Town of Bloomsburg, PA
Columbia County
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1. 
General Terms.
A. 
The following words are defined in order to facilitate the interpretation of this Chapter for administrative purposes and in the carrying out of duties by appropriate Town officers and by the Town Planning Commission.
B. 
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words shall, for the purpose of this Part, have the meaning herein indicated.
C. 
Words used in the present tense include the future tense.
D. 
The singular includes the plural.
E. 
The word "person" includes any individual or group of individuals, a corporation, partnership or any other similar entity.
F. 
The word "lot" includes the words "lot" or "parcel.
G. 
The term "shall" is always mandatory.
H. 
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 used or occupied."
2. 
Specific Terms.
ACCESSORY BUILDING
A building subordinate to and detached from the main building on the same lot and used for purposes customarily incidental to the main building.
ALLEY
A public thoroughfare, other than a minor street, which affords only secondary means of access to abutting properties and not intended for general traffic circulation.
APPOINTING AUTHORITY
The Bloomsburg Town Council, Columbia County, Pennsylvania.
APPLICANT
A landowner or developer, as hereinafter defined, who has filed an application for development including his heirs, successors and assigns.
APPLICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT
Every application, whether preliminary or final, required to be filed and approved prior to start of construction or development including, but not limited to, an application for a building permit, for the approval of a subdivision plat or plan or for the approval of a development plan.
BLOCK
An area bounded by streets.
BUFFERING (BUFFER AREA)
A strip of land intended to separate and partially obstruct the view of two adjacent land uses or properties from one another. Normally the area is landscaped and kept in open space use.
BUILDING
Any structure having a roof supported by columns or walls and intended for the shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals or chattels and including covered porches or bay windows and chimneys.
BUILDING LINE
A line parallel to the front, side or rear lot so as to provide the required yard.
CARTWAY
Portion of a street or alley which is improved, designated or intended for vehicular use.
CHAIRMAN
The Chairman of the Town of Bloomsburg Planning Commission.
CLEAR SIGHT TRIANGLE
An area of unobstructed vision at street intersections. It is defined by lines of sight, measured at a driver eye height of 3 1/2 feet, between points at a given distance from the intersection of the street center lines.
COMMISSION
The Town of Bloomsburg Planning Commission.
COMMON ELEMENTS
Land amenities, parts of buildings, central services and utilities and any other elements and facilities owned and used by all unit owners and are designated as common elements. These elements may include, but are limited to:
A. 
The land on which the building is located and portions of the building which are not included in a unit.
B. 
The foundation, structural parts, supports, main walls, roofs, basements, halls, corridors, lobbies, stairways, entrances and exits of the building.
C. 
The yards, parking areas and driveways.
D. 
Portions of the land and building used exclusively for the management, operation or maintenance of the common elements.
E. 
Installation of all central services and utilities.
F. 
All other elements of the building necessary or convenient to its existence, management, operation, maintenance and safety or normally in common use.
G. 
Such other facilities as are designated as common elements.
COMMON OPEN SPACE
See definition "open space, common."
CONDOMINIUM
Real estate, portions of which are designated for separate ownership and the remainder of which is designated for common ownership solely by the owners of those portions. Real estate is not a condominium unless the undivided interests in the common elements are vested in the unit owners.
CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION
The community association which administers and maintains the common property and common elements of a condominium.
COUNTY
County of Columbia, Pennsylvania.
CROSS-WALK
A right-of-way, publicly or privately owned, intended to furnish access of pedestrians.
CUL-DE-SAC
A minor street open at one end for vehicular and pedestrian access with the opposite end terminating in a vehicular turn around.
CULVERT
A structure with appurtenant works which carries a stream or drainage water under or through an embankment or fill.
CURB
A stone or concrete boundary usually marking the edge of the roadway or paved area.
CURB CUT
The opening along the curbline at which point vehicles may enter or leave the roadway.
CUT
An excavation. The difference between a point on the original ground and designated point of lower elevation of the final grade. Also, the material removed in excavation.
