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Township of Middle Smithfield, PA
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Number of spaces. Each use that is newly developed, enlarged, significantly changed in type or increased in the number of establishments shall provide and maintain off-street parking spaces in accordance with the latest edition of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Parking Generation Manual (the Manual) and the regulations of this ordinance. The Manual's land use applied to a design shall be based on the use most closely associated with the proposed project. The number of paved parking spaces used in the design shall conform to the average peak period parking demand as noted in the Manual. However, space shall be reserved to allow for the expansion to the 85th percentile, as indicated in the Manual, if the Township determines, at its sole discretion, that the average is not adequate.
B. 
Area reserved for additional parking. The Board of Supervisors may require the reservation for a certain number of years or an indefinite period corresponding to the years the building(s)/use(s) (for which the reserved additional parking area is intended) are in existence. Such reservation shall be in a form acceptable to the Township solicitor that legally binds current and future owners of the land to keep the reserved parking area in open space and then to provide the additional parking if the Township determines it is necessary. A deed restriction is recommended.
C. 
Parking site plan. The applicant shall present a site plan to the Township that shows the layout that will be used for the average and 85th percentile parking. The site plan shall show that the additional parking is integrated with the overall traffic access and pedestrian access for the site and that the additional parking will be able to meet the Township requirements. The stormwater management design for the overall site shall take into account that the area set aside for additional parking and its associated aisles and accessways are impervious. The reserved area shall be required to be kept as landscaped open area until such time as the Board of Supervisors' decision may authorize the land's release from the restriction or until the Township may require that the land be developed as parking.
D. 
Periodic review of reserved parking area. The Zoning Officer shall periodically review the sufficiency of the parking that is provided. If the Zoning Officer in the future determines that the reserved parking is needed to meet actual demand, he/she shall provide a written report of the findings indicating why the additional parking is required and send the report to the Board of Supervisors and the property owner. The property owner shall be required to meet with the Board of Supervisors at a public meeting within 30 days of said notice. The report will be presented and discussed at the public meeting, and the Board of Supervisors will render a written decision at a public meeting within 45 days of said meeting. If required, the property owner shall then have one year to develop the reserved area into off-street parking in compliance with previously approved plan.
E. 
Uses not listed. Uses not listed in the Manual shall comply with the most similar use listed in the Manual, unless the applicant proves to the satisfaction of the Township that an alternative standard should be used for that use.
F. 
Multiple uses. Where a proposed lot contains or includes more than one type of use, the number of parking spaces required shall be the sum of the parking requirements for each use. If joint use of parking spaces is proposed, the applicant shall provide documentation to explain why the joint use should be allowed, but also address how the number of parking spaces can be increased if the joint use no longer exists.
G. 
Parking landscaping. See provisions for buffer yards and landscaping in this Zoning Ordinance.
A. 
General. Parking spaces and accessways shall be laid out to result in safe and orderly use and to fully take into account all of the following: vehicular access onto and off the site; vehicular movement within the site; loading areas; pedestrian patterns; and any drive-through facilities. No parking area shall cause a safety hazard or impediment to traffic on or off the lot.
B. 
Existing parking. Any parking spaces serving such preexisting structures or uses at the time of the adoption of this ordinance shall not in the future be reduced in number below the number required by this ordinance. If a new principal nonresidential building is constructed on a lot, then any existing parking on such lot that serves such building shall be reconfigured to comply with this ordinance, including but not limited to: required parking and areas reserved for additional parking, if needed; requirements for channelization of traffic from adjacent streets; channelization of traffic within the lot; minimum aisle widths; paving; and landscaping.
C. 
