Township of Plainfield, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 501]
1. 
All uses shall be developed in a manner consistent with the preservation of the quality of the existing environment and of any natural amenities present on the site.
2. 
All uses shall provide for the preservation and the minimum destruction of natural drainage areas, minimum grading and destruction of the ground surface, the preservation of substantial stands of trees and forested areas, and the preservation of attractive views and any other natural features existing on the site.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 502]
1. 
No land or structure in any zoning district shall be used or occupied in any manner that creates any:
A. 
Dangerous, injurious, noxious or otherwise objectionable condition.
B. 
Fire, explosion or other hazards.
C. 
Heat, electromagnetic or other radiation.
D. 
Noise or vibration in violation of Plainfield Township noise regulations under § 27-410.
E. 
Smoke, dust, odor or other form of air pollution.
F. 
Any other condition in such manner or in such amount as to adversely affect the reasonable use or value of the surrounding area or adjoining premises or be dangerous to public health or safety.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 503; as amended by Ord. 356, 12/12/2012, § 1]
1. 
Purposes. The purpose of this Section is to provide for the reasonable use of steep slopes while ensuring development will not cause soil erosion, require excessive grading, increase slope instability, create sewage disposal problems and shall be in conformance with the following objectives:
A. 
Guard against property damage, personal injury, minimize the potential for erosion, slope failure, stream siltation, increased runoff, flooding, and contamination of surface waters caused by the adverse effects of site preparation and construction on steep slopes.
B. 
Conserve existing woodlands for air and water quality benefits, recognizing that wooded areas are more difficult to stabilize with vegetation and require additional levels of protection.
C. 
Permit land uses by right that are compatible with protection of steep slope areas, and encourage the use of steep slope areas for open space and conservation uses.
D. 
Require all land use, clearing, grading, and construction in steep slope areas to satisfy development standards.
E. 
Regulate expansion of land use or development that existed on steep slope areas prior to enactment of these requirements.
F. 
Protect adjoining properties from harmful consequences of development permitted under these requirements.
2. 
Identification and Establishment of the Steep Slope Overlay District.
A. 
The Steep Slope Overlay District is defined and established as those areas having slopes of 15% or greater. The Plainfield Township Zoning Map delineates approximate limits of the Steep Slope Overlay District.
B. 
The boundaries of the Steep Slope Overlay District as shown on the Zoning Map may be supplemented or modified by Plainfield Township based upon examination of one or more of the following sources whenever a subdivision plan, land development plan, (including sketch plans), building permit plan, site plan or grading plan are submitted for review:
(1) 
Soil Survey of Lehigh/Northampton Counties, Pennsylvania, USDA Soil Conservation Service.
(2) 
Contour maps prepared from aerial photography prepared to national map accuracy standards.
(3) 
On-site topographic survey certified and prepared to national map accuracy standards by a registered professional land surveyor.
C. 
The Steep Slope Overlay District shall be delineated with hatching or shading on the project plan. This shall include all areas with 15% or greater slopes as determined by comparing adjacent contours using the smallest contour interval required on the plan.
D. 
The Steep Slope Overlay District shall be further divided into the following three categories:
(1) 
Class A Steep Slopes. Slope areas meeting all of the following requirements:
(a) 
Slopes of 25% or greater (e.g., sloping 25 feet or more vertical per 100 feet horizontal.
(b) 
When two-foot contour intervals are used, only when there are three adjacent contour intervals such that, in aggregate, they delineate a slope of at least 25%.
(c) 
Slopes of 25% or greater occurring in individual areas or pockets being greater than 1,000 square feet in size.
(2) 
Class B Steep Slopes. Slope areas meeting all of the following requirements:
(a) 
Slopes of 15% or greater (e.g., sloping 15 feet or more vertical per 100 feet horizontal.
(b) 
When two-foot contour intervals are used, only when there are three adjacent contour intervals such that, in aggregate, they delineate a slope of at least 15%.
(c) 
Slopes of 15% or occurring in individual areas or pockets being greater than 1,000 square feet in size.
(d) 
Not defined as Class A steep slopes.
(3) 
Class C Steep Slopes. Slope areas meeting any of the following requirements:
(a) 
An individual isolated area or pocket of Steep Slope Overlay District being 1,000 square feet or less in size.
(b) 
Man-made slopes within the Steep Slope Overlay District that naturally were less than 15%.
(c) 
Land within 40 feet of Class A or Class B steep slopes. (This may require the area delineated as the Steep Slope Overlay District via Subsection 2C to be expanded.)
(d) 
All areas of the Steep Slope Overlay District that do not qualify as Class A or Class B.
E. 
The Steep Slope Overlay District divided into Class A, B and C steep slopes shall be clearly labeled and delineated on the grading, utility and landscape plan sheets and on at least one sheet of the plan set to be recorded.
The Plainfield Township Municipal Engineer shall decide whether the Steep Slope Overlay District has been shown with sufficient accuracy on the applicant's plans. Based on the Municipal Engineer's advice, Plainfield Township may require applicants to revise the boundaries shown on the plans.
F. 
The burden of proving the correct boundary shall be on the applicant, supported by engineering and/or surveying data or mapping, testimony of a soil scientist, or other evidence acceptable to Plainfield Township.
3. 
General Provisions.
A. 
The Steep Slope Overlay District shall be an overlay on all zoning districts. For any lot or portion thereof lying within the Steep Slope Overlay District, the regulations of the overlay district shall take precedence over the regulations of the underlying district.
B. 
These regulations apply to projects where proposed land disturbing activity is greater than 1,000 square feet of Class A, Class B or Class C steep slopes total on any individual lot, or in the ease of roadway improvements, the total on each individual road. The disturbance of steep slopes for widening, alignment improvement or sight distance improvements of an existing street for public safety reasons or that are required by, approved by, or accomplished by the Township or PennDOT, are expressly exempted from the requirements of this Section. Projects disturbing steep slopes that are exempt from the requirements of this Section are still responsible to take all necessary steps to ensure the disturbed area remains stable during construction, and are permanently stabilized after construction.
C. 
All uses, activities, and development occurring within any Steep Slope Overlay District shall be undertaken only in strict compliance with the provisions of this Part, with all federal and state laws, and with all other applicable Plainfield Township codes and ordinances. Requirements of the International Building Code as adopted by the Township must be adhered to, including the requirements for foundations on or adjacent to slopes.
D. 
During submission of a subdivision plan or at land development plan stage if no subdivision is proposed, disturbance of the Steep Slope Overlay District shall be addressed and plans shall show the following:
(1) 
Enough detail to show the extent of the proposed impact to the Steep Slope Overlay District showing areas to be disturbed by the following:
(a) 
Proposed improvements to be constructed by the developer such as roads, stormwater control conveyance facilities, etc. Final contours with spot elevations must be shown.
(b) 
Approximate areas of proposed home construction including driveways, principal and accessory structures, septic systems and final lot grading with spot elevations. It is understood that individual lot designs may change and that exact impact areas will be addressed during grading plan preparation.
(2) 
A note shall be placed on the plan indicating which lots (based upon Subsection 3E) require a grading plan. The grading plan shall be reviewed by the Township prior to the issuance of a building permit.
(3) 
For residential lots, the limits of the appropriate "contiguous area" that is free from natural constraints is defined in § 27-517 for each lot.
(4) 
If a special exception is required, the final plan shall include a note indicating the zoning hearing date, and number, along with details of the Zoning Hearing Board order and/or special conditions imposed and to which lots they apply.
E. 
Prior to issuance of a building permit for any lot that proposes disturbance of more than 1,000 square feet within Class A and Class B steep slopes, the applicant shall submit a grading plan to the Township for review and approval. The grading plan shall meet the requirements of § 27-412, regardless of whether a grading plan is required based upon § 27-412, Subsection 1. In addition to the plan requirements in § 27-412, grading plans addressing disturbance within the Steep Slope Overlay District shall address all other general provisions of this Section and, at a minimum, show the following:
(1) 
Areas of the Steep Slope Overlay District must be shown with Class A, B and C steep slopes labeled and delineated.
(2) 
A two-foot contour interval may be substituted for the one-foot contour interval required by § 27-412 within Class A steep slope areas.
(3) 
Proposed final ground surface covers shall be detailed on the plan.
(4) 
Proposed modifications to the existing topography and vegetative cover, as well as the means of accommodating stormwater runoff.
(5) 
Landscaping and proposed paved areas, storm drainage facilities, retaining walls and ground cover, as well as the location of trees and ornamental shrubs.
(6) 
Specifications for building construction and materials, including filling, grading, storage of materials, water supply and sewerage facilities, architectural plans, elevations, sections of the structures and related improvements.
(7) 
Documentation of any additional engineering and/or conservation techniques designed to alleviate environmental problems that may be created by the proposed activities, in compliance with municipal sedimentation and erosion control regulations.
(8) 
Written confirmation from the Township Fire Code Official that emergency access is satisfactory to provide adequate fire protection.
(9) 
A statement prepared by a licensed architect, registered landscape architect or engineer describing:
(a) 
The methods to be used in overcoming foundation and other structural problems created by slope conditions, in preserving the natural watershed and in preventing soil erosion.
(b) 
The methods to be used to eliminate or mitigate water runoff on all adjacent properties and any other property that will be naturally affected by increased water runoff.
F. 
The natural or usual flow of surface or subsurface water shall not be altered or obstructed by grade changes in any way that may adversely affect the property of another by either contributing to pooling or collection of waters or to the concentration or intensification of surface water discharge. Existing runoff feeding ponds, wetlands, or streams shall not be diverted.
G. 
Unless the applicant provides an alternate design indicating that steeper slopes can be stabilized and permanently maintained, finished slopes of all cuts and fills shall not exceed 33%. The alternate design shall be prepared and sealed by a Pennsylvania Licensed Engineer proficient in geotechnical evaluation and design.
H. 
All cuts shall be supported by retaining walls or other appropriate retaining structures. Any fill placed on the lot shall be properly stabilized and, when found necessary depending upon existing slopes and soil types, supported by retaining walls. No retaining wall shall exceed the height of 10 feet, and there shall be at least 10 feet between stepped retaining walls. Retaining walls with final exposed heights greater than 36 inches shall be:
(1) 
Based upon a geotechnical design consisting, at a minimum, of a soils study and global analysis, sealed by a Pennsylvania licensed engineer proficient in geotechnical evaluation and design and referenced on the plans.
(2) 
Require a post-construction certification by a licensed professional engineer that the wall was constructed in accordance with the approved design plans and applicable building codes.
I. 
Any disturbance of steep slopes shall be completed within one construction season, and disturbed areas shall not be left bare and exposed during the winter and spring thaw periods. Permanent vegetative cover shall be planted within three days after completion of grading.
J. 
No trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) of six inches or more shall be removed from steep slope areas unless in accordance with § 27-518.
K. 
The alignment of roads and driveways shall follow the natural topography, minimize regrading, and comply with design standards for maximum grades set forth in this Chapter, Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22] or a standalone ordinance dealing with driveways.
