Township of Bridgewater, PA
Susquehanna County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Bridgewater 6-6-2011 by Ord. No. 6-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 263.
Zoning — See Ch. 310.
105a Fig 1 Part 77 Surface Areas
The purpose of this chapter is to:
A. 
Address safety issues around the Husky Haven Airport.
B. 
Regulate and restrict the heights of constructed structures and objects of natural growth.
C. 
Create appropriate zones, establishing the boundaries thereof and provide for changes in the restrictions and boundaries of such zones.
D. 
Create the permitting process for uses within said zones.
E. 
Provide for enforcement, assessment of violation penalties, an appeals process, and judicial review.
This chapter shall only apply to those areas established by § 105-4 and illustrated on the Husky Haven Airport Hazard Area Map, hereby adopted as part of this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said map is on file in the Township offices.
The following words and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings 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 of the Husky Haven Airport is 1,670 feet above sea level.
AIRPORT HAZARD
Any structure or object, natural or man-made, or use of land which obstructs the airspace required for flight or 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 chapter and Act 164 of 1984 (Pennsylvania laws relating to aviation).[1]
AIRPORT HAZARD PERMIT
A permit required by the Township prior to the erection of a structure or planting of a tree which is not covered under the Uniform Construction Code or assessment permit.
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 end of the runway 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,[2] is derived from the approach surface.
ASSESSMENT PERMIT
A permit required by the Township prior to the erection or alteration of any building or structure which does not require a Uniform Construction Code permit.
BOA and BUREAU OF AVIATION
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation.
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,[3] is based on the conical surface.
DEPARTMENT
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
EMERGENCY CASE
A violation which poses an imminent threat to the public health, safety or welfare and which requires immediate action to eliminate such imminent threat.
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The person, persons, agency, organization and/or entity appointed by the Board of Supervisors of Bridgewater Township to administer and enforce this chapter.
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 chapter and shown on the Zoning Map, 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 Zone, as shown on Figure 1,[4] 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 chapter 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 chapter.
PRECISION INSTRUMENT RUNWAY
A runway having an 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,[5] 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 formations 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,[6] is derived from the transitional surface.
TREE
Any object of natural growth.
UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION CODE PERMIT
A permit required under the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code, Act 45 of 1999,[7] prior to the erection or alteration of any building or structure.
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.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 74 Pa.C.S.A. § 5301 et seq.
[2]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
[3]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
[4]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
[5]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
[6]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
[7]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 7210.101 et seq.
A. 
Airport zones. There are hereby created and established certain zones as defined in § 105-3 and depicted on Figure 1[1] and illustrated on the official Husky Haven Airport Hazard Area Map, dated March 16, 2010,[2] or subsequent updated maps, issued by the Bureau of Aviation, hereby adopted as part of this chapter, which include:
(1) 
Approach Surface Zone.
(2) 
Primary Surface Zone.
(3) 
Transitional Surface Zone.
(4) 
Horizontal Surface Zone.
(5) 
Conical Surface Zone.
[1]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
[2]
Editor's Note: Said map is on file in the Township offices.
B. 
Height limitations. No structure shall be erected, altered, or maintained and no tree or vegetation shall be allowed to grow in any zone created by Subsection A of this section to a height in excess of the applicable height limit herein established for such zone, unless a variance is granted in accord with § 105-8. Such applicable height limitations are hereby established for each of the zones in question as follows:
(1) 
Utility Runway Surface Zones:
(a) 
Visual Approach Surface Zone: slopes 20 feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the end of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and extending to a horizontal distance of 5,000 feet along the extended runway center line.
(b) 
Nonprecision Instrument Approach Surface Zone: slopes 20 feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the end of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and extending to a horizontal distance of 5,000 feet along the extended runway center line.
(2) 
Primary Surface Zone: established at the same height as the primary surface.
