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Township of Halfmoon, PA
Centre County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Halfmoon 2-26-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-3. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Park and Recreation Board — See Ch. 42.
Open space preservation — See Ch. 163.
Parks and recreation — See Ch. 169.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 200.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 215.
Zoning — See Ch. 255.
This chapter shall apply to all applicable residential subdivision and/or land development activities.
The Board of Supervisors shall require for all applicable residential developments as a condition of final plan approval the dedication of parkland at an appropriate size and location to meet the needs of the residents of the proposed development. As an option the Township may allow the developer to provide a payment in lieu of the parkland required. The procedures for use of the fee-in-lieu option are provided in § 166-7, Fee-in-lieu option, and § 166-8, Fee in lieu of land dedication.
For any residential subdivision and/or land development larger than five dwellings units, the amount of required parkland to be dedicated as a condition of final plan approval shall be 0.05 acre (2,178 square feet) per dwelling unit proposed. To prevent minor subdivisions which could serve to circumvent the parkland requirement in stages or phases, these regulations shall apply to all parent tracts of 10 acres of greater at the time of adoption of this chapter.
For rural preservation developments (RPD), in accordance with Chapter 215, Subdivision and Land Development, Article IV, Design and Improvement Standards, § 215-24, Rural preservation design standards, Subsections D(6) and (7), active and passive recreational uses are permitted to be not more than half of the minimum required RPD open space or five acres, whichever is less, and based on review and recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Board, Township Planning Commission and approval by the Halfmoon Township Board of Supervisors.
If land is the selected option, the following note will be required to be placed on the final subdivision and/or land development plan:
"No more than (number of dwelling units) may be constructed on the land which is the subject of the plan unless additional land is dedicated and/or the Halfmoon Township Board of Supervisors accepts an additional fee in lieu of dedication of parkland."
The Halfmoon Township Board of Supervisors, upon recommendation of the Township staff, the Centre Regional Planning Agency, the Halfmoon Township Planning Commission, the Halfmoon Township Parks and Recreation Committee and the Township Engineer shall determine if the land proposed by the developer is acceptable for dedication based upon the adopted Township Parks and Recreation Plan and or other relevant criteria, including but not limited to the following:
General design. Areas shall be designed as neighborhood parks or natural areas to provide recreational opportunities for the residents within the proposed subdivision or for the residents living in close proximity to the park. Exceptions may be made when fee dedications are made to a larger community or regional park which is located within five miles of the center of the proposed subdivision and/or land development.
Access. The parkland should be accessible from a public street if possible, or shall adjoin and become part of an already existing park which is accessible from a public street. Where access to the park is by a public road, the width of the road frontage shall be a minimum length deemed necessary by the municipality for public access, viability of the site and public safety. Depending on the parkland size or shape, the Board may require access from an additional public street.
Shape and slope. The majority of the site (51% or greater) of the proposed parkland shall have a lot length to width ratio no greater than 2.5 to 1. Steep slopes, floodplains and drainageways may not be used for parkland, unless approved in advance by the Halfmoon Township Board of Supervisors. Yards, court areas, setbacks and any other areas required by zoning or other regulations are not to be included as a part of the acreage to be dedicated.
Stormwater management facilities. Stormwater basins shall not be considered as acceptable parkland nor shall any credit be given for the stormwater basin land toward any required parkland requirement.
Pedestrian and bicycle paths. Improved pedestrian and bicycle paths may be counted towards the parkland requirement if they meet all the following criteria:
The minimum width of the bicycle/pedestrian right-of-way or easement shall be 20 feet.
Pedestrian and bicycle paths shall have logical beginning and ending points that provide appropriate means of access to a park or other facilities residents are likely to use.
Any/all costs of providing the improved pedestrian and/or bicycle path shall be provided by the developer in order to accommodate its intended use. No credit will be given for any fee in lieu of parkland dedication.
The provisions of Subsection C, Shape and slope, must still be met by the proposed development.
Trails or linear parks. The Township may accept the dedication of improved trails and parks if they connect to existing trails identified by the Township's Park Plan and/or identified by the Centre Regional Planning Agency or if they are adjacent to any portion of Halfmoon Creek or other notable linear natural feature and meet the following criteria:
Actual dedications of land shall have an average width of at least 75 feet.
The cost of any required improvement to a trail or linear park shall be borne entirely by the developer in order to accommodate the intended use, and this shall not be considered a credit towards a required fee in lieu of land dedication. This requirement is necessary since the dedication of narrow strips of land has little value as compared to a larger parcel.