L. 
The degree of steep slope protection sought by the provisions of this Part is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes. This Part does not imply that areas outside the Steep Slope Overlay District or permitted uses within the zoning district will be free from erosion or slope instability. The granting of any permit or approval in any steep slope area shall not constitute a representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind by Plainfield Township or by any official, employee or consultant thereof of the ability for access by emergency vehicles or the practicability or safety of any structure, use or other plan proposed, and shall create no liability upon, or a cause of action against such public body, official, employee or consultant for any damage that may result pursuant thereto or resulting from reliance on this Section or any administrative decision lawfully made hereunder.
4. 
Permitted Uses and Development on Class C Steep Slopes.
A. 
All uses in compliance with the provisions of the underlying district, which are not prohibited by any other ordinance, shall be allowed.
(1) 
Development within 40 feet upgrade of a Class A or Class B steep slope area shall not direct concentrated runoff onto these Class A or Class B steep slope areas.
(2) 
Development downgrade from a Class B steep slope area shall anticipate and design for potential land slippage and for additional surface runoff and subsurface seeps, which may occur due to the geology in Plainfield Township.
5. 
Permitted Uses and Development on Class B Steep Slopes.
A. 
Open space and conservation uses listed below are permitted by right on steep slopes, provided that they shall not include any structures, roads, driveways, parking areas, construction, or other development, or grading, or clearing of vegetation.
(1) 
Wildlife sanctuary, woodland preserve, arboretum, and passive park and recreation areas.
(2) 
Timber harvesting and reforestation in accordance with recognized natural resource and soil conservation practices, and as permitted by municipal and state regulations.
(3) 
Pasture and grazing land in accordance with recognized natural resource and soil conservation practices.
(4) 
Outdoor plant nursery or orchard in accordance with recognized natural resource and soil conservation practices.
(5) 
Cultivation and harvesting of crops in accordance with recognized natural resource and soil conservation practices.
(6) 
Front, side, or rear yards, and required lot area for any underlying zoning district, subject to the requirements of Subsection 3, "General Provisions," herein, and provided such that yards shall not be used for any use prohibited under Subsection 6, herein.
(7) 
Nonstructural accessory uses necessary to the operation and maintenance of the above permitted uses.
B. 
Structures, roads, driveways, parking areas, construction or other development, clearing of vegetation or grading, including the addition of fill, where:
(1) 
Less than 5,000 square feet of Class B steep slope area is to be disturbed on each individual lot or to construct an individual road.
(2) 
No woodland is to be disturbed.
C. 
On-lot sewage disposal systems, when approved by the Plainfield Township Sewage Enforcement Officer and/or the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
6. 
Prohibited Uses and Development on Class B Steep Slopes.
A. 
The following uses are specifically prohibited on Class B steep slopes:
(1) 
Removal of topsoil except when related to an approved special exception or Subsection 5A(1), B, or C.
(2) 
Junkyards, or other outdoor storage uses.
7. 
Special Exception Uses and Development on Class B Steep Slopes.
A. 
The following uses and activities may be permitted by special exception provided that they are in compliance with the provisions of the underlying district and are not prohibited by any other ordinance:
(1) 
Structures, roads, driveways, parking areas, construction or other development, clearing of vegetation or grading, including the addition of fill, where more 5,000 square feet or any woodland within the Class B steep slope area on each individual lot or to construct an individual road is to be disturbed.
(2) 
Sealed public water supply wells with approval of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
(3) 
Sanitary or storm sewers and stormwater detention basins with the approval of the Plainfield Township Engineer and the Department of Environmental Protection.
(4) 
Utility transmission lines and above ground utility line structures.
(5) 
Extractive uses in accordance with recognized conservation practices and regulations of the State Department of Environmental Protection.
(6) 
Solid waste disposal, recycling uses.
B. 
Applications for special exceptions shall include detailed plans that address the requirements of Subsections 2 and 3, as if the project were considered a subdivision or land development.
8. 
Special Exception Use Standards and Criteria for Class B Steep Slopes.
A. 
In considering a special exception application for development on Class B steep slopes, the Plainfield Township Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board shall consider the following:
(1) 
Relationship of the proposed use to the objectives set forth in Subsection 1.
(2) 
Adverse effects on abutting properties.
(3) 
The need for a woodland management plan on wooded steep slope areas.
(4) 
Proposed roads, driveways, and parking areas are designed so that land clearing and/or grading will not cause accelerated erosion. Both vertical and horizontal alignment for such facilities shall be so designed that hazardous conditions are not created.
(5) 
Documentation has been submitted showing that alternative placements on nonsteep slope areas were carefully evaluated for structures, including buildings, retaining walls, swimming pools, roads, access driveways, parking facilities and other development, and to the satisfaction of Plainfield Township, shown to be inappropriate or infeasible.
(6) 
Proposed nonagricultural displacement of soil is for purposes consistent with the intent of this Part and will be executed in a manner that will not cause erosion or other unstable conditions. The applicant shall provide an erosion and sediment control plan and supporting evidence and may be required to submit plans to the County Conservation Office for review.
(7) 
Surface runoff of water will not create unstable conditions, including erosion, and appropriate stormwater management facilities will be constructed as necessary.
B. 
Applications for special exception uses shall provide the following information and documentation:
(1) 
A plan prepared and sealed by a registered professional engineer or surveyor which accurately locates the proposed use with respect to the Class A, B and C steep slopes with all pertinent information describing the proposal and a topographical survey with contour elevations at no greater than two-foot intervals, where feasible. Contours shall be accurately drawn from on-site survey or aerial photographic sources.
(2) 
The plan shall show the proposed development or use of the site, conforming to the preliminary plan requirements of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22] and include the requirements of Subsections 3E(1), (7) and (8) of this Section.
(3) 
Proposed modifications to the existing topography and vegetative cover, as well as the means of accommodating stormwater runoff.
(4) 
Specifications for building construction and materials, including filling, grading, storage of materials, and water supply and sewerage facilities.
C. 
The Zoning Hearing Board may alter any or all of the zoning district requirements of Part 3, including the uses and lot sizes permitted, depending upon the type of proposed use or structure, the existing or proposed slopes, the proposed uses of landscaping materials, estimated increases in traffic, proposed building materials, fire hazard conditions and soil conditions in order to protect the general health, safety and welfare.
9. 
Permitted Uses and Development on Class a Slopes.
A. 
Open space and conservation uses listed below are permitted by right on Class A steep slopes, provided that they shall not include any structures, roads, driveways, parking areas, construction, or other development, or grading, or clearing of vegetation.
(1) 
Wildlife sanctuary, woodland preserve, arboretum, and passive park and recreation areas.
(2) 
Timber harvesting, forestry and reforestation in accordance with recognized natural resource and soil conservation practices, and as permitted by municipal and state regulations.
(3) 
Pasture and grazing land in accordance with recognized natural resource and soil conservation practices.
(4) 
Outdoor plant nursery or orchard in accordance with recognized natural resource and soil conservation practices.
(5) 
Cultivation and harvesting of crops in accordance with recognized natural resource and soil conservation practices.
(6) 
Front, side, or rear yards, and required lot area for any underlying zoning district, subject to the requirements of Subsection 3, "General Provisions," herein, and provided such yards shall not be used for any use prohibited under Subsection 5, herein.
(7) 
Nonstructural accessory uses necessary to the operation and maintenance of the above permitted uses.
10. 
Prohibited Uses on Class A Slopes.
A. 
The following uses are specifically prohibited on Class A steep slopes:
(1) 
Removal of topsoil.
(2) 
Solid waste disposal, recycling uses, junkyards, or other outdoor storage uses.
(3) 
Structures, roads, driveways, parking areas, construction, or other development.
(4) 
Clearing of vegetation or grading, including the addition of fill.
(5) 
Sealed public water supply wells.
(6) 
Sanitary or storm sewers and stormwater detention basins.
(7) 
On-lot sewage disposal systems.
(8) 
Mineral extraction and extractive uses.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 504]
1. 
Any proposed land use which may directly (by means of effluent discharge into the ground) or indirectly (through the leaching of stored materials) result in the pollution of the groundwater shall be prohibited from developing in any area which has a year-round or seasonal high water table which comes to within any distance of the ground surface which violates DEP regulations.
2. 
The determination of such hazards shall be made by the appropriate state agency and/or by a qualified sanitary engineer, geologist or soil scientist approved by the Board of Supervisors.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 505]
All areas within 50 feet of the banks of any stream, lake, or pond shall be in open space.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 506]
1. 
Determination of Alluvial Soils Areas.
A. 
Certain areas are designated as "alluvial soils" on the Official Zoning Map (those areas containing one or more of the soil types which are identified on the soil map prepared by the Soil Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and published in the Soil Survey: Northampton County, Pennsylvania as soils of that are subject to flooding).
B. 
The Zoning Officer shall require that a detailed on-site survey be made (by a qualified engineer, soil scientist or qualified sanitarium approved by the Board of Supervisors in accordance with accepted on-site survey techniques) to determine the exact extent and nature of areas susceptible to potential problems of flooding, wetness, or pollution before issuing a zoning permit for:
(1) 
Any proposed use within an "alluvial soils" area.
(2) 
Any underground sewage disposal system which is located in or within 100 feet of an "alluvial soils" area.
2. 
Use Regulations. The following uses shall be prohibited on any portion of a site which is found to contain potential hazards due to flooding, chronic wetness, or pollution (based upon a detailed, on-site survey pursuant to Subsection 1B):
A. 
All new or substantially improved residential dwellings and commercial, institutional, or industrial structures, including hospitals, nursing homes, jails and mobile homes, and their accessory structures.
B. 
Any new or substantially improved structure which will be used for the production or storage of any of the following materials or substances, or which will be used for any activity requiring the maintenance of a supply (more than 550 gallons or other comparable volume, or any amount of radioactive substances) of any of the following materials or substances on the premises: acetone, ammonia, benzene, calcium carbide, carbon disulfide, celluloid, chlorine, hydrochloric acid, hydrocyanic acid, magnesium, nitric acid and oxides of nitrogen, petroleum products (gasoline, fuel oil, etc.), phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur and sulphur products, pesticides (including insecticides, fungicides and rodenticides), and radioactive substances, insofar as such substances are not otherwise regulated.
C. 
The filling of marshlands, dredging, removal of topsoil or damming or relocation of any watercourse except with the approval of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
D. 
Sanitary landfill; dump; junkyard; outdoor storage or disposal of vehicles and/or materials, including manure and hazardous substances listed in Subsection 2B.
E. 
On-lot sewage disposal systems.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 507; as amended by Ord. 278, 4/11/2001, § 1; and by Ord. 368, 6/11/2014, § 1]
1. 
Purposes. The purpose of these provisions is to promote the general health, welfare and safety of the community, to prevent the loss of property and life, the creation of health and safety hazards, the disruption of commerce and governmental services, the extraordinary and unnecessary expenditure of public funds for flood protection and relief, and the impairment of the tax base by:
A. 