(3) 
Transitional Surface Zones: slopes seven feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the sides of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and the approach surface and extending to a height of 150 feet above the airport elevation.
(4) 
Horizontal Surface Zone: established at 150 feet above the established airport elevation.
(5) 
Conical Surface Zone: slopes 20 feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the periphery of the horizontal surface and at 150 feet above the established airport elevation and extending to a height of 350 feet above the established airport elevation.
C. 
More than one zone. Any obstruction proposed or located in more than one airport zone shall comply with the more restrictive height limitation.
D. 
Permit exemptions. See § 105-7B for permit exemptions.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, no use shall be made of land or water within the airport zones established in § 105-4A in such a manner as to:
A. 
Create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communications between the airport and aircraft.
B. 
Make it difficult for pilots to distinguish between airport lights and other lights.
C. 
Impair visibility in the vicinity of the airport.
D. 
Create bird strike hazards.
E. 
Otherwise endanger or interfere with the landing, takeoff or maneuvering of aircraft using the Husky Haven Airport.
A. 
Continued use. The regulations prescribed by this chapter 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 chapter, or otherwise interfere with the continuance of a nonconforming use.
B. 
Increased nonconformity. 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 land use regulations in effect), may only be reestablished consistent with the provisions herein.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
Abandonment or destruction. Whenever the enforcement officer determines that a nonconforming tree or structure has been abandoned or has been torn down, become physically deteriorated, or decayed by more than 80%, no permit shall be granted that would allow any new or repaired structure or tree to exceed the applicable height limit or otherwise violate this chapter.
A. 
Permit required. Except as specifically provided in Subsection B of this section, no new structure shall be erected, no addition or alteration to an existing structure shall be made, and no natural or man-made object shall be erected or maintained in any airport zone unless a permit for the same has been obtained in accord with this chapter.
B. 
Permit exemptions. No permit shall be required in the cases specifically provided in this subsection. However, the exemption from the permit requirements of this chapter shall not constitute an exemption from the permit requirements of any other applicable ordinance or regulation.
(1) 
No change in height: maintaining, repairing or replacing parts of an existing structure which does not enlarge or increase the height of the structure.
(2) 
Horizontal and Conical Zones. In the area lying within the limits of the Horizontal Zone and Conical Zone, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 40 feet of vertical height above the ground, except when, because of terrain, land contour, or topographic features, such tree or structure would extend above the height limit prescribed for the zone.
(3) 
Approach Zones. In areas lying within the limits of the Approach Zones, but at a horizontal distance of not less than 4,200 feet from each end of the runway, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 40 feet of vertical height above the ground, except when, because of terrain, land contour, or topographic features, such tree or structure would extend above the height limit prescribed for the zone.
(4) 
Transitional Zones.
(a) 
In the areas lying within the limits of the Transitional Zones beyond the perimeter of the Horizontal Zones, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 40 feet of vertical height above the ground, except when, because of terrain, land contour, or topographic features, such tree or structure would extend above the height limit prescribed for the zone.
(b) 
In the areas lying within the limits of the Transitional Zones beyond 280 feet measured longitudinally on each side of the Primary Zone, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 40 feet of vertical height above the ground, except when, because of terrain, land contour, or topographic features, such tree or structure would extend above the height limit prescribed for the zone.
(5) 
Primary Zones. In the areas lying within the limits of the Primary Zones beyond the end of the runway, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure with a maximum height extending to 1,665 feet or less above sea level.
C. 
Permit applications. The application for a permit required by this chapter shall be made coincident with the application for an assessment permit or a Uniform Construction Code permit, whichever is applicable, as required by Township ordinances. In cases where an assessment permit or a Uniform Construction Code permit is not required, the application for the permit required by this chapter shall be submitted and processed in accord with established procedures for an airport hazard permit.
D. 
Bureau of Aviation notice. Prior to submitting any permit application for any regulated activity in any Primary Zone or for any structure 40 feet or more in height, the applicant shall first notify the Bureau of Aviation by submitting PENNDOT Form AV-57 to obtain an obstruction review of the proposal at least 30 days prior to commencement thereof.
