Township of Upper Providence, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 321, passed 12-10-1998]
A. 
It is not intended that this glossary include only words used or referred to in this Ordinance. The words are included in order to facilitate the interpretation of this Ordinance for administrative purposes and to facilitate the carrying out of duties by appropriate officers and by the Zoning Hearing Board.
B. 
Unless otherwise expressly stated, words and terms used herein shall, for the purpose of this Ordinance, be interpreted as follows:
1. 
Words used in the present tense include the future tense.
2. 
The singular includes the plural.
3. 
The words "used" or "occupied," as applied to any land or building, include the words "intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied."
4. 
The word "person" includes an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, or government entity, including a trustee, a receiver, an assignee or a similar representative.
5. 
The word "lot" includes "plot" or "parcel".
6. 
The term "shall" is always mandatory.
7. 
The word "Council" and the words "Township Council" always mean the Upper Providence Township Council.
8. 
The word "Commission" and the words "Planning Commission" always mean the Upper Providence Township Planning Commission.
9. 
The word "Board" and the words "Zoning Hearing Board" always mean the Upper Providence Township Zoning Hearing Board.
10. 
The term "Zoning Officer" always means the Upper Providence Township Zoning Officer.
C. 
If a word is not defined in this Ordinance but is defined in the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, as amended, the definition in that Ordinance shall apply. If a word is defined in both this Ordinance and another Township Ordinance, each definition shall apply to the provisions of each applicable Ordinance.
D. 
Any word or term not defined in this Ordinance or the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, as amended, shall be used with the meaning of standard usage within the context of the section.
[Ord. No. 321, passed 12-10-1998; Ord. No. 358, passed 9-12-2002; Ord. No. 388, passed 10-28-2004; Ord. No. 402, passed 10-11-2005; Ord. No. 406, passed 1-12-2006; Ord. No. 413, passed 7-13-2006]
For the purposes of this Ordinance, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the meanings herein indicated:
ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
A structure detached from a principal building on the same lot and customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal building.
ACCESSORY USE
A use of land or of a building or portion thereof customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use of the land or building and located on the same lot with such principal use.
ALLEY
A service roadway providing a secondary means of public access to abutting property and not intended for general traffic circulation.
ALTERATION
As applied to a building or structure, a change or rearrangement in the structural parts or in the existing facilities, or an enlargement, whether by extending on a side or by increasing in height, or the moving from one location or position to another.
ALTERATION, STRUCTURAL
Any change in the supporting members of a building such as bearing walls, columns, beams or girders.
ANTENNA
A device used to collect and/or transmit telecommunications or radio signals, including panels, microwave dishes, and single poles known as "whips".
APARTMENT
See Use B6 "Multi-Household Dwelling/Apartment" under Chapter 1256, "Use Regulations and Standards".
AREA
See "building area," "FLOOR AREA," "LOT AREA."
ATTIC
That part of a building that is immediately below and wholly or partly within the roof framing, used primarily for storage and not for habitation. (See also, "story" and "story, half.")
BASEMENT
A basement is a space having 1/2 or more of its floor-to-ceiling height above the average level of the adjoining ground and with a floor-to-ceiling height of not less than 6.5 feet. A basement shall be counted as a story for the purposes of height measurement or the determination of square footage or floor area. (See also, "cellar.")
BOARDER, ROOMER OR LODGER
A person, except family, occupying any room or group of rooms forming a single, habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping, but not for cooking or eating purposes, and paying compensation for lodging or board and lodging by prearrangement for two weeks or more at a time to an owner or operator. Any person occupying such room or rooms and paying such compensation without prearrangement for less than two weeks at a time shall be classified for purposes of this Ordinance not as a roomer, boarder or lodger but as a guest of a commercial lodging establishment (motel, hotel, inn) or bed and breakfast establishment.
BUFFER
Landscaped areas, fences, walls, berms, or any combination thereof used to physically separate and/or screen one use or property from another so as to visually shield or block noise, lights, or other nuisances.
BUILDING
Any structure having a roof supported by walls and intended for the shelter, housing, or enclosure of persons, animals, or property of any kind.
BUILDING AREA
The total of areas taken on a horizontal plane at the grade level of the principal building and all accessory buildings, including uncovered and covered porches, terraces, decks and patios.
BUILDING ENVELOPE
The three-dimensional space within which a structure is permitted to be built on a lot and that is defined by maximum height regulations and minimum yard requirements.
BUILDING, PRINCIPAL
A building in which is conducted, or is intended to be conducted, the principal use of the lot on which it is located.
