setback is 40 feet.

(4) 

Front setbacks on single-family attached and multifamily lots shall be measured from the front (exposed) face of the curb of the common parking areas serving the dwelling units, where the common parking areas intervene between the dwelling units and the public or private street right-of-way. Where there is no intervening common parking area, the setback shall be measured from the edge of the public or private street right-of-way.

(5) 

Side setbacks.

(a) 

The minimum side setback for detached single-family dwellings in R1 and R2 zoned districts shall be 10 feet per side.

(b) 

The minimum side setback for detached single-family dwellings as permissible in R-AG zoned districts shall be 15 feet per side.

(c) 

The minimum side setback for attached single-family dwellings as permissible in R1 and R2 zoned districts shall be 15 feet per side.

Table XX: Roadway Setbacks.
Arterial Roadways Right-Of-Way Setback Requirement
PA 8, PA 228 East, PA 228 West 35 feet
Collector Roadways Right-Of-Way Setback Requirement
West Cruikshank Road 12 1/2 feet
East Cruikshank Road
Leslie Road
Sheldon Road
State Road
Steiner Bridge Road
Overbrook Road
Truver Road
McFann Road
Denny Road
Browns Hill Road
Sandy Hill Road
Logan Road
(6) 

All yard setbacks that abut a primary roadway as defined by § 175-140 of this chapter shall provide a landscape screen in conformance with the spacing standards of Buffer Yard C and § 175-40. All landscaping within this buffer yard should comply with the suggested landscape palettes outlined in Table XX.

Editor's Note: Table XX immediately precedes this subsection.

§ 175-69 Landscaping, signs, parking and loading regulations.

A. 

All portions of the land development plan pertaining to landscaping, signs, parking or safety shall conform to the regulations in the Middlesex Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance

Editor's Note: See Ch. 150, Subdivision and Land Development.
and of this ordinance.

B. 

No parking area shall be closer than 15 feet to a principal building, except driveways and internal garages, nor shall any parking interfere with recreational areas in the development parcel. No parking areas shall be leased to persons who are not residents of the planned residential development. Parking may be provided in separate garages or on the lowest floor or floors of the principal building or buildings, provided such parking does not interfere with the basic residential use and character of the building or buildings involved. Individual garages shall be no more than two stories in height and shall be no closer than 50 feet to a residential building.

C. 

Two off-street parking spaces shall be provided within the planned residential development for each single-family dwelling unit constructed. In addition, there shall be 1/2 spaces per attached single-family dwelling unit provided for visitor parking located within 300 feet of the dwelling units they are intended to serve. Parking spaces in driveways, which block access to integral garages, shall not be permitted.

D. 

All sidewalks, lighting and stormwater management facilities shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the requirements of the Middlesex Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.

Editor's Note: See Ch. 150, Subdivision and Land Development.
Adequate numbers and spacing of firesafety fixtures or equipment shall be installed in accordance with requirements as defined by the Board of Supervisors.

E. 

All uses which require off-street loading shall comply with the requirements of this ordinance.

§ 175-70 Vehicular and pedestrian access.

A. 

The planned residential development parcel shall have a frontage abutting a publicly dedicated street and such frontage shall be a minimum of 300 feet.

B. 

Principal vehicular access to the planned residential development shall be at a minimum of two points from streets and roads capable of supporting existing traffic and the traffic that will be generated by the development, unless otherwise approved by the Board of Supervisors. Access points shall be spaced a minimum of 150 feet on center. Access points shall be designed to provide smooth traffic flow, controlled turning movements, and minimum hazard to vehicular or pedestrian traffic. Each access point includes both a point of ingress and a point of egress, regardless of the number of turning and/or travel lanes. Merging and turnout lanes and traffic dividers shall be provided where existing or anticipated heavy flows of traffic indicate such need. Culs-de-sac shall be constructed in accordance with related Township standards.

C. 

Sidewalks shall be provided along the frontage of residential and nonresidential lots within the development parcel in accordance with the requirements of the Middlesex Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.

Editor's Note: See Ch. 150, Subdivision and Land Development.
If, in addition, walkways are proposed within the planned residential development parcel to provide access to or communication through common open space or common facilities, walkways shall form a logical, safe and convenient system. These walkways shall be located to minimize contacts with normal automotive traffic, with street crossings held to a minimum. The walkway system shall be constructed of all-weather, durable hard surfaces approved by the Township.

D. 

