Township of Middlesex, PA
Butler County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 9-28-2011 by Ord. No. 122]

§ 175-231
Purpose. 

§ 175-232
Relation to other zone districts. 

§ 175-233
Definitions. 

§ 175-234
Establishment of airport zones. 

§ 175-235
Permit applications; exceptions. 

§ 175-236
Variance. 

§ 175-237
Use restrictions. 

§ 175-238
Preexisting nonconforming uses. 

§ 175-239
Obstruction marking and lighting. 

§ 175-240
Violations and penalties. 

§ 175-241
Appeals. 

§ 175-242
Conflict with other provisions. 

§ 175-231 Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to create an Airport District Overlay that considers safety issues around the Butler County Airport, regulates and restricts the heights of constructed structures and objects of natural growth, creates appropriate zones, establishing the boundaries thereof and providing for changes in restrictions and boundaries of such zones, creates the permitting process for use within said zones and provides for enforcement, assessment of violation penalties, an appeals process, and judicial review.

§ 175-232 Relation to other zone districts.

The Airport District Overlay shall not modify the boundaries of any underlying zoning district. Where identified, the Airport District Overlay shall impose certain requirements on land use and construction in addition to those contained in the underlying zoning district.

§ 175-233 Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this article shall have the meaning given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

AIRPORT ELEVATION
The highest point of an airport's usable landing area measured in feet above sea level. The airport elevation for the Butler County Airport is 1,248.
AIRPORT HAZARD
Any structure or object, natural or man-made, or use of land which obstructs the airspace required for flight of aircraft in landing, or taking off at an airport or is otherwise hazardous as defined in 14 CFR Part 77 and 74 Pa. C.S.A. § 5102.
AIRPORT HAZARD AREA
Any area of land or water upon which an airport hazard might be established if not prevented as provided for in this article and the Act 164 of 1984 (Pennsylvania laws relating to aviation).
Editor's Note: See 74 Pa.C.S.A. § 5101 et seq.
APPROACH SURFACE (ZONE)
An imaginary surface longitudinally centered on the extended runway center line and extending outward and upward from each end of the primary surface. An approach surface is applied to each of the runways based on the planned approach. The inner edge of the approach surface is the same width as the primary surface and expands uniformly depending on the planned approach. The approach surface zone, as shown on Figure 1,
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Township offices.
is derived from the approach surface.
CONICAL SURFACE (ZONE)
An imaginary surface extending outward and upward from the periphery of the horizontal surface at a slope of 20 feet horizontally to one foot vertically for a horizontal distance of 4,000 feet. The conical surface zone, as shown on Figure 1,
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Township offices.
is based on the conical surface.
DEPARTMENT
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
FAA
Federal Aviation Administration of the United States Department of Transportation.
HEIGHT
For the purpose of determining the height limits in all zones set forth in this article and shown on the Zoning Map,
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is on file in the Township offices.
the datum shall be mean sea level elevation unless otherwise specified.
HORIZONTAL SURFACE (ZONE)
An imaginary plane 150 feet above the established airport elevation that is constructed by swinging arcs of various radii from the center of the end of the primary surface and then connecting the adjacent arc by tangent lines. The radius of each arc is based on the planned approach. The horizontal surface, as shown on Figure 1,
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Township offices.
is derived from the horizontal surface.
LARGER THAN UTILITY RUNWAY
A runway that is constructed for and intended to be used by propeller driven aircraft of greater than 12,500 pounds maximum gross weight and jet-powered aircraft.
NONCONFORMING USE
Any preexisting structure, object of natural growth, or use of land which is inconsistent with the provisions of this article or an amendment thereto.
NONPRECISION INSTRUMENT RUNWAY
A runway having an existing instrument approach procedure utilizing air navigation facilities with only horizontal guidance, or area type navigation equipment, for which a straight-in nonprecision instrument approach procedure has been approved or planned.
OBSTRUCTION
Any structure, growth, or other object, including a mobile object, which exceeds a limiting height set forth by this article.
PRECISION INSTRUMENT RUNWAY
A runway having a existing instrument approach procedure utilizing an instrument landing system (ILS) or a precisions approach radar (PAR). It also means a runway for which a precision approach system is planned and is so indicated on an approved airport layout plan or any other planning document.
PRIMARY SURFACE (ZONE)
An imaginary surface longitudinally centered on the runway, extending 200 feet beyond the end of paved runways or ending at each end of turf runways. The elevation of any point on the primary surface is the same as the elevation of the nearest point on the runway center line. The primary surface zone, as shown on Figure 1,
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Township offices.
is derived from the primary surface.
RUNWAY
A defined area of an airport prepared for landing and takeoff of aircraft along its length.
STRUCTURE
An object, including a mobile object, constructed or installed by man, including but without limitation, buildings, towers, cranes, smokestacks, earth formation and overhead transmission lines.
TRANSITIONAL SURFACE (ZONE)
An imaginary surface that extends outward and upward from the edge of the primary surface to the horizontal surface at a slope of seven feet horizontally to one foot vertically (7:1). The transitional surface zone, as shown on Figure 1,
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Township offices.
is derived from the transitional surface.
TREE
Any object of natural growth.
UTILITY RUNWAY
A runway that is constructed for and intended to be used by propeller-driven aircraft of 12,500 pounds maximum gross weight or less.
VISUAL RUNWAY
A runway intended solely for the operation of aircraft using visual approach procedures.