Regulating uses, activities and land development which, acting alone or in combination with other existing or future uses, activities and land development, will cause unacceptable increases in flood heights, velocities and frequencies.
B. 
Restricting or prohibiting certain uses, activities and land development from locating within areas subject to flooding.
C. 
Maintaining, to the maximum extent possible, the floodplain in its natural state and minimizing the removal of vegetation and compaction of soil to maximize its flood carrying capacity and water filtering capabilities.
D. 
Encourage the utilization of appropriate construction practices in order to prevent or minimize flood damage in the future.
E. 
Minimize danger to public health by protecting water supply and natural drainage.
F. 
Reduce financial burdens imposed on the community, its governmental units, and its residents, by preventing excessive development in areas subject to flooding.
G. 
Comply with federal and state floodplain management requirements.
2. 
General Provisions.
A. 
These provisions shall apply to all lands within the jurisdiction of Plainfield Township and shown as being located within the boundaries of any identified Flood Hazard District which are considered part of the Official Zoning Map.
B. 
The Flood Hazard District shall be an overlay to the existing zoning districts as shown on the Plainfield Township Zoning Map and, as such, the provisions of the Flood Hazard District shall be imposed in addition to the requirements of the underlying zoning districts. This Chapter supersedes any other conflicting provisions which may be in effect in identified floodplain areas. In the event that a conflict exists between the overlay and the underlying districts, the more restrictive provisions shall apply.
C. 
No development shall be undertaken, no structure or land shall hereafter be used; no structure shall be located, relocated, constructed, reconstructed, enlarged or structurally altered; and no area shall be developed, graded, filled or excavated in any Flood Hazard District except in full compliance with the terms and provisions of this Chapter and any other applicable ordinances and regulations.
D. 
Failure to comply with the provisions of this Chapter is a violation of the Plainfield Township Zoning Ordinance and Plainfield Township may proceed with Court action and/or issue a declaration of violation, under § 1316 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deny flood insurance on the property in violation. The effects of having a § 1316 violation are non-availability of flood insurance for any buildings, possible reduction of market value, risk of damage without compensation, possible mortgage foreclosure, and denial of disaster assistance for repair of structural damage.
E. 
Warning and Disclaimer of Liability.
(1) 
The degree of flood protection sought by the provisions of this Chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on acceptable engineering methods of study. Larger floods may occur on rare occasions. Flood heights may be increased by man-made or natural causes such as ice jams and bridge openings restricted by debris. This Chapter does not imply that areas outside the identified Flood Hazard District or that land uses permitted within such a district will be free from flooding or flood damages.
(2) 
This Chapter shall not create liability on the part of Plainfield Township or any officer or employee thereof for any flood damages that result from reliance on this Chapter or any administrative decision lawfully made hereunder.
3. 
Identification and Establishment of Flood Hazard Districts.
A. 
The identified Flood Hazard District shall be any areas of the Township of Plainfield, classified as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and the accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) dated July 16, 2014, and issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the most recent revision thereof, including all digital data developed as part of the Flood Insurance Study. FIRMs can be viewed at the Plainfield Township Municipal Office or viewed or purchased on-line from the FEMA Map Information Exchange at msc.fema.gov.
The above referenced FIS and FIRMs, and any subsequent revisions and amendments are hereby adopted by the Township of Plainfield and declared to be a part of this Chapter.
B. 
Description and Special Requirements of Identified Floodplain Areas. The identified floodplain area shall consist of the following specific areas:
(1) 
The Floodway Area/District identified as floodway (FW) in the FIS which represents the channel of a watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation by more than one foot at any point. This term shall also include floodway areas which have been identified in other available studies or sources of information for those Special Flood Hazard Areas where no floodway has been identified in the FIS.
(2) 
The AE Area/District shall be those areas identified as an AE Zone on the FIRM included in the FIS prepared by FEMA and for which base flood elevations have been provided by the FIS.
(3) 
The A Area/District shall be those areas identified as an A Zone on the FIRM included in the FIS prepared by FEMA and for which no one-percent annual chance flood elevations have been provided. For these areas, elevation and floodway information from other federal, state, or other acceptable sources shall be used when available. Where other acceptable information is not available, the base flood elevation shall be determined by using the elevation of a point on the boundary of the identified floodplain area which is nearest the construction site.
In lieu of the above, the Township may require the applicant to determine the elevation with hydrologic and hydraulic engineering techniques. Hydrologic and hydraulic analyses shall be undertaken only by professional engineers or others of demonstrated qualifications, who shall certify that the technical methods used correctly reflect currently accepted technical concepts. Studies, analyses, computations, etc., shall be submitted in sufficient detail to allow a thorough technical review by the Township.
C. 
All floodplain and floodway areas must be identified on any land development and/or subdivision plan filed with the Township. In addition, flood prone areas may be required to be identified, subject to the discretion of the Township Engineer.
D. 
Changes in Identification of Area. The identified floodplain area may be revised or modified by the Plainfield Township Board of Supervisors where studies or information provided by a qualified agency or person documents the need for such revision. However, prior to any such change to the Special Flood Hazard Area, approval must be obtained from FEMA. Additionally, as soon as practicable, but not later than six months after the date such information becomes available, a community shall notify FEMA of the changes to the Special Flood Hazard Area by submitting technical or scientific data.
E. 
Boundary Disputes. Should a dispute concerning any identified floodplain boundary arise, an initial determination shall be made by the Plainfield Township Zoning Officer and any party aggrieved by this decision or determination may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board. The burden of proof shall be on the appellant.
F. 
Jurisdictional Boundary Changes. Prior to development occurring in areas where annexation or other corporate boundary changes are proposed or have occurred, the community shall review flood hazard data affecting the lands subject to boundary changes. The community shall adopt and enforce floodplain regulations in areas subject to annexation or corporate boundary changes which meet or exceed those in CFR 44 60.3.
4. 
Nonconforming Uses and Structures in the Flood Hazard District. A structure or use of a structure or premises which lawfully existed before the enactment of these Flood Hazard District provisions, but which is not in conformity with those provisions, shall be considered a nonconforming use or nonconforming structure and shall be subject to Subsection 8, and those portions of this Chapter dealing with nonconformities, including § 27-407.
5. 
General Regulations.
A. 
No encroachment, land development, improvement or reconstruction of any kind shall be made to any watercourse until all adjacent municipalities which may be affected by such action have been notified by Plainfield Township, and until all required permits or approvals have been first obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Office. In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) shall be notified prior to any alteration or relocation of any watercourse.
B. 
Any construction, uses, activities or land development occurring within the Flood Hazard District shall be undertaken only in strict compliance with the provisions of this Chapter and with all other applicable codes, ordinances and regulations including the Plainfield Township Building Code, as amended and Plainfield Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22].
C. 
No encroachment, alteration, or improvement of any kind shall be made to any watercourse unless it can be shown that the activity will not reduce or impede the flood carrying capacity of the watercourse in any way.
D. 
Within any Floodway Area/District, no encroachments, including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, or other development shall be permitted unless it has been demonstrated through hydrologic and hydraulic analysis performed in accordance with standard engineering practice that the proposed encroachment would not result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge, and a permit has been obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Office.
E. 
Within the portions of the Flood Hazard District lying outside of the floodway, encroachments including fill, new construction, substantial improvements or other development, use or activity:
(1) 
Which would cause an increase in the base flood elevation shall be prohibited.
(2) 
Shall not be granted approval or a permit unless it is demonstrated that the cumulative effect of the proposal would not increase the base flood elevation. The Township may require that the applicant submit an engineering study including hydrologic and hydraulic analysis in accordance with standard engineering practice to show that no increase in the base flood elevation will occur.
F. 
No new construction or development shall be located within any identified Flood Hazard District within the area measured 50 feet landward from the top-of-bank of any watercourse.
6. 
Permitted Uses and Development in the Flood Hazard District.
A. 
In the Flood Hazard District, the following uses and activities are permitted in the A Area/District or the portions of the AE Area/District lying outside of the floodway, provided they are in compliance with the provisions of the underlying district and are not prohibited by any other ordinance:
(1) 
Agriculture and horticulture that:
(a) 
Does not include any structures.
(b) 
Does not require grading which would cause any increase in flood heights or frequency.
(c) 
Are conducted in accord with recognized soil conservation and water quality practices. In the case of agricultural uses, this would include compliance with an approved, up-to-date USDA Natural Conservation Resources Service (NCRS) Conservation Plan.
(2) 
Public and private recreational uses and activities, limited to parks, day camps, picnic grounds, boat launching and swimming areas, hiking and horseback riding trails, wildlife and nature preserves, game farms, and hunting and fishing areas, provided that no structures are erected, and only minimal impervious surfaces are created and all surfaces are permanently stabilized to prevent erosion.
(3) 
Uses accessory to those permitted in the underlying zoning district, including yard areas, gardens, play areas and parking areas, provided that no structures are erected and only minimal impervious surfaces are created and all surfaces are permanently stabilized to prevent erosion.
(4) 
All uses and activities permitted in the Floodway Area/District with the required approvals as listed in Subsection 2.
(5) 
The repair or expansion of riparian buffers, including removal of non-native vegetation and the removal of trees in danger of falling causing:
(a) 
Damage to dwellings or other structures.
(b) 
The blockage of a watercourse or a public road.
(6) 
Floodproofing to protect only lawfully existing nonconforming structures and lawfully existing nonconforming uses within structures.
(7) 
Sign posts, light posts, fences and temporary protective fencing that do not impede floodwaters.
(8) 
Timber harvesting in accordance with the Plainfield Township Timber Harvest Management Ordinance.
(9) 
Public roads, public trails and stormwater projects and their associated support facilities, as authorized by the Plainfield Township Board of Supervisors, including maintenance and improvements to existing facilities.
(10) 
Parking areas in support of the uses permitted above and access driveways. Parking lots and driveways subject to scouring shall be permanently stabilized, preferably with a pervious paver material or with paving where pervious materials are not practical. Final grade of parking areas and access driveways shall not be constructed more than 1.0 feet below the base flood elevation.
B. 
In the Flood Hazard District, the following uses and activities are permitted only with permits and/or approvals from the PA Department of Environmental Protection, PA Public Utility Commission, and/or US Army Corps of Engineers. Furthermore, notification of such actions shall be provided to all affected adjoining municipalities, FEMA and the Pennsylvania DCED. The approval of a permit by any of the preceding state or federal agencies for one of these uses shall in no way affect or conflict with the requirements imposed upon the use under the regulations of the Flood Hazard District:
(1) 
Dams, culverts, bridges and altered or relocated watercourses.
(2) 
Public utility facilities under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
7. 
Prohibited Uses and Development in the Flood Hazard District.
A. 
The following uses are prohibited from locating within the Flood Hazard District:
(1) 
All uses prohibited in the underlying zoning district.
