Township of Whitemarsh, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance of Whitemarsh Township."
This chapter is established to regulate and control the subdivision and development of land within Whitemarsh Township so as to provide sites suitable for human habitation, commercial and industrial operations, and other uses for which land may be developed, thereby creating conditions favorable to the health, safety and welfare of the community and consistent with the goals of the Comprehensive Plan of Whitemarsh Township.
From and after the effective date of this chapter, any subdivision shall be in conformity with this chapter and all standards and specifications adopted as a part of such chapter.
In interpreting and applying the provisions of this chapter, they shall be held to be minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, comfort, convenience and general welfare. When provisions of this chapter and all standards and specifications adopted under it impose greater restrictions than those of any statute, other ordinance or regulations, the provisions of this chapter and its standards and specifications shall be controlling unless specified to the contrary. The illustrations in this chapter are not a part of the chapter but are included herein for purposes of explanation and clarification only.
A. 
For the purpose of this chapter, the words and terms used herein shall be interpreted as follows:
(1) 
Words used in the present tense include the future.
(2) 
The singular includes the plural.
(3) 
The word "person" includes a corporation, partnership, association or other legal entity, as well as an individual.
(4) 
The word "lot" includes the word "plot" or "parcel."
(5) 
The term "shall" is mandatory.
(6) 
The word "used" or "occupied" as applied to any land or building shall be construed to include the words "intended, arranged, or designed to be occupied."
(7) 
The word "Commission" and the words "Planning Commission" shall mean the Whitemarsh Township Planning Commission.
(8) 
The word "Supervisors" and the words "Board of Supervisors" shall mean the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors.
B. 
Any word or term not defined herein shall be used with a meaning of standard usage.
C. 
Unless a contrary intention clearly appears, the following words and phrases shall have, for the purpose of these regulations, the meanings given in the following clauses:
AGRICULTURAL PURPOSE
Those land uses which are devoted primarily to the production of agricultural, horticultural, viticultural and dairy products, livestock, ranch-raised fur-bearing animals, poultry, bee raising, forestry, sod crops, and any and all products raised on farms intended for human consumption.
ALLEY
A right-of-way which provides only secondary service access for vehicles to the side or rear of abutting properties.
APPLICANT
A landowner or developer who has filed an application for a proposed subdivision and/or land development under this chapter, including his heirs, successors and assigns.
[Amended 11-16-1989 by Ord. No. 584]
APPROVED PRESERVED TREE
Any tree that is inside the limit of disturbance and properly protected and not destroyed or injured during construction as required by Chapter 55 and as recommended by the Shade Tree Commission.
[Added 1-23-2014 by Ord. No. 935]
AVERAGE DAILY TRAFFIC (ADT)
The actual or calculated total vehicular trips that occur, or are expected to occur, on a specific street within a typical weekday.
AVERAGE SLOPE
The slope of land determined according to the formula:
Where:
S
is the average slope in percent.
I
is the contour interval in scale feet.
L
is the combined length of contour lines in scale feet.
A
is the area in acres of the site being considered.
BERM
A linear earth mound with a maximum slope of 33% with grass cover of 50% when shrubbery or ground cover is used.
BLOCK
An area bounded by three or more streets.
BOUNDARY TREE
A tree on an adjacent property whose root protection zone intrudes across the property line of the site under consideration.
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778; amended 1-23-2014 by Ord. No. 935]
BUILDING SETBACK LINE
The rear line of the minimum front yards as designated for each zoning district, measured from the street line, as defined herein.
CALIPER
A measure of nursery stock measured in diameter. For four-inch diameter stock or smaller, the measure is taken at six inches above the root ball. For stock above four inches, the measurement is taken at 12 inches above the root ball.
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778; amended 1-23-2014 by Ord. No. 935]
CANOPY TREE
Large shade trees with deciduous foliage (bare in winter) generally reaching at least 40 feet in height at maturity.
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778]
CARTWAY
The paved portion of a street right-of-way intended for vehicular use.