BUILDING SETBACK LINE
That line that is the required minimum distance from any street right-of-way and/or lot line that establishes the area within which the principal structure must be erected or placed. The front building setback distance shall be measured from the street right-of-way line if one abuts the property; however. In the case of a flag lot, the front building setback line shall be at a distance measured from and parallel to a line indicating where lot width first coincides with the required minimum lot width for the zoning district.
CELLAR
A cellar is a space with less than 1/2 of its floor-to-ceiling height above the average finished grade of the adjoining ground or with a floor-to-ceiling height of less than 6.5 feet. A cellar is not counted as a story for the purposes of height measurement or the determination of square footage or floor area unless the cellar is used for dwelling, office or business purposes. (See also, "basement.")
COMMERCIAL COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY
See Use H3 under Chapter 1256, "Use Regulations and Standards".
COMMERCIAL USE
Activity involving the sale of goods or services carried out for profit.
COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT BUILDING
A building in which electronic receiving, relay, or transmitting equipment for a Commercial Communications Facility is housed.
COMMUNICATIONS TOWER
A structure that is intended to support equipment used to transmit and/or receive telecommunications or radio signals, including monopoles and lattice construction steel structures.
COMMUNITY LIVING ARRANGEMENT (CLA)
See Use B9 "Group Home" under Chapter 1256, "Use Regulations and Standards".
CONDITIONAL USE
A use permitted in a particular zoning district pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 1256 and 1280.
CONDOMINIUM
A form of ownership of real property, including an undivided interest in a portion of a parcel together with a separate interest in a space within a structure, and which is subject to the provisions of the Pennsylvania Uniform Condominium Act of 1980.
DENSITY
A measure of the number of dwelling units per unit of land, as expressed in dwelling units per acre and excluding any area within an existing or designated future street right-of-way, and in the case of a flag lot, the area of the access lane.
DRIVEWAY
A private vehicular way providing access to a street or highway.
DWELLING
A structure or portion thereof that is used exclusively for nontransient human habitation.
DWELLING TYPES
See individual dwelling types under Chapter 1256, "Use Regulations and Standards".
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms, designed, occupied, or intended for occupancy as a separate living quarter, with cooking, sleeping, and sanitary facilities provided within the dwelling unit for the exclusive use of a person or persons maintaining a household.
EASEMENTS
A grant of one or more property rights by a property owner to and/or for the use by the public, a corporation, and other person or entity.
FAMILY
One person, or two or more persons related by blood, foster relationship, marriage or adoption, and in addition, any domestic servants; or a group of not more than three persons who need not be so related, and in addition, domestic servants who are living together in a single, non-profit dwelling unit and maintaining a common household with single cooking facilities. A group home for mentally and/or physically disabled individuals will be considered a family provided the residence meets all federal and state regulations for such facilities. A boarder, roomer or lodger shall not be considered a member of the family.
FIRE LANE
An unobstructed paved or improved surface area clearly defined by pavement markings and signs, at least 12 feet wide and designed to provide access for fire-fighting equipment.
FLAG LOT
See "LOT, FLAG."
FLOOD PLAIN
See Chapter 1270 for definition of this and other related terms.
FLOOR AREA, GROSS
The sum of the gross horizontal areas of the several floors of a building from the exterior face of exterior walls, or from the centerline of a wall separating two buildings, but excluding any space where the floor-to-ceiling height is less than six feet.
FOOTCANDLE
A quantitative unit of measure referring to the measurement of illumination incident at a single point. One footcandle is equal to one lumen uniformly distributed over an area of one square foot.
GROUP HOME
See Use B9 "Group Home" under Chapter 1256, "Use Regulations and Standards".
HEIGHT
The vertical distance measured from the average elevation of the finished grade surrounding the structure to the highest point of the structure. (See Exceptions under Chapter 1258.)
IMPERVIOUS COVERAGE
That percentage of the lot area covered by impervious surface.
IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
A surface that prevents the infiltration of water into the ground. Impervious surface includes but is not limited to, any roof, parking or driveway areas and any sidewalks. Any surface area designated to initially be gravel or crushed stone shall be considered to be impervious surface. Surfaces that are comprised of pervious pavers shall be considered as impervious surfaces.
[Amended 10-12-2017 by Ord. No. 508]
INSTITUTIONAL USE
A nonprofit, religious, or public use, such as a church, library, public or private school, hospital, or government owned or operated building, structure, or land used for public purpose.
LAND DEVELOPMENT
Any of the following activities.