(2) 
Other than required to meet the requirements of Subsection 6A(9), placement of fill or the storage of material that would displace flood water is prohibited in the Flood Hazard District.
(3) 
All structures, with the exception of those specifically allowed in Subsection 6.
(4) 
The production, storage, or use of any amount of radioactive substances.
(5) 
The production, storage or use of a substance or material, underground or aboveground, that is buoyant, flammable, explosive, or injurious to property, water quality or human, animal, plant, fish or aquatic life including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) 
Acetone.
(b) 
Ammonia.
(c) 
Benzene.
(d) 
Calcium carbide.
(e) 
Carbon disulfide.
(f) 
Celluloid.
(g) 
Chlorine.
(h) 
Hydrochloric acid.
(i) 
Hydrocyanic acid.
(j) 
Magnesium.
(k) 
Nitric acid and oxides of nitrogen.
(l) 
Petroleum products (gasoline, fuel oil, etc.).
(m) 
Phosphorus.
(n) 
Potassium.
(o) 
Sodium.
(p) 
Sulphur and sulphur products.
(q) 
Pesticides (including insecticides, fungicides, and rodenticides).
(r) 
Radioactive substances, insofar as such substances are not otherwise regulated.
With the exception of the application of agricultural fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides as approved by the US Department of Agriculture.
(6) 
The production, storage or use of explosives.
(7) 
The storage or disposal of materials used for snow and ice control including sand, salt and other deicing chemicals.
(8) 
The commencement of any of the following activities; or the construction, enlargement, or expansion of any structure used, or intended to be used, for any of the following activities:
(a) 
Hospitals.
(b) 
Nursing homes.
(c) 
Jails or prisons.
(9) 
Sanitary landfills, dumps, junk and salvage yards, and outdoor storage of junked or abandoned vehicles and/or equipment.
(10) 
Outdoor storage or placement of recreational vehicles, unless compliant with Subsection 11D.
(11) 
The storage or disposal of any soil, loam, peat, sand, gravel, rock, or other mineral substance, refuse, trash, rubbish, debris, or dredged/excavated spoil.
(12) 
Draining, excavation, or dredging, or removal or relocation of loam, peat, sand, gravel, soil, rock, or other mineral substance, except as accessory to work permitted as of right or by special permit.
(13) 
Manure storage facilities and manure stockpiles.
(14) 
Manufactured homes.
(15) 
Improvements to existing manufactured home parks and existing manufactured home subdivisions.
(16) 
The commencement of, or any construction of, a new manufactured home park or manufactured home subdivision.
(17) 
Sewage disposal facilities.
8. 
Existing Structures in Flood Hazard Districts. The provisions of this Chapter do not require any changes or improvements to be made to lawfully existing structures. However, when an improvement is to be made to any existing structure, the provisions of this subsection shall apply.
A. 
No alteration or reconstruction of an existing structure shall be allowed within any FW area as identified by the Flood Insurance Study prepared by FEMA or other available studies or sources of information found acceptable by Plainfield Township and approved by FEMA. Normal maintenance of the existing structure is allowed so long as the cost of improvements does not meet or exceed 50% of the market value prior to improvement. Any modification, alteration, reconstruction, or improvement of any kind to an existing structure to an extent or amount of 50% or more of its market value, shall constitute a substantial improvement and shall be undertaken only in full compliance with the provisions of this Chapter.
B. 
No alteration of an existing structure shall be allowed within any A or AE Area/District that would, together with all other existing and anticipated development, increase the BFE.
C. 
The alteration or reconstruction of existing structures that store materials that are buoyant, flammable, explosive, or injurious to property, water quality or human, animal, plant, fish or aquatic life shall be prohibited in the Flood Hazard District.
D. 
Any modification, alteration, reconstruction, or improvement of any kind to an existing structure, shall be elevated and/or floodproofed to the greatest extent possible.
E. 
If an existing structure is razed, removed, destroyed by fire, explosion, flood or other phenomenon, or legally condemned or abandoned for 365 consecutive days, subsequent use of such structure shall fully conform with all then current Township ordinances. If the structure would not be allowed as a new structure under current ordinances, it shall be removed. The act of abandonment and the intent to abandon shall presume to commence on the date when customary efforts to continue the use cease.
F. 
Any permitted construction within the Flood Hazard Area shall conform to this Chapter and the Standards and Specifications contained in 34 Pa. Code (Chapters 401-405), as amended. The following provisions shall apply to the above and other section and subsections of this Part, to the extent that they are more restrictive and supplement the requirements of this Chapter:
(1) 
International Building Code (IBC) 2009 or the latest edition thereof: §§ 801, 1202, 1403, 1603, 1605, 1612 3402 and Appendix G.
(2) 
International Residential Building Code (IRC) 2009 or the latest edition thereof: §§ R104, R105, R109, R323, Appendix AE101, Appendix E and Appendix J.
9. 
Administration.
A. 
Designation of the Floodplain Administrator.
(1) 
The Zoning Officer is hereby appointed to administer and enforce this Chapter and is referred to herein as the Floodplain Administrator. The Floodplain Administrator may fulfill the duties and responsibilities set forth in these regulations or delegate duties and responsibilities set forth in these regulations to qualified technical personnel, plan examiners, inspectors, and other employees. Administration of any part of these regulations by another entity shall not relieve the community of its responsibilities pursuant to the participation requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations at 44 CFR 59.22.
(2) 
In the absence of a designated Floodplain Administrator, the Floodplain Administrator duties are to be fulfilled by the Township of Plainfield Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
B. 
Permits Required.
(1) 
Building and zoning permits shall be required for all proposed development, construction, reconstruction, placement, improvement of uses or structures, including placement of manufactured homes, regardless of value and activities such as mining, dredging, grading, logging, paving, excavation or drilling operations.
(2) 
The requirements of the Plainfield Township Building Code, as amended, shall apply to this Part.
(3) 
Permits for work within the flood hazard district are required and administered by the Plainfield Township floodplain administrator.
C. 
Duties and Responsibilities of the Floodplain Administrator.
(1) 
The Floodplain Administrator shall issue a permit only after it has been determined that the proposed work to be undertaken will be in conformance with the requirements of this and all other applicable codes and ordinances.
(2) 
Prior to the issuance of any permit, the Floodplain Administrator shall review the application for the permit to determine if all other necessary government permits required by state and federal laws have been obtained, such as those required by the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act 1966-537, as amended); the Pennsylvania Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (Act 1978-325, as amended); the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Act (Act 1937-394, as amended); and the U.S. Clean Water Act, § 404, 33, U.S.C. § 1344. No permit shall be issued until this determination has been made.
(3) 
During the construction period, the Floodplain Administrator or other authorized official shall inspect the premises to determine that the work is progressing in compliance with the information provided on the permit application and with all applicable municipal laws and ordinances. He/she shall make as many inspections during and upon completion of the work as are necessary.
(4) 
In the discharge of his/her duties, the Floodplain Administrator shall have the authority to enter any building, structure, premises or development in the identified floodplain area, upon presentation of proper credentials, at any reasonable hour to enforce the provisions of this Chapter.
(5) 
In the event the Floodplain Administrator discovers that the work does not comply with the permit application or any applicable laws and ordinances, or that there has been a false statement or misrepresentation by any applicant, the Floodplain Administrator shall revoke the permit and report such fact to the Plainfield Township Board of Supervisors for whatever action it considers necessary.
(6) 
The Floodplain Administrator shall maintain all records associated with the requirements of this Chapter in perpetuity including, but not limited to, finished construction elevation data, permitting, inspection and enforcement.
(7) 
The Floodplain Administrator is the official responsible for submitting a biennial report to the FEMA concerning community participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
(8) 
The responsibility, authority and means to implement the commitments of the Floodplain Administrator can be delegated from the person identified. However, the ultimate responsibility lies with the person identified in the floodplain ordinance as the floodplain administrator/manager.
(9) 
The Floodplain Administrator shall consider the requirements of the 34 Pa. Code and the 2009 IBC and the 2009 IRC or latest revisions thereof.
D. 
Application Procedures and Requirements.
(1) 
Application for such a permit shall be made, in writing, to the Floodplain Administrator on forms supplied by Plainfield Township. Such application shall contain the following:
(a) 
Name and address of applicant.
(b) 
Name and address of owner of land on which proposed construction is to occur.
(c) 
Name and address of contractor.
(d) 
Site location including address and county parcel identifier number.
(e) 
Listing of other permits required.
(f) 
Brief description of proposed work and estimated cost, including a breakout of flood-related cost and the market value of the building before the flood damage occurred where appropriate.
(g) 
A plan of the site showing the exact size and location of the proposed construction as well as any existing buildings or structures.
(2) 
If any proposed construction or development is located entirely or partially within any identified floodplain area, applicants for permits shall provide all the necessary information in sufficient detail and clarity to enable the Floodplain Administrator to determine that:
(a) 
All such proposals are consistent with the need to minimize flood damage and conform with the requirements of this and all other applicable codes and ordinances.
(b) 
All utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems are located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage.
(c) 
Adequate drainage is provided so as to reduce exposure to flood hazards.
(d) 
Structures will be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement.
(e) 
Building materials are flood-resistant.
(f) 
Appropriate practices that minimize flood damage have been used.
(g) 
Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, air conditioning equipment, and other service facilities have been designed and located to prevent water entry or accumulation.
(3) 
Applicants shall file the following minimum information plus any other pertinent information as may be required by the Floodplain Administrator to make the above determination:
(a) 
A completed permit application form.
(b) 
A plan of the entire site, clearly and legibly drawn at a scale of one inch being equal to 50 feet or less, showing the following:
1) 
North arrow, scale, and date.
2) 
Topographic contour lines at a two feet contour interval, drawn to National Map Accuracy Standards, if required by the Floodplain Administrator.
3) 
The location of all existing and proposed buildings, structures, and other improvements, including the location of any existing or proposed subdivision and development.
4) 
The location of all existing streets, drives, and other access ways.
5) 
The location of any existing bodies of water or watercourses, identified floodplain areas, and, if available, information pertaining to the floodway, and the flow of water including direction and velocities.
(c) 
Plans of all proposed buildings, structures and other improvements, drawn at suitable scale showing the following:
1) 
The proposed lowest floor elevation of any proposed building based upon North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
2) 
The elevation of the base flood.
3) 
Supplemental information as may be necessary under 34 Pa. Code, the 2009 IBC or the 2009 IRC.
(d) 
The following data and documentation:
1) 
If available, information concerning flood depths, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces and other factors associated with a base flood.
2) 
Detailed information concerning any proposed floodproofing measures and corresponding elevations.
3) 
Documentation, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, to show that the cumulative effect of any proposed development within any identified Flood Hazard Areas when combined with all other existing and anticipated development, will not increase the base flood elevation at any point.
4) 
A document, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, which states that the proposed construction or development has been adequately designed to withstand the pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces associated with the base flood.
5) 
Such statement shall include a description of the type and extent of flood proofing measures which have been incorporated into the design of the structure and/or the development.
