Township of Plainfield, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 401]
No more than one principal use shall be permitted on a lot, unless specifically permitted by this Chapter.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 402]
1. 
Street Frontage Required. Every principal building shall be built upon a lot with frontage upon a public or private street improved to meet Township standards or for which such improvements have been insured by the posting of a performance guarantee pursuant to the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22], excepting however, those principal buildings specifically approved by the Board of Supervisors.
2. 
Two or More on a Lot. Two or more principal buildings on a lot shall:
A. 
Be separated by at least twice the required side yard in that district.
B. 
Conform to the standards and improvements required for a land development by the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22].
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 403]
1. 
Buildings. No building shall exceed the maximum building height standard specified in the relevant district regulations of this Chapter.
2. 
Accessory Structures. Accessory structures such as farm structures, silos, water towers, church spires, belfries, solar energy collectors (and equipment used for the mounting or operation of such collectors), wind turbines, chimneys or other appurtenances usually required to be placed above the roof level and not intended for human occupancy shall not exceed 150% of the maximum building height standard specified in the relevant district regulations of this Chapter, provided that these structures shall not diminish the solar access of other properties.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 404; as amended by Ord. 323, 9/12/2007, § 7]
1. 
In General.
A. 
The lot or yard requirements for any new building or use shall not include any part of a lot that is required by any other building or use to comply with the requirements of this Chapter.
B. 
No required lot area or yard shall include any property (the ownership of which has been transferred subsequent to the effective date of this Chapter), if such property was a part of the area required for compliance with the dimensional requirements applicable to the lot from which such transfer was made.
2. 
Exceptions to Minimum Lot Areas, Lot Widths and Yards.
A. 
Nonconforming Lots. See § 27-407.
B. 
Irregularly Shaped Lots. In the case of irregularly shaped lots, the minimum lot width specified in the district shall be adhered to for that portion of the lot commencing at the rear line of the minimum required front yard and extending to the front line of the rear yard; provided, that in no case shall the lot frontage measured at the street right-of-way line be less than 70% of the minimum lot width, except in the following situations: on culs-de-sac or courts or street center line curves of less than 300 feet radius where the lot frontage measured at the street right-of-way line shall not be less than 40% of the minimum lot width.
C. 
Through Lots. Front yards shall be provided along all portions of a through lot abutting any street, except where a provision of a different yard will comply with the prevailing front yard pattern on adjoining lots.
D. 
Corner Lots. Front yards shall be provided along all portions of a corner lot abutting any street, except where the provision of a different yard will comply with the prevailing yard pattern on adjoining lots.
3. 
Traffic Visibility Across Corners.
A. 
Sight Lines at Intersection of Streets.
(1) 
A triangular area as defined in Subsection 3A(3) and (4) shall be graded and shall be free of sight obstructions so that the line of sight and vision between a height of from two feet to 10 feet above the center line grades of the intersecting streets is not obscured.
(2) 
By means of deed restriction, lease restriction, or plan amendment (whichever method is applicable), vegetation shall not be planted or allowed to grow in such a manner as to obscure vision between a height of from two feet to 10 feet above the center line grades of the intersecting streets within the triangular area defined in Subsection 3A(3).
(3) 
Such triangular area shall be bounded by the intersecting street center lines and a diagonal connecting two points, one, which is at each end of the center line of each street:
(a) 
One hundred fifty feet from the intersection of such street center lines, if either street is an arterial street.
(b) 
One hundred feet from the intersection of such street center line if either street is a collector street.
(c) 
Seventy-five feet from the intersection of such street center lines, if both streets are local streets.
(4) 
Proposed intersections shall be designed and constructed to meet the minimum sight distances as listed in the "Formula Sight Distance Table" (Figure 21-2-1 of the Plainfield Township Driveway Ordinance, as amended [Chapter 21, Part 2]). The method of measurement shall conform to the "Formula Sight Distance Measurements" worksheet (Figure 21-2-2 of the Plainfield Township Driveway Ordinance, as amended [Chapter 21, Part 2]), which should be completed and submitted to the Township with the preliminary subdivision plan application. Sight triangles formed by the intersection of center lines and sight lines necessary to achieve the required sight distances from this calculation shall also be shown on the plans and restricted as outlined in Subsection 3A(1) and (2).
B. 
Sight Lines at Intersections of Driveways or Access ways with Streets.
(1) 
A triangular area as defined in Subsection 3B(3) and (4) shall be graded and shall be free of sight obstructions so that the line of sight and vision between a height of from two feet to 10 feet above the center line grades of the intersecting driveway, access way, or streets is not obscured.
(2) 
By means of deed restriction, lease restriction, or plan amendment (whichever method is applicable), vegetation shall not be planted or allowed to grow in such a manner so as to obscure vision between a height of from two feet to 10 feet above the center line grades of the intersecting driveway, access way, or streets within the triangular area defined in Subsection 3B(3).
(3) 
Such triangular area shall be bounded by the intersecting driveway, access way, or street center lines and a diagonal connecting two points, one which is at each end of the center line of each driveway, access way, or street 30 from the intersection of such center lines.
(4) 
Proposed intersections shall be designed and constructed to meet the minimum sight distances as listed in the "Formula Sight Distance Table" (Figure 21-2-1 of the Plainfield Township Driveway Ordinance, as amended [Chapter 21, Part 2]). The method of measurement shall conform to the "Formula Sight Distance Measurements" worksheet (Figure 21-2-2 of the Plainfield Township Driveway Ordinance, as amended [Chapter 21, Part 2]), which should be completed and submitted to the Township prior to building permit application.
4. 
Buffer Yards. Any nonresidential or nonagricultural use which borders or is within any Suburban Residential District, Planned Residential District, Village Center, Village Residential District or Farm and Forest District shall provide buffer yards, adjacent to any residential use which comply with the following standards:
A. 
Size, Location.
(1) 
A twenty-foot buffer yard shall be required, unless otherwise indicated in this Chapter.