Upon dedication by the developer of the streets or roads to the Township, the Township agrees to assume all maintenance responsibilities for said streets and roads.

E. 

Specifications for street construction. All streets in a planned residential development, whether public or private, shall be constructed to the specifications of the Middlesex Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance

Editor's Note: See Ch. 150, Subdivision and Land Development.
for public streets.

§ 175-71 Screening.

A. 

If topographical or other barriers are not sufficient to assure the privacy of the planned residential development parcel and abutting lots and development parcels, the following requirement shall be imposed at all places where there are buildings, structures or parking areas within 100 feet of the planned residential development's parcel boundary.

(1) 

To maintain adequate privacy and screening, structures on interior lots which abut the perimeter of the development parcel(s) must be setback in accordance with § 175-68C(3).

(2) 

The perimeter of the planned residential development shall be screened at a minimum by Buffer Yard A in accordance with § 175-140B of this chapter so as to protect the development. No fences or walls inconsistent with the Township Ordinances in effect with regard to such structures shall be permitted.

(3) 

Except for the provision of road/cul-de-sac access and sidewalks, no grading shall occur in a buffer yard required by this ordinance. To the greatest extent possible, landowner and/or developer shall preserve existing vegetation within a designated buffer yard. Trees to be preserved should not be disturbed within the dripline from said trees.

(4) 

Buffer yards between different types of dwelling units and/or change of use/dwelling types within the planned residential development parcel shall be provided in accordance with the requirements of § § 175-140B Buffer Yard A of this chapter.

§ 175-72 Building spacing.

A. 

The requirements determining the spacing of buildings shall be as flexible as possible so as to encourage imaginative site design. The spaces between buildings shall guarantee adequate light, air and emergency access.

B. 

Each building shall be so arranged so as to discourage the predominance of garage faces and/or off-street parking from the public right-of-way.

C. 

The minimum distance between the nearest points of any exterior building walls shall be not less than 30 feet, except that for residential buildings not exceeding two stories in height, exterior end walls with no openings therein shall be not less than 20 feet apart.

§ 175-73 Application for tentative approval.

A. 

Overview.

(1) 

Combined zoning change and land development plan application. If an application for a zoning change is made simultaneously with the application for land development plan tentative approval, the two shall be considered together.

(2) 

Tentative approval of the land development plan shall authorize the development of the interior lot(s) in accordance with the approved development plan, provided an application for final approval is submitted which complies with the application granted tentative approval. Failure to apply for Final Approval within 12 months or to develop the land development plan as initiated by application for a grading permit, a building permit or an occupancy permit to undertake the construction or authorized occupancy approved and as indicated in § 175-81G shall cause the abandonment of the land development plan.

B. 

Filing.

(1) 

A landowner and/or developer shall submit an application for tentative approval of the land development plan. The application, accompanied by the required application filing fee, shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer at least 21 days prior to the regular meeting of the Planning Commission. Not less than eight printed sets and one digital set in a form acceptable to the Township of the land development plan shall be submitted to the Township for distribution to Township Staff, identified review bodies and each member of the Planning Commission. In addition to submission to the Township, one printed set of the plans shall be submitted to the County Planning Agency. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to submit said copy to the County Planning Agency.

(2) 

The Township Zoning Officer shall determine the completeness of the application and either accept the application as complete and properly filed or return the application to the applicant for resubmission if the application is incomplete and improperly filed. If the application is returned as incomplete, a written notice which cites the specific requirements of this ordinance which have not been met shall be sent to the applicant.

(3) 

The Planning Commission shall review the application at a public meeting and shall forward written recommendations to the Board of Supervisors prior to the public hearing conducted by the Board of Supervisors on the application. One copy of the application for tentative approval shall be forwarded by the Planning Commission to the Board of Supervisors with its recommendations.

(4) 

The date of the Planning Commission meeting at which the application is accepted as complete and properly filed shall be the official date of filing and shall represent the beginning of the sixty-day period for Planning Commission review and the public hearing by the Board of Supervisors.

C. 

Fees. The application for tentative approval shall be accompanied by a filing fee in accordance with the schedule affixed from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.

D. 

Information required. The application shall contain, in the form specified by the Planning Commission, the following information and such additional information as may be required by the Planning Commission to perform its duties:

(1) 

All data required for a preliminary plat, as specified in the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.

Editor's Note: See Ch. 150, Subdivision and Land Development.