6) 
Detailed information needed to determine compliance with Subsection 7, storage, and Subsection 7A, development which may endanger human life, including:
a) 
The amount, location and purpose of any materials or substances referred to in Subsection 7 which are intended to be used, produced, stored or otherwise maintained on site.
b) 
A description of the safeguards incorporated into the design of the proposed structure to prevent leaks or spills of the dangerous materials or substances during a base flood.
7) 
The appropriate component of the Department of Environmental Protection's "Planning Module for Land Development."
8) 
Where any excavation or grading is proposed, a plan meeting the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection, to implement and maintain erosion and sedimentation control.
(4) 
Applications for permits shall be accompanied by a fee, payable to the Township based upon the estimated cost of the proposed construction as determined by the Floodplain Administrator.
E. 
Review by County Conservation District. A copy of all applications and plans for any proposed construction or development in any identified floodplain area to be considered for approval shall be submitted by the Floodplain Administrator to the County Conservation District for review and comment prior to the issuance of a permit. The recommendations of the Conservation District shall be considered by the Floodplain Administrator for possible incorporation into the proposed plan.
F. 
Review of Application by Others. A copy of all plans and applications for any proposed construction or development in any identified floodplain area to be considered for approval may be submitted by the Floodplain Administrator to any other appropriate agencies and/or individuals (e.g., planning commission, municipal engineer, etc.) for review and comment.
G. 
Changes. After the issuance of a permit by the Floodplain Administrator, no changes of any kind shall be made to the application, permit or any of the plans, specifications or other documents submitted with the application without the written consent or approval of the Floodplain Administrator. Requests for any such change shall be in writing, and shall be submitted by the applicant to Floodplain Administrator for consideration.
H. 
Placards. In addition to the permit, the Floodplain Administrator shall issue a placard which shall be displayed on the premises during the time construction is in progress. This placard shall show the number of the permit, the date of its issuance, and be signed by the Floodplain Administrator.
I. 
Start of Construction.
(1) 
Work on the proposed construction or development shall begin within 180 days after the date of issuance and shall be completed within 12 months after the date of issuance of the permit or the permit shall expire unless a time extension is granted, in writing, by the Floodplain Administrator. The actual start of construction means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation; or the placement of a manufacture home on a foundation. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading, and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings, piers, or foundations or the erection of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main structure. For a substantial improvement, the actual start of construction means the first, alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.
(2) 
Time extensions shall be granted only if a written request is submitted by the applicant, which sets forth sufficient and reasonable cause for the Floodplain Administrator to approve such a request, and the original permit is compliant with this Chapter and FIRM/FIS in effect at the time the extension is granted.
J. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
Notices. Whenever the Floodplain Administrator or other authorized Township representative determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provisions of this Chapter, or of any regulations adopted pursuant thereto, the Floodplain Administrator shall give notice of such alleged violation as hereinafter provided. Such notice shall:
(a) 
Be in writing.
(b) 
Include a statement of the reasons for its issuance.
(c) 
Allow a reasonable time not to exceed a period of 30 days for the performance of any act it requires.
(d) 
Be served upon the property owner or his agent as the case may require; provided, however, that such notice or order shall be deemed to have been properly served upon such owner or agent when a copy thereof has been served with such notice by any other method authorized or required by the laws of this state.
(e) 
Contain an outline of remedial actions which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this Chapter.
(2) 
Penalties. Any person who fails to comply with any or all of the requirements or provisions of this Chapter or who fails or refuses to comply with any notice, order of direction of the Floodplain Administrator or any other authorized employee of the Township shall be guilty of a summary offense and upon conviction shall pay a fine to Plainfield Township, of not less than $25 nor more than $600 plus costs of prosecution. In addition to the above penalties all other actions are hereby reserved including an action in equity for the proper enforcement of this Chapter. The imposition of a fine or penalty for any violation of, or noncompliance with this Chapter shall not excuse the violation or noncompliance or permit it to continue. All such persons shall be required to correct or remedy such violations and noncompliance within a reasonable time. Any development initiated or any structure or building constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, altered, or relocated, in noncompliance with this Chapter may be declared by the Plainfield Township Zoning Hearing Board to be a public nuisance and abatable as such.
K. 
Appeals.
(1) 
Any person aggrieved by any action or decision of the Floodplain Administrator concerning the administration of the provisions of this Chapter, may appeal to the Plainfield Township Zoning Hearing Board. Such appeal must be filed, in writing, within 30 days after the decision, determination or action of the Floodplain Administrator.
(2) 
Upon receipt of such appeal the Plainfield Township Zoning Hearing Board shall set a time and place, within not less than 10 or not more than 30 days, for the purpose of considering the appeal. Notice of the time and place at which the appeal will be considered shall be given to all parties.
(3) 
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Plainfield Township Zoning Hearing Board may seek relief therefrom by appeal to court, as provided by the laws of this state including the Pennsylvania Floodplain Management Act.
10. 
Variances Within Flood Hazard Districts.
A. 
If compliance with any of the requirements of this Chapter would result in an exceptional hardship for a prospective builder, developer or landowner, the Zoning Hearing Board and Building Code Appeals Board may, upon request, grant relief from the strict application of the requirements.
B. 
Variance Procedures and Requirements. Requests for variances shall be considered by the Boards in accordance with this Chapter and with the following recommendations:
(1) 
No variance shall be granted for any construction, development, use or activity within any floodplain area that would cause any increase in the base flood elevation (BFE). In A Area/District, BFEs are determined using the methodology in Subsection 3B(3).
(2) 
If granted, a variance shall involve only the least modification necessary to provide relief and shall specifically call out from what sections of this Chapter relief is granted. All other sections of this Chapter shall remain in effect.
(3) 
In granting any variance, the Boards shall attach whatever reasonable conditions and safeguards they consider necessary in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare and to achieve the objectives of this Chapter.
(4) 
Whenever a variance is granted, the Boards shall notify the applicant in writing that:
(a) 
The granting of the variance may result in increased premium rates for flood insurance.
(b) 
Such variances may increase the risks to life and property.
(5) 
In reviewing any request for a variance, the Boards shall consider, but not be limited to the following:
(a) 
There is good and sufficient cause for the variance.
(b) 
Failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant.
(c) 
The granting of the variance will not result in an unacceptable or prohibited increase in flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public or conflict with any other applicable state or local ordinance regulations.
(d) 
The review factors listed in Subsection 10C, below.
(6) 
A complete record of all variance requests and related actions shall be maintained by Plainfield Township. In addition, a report of all variances granted during the year shall be included in the annual report to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
C. 
Review Factors. In reviewing applications for a variance, the Boards shall consider all relevant factors and procedures specified in other Parts of this Chapter and:
(1) 
The danger to life and property due to increased flood heights or velocities caused by encroachments.
(2) 
The danger that materials may be swept on to other lands or downstream to the injury of others.
(3) 
The proposed water supply and sanitation systems and the ability of these systems to prevent disease, contamination and unsanitary conditions.
(4) 
The susceptibility of the proposed use and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owners.
(5) 
The importance of the services provided by the proposed use to the community.
(6) 
The requirements of the use for a waterfront location.
(7) 
The availability of alternative locations not subject to flooding for the proposed use.
(8) 
The compatibility of the proposed use with existing development and development anticipated in the foreseeable future.
(9) 
The relationship of the proposed use to the Plainfield Township Comprehensive Plan and the Plainfield Township stormwater management objectives and regulations.
(10) 
The safety of access to the property in times of flood of ordinary and emergency vehicles.
(11) 
The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of the flood waters expected at the site.
(12) 
The requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program Regulations, Part 59, General Provisions, and Part 60, Criteria for Land Management and Use.
(13) 
Such other factors which are relevant to the purposes of this Chapter.
D. 
Supplemental Technical Review. The Boards may refer any application and accompanying documentation pertaining to any request for a variance to any engineer or other qualified person or agency for:
(1) 
Technical assistance in evaluating the proposed project in relation to flood heights and velocities, and the adequacy of the plans for protection and other related matters.
(2) 
All hydrologic and hydraulic analyses shall be undertaken only by professional engineers or others of demonstrated qualifications who shall certify that the technical methods used correctly reflect currently accepted technical concepts. Studies, analyses, computations, etc., shall be submitted in sufficient detail to allow a thorough technical review by Plainfield Township.
E. 
Notwithstanding any of the above, however, all structures shall be designed and constructed so as to have the capability of resisting the one-percent annual chance flood.
11. 
Technical Provisions. For any construction, development or improvement within the Flood Hazard District permitted by this Chapter or by variance, the provisions of this Chapter and the following technical provisions shall be followed:
A. 
General.
(1) 
Alteration or Relocation of Watercourse.
(a) 
No encroachment, alteration, or improvement of any kind shall be made to any watercourse until all adjacent municipalities which may be affected by such action have been notified by the Township, and until all required permits or approvals have first been obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Office.
(b) 
No encroachment, alteration, or improvement of any kind shall be made to any watercourse unless it can be shown that the activity will not reduce or impede the flood carrying capacity of the watercourse in any way.
(c) 
In addition, FEMA and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, shall be notified prior to any alteration or relocation of any watercourse.
(2) 
Technical or scientific data shall be submitted by to FEMA for a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) as soon as practicable but within six months of any new construction, development, or other activity resulting in changes in the BFE. The situations when a LOMR or a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) are required are:
(a) 
Any development that causes a rise in the base flood elevations within the floodway.
(b) 
Any development occurring in Zone AE without a designated floodway, which will cause a rise of more than one foot in the base flood elevation.
(c) 
Alteration or relocation of a stream (including, but not limited to, installing culverts and bridges).
(3) 
Any new construction, development, uses or activities allowed within any identified floodplain area shall be undertaken in strict compliance with the provisions contained in this Chapter and any other applicable codes, ordinances and regulations.
(4) 
Within any identified floodplain area (see Subsection 3), no new construction or development shall be located within the area measured 50 feet landward from the top-of-bank of any watercourse, unless a permit is obtained from the Regional office of the Department of Environmental Protection.
B. 
Elevation and Floodproofing Requirements.
(1) 
Residential Structures.
(a) 
In AE, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated up to, or above, the regulatory flood elevation.
(b) 
In A Zones, where there are no base flood elevations specified on the FIRM, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated up to, or above, the regulatory flood elevation determined in accordance with Subsection 3B(3) of this Chapter.
(c) 
The design and construction standards and specifications contained in the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) and in the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) or the most recent revisions thereof and ASCE 24 and 34 Pa. Code (Chapters 401-405 as amended) shall be utilized.
(2) 
Nonresidential Structures.
(a) 
In AE, any new construction or substantial improvement of a nonresidential structure shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated up to, or above, the regulatory flood elevation, or be designed and constructed so that the space enclosed below the regulatory flood elevation:
1) 
Is floodproofed so that the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water.