(2) 
The buffer yard shall be measured from the district boundary line or from the street right-of-way line (where a street serves as the district boundary line). Buffer yards shall not be within an existing or future street right-of-way and shall be in addition to that right-of-way.
(3) 
The buffer yard may be coterminous with a required front, side, or rear yard, provided the larger yard requirement shall apply in case of conflict.
B. 
Characteristics.
(1) 
The buffer yard shall be a landscaped area free of structures, manufacturing or processing activity, materials or vehicular parking. No driveways or streets shall be permitted in the buffer yards except at points of ingress or egress.
(2) 
In all buffer yards, all areas not within the planting screen shall be planted with grass seed, sod or ground cover, and shall be maintained and kept clean of all debris, rubbish, grass more than 12 inches in height, or weeds.
C. 
Planting Screen.
(1) 
Each buffer yard shall include a planting screen of trees, shrubs, and/or other plant materials extending the full length of the lot line to serve as a barrier to visibility, airborne particles, glare and noise.
(2) 
Each planting screen shall be in accordance with the following requirements:
(a) 
Plant materials used in the planting screen shall be of such species and size as will produce, within two years, a complete year-round visual screen of at least eight feet in height.
(b) 
The planting screen shall be permanently maintained by the landowner and any plant material which does not live shall be replaced within one year.
(c) 
The planting screen shall be so placed that at maturity it will be at least three feet from any street or property line.
(d) 
The planting screen shall be broken only at points of vehicular or pedestrian access and shall comply with Subsection 3.
(3) 
In circumstances where it is impractical for a planting screen to meet all the requirements of this Section or would create an undue hardship, the Zoning Hearing Board may modify the requirements or approve acceptable alternatives, which shall satisfy the spirit, objectives and intent of the screen requirements.
D. 
Plans.
(1) 
Prior to the issuance of any zoning permit, the applicant shall submit plans showing:
(a) 
The location and arrangement of each buffer yard.
(b) 
The placement, species, and size of all plant materials.
(c) 
The placement, size, materials and type of all fences to be placed in such buffer yard.
(2) 
Such plans shall be reviewed by the Zoning Officer to ascertain that the plans are in conformance with the terms of this Chapter.
E. 
Driveways. All driveways must comply with Plainfield Township Driveway Ordinance [Chapter 21, Part 2].
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 405; as amended by Ord. 323, 9/12/2007, § 8]
1. 
Purpose. Minimum future right-of-way widths are established for roads where the existing right-of-way is less than that indicated in Subsection 3 for the particular class of road.
2. 
Measurement.
A. 
The future right-of-way shall be measured from the center line of the existing road.
B. 
All front yards and other appropriate yards shall be measured from the future right-of-way line.
C. 
The specific classification of each road is shown on the Township Official Street Classification Map.
3. 
Minimum Widths. Minimum widths. Minimum future rights-of-way are as designated in the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, § 22-1004, Subsection 10, Table 22-1004.1 entitled "Plainfield Township Standard Roadway Dimensions."
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 406; as amended by Ord. 323, 9/12/2007, § 9; and by Ord. 325, 9/12/2007, §§ 1-8]
1. 
In order to encourage the sound development of frontage along arterial and major collector streets (as defined on the Official Street Classification Map) and to minimize traffic congestion and hazard, the following special provisions shall apply:
A. 
Off-Street Parking and Loading. All areas for off-street parking, off-street loading and unloading, and the storage or movement of motor vehicles shall be physically separated from the highway or street by a raised curb, planting strip, wall, or other suitable barrier against un-channeled motor vehicle entrance or exit, except for necessary access ways or access roads which supply entrance to and egress from such parking, loading or storage area. All parking areas or lots shall be designed to prohibit vehicles from backing out on the street, and the capacity of each lot shall provide adequate storage area and distribution facilities upon the lot to prevent back-up of vehicles on a public street while awaiting entry to the lot.
B. 
Maximum Number of Access Points. Subject to the other requirements of this Chapter, a maximum of one driveway access shall be permitted onto an arterial or major collector road. A maximum of one additional driveway access point may be permitted if the applicant demonstrates through a capacity and circulation analysis that an additional access point is necessary to accommodate traffic to and from the site and it can be achieved in a safe and efficient manner.
C. 
Planned Development. In the case of (1) a planned development, shopping center, office complex, group of multiple-family dwellings, or similar grouping of principal buildings on a lot, and (2) in any other case where practicable:
(1) 
Each principal building shall front upon a marginal access street, service road, common parking lot, or similar area and not directly upon a public street.
(2) 
Each point of vehicular access to and from a public street shall be located at least 200 feet from the intersection of any public street right-of-way lines, provided that such point of vehicular access which converts a "T" intersection into an intersection of two streets which cross one another shall be permitted.
(3) 
Provision shall be made for safe and efficient ingress and egress to and from public streets and highways serving the unified development, without undue congestion to, or interference with, normal traffic flow within the Township.
(4) 
All streets and access ways shall conform to the specifications related to signalization, left turn lanes, acceleration lanes, deceleration lanes and similar facilities pursuant to the requirements of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22] and pursuant to the recommendations of the Township Engineer.
(5) 
All driveways, aisles, maneuvering spaces, vehicular service areas or spaces between or about buildings, other than those related to a dwelling shall be adequately illuminated during night hours of use at no cost to the Township.
D. 
Reverse Frontage Encouraged. Reverse frontage lots shall be provided pursuant to the provisions of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22]. A planting screen and associated planting easement of at least 20 feet across which there shall be no right of access, shall be provided along the rear line of reverse frontage lots.
E. 