CLEAR SIGHT TRIANGLE
An area within a triangle bounded by any two intersecting street lines and a straight line drawn between points on each such line 50 feet from the intersection of said lines or extensions thereof.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
The Whitemarsh Township Comprehensive Plan and amendments thereto, including maps, charts and/or descriptive matter officially adopted by the Township Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, indicating recommendations for the continuing development of the municipality; and including all elements required by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code,[1] as last amended.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
CONDOMINIUM
A dwelling unit which is owned and maintained in accordance with the Uniform Condominium Act, Act 82 of 1980, as amended.[2]
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
CONSERVATION DESIGN OVERLAY DISTRICT OPEN SPACE
Land (including land covered with water, or subject to easements for community wells), which is the subject of a perpetual, legally binding conservation easement in favor of the Township or, with Township consent, a conservation organization qualified to accept charitable donations of conservation easements. Such easement shall run with the land and prohibit the construction of structures for residential, office, commercial, industrial or other use (other than agricultural accessory structures for agricultural uses existing or permitted in the zoning district in which the land is located) and shall vest in the Township or other approved entity the right to enforce the use, maintenance and management restrictions and obligations upon such land. Conservation Design Overlay District Open Space shall hereinafter be referred to as “common open space.”
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
CONSERVATION FEATURES MAP
A map adopted as part of the Township Comprehensive Plan depicting primary and secondary conservation features for the purpose of creating an interconnected system of common open space and recreation areas.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
CONSERVATION FEATURES, PRIMARY
Natural features found on the Township’s Conservation Features Map which have development constraints placed upon them during development of a tract. These features are floodplain and flood-prone areas, wetlands, steep slopes over 25% and riparian corridors.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
CONSERVATION FEATURES, SECONDARY
Natural or man-made features found either on the Township’s Conservation Features Map (or listed elsewhere in other Township documents) that the Township desires to preserve during the land development process. The extent to which these features are preserved on an individual site will be determined on a case-by-case basis during the land development process. These features are woodlands, important farmland soils, steep slopes between 8% and 25%, scenic roads and vistas, and historic or cultural resources.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
CROSSWALK
A publicly or privately owned right-of-way for pedestrian use which crosses a cartway or cuts across a block so as to furnish access for pedestrians to adjacent streets or properties.
CUL-DE-SAC
A street intersecting another street at one end and terminating at the other in a paved vehicular turnaround.
DBH or dbh
Diameter at breast height; a measure of trunk diameter in inches, taken at 4 1/2 feet above the natural ground line. The measured section should be free of branches and representative of the typical age of the tree species. DBH measurement is applied to existing trees (compared to caliper used for nursery stock).
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778]
DENSITY
A measure expressed in dwelling units per acre, calculated by dividing the total number of dwelling units by the site area.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
DESIGN STANDARDS
Regulations, as stated in Article V, imposing standards in the layout by which a subdivision or land development is governed.
DEVELOPER
See definition of "subdivider."
DRAINAGE
The natural or man-made features of land that are specifically designed to temporarily store or retain water and/or to carry surface water runoff.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
DRAINAGE FIELD
A component of an individual or community sewage system where liquid from a treatment tank seeps into the soil; it consists of an aggregate-filled area (containing piping for the distribution of liquid) and the soil or sand/soil combination located beneath the aggregate.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
DRIPLINE
The boundary created by the outermost branches of a tree.
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778]
DWELLING
A building containing one or more dwelling units.
DWELLING UNIT
Any room or group of rooms located within a residential building and forming a single habitable unit with facilities used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating by one family exclusively.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
ENGINEER
A professional engineer registered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
ENVIRONMENTAL OR NATURAL CORRIDOR
Any area of land usually bordering a watercourse, including but not limited to a stream, river, wetland or ridgeline and identified as containing unique natural features that should be preserved.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
EVERGREEN TREE
A woody plant capable of reaching a minimum mature height of 20 feet with foliage persistent for more than one full year, resulting in a year-round (evergreen) foliage screening capacity.
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778]
FLOODPLAIN
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
The low areas adjoining and including any water or drainage course or body of water subject to a one-hundred-year recurrence interval flood as delineated by the following studies or a study conducted by anyone else expert and experienced in the preparation of hydrological studies and the determination of flood lines:
(1) 
One-hundred-year-flood boundary, as delineated in the "Flood Insurance Study, Township of Whitemarsh, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania," prepared by the Delaware River Basin Commission for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Insurance Administration.
(2) 
Fifty-year flood, as delineated in the "Floodplain Information Report on Wissahickon Creek, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania," Corps of Engineers, United States Army District, Philadelphia, March 1965.