Utilities. The majority of dedicated land shall be accessible to electric, water and other utilities if applicable. No aboveground utilities shall be placed on the parkland unless granted specific permission by the Board of Supervisors. If any of these facilities are placed underground, no part of the facilities and their supportive equipment shall protrude above ground level.
Stormwater requirements. The developer will be responsible for complying with the provisions of Chapter 200, Stormwater Management, of the Code of the Township of Halfmoon. The stormwater management plan submitted must ensure effective stormwater management for the dedicated parkland property.
Site. It is highly desirable for the parkland to be in well-placed, adequately sized areas within the Township so that they can accommodate the anticipated uses.
If it is determined that the land proposed for dedication is acceptable, the Township may officially accept the land at the time of final approval of the subdivision and/or land development plan. At such time, a deed shall be recorded for the dedicated land and it shall contain the following restrictive clause:
"This land was acquired for perpetual public park purposes through the implementation of the Halfmoon Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance."
The Township or its designee shall be responsible for maintaining all dedicated and accepted areas. Cooperation of any adjacent property or homeowners' associations for the purposes of maintenance shall be encouraged. The responsibility for ensuring that all required work is completed shall remain the sole responsibility of Halfmoon Township.
A note shall be added to the subdivision and/or land development plan for land specifically designated as parkland and shall state the following:
"The land shown on this plan as parkland, consisting of _____ acres shall be deeded to Halfmoon Township by a deed of general warranty, free and clear of all liens and encumbrances, and at a date no later than the date of dedication of the streets (if applicable) shown on the subdivision and/or land development plan. Said land shall be available for Halfmoon Township use consistent with its ordinances and regulations for the express purposes of public park and recreation uses. It shall be used for such purposes, and Halfmoon Township may also, at its sole discretion, sell this land, provided that the proceeds of such sale are also specifically restricted for use for public park and recreation uses in connection with a continuing program for such purposes in Halfmoon Township, in connection with existing park facilities or to obtain additional park facilities in Halfmoon Township."
A fee-in-lieu option may be offered by the developer if at least one of the following conditions exist:
The proposed development does not contain land suitable for parkland dedication;
The proposed development is too small for a suitable amount of land to be dedicated;
The location of parkland within the proposed subdivision is not consistent with the adopted goals and policies of the adopted Halfmoon Township Park Plan;
It is not practical to dedicate land or an adequate amount of parkland already exists;
A fee in lieu will not be contrary to the public interest.
The payment of fee in lieu of land dedication shall be in accordance with the requirements of Article V, Subdivision and Land Development, Section 503(1.1) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (Act 247), as amended.[1] The fee in lieu of parkland shall be used to enhance public recreation areas which will directly or indirectly benefit future inhabitants of the subdivision and/or land development providing the fee.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10503(1.1).
After receiving the recommendation of the Halfmoon Township staff, the Centre Regional Planning Agency, the Halfmoon Township Planning Commission, the Halfmoon Township Parks and Recreation Board and the Township Engineer, the Halfmoon Township Board of Supervisors may, at its option and with the developer's agreement, determine that a fee in lieu would be more beneficial to the Township's residents than land dedicated for parkland. The following procedure shall be utilized to determine the appropriate amount of fee in lieu:
As part of the plan review process, the Township Manager, under the direction of the Board of Supervisors, shall send a written notice to the developer that the Board has determined a fee in lieu would be more beneficial to the Township's residents than the dedication of parkland.
The fee-in-lieu payment shall be determined using the following procedure:
Number of DUs* x 0.05 acre/per dwelling unit x Township parkland fee** = Parkland fee in lieu of dedication of land
DU = dwelling unit(s)
Parkland fee = per acre fee ($50,000/acre (basis 2007; as decided by Board on 2-26-09) to be revised biannually and/or established by resolution by the Halfmoon Township Board of Supervisors.
The fee shall be deposited into a separate interest-bearing account identifying the specific development which the recreational facilities are to benefit. The Township shall return the fee, plus interest, upon request of any persons who paid the fee if the Township has failed to utilize the fee for the purpose for which it was paid within a period of three years from the date the fee was paid. The fee shall be due from the developer upon Township approval of the final subdivision or land development plan for the initial phase of the development.
In some instances there may be insufficient suitable land available within a proposed development to meet park and recreation requirements. In those cases, the Board may elect, at its option and with the developer's agreement, to require the dedication of land for a portion of the required amount and the payment of a fee in lieu for the balance to satisfy the parkland dedication requirements of this chapter.