Township of Willistown, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 10-22-2007 by Ord. No. 8-2007]
The primary purpose of the TD District is to guide redevelopment opportunities consistent with the intent of the Township's Comprehensive Plan, specifically the Paoli Community Master Plan, that are supportive of a multi-modal transportation center and sensitive to surrounding neighborhoods consistent with the provisions of Article VII-A, Traditional Neighborhood Development, of the Municipalities Planning Code, Act 247, as amended. In addition, the purposes of this article are to:
A. 
Permit development that is complementary to the multi-modal transportation center and helps to further define the prominence and importance of this core area to the Paoli Community.
B. 
Tie the streetscape and pedestrian amenities of this District into adjacent mixed-use and residential areas, further promoting walkability.
C. 
Provide for comprehensively planned integrated mixed-use development according to a master plan consistent with the goals and objectives of the Township and the county.
A. 
Uses permitted upon approval.
(1) 
There shall be permitted, consistent with an approved master plan pursuant to § 139-184, one or a combination of the following uses as part of a master plan:
(a) 
Multi-modal transportation center;
(b) 
Multifamily dwellings, including accessory uses as permitted in § 139-12G;
(c) 
Retail store not to exceed 10,000 square feet of gross floor area (excluding automobile sales);
(d) 
Government offices;
(e) 
Office-professional;
(f) 
Personal services;
(g) 
Library;
(h) 
Restaurant, excluding drive-through facilities (outdoor dining is permitted if such dining is at least 100 feet from a residential district);
(i) 
Structured parking.
(2) 
The following uses shall be permitted when authorized as a conditional use pursuant to § 139-118.1 and consistent with an approved master plan:
(a) 
Retail store exceeding 10,000 square feet of gross floor area (excluding automobile sales), but in no event greater than 20,000 square feet;
(b) 
Surface parking.
A. 
Development pursuant to the master plan shall be in accordance with the zoning regulations established in § 139-183, Development standards.
B. 
Once the master plan has been approved, permits shall be issued only pursuant to approved land development or subdivision plans consistent with the approved master plan.
C. 
The master plan tract may be subdivided for separate ownership or lease (or as otherwise required by the Municipalities Planning Code or the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance), but only if the subdivision does not interfere with the development or use of the master plan tract in accordance with the approved master plan.
A. 
Frontage. Every building shall have frontage on a street or internal roadway.
B. 
Lot area and width. A lot area of not less than one acre and a lot width at the building line of not less than 100 feet are required.
C. 
Impervious coverage. Not more than 85% of the lot may contain impervious surfaces.
D. 
Maximum floor area ratio (FAR). The total amount of square feet among all uses shall not exceed 0.6 times the gross tract area (gross tract area defined herein to exclude exisiting road and utility rights-of-way). Applicants are eligible for bonus square footage by achieving LEED's certification pursuant to § 139-183M(7).
E. 
Residential floor area. In no event shall the square footage designated for residential use, excluding structured parking facilities, exceed 30% of the gross floor area of an occupied building.
F. 
Yards. Front, side and rear yards shall be provided on each lot as follows:
(1) 
Front yard: There shall be a front yard on each street the lot abuts of no less than 25 feet.
(2) 
Side yards: No side yard shall be required. In cases where side yards are provided, each side yard shall be no less than 10 feet.
(3) 
Rear yard: Along the rear property line abutting a nonresidential district or use, the rear yard setback shall be no less than 10 feet. Along the rear property line abutting a residential district or use, the rear yard setback shall be no less than 25 feet.
G. 
Height. Buildings are limited to a maximum of 45 feet in height with a minimum height of 28 feet.
H. 
Buffer. Buffers shall be consistent with Article X of Chapter 73, Environmental Protection.
I. 
Sidewalks. Sidewalks shall be provided on all streets and as needed on internal roadways so as to create direct pedestrian linkages throughout the District and the Paoli area, in particular to the Transportation Center.
