Borough of West Mifflin, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
See Article XIV.
A. 
Visibility at intersections. A clear sight triangle shall be maintained at all intersections and points of entry on a public road, so that, measured along the center line, there shall be a clear sight triangle of 75 feet minimum from the point of intersection. No obstruction to view will be permitted in this area above the height of 2 1/2 feet and below 10 feet.
B. 
Exception to height limitations. The height limitations of this chapter shall not apply to church spires, belfries, domes, monuments, observation towers, radio and television towers, chimneys, smokestacks, flagpoles, masts and aerials, elevators, equipment towers, tanks and other projections neither intended nor used for human occupancy.
C. 
Outdoor storage prohibition. Outdoor storage of any type shall not be permitted unless such storage is part of the normal operations conducted on the premises, subject to design and performance standards for the prevailing zoning district.
D. 
Accessory buildings and structures.
(1) 
All plans for accessory structures shall be submitted to the Building Inspector/Zoning Officer for approval prior to issuance of a permit. Jerry-built structures or structures which are to be comprised of makeshift materials or structures which are subject to extreme weathering and unsightly conditions shall not be permitted.
(2) 
Accessory structures exceeding 150 square feet in size shall be submitted to the Building Inspector for approval prior to issuance of a building permit.
(3) 
Accessory structures with a size of 150 square feet or less shall be submitted to the Building Inspector/Zoning Officer for approval prior to issuance of a zoning permit.
(4) 
No structures shall be permitted in existing easements.
(5) 
The maximum size of an accessory building, not including a detached garage associated with a residential use, shall be 150 square feet and 1.5 stories. The maximum size permitted for a detached garage associated with a residential use shall be 600 square feet for lots less than 10,000 square feet; 900 square feet for lots between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet; and 1,200 square feet for lots larger than 20,000 square feet. The accessory building shall not be more than 1.5 stories tall.
[Amended 1-15-2014 by Ord. No. 1186]
(6) 
Detached garages associated with a residential use shall not be used for living space and shall have a permanent drive leading to the structure.
(7) 
When an accessory building will occupy 100 square feet or less on the ground, it may be located no closer than five feet from any side or rear property line, but not forward of the front setback line. Other accessory structures within the residential zoning districts that are larger than 100 square feet may be located in the required rear yard, but not closer than 50% of the required rear or side yard requirement for that district.
E. 
Parking and storage of vehicles in all residential districts. In any residential district, the following restrictions shall apply: The parking of any vehicle other than an automotive passenger vehicle, station wagon, pickup truck, panel truck or recreational vehicle over one ton in weight in required front yards shall be prohibited. Parking of any other type of truck over one ton in weight, except for temporary loading or unloading, shall be prohibited.
A. 
Off-street parking regulations.
(1) 
Standards. Off-street parking space(s) with a proper and safe access shall be provided within a structure or in the open to serve adequately the uses on each lot within the district. For purposes of computing car space, including stalls and driveways, parking space for one vehicle shall be equal to at least 320 square feet and shall have a stall of at least 9 1/2 feet by 20 feet in size. Parking spaces shall be adequately marked and shall have an approved all-weather surface to provide safe and convenient access in all seasons.
(2) 
Minimum required off-street parking spaces table:
Use
Minimum Off-Street Parking Requirement
Residential uses:
One-family dwelling
2 spaces per dwelling in the R-3 Zoning District, and 1 space in a garage and 1 additional space (2 total) per dwelling in all other districts
Two-family dwelling
2 spaces per dwelling
Multifamily dwelling
2 spaces in a garage and 1 additional space per dwelling
Multistory, multifamily dwelling
2 spaces in a garage and 1 additional space per dwelling
Townhouse
2 per dwelling and 1 additional space per 3 dwellings
Mobile home park
2 spaces per dwelling
Garden apartment
2 spaces per dwelling
Home occupation
Same as the residential use housing the home occupation
No-impact home-based business
Same as the residential use housing the home-based business
Commercial and industrial uses:
Airports
Special study
Automobile repair
1 space per employee, plus 2 spaces per service bay
Automobile sales
1 space per 500 square feet of floor area of sales and service building
Bank and financial institution
1 space per 325 square feet of interior customer service area
Car wash
Special study
Casino
Special study
Small-family child day-care home
1 space per 6 children at capacity, plus the spaces required by the residence
Large-family child day-care home
1 space per 6 children at capacity, plus the spaces required by the residence
Child day-care center
1 space per employee, plus 1 space per 8 children at capacity
Personal care home
1 space per 2 dwelling units
