Township of Uwchlan, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Township has adopted the procedures set forth herein which shall be observed by all applicants, developers, and their agents.
301.1 
Authority for plan approval. Final authority for approval or denial of approval of all subdivision and land development plans shall be vested in the Township Board of Supervisors in accordance with the procedures set forth herein. Prior to action by the Board, all plans shall be referred for review and recommendation to the Township Planning Commission, the Township Engineer, and such other agencies as deemed pertinent by the Board or as required by law. However, the failure to make such referral and/or the failure by any reviewing party to review and/or make recommendation with respect to any plan shall not affect the validity of any action taken by the Board with respect to such plan. In addition, in the course of its review, the Township Planning Commission may solicit review and reports from any official Township consultant or entity it considers to be affected by the subject plan.
301.2 
Plan classification. For purposes of procedure, all applications filed pursuant to this ordinance shall be further classified as either major or minor as defined below:
301.3 
Minor: Any plan providing for a lot line adjustment or rejoining of lots where no land development is proposed, or any residential subdivision or land development application in which all of the following apply:
a. 
No public or private street is constructed or is required to be widened;
b. 
No earthmoving activities except those incidental to construction of a single-family dwelling on each proposed lot will take place;
c. 
No public improvement or guaranty thereof is required other than as may relate to on-lot stormwater management systems or sewer or water lines serving an individual lot;
d. 
No more than three lots shall result from any residential subdivision;
e. 
Plans are not filed pursuant to the residential open space design option; and
f. 
No more than two minor subdivisions shall be approved over any period of time for any original tract or parcel of ground. Any subsequent subdivision approval submission after the two minor subdivisions are approved shall be considered major and subjected to the related provisions herein, regardless of size or scale.
301.4 
Major: Any subdivision or land development application not classified as minor as provided above.
301.5 
Overview of plan submission and review process. The following plan review steps represent the standard approach used in Uwchlan Township. Plan contents shall be as set forth in Article IV, and the number of plan sets to be submitted shall be as specified herein.
Minor Subdivision or Land Development
Major Subdivision or Land Development
Preapplication meeting
Recommended
Recommended
Sketch plan
Recommended
Recommended
Preliminary plan
Not required
Required
Final plan
Required
Required
301.6 
Recommended conceptual lot and street layout for remaining lands. When an application includes only a portion of a landowner's entire tract, or where lands subject to application are contiguous to an adjoining tract of the same landowner, the Planning Commission and/or the Board of Supervisors may require the applicant to include a conceptual layout showing future potential subdivision or land development of all the contiguous lands belonging to the landowner to ensure that future development may be accomplished in accordance with current codes and with appropriate access. Submission and review of the conceptual lot and street layout described in this section does not constitute approval of the future subdivision or land development shown thereon.
301.7 
Municipalities Planning Code requirements. Preliminary and final plans shall be reviewed in accordance with the requirements of the latest version of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) and as set forth herein.
301.8 
Site access for purposes of plan review. The owner of the parcel of land to be subdivided or developed shall, as part of initial submission in regard to the subject property, submit a written statement granting the Uwchlan Township Board of Supervisors, its authorized agents and representatives, and the Planning Commission the right to enter the parcel of land for the purpose of evaluating the site and the proposed development thereof. The Township shall make a reasonable effort to contact the applicant to notify him of the Township's scheduled site access at least two days in advance of such site visit.
301.9 
Plan review by adjacent municipalities.
a. 
The Township may solicit comments from an adjacent municipality for any subdivision or land development plan application for tracts of land along the Township boundary, in which case an additional plan set and accompanying documents may be required for the Township to forward to the adjacent municipality for its comments.
b. 
The Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors will review the reports from the adjacent municipality as part of the plan review process when comments are solicited. However, if any adjoining municipality fails to report thereon prior to the time that the Township Planning Commission or Board moves to make a recommendation or decision, then the Township Planning Commission or Board, as the case may be, may officially act without having received and considered such report.
301.10 
Refiling of plans. Any plan which meets any one of the criteria below shall be considered to be a new plan and shall be accompanied by an application, fees and all required information.
a. 
A plan which is submitted after a previous plan for the same property has been withdrawn shall constitute a new plan.
b. 
A plan which is submitted after a plan for the same property has been approved or rejected shall constitute a new plan, unless the plan is a final plan following preliminary plan approval.
c. 
A plan which is resubmitted during the course of plan review by the Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors, and is deemed by either to represent a substantially altered lot layout, road configuration, building location(s) or use, for the same land that was included in a prior plan submission, shall constitute a new plan. Plans considered by the Township as a major revision pursuant to the provisions of § 304.4.d(4), in the case of preliminary plans, or § 305.5.d(4), in the case of final plans, and starting a new ninety-day time period for formal review and notification, may not need to resubmit an application or fees but may require new supplemental plans or impact studies.
301.11 
Township review and escrow fees. No application for preliminary or final plan review shall be deemed to have been officially submitted until the application fee and escrow deposit, as set forth below, shall have been paid by the applicant.
a. 
Subdivision and land development application fees (nonrefundable) and initial escrow deposits to cover the costs for plan review and processing shall be fixed by the Board of Supervisors by resolution. The escrowed funds shall be used to reimburse the Township for actual expenditures incident to these processes, including but not limited to engineering, inspection, consultant, and legal fees. Any costs incurred by the Township in excess of the amount held in escrow shall be fully reimbursed by the applicant prior to the issuance of any permits. Any costs not paid within the time specified by the Township shall be assessed an interest penalty as established by the Board and may result in the suspension of reviews of the applicant's plans. Any unexpended balance in the review escrow deposit shall become part of the escrow deposit required by § 306 herein.
b. 