(1) 
Submission with permit application. The BOA response must be included with the permit application for it to be considered complete.
(2) 
No penetration of airspace. If the BOA returns a determination of no penetration of airspace, the permit request shall be considered in compliance with this chapter.
(3) 
Penetration of airspace. If the BOA returns a determination of a penetration of airspace, the permit shall be denied, and the applicant may seek a variance in accord with § 105-8.
E. 
Fees. The Board of Supervisors will establish fees by resolution for the administration of this chapter. Resolutions and fees are on file in the Bridgewater Township offices.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Any person desiring to erect any structure or increase the height of any structure or permit the growth of any object of natural growth or otherwise use property in violation of this chapter may apply for a variance in accord with this section.
A. 
Variance procedure.
(1) 
If the proposed activity requires an assessment permit, a variance application for the activity shall follow the same variance procedure established by the Bridgewater Township Variance Policy[1] for uses which require an assessment permit.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Bridgewater Township Variance Policy is on file in the Township offices.
(2) 
If the proposed activity requires a Uniform Construction Code permit, a variance application for the activity shall follow the same procedure established by the Bridgewater Township Variance Policy for uses which require a Uniform Construction Code permit.
(3) 
If an assessment permit or a Uniform Construction Code permit is not required, a variance application for the activity shall follow the procedure established by the Bridgewater Township Variance Policy for airport hazard permits.
B. 
Unnecessary hardship. 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 accord with the intent of this chapter.
C. 
FAA and BOA notice. Any request for a variance shall include documentation in compliance with 14 CFR Part 77, Subpart B (FAA Form 7460-1, as amended or replaced). Determinations of whether to grant a variance shall depend on the determinations made by the FAA and the 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 to not exceed obstruction standards, and marking/lighting is not required to mitigate potential hazard. 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 in § 105-9, 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.
Any permit or variance granted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may be conditioned to require the owner of the structure or object of natural growth in question to permit the owner and/or operator of the Husky Haven Airport, 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.
The Board of Supervisors shall appoint a person, persons, agency, organization and/or entity to serve as the enforcement officer, who shall be responsible for enforcing the terms of this chapter.
A. 
Inspections and permission; Township Engineer.
(1) 
Inspections and permission. The enforcement officer, and any other agent so authorized by the Board of Supervisors, may inspect any premises to determine whether any violations of this chapter exist. Prior to entering upon any property to conduct an inspection, the enforcement officer shall obtain the permission of the owner or occupant for the same. If, after due diligence, the enforcement officer is unable to obtain such permission, the enforcement officer shall have the authority to conduct the necessary inspection upon the issuance of a search warrant. The defendant named in the warrant shall reimburse the Board of Supervisors for costs and reasonable attorney fees expended to obtain the warrant.
(2) 
Township Engineer. The enforcement officer may, upon authorization of the Board of Supervisors, consult with the Township Engineer, Building Inspector or any other qualified person in making the determination regarding a violation.
B. 
Notice. Whenever an inspection discloses that a violation exists, the enforcement officer shall, upon authorization by the Board of Supervisors, issue a notice to the owner and/or occupant of the premises. The notice shall:
(1) 
Be in writing.
(2) 
Include a statement of the reasons it is being issued.
(3) 
State a reasonable time to rectify the conditions constituting the violation, and may contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(4) 
Inform the owner that he has a right to a hearing in accord with § 105-11.
(5) 
Inform the owner that should he fail to comply with the order or request a hearing, the Township Supervisors will order the correction of the violation and, in accord with this chapter, will assess any and all costs, expenses (including, but not limited to, constable, attorney, engineering and consulting fees), and penalties incurred against the land on which the violation is located.
C. 