FLOODPLAIN SOILS
Soils in areas subject to periodic overflow and listed in the Soil Survey of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, April 1967, as being subject to flooding. Floodplain soils include, but are not limited to:
(1) 
Bermudian silt loam.
(2) 
Bouldery alluvial land.
(3) 
Bowmansville silt loam.
(4) 
Coduras silt loam.
(5) 
Hatboro silt loam.
(6) 
Rowland silt loam.
FOOTCANDLE
Unit of light density incident on a plane (assumed to be horizontal unless otherwise specified), measurable with an illuminance meter, a.k.a. light meter.
[Added 12-18-2008 by Ord. No. 871]
FOREST
Areas, groves or stands of mature or largely mature trees (i.e., greater than six inches caliper) covering an area greater than 1/4 acre; or groves of mature trees (greater than 12 inches caliper) consisting of more than 10 individual trees.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
GLARE
Excessive brightness in the field of view that is sufficiently greater than that to which the eyes are adapted to cause loss in visual performance or annoyance, so as to jeopardize health, safety and welfare.
[Added 12-18-2008 by Ord. No. 871]
GREENWAY
A linear park or open space conservation area that provides passive recreational opportunities, pedestrian and/or bicycle paths, and the conservation of open space or natural areas.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
HAZARD TREE
A tree with uncorrectable defects severe enough to pose present danger to people or buildings under normal conditions, as determined by the Township Shade Tree Commission.
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778]
HEDGEROW
A narrow linear vegetated area with a mix of woody trees and shrubs formed along farm fields and pastures. Hedgerows may be considered as a desirable visual characteristic of a rural landscape, warranting preservation during the land development process.
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778]
HERITAGE TREE
A tree located on public or private property:
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778; amended 1-23-2014 by Ord. No. 935]
(1) 
Which is specifically identified and considered worthy of preservation by the Township because of the species, size, rarity or historical importance; or
(2) 
Having a dbh greater than 40 inches or an age greater than 75 years.
HIDDEN VIEW
A view not readily seen in a viewshed or corridor, but partially obscured by natural or man-made features.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
HISTORIC OR CULTURAL RESOURCES
Man-made structures or artifacts, such as farmhouses, barns, springhouses, stonewalls or graveyards; may also include places where historic events occurred (such as battlefields or campsites, birthplaces of famous persons, dwellings designed by noted architects, etc.) and abandoned roads, established footpaths or trails.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
ILLUMINANCE
Quantity of light, measured in footcandles.
[Added 12-18-2008 by Ord. No. 871]
IMPERVIOUS GROUND COVER
That portion of a tract where, due to surface coverage, the water runoff coefficient is 0.90 or more, as determined by the Township Engineer.
IMPERVIOUS GROUND COVER RATIO
A measurement calculated by dividing the total area of all impervious ground cover within the site or lot by the site area or lot area, respectively.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
IMPROVEMENTS SPECIFICATIONS
Regulations, as stated in Article VII, imposing minimum standards for the construction of required improvements, including but not limited to streets, curbs, sidewalks and sewers.
LAKES OR PONDS
Natural or artificial bodies of water which retain water year-round. Artificial lakes or ponds may be created by dams or result from excavation. The shoreline of such water bodies shall be measured from the spillway crest elevation rather than the permanent pool, if there is any difference. Lakes are bodies of water two or more acres in extent. Ponds are any water body less than two acres in extent.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
LAND DEVELOPMENT
Any of the following activities:
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447; 11-16-1989 by Ord. No. 584]
(1) 
The improvement of one lot or two or more contiguous lots, tracts or parcels of land for any purpose involving:
(a) 
A group of two or more residential or nonresidential buildings, whether proposed initially or cumulatively, or a single nonresidential building on a lot or lots, regardless of the number of occupants or tenure. Said group shall not include the addition of a residential accessory building or a farm building on a lot or lots subordinate to an existing principal building, provided that the total building coverage of the lot or lots containing such buildings does not exceed the maximum building coverage permitted in a particular zoning district.