J. 
Off-street parking. Parking shall be provided as required by § 139-98. In addition, applicants shall adhere to the requirements of Subsection M, Special development standards.
K. 
Signage. Signage shall be consistent with the Article XVIII, Signs, of Chapter 139. In addition, applicants shall adhere to the streetscape design standards provided in § 123-47.1 of Chapter 123, Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, to provide uniform signage throughout the District. A signage plan, including wayfinding signs, shall be prepared and be consistent across the site; such plan shall be submitted to the Township for review and approval.
L. 
Building placement. No building shall be closer than 25 feet from any external street curbline or 12 feet from an internal curb street or common parking area curbline.
(1) 
The distance between buildings which are not more than three stories in height shall be not less than 30 feet. However, this distance may be reduced to not less than 10 feet if the following conditions are met:
(a) 
Not more than one of the buildings has windows, doors or any other openings facing the area between the buildings.
(b) 
The combined length of buildings which do not meet the 30 feet between buildings required shall not exceed 210 feet along any single frontage, measured in a straight line from the exterior points of the buildings.
(2) 
The distance between buildings which are more than three stories in height shall not be less than 35 feet.
(3) 
No portion of any structure shall cross a municipal boundary.
(4) 
No dwelling shall be placed within 75 feet of a railroad track, nor within 50 feet of the railroad right-of-way line.
M. 
Special development standards. In order to promote an attractive and functional pattern of development in the Paoli Community, each use shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) 
All lots shall be served with public water and sewer.
(2) 
All electric and communication lines shall be underground. Ground-mounted mechanical and electrical equipment shall be appropriately screened and buffered pursuant to Article X of Chapter 73, Environmental Protection. Roof-mounted mechanical and electrical equipment shall be screened with a parapet wall.
(3) 
In addition to the off-street parking requirements of § 139-98, the following shall apply:
(a) 
Shared parking. In order to encourage the efficient use of land and resources, applicants are permitted to share off-street parking facilities for multiple-use developments or for uses located sufficiently close to one another that have different peak parking demands or operating hours. In order to utilize this provision, applicants must:
[1] 
Undertake a parking demand analysis for each use that exceeds 2,400 square feet of gross floor area for review by a traffic engineer or consultant approved by the Township and its Engineer. Any costs associated with the review of the analysis shall be borne by the applicant. The analysis must demonstrate that adequate parking will be provided for the uses on site during peak hours. The analysis should generally be consistent with the published recommendations of the Institute of Traffic Engineers (ITE). Data collected from similar or comparable uses to the proposed use can also be submitted for review.
[2] 
Shared parking shall be located no further than 1,000 feet from the buildings and uses they are intended to serve.
[3] 
A shared parking plan shall be enforced through a written, legally-binding agreement among the owners of record, their tenants, and those with which parking facilities are shared. An executed copy of said agreement shall be provided to the Township for review and approval.
(b) 
Structured parking. All principal and accessory parking uses that contain in excess of 150 parking spaces shall be structured.
[1] 
Structured parking facilities may contain space suitable for lease to commercial tenants along the entire length of each first floor facade that faces a street.
[2] 
All or a portion of the nonhandicapped parking spaces in a structured parking facility may be reduced to a minimum dimension of 8 1/2 feet by 18 feet at an angle of 75° with a minimum aisle width of 17 feet (one-way only), provided that at least 20% more space than the required minimum are provided and available for use by the general public.
(c) 
Surface parking. Surface parking facilities are permissible within side or rear yards, provided such facilities are appropriately landscaped or buffered from a street or internal roadway consistent with the requirements of Article X of Chapter 73. Environmental Protection. In no case shall surface parking facilities be located within 20 feet of a street right-of-way.
(d) 
All parking and loading facilities shall be substantially screened from view consistent with the requirements of Article X of Chapter 73, Environmental Protection. All garage doors, ticket machines and entrance gates shall be located so as to allow a minimum of 20 feet clearance from sidewalks and street rights-of-way. Loading facilities shall be located at the rear of buildings away from primary views and should be separate from the main circulation and parking functions to the maximum extent feasible.
