[Added 3-12-2012 by Ord. No. 3-12-12B]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the repeal of former Art. XII, Airport Hazard District, adopted 12-14-1981 by Ord. No. 12-14-81C.
The purpose of this ordinance is to create an Airport District Overlay that considers safety issues within the Municipality of Bethel Park ("Municipality") as it relates to the proximity to the Allegheny County Airport ("Airport") located in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania;" 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 the 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 portion of the ordinance, shall have the meanings given to them in this section, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
AIRPORT — Allegheny County Airport, located in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, located at 40° 21' 15.84" N, 79° 55' 48.6" W; International Air Transport Association airport code (IATA): AGC; International Civil Aviation Organization airport code (ICAO): KAGC.
AIRPORT ELEVATION — The highest point of an airport's usable landing area measured in feet above sea level. The airport elevation of the Allegheny County Airport ("Airport") is 1,250 feet.
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.
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, 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, 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 ordinance 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, 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 ordinance or an amendment thereto.
NON-PRECISION-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 non-precision-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 ordinance.
PRECISION-INSTRUMENT RUNWAY — A runway having an existing instrument approach procedure utilizing an instrument landing system (ILS) or a precision 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, 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. The transitional surface zone, as shown on Figure 1, 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.
There are hereby created and established certain zones within the Airport District Overlay Ordinance, defined in Section 69.45B and depicted on Figure 1 and illustrated on the Airport Hazard Area Map, hereby adopted as part of this ordinance, which include:
As regulated by Act 164 and defined by 14 CFR 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), 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 request 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 regulations as outlined in Section 69.45E.
No permit is required to make maintenance repairs to or to replace parts of existing structures which do not enlarge or increase the height of an existing structure.
No notice or review under this section is required for any of the following construction or alteration:
Any object that would be shielded by existing structures of a permanent and substantial character or by natural terrain or topographic features of equal or greater height and would be located in the congested area of the Municipality where it is evident beyond all reasonable doubt that the structure so shielded will not adversely affect safety in air navigation.
Any antenna structure of 20 feet or less in height, except one that would increase the height of another antenna structure.
Any air navigation facility, airport visual approach or landing aid, aircraft arresting device, or meteorological device, of a type approved by the Administrator, or an appropriate military service on military airports, the location and height of which is fixed by functional purpose.
Any construction or alteration for which notice is required by any other FAA regulation.
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 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 hazard. 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 Section 69.45H, 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 ordinance.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this ordinance, 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 aircraft, make it difficult for pilots to distinguish between airport lights and others, impair visibility in the vicinity of the airport, create bird strike hazards, or otherwise endanger or interfere with the landing, takeoff or maneuvering of aircraft utilizing the airport.
The regulations prescribed by this ordinance 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 ordinance 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, may only be reestablished consistent with the provisions herein.
Any permit or variance granted pursuant to the provisions of this ordinance may be conditioned according to the process described in Section 69.45E to require the owner of the structure or object of natural growth in question to permit the municipality, 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.
Where there exists a conflict between any of the regulations or limitations prescribed in this ordinance and any other regulation applicable to the same area, the more-stringent limitation or requirement shall govern and prevail.
If any of the provisions of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance are held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application; and to this end, the provisions of this ordinance are declared to be severable.