(2) 

The location, size, existing topography, proposed topography and the nature of the planned residential development proposed to be developed.

(3) 

The density of land use to be allocated to parts of the development parcel to be developed.

(4) 

The location and size of the common open space and the form of organization proposed to own and maintain the common open space.

(5) 

The use and the approximate height, bulk and location of buildings and other structures.

(6) 

The feasibility of proposals for water supply and the disposition of sanitary waste and stormwater.

(7) 

The substance of covenants, grants of easements/rights-of-way or other restrictions proposed to be imposed upon the use of the land, buildings and structures, including proposed easements or grants for public utilities.

(8) 

The provisions for parking of vehicles and the location and width of proposed streets.

(9) 

The location and design of all screening, buffer yards and landscaping, indicating the type, location and height of all plantings.

(10) 

Any conflicts with the Township land use regulations otherwise applicable.

(11) 

The feasibility of proposals for energy conservation and the effective utilization of renewable energy sources.

(12) 

In the case of land development plans which call for development over a period of years, a description of each section and a schedule showing the proposed times within which applications for final approval of all sections of the planned residential development shall be filed, and this schedule must be updated annually, by the anniversary of its previous approval, until the development is completed and accepted.

(13) 

Statement of public interest. A written statement by the landowner and/or developer setting forth the reasons why, in his opinion, a planned residential development would be in the public interest and would be consistent with the Richland Township-Middlesex Township Joint Comprehensive Plan.

(14) 

True and correct copies of the complete text of all covenants, easements, rights-of-way, and other restrictions applicable to the common open space; private roads, walkways and/or private parking facilities; recreational facilities; and all other land and/or facilities included in the development plan to be held in common by an appropriate organization or dedicated for public use.

§ 175-74 Public hearings.

A. 

Within 60 days of the official date of filing of an application for tentative approval of a planned residential development, a public hearing pursuant to public notice on said application shall be held by the Board of Supervisors.

B. 

The Chairman, or, in his absence, the acting Chairman, of the Board of Supervisors may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All testimony by witnesses at any hearing shall be given under oath and every party of record at a hearing shall have the right to cross-examine adverse witnesses.

C. 

All procedures governing the conduct of the public hearing shall be in accordance with the procedures specified by Article IX of the Municipalities Planning Code

Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10901 et seq.
for Township Zoning Hearing Board hearings and all references to the Board in that article shall be to the Board of Supervisors for the purposes of interpreting this section.

D. 

The Board of Supervisors may continue the hearing from time to time, and may refer the matter back to the Planning Commission for a report; provided, however, that in any event, the public hearing or hearings shall be concluded within 60 days after the date of the first public hearing.

§ 175-75 Grant or denial of approval.

A. 

Action by Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors, within 60 days following the conclusion of the public hearing provided for in this ordinance, by official written communication to the applicant shall either:

(1) 

Grant tentative approval of the land development plan as submitted;

(2) 

Grant tentative approval subject to the specified conditions not included in the land development plan as submitted; or

(3) 

Deny tentative approval to the land development plan.

B. 

Failure to act. Failure to so act within 60 days shall constitute tentative approval of the land development plan as submitted.

C. 

Approval with conditions. If tentative approval is granted subject to conditions, the applicant may refuse to accept the conditions, in which case the Board of Supervisors shall be deemed to have denied approval of the development plan. The applicant shall reject these conditions by written notification to the Board of Supervisors of his decision within 30 days after receiving a copy of the decision of the Board of Supervisors. If the applicant does not, within the prescribed period, notify the Board of Supervisors of his refusal to accept all the conditions, tentative approval of the land development plan, with all attached conditions, shall stand as granted.

§ 175-76 Criteria for approval.

A land development plan may be tentatively approved only if it is found to meet the following criteria:

A. 

The proposed land development plan shall preserve the objectives of this ordinance and shall be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

B. 

It shall be fully served by public utilities without reducing the level of service to the remainder of the Township.

C. 

It shall organize vehicular ingress, egress, and parking to minimize traffic congestion in the neighborhood.

D. 

It shall be sited, oriented and landscaped to produce a harmonious relationship of buildings and grounds within the development and to the buildings and grounds of adjacent owners, and, to the fullest extent possible, shall preserve the scenic, aesthetic, and historic features of the landscape.

E. 

It shall not involve any element or cause any condition that may be dangerous, injurious, or noxious to any other lot or persons.

§ 175-77 Findings of fact.