Change in use or expansion. A structure or use in existence at the effective date of this ordinance that expands or changes the use of an existing principal building shall be required to provide the required parking for the entire size and type of the resulting use as outlined above, except as follows:
(1) 
If an existing lawful use includes less parking than would be required if the use would be newly developed, then that deficit of parking shall be grandfathered for reuses of an existing building. For example, an existing store might include three parking spaces and would have been required to provide seven spaces if it was newly developed. Therefore, there is an existing nonconforming deficit of four spaces. Then, if that store is converted to an office that would need 10 spaces, the office would need to provide a total of six spaces. (Ten spaces minus the preexisting deficit of four spaces equals six spaces.)
(2) 
If a nonresidential use expands by an aggregate total maximum of 5% in the applicable measurement (such as gross floor area) beyond what existed at the time of adoption of this ordinance, then no additional parking is required. This addition without providing new parking shall only be allowed one time per structure.
D. 
Continuing obligation of parking and loading spaces. All required numbers of parking spaces and off-street loading spaces shall be available as long as the use or building which the spaces serve still exists, and such spaces shall not be reduced in number below the minimum required by this ordinance. No required parking area or off-street loading spaces shall be used for any other use (such as storage or display of materials) that interferes with the area's availability for parking.
E. 
Location of parking. Required off-street parking spaces shall be on the same lot or abutting lot with the principal use served, unless the applicant provides, to the satisfaction of the Board of Supervisors, that a method of providing the spaces is guaranteed to be available during all of the years the use is in operation within a walking distance of 300 feet from the entrance of the principal use being served. Such distance may be increased to 500 feet for employee parking of a nonresidential use. A written and signed lease shall be provided, if applicable. The Board of Supervisors may require that the use be approved for a period of time consistent with the lease of the parking and that any renewal of the permit shall only be approved if the parking lease is renewed.
F. 
Tree preservation. A reduction of 5% in the number of parking spaces required on the site shall be allowed to the extent that the reduction in the amount of required pavement will preserve existing healthy trees in an undisturbed, natural condition. The amount of reduction can be determined only after taking into consideration any unique site conditions and the impact of the reduction on parking needs for the use and must be agreed upon by both the applicant and the Township.
G. 
Signage. Adequate signage shall be provided to facilitate traffic flow. At a minimum, stop signs shall be provided at locations where parking aisles intersect circulation roadways and at parking lot access points onto streets and roadways. Signage shall meet PennDOT design standards.
H. 
Pavement design. Off-street parking areas, loading areas and perimeter travel lanes shall be designed in accordance with the specifications set forth in the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 170, Subdivision and Land Development.
A. 
Purpose: to minimize the amount of land covered by paving, while making sure adequate parking is provided, and to recognize that unique circumstances may justify a reduction in parking.
B. 
As a conditional use. As a conditional use, the Board of Supervisors may authorize a reduction in the number of off-street parking spaces required to be provided for a use if the applicant proves to the satisfaction of the Board of Supervisors that a lesser number of spaces would be sufficient.
C. 
Evidence. The applicant shall provide evidence justifying the proposed reduced number of spaces, such as studies of similar developments during their peak hours. The applicant shall also provide relevant data, such as number of employees, peak expected number of customers/visitors and similar data. Such information provided shall be in report format and sealed by the Pennsylvania-licensed professional engineer.
D. 
Shared parking. An applicant may prove that a reduced number of parking spaces is justified because more than one principal use will share the same parking. In such case, the applicant shall provide a shared parking study. The study shall clearly establish those uses that will use the shared spaces at different times of the day, week, month and/or year, including seasonal or mode adjustment factors. The study shall:
(1) 
Be based on the most current Urban Land Institute (ULI) or ITE parking study methodology or other generally accepted methodology;
(2) 
Address the size and type of activities, the composition of occupants and the anticipated peak parking and traffic loads;
(3) 
Provide for a reduction by not more than 50% of the combined parking required for each use;
(4) 
Provide for no reduction in the number of spaces reserved for persons with disabilities;
(5) 
Address the risk of a future design change that might impact or otherwise affect the use of shared parking, and identify a reserve area to be used if future parking expansion is required; and
(6) 
Be sealed by a licensed professional engineer.
E. 