Long-term nursing care facility
1 space per 3 beds and 1 space per each 2 employees
Assisted living residence
1 space per 2 dwelling units
Recreation facility, indoor (private or semipublic)
1 space per 1.5 members
Recreation facility, outdoor (private or semipublic)
1 space per 1.5 members
Contractor's yard
1 space per employee, plus 1 space per 1,000 square feet of floor area
Drive-through facility
Queue line for 5 vehicles, not blocking any parking spaces, in addition to the other applicable requirements of the use
Dry-cleaning processing facility
1 space per 300 square feet of floor area
Funeral homes and mortuaries and crematoriums
1 space per 3 persons at capacity
Garden center, plant nursery, landscaping business or greenhouse
1 space per 500 square feet of indoor or outdoor sales or display area
Gasoline service station
1 space per 295 square feet of retail area devoted to sales of non-automobile-related goods
Junkyard
1 space per 500 square feet of floor area, plus 1 space per 15,000 square feet of outside storage area
Kennel
1 space per 400 square feet of floor area
Manufacturing
1 space per employee on the largest shift
Manufacturing, light
1 space per employee on the largest shift
Medical facilities
1 space per 300 square feet of floor area, plus 1 space per doctor and 1 space per each 2 other employees
Older-adult daily living center
1 space per 300 square feet of floor area and 1 space per each 2 employees
Personal storage facility
1 space per 1,000 square feet of storage area
Motel, hotel or inn
1 space per sleeping unit, 1 additional space per 10 units, and 1 space per employee
Offices, general
1 space per 325 square feet of floor area
Personal services
1 space per 300 square feet of floor area, plus 1 space per employee
Research and development facility
1 space per 300 square feet of floor area
Restaurant
1 space per 3 seats or 1 space per 200 square feet of floor area (whichever is greater)
Retail trade:
If less than 10,000 square feet
1 space per 300 square feet of floor area
If between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet
1 space per 250 square feet of floor area
If greater than 20,000 square feet
1 space per 175 square feet of floor area
Adult entertainment establishment
1 space per 300 square feet of floor area
Transportation terminal
Special study
Warehouse
1 space per 2,000 square feet of floor area and 1 space per 2 employees
Wholesale distribution
1 space per 300 square feet of usable sale and display area
Public, nonprofit and institutional uses:
Cemetery
2 per employee
Civic, social and fraternal club
1 space per 1.5 members
Community center
1 space per 300 square feet of floor area
Communications equipment building
1 space
Communications tower
1 space within the fenced-in area
College or university
1 space per 5 students
School
2 spaces per 5 students
Country club or golf course
1 space per 1.5 members
Fire station
1 space per employee
Halfway house
2 per house, plus 1 per guest room
Hospital
1 space per 3 beds, 1 space per physician, and 1 space per each 2 other employees
Marina, recreational boat docking
1 per boat slip
Municipal, state or federal building or facility
1 space per 50 square feet of floor area
Church, place of worship
1 space per 5 seats
Public/private utility building
1 per employee
B. 
Off-street loading regulations.
(1) 
Standards.
(a) 
Off-street loading and unloading space(s) with proper and safe access from the street or alley shall be provided on each lot where it is deemed by the Building Inspector that such facilities are necessary to adequately serve the uses within the district. Each loading and unloading space:
[1] 
Shall be at least 14 feet wide, 60 feet long and shall have at least a fifteen-foot vertical clearance;
[2] 
Shall have an all-weather surface to provide safe and convenient access during all seasons; and
[3] 
Shall not be constructed between the street right-of-way line and the building setback line.
(b) 
Required off-street parking spaces (including aisles) shall not be used for loading and unloading purposes except during hours when business operations are suspended.
(c) 
Loading and unloading facilities shall be designed so that a truck, or any portion thereof, need not park in, or effectively block in any manner, any public right-of-way.
(d) 
No truck shall be allowed to stand in:
[1] 
A right-of-way;
[2] 
An automobile parking area (including aisles); or
[3] 
Any way to block the effective flow of persons or vehicles.
(2) 
Requirements. At least one off-street loading space shall be provided for all commercial or industrial concerns in excess of 3,500 square feet of floor area. The number of loading and unloading spaces shall be left to the discretion of the developer; however, the standards of this section shall be maintained and the number of proposed spaces approved by the Planning Commission.
The following regulations shall be observed in commercial and industrial districts when required by this chapter:
A. 
Fire and explosive hazards. All activities and all storage of flammable and explosive materials at any point shall be provided with adequate safety devices against the hazards of fire and explosion and adequate fire-fighting and fire-suppression equipment and devices as detailed and specified by the Department of Labor and Industry and the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In no case shall said amount of storage exceed the quantity necessary for use of the facility.