DEVELOPER
Any landowner, agent of such landowner or tenant with the permission of such landowner, who makes or causes to be made a subdivision of land or a land development.
DEVELOPMENT PLAN
The provisions for development, including a planned residential development, a plat of subdivision, all covenants relating to use, location and bulk of buildings and other structures, intensity of use or density of development, streets, driveways and parking facilities, common open space and public facilities.
A. 
Surface water runoff.
B. 
The removal of surface water or groundwater from land by drains, grading or other means which include runoff controls to minimize erosion and sedimentation during and after construction of development, the means for preserving the water supply and the prevention or alleviation of flooding.
DRAINAGE FACILITY
Any ditch, gutter, culvert, storm sewer or other structure designed, intended or constructed for the purpose of diverting surface waters from or carrying surface waters off streets, public rights-of-way, parks, recreational areas or any part of any subdivision or contiguous land areas.
DRAINAGE SYSTEM
Pipes, swales, natural features and man-made improvements designed to carry drainage.
DRIVEWAY
A private roadway providing access for vehicles to a parking space, garage, dwelling or other structure.
DWELLING
A building or structure designed for living quarters for one or more families, including homes which are supported either by a foundation or are otherwise permanently attached to the land, but not including, hotels, boarding/rooming houses or other accommodations used for transient occupancy.
DWELLING, INDUSTRIALIZED HOUSING
Any structure designed primarily for residential occupancy, except a mobile home, which is wholly or in substantial part made, fabricated, formed or assembled in manufacturing facilities for installation or assembly and installation on the building site in such a manner that all concealed parts or processes of manufacture cannot be inspected at the site without disassembly, damage or destruction.
DWELLING, MANUFACTURED (MOBILE) HOME
A transportable, single-family dwelling intended for permanent occupancy, office or place of assembly contained in one unit, or in two 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. For floodplain management purposes, this definition includes park trailers, travel trailers and other similar vehicles located on site for greater than 180 consecutive days.
DWELLING, MULTIPLE
A building used or designed as a residence for two or more independent dwelling units. The building, arranged as a horizontal and/or vertical string or strings of two or more dwelling units which, together, comprise the building and which share horizontal or vertical common portions (walls, floors or ceilings) with one another. This definition includes double houses, row houses, condominiums, apartment houses and conversion apartments.
DWELLING, SINGLE
A building used by one family, having only one dwelling unit and having two side yards including, but not limited to, individual mobile home dwellings meeting minimum habitable floor area requirements as set forth within the Bloomsburg Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27].
DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY, SEMIDETACHED
A dwelling used by one family, having one side yard and one party wall in common with another dwelling.
DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY, ATTACHED (TOWNHOUSES)
A building used by one family and having two party walls in common with other buildings, with end units having one party wall common with another dwelling and one side yard.
DWELLING, TWO FAMILY, DETACHED (DUPLEX)
A building used by two families, with one dwelling unit arranged over the other and having two side yards.
DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY, SEMI-DETACHED (DOUBLE DUPLEX)
A building used by two families, with one dwelling unit arranged over the other, having one side yard and one party wall in common with another building.
EASEMENT
A grant of one or more property rights by the property owner to and/or for the use by the public, a corporation or another person or entity.
ENGINEER, MUNICIPAL
A registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania designated by the Town of Bloomsburg to perform the duties of engineer as herein specified.
ENGINEER, PROFESSIONAL
An individual licensed and registered under the laws of the Commonwealth to engage in the practice of engineering. A professional engineer may not practice land surveying unless licensed as set forth in P.L. 534, No. 230; however, a professional engineer may perform engineering land surveys.
ENGINEERING LAND SURVEYS
Surveys for:
A. 
The development of any tract of land including the incidental design of related improvements, such as line and grade extension of roads, sewers and grading but not requiring independent engineering judgment; provided, however, that tract perimeter surveys shall be the function of the professional land surveyor.
B. 
