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Township of Ross, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 700]
The Ross Township Planning Commission has been formed in accordance with Article II of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10201 et seq., as amended, in recognition of the land use planning issues, concerns, problems and goals of the Township.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 701]
1. 
The Planning Commission shall have nine members. All members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for necessary and reasonable expenses. However, elected or appointed officers or employees of the Township shall not, by reason of membership thereon, forfeit the right to exercise the powers, perform the duties or receive the compensations of the Township offices held by them during such membership.
2. 
All members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Ross Township Board of Commissioners. The term of each of the members of the Commission shall be for four years, or until his successor is appointed and qualified, except that the terms of the members first appointed pursuant to this section shall be so fixed that no more than three members shall be reappointed or replaced during any future calendar year. The chairman of the Planning Commission shall promptly notify the appointing authority of the Township concerning vacancies in the Commission, and such vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term.
3. 
Should the Board of Commissioners determine to increase the number of members of an already existing Planning Commission, the additional members shall be appointed as provided in this Part. If the Board of Commissioners of any municipality shall determine to reduce the number of members on any existing Planning Commission, such reduction shall be effectuated by allowing the terms to expire and by making no new appointments to fill the vacancy. Any reduction or increase shall be by ordinance.
4. 
All of the members of the Planning Commission shall be residents of the Township. On all Planning Commissions appointed pursuant to this chapter, a certain number of the members, designated as citizen members shall not be officers or employees of the Township. On the nine member Commission, at least six shall be citizen members.
5. 
Any member of a Planning Commission once qualified and appointed may be removed from office for malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office or for other just cause by a majority vote of the Ross Township Board of Commissioners which appointed the member, taken after the member has received 15 days' advance notice of the intent to take such a vote. A hearing shall be held in connection with the vote if the member shall request it in writing. Any appointment to fill a vacancy created by removal shall be only for the unexpired term.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 702]
1. 
The Ross Township Planning Commission shall, at the request of the Board of Commissioners, have the power and shall be required to:
A. 
Revise the Comprehensive Plan for the development of the Township as set forth in the Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq., as amended, and present it for the consideration of the Board of Commissioners.
B. 
Maintain and keep on file records of its action. All records and files of the Planning Commission shall be in the possession of the Board of Commissioners.
2. 
The Ross Township Planning Commission, at the request of the Board of Commissioners, may:
A. 
Make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners concerning the adoption or amendment of an Official Map.
B. 
Prepare and present to the Board of Commissioners of Ross Township a zoning ordinance, and make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners on proposed amendments to it as set forth in the Municipalities Planning Code, as amended, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
C. 
Prepare, recommend and administer subdivision and land development, as set forth in the Municipalities Planning Code, as amended, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
[Amended by Ord. No. 2371, 8/1/2016]
D. 
Prepare and present to the Board of Commissioners of Ross Township a building code and a housing code and make recommendations concerning proposed amendments thereto.
E. 
Do such other acts or make such studies as may be necessary to fulfill the duties and obligations imposed by the Municipalities Planning Code, as amended, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
F. 
Prepare and present to the Board of Commissioners of Ross Township an environmental study.
G. 
Submit to the appointing authority of the Township a recommended capital improvements program.
H. 
Prepare and present to the Board of Commissioners of the Township a water survey which shall be consistent with the State Water Plan and any applicable water resources plan adopted by a river basin commission. The water survey shall be conducted in consultation with any public water supplier in the area to be surveyed.
I. 
Promote public interest in, and understanding of, the Comprehensive Plan and planning.
J. 
Make recommendations or governmental, civic and private agencies and individuals as to the effectiveness of the proposals of the Planning Commission and individuals.
K. 
Hold public hearings and meetings.
L. 
Require from other departments and agencies of the Township such available information as relates to the work of the Planning Commission.
M. 
In the performance of its functions, enter upon any land to make examinations and land surveys with the consent of the owner.
N. 
Prepare and present to the Board of Commissioners of the Township a study regarding the feasibility and practicability of using renewable energy sources in specific areas within the Township.
O. 