B. 
Radioactivity or electrical disturbances. There shall be no activities which emit radioactivity at any point. There shall be no electrical disturbance adversely affecting the operation at any point of any equipment other than that of the creator of the disturbance.
C. 
Smoke. (See also the Allegheny County Air Pollution Control Standards.) There shall be no emission at any point from a chimney or otherwise for longer than five minutes in any hour of visible gray or visible smoke of any other color with a shade darker than No. 3 of the Standard Ringelmann Chart as issued by the United States Bureau of Mines.
D. 
Smoke, ash, dust, fume, vapor, gases and other forms of air pollution. There shall be no emission at any point from any chimney or otherwise which can cause any damage to health, to animals or vegetation or other forms of property or which causes any excessive soiling at any point.
E. 
Liquid and solid waste. There shall be no discharge at any point into any private sewerage system or stream or into the ground of any materials in such a way or of such a nature or temperature as can contaminate or otherwise cause the emission of hazardous materials except in accord with the standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
F. 
Noise and vibration. (Refer to applicable Borough ordinance).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 180, Noise.
G. 
Glare. No direct or sky-reflected glare, whether from floodlights or from high temperature process, shall be visible from adjoining public streets or adjacent lots when viewed by a person standing on ground level.
H. 
Odor. There shall be no emission of odorous gases or other odorous matter in such quantities as to be offensive on adjoining streets or adjacent lots.
I. 
Central air-conditioning units. Central air-conditioning units shall be located to the rear or top of all structures and in no case shall be located closer than 15 feet to any property line.
A. 
Off-street parking design standards.
(1) 
Parking spaces shall be clearly delineated by painted lines or markers.
(2) 
Stalls shall be provided with bumper guards or wheel stops when necessary for safety or protection to adjacent structures or landscaped areas.
(3) 
Surface drainage shall be connected to the existing or proposed drainage system.
(4) 
All vehicular entrances and exists to parking areas shall be clearly designated for all conditions.
(5) 
Short-term visitor parking spaces shall be differentiated from long-term employee spaces by suitable markings.
(6) 
If spaces are used during evening hours, appropriate lighting shall be provided.
B. 
Screening.
(1) 
A planted visual barrier or landscape screen shall be provided and maintained by the owner or lessee of a property between any commercial or industrial district and contiguous residentially zoned districts, except where natural or physical man-made barriers exist. This screen shall be composed of plants and trees arranged to form both a low-level and a high-level screen. The high-level screen shall consist of trees planted with specimens no less than 10 feet in height and two inches in caliper and planted at intervals of not more than 15 feet. The low-level screen shall consist of evergreens planted at an initial height of not less than two feet and spaced at intervals of not more than four feet. The low-level screen shall be placed in alternating rows to produce a more effective barrier. All plants not surviving three years after planting must be replaced.
(2) 
Any existing business affected by these regulations at the time of passage of this chapter shall not be required to comply with the above screening requirements except in case of enlargement or major alteration of such business. Similarly, for any zoning district boundary change after the passage of this chapter initiated by a residential developer abutting a commercial or industrially zoned property for which these regulations apply, these screening requirements shall not be imposed upon such property.
C. 
Storage. Any article or material stored temporarily outside an enclosed building as an incidental part of the primary operation shall be so screened by opaque ornamental fencing, walls or evergreen planting that it cannot be seen from adjoining public streets or adjacent lots when viewed by a person standing on the ground level. All organic rubbish or storage shall be contained in airtight verminproof containers which shall also be screened from public view. Any outside storage not now enclosed shall be permanently enclosed or screened within three years from the date of this chapter.
D. 
Landscaping.
(1) 
Any part or portion of the site which is not used for buildings, other structures, loading or parking spaces and aisles, sidewalks, and designated storage areas shall be planted with an all-season ground cover and shall be landscaped with trees and shrubs in accordance with an overall landscape plan and shall be in keeping with natural surroundings. A replacement program for nonsurviving plants should be included.
(2) 
The plot plan must show a satisfactory method of irrigating all planted areas. This may be either by a permanent water system or by hose.
(3) 
Any single parking area with 50 or more spaces shall utilize at least 5% of its area in landscaping, which shall be in addition to open area requirements of the district.
E. 
Shopping cart storage. Any establishment which furnishes carts or mobile baskets as an adjunct to shopping shall provide definite areas within the required parking space areas for storage of said carts. Each designed storage area shall be clearly marked for storage of shopping carts.
F. 
Lighting.
(1) 
All parking areas, driveways and loading spaces shall be provided with a lighting system which shall furnish a minimum of 3.5 footcandles at any point during hours of operation. All lighting shall be completely shielded from traffic on any public right-of-way and from any residential district.