The determination of the configuration or contour of the earth's surface, or the position of fixed objects thereon or related thereto by means of measuring lines and angles and applying the principals of mathematics, photogrammetry or other measurement methods.
C. 
Geodetic or cadastral surveys, underground survey and hydrographic survey.
D. 
Sedimentation and erosion control surveys.
E. 
The determination of the quantities of materials.
F. 
Tests for water percolation in soils.
G. 
The preparation of plans and specifications and estimates of proposed work as described herein.
ENGINEERING SPECIFICATIONS
The engineering specifications of the Town of Bloomsburg regulating the installation of any required improvements or for any facility installed by any owner, subject to public use.
EROSION
The detachment and movement of soil or rock fragments or the wearing away of the land surface by water, wind, ice and gravity.
EXCAVATION
Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other similar material is dug into, cut, quarried, uncovered, removed, displaced, relocated or bulldozed. It shall also include the conditions resulting therefrom.
EXISTING CONDITIONS
Land use present at the time a drainage/stormwater management plan is submitted. However, a more impervious existing condition can be used if the developer can document that a more impervious condition was present at the time the Town adopted this Chapter. For computation purposes, meadow or good woods/forest shall be used for existing pervious conditions. For existing areas consisting of a combination of pervious and impervious cover, either a composite of meadow, good woods/forest and impervious/parking shall be used or the various precomputed composite covers for developed areas shall be used.
EXISTING GRADE
The vertical location of the ground surface prior to excavation or filling.
FILL
Any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other material is placed, pushed, dumped, pulled, transported or moved to a new location above the natural surface of the ground or on top of the stripped surface and shall include the conditions resulting therefrom. The difference in elevation between a point on the original ground and a designated point of higher elevation on the final grade. The material used to make a fill.
FINISHED GRADE
The proposed elevation of the land surface of a site after completion of all site preparation work.
A. 
Right-of-way width required for the expansion of existing streets to accommodate anticipated future traffic loads.
B. 
A right-of-way established to provide future access to or through undeveloped land.
GOVERNING BODY
Bloomsburg Town Council, Columbia County, Pennsylvania.
GRADE, EXISTING
See definition "existing grade."
GRADE, FINISHED
See definition "finished grade."
IMPERVIOUS CONDITIONS
A surface that generally prevents the infiltration of water into the ground.
IMPROVEMENTS
Any man-made immovable item which becomes part of, placed upon or is affixed to real estate.
A. 
The improvement of one lot or two or more contiguous lots, tracts or parcels of land for any purpose involving:
(1) 
A group of two or more residential or nonresidential buildings, whether proposed initially or cumulatively or a nonresidential building on a lot or lots regardless of the number of occupants or tenure.
(2) 
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.
B. 
A subdivision of land.
LANDOWNER
The legal or beneficial owner or owners of land including the holder of an option or contract to purchase (whether or not such option or contract is subject to any condition), a lessee if he is authorized under the lease to exercise the rights of the landowner or other person having a proprietary interest in land, shall be deemed to be a landowner for the purpose of this Chapter.
LOT
Land occupied or to be occupied by a building and its accessory buildings, or by a dwelling group and its accessory buildings, together with such open spaces as are required under the provisions of Chapter 27 of the Town of Bloomsburg Code of Ordinances, having not less than the minimum area and width required by said Chapter for a lot in the district in which such land is situated and abutting on a street or private road over which perpetual access is provided.
LOT AREA
The total area within the lot lines of a lot, excluding any street rights-of-way.
LOT, DOUBLE FRONTAGE
An interior lot having frontage on two streets.
LOT, REVERSE FRONTAGE
A lot extending between and having frontage on an arterial street and a minor street, and with vehicular access solely from the latter.
MOBILE HOME, DWELLING
See definition "dwelling, mobile home."
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.
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.
MASTER DEED
A legal instrument under which title to real estate is conveyed and by which a condominium is created and established.