Shared parking plan agreement. A shared parking plan, if approved by the Board of Supervisors, shall be enforced through a written agreement. An attested copy of the agreement between the owners of record shall be provided to the Township. Proof of recordation of the agreement shall also be provided to the Township before the issuance of a zoning permit for the project. The agreement shall:
(1) 
List the names and ownership interests of all parties to the agreement and contain the signatures of those parties;
(2) 
Provide a legal description of the land or parcel(s) whose uses are to be included in the shared parking plan;
(3) 
Include a site plan showing the area of the parking parcel, access drives and any area that must be maintained in green space for the possible future expansion of the parking area;
(4) 
Provide a legal description of the parking parcel or easement, including any access aisles and parking reserve areas, and designate and reserve this area for shared parking unencumbered by any conditions that would interfere with its use;
(5) 
Agree and expressly declare the intent for the covenant to run with the land and bind all parties and all successors in interest to the covenant;
(6) 
Assure the continued availability of the spaces for joint use and provide assurance that all spaces will be usable without charge to all participating uses;
(7) 
Describe the obligations of each party, including the maintenance responsibility to retain any identified reserved open space (if applicable) for additional parking spaces, if needed;
(8) 
Incorporate the shared parking study by reference; and
(9) 
Describe the method by which the covenant shall, if necessary, be revised.
F. 
Change in use of a shared parking area. Should any of the shared parking uses be changed, or should the Township determine that the conditions of the shared parking agreement have changed, or if the Township determines that insufficient parking is an issue, the owner shall have the option of submitting a revised shared parking study and agreement or provide the number of spaces required for each use as submitted separately. If the Township disagrees with the revised shared parking study, the Township may require the full number of parking spaces to be provided. Failure to comply with this decision or the shared parking agreement shall be cause for revocation of a certificate of compliance.
G. 
Reserved area for additional parking. Under this section, the Board of Supervisors may require that a portion of the required parking be met through a reservation of an area for future parking. The format and area reserved for said parking shall meet the criteria set forth above.
(1) 
Such reservation shall be in a form acceptable to the Board of Supervisors' solicitor that legally binds current and future owners of the land to keep the reserved parking area in open space. A deed restriction is recommended.
(2) 
The applicant shall present a site plan to the Board of Supervisors that shows the layout that will be used for the additional parking if the parking is required to be provided in the future. The site plan shall show that the additional park is integrated with the overall traffic access and pedestrian access for the site and that the additional parking will be able to meet Township requirements.
(3) 
The additional parking that is reserved under this subsection shall be required to be kept as landscaped open area until such time as the Board of Supervisors' decision may authorize the land's release from the restriction or until the Township may require that the land be developed as parking.
(4) 
The Zoning Officer shall periodically review the sufficiency of the parking that is provided. If the Zoning Officer in the future determines that the reserved parking is needed to meet actual demand, he/she shall provide written notice to the property owner. The property owner shall then have one year to develop the reserved area into off-street parking in compliance with this chapter.
A. 
General requirements.
(1) 
Backing into a street. No parking area shall be designed to require or encourage parked vehicles to back into a public street in order to leave a parking space, except for a single-family or two-family dwelling with its access onto a parking court. Parking spaces may back into an alley.
(2) 
Every required parking space shall be designed so that each motor vehicle may proceed to and from the parking space provided for it without requiring the moving of another vehicle.
(3) 
Parking areas shall not be within a required buffer yard or street right-of-way.
(4) 
Separation from street. Except for parking spaces immediately in front of individual dwellings, all areas for off-street parking, off-street loading and unloading and the storage or movement of motor vehicles shall be physically separated from the street by a continuous grass or landscaped planting strip, except for necessary and approved vehicle entrances and exits to a lot.
(5) 
Stacking and obstructions. Each lot shall provide adequate area upon the lot to prevent backup of vehicles on a public street while awaiting entry to the lot or while waiting for service at a drive-through facility.
(6) 
Size and marking of parking spaces.