(b) 
The division or allocation of land or space, whether initially or cumulatively, between or among two or more existing or prospective occupants by means of or for the purpose of streets, common areas, leaseholds, condominiums, building groups or other features. Said division or allocation shall not include the conversion of an existing single-family detached dwelling into not more than three residential units, unless such units are intended to be a condominium, and provided that the total building coverage of the lot or lots containing such converted dwelling does not exceed the maximum building coverage permitted in a particular zoning district.
(2) 
A subdivision of land.
LAND DEVELOPMENT, MINOR
The improvement of one or more contiguous lots as a land development, as herein defined, provided that the land development shall:
[Added 11-16-1989 by Ord. No. 585]
(1) 
Not involve the construction of building(s) over 5,000 square feet in gross floor area.
(2) 
Not require or involve the development of more than 25 off-street parking spaces.
(3) 
Not require off-site improvements either to be privately owned or proposed for dedication to a governmental unit.
(4) 
Not require revisions to the Township sewage facilities plan.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
A professional landscape architect registered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
LEVEL OF SERVICE
As described in the 1965 Highway Capacity Manual, indicating the quality of traffic movement on a particular street or through a specific intersection.
LIGHT TRESSPASS
Light emitted by a lighting fixture or installation, which is cast beyond the boundaries of the property on which the lighting installation is sited.
[Added 12-18-2008 by Ord. No. 871]
LOT
A designated parcel, tract, or area of land established by a plot or otherwise as permitted by law and to be used, developed or built upon as a unit.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447; 11-16-1989 by Ord. No. 584; 1-23-2014 by Ord. No. 935]
(1) 
A lot which has an interior angle of less than 135° at the intersection of two street lines. A lot abutting upon a curved street or streets shall be considered a corner lot if the tangent to the curve at the points beginning within the lot or at the points of intersection of the side lot lines with the street lines intersect at an angle of less than 135°.
(2) 
Any lot which is not a corner lot.
(3) 
An interior lot having frontage on two parallel or approximately parallel streets.
(4) 
The mean distance from the street line of the lot to its opposite rear line measured in the general direction of the side lines of the lot.
(5) 
The distance measured between the side lot lines at the required building setback line. In a case where there is only one side lot line, lot width shall be measured between such side lot line and the opposite rear lot line or street line.
LOT AREA
The area contained within the property lines of a lot shown on a subdivision plan or required by the Zoning Ordinance.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
LOT AREA PER DWELLING UNIT, AVERAGE
The average lot area for all dwelling units of a single type. Individual lots may be smaller or larger than the average, provided that the average size and all other standards of this chapter are met.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
MAJOR INTERSECTION
Any intersection of one or more collector or arterial streets.
MANAGER
The Manager of Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, or other person so designated.
MARKER
A metal pipe or pin of at least 1/2-inch diameter and at least 24 inches in length.
MOBILE HOME
A transportable structure, not necessarily limited to a single-family dwelling, intended for permanent occupancy, office or place of assembly, contained in one unit or in two or more units designed to be joined into one integral unit capable of again being separated for repeated towing, which arrives at a site complete and ready for occupancy, except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations, and constructed so that it may be used without a permanent foundation. It does not include recreational vehicles or travel trailers.
[Added 11-16-1989 by Ord. No. 584]
MOBILE HOME LOT
A parcel of land in a mobile home park, improved with the necessary utility connections and other appurtenances necessary for the erection thereon of a single mobile home dwelling.
[Added 11-16-1989 by Ord. No. 584]
MOBILE HOME PARK
A parcel or contiguous parcels of land which has been so designated and improved that it contains two or more mobile home lots for the placement thereon of mobile homes.
[Added 11-16-1989 by Ord. No. 584]
MONUMENT
A stone or concrete monument with a flat top of at least four inches square; scored with an "X" to mark the reference point; at least 30 inches in length; the bottom sides of which are at least two inches greater than the top to minimize movements caused by frost.
OFFICIAL MAP
The Official Map of Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
[Added 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
ONE-HUNDRED-YEAR FLOOD
A flood that has one chance in 100 or a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any one year. For the purposes of this chapter, the one-hundred-year flood (base flood) is as defined by the Federal Insurance Administration in the Flood Insurance Study.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
OPEN SPACE
A portion of a site available and accessible for use by the public and/or residents of the site, generally undeveloped. Open space may include areas of steep slopes, floodplains and other significant features to be preserved. Open space shall not include streets or street rights-of-way, parking areas, yards, and lots of individual dwelling units or other public improvements, nor does it include required buffer areas. Open space uses may include active and passive recreation.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
OPEN SPACE RATIO
The total amount of open space within a site divided by the site area.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
PEAK HOUR TRAFFIC
The highest number of vehicles found or expected to be found during the a.m. and p.m. hours passing over a section of street in 60 consecutive minutes.