Joint Access. Joint access located centered along a common property line between abutting commercial properties and between a maximum of two residential properties is required whenever feasible along arterial and major collector roads subject to the provisions of this Section. The provision of joint access shall be subject to the creation of an easement with the deed allowing cross access between the properties within the access road area. The joint access arrangements shall include a recorded joint agreement with the deed defining the maintenance responsibilities of each of the property owners served by the access road. The minimum length of the joint access shall be in accord with the standards for throat length contained in § 22-1013, Subsection 4D, of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22]. The maximum length of the joint access for residential properties shall not exceed the required minimum throat length standard contained in § 22-1013, Subsection 4D, of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22]. The minimum width of the joint access for residential properties shall be 20 feet. For single-family residential driveways, the joint access portion of the driveway shall not extend more than 10 feet beyond the ultimate street right-of-way line and shall be paved with asphalt or concrete. The provision for a 10 feet separation between side and rear property lines and the edge of a driveway shall be met within 40 feet of the ultimate right-of-way line. For nonresidential properties, the road shall meet the minimum and maximum width standards of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22].
F. 
Cross Access and Linked Parking Lots. Cross access shall be provided between adjoining commercial properties that front on an arterial or major collector road to provide circulation between the properties, unless the applicant demonstrates that such cross access is not feasible. The circulation plans of the adjoining properties shall be coordinated. The availability of cross access shall be visibly obvious. The property owners with cross access shall record an easement with the deed allowing cross access to and from the other properties. The circulation plan for each property shall be adequate for that property, independent of the cross access arrangements.
G. 
Permitted driveways in place at the time of the adoption of this Section that do not conform to the standards herein shall be designated as preexisting driveways. They shall be brought into conformance with the applicable standards contained in this Chapter and in the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22] under the following conditions: (1) when a new driveway permit is requested, (2) when modifications to an existing driveway permit are requested, (3) when the property owner or applicant applies for a change in property use that will generate more vehicle trips than the existing use, or (4) when an expansion of an existing use will result in more vehicle trips.
H. 
Where a property fronts on two or more roads, unless specifically required by the Township, access shall be obtained from the lowest functional classification road. Access shall not be obtained from the arterial road.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 407]
1. 
Registration of Nonconforming Uses and Structures. Upon adoption of this Chapter, the Township Zoning Officer shall identify and register nonconforming uses and structures.
2. 
Continuation. Any nonconforming use, structure, or lot may be continued, maintained, improved, and repaired, provided it conforms to the remainder of this Section.
3. 
Alteration or Extension.
A. 
Nonconforming Structure.
(1) 
A nonconforming structure may be altered, reconstructed, or enlarged provided that such alteration, reconstruction or enlargement does not increase the nonconformance or the nonconforming part of the structure.
(2) 
In the case of a nonconforming structure, which contains a nonconforming use, such alteration, extension or enlargement shall also meet the requirements of Subsection 3C.
B. 
Nonconforming Lot.
(1) 
A building may be constructed on a nonconforming lot, provided the yard requirements of this Chapter or the yard sizes of the majority of uses in the neighboring area or in the development are observed and all DEP requirements are met.
C. 
Nonconforming Use. Nonconforming uses shall not be altered, reconstructed, extended or enlarged, except in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) 
Such alteration, reconstruction, extension or enlargement shall be permitted only by special exception from the Zoning Hearing Board under the provisions of § 27-804.
(2) 
Such alteration, reconstruction, extension or enlargement shall be only upon the same lot as in existence at the date the use became nonconforming.
(3) 
Any increase in volume or area of the nonconforming use shall not exceed an aggregate of more than 50% (of said volume or floor area) during the life of the nonconformity.
(4) 
In computing the area occupied by any nonconforming use only the portion of the ground area, if any, of any lot upon which the nonconforming use exists shall be considered. The computations for volume and area, both in establishing the extent of the nonconformity, and in determining the limits of its expansion shall be separate.
4. 
Restoration. A nonconforming structure or any structure containing a nonconforming use destroyed by fire, explosion, flood or other phenomenon, or legally condemned, may be reconstructed and used for the same nonconforming use, provided that reconstruction of the structure shall be commenced within one year from the date the structure was destroyed or condemned and shall be completed within one year of the date commenced.
5. 
Ownership. Whenever a nonconforming use, structure, or lot is sold to a new owner, a previously lawful nonconforming use may be continued by the new owner, provided that the new owner shall re-register the nonconforming use with the Zoning Officer within 60 days after final settlement.
6. 
Abandonment.
A. 
If a nonconforming use of a structure or land is discontinued, razed, removed, or abandoned for 365 consecutive days, subsequent use of such structure or land shall conform with the regulations of the district in which it is located.
B. 
The act of abandonment and the intent to abandon shall be presumed to commence on the date when customary efforts to continue the use (operation, lease, sale, etc.) cease.
7. 
Changes.
A. 
Once changed to a conforming use, no structure or land shall be permitted to revert to a nonconforming use.
B. 
A nonconforming use may be changed to another nonconforming use only if permitted as a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board after the following conditions are met:
(1) 
The applicant shall show that the nonconforming use cannot reasonably be changed to a conforming use.
(2) 
The applicant shall show that the proposed change will be equally or less objectionable in external effects than the existing nonconforming use with regard to:
(a) 
Traffic generation and congestion (including truck, passenger car, bicycle and pedestrian traffic).
(b) 
Noise, smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, gases, heat, odor, glare or vibration.
(c) 
Storage and waste disposal.
(d) 
Appearance.
8. 
District Changes. Whenever the boundaries of a district are changed so as to transfer an area from one district to another district, the foregoing provisions shall also apply to any nonconforming uses or structures existing in the district to which the area was transferred.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 408]
1. 
A temporary permit may be issued by the Zoning Hearing Board or structures or uses necessary during construction or other special circumstances of a nonrecurring nature subject to the following additional provisions:
A. 
The life of such permit shall not exceed one year and may be renewed for an aggregate period of not more than two years.
B. 
Such structure or use shall be removed completely upon expiration of the permit without cost to the Township.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 409]
1. 
Scope.
A. 
Before a zoning permit is issued for any use designated in Part 3 and Part 8 as requiring site plan review, the procedures of this Section shall be followed in order to more effectively administer, enforce, and implement the purposes, intent, and requirements of this Chapter.