OPEN SPACE, COMMON
A parcel or parcels of land or an area of water, or a combination of land and water within a development site, designed and intended for the use or enjoyment of residents of a development, not including streets, off-street parking areas and areas set aside for public facilities.
OPEN SPACE
The unoccupied space open to the sky on the same lot with the building, not including parking lots.
PERSON
Any individual or group of individuals, corporations or partnership.
PERVIOUS SURFACE
A surface that generally permits the infiltration of water into the ground.
PLAN, COMPREHENSIVE
The Development Policy Plan (Master Plan) and/or Future Land Use Plan and/or Official Map or other such plans, or portions thereof, as may be adopted, pursuant to statute, for the area of the Town of Bloomsburg in which the subdivision or land development is located.
PLAN, SKETCH
An informal plan, not necessarily to exact scale, indicating salient existing features of a tract and its surroundings and the general layout of a proposed subdivision or land development.
PLANNING COMMISSION
Town of Bloomsburg Planning Commission, Columbia County, Pennsylvania.
PLAT
The map or plan of a subdivision or land development, whether preliminary or final.
A. 
A complete and exact subdivision or land development plan, prepared for official recording as required by statute, to define property rights and proposed streets and other improvements. Definition of "final plat" shall include minor plat.
B. 
A tentative subdivision or land development plan, in lesser detail than a final plan, showing approximate proposed street and lot layout as a basis for consideration prior to preparation of a final plan.
PRINCIPAL BUILDING OR PRINCIPAL USE
The basic purpose for which a building or land area is occupied or intended to be occupied as opposed to accessory or incidental uses, usually classifiable as residential, commercial, manufacturing or public in nature.
PROFESSIONAL CONSULTANTS
Persons who provide expert or professional advice, including but not limited to architects, attorneys, certified public accountants, engineers, geologists, land surveyors, landscape architects, or planners.
PROFILE LINE
The profile of the center line of the finished surface of the street, which shall be midway between the sidelines of the street.
PUBLIC GROUNDS
Includes:
A. 
Parks, playgrounds, trails, paths and other recreational areas and other public areas.
B. 
Sites for schools, sewage treatment, refuse disposal and other publicly owned or operated facilities.
C. 
Publicly owned or operated scenic and historic sites.
PUBLIC HEARING
A formal meeting held pursuant to public notice by the Town Council or Planning Commission, intended to inform and obtain public comment prior to taking action.
PUBLIC MEETING
A forum held pursuant to notice under the Act of July 3, 1986 (P.L. 388, No. 84), known as the "Sunshine Act."
PUBLIC NOTICE
Notice published once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Bloomsburg. Such a notice shall state the time and place of the hearing and the particular nature of the matter to be considered at the hearing. The first publication shall not be more than 30 days and the second publication shall not be less than seven days from the date of the hearing.
REAL ESTATE
Any fee, leasehold or other estate or interest in, over or under land, including structures, fixtures and other improvements and interests which by custom, usage or law pass with a conveyance of land though not described in the contract of sale or instrument of conveyance. Real estate includes parcels with or without upper or lower boundaries and spaces that may be filled with air or water.
RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCE
Any method, process or substance whose supply is rejuvenated through natural processes and subject to those natural processes remains relatively constant including, but not limited to, biomass conversion, geothermal energy, solar and wind energy and hydroelectric energy and excluding those sources of energy used in the fission and fusion process.
RESERVE STRIP
A strip of land adjacent to a street intended to control access to the street from an adjacent property.
REVERSE FRONTAGE LOT
See definition "lot, reverse frontage."
RIGHT-OF-WAY
A strip of land acquired by reservation, dedication, forced dedication, prescription or condemnation and intended to be occupied by a road, crosswalk, railroad, electric transmission line, oil or gas pipeline, water line, sanitary storm sewer and other similar uses; generally, the right of one to pass over the property of another.
RIGHT-OF-WAY, STREET
A public thoroughfare for vehicular traffic and/or pedestrian traffic, whether designated as a street, highway, thoroughfare, parkway, road, avenue, boulevard, lane, alley or however designated.