PERMANENT GRASSLAND
A field or meadow maintained and preserved with native grasses and plants. Periodic mowing may be required to forestall the creation of a woodland.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
PLAN, FINAL
A complete and exact subdivision plan, including all required supplementary data, prepared for official recording as required by statute, defining property rights and proposed streets and other improvements.
PLAN, IMPROVEMENT CONSTRUCTION
A plan, or set of plans, and supporting documents prepared by an engineer, detailing the engineering specifications for streets, sanitary sewers, stormwater drainage facilities and other improvements required by this chapter.
PLAN, MAJOR STREET
The element of the Township Comprehensive Plan which shows the location, alignment, dimensions, the identification and classification of existing and proposed streets, and recommended street realignments and changes.
PLAN, PRELIMINARY
A tentative formal subdivision plan (and including all required supplementary data), showing proposed street and lot layout as a basis for consideration prior to preparation of the final plan.
PLAN, RECORD
The copy of the final plan which contains the original required endorsements of the Township and which is intended to be recorded with the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds.
PLAN, SKETCH
An informal plan, indicating salient existing features of a tract and its surroundings and the general layout of a proposed subdivision.
PLANNING MODULE FOR LAND DEVELOPMENT
An application required by the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act,[3] Section 71.15(b) and (c) of Chapter 71, Administration of the Sewage Facilities Program, as amended.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
PLAT
The map or plan of a subdivision or land development, whether preliminary or final.
PRESERVED TREE
A preserved tree is any tree that is to be properly protected and not destroyed or injured during construction as required by this chapter.
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778]
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Transportation service for the general public provided by a common carrier of passengers generally on a regular route basis.
REMOVED TREE
A removed tree is any tree that is destroyed, injured or otherwise not protected according to the provisions of this chapter.
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778]
RESUBDIVISION
Any replatting or new division of land. Replattings shall be considered as constituting a new subdivision of land. See definition of "subdivision."
REVIEW
An examination of the sketch plan, preliminary plan or final plan to determine compliance with the Zoning Ordinance,[4] this chapter and other pertinent requirements.
RIDGE
A relatively narrow elevation that is prominent because of the steep angle at which it rises; an elongated crest, or series of crests, with or without individual peaks, significantly higher than the adjoining ground.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
RIDGELINE
A line connecting the highest points along a ridge and separating drainage basins or small-scale drainage systems from one another.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
RIDGE, PROMINENT
A ridge location that is visible from a major arterial, secondary or collector street, which is seen as a distinct edge against a backdrop of land.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
RIGHT-OF-WAY
Land set aside for passage, such as a utility, street, alley or other means of travel.
(1) 
The legal right-of-way as established by the commonwealth, or other appropriate governing authority, and currently in existence.
(2) 
The right-of-way deemed necessary by the Whitemarsh Township Official Map as appropriate to provide adequate width for future street improvements.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
ROOT PROTECTION ZONE
Area within a tree's temporary protection fencing which is to be maintained throughout the entire period of construction. The protective fencing shall be placed at a distance calculated at 1.25 feet (radius) per each one inch of (DBH) diameter breast height or to the outer edge of the dripline, whichever is greater.
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778; amended 1-23-2014 by Ord. No. 935]
SEWER
A public or private sanitary sewer system.
(1) 
Any system approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources and Whitemarsh Township which collects sewage and/or industrial wastes of a liquid nature from two or more lots and treats and/or disposes such sewage and/or industrial wastes at a common plant on another site.
(2) 
A system of piping, tanks or other facilities serving a single lot which collects or disposes of sewage in whole or in part into the soil on the same lot.
SHADE TREE
A woody plant or a portion thereof that has a minimum three-inch caliper, is 14 feet or more in height, has eight feet minimum spread, has a clear trunk to seven feet, and is a full branching structure within the ultimate right-of-way in Whitemarsh Township.
