Township of Upper Chichester, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The purpose of this district is to expand upon the development objectives associated with environmental protection and preservation of natural resources as expressed in § 600-2 by:
A. 
Conserving and protecting those areas having steep slopes from excessive and inappropriate development.
B. 
Preventing development that would cause excessive erosion and consequently promote increased flood crests and associated hazards both upstream and downstream.
C. 
Protecting the quality of stream water, which would be threatened by indiscriminate grading and development in the Steep Slope Conservation District.
D. 
Protecting the natural vegetative cover in the Steep Slope Conservation District, thereby reducing runoff and flooding potential.
A. 
Compliance. No area within the Steep Slope Conservation District shall hereafter be used without full compliance with the terms of this district and other applicable regulations.
B. 
Repeal and greater restrictions. This district is not intended to repeal or impair any existing easements, covenants or deed restrictions. However, when this district imposes greater restrictions, its provisions shall prevail.
C. 
Municipal liability. Any determination that a proposed use complies with this district, or any approval of a subdivision or land development plan or any issuance of a building permit within or near the Steep Slope Conservation District shall not constitute a representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind by the Township, or by any official or employee thereof, of the practicability or safety of the proposed use and shall create no liability upon the Township, its officials or employees. This chapter does not imply that areas outside the Steep Slope Conservation District boundaries or land uses permitted within said district will always be totally free from the adverse effects of erosion or other effects of nearby steep slopes.
A. 
The Steep Slope Conservation District shall not be an independent zoning district but shall be a district overlay.
(1) 
The district shall have no effect on the permitted uses in the underlying zoning district, except when such uses are in conflict with the permitted uses enumerated in § 600-124.
(2) 
In areas where the district applies, the requirements of the district shall supersede the requirements of the underlying zoning district(s).
A. 
The Steep Slope Conservation District is comprised of areas of steep and very steep slopes.
(1) 
Areas of steep slope are characterized by a change in elevation from 1 1/2 feet to 2 1/2 feet over the vertical change in grade and contour interval specified in § 600-123 below.
(2) 
Areas of very steep slope are characterized by a change in elevation greater than or equal to 2 1/2 feet over the vertical change in grade and contour interval specified in § 600-123 below.
A. 
The, applicant shall use an actual field topographic survey as a source of contour information and the basis for depicting steep and very steep slopes as described below.
B. 
In any application for subdivision and/or land development, the applicant shall, using two-foot contours, delineate slope from 15% to 25% and greater than or equal to 25%.
C. 
Section 600-124 of this article will be invoked only where there is a cumulative steep or very steep slope over 10 feet or more vertical change in grade. Thus, the representative sample of steep and/or very steep slope will be 10 feet or more of vertical grade change.
A. 
Areas of very steep slope, greater than 25%.
(1) 
Uses permitted by right.
(a) 
Agricultural use, not requiring structures or cultivation.
(b) 
Woodland preserve.
(c) 
Conservation and recreation not requiring structures.
(d) 
Open space associated with planned residential developments.
(e) 
Front, side or rear yards, provided that no structure is located less than 20 feet from the edge of a very steep or steep slope.
(2) 
Special exception uses, subject to Articles XXI and XXV.
(a) 
Conservation and recreation requiring structures.
(b) 
Agricultural structures or cultivation.
(c) 
Utilities, easements and rights-of-way.
(d) 
Accessory structures to any uses permitted in Subsection A(1) or any uses permitted in this Subsection A(2).
(e) 
Roads and driveways, only when no viable alternative or location is feasible.
(3) 
Prohibited uses or activities.
(a) 
Cut and fill, other than that related to uses permitted in Subsection A(1) and (2) above.
(b) 
Soil or rock extraction, other than that relating to uses permitted in Subsection A(1) and (2) above.
B. 
Areas of steep slope, 15% to 25%.
(1) 
Uses permitted by right.
(a) 
Any use permitted by right in § 600-124A(1).
(b) 
Special exception uses, subject to Articles XXI and XXV.
(c) 
Any use permitted by special exception in § 600-124A(2) above.
(d) 
Single-family detached dwelling.
(e) 
Stormwater management facility.
(f) 
Sanitary sewer and sewage pumping station.
(g) 
Buildings or other structures permitted in industrial districts.
(h) 
Accessory uses and structures customarily incidental to the above uses permitted by special exception.
(2) 
Prohibited uses or activities.
(a) 
Cut and fill, other than that related to uses permitted in Subsection B(1) above.
(b) 
Soil or rock removal, other than that related to uses permitted in Subsection B(1) above.
A. 
In addition to the standards described in Article XXI relating to special exception uses, the Zoning Hearing Board shall consider the following aspects of an application for a special exception:
(1) 
The extent to which the proposal would impact the topography, soils and vegetation and the methods proposed to mitigate potential adverse environmental impacts.
(2) 
The potential impact of the proposal on adjacent properties.
(3) 
The degree to which the proposal is consistent with the objectives in § 600-119.
B. 
Prior to approval of an application for a special exception, the applicant shall provide evidence that:
(1) 
The development or use is being proposed in the Steep Slope Conservation District because no other location is feasible.
(2) 
Earthmoving activities and vegetation removal will be conducted only to the extent necessary to accommodate proposed uses and structures and in a manner that will not cause excessive surface water runoff, erosion, sedimentation and unstable soil conditions.
(3) 
Mitigation techniques, including but not limited to retaining walls, tree wells, the establishment of ground covers and/or low spreading shrubs, the use of erosion control fabric and the like will be utilized. Such techniques shall be evidenced through the submission of plans and construction details which depict, delineate and otherwise describe the land development proposal.
(4) 
Proposed buildings and structures will be of sound engineering design, and footings will be designed in response to the site's slope, soil and bedrock characteristics. Such design shall be evidenced through the submission of plans and construction details which depict, delineate and otherwise describe the land development proposal.
A. 
All applications for any use of land in the Steep Slope Conservation District shall include the submission of the following materials and information to be submitted to the Township Commissioners and the Township Engineer:
(1) 
Site survey of the tract in question, leading to the submittal of a site plan of the property indicating existing grades with contour lines of two-foot intervals based on the United States geodetic datum.
(2) 
Proposed grades within the area proposed for construction.
(3) 
Landscape plan indicating proposed paved areas, storm drainage facilities, retaining walls, ground cover, and shrubbery location. The modifications proposed to the existing land cover shall also be indicated.
(4) 
Architectural plans of the exterior and foundation of the proposed structure.
B. 
Plan, profile and typical cross sections of the entrance drive and street providing public access with the seal of a registered professional engineer thereon.
C. 
A statement indicating all methods to be used in overcoming any structural or physical problems created by steep slopes, how the existing environment will be protected and how materials will be delivered to the site without disrupting the environment, signed and sealed by a registered architect or engineer.
D. 
A statement signed by the applicant at the time of subdivision, land development, or building permit application stating that there is a full understanding of any difficulties associated with access stemming from steep slopes and a waiver of liability on emergency access.