RUNOFF
The surface water discharge or rate of discharge of a given watershed after a fall of rain or snow that does not enter the soil but runs off the surface of the land.
SANITARY SEWER (PUBLIC)
A sanitary sewage collection method in which sewage is carried from the site by a system of pipes to a central treatment and disposal plant.
SCREENING
A device or materials used to conceal one element of a development from other elements or from adjacent or contiguous development. Screening may include one or a combination of the materials of sufficient mass to be opaque or that shall become opaque after a specified period of time and which shall be maintained in an opaque condition, walls, berms or plantings.
SEDIMENTATION
The process by which mineral or organic matter is accumulated or deposited by wind, water or gravity. Once this matter is deposited (or remains suspended in water), it is usually referred to as "sediment."
SEPTIC SYSTEM
An underground system with a septic tank used for the decomposition of domestic wastes and is also referred to as an onlot system.
SERVICE DRIVE (PRIVATE)
A service way providing a secondary means of private access to abutting property and not intended for general traffic circulation.
SHADOW ANALYSIS
A graphic representation of shadows cast by nature, landscaping, screening and structures plotted with regard to topography, slope and direction at 9:00 a.m., noon and 3:00 p.m. on the date of the Winter Solstice.
SIDEWALK
A paved, surfaced or leveled area, parallel to and usually separated from the street, used as a pedestrian walkway.
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. Such length of roadway shall be measured at a driver eye height of 3 1/2 feet.
SLOPE
The face of an embankment or cut section, any ground whose surface makes an angle with the plane of the horizon. Slopes are usually expressed in a percentage based upon vertical difference in feet per 100 feet of horizontal distance.
SOIL STABILIZATION
Chemical or structural treatment of a mass of soil to increase or maintain its stability or otherwise to improve its engineering properties.
SOLAR ENERGY
Radiant energy (direct, diffused or reflected) received from the sun at wave lengths suitable for conversion into thermal, chemical or electrical energy.
SOLAR ENERGY COLLECTOR
Any device, structure or part of a device or structure which is used primarily to transform solar energy into thermal, chemical or electrical energy, including any space or structural component specifically designed to retain heat derived from solar energy.
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
A complete design or assembly consisting of a solar energy collector, an energy storage facility (where appropriate) and components for the distribution of transformed energy to the extent that they cannot be used jointly with a conventional energy system. Passive solar energy systems which use the natural properties of materials and architectural components to collect and store solar energy without using any external mechanical power are included in this definition if they do not fulfill structural or other functions.
SOLAR SKYSPACE
The space between a solar energy collector and the sun which must be free of obstructions that shade the collector to an extent which precludes its cost-effective operation.
SOLAR SKYSPACE EASEMENT
A right, expressed as an easement, covenant or condition or other property interest in any deed or other instrument executed by or on behalf of any landlord which protects the solar skyspace of an actual, proposed or designated solar energy collector at a described location by forbidding or limiting activities or land uses that interfere with access to solar energy.
STORMWATER DETENTION
Any storm drainage technique that retards or detains runoff, such as a detention or retention basin, parking lot storage, rooftop storage, porous pavement, dry wells or any combination thereof.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT FACILITIES
Facilities designed to reduce peak flows and/or volumes, such as stormwater management ponds, underground storage, rooftop storage and pervious parking.
STREAM
A watercourse having a source and terminus, banks and channel through which waters flow at least periodically.
STREET
Includes street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, freeway, parkway, lane, alley, viaduct and any other ways used or intended to be used by vehicular traffic or pedestrians, whether public or private.
A. 
This classification includes highways which provide intracounty or intermunicipal traffic of substantial volumes. Generally, these highways should accommodate operating speeds of 55 miles per hour.
B. 
This classification is intended to include those highways which connect minor streets to arterial highways and generally serve intracounty and intramunicipal traffic. They may serve as traffic corridors connecting residential areas with industrial, shopping and other services. They may penetrate residential areas. Generally, these highways will accommodate operating speeds of 35 to 45 miles per hour or under.