B. 
Any proposed development for which a land development plan has been submitted (as defined in the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22]) shall not be required to follow the procedures of this Section.
2. 
Procedure.
A. 
Applying for Application.
(1) 
When the applicant applies to the Zoning Officer for a zoning permit, the applicant shall submit 10 complete sets of site plans.
(2) 
No zoning permit shall be granted until after the Planning Commission submits its recommendation to the Zoning Officer or after 45 days of the date the site plans were submitted.
(3) 
Site plan approval shall not relieve the applicant from any other provisions of this Chapter nor constitute a recommendation for a variance or other relief that the applicant may seek from the Zoning Hearing Board.
B. 
The Zoning Officer shall forward nine copies of the site plan to the Planning Commission within seven days of the date of official plan submission. The Zoning Officer shall retain one copy of the site plan for review.
C. 
Recommendation.
(1) 
The Planning Commission shall make a written recommendation to the Zoning Officer within 45 days of the date the plan was submitted on whether the site plan indicates that a zoning permit should be granted or denied.
(2) 
The written recommendation shall include the underlying findings and reasons affecting the recommendation.
(3) 
Failure to make a written recommendation within such 45 days shall be considered a recommendation to issue such zoning permit.
D. 
Decision.
(1) 
The Zoning Officer shall review the site plan and the Planning Commission's recommendations and issue or deny the zoning permit within 60 days after the site plan was officially submitted.
(2) 
The decision of the Zoning Officer shall be in writing and shall be communicated to the applicant via hand delivery or mailed to the applicant at the applicant's last known address within the sixty-day period after the site plan was officially submitted.
[Amended by Ord. No. 386, 2/14/2018]
(3) 
The decision shall indicate the specific provisions of this Chapter and other laws which have not been met and the specific reasons therefor.
3. 
Site Plan Requirements. The following information shall be included on the site plan:
A. 
A statement describing the proposed use.
B. 
A site layout drawn to a scale of not less than one inch equals 50 feet showing the location, dimensions, and area of each lot, the location, dimensions and height of proposed buildings, structures, streets, and any existing buildings in relation to property and street lines. If the application relates to property which is scheduled to be developed in successive stages, such plans shall show the relationship of the portion scheduled for initial development to the proposed layout of the entire property.
C. 
The location, dimensions (numbers shown), and arrangements of all open spaces and yards, landscaping, fences, and buffer yards including methods and materials to be employed for screening.
D. 
The location, size (numbers shown), arrangement and capacity of all areas to be used for motor vehicle access, off-street parking, off-street loading and unloading, and provisions to be made for lighting such areas. The method of calculation of off-street parking shall be shown on the plan based on the requirements of Part 7 of this Chapter.
E. 
The dimensions (numbers shown), location, and methods of illumination for signs and exterior lighting.
F. 
The location and dimensions of sidewalks and all other areas to be devoted to pedestrian use.
G. 
Provisions to be made for treatment and disposal of sewage and industrial wastes and water supply.
H. 
The capacity and arrangement of all buildings used or intended to be used for dwelling purposes, including the proposed density in terms of number of dwelling units per acre of land.
I. 
A description of any proposed industrial or commercial operations in sufficient detail to indicate effects of those operations in producing noise, glare, air pollution, water pollution, fire hazards, traffic congestion or other safety hazards.
J. 
Description of methods to be employed in controlling any excess noise, air pollution, smoke, fumes, water pollution, fire hazards or other safety hazards.
K. 
Site contours at two-foot intervals and site benchmarks.
L. 
All proposed site grading and drainage provisions and proposals.
M. 
A key map showing the entire project and its relation to surrounding properties and existing building thereon.
N. 
Zoning districts and requirements.
O. 
Soils, slopes, floodplain delineations, and wetlands delineations (if required by Zoning Officer).
P. 
Certification by the person who prepared the site plan.
Q. 
Certification of ownership and acknowledgment of plan signed by owner or developer.
R. 
A note on the site plan indicating that if access will be provided onto a state highway, access to a state highway shall only be provided in compliance with a PennDOT highway occupancy permit, pursuant to § 420 of the Act of June of 1945, (P.L. 1242, No. 428), as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 36 P.S. § 670-420.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 410]
1. 
Performance Impacts. No use shall be permitted in any district if it is to be operated in such a manner so as to create any of the following which would compromise the Township health, safety and/or welfare:
A. 
Unsafe conditions which could cause danger of or injury resulting from fire, explosion, radiation or other dangerous results.
B. 
A significant adverse environmental impact which will adversely affect the premises or the surrounding areas. The adverse environmental impacts could result by reason of the emission of smoke, dust, fumes, ash, particulate matter, odor, noise, vibration, radiation, electrical emissions, water runoff, groundwater pollution, stream channel or floodplain changes, soil erosion, stream sedimentation, light, glare, historic site impact, traffic impact or any other adverse impact upon the environment. A use could become a prohibited use if the applicant cannot or will not mitigate its adverse environmental impacts so that those impacts are reduced to an insignificant level of impact consistent with applicable federal, state and/or local regulations and standards. The Board of Supervisors shall make all determination as to whether a use has a significant adverse impact upon the environment.
2. 
General Application. As a condition of approval and the continuance of any use, occupancy of any structure, and operation of any process or equipment, the applicant shall supply evidence, satisfactory to the Zoning Officer, that the proposed use, structure, process or equipment will conform fully with all of the applicable performance standards. As evidence of compliance the Board of Supervisors may require certification of tests by appropriate government agencies or be recognized testing laboratories, any costs thereof to be borne by the applicant. The Board of Supervisors may require that specific types of equipment, machinery or devices by installed, or that specific operating procedures or methods be followed if the government agencies or testing laboratories examining the proposed operation shall determine that the use of such specific types of machinery, equipment devices, procedures or methods are required in order to assure compliance with the applicable performance standards. Permits and certificates required by other government agencies shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer as proof of compliance with applicable codes. The requirements contained in this Part shall not apply to residential structures.