Review this chapter, the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22], the Official Map, and such other ordinances and regulations governing the development of land no less frequently than it reviews the Comprehensive Plan.
[Amended by Ord. No. 2371, 8/1/2016]
3. 
In the performance of its powers and duties, any act or recommendation of the Planning Commission which involves engineering consideration shall be subject to review and comments of the Township Engineer, which shall be incorporated and separately set forth in any report, written act or recommendation of the Planning Commission.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 703]
The Planning Commission shall function as an advisory body to the Board of Commissioners in accordance with Article II of the Municipalities Planning Code, as amended, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq., and shall be restricted in its duties to applying the conditions, requirements, regulations and standards imposed by the various sections of this chapter in keeping with its overall intent.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 704]
1. 
The Commission shall elect its own chairman and vice-chairman and create and fill such other offices as it may determine. Officers shall serve annual terms and may succeed themselves. The Commission may make and alter bylaws and rules and regulations to govern its procedures consistent with the ordinances of Ross Township and the laws of the commonwealth. The Commission shall keep a full record of its business and shall annually make a written report by March 1 of each year of its activities to the Board of Commissioners. Interim reports may be made as often as may be necessary, or as requested by the Board of Commissioners.
2. 
The Planning Commission shall meet monthly at a regularly prescribed date and meeting place, and at other times as the chairman may deem necessary. All regular meetings of the Planning Commission shall be open to the public. The Secretary of the Planning Commission shall keep minutes of all meetings.
3. 
The Planning Commission shall give notice of every public meeting held by it, together with the agenda for the meeting, by publication in the official newspaper of the Township not more than 21 days not less than five days prior to such meeting, except in those instances where the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq., requires public notice of any public meeting as public notice is therein defined.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 705; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010]
Within 45 days after any referral for review, requested report or hearing regarding a zoning matter and unless a different time is required within this chapter, the Planning Commission shall record its review, analysis and recommendations, in written form, copies of which shall be forwarded to the appropriate body such as the Board of Commissioners, the Zoning Hearing Board or, in certain cases, to the Building Code Official. The forty-five-day period for a determination shall be computed from the day the Planning Commission accepted the subject matter requiring decision. If any public hearings are required during the course of the review, the forty-five-day period prescribed above shall be applicable only after the holding of a required public hearing in accordance with public notice required by the Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq., and this chapter.
[Ord. 2035, 12/9/2002, § 707; as amended by Ord. 2288, 4/12/2010; and by Ord. 2322, 1/7/2013, § 2]
1. 
Purpose and Minimum Requirement. In order to assure the satisfactory development of sites within all zoned districts, a suitable site development plan as described below shall be submitted to the Planning Commission for review prior to any of the following:
A. 
The construction of any new structure or building.
B. 
The change in use classification, building, parcel, site, or property.
C. 
The enlargement of 10% or more of the existing principal structure or building.
D. 
The rehabilitation or reconstruction of the exterior over 25% of the most current assessed value of the existing structures or buildings.
E. 
["Reserved"].
For the purposes of site plan review, all proposals in any commercial district, any proposal for more than five dwellings in an R-1 or R-2 District which requires a subdivision and all R-3, R-4, R-5 or PRD Districts and all proposals for the I-1 District shall require the submission of a preliminary and/or final site development plan to the Commission for review and recommendation to the Board of Township Commissioners.
2. 
Preliminary Submission and Review Procedure:
A. 
Submission of Preliminary Site Plan. An owner or owners requiring approval of a site development plan for any industrial, commercial or residential development shall submit a written letter of application to the Planning Commission. Twelve copies of the letter of application, together with at least 12 prints (three full size sets and nine reduced size sets, no smaller than 11 inches by 17 inches) of each drawing submitted as part of the preliminary site development plan and prepared in accordance with the site development specifications, shall be submitted to the office of the Zoning Officer, no later than 21 calendar days prior to the Planning Commission meeting at which consideration is desired. At the time of submittal, a fee as provided in Part 4 shall be paid to cover the cost of review.
B. 