If problems arise requiring more-extensive involvement of the Township Engineer, any resulting costs that exceed the initial escrow deposit or subsequent deposits will be assessed against the applicant.
The following procedures are to be followed for all subdivision and land development plan applications submitted to Uwchlan Township. The content of required plan submissions is set forth in Article IV.
302.1 
Preapplication meeting. Prior to any formal plan submission, it is strongly recommended that the applicant for any subdivision or land development approval schedule and meet the Township Manager or the designated representative. The purpose of the preapplication meeting is to introduce the applicant to the Township's planning objectives and applicable regulations and procedures and to discuss the applicant's objectives.
302.2 
Site visit. Applicants for subdivision or land development approval may be requested by the Township Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors to arrange for a site visit of the property by Township representatives that may include the Township Engineer and any other federal, state, or county representatives or consultants as the Township deems appropriate. Applicants shall agree to reimburse the Township for any reasonable costs charged by Township consultants in relation to such site visit when such consultants have been requested by the Township to attend. Applicants are encouraged to accompany Township representatives. The site visit may be requested by the Township at any time during which a subdivision or land development application filed in accordance with this ordinance is pending Township approval. Comments made by the Township or its staff and consultants during the site visit shall be only advisory and are not binding on either the Township or the applicant. It shall be understood by all parties that no formal recommendations can be offered, and no official decisions can be made, at the site visit or during the sketch plan process.
303.1 
Purpose and applicability. The purpose of the sketch plan, which is an optional but strongly encouraged submission for all plans, is to afford the applicant the opportunity to consult early and informally with the Planning Commission and the Township before submission of formal plans (preliminary or final, as applicable) for subdivision or land development approval. The sketch plan is an important, valuable, and highly recommended submittal that can speed the review process and may result in lower costs for the project. It is strongly recommended that all applicants for sketch plan review follow the preapplication procedures set forth in § 302.
303.2 
Sketch plan submission and review.
a. 
The applicant shall submit seven copies of the sketch plan application to the Township. Submitted applications shall be prepared in accordance with the requirements contained in § 401 hereof. Where submitted, the sketch plan and supporting materials shall be filed with the Township at least the Friday prior to the Planning Commission meeting at which they are to be discussed.
b. 
Where feasible, and at the request of the Township upon the recommendation of the Township Engineer, the sketch plan also may be submitted to the Township electronically in the format specified by the Township Engineer.
c. 
Copies of the sketch plan application will be distributed by the Township to the Township Planning Commission and Township Engineer.
d. 
At the next regularly scheduled public meeting subsequent to submission in accordance with § 303.2.a above, the applicant shall present the sketch plan and supporting materials to the Township Planning Commission.
e. 
The Township Planning Commission will review the sketch plan. As a result of its review, the Planning Commission may offer comment to the applicant of the extent to which the proposed subdivision or land development conforms to the relevant Township ordinances, to Township planning, design and historic preservation objectives, and to environmentally responsible design, and may suggest plan modifications.
f. 
Prior to making recommendations on the proposed sketch plan, the Planning Commission may request the preliminary input of the Township Engineer or planning consultant and other Township commissions or committees, where relevant, and may hear comments from surrounding or affected landowners present at its public meeting(s). All planning and engineering review fees shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
g. 
All comments and recommendations made by Township representatives in regard to sketch plan review are nonbinding. No comment or recommendation, nor the failure of the Planning Commission or any Township representative to proceed or act in accordance with this section, shall be deemed to be a decision with respect to any subdivision or land development plan or to vest any rights in the applicant.
304.1 
Purpose and applicability.
a. 
Except as provided in § 304.1.a, all applicants for major subdivision or land development approval shall submit a preliminary plan application. Applicants for minor subdivision or land development approval are not required to submit a preliminary plan application but may proceed with final plan application.
[Amended 10-14-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-02]
b. 
All applicants for preliminary plan approval are recommended to follow the preapplication procedures set forth in § 302, and submit a sketch plan as set forth in § 303, prior to formal submission of a preliminary plan application. Applicants who choose to submit preliminary plans without taking advantage of preapplication and sketch plan options may incur added engineering expenses. Evaluation of planning design and ordinance issues occurring during preapplication and sketch plan review can facilitate the preliminary and final plan review processes by addressing a number of issues at an early stage during plan preparation.
c. 
Preliminary plan applications shall conform to any recommendations made during sketch plan review and all information requirements and procedures set forth herein.
d. 
An applicant may request that the Board permit the filing of a combined preliminary/final application for major subdivision or land development, subject to the following requirements:
[Added 10-14-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-02]
(1) 
The applicant shall schedule and attend a preapplication meeting as described in § 302.1 hereof. The Township Manager and his/her designees shall provide a recommendation to the applicant regarding the applicant's proposal to submit a combined preliminary/final application.
(2) 
If the applicant intends to proceed with submission of a preliminary/final application, the applicant shall prepare and file a sketch plan in accordance with the procedures and requirements of § 401 hereof and the requirements of §§ 402.1 and 402.2.c applicable to a preliminary plan.