(7) 
Each parking space shall be a rectangle with a minimum width of nine feet when the stall angle is 90° and 9.5 feet when the angle is 45° or 60°. The minimum width for parking stalls in garages or car ports shall be 10 feet wide. The minimum length of a parking space shall be 18 feet (which includes a front overhang of three feet), except the minimum length shall be 22 feet for parallel parking.
(8) 
If a sidewalk exists at the curb, the combined width of the curb and sidewalk shall be sufficient to permit a three-foot, unobstructed walkway width (i.e., the minimum width of sidewalk plus curb shall be three feet plus the front overhang). Where curb overhang will not interfere with pedestrian flow or impact adjacent landscaping, the stall depth may be reduced by the front overhang (i.e., the parking space depth can be reduced to 15 feet if there is a curb and sidewalk adjacent to it of at least six feet).
(9) 
For handicapped spaces, see below.
(10) 
All spaces shall be marked to indicate their location, except those of a one- or two-family dwelling.
B. 
Aisles.
(1) 
Each aisle providing for one-way traffic to access parking stalls shall have the following minimum width:
Angle of Parking
(degrees)
Minimum Aisle Width
(feet)
Parallel or 30
12
45
14
60
16
90
20
(2) 
Each aisle providing access to stalls for two-way traffic shall be a minimum of 24 feet in width, except a width of 20 feet may be allowed for parking areas with spaces that are parallel or involve an angle of parking of 45° or less.
C. 
Accessways and driveways.
(1) 
The width of a driveway/accessway at the entrance onto a street, at the edge of the cartway, shall be as follows:
One-Way Use
(feet)
Two-Way Use
(feet)
Minimum
12*
25*
Maximum
20*
30*
NOTES:
*
Unless a different standard is required by PennDOT for an entrance to a state road or the applicant proves to the satisfaction of the Zoning Officer that a wider width is needed for tractor-trailer trucks. An illustration indicating the proposed truck type and proposed truck path shall be provided with the application to show why the extra width is required.
(2) 
Stormwater management. Adequate provisions shall be made to maintain uninterrupted parallel stormwater flow along a street at the point of driveway entry. The Township may require an applicant to install an appropriate type and size of pipe at a driveway crossing.
D. 
Paving, grading and drainage.
(1) 
Parking and loading facilities, including driveways, shall be graded and adequately drained to prevent erosion or excessive water flow across streets or adjoining properties.
(2) 
Except for landscaped areas, all portions of required parking, loading facilities and driveways shall be surfaced with asphalt, concrete, paving block or other low-dust materials preapproved by the Township.
(3) 
However, by conditional use, the Board of Supervisors may allow parking areas with low or seasonal usage to be maintained in stone, grass or other suitable surfaces. For example, the Board of Supervisors may allow parking spaces to be grass, while major aisles are covered by stone.
(4) 
If the design and material are found acceptable by the Township Engineer, portions of parking areas may be covered with a low-dust porous parking surface that is designed to promote groundwater recharge. This might include porous asphalt or pervious concrete placed over open-graded gravel and crushed stone. Porous parking surfaces shall not be allowed in areas routinely used by heavy trucks.
(5) 
Curbing should not be required in parking areas except where necessary to control stormwater runoff.
E. 
Lighting of parking areas. See light and glare control provisions in the Zoning Ordinance.
F. 
Parking for persons with disabilities/handicapped parking.
(1) 
Number of spaces. Any lot including four or more off-street parking spaces shall include a minimum of one handicapped space. The following number of handicap spaces shall be provided, unless a greater number of spaces is officially required under the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),[1] as amended.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.
(2) 
Location. Handicapped parking spaces shall be located where they would result in the shortest reasonable accessible distance to a handicapped-accessible building entrance. Curb cuts shall be provided, as needed, to provide access from the handicapped spaces.