3. 
Regulation of Nuisance Characteristics.
A. 
Definition of Nuisance Characteristics. A nuisance characteristic is any noise, radioactivity, vibration, glare, smoke, odor, air pollution and dust, which exceeds the performance standards established under this Part.
B. 
Locations where determinations are to be made for enforcement of performance standards. The determination of the existence of nuisance characteristic shall be made at the following locations:
Nuisance Characteristic
All Zones
Air Pollution
As required by state regulations
Smoke
Solid particles
As required by state regulations
Odors
Property line
Wastes
Liquid wastes
Outlet
Solid wastes
Building wall
Radiation
Vent or smokestack
Noise
Property line
Vibration
Building wall
Glare
Property line
Heat
Vent or smokestack for heated air and at the outlet for heated or solid discharge
Liquid
Fire and explosive hazards as required by state and federal regulations
C. 
Continued Compliance. Continued compliance with the performance standards stated herein shall be a requirement for the continued occupancy of any structure or the operation of any process or equipment.
4. 
Standards to be Enforced.
A. 
Air Pollution. No substance shall be emitted into the atmosphere in quantities which are injurious to humans, plant or animal life or to property, or which will interfere unreasonably with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property anywhere in the Township. All applicable provisions of the State Air Pollution Control Act of January 9, 1960, P.L. 2119, 35 P.S. § 4001 et seq., as amended, and Title 25, Pa. Code, Rules and Regulations, Department of Environmental Protection, subpart C, Protection Natural Resources, Article III, Air Resources, shall be complied with.
B. 
Odors. In any zone, no odorous material may be emitted into the atmosphere in quantities sufficient to be detected without instruments.
C. 
Wastes. No liquid waste shall be discharged into any watercourse in the Township except as herein provided. If the applicant proposes to construct facilities for the treatment of wastes, he shall supply a permit to construct said facilities issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and as necessary a permit from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
D. 
Solid Wastes. Each use shall:
(1) 
Assume full responsibility for adequate and regular collection, storage and removal of all refuse in conformance with state and federal regulations.
(2) 
Comply with all applicable provisions of the Air Pollution Control Code, 35 P.S. § 4001 et seq.
(3) 
Permit no accumulation on the property of any solid waste, junk, or other materials. Materials for use by a tenant or property owner may be neatly stored on the property, provided that no odors are generated and such storage does not attract rodents and does not constitute a nuisance.
(4) 
Not engage in any sanitary landfill operation on the property except as may be permitted by other Township codes and ordinances.
E. 
Radiation. All uses of materials, equipment or facilities which are or may be sources of radiation shall comply with all controls, standards and requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954; as amended and any codes, rules or regulations promulgated under such Act as well as the Pennsylvania Radiation Protection Act, 35 P.S. § 7110.101 et seq., as amended, whichever shall be more stringent.
F. 
Noise. There shall be no noise emanating from any operation or use in violation of § 27-511 of this Chapter.
G. 
Vibration. There shall be no vibration in violation of § 27-512 of this Chapter.
H. 
Heat. Heat is thermal energy of a radioactive, conductive or convective nature. In any zone, any use or process shall not produce a temperature rise discernible it the measuring point of discharge water into any natural watercourse which shall produce a temperature increase of greater than 3° F. in that watercourse within 10 feet of the discharge point.
I. 
Fire and Explosion Hazards. If it appears that any proposed use, structure, process or resulting product or material may constitute a fire or explosion hazard, the Zoning Officer may require the applicant to supply proof of:
(1) 
Approval of use, structure, process or resulting product or material from the State Department of Labor and Industry or the Federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration indicating that adequate safeguards against fire and explosion hive been taken or installed.
(2) 
Approval from the Fire Chief that the applicant is in compliance with all applicable fire safety related codes.
5. 
Traffic Impact Requirements. All development projects involving the uses listed below will be evaluated by the Township Engineer to determine the level of traffic impact on the Township. This will apply to all new projects or uses proposed or to any expansion of an existing development:
Residential:
100 or more dwelling units
Commercial:
20,000 square feet or more of total floor area.
Office:
30,000 square feet or more of total floor area.
Industrial:
60,000 square feet or more of total floor area, or any truck terminal, or any sanitary landfill, recycling facility, material separation facility, composting facility, refuse derived fuel facility or any solid waste transfer stations.
Institutional:
30,000 square feet or more of total floor area.
Any use or combination of uses that would generally result in greater than 1,500 trips per day.
The level of traffic impact will be based on the estimated "trip ends" generated by the proposed uses in the project. "Trip ends" are defined is the total number of trips entering and leaving a specific land use or uses located in a project per day. These "trip ends" will be based on the estimated "trip generation rates" for various types of land uses based on the latest edition of the Publication entitled "Trip Generation, An Information Report", published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
The total number of average daily "trip ends" shall also mean "average daily traffic (ADT)." The table entitled "Trip Ends Per Day" adapted from the above publication may be used for estimating the ADT generated by any proposed project or addition to a project. In lieu thereof, the developer or the Township may use the above publication directly if it is considered to provide a more applicable estimate of the "trip ends per day" for the specific uses proposed. However, the Zoning Officer shall make the final determination or interpretation is to the specific uses in the publication which are most comparable to the proposed use. If there is need for further interpretation on any of these matters, the Township reserves the right to secure expert consulting advice with the cost of such services to be added to the standard Township zoning fees to be paid by the applicant. If there is still need for interpretation, the Zoning Hearing Board shall make the final Township interpretation on any issue regarding traffic impact.
A. 
Determination of Major Traffic Impact. Any traffic which has in estimated ADT (or daily trip ends per day) in excess of 300 shall be considered to have a "major traffic impact."
B. 