(3) 
The sketch plan shall be reviewed in accordance with § 303.2 hereof. The sketch plan shall not be considered an official filing with the Township and shall not be subject to the requirements of § 508 of the Municipalities Planning Code[1] and §§ 304.4.a or 305.5.e(1) hereof.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10508.
(4) 
The applicant shall submit filing, review and escrow fees with the sketch plan in accordance with the Township fee schedule.
(5) 
The Planning Commission shall make a recommendation to the Board on the applicant's request under this § 304.1.d.
(6) 
The Board may authorize the filing of the preliminary/final application if it is recommended by the Planning Commission, all of the requirements of this § 304.1.d have been complied with, and the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board that the filing of a preliminary/final application will fulfill all the requirements of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, and will not be contrary to the public interest and the purpose and intent of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance. The preliminary/final application and plan shall comply with all of the requirements for final plans in the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
304.2 
Preliminary plan submission and acceptance for review.
a. 
The preliminary plan application shall include all information as set forth in § 402. Submitted plans and accompanying documentation shall be clearly marked "Preliminary Plans."
b. 
Applicants shall submit one copy of the preliminary plan application, 10 copies of the preliminary plan sets, and two copies of all required supporting information and materials to the Township. The preliminary plan application shall be submitted to the Township at least the Friday prior to the regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting at which the preliminary plan is first to be discussed.
c. 
If requested by the Township, plans in the preliminary plan application also shall be submitted to the Township electronically in the format specified by the Township Engineer.
d. 
Upon receipt of the preliminary plan application, the Township shall determine whether the submission is administratively complete. To be considered administratively complete, all of the documentation required by this ordinance shall be included with the application and required escrow and review fees shall be paid to the Township in accordance with the municipal fee schedule, along with any required fees for Chester County Planning Commission review.
e. 
The date upon which a preliminary plan application is determined to be administratively complete shall be considered the date of filing, and on that date the submission shall be accepted for review. If a preliminary plan application is determined not to be administratively complete, it shall be returned to the applicant with a specific indication of the missing materials or fees which rendered it incomplete.
304.3 
Distribution of preliminary plans. The Township will forward copies of the preliminary plan to the Township Planning Commission and one copy of the preliminary plan and required supporting information and materials to the Township Engineer. The Township will file the preliminary plan and accompanying documentation, as appropriate, with the Chester County Planning Commission, appropriate emergency services representatives, and other agencies as deemed appropriate and requested by the Township.
304.4 
Review of the preliminary plan and rendering of decision.
a. 
Official review period. The Board of Supervisors shall render a decision in regard to the preliminary plan application not later than 90 days following the date of the next regular meeting of the Township Planning Commission following the date of filing, provided that, should the next regular meeting be more than 30 days following the date of filing, said ninety-day period shall be measured from the 30th day following the date of filing.
b. 
Review by Township Engineer and other Township staff and consultants.
(1) 
The review by the Township Engineer shall assure the following:
(a) 
That all information required by this ordinance is presented in the plans submitted;
(b) 
Compliance with all other Township ordinances;
(c) 
Compliance with the sketch plan recommendations, where requested by the Township;
(d) 
That any sketch plan recommendations offered to the applicant have been considered or addressed;
(e) 
That any conditions set forth in any previous order of approved conditional use, special exception, or variance approval have been complied with, if applicable;
(f) 
That, in the opinion of the Township Engineer, the various schemes presented for the location, alignment and grade of roads, stormwater management/best management practices, erosion and sedimentation control, physical site constraints, site grading, sanitary sewers, water supply, and any other proposed improvements are feasible from an engineering perspective.
(2) 
The Township Engineer shall submit his or her written comments to the Township. The Township's engineering review fees shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
(3) 
The Township may request additional review by the Township Engineer, Township staff, Township commissions or committees, land planning consultant, or other consultants to ascertain the accuracy of the preliminary plan and submitted supplementary data or materials, as it may deem necessary based on the specific circumstances. All additional review fees shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
c. 
Review by Chester County and other agencies.
(1) 
Chester County Planning Commission. The Chester County Planning Commission will be provided with the opportunity to review and comment on the preliminary plan as required by the MPC.
(2) 
Chester County Health Department. The CCHD will be provided with the opportunity to review and comment on matters relating to water and sewer systems, as applicable.
(3) 
Other agencies. County, state, federal, or other reviewing or regulatory agencies having jurisdiction over all or a portion of the property subject to the application will be provided the opportunity to review and comment on permit or other agency-specific matters.
d. 
Review by the Township Planning Commission.
(1) 
The Township Planning Commission will, at its regularly scheduled public meetings, review the preliminary plan application in accordance with this ordinance and any other applicable ordinances, with any conditions of approval contained in any applicable order or conditional use approval, with the results of any sketch plan review or discussion, and in consideration of the comments submitted by the Township Engineer and any other Township consultants, where applicable.
(2) 
The applicant or designated representative should be present at such meeting. The Planning Commission will advise the applicant of the extent to which the proposed subdivision or land development conforms to the relevant standards of this ordinance and the Uwchlan Township Zoning Ordinance, any conditions contained in any applicable order or conditional use approval, the need for or acceptability of any waivers or modifications of design standards contained herein, and any suggested plan modifications that would increase the subdivision's or land development's degree of conformance in order to obtain a Planning Commission recommendation of approval.