§ 175-234 Establishment of airport zones.

There are hereby created and established certain zones within the Airport District Overlay Ordinance, defined in § 175-233 and depicted on Figure 1

Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Township offices.
and illustrated on the Butler County Airport Hazard Area Map, hereby adopted as part of this article, which include:

A. 

Approach Surface Zone.

B. 

Conical Surface Zone.

C. 

Horizontal Surface Zone.

D. 

Primary Surface Zone.

E. 

Transitional Surface Zone.

§ 175-235 Permit applications; exceptions.

A. 

As regulated by Act 164 and defined by 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 77.13 (a) (as amended or replaced), any person who plans to erect a new structure, to add to an existing structure, or to erect and maintain any object (natural or man-made), that exceeds 200 feet above ground level in the vicinity of the airport, shall first notify the Department's Bureau of Aviation (BOA) by submitting PennDOT Form AV-57 to obtain an obstruction review of the proposal at least 30 days prior to commencement thereof. The Department's BOA response must be included with this permit application for it to be considered complete. If the Department's BOA returns a determination of no penetration of airspace, the permit it requests should be considered in compliance with the intent of this Overlay Ordinance. If the Department's BOA returns a determination of a penetration of airspace, the permit shall be denied, and the project sponsor may seek a variance from such regulation as outlined in § 175-236.

B. 

No permit is required to make maintenance repairs to or to replace existing structures which do not enlarge or increase the height of an existing structure.

§ 175-236 Variance.

A. 

Any request for a variance shall include documentation in compliance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 77 Subpart B (FA Form 7460-1 as amended or replaced). Determinations of whether to grant a variance will depend on the determinations made by the FAA and the Department's BOA as to the effect of the proposal on the operation of air navigation facilities and the safe, efficient use of navigable air space. In particular, the request for a variance shall consider which of the following categories the FAA has placed the proposed construction in:

(1) 

No objection: The subject construction is determined not to exceed obstruction standards and marking/lighting is not required to mitigate potential hazards. Under this determination, a variance shall be granted.

(2) 

Conditional determination: The proposed construction/alteration is determined to create some level of encroachment into an airport hazard area which can be effectively mitigated. Under this determination, a variance shall be granted contingent upon implementation of mitigating measures as described in § 175-239, Obstruction marking and lighting.

(3) 

Objectionable: The proposed construction/alteration is determined to be a hazard and is thus objectionable. A variance shall be denied, and the reasons for this determination shall be outlined to the applicant.

B. 

Such requests for variances shall be granted where it is duly found that a literal application or enforcement of the regulations will result in unnecessary hardship and that relief granted will not be contrary to the public interest, will not create a hazard to air navigation, will do substantial justice, and will be in accordance with the intent of this article.

§ 175-237 Use restrictions.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, no use shall be made of land or water within the Airport District Overlay in such a manner as to create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communications between the airport and aircrafts, make it difficult for pilots to distinguish between airport lights and others, impair visibility in the vicinity of the airport, create bird stroke hazards or otherwise endanger or interfere with the landing, takeoff or maneuvering of aircraft utilizing the Butler County Airport.

§ 175-238 Preexisting nonconforming uses.

The regulations prescribed by this article shall not be construed to require the removal, lowering, or other change or alteration of any structure or tree not conforming to the regulations as of the effective date of this article, or otherwise interfere with the continuance of a nonconforming use. No nonconforming use shall be structurally altered or permitted to grow higher, so as to increase the nonconformity, and a nonconforming use, once substantially abated (subject to the underlying ordinance) may only be reestablished consistent with the provisions herein.

§ 175-239 Obstruction marking and lighting.

Any permit or variance granted pursuant to the provisions of this article may be conditioned according to the process described in § 175-236 to require the owner of the structure or object of natural growth in question to permit the Township, at its own expense, or require the person requesting the permit or variance, to install, operate, and maintain such marking or lighting as deemed necessary to assure both ground and air safety.

§ 175-240 Violations and penalties.

In the event the Township identifies any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of this article, the Township shall initiate enforcement proceedings against the offending person, partnership or corporation as listed in § 175-184 of the Township Code.

§ 175-241 Appeals.

Any person or Township official aggrieved or affected by any provision of this chapter, or by any decision of the Zoning Officer, may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board by filing a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof in accordance with the provisions of § 175-174 of the Township Code.

§ 175-242 Conflict with other provisions.

Where there exists a conflict between any of the regulations or limitations prescribed in this article and any other regulation applicable to the same area, the more stringent limitation or requirement shall govern and prevail.