(e) 
In no case shall an accessory parking area or structure occupy more than half the lot area of the lot containing the principal use that the parking area or structure serves.
(4) 
The outdoor storage of any goods, equipment, materials, or supplies is strictly prohibited.
(5) 
Continuous concrete curbing shall be required along all streets. Curb cuts are permitted where deemed appropriate for stormwater management purposes but no curb cut shall be permitted within 25 feet of intersecting street rights-of-way. Joint access to abutting parcels shall be provided whenever practical.
(6) 
Public spaces. At least 10% of the land area within each lot shall be improved as public space and shall comply with the following standards:
(a) 
Public space shall be designed to provide areas for passive recreation or similar informal activities. Public spaces shall be distributed throughout the site.
(b) 
Public space shall be visible, adjacent to and accessible from a public sidewalk or other public area designed to facilitate pedestrian circulation or relieve pedestrian congestion. Unless special conditions warrant, such space shall be provided at the same level as the abutting public sidewalk or pedestrian area. When public space is adjacent to a mass transportation facility it shall be accessible from passenger waiting areas or loading platforms.
(c) 
Public space shall be accessible to persons with disabilities.
(d) 
Public space shall contain seating, permanent landscaping and lighting for nighttime conditions. Unless specifically permitted, there shall be sufficient natural light to permit the maintenance of plants without artificial lighting. Such space may contain tables and facilities for food service, but the majority of the space shall be available for use by the general public without charge or purchase of any services that may be offered.
(e) 
All such space shall be open without restriction to the general public at least during normal business hours and during periods of heavy pedestrian movement.
(f) 
An interior space that functions as a building lobby shall not be used as a public space unless it also functions as a through-block passage accessible to the general public and contains seating available for use by the general public.
(g) 
A legally binding agreement shall be executed providing for the permanent maintenance of the public space by the owner of the property.
(7) 
Applicants whose buildings and/or site development achieve certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) at or above the "silver" level rating as defined by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System are eligible for bonus square footage. The maximum additional floor area ratio (FAR) for such certification shall not exceed 0.2 times the gross tract area (gross tract area is defined herein to exclude existing road and utility rights-of-way). The standard shall be LEED-NC Version 2.2 for new construction, LEED-CI Version 2.0 for interior improvements to existing commercial spaces, and LEED-ND Version 2.0 for neighborhood development, or as such standards are most recently amended. Applicants are strongly encouraged to achieve the highest LEED's certification possible in multiple categories.
(8) 
A traffic and circulation study consistent with the requirements set forth in § 139-100.1 of this chapter and demonstrating that vehicular and pedestrian access to the proposed development site, and specifically including the multi-modal transportation center, will be engineered and constructed to accommodate projected peak hour circulation.
(a) 
All vehicular access to properties in the development site shall be by means of collector roadways constructed in accordance with the circulation system plan of the Paoli Community Master Plan or by means of new local roadways installed as feeder streets to collector roadways constructed in accordance with the circulation system plan, unless an alternative plan achieving similar ends is approved by the Board of Supervisors. Facilities and road design shall ensure safety and protection against congestion in the surrounding area from vehicular traffic resulting from the proposed development plan. Development in the multi-modal transportation center shall anticipate and accommodate subsequent development. Roadways shall connect to the existing roadway network and make feasible construction of roadways to further extend the network and to lead toward the installation of roadways to effectively complete the circulation system plan, or a similarly approved plan. Circulation patterns within the site shall be designed and developed as an integral part of the total development project with direct access to the multi-modal transportation center or waiting area from other parts of the development site.