(3) 
Prior to communicating its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding any preliminary plan application, the Commission may request the input and/or may review the written comments or testimony of any of the Township Engineer or consultants or other agencies involved in the review of the subject plan as provided in § 304.4.b and c above; it may receive comments from surrounding or affected landowners; and it may also conduct a site visit(s) to facilitate its review.
(4) 
During the course of the Planning Commission's review of the preliminary plan and prior to any action by the Board within the required ninety-day period, the preliminary plan may be revised by the applicant. Such plans shall note the dates of any revisions. The revised plans shall be submitted to the Township not later than the Friday prior to the regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Commission. The revised plan will be distributed by the Township as required by § 304.3.
(5) 
Except where an extension of time is requested in writing by the applicant, the Planning Commission shall communicate its comments and recommendations to the Board of Supervisors by the time of the last scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors prior to the expiration of the ninety-day review period. The communication from the Planning Commission to the Board of Supervisors may include any recommended conditions of approval and may cite specific sections of the ordinance or other reasons relied upon for the Planning Commission's recommendations. Failure of the Planning Commission to communicate its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors within the prescribed time frame shall not affect the status of the preliminary plan application nor cause any extension of the applicable review period.
e. 
Review and decision by the Board of Supervisors.
(1) 
Prior to the expiration of the ninety-day review period, as set forth above, unless an extension of time is requested in writing by the applicant, the Board of Supervisors shall render a decision in regard to the preliminary plan application.
(a) 
The decision shall be in writing and shall be communicated to the applicant personally or be mailed via registered or certified mail to him at his last known address not later than 15 days following the decision.
(b) 
When the application is not approved as filed, the decision shall specify the defects in the application, shall describe requirements which have not been met, and shall cite the provisions of the statute or ordinance relied upon.
(c) 
When the application is approved with conditions, and upon the applicant's receipt and review of such conditions, the applicant shall inform the Township in writing that the conditions imposed by the Board of Supervisors and set forth in the approval communication are accepted, or shall appeal the conditions within 30 days of the date of approval. Failure to so accept or appeal any condition(s) shall void the plan approval, and the subject preliminary plan application shall be considered denied.
(2) 
The Board of Supervisors may require that final plan application for the subject property be submitted within 12 months of the date of preliminary plan approval. In such case, the applicant may request an extension beyond the 12 months subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors.
(3) 
Upon approval of the preliminary plan application, the Board of Supervisors will designate one copy of the preliminary plan as the official copy. This copy shall include all necessary corrections as required by the Board of Supervisors. It will be retained in the Township files.
(4) 
Approval of the preliminary plan shall not constitute approval of the final plan or authorize the sale of lots or construction of buildings.
305.1 
Purpose. The purpose of the final plan application for subdivision or land development is to assure full compliance with this ordinance, with applicable zoning provisions and with all other applicable laws and regulations prior to formal recording of all relevant planning documents and land records and to ensure long-term proper functioning, maintenance and funding for all proposed improvements.
305.2 
Applicability. Upon submission of any final plan application, the Township shall determine whether the plan is a major or minor plan submission, as defined in § 301.2, and whether the submitted plans are administratively complete as provided in § 305.3.
a. 
If the application is a major plan submission, but no preliminary plan application has previously been submitted and approved, the application shall be returned to the applicant or, upon the request of the applicant, submitted as a preliminary plan in accordance with § 304 hereof.
b. 
If the application is a major plan submission following a preliminary plan application previously submitted and approved, or if the application is a minor plan submission, the application shall be retained by the Township for review in accordance with this section.
c. 
For a major plan application, the final plan shall conform to the terms of the approved preliminary plan.
d. 
For a major plan application, the Board of Supervisors may permit submission of the final plan in sections, consistent with Section 508 of the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10508.
e. 
Final plan applications shall conform to any conditions in any applicable order or approval for a conditional use, special exception or zoning variance.
f. 
Where preliminary plan approval includes a condition imposed by the Board of Supervisors requiring the final plan to be filed within one year of the date of preliminary plan approval [see § 304.4.e(2)], failure of an applicant to make timely submission of such final plan (within one year of preliminary plan approval) shall render void the preliminary plan approval. Applicants with final plans subject to such a filing deadline condition may request from the Board of Supervisors a reasonable extension of the one-year time limit for filing when good cause can be shown. Otherwise, the applicant shall be required to file a new application for preliminary plan approval.
305.3 
Final plan submission and acceptance for review.
a. 
The final plan application shall include all information in § 403. Steps which have been satisfactorily completed during the preapplication, sketch plan, or preliminary plan review stages, as applicable, and that meet applicable criteria for final plan submission, need not be repeated. Submitted plans and accompanying documentation shall be clearly marked "Final Plans."
b. 
The applicant shall submit one copy of the final plan application, 10 copies of the final plan sets, and two copies of all required supporting information and materials to the Township. The final plan application shall be submitted to the Township at least the Friday prior to the regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting at which the final plan is first to be discussed.
c. 
Where specifically requested by the Township, plans included in the final plan application also shall be submitted to the Township electronically in the format specified by the Township Engineer.
d. 
Upon receipt of the final plan application, the Township shall determine whether the submission is administratively complete. To be considered administratively complete, all of the documentation required by this ordinance shall be included with the application and required escrow and review fees shall be paid to the Township in accordance with the municipal fee schedule, along with any required fees for Chester County Planning Commission review.
e. 