(1) 
(2) 
The division or allocation of land or space, whether initially or cumulatively, between or among two or more existing or prospective occupants by means of, or for the purpose of streets, common areas, leaseholds, condominiums, building groups or other features;
The improvement of one lot or two or more contiguous lots, tracts, or parcels of land for any purpose involving:
(1)
A group of two or more residential or nonresidential buildings, whether proposed initially or cumulatively, or a single nonresidential building on a lot or lots regardless of the number of occupants or tenure; or
(2)
The division or allocation of land or space, whether initially or cumulatively, between or among two or more existing or prospective occupants by means of, or for the purpose of streets, common areas, leaseholds, condominiums, building groups or other features;
A subdivision of land; or
Development in accordance with section 503(1.1) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
LODGER
See "BOARDER."
LOT
A designated parcel, tract, or area of land established by plat, subdivision, or as otherwise permitted by law and to be used, developed, or built upon as a unit having only one principal use.
LOT, CORNER
A lot situated at the intersection of two streets, with the interior angle intersection not exceeding 135°. The yards extending along all streets are front yards.
LOT, FLAG
A lot having a configuration such that its buildable portion is behind other lots fronting directly onto a public street and to which access is provided by a lane with a minimum width of 35 feet.
LOT, INTERIOR
A lot other than a corner lot.
LOT AREA
The area contained within the property lines of the individual parcels of land as shown on a subdivision plan, land development plan or building plan after deducting the following:
[Amended 10-11-2018 by Ord. No. 520]
Feature
Percent of area deduction
Easements for stormwater management
100%
Rights-of-way
100%
Surface water
100%
Wetlands
100%
Riparian buffers
100%
Wetland buffers
50%
Shallow ground water soils
50%
LOT DEPTH
The average distance measured from the front lot line to its opposite rear lot line.
LOT FRONTAGE
That portion of a lot abutting a street right-of-way line.
LOT WIDTH
The distance measured between the side lot lines at the required building setback line. In no case shall the distance measured between the side lot lines be less than 35 feet at the street right-of-way line.
LOT LINE
Any boundary line of a lot.
LUMINAIRE
A complete lighting unit consisting of a light source and all necessary mechanical, electrical and decorative parts.
MEDIATION
A voluntary negotiating process in which parties in a dispute mutually select a neutral mediator to assist them in jointly exploring and settling their differences, culminating in a written agreement which the parties themselves create and consider acceptable.
MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOME
A transportable, single family dwelling intended for permanent occupancy, contained in one unit, or in two or more units designed to be joined into one integral unit capable of again being separated for repeated towing, which arrives at a site complete and ready for occupancy except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations.
MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOME LOT
A parcel of land in a mobile/manufactured home park, improved with the necessary utility connections and other appurtenances necessary for the erection thereon of a single mobile/manufactured home which is leased by the mobile/manufactured home park owner to the owner or occupants of the mobile/manufactured home erected on the lot.
MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOME PARK
See Use B7 under Chapter 1256, "Use Regulations and Standards".
NO-IMPACT HOME-BASED BUSINESS
A business or commercial activity administered or conducted as an accessory use which is clearly secondary to the use as a residential dwelling and which involves no customer, client or patient traffic, whether vehicular or pedestrian, pickup, delivery or removal functions to or from the premises, in excess of those normally associated with residential use. The business or commercial activity must satisfy the following requirements:
(1) 
The business activity shall be compatible with the residential use of the property and surrounding residential uses.
(2) 
The business shall employ no employees other than family members residing in the dwelling.
(3) 
There shall be no display or sale of retail goods and no stockpiling or inventory of a substantial nature.
(4) 
There shall be no outside appearance of a business use, including, but not limited to, parking, signs or lights.
(5) 
The business activity may not use any equipment or process which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors of electrical or electronic interference, including interference with radio or television reception, which is detectable in the neighborhood.
(6) 
The business activity may not generate any solid waste or sewage discharge in volume or typed which is not normally associated with residential use in the neighborhood.
(7) 
The business activity shall be conducted only within the dwelling and may not occupy more than 25% of the habitable floor area.
(8) 
The business may not involve any illegal activity.
NONCONFORMITIES
See "Nonconforming Lot,", "Nonconforming Structure," "Nonconforming Use" under Chapter 1278.
OPEN SPACE
Any area of land or water principally used for open space purposes and set aside, dedicated, designated or reserved for public or private use or enjoyment, or for the use and enjoyment of owners and occupants of land adjoining or neighboring such open space, and may include such complementary structures and improvements as are necessary and appropriate.
PLAT
The map or plan for a subdivision or land development, whether preliminary or final.
PREMISES
A lot, parcel, tract, or plot of land together with any buildings and structures thereon.
PUBLIC HEARING
A formal meeting held pursuant to public notice by the Township Council or Planning Commission, intended to inform and obtain public comment, prior to taking action in accordance with this Ordinance.