Phased Projects. In the event that a project is to be phased over a period of time, not exceeding 10 years, the total traffic impact for the entire period of phasing shall be used in determining the traffic impact.
C. 
Requirements for Projects Having a Major Traffic Impact. All projects which are determined to have a major traffic impact shall comply with the following:
(1) 
Compliance with the site plan review procedures set forth in § 27-409.
(2) 
All such projects shall have direct access to an arterial road or to a collector road in the Township. In lieu of such access, the developer shall provide a project road which is capable of handling the level of traffic to be generated and which is proposed for development by the developer to collector or major road standards, as established by the Township.
(3) 
All projects which have an estimated ADT exceeding 800 vehicles per day shall be required to submit a traffic impact study prepared by a traffic engineer. The requirements for such a study are set forth below.
D. 
Major Traffic Impact Study. A major traffic impact study shall include at least the following:
(1) 
Identification of all major roads and intersections serving the project.
(2) 
An analysis of how the proposed project users or residents will use these major roads.
(3) 
Existing traffic conditions (without the proposed project) including traffic volumes (ADT) and peak hours volumes on the identified major roads, based on Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, surveys and trip generation rates.
(4) 
Projected traffic conditions (without the project) based on trends in growth of traffic for ADT and peak hour volumes.
(5) 
Estimates of traffic volumes (ADT) and peak hour volumes after development of all stages of the projects.
(6) 
Highway and intersection traffic capacities.
(7) 
Identification of existing and projected traffic problems on roads serving the project including highway capacity deficiencies for the various roads and intersections involved.
(8) 
Solutions proposed by the developer to alleviate the identified problems and deficiencies.
The major traffic impact study shall be reviewed by the Planning Commission, Zoning Officer, Zoning Hearing Board or Township Supervisors in accordance with the special exception use or conditional use procedures established in this Chapter. The Commission, Zoning Officer, Zoning Hearing Board or Board of Supervisors may request additional data or information to clarify the findings set forth in said Study. The Zoning Officer, Zoning Hearing Board or Township Supervisors shall not approve any such use if he or they determine that any traffic problem to be created by the proposed development can be adequately alleviated by the developer.
Average Weekday Vehicle Trip Ends
(Daily Traffic)
Land Use
Trip Generation Average Trip Rate[1]
1.
Residential
Single-Family
10.1/dwelling unit
Low Rise Residential Structures (2 or more DU's/structure)
7.5/dwelling unit
Condominium Units
5.2/dwelling unit
Mobile Homes
4.8/dwelling unit
Retirement, Senior Citizen Development
3.3/dwelling unit
Timesharing
Add 50% to above rate
2.
Lodging (All types)
10.5 per room
3.
Recreation
Open Space Use (includes golf courses)
6.9/acre
Outdoor Recreation (limited to local resident)
6.0/acre
Resort Outdoor Recreation (no spectator events or places for public assembly)
10.0/acre
Commercial Indoor Recreation
11.2/G.S.F.B.A.
Outdoor Sports and Recreation (including scale places for public assembly)
100 to 250/acre
4.
Medical
Hospital
11.4/bed
Nursing Home
2.6/bed
Outpatient Office or clinic
54.6/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
5.
General Office Building
Under 25,000 S.F.
23.0/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
25,000 — 49,000 S.F.
19.0/1,000 G.S.F.B.A
50,000 — 99,999 S.F.
16.5/1,000 G.S.F.B.A
100,000 — 599,999 S.F.
13.0/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
600,000 S.F. an Over
11.0/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
6.
Commercial Shopping
Small Specialty Retail Center Convenience market
40.7/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Open less than 16 hours daily
322.6/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Open 16 — 24 hours daily Shopping Center
625.2/1,000 G.S.F.B.A
Under 50,000 S.F.
117.0/1,000 G.S.F.L.A.
50,000 — 99,999 S.F.
82.0/1,000 G.S.F.L.A.
100,000 — 199,999 S.F.
66.7/1,000 G.S.F.L.A.
200,000 — 299,999 S.F.
50.6/1,000 G.S.F.L.A.
300,000 — 399,999 S.F.
41.9/1,000 G.S.F.L.A.
400,000 S.F. and Over
37.2/1,000 G.S.F.L.A.
Discount Store
70.1/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Supermarket
125.5/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Wholesale Market
6.73/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Furniture Store
0.70/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Hardware/Paint Store
51.3/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
New Car Sales
47.5/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
7.
Restaurants
Low Turnover (over 1 hour seating)
74.9/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
High Turnover (less than 1 hour seating)
164.4/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Primarily Drive-in
533.0/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
8.
Services
Bank (Walk-in)
169.0/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Bank (Drive-in)
192.0/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
S. & L. (Walk-in)
61.0/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
S. & L. (Drive-in)
74.0/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
9.
Industrial
Industrial and Manufacturing
5.43/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Warehousing, General
4.88/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Research Center (whichever is greater)
5.3/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Truck Terminal
9.86/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Storage (personal) warehouse
2.8/1,000 G.S.F.B.A.
Source: Adapted from "Trip Generation, An Informal Report" published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers, Third Edition, 1982.
[1]
Note: G.S.B.L.A. = Gross Square Feet of Building Area.
G.S.F.L.A. = Gross Square Feet of Leasable Area.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000; as added by Ord. 307, 3/27/2006, § 4; and as amended by Ord. 320, 6/27/2007, § 3]
1. 
Purposes. In addition to serving the overall purposes of this Chapter, this Section is intended to:
A. 
Encourage the permanent preservation of important farmland and environmentally sensitive areas.
B. 
Direct growth to locations where public water and sewerage services are available.
C. 
Provide a voluntary method for landowners to be compensated by the free market to preserve their land.
2. 
Applicability.
A. 