The date upon which a final plan application is determined to be administratively complete shall be considered the date of filing, and on that date the submission shall be accepted for review. If a final plan application is determined not to be administratively complete, it shall be returned to the applicant with a specific indication of the missing materials or fees which rendered it incomplete.
305.4 
Distribution of final plans. The Township will forward copies of the final plan to the Township Planning Commission and one copy of the final plan and required supporting information and materials to the Township Engineer. The Township will file the final plan and accompanying documentation, as appropriate, with the Chester County Planning Commission, appropriate emergency services representatives, and other agencies as deemed appropriate and requested by the Township.
305.5 
Review of the final plan and rendering of decision.
a. 
Official review period. The Board of Supervisors shall render a decision in regard to the final plan application not later than 90 days following the date of the next regular meeting of the Township Planning Commission following the date of filing, provided that, should the next regular meeting be more than 30 days following the date of filing, said ninety-day period shall be measured from the 30th day following the date of filing.
b. 
Review by Township Engineer and other Township staff and consultants.
(1) 
The review by the Township Engineer will assure that all information required by this ordinance is presented in the plans submitted, that all applicable laws and regulations are complied with, that the final plan conforms with the approved preliminary plan, as applicable, and that any conditions set forth in any previous order or approval for any applicable conditional use, special exception, or zoning variance have been complied with. The Township Engineer will submit his or her written comments to the Township. The Township's engineering review fees shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
(2) 
The Township may request additional review by the Township Engineer, Township staff, Township commissions or committees, land planning consultant, or other consultants to ascertain the accuracy of the final plan and submitted supplementary data, materials, or documentation, as it may deem necessary based on the specific circumstances. All such additional review fees shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
c. 
Review by Chester County and other agencies.
(1) 
Chester County Planning Commission. The Chester County Planning Commission shall be provided with the opportunity to review and comment on the final plan submission as required by the MPC.
(2) 
Chester County Conservation District. The Chester County Conservation District shall be provided with the opportunity to review and comment on matters relating to site drainage, control and abatement of soil erosion and sedimentation, stormwater management/best management practices, open space management where applicable, and compliance with NPDES and NPDES Phase II requirements.
(3) 
Chester County Health Department. The CCHD will be provided the opportunity to review and comment on matters relating to requirements for water and sewer systems.
(4) 
Other agencies. County, state, federal or other reviewing or regulatory agencies having jurisdiction over all or a portion of the property subject to the application will be provided with the opportunity to review and comment on permit or other agency-specific matters, as applicable.
d. 
Review by the Township Planning Commission.
(1) 
The Township Planning Commission will, at its regularly scheduled public meetings, review the final plan application for consistency with any applicable preliminary plan approval and in accordance with this ordinance and other applicable ordinances, with any conditions of approval contained in any applicable order or approval of any conditional use, special exception, or zoning variance, with the results of any relevant sketch plan review or discussion, and in consideration of the comments submitted by the Township Engineer and any other Township consultants, where applicable.
(2) 
The applicant or designated representative should be present at such meeting. The Commission shall advise the applicant of the extent to which the proposed subdivision or land development conforms to the relevant standards of this ordinance and the Uwchlan Township Zoning Ordinance, any conditions of approval contained in any applicable order or approval of any conditional use, special exception, or zoning variance, the need for or acceptability of any waivers or modifications of design standards contained herein, and any suggested plan modifications that would increase the subdivision's or land development's degree of conformance in order to obtain a Planning Commission recommendation of approval.
(3) 
Prior to communicating its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding any final plan application, the Planning Commission may request the input and/or may review the written comments or testimony of any of the Township's planning and engineering consultants or other agencies involved in the review of the subject plan as provided in § 305.5.b and c above, and it may conduct a site visit(s) to facilitate its review.
(4) 
During the course of the Planning Commission's review of the final plan and prior to any action by the Board within the required ninety-day period, the final plan may be revised by the applicant. Such plans shall note the dates of any revisions. The revised plans shall be submitted to the Township not later than the Friday prior to the regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Commission. The revised plan shall be distributed by the Township as required by § 305.4.
(5) 
Except where an extension of time is requested in writing by the applicant, the Planning Commission shall communicate its comments and recommendations to the Board of Supervisors by the time of the last scheduled meeting of the Board prior to the expiration of the ninety-day review period. The communication from the Planning Commission to the Board of Supervisors may include any recommended conditions of approval and may cite specific sections of the ordinance or other reasons relied upon for the Commission's recommendations. Failure of the Planning Commission to communicate its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors within the prescribed time frame shall not affect the status of the final plan application nor cause any extension of the applicable review period.
e. 
Review and decision by the Board of Supervisors.
(1) 
Prior to the expiration of the ninety-day review period, as set forth above, unless an extension of time is requested in writing by the applicant, the Board of Supervisors shall render a decision in regard to the final plan application.
(2) 
The Board of Supervisors may specify conditions, changes, modifications, or additions to the application which the Board deems necessary.
(3) 
All final plan approval shall be subject to the following conditions, as applicable:
(a) 
The applicant shall execute a written agreement, in accordance with § 801 herein, agreeing to install all the improvements as required by this ordinance and all regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
(b) 
The applicant shall also provide a performance guaranty in accordance with § 801 herein.