2) 
Has structural components with the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy:
(b) 
In A Zones, where there no base flood elevations are specified on the FIRM, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor (including basement) elevated or completely floodproofed up to, or above, the regulatory flood elevation determined in accordance with Subsection 3B(3) of this Chapter.
(c) 
Any nonresidential structure, or part thereof, made watertight below the regulatory flood elevation shall be floodproofed in accordance with the W1 or W2 space classification standards contained in the publication entitled "Flood-Proofing Regulations" published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (June 1972, as amended March 1992) or with some other equivalent standard approved by Plainfield Township. All plans and specifications for such floodproofing shall be accompanied by a statement certified by a registered professional engineer or architect which states that the proposed design and methods of construction are in conformance with the above referenced standards.
(d) 
The design and construction standards and specifications contained in the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) and in the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) or the most recent revisions thereof and ASCE 24 and 34 Pa. Code (Chapters 401-405 as amended) shall be utilized.
(3) 
Space Below the Lowest Floor.
(a) 
Fully enclosed space below the lowest floor (excluding basements) which will be used solely for the parking of a vehicle, building access, or incidental storage in an area other than a basement, shall be designed and constructed to allow for the automatic entry and exit of flood waters for the purpose of equalizing hydrostatic forces on exterior walls. The term "fully enclosed space" also includes crawl spaces.
(b) 
Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, or meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:
1) 
A minimum of two openings having a net total area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed space.
2) 
The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade.
3) 
Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, or other coverings or devices provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of floodwaters.
(4) 
Historic Structures. Historic structures undergoing repair or rehabilitation that would constitute a substantial improvement as defined in this Chapter, must comply with all ordinance requirements that do not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure. Documentation that a specific chapter requirement will cause removal of the structure from the National Register of Historic places or the State Inventory of Historic places must be obtained from the Secretary of the Interior or the State Historic Preservation Officer. Any exemption from chapter requirements will be the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
(5) 
Accessory Structures. Structures accessory to a principal building need not be elevated or floodproofed to remain dry, but shall comply, at a minimum, with the following requirements:
(a) 
The structure shall not be designed or used for human habitation, but shall be limited to the parking of vehicles, or to the storage of tools, material, and equipment related to the principal use or activity.
(b) 
Floor area shall not exceed 200 square feet.
(c) 
The structure will have a low damage potential.
(d) 
The structure will be located on the site so as to cause the least obstruction to the flow of flood waters.
(e) 
Power lines, wiring, and outlets will be elevated to the regulatory flood elevation.
(f) 
Permanently affixed utility equipment and appliances such as furnaces, heaters, washers, dryers, etc., are prohibited.
(g) 
Sanitary facilities are prohibited.
(h) 
The structure shall be adequately anchored to prevent flotation or movement and shall be designed to automatically provide for the entry and exit of floodwater for the purpose of equalizing hydrostatic forces on the walls. Designs for meeting this requirement must either be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, or meet or exceed the following minimum criteria:
1) 
A minimum of two openings having a net total area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed space.
2) 
The bottom of all openings shall be no higher than one foot above grade.
3) 
Openings may be equipped with screens, louvers, etc., or other coverings or devices provided that they permit the automatic entry and exit of flood waters.
C. 
Design and Construction Standards. The following minimum standards shall apply for all construction and development proposed within any identified floodplain area:
(1) 
Water and Sanitary Sewer Facilities and Systems.
(a) 
All new or replacement water supply and sanitary sewer facilities and systems shall be located, designed and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damages and the infiltration of flood waters.
(b) 
Sanitary sewer facilities and systems shall be designed to prevent the discharge of untreated sewage into flood waters.
(c) 
No part of any on-site sewage system shall be located within any identified floodplain area except in strict compliance with all state and local regulations for such systems. If any such system is permitted, it shall be located so as to avoid impairment to it, or contamination from it, during a flood.
(d) 
The design and construction provisions of the UCC and FEMA #348, "Protecting Building Utilities From Flood Damages" and "The International Private Sewage Disposal Code" shall be utilized.
(2) 
Other Utilities. All other utilities such as gas lines, electrical and telephone systems shall be located, elevated (where possible) and constructed to minimize the chance of impairment during a flood.
(3) 
Streets. The finished elevation of all new streets shall be no more than one foot below the regulatory flood elevation.
(4) 
Subdivisions. All subdivision proposals and development proposals containing at least 10 lots or at least five acres, whichever is the lesser, in identified floodplain areas where base flood elevation data are not available, shall be supported by hydrologic and hydraulic engineering analyses that determine base flood elevations and floodway information. The analyses shall be prepared by a licensed professional engineer in a format required by FEMA for a Conditional Letter of Map Revision or Letter of Map Revision. Submittal requirements and processing fees shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
D. 
Special Requirements for Recreational Vehicles.
(1) 
Recreational vehicles in Zones A and AE must either:
(a) 
Be on the site for fewer than 30 consecutive days per twelve-month period.
(b) 
Be fully licensed and ready for highway use.
(c) 
Be allowed by variance and meet the permit requirements for manufactured homes in Subsection 11E.
E. 
Special Requirements for Manufactured Homes.
(1) 
Where permitted within any identified floodplain area, all manufactured homes, and any improvements thereto, shall be:
(a) 
Placed on a permanent foundation.
(b) 
Elevated so that the lowest floor of the manufactured home is at least 1 1/2 feet above base flood elevation.
(c) 
Anchored to resist flotation, collapse, or lateral movement.
(d) 
And have all ductwork and utilities including HVAC/heat pump elevated to the regulatory flood elevation.
(2) 
Installation of manufactured homes shall be done in accordance with the manufacturers' installation instructions as provided by the manufacturer. Where the applicant cannot provide the above information, the requirements of Appendix E of the 2009 "International Residential Building Code" or the "U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Permanent Foundations for Manufactured Housing," 1984 Edition, draft or latest revision thereto and 34 Pa. Code, Chapter 401 — 405 shall apply.
(3) 
Consideration shall be given to the installation requirements of the 2009 IBC, and the 2009 IRC or the most recent revisions thereto and 34 Pa. Code, as amended where appropriate and/or applicable to units where the manufacturers' standards for anchoring cannot be provided or were not established for the proposed unit(s) installation.
12. 
Definitions. For projects or activities located in the FHD, definitions found in § 27-202 shall apply unless superseded by a definition in this subsection. Definitions for use specifically with this subsection shall be as follows:
A AREA/DISTRICT
See Subsection 3B.
AE AREA/DISTRICT
See Subsection 3B.
BASE FLOOD
A flood which has a one-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (also called the "one-hundred-year flood" or one-percent annual chance flood).
BASE FLOOD DISCHARGE
The volume of water resulting from a base flood as it passes a given location within a given time, usually expressed in cubic feet per second (cfs).
BASE FLOOD ELEVATION
The elevation shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that indicates the water surface elevation resulting from a flood that has a one-percent chance of equaling or exceeding that level in any given year.
BASEMENT
Any area of the building having its floor below ground level on all sides.
DEVELOPMENT
Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to, the construction, reconstruction, renovation, repair, expansion, or alteration of buildings or other structures; the placement of manufactured homes; streets, and other paving; utilities; filling, grading and excavation; mining; dredging; drilling operations; storage of equipment or materials; and the subdivision of land.
EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
A manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed before the effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by a community.
EXPANSION TO AN EXISTING MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
The preparation of additional sites by the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pad).
FLOOD
A temporary inundation of normally dry land areas.
FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP (FIRM)
The Official Map on which the Federal Emergency Management Agency has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
FLOOD INSURANCE STUDY (FIS)
The official report provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that includes flood profiles, the Flood Insurance Rate Map, the Flood Boundary and Floodway Map, and the water surface elevation of the base flood.
FLOODPLAIN AREA
A relatively flat or low land area which is subject to partial or complete inundation from an adjoining or nearby stream, river or watercourse; and/or any area subject to the unusual and rapid accumulation of surface waters from any source.
FLOODPROOFING
Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures and their contents.
FLOODWAY
The channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot.
FLOODWAY AREA/DISTRICT
See Subsection 3B.
HISTORIC STRUCTURES
Any structure that is:
(1) Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (a listing maintained by the Department of Interior) or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as meeting the requirements for individual listing on the National Register.
(2) Certified or preliminarily determined by the Secretary of the Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined by the Secretary to qualify as a registered historic district.
(3) Individually listed on a state inventory of historic places in states which have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior.
(4) Individually listed on a local inventory of historic places in communities with historic preservation that have been certified either:
(a) By an approved state program as determined by the Secretary of the Interior.
(b) Directly by the Secretary of the Interior in States without approved programs.
LOWEST FLOOR
The lowest floor of the lowest fully enclosed area (including basement). An unfinished, flood resistant partially enclosed area, used solely for parking of vehicles, building access, and incidental storage, in an area other than a basement area is not considered the lowest floor of a building, provided that such space is not designed and built so that the structure is in violation of the applicable non-elevation design requirements of this Chapter.
MANUFACTURED HOME
A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent chassis, and is designed for use with or without a permanent foundation when attached to the required utilities. The term includes park trailers, travel trailers, recreational and other similar vehicles which are placed on a site for more than 180 consecutive days.
MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
A parcel (or contiguous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.
MANURE
The animal excrement, including poultry litter, which is produced at an agricultural operation. It includes materials such as bedding and raw materials which are commingled with that excrement.
MANURE STOCKPILE
A storage pile of manure accumulated for future use that is not confined within a manure storage facility.
MANURE STORAGE FACILITY
A permanent structure or pond, a portion of a structure or pond, or a group of structures or ponds at one agricultural operation, utilized for the purpose of containing manure or agricultural process wastewater. This includes concrete, metal or other fabricated tanks and underground structures, as well as earthen and synthetically-lined manure storage ponds.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective start date of this Part and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures. Any construction started after January 16, 1980, and before the effective start date of this Part is subject to the ordinance in effect at the time the permit was issued, provided the start of construction was within 180 days of permit issuance.
NEW MANUFACTURED HOME PARK OR SUBDIVISION
A manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed on or after the effective date of floodplain management regulations adopted by a community.
NONCONFORMING STRUCTURE
A structure or part thereof which does not conform to the applicable provisions or requirements of the district in which it is located, either at the time of enactment of an ordinance, or as a result of subsequent amendments thereto, where such structure lawfully existed prior to the enactment of such ordinance or amendment.
NONCONFORMING USE
Use of land or structure, which use does not conform to the applicable regulations of the district in which it is located, either at the time of the enactment of an ordinance or as a result of subsequent amendment of an ordinance or as a result of subsequent amendments thereto, but which did not violate such regulations prior to the enactment of ordinance or amendments.
RECONSTRUCTION
The act or process of reproducing by new construction the exact form and detail of a structure or a part thereof, as it appeared at a specific period of time.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
A vehicle which is:
(1) Built on a single chassis.
(2) Not more than 400 square feet, measured at the largest horizontal projections.
(3) Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light-duty truck.