C. 
This classification is intended to include streets and roads that provide direct access to abutting land and connections to higher classes of roadways. Traffic volumes will be low and travel distances generally short. These streets and roads should be designed for operating speeds of 25 miles per hour or under.
STREET GRADE
The officially established grade of the street upon which a lot fronts or, in its absence, the established grade of the other streets upon which the lot abuts, at the midpoint of the frontage of the lot thereon. If there is no officially established grade, the existing grade of the street at such midpoint shall be taken as the street grade.
STREET WIDTH
The shortest distance between the lines delineating the right-of-way of a street.
STRUCTURE
Any man-made object having an ascertainable stationary location on or in land or water, whether or not affixed to the land. For floodplain management purposes, a walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank, that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home.
SUBDIVIDER
The owner or authorized agent of the owner of a lot, tract or parcel of land to be subdivided for sale or development under the terms of this Chapter.
SUBDIVISION
The division or redivision of a lot, tract or parcel of land by any means 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, 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 or access or residential dwellings, shall be exempted.
A. 
Any subdivision involving more than five lots, parcels of land or other divisions of land whether or not they involve new streets, additional utilities or other facilities immediate or future.
B. 
The subdivision of a single lot, tract or parcel of land into five or fewer lots, tracts or parcels of land for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of transfer of ownership or of building development, providing lots, tracts or parcels of land thereby created have frontage on an improved public street or streets and providing further that there is not created by the subdivision any new street, street easement, easement of access or need therefor.
SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETED
Where, in the judgment of the Town Engineer, at least 90% (based on the cost of the required improvements of which financial security was posted pursuant to § 509 of the Municipalities Planning Code) of those improvements required as a condition for final approval have been completed in accordance with the approved plan, so that the project will be able to be used, occupied or operated for its intended use.
SURFACE DRAINAGE PLAN
A plan showing all present and proposed grades and facilities for stormwater drainage.
SURVEYOR, PROFESSIONAL LAND
An individual licensed and registered under the laws of this Commonwealth to engage in the practice of land surveying.
SWALE
A low-lying stretch of land characterized as a depression used to carry surface water runoff.
TOPOGRAPHIC MAP
A map showing the elevations of the ground by contours or elevations.
TOPOGRAPHY
The configuration of a surface area showing relative elevations.
TOP SOIL
Surface soils and subsurface soils which presumably are fertile soils and soil material, ordinarily rich in organic matter or humus debris. Topsoil is usually found in the uppermost soil layer called the A Horizon.
TOWN
The Town of Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pennsylvania, Town Council, its agents or authorized representatives.
TOWN COUNCIL
The Town Council of the Town of Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pennsylvania.
TRANSFERABLE DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS
The attaching of development rights to specified lands which are desired by the Town of Bloomsburg to be kept undeveloped, but permitting those rights to be transferred from those lands so that the development potential which they represent may occur on other lands within the Town where more intensive development is deemed by the Town of Bloomsburg to be appropriate.
UNDEVELOPED LAND
Any lot, tract or parcel of land which has not been graded to or in any other manner prepared for the construction of a building.
UNIT
A part of the property, structure or building designed or intended for any type of independent use, which has direct exit to a public street or way or to an easement or right-of-way leading to a public street or way and includes a proportionate undivided interest in the common elements, which is assigned to the property, structure or building.
A. 
Any agency which under public franchise or ownership, or under certificate of convenience and necessity, provides the public with electricity, gas, heat, steam, communication, rail transportation, water, sewage collection or other similar service.
B. 
A closely regulated private enterprise with an exclusive franchise for providing a public service.
WATERCOURSE
A permanent stream, intermittent stream, river, brook, creek or a channel or ditch for water, whether natural or man-made.
WETLANDS
Areas that are periodically or permanently inundated by surface or ground water and support vegetation adapted for life in saturated soil. Wetlands include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.