(b) 
In addition, the following shall apply:
[1] 
In addition to any other requirement under § 139-100.1, the traffic and circulation study shall consider the cumulative impact to arterial, collector or local roadways based on an evaluation of any transportation impact studies undertaken within the Township or adjacent municipalities within the last three years for projects within a three-mile radius and any other specific areas identified by the Township during the conditional use proceedings.
[2] 
The traffic and circulation study shall also evaluate the impact to pedestrian circulation within a three-mile radius of the project site. Where improvements to pedestrian access to the proposed development are necessary to accommodate local residents, such improvements shall be provided by the applicant, by others, or by a combination thereof in conjunction with the need identified and pursuant to conditional use approval. Where off-site improvements are required but not necessarily provided by the applicant, the timing of development among the various types of dwellings and nonresidential uses shall be phased pursuant to Article VII-A of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), in order to assure the timely provision of the necessary improvements.
[3] 
Where off-site transportation improvements are necessary to serve the local transportation needs of the proposed development, such improvements shall be provided by the applicant, by others, or by a combination thereof in conjunction with the need identified and pursuant to conditional use approval. Where off-site improvements are required but not necessarily provided by the applicant, the timing of development among the various types of dwellings and nonresidential uses shall be phased pursuant to Article VII-A of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), in order to assure the timely provision of the necessary improvements.
(9) 
Applicants are strongly encouraged to consider alternative stormwater management controls that can accomplish multiple objectives, e.g., contribute to infiltration and provide water to growing plants and trees. Since the majority of storm events in this region are small (one inch or less), applicants are directed to examine bioretention facilities and rain gardens as complementary to landscape features. In addition, applicants are encouraged to consider construction of "green roof" buildings capable of managing small storm events through rooftop landscaping. Such facilities offer both an attractive amenity to the community and help manage the small rainfall events common to this geographic region. Furthermore, such stormwater management controls contribute significantly to LEED's certification pursuant to § 139-183M(7), above.
(10) 
A plan for public sewer and public water. A written description of the proposed method of water service (for both domestic and fire use) and sewage disposal into a municipal sanitary sewer system, which shall include a description of any acid, toxic, radioactive or otherwise unsafe materials that may be released into the sewage disposal system and the method by which the treatment thereof is proposed, including a demonstration that capacity is available and that such facilities will be constructed and operational at the time of occupancy of the development (the feasibility of such construction and operation to be demonstrated to the Board at the time of approval of the master plan).
N. 
Design standards. Each use shall comply with the following design standards:
(1) 
The street level facade shall be substantially transparent and shall include windows and door openings that encourage safe pedestrian circulation.
(2) 
Variation in architectural design is required so as to avoid long, flat facades typical of continuous linear strip development. Use of mansards, gables, and variations of color, texture, height, and orientation may be required to provide architectural diversity and individuality for various buildings. Buildings must consider the project's setting, massing, proportions, scale, facade treatment and materials in relationship to the surrounding architectural context.
(3) 
Main entrances should face streets or public spaces and expanses of unbroken walls are discouraged.
(4) 
Buildings shall be designed so that the width or length of any elevation facade is not greater than 1 1/2 times the height of the building. The use of fenestration patterns and traditional design elements is encouraged to provide design relief. Expanses of unbroken walls over 40 feet in length or width shall be prohibited.
(5) 
Walls and fences shall be uniform and compatible with regard to architectural style, color and building material. Appropriate materials include iron gating, stone or brick. No chain link or stockade fencing is permitted. Walls greater than 40 feet in length shall incorporate some form of visual relief, including, but not limited to, pattern breaks, varying wall construction and materials, vertical features such as columns, or combinations of the above.
(6) 
Streetscape. The streetscape design standards set forth in § 123-47.1 of Chapter 123, Subdivision and Land Development, shall be utilized to provide uniform streetscape design and consistency.
A. 
Plan requirement. Development within the Transportation District shall be shown on a master plan as required by this section and show the location of the multi-modal transportation center in relation to the site proposed for development. Where a master plan encompasses both Willistown and Tredyffrin Townships, approval of each Township must be received before construction activity can commence.