(4) Not designed for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
REGULATORY FLOOD ELEVATION
The base flood elevation (BFE) or estimated flood height as determined using simplified methods plus a freeboard safety factor of 1 1/2 feet.
SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA (SFHA)
An area in the floodplain subject to a one-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. It is shown on the FIRM as Zone A, AO, A1-A30, AE, A99, or, AH.
START OF CONSTRUCTION
Includes substantial improvement and other proposed new development and means the date the permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, placement, or other improvement was within 180 days from the date of the permit and shall be completed within 12 months after the date of issuance of the permit unless a time extension is granted, in writing, by the Floodplain Administrator. The actual start means either the first placement of permanent construction of a structure on a site, such as the pouring of slab or footings, the installation of piles, the construction of columns, or any work beyond the stage of excavation; or the placement of a manufacture home on a foundation. Permanent construction does not include land preparation, such as clearing, grading, and filling; nor does it include the installation of streets and/or walkways; nor does it include excavation for a basement, footings, piers, or foundations or the erection of temporary forms; nor does it include the installation on the property of accessory buildings, such as garages or sheds not occupied as dwelling units or not part of the main structure. For a substantial improvement, the actual start of construction means the first, alteration of any wall, ceiling, floor, or other structural part of a building, whether or not that alteration affects the external dimensions of the building.
STRUCTURE-WITHIN FHD
A walled and roofed building, including a gas or liquid storage tank that is principally above ground, as well as a manufactured home including, any man-made object having an ascertainable stationary location on or in land or water whether or not affixed to land. The term structure shall include: buildings, walls, swimming pool, porches, garages, and similar structures. "Structure" shall be interpreted as including the words "or part thereof." For the purposes of this Part, picnic tables, park benches, grills and playground equipment (all if anchored to prevent flotation), parking facilities or parking lots and their access driveways, associated signs and light standards shall not be considered structures.
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE
Damage from any cause sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before-damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% or more of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, of which the cost equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the "start of construction" of the improvement. The term does not, however, include any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions.
UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION CODE (UCC)
The statewide building code adopted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1999, applicable to new construction in all municipalities whether administered by the Township, a third party or the Department of Labor and Industry. Applicable to residential and commercial buildings, the Code adopted the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC), by reference, as the construction standard applicable with the state floodplain construction. For coordination purposes, references to the above are made specifically to various sections of the IRC and the IBC.
VIOLATION
The failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with the community's floodplain management regulations. A structure or other development without the elevation certificate, other certifications, or other evidence of compliance required in 44 CFR 60.3(b)(5), (c)(4), (c)(10), (d)(3), (e)(2), (e)(4), or (e)(5) is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.
WATERCOURSE
A watercourse is a channel or conveyance of surface water having defined bed and banks, whether natural or artificial, with perennial or intermittent flow, shown as hydrology (blue lines) on the latest version of the Plainfield Township Zoning Map. Man-made swales, constructed specifically for stormwater management purposes, are excluded from this definition.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 508]
1. 
Permit Required. All activities which require the moving of earth or the filling or excavation of an area shall obtain a zoning permit issued by the Zoning Officer. Finish grading or incidental grading of a lot and minor earthmoving from one place to another on a lot for landscaping or agricultural purposes shall not require a zoning permit.
2. 
Grading Regulations.
A. 
The existing grade shall not be increased so that unstable slopes are created.
B. 
The surface area of any yard adjacent to a building or structure shall be graded so that surface water will be drained away from such structure.
C. 
The deposit of soils, detritus or other debris (as a result of site preparation, grading, or excavating) shall not be unsightly or detrimental to any property, street, sewer, or natural waterways.
D. 
All County Soil Conservation Service regulations shall apply.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 509]
1. 
No flammable or explosive liquids, solids, or gases shall be stored in bulk above the ground, except for tanks or drums of less than 600 gallons of fuel which is directly connected with engines, heating devices, or appliances located and operated on the same lot as the tanks or drums of fuel and which have been approved by the Township.
2. 
All outdoor storage facilities for fuel, raw materials, and products stored outdoors (including those permitted in Subsection 1) shall be enclosed by a fence of a type, construction and size as shall be adequate to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.
3. 
Materials and Wastes.
A. 
No materials or wastes shall be deposited upon a lot in such a form or manner that they may be transported off by natural causes or forces.
B. 
No substance which can:
(1) 
Contaminate groundwater or surface water.
(2) 
Render groundwater or surface water undesirable as a source of water supply or recreation.
(3) 
Destroy aquatic life.
Shall be allowed to enter any groundwater or surface water.
C. 
Applicable Department of Environmental Protection regulations shall apply.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 510]
All methods of sewage and waste treatment and disposal shall be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and in accordance with the sewage plan for the Township.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 511]
1. 
No person shall operate or cause to be operated on private or public property any source of continuous sound (any sound which is static, fluctuating or intermittent with a recurrence greater than one time in any 15 second interval) in such a manner as to create a sound level which exceeds the limits set forth for the receiving land use category in the following table when measured at or within the property boundary of the receiving land use:
[Amended by Ord. No. 393, 9/11/2019]
Sound Level Limits by Receiving Land Use and Time
Receiving Land Use Category
Time
Sound Level Limit
(dBA)
Residential, Public Space, Open Space, Agricultural or Institutional, Public Recreation Lands and Trails
1)
7:00 a.m. — 10:00 p.m.
60
2)
10:00 p.m. — 7:00 a.m. plus Sundays and legal holidays
50
Commercial or Business
1)
7:00 a.m. — 10:00 p.m.
65
2)
10:00 p.m. — 7:00 a.m. plus Sunday and legal holidays
60
Industrial
At all times
70
2. 
The following shall be the maximum sound levels for the stated times. The sound levels shall be measured at the lot line of the receiving dwelling or zoning boundary.
3. 
For any source of sound which emits a pure tone, the maximum sound level limits set forth in Subsection 1 shall be reduced by 5 dBA.
4. 
The maximum permissible sound level limits set forth in Subsection 1 shall not apply to any of the following noise sources:
A. 
The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency.
B. 
Emergency work to provide electricity, water, or other public utilities when public health or safety are involved.
C. 
Domestic power tools, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays or Sunday.
D. 
Explosives and construction operations.
E. 
Agriculture.
F. 
Motor vehicle operations.
G. 
Public celebrations, specifically authorized by the Township.
H. 
Surface carriers engaged in commerce by railroad.
I. 
The unamplified human voice.
5. 
For any source of sound which emits an impulsive sound (a sound of short duration, with an abrupt onset and rapid decay and an occurrence of not more than one time in any 15-second interval) the excursions of sound pressure level shall not exceed 20 dBA over the ambient sound pressure level, regardless of time of day or night or receiving land use, using the "fast" meter characteristic of a Type II meter, meeting the ANSI Specifications S1.4-1971.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 512]
1. 
No person shall operate or permit the operation of any device or conduct or permit any use to be conducted that creates vibration which is above the vibration perception threshold of an individual at or beyond the property boundary of the source (if on private property) or at 50 feet from the source (if on a public space or public right-of-way).
2. 
For the purposes of Subsection 1, "vibration perception threshold" means the minimum ground-or-structure-borne vibrational motion necessary to cause a normal person to be aware of the vibration by such direct means as, but not limited to, sensation by touch or visual observation of moving objects.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 513]
No person shall operate or permit the operation of any device or conduct or permit any use to be conducted which does not conform with the standards established under the State Air Pollution Control Act of January 9, 1960, P.L. 2119, as amended, 35 P.S. § 4001 et seq. and Title 25, Pa. Code, Rules and Regulations, Department of Environmental Protection, Subpart C, Protection of Natural Resources, Article III, Air Resources.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 514, as amended by Ord. No. 393, 9/11/2019]
1. 
Street Lighting Exempted. This § 27-514 shall not apply to street lighting that is approved to be in the street right-of-way, or an individual porch light of less than eight feet total height attached to a dwelling or within a front yard (not including an unshielded spot light).
2. 
Height of Lights. No luminaire, spotlight or other light source that is within 200 feet of a lot line of an existing dwelling or approved residential lot or within a residential district or the BMC District shall be placed at a height exceeding 20 feet above the average surrounding ground level. In other situations, a luminaire or spotlight shall not be placed more than 30 feet above the average surrounding ground level. These limitations shall not apply to lights needed for air safety or lights intended solely to illuminate an architectural feature of a building, nor lighting of outdoor public recreation facilities that is aimed downward. Lights that are attached to the top of a sign and that are aimed downwards may have a height equal to the total height of the sign.
3. 
Diffused. All light sources, including signs, shall be properly diffused as needed with a translucent or similar cover to prevent exposed bulbs from being directly visible from streets, public sidewalks, dwellings or adjacent lots.
4. 
Shielding. All light sources, including signs, shall be shielded around the light source and carefully directed and placed to prevent the lighting from creating a nuisance to reasonable persons in adjacent dwellings, and to prevent the lighting from shining into the eyes of passing motorists.
5. 
Flickering. Flashing, flickering or strobe lighting are prohibited, except for nonadvertising seasonal lights between October 25th and January 10th.
6. 
Gasoline Sales Canopies. Any canopy over gasoline pumps shall have light fixtures recessed into the canopy or screened by an extension around the bottom of the canopy so that lighting elements are not visible from another lot or street.
7. 
Maximum Spillover. Exterior lighting from any use onto a residential use shall not cause a spillover of light onto a residential lot that exceeds 0.1 of a footcandle, measured at line of sight inside the residential lot line, except where that lighting level is already exceeded by preexisting conditions, the spillover may be increased by 0.1 footcandle. This limit shall also apply to sign lighting.
8. 
Lighting of Horizontal Surfaces. For the lighting of predominantly horizontal surfaces such as parking areas and vehicle sales areas, lighting fixtures shall be aimed downward and shall include full cut-off measures as needed to properly direct the light and to meet the maximum spillover requirements of Subsection 7 above and to prevent glare onto streets. The Township may require that light fixtures for nonresidential uses be placed along the street and be aimed away from the street in a manner that also minimizes light shining onto residential lots.
9. 
Lighting of Nonhorizontal Surfaces. For lighting of predominantly nonhorizontal surfaces such building walls and wall signs, lighting fixtures shall be fully shielded and shall be aimed so as to not project light towards neighboring residences or past the object being illuminated or skyward. Any lighting of a flag shall use a beam no wider than necessary to illuminate the flag. Lighting of a billboard should be attached to the top of the billboard and project downward. However, lighting shall be allowed of the United States flag from dusk to dawn, provided the light source shall have a beam spread no greater than necessary to illuminate the flag.
10. 
Upward Lighting and Lasers. Spotlights shall not be directed upwards into the sky. Laser lights shall not be directed into the sky to attract attention to a business or activity.
11. 
Lighting Definitions. As used in this Subsection, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FOOTCANDLE
Unit of light density incident on a plane (assumed to be horizontal unless otherwise specified). A unit of illumination equal to one lumen per square foot as measured with an Illuminance meter, which is commonly known as a light meter. This is the illuminance provided by a light source of intensity one candle at distance of one feet, hence the name.