PUBLIC MEETING
A forum held pursuant to notice under the act of July 3, 1986 (P.L. 388, No. 84), known as the "Sunshine Act."
RIGHT-OF-WAY
A strip of land occupied or intended to be occupied by a street, cross-walk, railroad, electric transmission line, telephone line, oil or gas pipeline, water main, sanitary or storm sewer main, including the surface and air space above the surface and the area below the surface.
RIPARIAN BUFFERS
Those areas along watercourses, ponds, and other water bodies so designated for the preservation or regeneration of natural vegetation for the protection of surface water resources. A riparian buffer is comprised of the area measured within 100 feet of the annual mean high water edge (top of bank) or to the limit of the one-hundred-year flood plain, whichever distance is greater.
ROOMER
See "boarder."
SETBACK LINE
See "building setback line."
SHALLOW GROUNDWATER SOILS
Those soils in which the groundwater surface is 18 inches or less from the ground surface at certain times of the year as specified by the USDA, NRCS "Soil Survey" or as determined by field investigation. These soils include but may not be limited to the Chewacla Series (Ch), Conowingo Series (Co), Glenville Series (Gn,Gs), Wahadkee Series (We) and Worsham Services (Wo, Ws).
SIGN
See Chapter 1276.
SITE
See "TRACT."
SPECIAL EXCEPTION
A use permitted in a particular zoning district pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 1256 and 1282.
STORY
That portion of a building included between the surface of a floor and the surface of the floor next above it, or if there be no floor above it, then the space between any floor and the ceiling next above it. (See also, "attic," "basement," "cellar," and "story, half.")
STORY, HALF
A space under a sloping roof in which the possible floor area with head room of five feet or less occupies at least 40% of the total floor area of the story directly beneath. (See also, "attic.")
STREET
A public (dedicated and accepted) or private (nonpublic) right-of-way intended or used as a means of vehicular and pedestrian circulation. The word "street" includes, but is not limited to, the word "road," "highway," "thoroughfare," and "way."
STREET RIGHT-OF-WAY LINE
The legal boundary of a public or private right-of-way that contains a vehicular cartway and which may contain a pedestrian way or ways.
STRUCTURE
A combination of materials to form a construction for use, occupancy, or ornamentation whether installed on, above, or below the surface of land or water.
SUBDIVISION
The division or redivision of a lot, tract or parcel of land by any means into two or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land including changes in existing lot lines for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of lease, partition by the court for distribution to heirs or devisees, transfer of ownership or building or lot development: Provided, however, that the subdivision by lease of land for agricultural purposes into parcels of more than 10 acres, not involving any new street or easement of access or any residential dwelling, shall be exempted.
SURFACE WATER BODY
Any earth surface covered permanently or seasonally by standing or moving water, including waters of the Commonwealth, Waters of the US, streams, lakes and ponds.
TRACT
An area, parcel, site, piece of land, or property that is the subject of a development application.
USE
The specific purpose for which land or a building is designed, arranged, intended or for which it is or may be occupied or maintained. The term "permitted use" or its equivalent shall not be deemed to include any nonconforming use.
USE, PRINCIPAL
The primary or predominant use of any lot or parcel.
VARIANCE
Relief granted from the literal requirements of a zoning ordinance, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 1282.
WETLAND BUFFER
Those areas adjacent to wetlands so designated for the preservation or regeneration of natural vegetation for the protection of surface water and ground water resources. A wetland buffer is comprised of the area measured within 50 feet of the jurisdictionally determined wetlands line.
WETLANDS
Wetlands are transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water. For purposes of this classification wetlands must have one or more of the following three attributes:
(1) 
At least periodically, the land supports predominantly hydrophytes;
(2) 
The substrate is predominantly undrained hydric soil; and
(3) 
The substrate is nonsoil and is saturated with water or covered by shallow water at some time during the growing season of the year.
YARD
An open area that lies between the principal building or buildings and the nearest lot or street right-of-way line. The minimum required yard is unoccupied and unobstructed from the ground upward except as may be specifically provided in this Ordinance.
YARD, FRONT
A yard between a building and a street right-of-way line and extending the entire width of the lot. In the case of a corner lot, the yards extending along all streets are front yards. In the case of a lot other than a corner lot that fronts on more than one street, the yards extending along all streets are front yards.
YARD, REAR
A yard between a structure and a rear lot line and extending the entire length of the rear lot line. In the case of a corner lot, there shall be one rear yard; any additional yards shall be side yards.
YARD, SIDE
A yard between a structure and a side lot line, extending from the front yard to the rear yard. Any yard that is not a front yard or a rear yard shall be considered a side yard. In the case of a corner lot, there shall be one rear yard; any additional yards shall be side yards.