(2) 
With regards to a site in the C-2 Shopping Center District involving 75 contiguous acres or more, all parking areas, driveways and loading spaces shall be provided with a lighting system which shall furnish a minimum of 1.5 footcandles at 30 inches above grade at any point during hours of operation, with lighting standards in parking areas being located not farther than 250 feet apart. All lighting shall be completely shielded from traffic on any public right-of-way and from any residential district.
G. 
Interior circulation, access and traffic control.
(1) 
The interior circulation of traffic shall be designed so that no driveway or street providing parking spaces shall be used as a through street. If parking spaces are indicated by lines with angles other than 90°, then traffic lanes shall be restricted to one way, permitting head-in parking. No driveway or street used for interior circulation shall have traffic lanes less than 10 feet in width.
(2) 
Areas provided for loading and unloading of delivery trucks and other vehicles, and for the servicing of shops by refuse collection, fuel and other service vehicles, shall be adequate in size and shall be so arranged that they may be used without blockage or interference with the use of accessways or automobile parking facilities.
(3) 
All accessways to any public street or highway shall be located at least 75 feet from the intersection of any two street lines and shall be designed in a manner conducive to safe ingress and egress as determined by the Planning Commission and the Borough Council. Where practicable, exits shall be located on minor, rather than major, streets or highways.
(4) 
No design shall be approved which is likely to create substantial traffic hazards endangering the public safety. Safety requirements which may be imposed in such a review shall include traffic control devices, acceleration or deceleration lanes, turning lanes, traffic and lane markings and signs. The developer shall be responsible for the construction of such traffic control devices.
H. 
Vehicles. Any movable structure, trailer, automobile, truck or parts of these items or any other items of similar nature allowed to remain on the premises a longer time than that required to load, unload, or otherwise discharge its normal functions shall be considered subject to all regulations set forth in this chapter for buildings and structures.
A. 
Hereafter, no fence, wall or other obstruction, whether open or solid, decorative or otherwise, shall be erected in any public right-of-way except by special exception.
B. 
Hereafter, no solid fence or wall shall be erected in the required front yard setback areas except by special exception in residential zoning districts (R-1, R-2, R-3, and R-4). In this connection, a solid fence or wall shall be defined as any fence or wall containing openings therein of less than 50% of its surface area. Solid fences or walls are permitted in commercial and industrial districts (C-1, C-2, I-1, and I-2).
C. 
No fence or wall or other obstruction (except as required by this chapter) over six feet in height shall be erected within any rear or side yard area in any residential zoning district (R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, and PRD). Fences or walls over six feet in height shall be permitted in commercial and industrial zoning districts (C-1, C-2, I-1, and I-2). This provision shall not apply to the required enclosing of outside storage areas in commercial districts as required by § 290-31C.
D. 
Any fence in any district shall have its most finished or decorative side facing the adjacent lot or street, with all posts being on the opposite side.
E. 
The use of any type of barbed wire fence or electrical fence is prohibited in the following zoning districts:
(1) 
R-1 Low-Density Residence District.
(2) 
R-2 Medium-Density Residence District.
(3) 
R-3 High-Density Residence District.
(4) 
R-4 Mobile Home Park District.
(5) 
C-1 General Commercial District.
(6) 
C-2 Shopping Center District.
(7) 
WD Waterfront District.
F. 
No person shall connect, construct, attach or maintain or cause to be connected, constructed, attached or maintained any electrical device for the purposes of running a current of electricity through an exposed and uninsulated fence in any zoning district.
G. 
No person shall connect, construct, attach or maintain or cause to be connected, constructed, attached or maintained any type of barbed wire fence in any zoning district.
H. 
Fences shall be submitted to the Building Inspector/Zoning Officer for approval prior to issuance of a zoning permit.
A. 
Portable storage units are within the definition of "structure." No portion of a tractor-trailer or portion of a similar vehicle shall be considered a portable storage unit.
B. 
The following regulations shall be applicable to portable storage units for on-site storage:
(1) 
Portable storage units shall not be located in any public right-of-way.
(2) 
There shall be no more than one portable storage unit per lot.
(3) 
A portable storage unit shall be no larger than 12 feet wide, 16 feet long and eight feet high.
(4) 
No portable storage unit shall remain in a residential zoning district in excess of 30 consecutive days unless an extension of the applicable permit has been approved by the Borough. A maximum of three extensions may be granted, and no portable storage unit shall be placed on a lot in a residential zoning district in excess of 120 days in any calendar year. The portable storage unit shall be removed from the lot by the final expiration date on the permit.