(c) 
The applicant shall agree, if requested, to tender a deed of dedication to the Township for such roads, easements for sanitary sewers, water lines, or storm sewers, public open space(s) and public improvements, including stormwater basins, road paving, sidewalks, trails, shade trees, roadscape amenities, water mains, any fire hydrants, sanitary and storm sewers, as may be required for the promotion of the public welfare, after all said improvements are completed and such completion is certified as satisfactory by the Township Engineer. The Board of Supervisors may require that the applicant supply a title insurance certificate or policy (in such amount as the Township shall reasonably require) from a reputable company before any property is accepted by the Township.
(d) 
The applicant shall have applied for all required permits from agencies having jurisdiction over ancillary development, such as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and the CCHD.
(e) 
No plan which proposes access onto a road under the jurisdiction of PennDOT shall be finally approved unless the plan contains a notice that a highway access permit is required therefor pursuant to Section 420 of Act 428, known as the "State Highway Law,"[2] before access to a state road is permitted.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 36 P.S. § 670-101 et seq.
(4) 
The decision of the Board of Supervisors shall be in writing and shall be communicated to the applicant personally or mailed to him at his last known address not later than 15 days following the decision.
(a) 
When the application is not approved as filed, the decision shall specify the defects in the application, describe requirements which have not been met and shall cite the provisions of the statute or ordinance relied upon.
(b) 
When the application is approved with conditions (i.e., but not as filed), the decision shall contingently comply with § 305.5.e(4)(a) above. The applicant shall inform the Township in writing within 30 days of the date of such approval whether the condition(s) imposed by the Board of Supervisors are acceptable or not to the applicant. Failure to so timely inform the Township of the applicant's acceptance of such condition(s) shall void the plan approval, and the subject final plan shall be deemed denied for the reasons so specified in such decision.
(c) 
Application for any subsequent permit (e.g., building permit) or initiation of any construction in accordance with the approved plan prior to the passage of 30 days of its approval shall constitute acceptance of any conditions so imposed upon the final plan approval.
f. 
Approved final plan.
(1) 
Upon approval of the final plan application, the Board of Supervisors will designate one copy of the final plan as the official copy. This copy shall include all necessary corrections as finally approved by the Board, shall be certified by the applicant's appropriate professional(s) and shall be endorsed by signature of the applicant and Board of Supervisors. It will be retained in the Township files.
(2) 
A minimum of nine copies of the final plan as finally approved, certified and endorsed, as provided above, shall be distributed by the applicant as follows:
(a) 
Nine copies to the Chester County Planning Commission for signing. The County Planning Commission will keep two copies. Seven copies shall be recorded within 90 days at the office of the Chester County Recorder of Deeds, consistent with the provisions of Section 513(a) of the MPC.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10513.
(b) 
The office of the Chester County Recorder of Deeds will retain three signed and recorded copies.
(c) 
One recorded copy will be returned to the applicant.
(d) 
One signed and recorded copy shall be returned to the Township, together with one copy of all supporting materials that were recorded with the plan.
(3) 
Where specifically requested by the Township, the approved final plan also shall be submitted to the Township electronically in the format specified by the Township Engineer.
305.6 
The Township may offer a mediation option as an aid in completing proceedings authorized by this section. In exercising such an option, the Township and mediating parties shall meet the stipulations and follow the procedures set forth in Article IX of the MPC.
Prior to final approval of the final plan, the subdivider shall guarantee the installation of all required improvements by one of the following methods:
306.1 
By installing the improvements required by Article VI of this Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer and the Board of Supervisors and obtaining a certificate from the Township Engineer that all improvements have been installed in accordance with the standards and requirements contained in this ordinance or other requirements of the Township.
306.2 
In lieu of completing all of the improvements required as a condition for the final plan approval, including improvements or fees required pursuant to this section, the subdivider or developer shall post a performance guaranty with the Township in an amount sufficient to cover the costs of such improvements or common amenities, including, but not limited to, roads, stormwater detention and/or retention basins and other related drainage facilities, recreational facilities, open space improvements, or buffer or screen plantings which may be required.
306.3 
When requested by the developer, in order to facilitate financing, the Board of Supervisors shall furnish the developer with a signed copy of a resolution indicating approval of the final plan contingent upon the developer obtaining a satisfactory financial security. The final plan shall not be signed nor recorded until the financial improvements agreement is executed. The resolution or letter of contingent approval shall expire and be deemed to be revoked if the financial security agreement is not executed within 90 days, unless a written extension is granted by the Board of Supervisors; such extension shall not be unreasonably withheld and shall be placed in writing at the request of the developer.
306.4 
The amount of financial security to be posted for the completion of the required improvements shall be equal to 110% of the cost of completion estimated as of 90 days following the date scheduled for completion by the developer. Said amount may be adjusted annually by the Township by comparing the actual cost of improvements which have been completed and the estimated cost of the completion of the remaining improvements as of the expiration of the 90th day after either the original date scheduled for completion or a rescheduled date of completion. Subsequent to said adjustment, any additional security shall be posted by the developer in order to assure that the financial security equals 110%. Any additional security shall be posted by the developer in accordance with this subsection.