B. 
Submission requirements. The master plan shall be prepared by a registered engineer or surveyor, landscape architect, land planner or similarly qualified person. The master plan shall be consistent with the Township's Comprehensive Plan, specifically the Paoli Community Master Plan, and contain the following information:
(1) 
Description of how the proposed master plan is consistent with the Township Comprehensive Plan, specifically the Paoli Community Master Plan. Included shall be provision for a multi-modal transportation center, and facilities and space to accommodate all other anticipated modes of transportation, including commuter parking, bus/shuttle connections and bicycles. The master plan shall certify that all subsequent land development and/or subdivision of property within the TD District will be consistent with the approved master plan and comply with all applicable ordinance requirements.
(2) 
Proposed general layout including structures, parking areas and public spaces.
(3) 
Proposed pedestrian and vehicular connections to adjoining areas and the multi-modal transportation center, consistent with the requirements of § 139-183M(8), above.
(4) 
Land uses within the proposed development site (with a table listing the amount total nonresidential floor area for type of use, retail, office, etc., and the total number of dwelling units) and the land uses of adjacent properties within 300 feet of any part of the property included in the master plan.
(5) 
A community impact study which analyzes the potential effects and impacts of the master plan upon the following community facilities: emergency services, fire protection, solid waste disposal, recreation, transportation, school facilities and school district budgets, public utilities, and Township services, revenues and expenses.
(6) 
Natural features that may impact development or should be incorporated into the master plan. Environmentally sensitive features shall be preserved consistent with the requirements of Chapter 73, Environmental Protection. Furthermore, a conservation plan shall be prepared that complies with the provisions of § 73-11.
(7) 
A plan for reservation, ownership and maintenance of any proposed public spaces and facilities.
(8) 
Proposed streets, access areas and on- and off-site infrastructure needed to support the proposal, consistent with the requirements of § 139-183M(8), above.
(9) 
A concept plan for stormwater management, consistent with the requirements of Chapter 73, Article VIII, Stormwater Management, and § 139-183M(9), above.
(10) 
An implementation/phasing schedule that details the timing and stages of construction, including but not limited to the construction of the multi-modal transportation center, parking for the transportation center and other development, road improvements and other infrastructure.
(11) 
Information about how the implementation of the master plan (including the multimodal transportation center) will impact the remediated Superfund site and any hazardous waste on the site.
(12) 
A study detailing the required commuter parking that is acceptable to the public transit providers, as detailed in signed letters to the applicant from the public transit providers.
(13) 
A plan for accommodating space needed for short-term bus and shuttle stacking within proximity of the multi-modal transportation center.
(14) 
Sufficient information to document that the location of the land uses proposed considers suitability with respect to topography and drainage; impact on municipal services, utilities and public or quasi-public facilities; compatibility with surrounding land uses; and preservation of environmentally sensitive areas.
C. 
Master plan approval. The master plan shall be approved as a conditional use and is subject to all the requirements of § 139-118.1, Application for conditional use approval. In addition, approval shall be conditioned upon conformity with the submission requirements of Subsection B, above, as well as to the standards contained in this District. Hearings held as part of this conditional use process shall assess the level of impact the proposed uses will have on existing natural conditions, community services and the transportation infrastructure, and shall be used to receive public input on the proposed project.
D. 
Amendments. Pursuant to the requirements of § 139-184, applicants must submit amendments to the master plan when one or more of the following conditions calculated for the entire district are anticipated:
(1) 
Increasing the amount of nonresidential floor area or the number of dwelling units by more than 10% from the total amount approved for the development tract in the master plan.
(2) 
Decreasing the amount of public or quasi-public space by more than 10%.
(3) 
Rearranging the land uses in a manner that will increase the impact of the proposed development by more than 10% on a road or other public facility or otherwise result in a change in traffic patterns.
(4) 
Changing or upgrading the road infrastructure included on the master plan.