(5) 
A portable storage unit shall be permitted during construction, reconstruction, alteration or renovation of the principal building and for an additional period of three days before and after such activity, provided a building permit has been issued by West Mifflin Borough. The portable storage unit shall be removed from the lot before the Borough Zoning Officer issues an occupancy permit or if the construction activity ceases for a period of more than seven consecutive days.
(6) 
A portable storage unit may be located on a lot during an emergency situation as declared by the appropriate federal, state, county or West Mifflin Borough agency pursuant to a temporary permit issued by the West Mifflin Borough Zoning Officer. The portable storage unit shall be removed from the lot within seven days after the end of the emergency declaration.
(7) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to place, or permit the placement of, a portable storage unit on property which he or she owns, rents, occupies or controls without first having obtained a permit therefor from the West Mifflin Borough Zoning Officer.
(8) 
Applications for a permit shall be made to the West Mifflin Borough Zoning Officer on a form provided by West Mifflin Borough. The Zoning Officer shall determine the most appropriate location for the portable storage unit to be placed on the lot. A permit fee in an amount to be established from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council shall accompany the application. The issuance of a permit shall allow the applicant to place the portable storage unit on the subject lot in the location specified in the permit in conformance with the requirements of this chapter. The permit shall be posted in plain view on the subject lot.
(9) 
This subsection shall not apply to businesses established and operating as an enterprise for the sale and/or rental of portable storage units.
A. 
Swimming pools. (See also Chapter 254.)
(1) 
Open private swimming pools are considered structures, for the purpose of permits and regulations of all ordinances, if they are constructed, used or maintained to provide recreational facilities for swimming, bathing or wading and capable of containing water to a depth of greater than 18 inches. For the purpose of this chapter, they are not counted as floor area in computing the lot coverage.
(2) 
All swimming pools shall not be located in any front yard(s) identified in § 290-11 of this chapter.
(3) 
Swimming pools constructed above ground and their surrounding deck structure shall be permitted to encroach into side and rear yards given that the pool and deck structure shall be located a minimum of five feet from side and rear lot lines.
(4) 
Swimming pools constructed in the ground and their surrounding walkways shall be permitted to encroach into side and rear yards given that the pool shall be located a minimum of five feet from side and rear lot lines. The measurement shall be taken from the lot line to the edge of the water.
(5) 
All swimming pools shall be enclosed by a fence, wall or other substantial barrier not less than four feet high, with a self-closing, self-latching gate, and of such a character as reasonable to prevent access to the pool.
(6) 
No swimming pool shall be constructed in the Borough except in accordance with a permit therefor previously secured from the Building Inspector or his duly authorized representative, upon written application accompanied by a plan showing the size, shape, and location of the swimming pool and its enclosure and such other information as may be necessary to enable the Building Inspector to determine whether the pool complies with this chapter.
In order to be considered a no-impact home-based business, the business or commercial activity must satisfy the following requirements:
A. 
The business activity shall be compatible with the residential use of the lot and surrounding residential uses.
B. 
The business shall employ no employees other than family members residing in the dwelling.
C. 
There shall be no display or sale of retail goods and no stockpiling of inventory of a substantial nature.
D. 
There shall be no outside appearance of a business use, including, but not limited to, parking, signs or lights.
E. 
The business activity may not use any equipment or process which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors or electrical or electronic interference, including interference with radio or television reception, which is detectable in the neighborhood.
F. 
The business activity may not generate any solid waste or sewage discharge in volume or type which is not normally associated with residential use in the neighborhood.
G. 
The business activity shall be conducted only within the dwelling and may not occupy more than 25% of the habitable floor area.
H. 
The business may not involve any illegal activity.
I. 
The business shall be allowed a sign not to exceed two square feet in area.
Co-location of communications antennas shall be permitted by right if adequate documentation, provided by an engineer, is presented to the Zoning Officer that an existing communications tower or other structure can accommodate the additional antenna without requiring the expansion of the tower, structure, or the lease area for support equipment. Within residential zones, the co-location of communications antennas shall be permitted by right (as specified by § 290-9) only when co-located with a water tower or an existing communications tower. If this documentation is not provided, the co-location of the antenna will be permitted by special exception and subject to the requirements of § 290-72. Co-location of antennas on existing buildings other than a water tower or communications tower within residential zones shall be permitted by special exception and subject to the requirements of § 290-72. Co-location of antenna on existing buildings within nonresidential zones shall be permitted by right if adequate documentation, provided by an engineer, is presented to the Zoning Officer that an existing building can accommodate the additional antenna without requiring the expansion of the building.