Preliminary Approval. If the preliminary site development plan is approved by the Planning Commission, the owner is authorized to proceed with the preparation of the final site development plan. Conditional preliminary approval may be given by the Planning Commission subject to modification or changes requested and recorded by the Planning Commission, in which case the final site development plan may be prepared to include such modifications or changes. A statement approving or disapproving the preliminary site development plan shall be signed by the chairman or vice-chairman of the Planning Commission and attached to and made part of the preliminary site development plan. If a variance or special exception is required from the Zoning Hearing Board which is in any way related to the preliminary site development plan, the Planning Commission shall give only conditional approval which shall not be binding if such variance or special exception is denied by the Zoning Hearing Board. Preliminary approval shall confer upon the owner the following rights for a six-month period from the date of approval.
(1) 
That the general terms and conditions under which the preliminary site development plan was granted will not be changed.
(2) 
That the owner may submit on or before the expiration date, the final site development plan for final approval.
3. 
Final Submission and Review Procedure.
A. 
Submission of the Final Site Plan. Twelve copies of the final site development plan (three full size sets and nine reduced size sets, no smaller than 11 inches by 17 inches) shall be submitted to the Planning Commission for final approval not later than 21 calendar days prior to the meeting at which the plan is to be considered. The submission shall conform to all site development specifications available at the time. Final review of the final site development plan shall be accomplished by the Planning Commission. When the final site development plan has been approved by the Planning Commission, the original tracing or tracings shall bear the signature of the chairman or vice-chairman of the Planning Commission, attested by the Secretary.
B. 
Final Approval.
(1) 
After approval of the final site development plan by the Planning Commission, 12 copies (three full size sets and nine reduced size sets, no smaller than 11 inches by 17 inches), revised as recommended by the Planning Commission, shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer. The Board of Commissioners shall consider the final plan at its next regular meeting, provided that copies of the plan are submitted to the Zoning Officer no later than the Wednesday prior to the meeting date.
(2) 
If the Planning Commission recommends disapproval of the final site development plan, the plan may be modified or changed by the applicant for further review by the Planning Commission, or alternatively, all copies of the final site development plan shall be returned to the Zoning Officer for appeal to the Board of Commissioners with recommendations of the Planning Commission attached.
(3) 
In considering the final site development plan, whether on appeal from a recommendation of disapproval by the Planning Commission, or upon consideration after a recommendation of approval by the Planning Commission, the Board of Commissioners may adopt the recommendation of the Planning Commission, and thus approve or disapprove the final site development plan, as the case may be; or the Board of Commissioners may, in either case, approve the final site development plan with such changes or modifications as the Board of Commissioners deems necessary and advisable, in keeping with the intent and purpose of this chapter and the standards and criteria established herein.
C. 
It is the intent of this section that final approval or disapproval of a final site development plan, together with any changes, modifications or conditions attached thereto, shall be the function of the Board of Commissioners, and that the action of the Planning Commission thereon shall be advisory only.
4. 
Site Plan Requirements. The proposed site development plan shall be drawn by a licensed architect, engineer, planner, surveyor or landscape architect and signed and sealed by a Pennsylvania registered professional engineer, in accordance with standard architectural and engineering practices to clearly indicate the following:
A. 
Preliminary Site Plan Requirements.
(1) 
Property lines and total acreage of parcel proposed for development.
(2) 
All existing streets, rights of way, and easements related to the development.
(3) 
The location of existing driveways on adjacent properties.
(4) 
The location of relevant natural features including, but not limited to, streams or other natural water courses and adjacent lands which are subject to flooding, and significant stands of existing trees.
(5) 
The location of existing structures, including structures located on abutting property if within 50 feet of the common property line.
(6) 
Required front, side and rear yard lines, and any required building line.
(7) 
Contour lines at two-foot intervals where average slope is 10% or less, and five-foot intervals where average slope exceeds 10%, and twenty foot intervals were average slope exceeds 25%.
(8) 
Location, dimensions, total square footage and ground floor elevations of proposed structures, walkways, driveways, entrances, parking facilities, loading spaces, landscaping, screening and buffering, signs, outdoor lighting facilities, fences or walls, storm and sanitary sewers, fire hydrants and fire lanes and other site improvements or amenities.