306.5 
The performance guaranty may be either a performance bond with corporate surety or other security acceptable to the Board of Supervisors. Federal- or commonwealth-chartered lending institutions or bonding companies must be authorized to conduct business within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Performance guaranties shall be submitted in a form and with a surety approved by the Township Solicitor guaranteeing the construction and installation of all improvements within a stated period, which shall not be longer than three years from the date of final subdivision or land development approval. However, upon written application signed by both the obligor and the surety of the performance guaranty, in a form approved by the Township Solicitor, the Board of Supervisors may, at its discretion, extend said period by not more than three additional years, but, in any event, the Township shall still be entitled to adjust said security on an annual basis.
306.6 
The amount of financial security required shall be based upon an estimate of the cost of completion of the required improvements submitted by the developer or subdivider and prepared by a professional engineer licensed as such in this commonwealth and certified by such engineer to be a fair and reasonable estimate of such cost. The Township, upon the recommendation of the Township's Engineer, may refuse to accept such estimate for good cause shown. If the developer or subdivider and the Township are unable to agree upon an estimate, then the estimate shall be recalculated and recertified by another professional engineer licensed as such in this commonwealth and chosen mutually by the Township and the developer or subdivider. The estimate certified by the third engineer shall be presumed fair and reasonable and shall be the final estimate. In the event that a third engineer is so chosen, the fees for the services for said engineer shall be paid equally by the Township and the subdivider or developer.
306.7 
If the applicant or developer requires more than one year from the date of posting financial security to complete the required improvements, the amount of financial security may be increased by an additional 10% for each one-year period beyond the first anniversary date from posting the financial security or to an amount not exceeding 110% of the cost of completing the required improvements as established on or about the expiration of the preceding one-year period by using the above procedure.
306.8 
In the case where development is projected over a period of years, the Board of Supervisors may authorize the submission of final plans by sections or stages of development, subject to such requirements or guaranties as to improvements in future sections or stages of development as it finds essential for the protection of any finally approved section of the development.
306.9 
As the work of installing the required improvements proceeds, the party posting the financial security may request the Board of Supervisors body to release or authorize the release, from time to time, of such portions of the financial security necessary for payment to the contractor or contractors performing the work. Any such requests shall be in writing addressed to the Board of Supervisors, and the Board of Supervisors shall have 45 days from receipt of such request within which to allow the Township Engineer to certify, in writing, to the Board of Supervisors that such portion of the work upon the improvements has been competed in accordance with the approved plan. Upon such certification, the Board of Supervisors shall authorize release by the bonding company or lending institution of an amount as estimated by the Township Engineer fairly representing the value of the improvements completed or, if the Board of Supervisors fails to act within said forty-five-day period, the Board of Supervisors shall be deemed to have approved the release of funds as requested. The Board of Supervisors may, prior to final release at the time of completion and certification by the Township Engineer, require retention of 10% of the estimated cost of the aforesaid improvements.
306.10 
The amount of the performance guaranty may be reduced by the Board of Supervisors by resolution as and when portions of the required improvements have been installed as detailed in § 306.9 above. In the event of default, the obligor and surety shall be liable thereon to the Township for the cost of the improvements or parts thereof not installed. Upon receipt of the proceeds thereof, the Township shall install the improvements. If cost of the improvements exceeds the amount of the performance guaranty, then the subdivider shall be liable for the amount in excess which the Township has actually expended for such improvements. In case the amount of the performance guaranty exceeds the actual cost of improvements made, the Township shall return the unused sum to the surety or the person who has paid or deposited the performance guaranty.
306.11 
If water mains or sanitary sewer lines, or both, along with apparatus or facilities related thereto, are to be installed under the jurisdiction and pursuant to the rules and regulations of a public utility or municipal authority separate and distinct from the Township, financial security to assure proper completion and maintenance thereof shall be posted in accordance with the regulations of the controlling public utility or municipal authority and shall not be included within the financial security as otherwise required by this section.
306.12 
If financial security has been provided in lieu of the completion of improvements required as a condition for the final plan approval plat as set forth in this section, the Township shall not condition the issuance of building, grading or other permits relating to the erection or placement of improvements, including buildings, upon the lots or land as depicted upon the final plat upon actual completion of the improvements depicted upon the approved final plan. Moreover, if said financial security has been provided, occupancy permits for any building or buildings to be erected shall not be withheld following: the improvement of the streets providing access to and from existing public roads to such building or buildings to a mud-free or otherwise permanently passable condition, as well as the completion of all other improvements as depicted upon the approved plan, either upon the lot or lots or beyond the lot or lots in question, if such improvements are necessary for the reasonable use of or occupancy of the building or buildings.
307.1 
When the subdivider has completed all of the necessary and appropriate improvements, the subdivider shall notify the Board of Supervisors, in writing, by certified or registered mail, of the completion of the aforesaid improvements and shall send a copy thereof to the Township Engineer. The Board of Supervisors shall, within 10 days after receipt of such notice, direct and authorize the Township Engineer to inspect all of the aforesaid improvements. The Township Engineer shall, thereupon, file a report, in writing, with the Board of Supervisors and shall promptly mail a copy of the same to the subdivider by certified or registered mail. The report shall be made and mailed within 30 days after receipt by the Township Engineer of the aforesaid authorization from the Board of Supervisors; said report shall be detailed and shall indicate approval or rejection of said improvements, either in whole or in part; and if said improvements, or any portion thereof, shall not be approved or shall be rejected by the Township Engineer, said report shall contain a statement of reasons for such nonapproval or rejection.
307.2 
The Board of Supervisors, within 15 days of receipt of the Engineer's report, shall notify the subdivider in writing, by certified or registered mail, of its action.