Service of notice. Except in emergency cases, the notice shall be sent by registered mail or by certificate of mailing or personally delivered to the owner and/or the occupant of the premises. Where the owner is absent from the Township, all notices shall be deemed to be properly served upon the owner if:
(1) 
A copy of the notice is served upon the owner personally; or
(2) 
A copy of the notice is sent by registered mail or by certificate of mailing to the last known address of the owner, regardless of receipt, and is posted in a conspicuous place on or about the premises affected by the notice; or
(3) 
The owner is served with such notice by any other method authorized under the laws of the commonwealth.
D. 
Hearing appearance. The enforcement officer shall appear at all hearings conducted in accord with § 105-11 and testify as to the violation.
E. 
Emergency cases. (See definition in § 105-3.) Whenever the enforcement officer finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, welfare or safety, he may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as is necessary to correct the violation and eliminate the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter, such order shall be effective immediately. The costs of such emergency correction shall be collected in the same manner as provided herein for other cases.
The Board of Supervisors shall conduct hearings in accord with the Local Agency Law.[1]
A. 
Hearing request. Any person affected by any notice which has been issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this chapter may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Board, provided that such person shall file with the Board, in writing, a request for a hearing setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor within 30 days after the day the notice was served in accord with § 105-10.
(1) 
Upon receipt of such request, a time and place for such hearing shall be scheduled and advertised in accord with the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See 65 Pa.C.S.A. § 701 et seq.
(2) 
At such hearing, the person requesting the hearing shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show cause why the violation(s) in the notice should not be abated.
(3) 
The Board shall commence the hearing not later than 60 days after the day on which the request was received in the municipal office.
B. 
Board action. After such hearing, the Board shall sustain the notice, modify the standards which are the subject of the notice and attach conditions, or withdraw the notice. If the Board sustains or modifies such notice, it shall be deemed to be an order. Any notice served pursuant to this chapter shall automatically become an order if a written request for a hearing is not filed with the Board within 30 days after such notice is served.
C. 
Appeal. Any aggrieved party may appeal the final order to the Court of Common Pleas of Susquehanna County in accord with the provisions of the Pennsylvania Local Agency Law.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: See 2 Pa.C.S.A. § 551 et seq. and § 751 et seq.
D. 
Fee. The person requesting the hearing shall pay the fee for such hearing as may be established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 2 Pa.C.S.A. § 551 et seq. and § 751 et seq.
A. 
Compliance. Failure to comply with any provision of this chapter and/or failure to comply with an order to abate a violation shall be violations of this chapter.
B. 
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this chapter shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a Magisterial District Judge under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
Other remedies. In addition to the fines, judgments, and/or imprisonment remedies of Subsection B of this section, the Board reserves the right to pursue independent and cumulative remedies at law or equity, including a demand for reimbursement of all court costs and reasonable attorney fees.
D. 
Abatement by Township and recovery of costs. In addition, if the owner or person in control of any dangerous premises, or act or condition constituting a violation of this chapter, fails to respond to a notice of violation directing the correction of the violation within the time limit prescribed by the notice, or fails to appeal to the Board of Supervisors, or fails to comply with the determination of the appeal made by the Board of Supervisors, the enforcement officer and/or the Board of Supervisors shall be empowered to cause such work of abatement to be commenced and/or completed by the Township; the Township may enter a municipal lien upon the premises to recover the cost and expense thereof.
Where a conflict exists between any of the regulations or limitations prescribed in this chapter and any other regulation applicable to the same area, the more stringent limitation or requirement shall govern and prevail.
Bridgewater Township, and its agents, officials and representatives, shall not under any circumstances be liable or legally responsible for activities or conditions which constitute a violation under the terms of this chapter. Any liability or damages resulting from activities or conditions constituting a violation are the sole responsibility of the owner of the property or the person or persons responsible for said activity or condition. The failure to enforce the terms of this chapter shall not constitute a cause of action against Bridgewater Township or its agents, officials or representatives.