The decision granting or denying tentative approval shall be accompanied by or include a detailed analysis containing findings of fact and relating to the following criteria:

A. 

A detailed itemization of aspects in which the proposed planned residential development is consistent with the Richland Township-Middlesex Township Joint Comprehensive Plan and the aspects in which it is not so consistent.

B. 

Any aspects in which the proposed planned residential development departs from zoning requirements for similar development in other districts and the Middlesex Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance

Editor's Note: See Ch. 150, Subdivision and Land Development.
otherwise applicable to the subject lot, including, but not limited to, density, bulk and use, and the reasons why such departures are or are not deemed to be in the public interest.

C. 

The purpose, location and amount of the common open space in the proposed planned residential development, the reliability of the proposals for maintenance and conservation of the common open space, and the adequacy or inadequacy of the amount and purpose of the common open space as related to the purpose, density and type of residential development.

D. 

The physical design of the proposed planned residential development and the aspects in which said design does or does not make adequate provision for public services, provide adequate control over vehicular traffic, and further amenities of light and air, recreation, and visual enjoyment.

E. 

The relationship, beneficial or adverse, of the proposed planned residential development to the neighborhood in which it is proposed to be established; and

F. 

The sufficiency of the terms and conditions intended to protect the interest of the public and the residents of the planned residential development and the integrity of the development plan.

§ 175-78 Timing.

If a proposed planned residential development is granted tentative approval, with or without conditions, the Board of Supervisors shall set forth in the decision the time within which an application for final approval shall be filed. In the case of a land development plan that provides for development over a period of years, the periods of time in which applications for final approval of each part thereof shall be filed may also be established in the official written communication. Only with the consent of the applicant may the time between grant of tentative approval and application for final approval be less than 90 consecutive calendar days, and, in the case of development over a period of years, the time between applications for final approval of each part of a plan shall not be less than 12 months.

§ 175-79 Certification of decision.

The decision shall be in writing, signed by the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, attested by the Township Manager, and filed in the office of the Township Manager, and a certified copy shall be mailed to the applicant.

§ 175-80 Status of plan after tentative approval.

A. 

Consent to revoke. Tentative approval of a land development plan shall not qualify a plat of the planned residential development for recording, authorize development, or authorize the issuance of any building permits. A land development plan that has been given tentative approval as submitted or with conditions accepted by the applicant shall not be modified or revoked, by action of the Township pending an application or applications for final approval. If the application for final approval is filed within the periods of time specified in the decision granting tentative approval, the Township shall act to modify or revoke the tentative approval only for one or the other of the following reasons:

(1) 

Default or violation by the applicant of any of the conditions of tentative approval.

(2) 

Consent by the applicant to the modification or revocation.

B. 

Revocation of tentative approval. The tentative approval of the land development plan may be revoked for either of the following reasons:

(1) 

The applicant notifies the Board of Supervisors in writing of the intention to abandon the plans; or

(2) 

The applicant fails to file application for final approval within the required time period. When tentative approval is revoked, all areas included in the land development plan not granted final approval shall be subject to all Township ordinances as though no application had been filed.

C. 

Plan after tentative approval. A land development plan granted tentative approval should be considered the overall plan of the development. This plan may not be altered without the consent of the applicant and the Board of Supervisors. The filing of an application for final approval of the entire development or an approved phase shall be consistent with the plan granted tentative approval.

D. 

Revisions. If there are any revisions to the plan affecting density/zoning (i.e., units are added or deleted, affecting the overall amount of units approved in the tentative approval), the approval must be amended. The entire application submission must be revised and resubmitted to the Township for an approval modification. At its request, additional information may be required by the Township to determine the impact of said revisions on the adjacent zoning districts, lots and/or applicable infrastructure. A public hearing shall be required as part of a resubmission.

§ 175-81 Application for planned residential development final approval.

A. 

Filing.

(1) 

Application for final approval shall be filed with the Township Supervisors not later than 12 months following the grant of tentative approval, unless otherwise specified by the Township Supervisors. The application shall be submitted at least 21 days prior to the regular meeting of the Planning Commission. The application shall be comprised of one reproducible Mylar and eight printed sets and one digital set in a form acceptable to the Township of the land development plan, including the completion bond and developer's agreement required by the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance

Editor's Note: See Ch. 150, Subdivision and Land Development.
for approval of a final plat. The Planning Commission shall either accept the application as complete and properly filed or return the application to the applicant for resubmission if the application is incomplete and improperly filed. If the application is returned as incomplete, a written notice that cites the specific requirements of this ordinance which have not been met shall be sent to the applicant.