(3) 
Minimum size. Each required handicapped parking space shall be eight feet by 18 feet. In addition, each space shall be adjacent to a five-foot-wide access aisle. Such access aisle may be shared by two handicapped spaces by being placed between them. However, one out of every eight required handicapped parking spaces shall have an adjacent access aisle of eight feet in width instead of five feet, and there shall be at least one eight-foot access aisle when handicapped parking is required (i.e., if only two handicap spaces are required the aisle between the two spaces must be at least eight feet wide).
(4) 
Slope. Handicapped parking spaces and adjacent areas needed to access them with a wheelchair shall be located in areas with a slope of less than 2% in any direction.
(5) 
Marking. All required handicapped spaces shall be well marked by clearly visible signs and by pavement markings. Such signs and markings shall be maintained over time. Blue paint is recommended. The amount of the fine for violations shall be noted on the signs that are visible to persons parking in the space.
(6) 
Paving. Handicapped parking spaces and adjacent areas needed to access them with a wheelchair shall be covered with a surface that is usable with a wheelchair and meets the requirements of the ADA, as amended.
G. 
Paved area setbacks (including off-street parking setbacks).
(1) 
Intent: to ensure that parking or moving vehicles within a lot do not obstruct sight distance or interfere with pedestrian traffic, to aid in stormwater management along streets and to prevent vehicles from entering or exiting a lot other than at approved driveways.
(2) 
Any new or expanded paved area serving a principal nonresidential use shall be separated from a public street by a planting strip. The planting strip shall have a minimum width of 15 feet and be maintained in grass or other attractive vegetative ground cover, as approved by the Township. At least 10 feet of the planting strip shall be outside of the street right-of-way.
(3) 
The planting strip shall not include heights or locations of plants that would obstruct safe sight distances, but may include deciduous trees that motorists can view under the leaf canopy.
(4) 
The planting strip may be placed inward from the shoulder of an uncurbed street or inward from the face of the curb of a curbed street. The planting strip may overlap the street right-of-way, provided it does not conflict with PennDOT requirements, and provided that the Township and PennDOT, as applicable, maintain the right to replace planting areas within the right-of-way with future street improvements as required.
(5) 
Township-approved sidewalks and approximately perpendicular driveway crossings may be placed within the planting strip. Stormwater channels may be placed within the planting strip as long as there is at least a ten-foot planting strip between the edge of the stormwater channel closest to the parking area and the parking area. The following shall be prohibited within the planting strip:
(a) 
Paving, except for approved sidewalks and driveway crossings, and except for street widenings that may occur after the development is completed.
(b) 
Parking, storage or display of vehicles or items for sale or rent.
(6) 
This setback shall include an unobstructed, generally level width running parallel to the road that is suitable for a person to walk. The intent of this level area is to allow for the construction of a sidewalk at some future date if it is not required as part of the current application.
H. 
Parking setback from buildings. Parking spaces serving principal nonresidential buildings and apartment buildings shall be located a minimum of five feet from any building wall, unless a larger distance is required by another provision. This distance does not apply at vehicle entrances into or under a building.
A. 
Each use shall provide off-street loading facilities, which meet the requirements of this section, sufficient to accommodate the maximum demand generated by the use and the maximum size vehicle, in a manner that will not routinely obstruct traffic on a public street. An illustration indicating the proposed truck type and proposed truck path shall be provided with the application to show how this section's requirements will be met.
B. 
At the time of review under this ordinance, the applicant shall provide evidence to the Township on whether the use will have sufficient numbers and sizes of loading facilities. For the purposes of this ordinance, the words "loading" and "unloading" are used interchangeably.
C. 
Each space, and the needed maneuver room, shall not intrude into approved buffer areas, landscaped areas and planting strips.
A. 
Fire lanes shall be provided where required by state or federal regulations or other local ordinances.
B. 
The applicant shall provide suitable access for emergency apparatus for all nonresidential buildings and apartment buildings.
C. 
The specific locations of fire lanes and emergency apparatus access are subject to review and approval by the Township.