[Added 1-23-2014 by Ord. No. 935]
SHADE TREE COMMISSION
The Township's Shade Tree Commission.
[Amended 1-23-2014 by Ord. No. 935]
SHADE TREE COMMISSION'S DESIGNEE
A representative designated by the Shade Tree Commission.
[Added 1-23-2014 by Ord. No. 935]
SHRUB
A woody plant, usually with multiple stems, each of which has a DBH of less than three inches, with a minimum height of 24 inches.
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778; amended 1-23-2014 by Ord. No. 935]
SIGHT DISTANCE
The length of roadway visible to the driver of a passenger vehicle at any given point on the roadway when the view is unobstructed by traffic. "Sight distance" measurement shall be made from a point 3.75 feet above the center line of the road surface to a point 0.5 foot above the center line of road surface.
SITE
A parcel or contiguous parcels of land intended to have one or more buildings or intended to be subdivided into two or more lots.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447]
SITE AREA
All land area within the site calculated from an actual site survey rather than from a deed description.
SOLICITOR
The Solicitor of Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
STEEP SLOPE RATIO
A measurement calculated by dividing the total area of all steep slopes within the site or lot by the site area, respectively.
[Added 9-18-1986 by Ord. No. 538]
STEEP SLOPES
Land grades in excess of 8% and subject to regulation by the Whitemarsh Township Steep Slope Overlay Ordinance (Zoning Ordinance), as amended.[5]
[Amended 9-18-1986 by Ord. No. 538]
STREET
A public or private thoroughfare used, or intended to be used, for passage or travel by motor vehicles. Streets are further classified according to the functions they perform.
(1) 
Limited access highways with full grade separation, serving a large volume of high speed through traffic, designed for an operating speed of 70 miles per hour.
(2) 
Major regional highways, with full or partial access control, designed for a large volume of through traffic. An average daily traffic count of 10,000 trips or greater and an intended operating speed of 60 miles per hour is expected.
(3) 
Streets designed to provide access between local and minor collector streets and arterials and expressways. Access is controlled by limiting curb cuts and providing marginal access areas. An average daily traffic count of 3,501 to 10,000 trips and an intended operating speed of 50 miles per hour is expected.
(4) 
Streets which primarily serve to connect local streets with major collectors and arterials. An average daily traffic count of 651 to 3,500 trips and an intended operating speed of 40 miles per hour is expected.
(5) 
Streets used primarily to provide access to more heavily traveled streets for abutting properties in internally developed areas. An average daily traffic count of up to 650 trips and an intended operating speed of 30 miles per hour is expected.
(6) 
Local nonthrough residential streets which are typically designed as culs-de-sac or loops. An average daily traffic count of less than 100 trips and an intended design speed of 20 miles per hour is expected.
(7) 
Minor streets parallel and adjacent to arterials or minor or major collectors, but separated from said arterials or collectors by a planted strip of land, which provides access to abutting properties.
(8) 
Streets parallel and adjacent to a property line which have a lesser right-of-way width than required by this chapter.
STREET LINE
The dividing line between the street and the lot, as more fully defined in the Whitemarsh Township Zoning Ordinance.[6]
STUDY AREA
An area extending 1/2 mile along a street adjacent to the site, in both directions from all proposed or existing access points or to and including a major intersection with a collector or arterial, whichever area is greater.
SUBDIVIDER
Any individual, co-partnership or corporation (or agent authorized thereby) which undertakes the development or subdivision of land, as defined by this chapter, as the owner (or agent authorized thereby) of the land being developed or subdivided.
SUBDIVISION
The division or redivision of a lot, tract or parcel of land or part thereof into two or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land, including changes in existing lot lines for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of lease, partition by the court for distribution to heirs or devisees, transfer of ownership or building or lot development; provided, however, that the subdivision by lease of land for agricultural purposes into parcels of more than 10 acres not involving any new street or easement of access or any residential dwelling shall be exempted.
[Amended 2-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447; 11-16-1989 by Ord. No. 584]
SUBDIVISION, AGRICULTURAL
A subdivision containing lots in excess of 10 acres, the use of which is for agricultural purposes as specified in the definition of "agricultural purpose." Residential subdivisions shall not be considered under this definition.
SUBDIVISION, MAJOR
The division of a lot or tract of land, or part thereof, into two or more lots or tracts for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of transfer of ownership or of building development, which requires the installation of public improvements.