307.3 
If the Board of Supervisors or the Township Engineer fails to comply with the time limitation provisions contained herein, all improvements will be deemed to have been approved, and the developer shall be released from all liability pursuant to his performance guaranty bond or other security agreement.
307.4 
If any portion of the said improvements shall not be approved or shall be rejected by the Board of Supervisors, the subdivider shall proceed to complete the same; and, upon completion, the same procedure of notification, as outlined herein, shall be followed.
307.5 
Before the release of any performance guaranty, the subdivider shall, upon completion of all improvements, submit one set of reproducible as-built drawings to the Township Engineer and one copy of the subdivision plat at a scale of one inch equals 600 feet.
307.6 
Nothing herein, however, shall be construed in limitation of the developer's right to contest or question, by legal proceedings or otherwise, any determination of the Board of Supervisors or the Township Engineer.
307.7 
Where herein reference is made to the Township Engineer, he/she shall be a duly registered professional engineer employed by the Township or engaged as a consultant thereto.
307.8 
The Township may prescribe that the applicant shall reimburse the Township for the reasonable and necessary expense incurred in connection with the inspection of improvements. The applicant shall not be required to reimburse the Board Supervisors for any inspection which is duplicative of inspections conducted by other governmental agencies or public utilities. The burden of proving that any inspection is duplicative shall be upon the objecting applicant. Such reimbursement shall be based upon a schedule established by ordinance or resolution. Such expense shall be reasonable and in accordance with the ordinary and customary fees charged by the Township's professional consultant for work performed for similar services in the community, but in no event shall the fees exceed the rate or cost charged by the professional consultant to the Township for comparable services when fees are not reimbursed or otherwise imposed on applicants.
a. 
The Board of Supervisors shall submit to the applicant an itemized bill showing the work performed in connection with the inspection of improvements performed, identifying the person performing the services and the time and date spent for each task. In the event the applicant disputes the amount of any such expense in connection with the inspection of improvements, the applicant shall, no later than 30 days after the date of transmittal of a bill for inspection services, notify the Township and the Township's professional consultant that such inspection expenses are disputed as unreasonable or unnecessary and shall explain the basis of his/her objections to the fees charged, in which case the Township shall not delay or disapprove a request for release of financial security, a subdivision or land development application or any approval or permit related to development due to the applicant's dispute of inspection expenses. Failure of the applicant to dispute a bill within 30 days shall be a waiver of the applicant's right to arbitration of that bill under this section.
b. 
Subsequent to the final release of financial security for completion of improvements for a subdivision or land development, or any phase thereof, the professional consultant shall submit to the Board of Supervisors a bill for inspection services, specifically designated as a final bill. The final bill shall include inspection fees incurred through the release of financial security.
c. 
If, the professional consultant and the applicant cannot agree on the amount of expenses which are reasonable and necessary, then the applicant shall have the right, within 45 days of the transmittal of the final bill or supplement to the final bill to the applicant, to request the appointment of another professional consultant to serve as an arbitrator. The applicant and professional consultant whose fees are being challenged shall, by mutual agreement, appoint another professional consultant to review any bills the applicant has disputed and which remain unresolved and make a determination as to the amount thereof which is reasonable and necessary. The arbitrator shall be of the same profession as the professional consultant whose fees are being challenged.
d. 
The arbitrator so appointed shall hear such evidence and review such documentation as the arbitrator, in his or her sole opinion, deems necessary and shall render a decision no later than 50 days after the date of appointment. Based on the decision of the arbitrator, the applicant or the professional consultant whose fees were challenged shall be required to pay any amounts necessary to implement the decision within 60 days. In the event the Township has paid the professional consultant an amount in excess of the amount determined to be reasonable and necessary, the professional consultant shall, within 60 days, reimburse the excess payment.
e. 
In the event that the Township's professional consultant and applicant cannot agree upon the arbitrator to be appointed within 20 days of the request for appointment of an arbitrator, then, upon application of either party, the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the judicial district in which the municipality is located (or if at the time there be no President Judge, then the senior active judge then sitting) shall appoint such arbitrator, who, in that case, shall be neither the Township's professional consultant nor any professional consultant who has been retained by, or performed services for, the Township or the applicant within the preceding five years.
f. 
The fee of the arbitrator shall be paid by the applicant if the review fee charged is sustained by the arbitrator; otherwise it shall be divided equally between the parties. If the disputed fees are found to be excessive by more than $5,000, the arbitrator shall have the discretion to assess the arbitration fee in whole or in part against either the applicant or the professional consultant. The Board of Supervisors and the consultant whose fees are the subject of the dispute shall be parties to the proceeding.
308.1 
All streets, parks or other improvements shown on the subdivision plan, recorded or otherwise, shall be deemed to be private until such time as the same have been offered for dedication to the Township and accepted by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
308.2 
Where the Board of Supervisors accepts dedication of all or some of the required improvements following completion, the Board of Supervisors may require the posting of financial security to secure structural integrity of said improvements as well as the functioning of said improvements in accordance with the design and specifications as depicted on the final plat for a term not to exceed 18 months from the date of acceptance of dedication. Said financial security shall be of the same type as otherwise required in this section with regard to installation of such improvements as approved by the Township Solicitor and Board of Supervisors, and the amount of the financial security shall not exceed 15% of the actual cost of installation of said improvements.