(2) 

The date of the Planning Commission meeting at which the application is accepted as complete and properly filed shall be the official date of filing and shall represent the beginning of the forty-five-day period for review by the Planning Commission and action by the Board of Supervisors.

B. 

Content of application for final approval. The application for final approval shall include a land development plan, all required supplementary data as specified herein, and a certificate of completion of Improvements or a completion bond, as required by the Middlesex Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.

Editor's Note: See Ch. 150, Subdivision and Land Development.

(1) 

The land development plan shall include:

(a) 

All information as required for a final plat, as specified in the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance;

(b) 

Improvements and drawings which reflect the requirements of the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance and other applicable Township design standards;

(c) 

Accurately dimensioned locations of all proposed structures, parking areas, recreation areas and common open spaces;

(d) 

The use and number of families to be housed in each structure; and

(e) 

The landscaping plan, including the location of sidewalks, trails and buffer yards.

(2) 

Supplementary data shall include:

(a) 

In a form suitable for recording with the plat, any covenants, grants of easements, rights-of-way or other restrictions to be imposed on the use of the land and structures; and

(b) 

Provisions for the maintenance, ownership and operation of common open spaces, common recreation facilities and other improvements.

C. 

Final approval.

(1) 

If the application for final approval has been filed with all drawings, specifications, other required documents in accordance with this ordinance, and the official written communication of tentative approval, the Planning Commission shall recommend approval of said application to the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors shall, within 45 days of the filing of the application with the Planning Commission, grant such land development plan final approval.

(2) 

Revisions. If there are any revisions to the plan not affecting the overall density (i.e., units are moved, added, or deleted, but do not change the total amount of units approved in the tentative approval), the final approval must reflect these changes when submitted to the Township. At its request, additional information may be required by the Township to determine the impact of said revisions on the adjacent zoning districts, lots and/or applicable infrastructure. A public hearing shall be required as part of the submission.

D. 

Denial of approval. If the land development plan as submitted contains variations from the land development plan given tentative approval, the Board of Supervisors may refuse to grant final approval. It shall, however, within 45 days from the filing of the application for final approval, advise the applicant of the refusal, setting forth in the notice why one or more of the variations are not in the public interest. In the event of such refusal, the applicant may take action as provided for in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.

E. 

Recording. A land development plan, or any part thereof, which has been given final approval shall be certified by the Board of Supervisors and recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds before any development shall take place. Said plan shall be recorded within 90 days of the date final approval is granted by the Board of Supervisors or final approval shall automatically be rescinded.

F. 

Judicial review. Any decision of the Board of Supervisors granting or denying tentative or final approval of a proposed planned residential development shall be subject to appeal by the same procedures and with the same limitations as provided for zoning appeals by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.

Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.

G. 

Failure to develop. In the event that a land development plan, or a section thereof, is given final approval and thereafter the applicant shall abandon such plan or the section thereof that has been finally approved, or, in the event the applicant shall fail to commence and carry out the planned residential development in accordance with the time provisions of Section 508 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code after final approval has been granted, or, in the event that the applicant shall substantially fail to develop in accordance with the land development plan given final approval, no development or further development shall take place on the lot included in the land development plan until after the said lot is reclassified by enactment of an amendment to the Township Zoning Ordinance in the manner prescribed for such amendments in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.

H. 

Enforcement remedies.

(1) 

Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated the planned residential development provisions of this ordinance shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township, pay a judgment of not more than $500 plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township as a result thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or be payable until the date of the determination of a violation by the District Justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation, unless the District Justice, determining that there has been a violation, further determines that there was a good faith basis for the person, partnership or corporation violating this ordinance to have believed that there was no such violation, in which event there shall be deemed to have been only one such violation until the fifth day following the date of the determination of a violation by the District Justice and thereafter each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. All judgments, costs and reasonable attorney fees collected for the violation of this ordinance shall be paid over to the Township. The Court of Common Pleas, upon petition, may grant an order of stay, upon cause shown, tolling the per diem fine pending a final adjudication of the violation and judgment.

(2) 

Nothing contained in this section shall be construed or interpreted to grant to any person or entity other than the Township the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this Section.

§ 175-82 through § 175-91. (Reserved)