(9) 
Provisions to be made for treatment and disposal of sewage, water supply and method of stormwater control and drainage.
(10) 
Location and approximate size of utilities to serve the development.
(11) 
Elevation and perspective drawings of improvements and proposed structure(s). These drawings must be in color and indicate the exterior materials being proposed.
(12) 
Contours and sufficient elevations to show proposed gradings and data to show gradient of access drives, parking facilities and surface water run-off.
(13) 
Fire lanes shall be indicated on such plans by both a graphic illustration and a metes and bounds description attached thereto. Fire lanes shall be agreed upon by the developer of the plans, approved by the Planning Commission and the Township Fire Marshall before final site plan approval can be recommended by the Planning Commission to the Board of Township Commissioners.
(14) 
Schematic elevations at an appropriate architectural scale.
(15) 
Title block giving name of development, property owner(s), developer, North point, date and scale (minimum, one inch equals 50 feet).
(16) 
If the application relates to property scheduled to be developed in successive stages, the site plan shall show the relationship of the portion scheduled for initial development to the proposed layout of the entire property.
(17) 
Location, size and perspective drawings relating to all signage for the development.
(18) 
Such other information as may be required by the Zoning Officer.
B. 
Final Site Plan Requirements. In addition to the items listed under preliminary site plan approval, the following items are required to be shown on a final site plan:
(1) 
A signature line for chairman/vice-chairman of the Planning Commission and the Board of Commissioners.
(2) 
Method of stormwater control with calculations.
(3) 
Traffic Study. The Zoning Officer shall provide a written list of requirements to be included in the traffic study upon request by the applicant.
(4) 
Landscape rendering with plant list (a list of preferred plant materials is available from the Township Building Department).
(5) 
Photometric plan of outdoor lighting.
(6) 
Screening and Buffer Areas. A listing of preferred plant materials is available from the Zoning Officer.
(7) 
Schedule of development and completion.
(8) 
Agreements, provisions, deed restrictions, or covenants in 12 copies.
(9) 
Market study showing need for development (R-4, R-5, all commercial and industrial areas).
(10) 
Means of ingress and egress to a public street from site.
(11) 
Provide names and addresses of principal owners, officers, and partners.
(12) 
Provide name of corporation, company, partnership, or individual for site development agreement.
(13) 
State of Pennsylvania highway occupancy permit applied for with date.
(14) 
All recommendations of the Planning Commission.
C. 
For proposals in a floodplain, the preliminary and final application shall additionally include:
(1) 
Any requirements or notes are delineated in Ross Township ordinance Chapter 8, "Floodplains."
(2) 
Topographic contour lines at an interval of two feet.
(3) 
The location of any existing bodies of water or watercourses, identified floodplains, information pertaining to the floodway, and the flow of water including direction and velocities.
(4) 
The proposed lowest floor elevation of any proposed building based upon the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929.
(5) 
The elevation of the one-hundred-year flood, and information concerning flood depths, pressures, impact and uplift forces and other factors associated with a 100-year flood.
(6) 
Detailed information concerning any proposed floodproofing measures.
(7) 
A document, certified by a registered professional surveyor, engineer or architect, which states that the proposed construction of development has been adequately designed to withstand the one-hundred-year flood elevations, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces associated with the one-hundred-year flood. Such statement shall include a description of the type and extent of floodproofing measures, which have been incorporated into the design of the structure or development.
(8) 
Where any excavation or grading is proposed, a plan meeting the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, to implement and maintain an erosion and sedimentation control plan to be deemed adequate by the Allegheny County Conservation District.
D. 
The Planning Commission may recommend that any of the above site plan requirements be waived so long as the applicant provides reasonable evidence that such requirement is unnecessary.
5. 
On final approval by the Board of Commissioners for any site plan development prior to the issuance of a building permit, the developer shall be required to enter into an agreement with the Township and place a performance bond with the Township in an amount equal to 100% of the actual cost of the development, exclusive of structure(s).
6. 
Site plan approval shall be valid for a period of one year following action of the Board of Commissioners. If the proposed improvements are not under construction within one year or completed within two years, the Board of Commissioners approval shall be void.