This Part allows the number of dwelling units that would be have allowed on a certain lot (the "sending property") to be transferred to result in an increased number of allowed dwelling units on a different designated lot (the "receiving property.") the densities allowed on the receiving property shall be determined based upon a "yield plan" that determines the number of new dwellings that would otherwise be allowed on the receiving property, as provided in this Part. The transfer of development rights shall only officially occur at the time of final approval of a subdivision or land development plan (except as provided in Subsection 2G below). The approval of a subdivision or land development plan shall be conditioned upon compliance with this Part.
B. 
As part of a preliminary and final plan application, the applicant shall present a draft conservation easement on the "sending property" and a written, signed and notarized agreement by the owner of the "sending property" acknowledging and agreeing to the application. The conservation easement shall be drafted so that it is binding if the "receiving property" is granted final plan approval. The conservation easement shall be recorded at the same time as, or prior to, the final plan for the receiving property.
(1) 
If a final plan is recorded in phases, then the conservation easement may be recorded in corresponding phases.
C. 
The form of the conservation easement shall be acceptable to the Board of Supervisors, based upon review by the Township Solicitor and Planning Commission. The term "conservation easement" shall include, but not be limited to, an agricultural conservation easement. In the case of agricultural land, the standard language for an agricultural conservation easement used by the County Agricultural Land Preservation Board may be utilized.
D. 
A receiving property shall be within the SR, PR, VC or VR Districts. If a receiving property is within the SR, PR, VC or VR Districts, then all dwellings on the receiving property shall be required to be served by central water and central sewage services.
(1) 
A receiving property may also be within the FF District if such a tract is adjacent to the SR, PR, VC or VR District and all new dwelling units will be within 1,500 feet from the SR, PR, VC or VR Districts.
E. 
A sending property must be within the FF District.
(1) 
See Subsection 4C regarding the amount of dwelling units that may be transferred.
(2) 
In no case shall transfer of development rights be used unless a minimum contiguous area of 10 acres is placed in a conservation easement at one time on the sending property.
(3) 
The Township shall only allow a transfer of development rights from one tract in the FF District to another tract in the FF District if the applicant proves that the receiving property is not more suitable for agriculture than the sending property.
F. 
The owners of the sending and receiving properties shall voluntarily commit to participate in the transfer of development rights. Once such conservation easement is established, it shall be binding in perpetuity upon all current and future owners of the sending property. The applicant for the receiving property is responsible to negotiate with, and pay compensation to, the owner of the sending property for the conservation easement. Such transaction shall occur privately, and the value shall be determined by the private market. The Township is under no obligation to pay the owner of the sending property.
G. 
Donations or Intermediaries. The right to develop a sending property may be purchased by or donated to the Township, the county or an established incorporated nonprofit organization whose mission includes preservation of agricultural land or natural features. A permanent conservation easement shall be established on the sending property prior to any transfer of development rights. In such case, the right to develop such dwelling units may be held by such government or organization for a maximum of five years, before being used on a receiving property(ies). Otherwise, the right to use the transferred dwelling units shall expire, while the conservation easement shall remain in effect.
3. 
Definitions.
A. 
Receiving Property. A lot(s) that is approved to permit a higher density and/or smaller lots than would otherwise be permitted as a condition of the restriction of development on sending property.
B. 
Sending Property. A lot(s) or portion of a lot that is restricted by a conservation easement or farmland preservation easement as a condition of approval of a higher density on the "receiving property" than would otherwise be permitted.
4. 
Determination of Density.
A. 
A yield plan shall be submitted by the applicant to determine the number of new dwelling units that otherwise would be lawfully allowed to be constructed on the receiving property under Township regulations without use of transfer of development rights. Such yield plan shall show proposed development at a level of detail typically found in a sketch plan, including showing potential lots and roads. Such yield plan shall accurately show lot boundaries, steep slopes, one-hundred-year floodplains, wetlands and rights-of-ways and easements that limit development.
(1) 
Detailed septic percolation tests are not required for such yield plan, but new septic systems shall not be assumed to be possible in areas with severe soil and slope limitations.
(2) 
This Subsection A(2) shall apply if a total of more 50% of the sending parcel includes any of the following features: one-hundred-year floodplains, electric overhead transmission rights-of-way or easements of 35 kilovolts or greater, pipeline rights-of-way easements, wetlands, or slopes greater than 15%. If such condition applies, then 50% of all such areas shall be deleted from the lot area of the sending property before determining the number of dwelling units that may be transferred to the receiving property.
(a) 
For example, in the FF District, if a sending property includes 100 acres, and 60 acres are comprised of constrained lands as described above, then for the purposes of calculating transfer of development rights, the acreage shall be equal to 70 acres (40 acres of unconstrained land plus 50% of 60 acres of constrained land). The 70 acres shall then be divided by 2.25 acres to determine the number of dwelling units that may be transferred to a receiving property, based upon Subsection 4C below.
B. 
Such yield plan shall be reviewed by the Zoning Officer, with advice by the Township Engineer, to determine whether it represents a reasonably accurate estimate of the number of dwelling units possible on the land, both physically and legally. If such estimate is determined to not be accurate, the applicant shall be required by the Zoning Officer to revise such yield plan until it is accurate.
C. 
Based upon the yield plan, the Township may approve the transfer of development rights to allow one additional dwelling unit to be developed on the receiving property for each 2.25 acres of contiguous lot area on the sending property that will be placed in a conservation easement.
(1) 
If, for example, if the sending property included 20 acres, it would be allowed to be used to transfer eight additional dwelling units to the receiving property (20 divided by 2.25 = 8.9). In this example, it is assumed that the yield plan results in a determination that 15 new dwelling units are allowed on the receiving property without use of transfer of development rights. If the transfer of development rights would be approved by the Township, then a maximum total of 23 new dwelling units would be allowed on the receiving property (15 plus eight = 23). This example assumes that all other requirements are met.
(a) 
See Subsection 4A(2) for sending property with physical constraints.
