§ 175-232Relation to other zone districts.
§ 175-234Establishment of airport zones.
§ 175-235Permit applications; exceptions.
§ 175-237Use restrictions.
§ 175-238Preexisting nonconforming uses.
§ 175-239Obstruction marking and lighting.
§ 175-240Violations and penalties.
§ 175-242Conflict with other provisions.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
- Federal Aviation Administration of the United States Department of Transportation.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A defined area of an airport prepared for landing and takeoff of aircraft along its length.
- 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.
- 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.
There are hereby created and established certain zones within the Airport District Overlay Ordinance, defined in § 175-233 and depicted on Figure 1
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.