SUBDIVISION, MINOR
The division of a lot or tract of land into five or less lots for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of transfer of ownership or of building development, provided that the proposed lots thereby created have frontage on an improved street or streets, and provided further that there is not created by the subdivision any new street, any required improvements, or the need therefor.
SURVEYOR
A surveyor registered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
TOWNSHIP ENGINEER
A registered engineer designated by the Board of Supervisors to perform the duties of engineer as herein specified.
TRACT
One large lot or two or more contiguous lots which are held in single and separate ownership.
TREE
Any hard-wooded perennial plant, whether evergreen or deciduous, or a species which normally reaches a height of eight feet or more at maturity.
[Added 1-23-2014 by Ord. No. 935]
TREE SURVEY PLAN
A plan identifying the size, species and location of all trees having a diameter at breast height (DBH) of six inches or greater, denoting each tree to be saved or removed, the location of tree protection fences and the proposed schedule of replacement trees.
[Added 1-23-2014 by Ord. No. 935]
TRIP GENERATION RATES
The total count of trips expected to and from a particular land use.
UNOBSTRUCTED VIEW
A view that is not compromised by the presence of man-made structures.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
VEGETATION
Plant materials, including but not limited to trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers.
[Added 9-18-1986 by Ord. No. 538]
VIEW
A range of sight including vistas, prospects or scenes. Views include, but are not limited to, the sight of geologic features, bays, oceans, skylines, bridges and distant cities.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
VIEW CORRIDOR
The line of sight identified as to height, width and distance of an observer looking toward an object of significance to the community (e.g. ridgeline, river, historic building, etc.); the route that directs the viewer’s attention.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
VIEWSHED
The area within view from a defined observation point.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
VOLUME/CAPACITY ANALYSIS
A procedure, as described in the 1965 Highway Capacity Manual, Highway Research Board Special Report 87, which compares the volume of a street or intersection approach to its capacity (maximum number of vehicles that can pass a given point during a given time period).
WARRANTS FOR TRAFFIC SIGNAL INSTALLATION
A series of justifications which detail the minimum traffic or pedestrian volumes or other criteria necessary for the installation of a traffic signal. These warrants are contained in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 1971, Sections 4C-1 through 4C-10.
WATERSHED
The total area above a given point on a watercourse that contributes water to its flow; the entire region drained by a waterway or watercourse that drains into a lake, reservoir or stream. It is also known as a drainage area.
[Added 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
WATER SUPPLY, CENTRAL
Any municipal water supply system, or any private system franchised to serve the public. Such systems shall include any existing private franchise area and the entire system; or a water supply capable of supporting the entire development; or a standpipe or water-storage system meeting Township specifications.
WATER SUPPLY, PRIVATE
A system for supplying and distributing water to a single dwelling or other building from a source located on the same lot.
WETLAND
Those areas that are inundated and saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation and wildlife, typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, including swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas. Such areas are also important for recharging groundwater aquifers.
[Amended 12-9-1982 by Ord. No. 447; 4-6-2006 by Ord No. 811]
WOODLAND
Any area, grove or stand of woody plants, evergreen or deciduous, covering 10,000 square feet of foliage area or greater, dominated by twenty-foot tall or four-inch caliper trees or larger with crowns that interlock to form a sixty-percent to one-hundred-percent closed canopy. All portions of the contiguous canopy area and layered vegetation beneath it shall be woodland whether located on a single lot or portions of other lots. For the purposes of this chapter, the extent of any woodland plant community or any part thereof shall be measured from the outer-most dripline of all the trees in the community. Woodlands shall include any area where timber has been harvested within the previous five years and/or woodland disturbance has occurred within the previous five years, which would have met the definition of woodland prior to timbering or disturbance.
[Added 8-14-2003 by Ord. No. 778; amended 4-6-2006 by Ord. No. 811]
ZONING ORDINANCE
The Whitemarsh Township Zoning Ordinance of 1957, as amended.[7]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 68 Pa.C.S.A. § 3101 et seq.
[3]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq.
[4]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 116, Zoning.
[5]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 116, Zoning, Art. XXIII, Steep Slope Overlay.
[6]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 116, Zoning.
[7]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 116, Zoning.