(2) 
The development of the receiving property shall still comply with all other requirements of this Chapter, except that the following requirements shall be reduced, provided the maximum overall density for the TDR is not exceeded:
(a) 
For a receiving property within the FF District, for single-family detached dwellings:
1) 
A minimum lot area of one acre shall apply, except the minimum lot area shall be 15,000 square feet and the minimum lot width shall be 90 feet if both central sewage and central water services are provided.
2) 
A minimum average lot size shall not apply to the dwelling units that are transferred to the FF District.
3) 
The maximum building coverage shall be 25%, the maximum impervious coverage shall be 50%, the minimum front and rear yards shall each be 30 feet, and the minimum for each side yard shall be 10 feet.
(b) 
For a receiving property within the SR District, for a single-family detached dwelling, the minimum lot area shall be reduced from 25,000 to 15,000 square feet and the minimum lot width may be reduced to 90 feet.
(c) 
For a receiving property within the PR or VR Districts:
1) 
For a single-family detached dwelling, the minimum lot area shall be reduced to 9,000 square feet and the minimum lot width may be reduced to 75 feet.
2) 
For other allowed dwelling types, the minimum average lot area per dwelling unit shall be reduced to 5,000 square feet.
(d) 
For a receiving property within the VC District:
1) 
For a single-family detached dwelling, the minimum lot area shall be reduced from 10,000 to 7,000 square feet and the minimum lot width may be reduced to 70 feet.
2) 
For other allowed dwelling types the minimum average lot area per dwelling unit shall be reduced to 5,000 square feet.
D. 
A partial or phased transfer of the allowed dwelling units shall also be allowed, depending upon the amount of land affected by the permanent conservation easement.
(1) 
For example, if under current zoning, five dwelling units would be possible on the western portion of a lot and six dwelling units on the eastern portion, the owner may choose to transfer the right to develop five dwelling units by placing a permanent conservation easement on the western portion. The owner would then still have the right to develop the eastern portion under the zoning in effect at the time of a future development application for that eastern portion.
(2) 
If only a portion of a lot would be affected by the conservation easement, the applicant shall prove that the conservation easement would permanently preserve a contiguous area of rectangular (or similar regular) shape that would relate to the number of dwelling units that would otherwise be allowed on such portion of the lot.
(3) 
Where a conservation easement would be established in phases over time, each phase shall be contiguous with a previous conservation easement, unless the applicant proves to the satisfaction of the Board of Supervisors that there is a valid public purpose for the easement to not be contiguous.
(4) 
However, in no case shall the transfer of development rights be used unless a minimum contiguous area of 10 acres is placed in a conservation easement at one time.
E. 
Utilities. To receive a transfer of development rights, any lot that includes less than one acre per dwelling unit on the receiving property shall be served by Township-approved central sanitary sewerage service and central water service.
F. 
All of the land that is preserved under the conservation easement shall be on one lot, or multiple preexisting lots that are not subdivided to create additional lots. The land that is preserved under the conservation easement shall encompass the majority of the Class 1, 2 and 3 soils on the tract, and shall be regular in shape. A sending property may include one dwelling unit, provided that a minimum of 2.25 acres on the sending property shall not count towards the transfer of development of rights.
5. 
Once a conservation easement is established under a transfer of development rights, it shall be permanent, regardless of whether the receiving property is developed. The approval to develop the receiving property in a higher density shall be treated in the same manner as any other final subdivision or land development approval. The Board of Supervisors may extend time limits to complete the development of the receiving property in response to a written request.
A. 
The landowner shall also record a document in the County Recorder of Deeds Office, in a form acceptable to the Township Solicitor and indexed against the sending tract, describing the transfer of the right of development and stating whether or not any further rights of development remain for the sending tract.
6. 
As part of a transfer of development rights, the development of the receiving property shall comply with all Township requirements, except for provisions specifically modified by this Part.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000; as amended by Ord. 307, 3/29/2006, § 6]
1. 
This Part shall apply for any lot that includes less than 1.5 acres of lot area and that will be served by an on-lot sewage disposal system. Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the applicant shall submit to the Township for review and approval, three copies of a final grading plan drawn at a scale of one inch equals 20 feet. The grading plan shall be sealed by the Professional Engineer or Land Surveyor responsible for the preparation of the plan. The plan shall contain the following information:
A. 
Lot lines with bearings and distances, lot area, locations of all existing and proposed lot corner monuments, and tax parcel identification number for the subject property.
B. 
Areas to be disturbed and within 75 feet of areas to be disturbed shall be shown with existing and proposed contours at intervals of one foot with sufficient spot elevations to illustrate existing and proposed drainage patterns. On remaining areas on the lot, 50 feet beyond the subject property, anal on adjoining streets, two-foot contours can be shown.
C. 
Spot elevations for the first floor level of any structure, primary on-lot sewage disposal systems, dry wells (where applicable), finished road elevations at point of entry, and any other area as deemed necessary by the Township Engineer. The grading plan shall provide evidence that the primary and alternative drainfield locations will be properly drained and kept clear of improvements.
D. 
North reference, building restriction lines, easements and rights-of-way within or adjacent to the subject property.
E. 
Location, size and elevations of all existing or proposed storm drainage structures within or adjacent to the subject property.
F. 
Last known names of primary owners of all adjoining property and names of adjoining street(s).
G. 
Locations of all percolation test holes and soil probes and the locations and dimensions of primary and secondary on-lot sewage disposal areas, where applicable.
H. 
The exact location and dimensions of any proposed structure, appurtenant structure, road or driveway, with tie-in dimensions to property line.
I. 
Individual lot soil erosion and sedimentation controls in accordance with the approved subdivision plan or current conservation district and State Department of Environmental Protection standards.
J. 
All covenants, easements and conditions from the plan of record, if the subject property is part of an approved and recorded subdivision plan.
K. 
All information is to be based on a recent field survey, tied to a lot benchmark which is shown on the grading plan and based upon the subdivision plan vertical datum.
2. 
The applicant, landowner and all contractors shall comply with the lot grading plan unless a revised lot grading plan is submitted to and found acceptable by the Township.