FULL CUTOFF
Attribute of a lighting fixture from which no light is emitted at or above a horizontal plane drawn through the bottom of the fixture and no more than 10% of the lamp's intensity is emitted at or above an angle 10° below that horizontal plane, at all lateral angles around the fixture.
FULLY SHIELDED
Attribute of a lighting fixture provided with internal and/or external shields and louvers to prevent brightness from lamps, reflectors, refractors and lenses from causing glare at normal viewing angles.
GLARE
Excessive brightness in the field of view that is sufficiently greater than that to which the eyes are adapted, to cause annoyance or loss in visual performance and visibility, so as to jeopardize health, safety or welfare.
NITS
A measurement of the brightness of light. One nit is equal to one candela (one candlepower) per square meter.
12. 
Sign Lighting. See § 27-606.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 515]
1. 
Every use requiring power shall be so operated that any service lines, substation, or other facility shall:
A. 
Conform to the highest applicable safety requirements.
B. 
Be constructed and installed as an integral part of the architectural features of the plant.
C. 
Substations or other structures must be concealed by evergreen planting from residential properties.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000, § 516]
1. 
No person shall operate or permit the operation of any device or conduct or permit any use to be conducted which does not comply with the regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Radiology, the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Federal Interstate Commerce Commission.
2. 
No person shall conduct or permit any use to be conducted which causes electrical disturbances (except from domestic household appliances) to adversely affect any equipment at any time other than the equipment creating the disturbance.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000; as added by Ord. 307, 3/29/2006, § 8; and by Ord. 356, 12/12/2012, § 3]
1. 
Any subdivision creating a building lot that is submitted for preliminary plan approval or combined preliminary/final plan approval after the effective date of this Section shall comply with this Section requirements.
2. 
The applicant shall delineate on the plans and prove that each lot intended for a single family detached dwelling that will be served by an on-lot sewage disposal system shall include a minimum of 40,000 square feet of contiguous land area that does not include any of the following features: Class A Steep Slopes, wetlands, ponds, riparian buffers and one-hundred-year floodplain. This contiguous land area shall be used for the construction of the principal building. If it is infeasible to provide this area in accordance with the requirements of the underlying zoning district, the lot area shall be increased as necessary to provide the minimum area.
3. 
The applicant shall delineate on the plans and prove that each lot intended for a single-family detached dwelling that will be served by centralized sewage service shall include a minimum of 10,000 square feet of contiguous land area that does not include any of the following features: Class A Steep Slopes, wetlands, ponds, riparian buffers and one-hundred-year floodplain. This contiguous land area shall be used for the construction of the principal building. If it is infeasible to provide this area in accordance with the requirements of the underlying zoning district, the lot area shall be increased as necessary to provide the minimum area.
[Ord. 275, 2/9/2000; as added by Ord. 357, 12/12/2012, § 1]
1. 
Purposes. The purpose of this Section is to preserve, protect, replace and properly maintain trees within Plainfield Township to aid in the stabilization of soil by the prevention of erosion and sedimentation; reduce stormwater runoff and the costs associated therewith and replenish ground water supplies; aid in the removal of carbon dioxide and generation of oxygen in the atmosphere; provide a buffer and screen against noise pollution; provide shade; provide protection against severe weather; aid in the control of drainage and restoration of soil subsequent to construction or grading; conserve and enhance Plainfield Township's physical and aesthetic environment; promote good forest stewardship; avoid unreasonable and unnecessary restrictions on the right to practice forestry; and generally protect and enhance the quality of life and welfare of Plainfield Township.
2. 
Applicability.
A. 
This Chapter shall apply to all lands within Plainfield Township which contain trees having a diameter at breast height (DBH) in excess of six inches that are located within any of the following areas:
(1) 
Riparian buffers, conservation and other protective easements established by plan or agreement.
(2) 
The natural areas identified in the Pen Argyl-Plainfield Township-Wind Gap Regional Comprehensive Plan as Grand Central Woods and Big Offset Barren.
(3) 
Wetlands.
(4) 
One hundred feet of a watercourse or permanent pond or lake.
(5) 
An area where construction is proposed.
(6) 
An area to be part of a timber harvest.
B. 
The cutting of trees for the personal use of the landowner and not for resale in any form is not considered timber harvesting, but must comply with Subsection 5, "Greenway Protection."
C. 
The cutting of trees by or for the landowner for resale shall not exceed an average of 12 trees per wooded acre within a twelve-month period and shall comply with Subsection 5, "Greenway Protection." If this limit is exceeded, then Subsection 7, "Timber Harvesting General Regulations," shall apply.
D. 
Timber harvesting shall be a permitted use by right in all zoning districts with compliance with the requirements of this Section.
E. 
In the case where other Plainfield Township ordinances conflict with the provisions of this Section, the most restrictive requirements shall apply.
3. 
Definitions.
CALIPER
The diameter of a tree trunk measured in inches, six inches above (ground level for trees up to four inches at DBH and 12 inches above ground level for trees over four inches at DBH.
CLEAR CUTTING
The cutting of trees so that in any 1.0 acre of previous woodland, less than 30% of the canopy produced by trees with a DBH of six inches or greater remain.
DIAMETER AT BREAST HEIGHT OR DBH
The diameter of a tree is measured at a height of 4.5 feet above the ground, on the uphill side of the stem, using a tree caliper, a diameter tape or a Biltmore stick.
DIKE OR DAM
An embankment constructed as a barrier to control the flow, hold back or raise the level of water, consisting of a top width and front and rear embankment slopes.
DRIPLINE
The outside edge of the area located directly beneath the canopy of a plant upon which rain is intercepted before it falls to the ground.
EVERGREEN TREE
A tree having foliage that persists and remains green throughout the year.
FELLING
The act of cutting a standing tree so that it falls to the ground.
FORESTRY OPERATOR
An individual, partnership, company, firm, association or corporation engaged in timber harvesting, including the agents, subcontractors and employees thereof.
HAUL ROAD
A constructed road of dirt and/or gravel utilized for moving cut trees from the point where they are loaded on a truck to exit from the site.
INVASIVE PLANTS
Those plants listed on the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) publication entitled "Invasive Plants in Pennsylvania."
ISA
International Society of Arboriculture.
LAND DISTURBING ACTIVITY
Any change of the land surface including removing vegetative cover, excavation, filling, grading and/or the construction of any structure. An agricultural activity such as the planting, growing, cultivating and harvesting of crops is exempt from this definition.
LANDING
The place where logs, pulpwood or firewood are assembled for transportation to a processing facility.
LANDOWNER
The legal or beneficial owner or owners of land.
LITTER
Discarded items not naturally occurring on the site.
PERSONAL USE
A good, product or resource used for personal consumption and not in a trade or business.
SKID ROAD
An improved road that is used by forestry equipment to transport felled trees to the landing site and can be used by other vehicles.
SKID TRAIL
A path traveled by ground skidding equipment while moving trees or logs to a landing.
SKIDDING
The dragging of felled trees on the ground from the stump to the landing by any means.
SLASH
Woody debris left in the woods after timber harvesting, including logs, chunks, bark, branches, uprooted stumps, and broken or uprooted trees or shrubs.
STAND
Any area of forest vegetation whose site conditions, past history and current species composition are sufficiently uniform to be managed as a unit.
STREAMBANK
The break in the slope between the waterline of a watercourse and the surrounding land area.
STUMP
The base part of a tree that remains standing after the tree has been felled.
THINNING
The systematic removal of selected trees to improve the health and growth of the residual stand.
TIMBER HARVESTING OR TIMBER HARVESTING OPERATION
Process of cutting down trees, removing logs from the forest for the primary purpose of sale or commercial processing into wood products.
TREE
Any self-supporting woody plant, not less than a two-inch caliper.
TREE PROTECTION ZONE
An area that is radial to the trunk of a tree in which no construction activity shall occur. The zone shall be at least five feet beyond the dripline of the tree. Where there is a group of trees or woodlands, the zone shall be the aggregate of the protection zones of the trees.
TREETOP
The upper portion of a felled tree that is not merchantable because of small size, taper or defect.
VEGETATION
Trees, shrubs, ground cover and other plants that stabilize the soil.
WATERCOURSE
A watercourse is a channel or conveyance of surface water having defined bed and banks, whether natural or artificial, with perennial or intermittent flow, shown as Hydrology (blue lines) on the latest version of the Plainfield Township Zoning Map. Man-made swales, constructed specifically for stormwater management purposes, are excluded from this definition.
WETLAND
All lands regulated as wetlands by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and/or the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Such areas are inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, including swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.
4. 
Exemptions.
A. 
The following shall be exempt from this Section:
(1) 
Crop trees planted in commercial Christmas tree farms, nurseries and fruit orchards.
(2) 
Removal of trees that have fallen to the ground or trees that are dead and have not produced foliage on at least 50% of its branches during at least one full normal growing season.
(3) 
Trees directed or authorized to be removed by municipal, county, state or federal authority.
(4) 
Removal of trees whose growth may cause structural damage to buildings or foundations or are in danger of falling, causing damage to dwellings or other structures, or the blockage of a watercourse or a public road.
(5) 
Any tree determined to be causing a danger or be in hazardous condition as a result of a natural event such as tornado, storm, flood or other act of God that endangers the public health, welfare or safety and requires immediate removal.
(6) 
Any tree growing on or over a public right-of-way.
(7) 
Pruning or removal of trees within sight easements or within the right-of-way by utility companies for maintenance of utility wires or pipelines.
(8) 
Removal of trees in conjunction with those projects that have received preliminary or preliminary/final major subdivision, land development or site plan approval prior to the effective date of this Section.
(9) 
Removal of nonnative vegetation and invasive plants.
(10) 
Trees growing on man-made earthen dikes or dams.
5. 
Greenway Protection.
A. 
Except as otherwise provided herein, it shall be unlawful for any person to cut down any living tree in Plainfield Township that measures six inches or more in diameter at breast height (DBH) that grows in the following areas:
(1) 
Riparian buffers, conservation and other protective easements established by plan or agreement.
(2) 
The natural areas identified in the Pen Argyl-Plainfield Township-Wind Gap Regional Comprehensive Plan as Grand Central Woods and Big Offset Barren.
(3) 
Wetlands, excepting that selective thinning management of forested wetlands is allowed at an average of 10 trees per acre of forested wetlands, not to exceed 30%, whichever is less, over the course of 12 months. Proposed tree thinning, which would exceed this rate during the course of 12 months, shall be considered timber harvesting and must comply with the requirements listed in Subsection 7A.
(4) 
Within 50 feet of the top of the streambank of a watercourse or the edge of normal water level of a permanent pond or lake having an outlet to, and located within, 1,000 feet of a watercourse.
B. 
Trees listed in Subsection 5A above shall be preserved unless the removal of trees is in accordance with this Section, or for the purpose of managing or improving the natural habitat, with approval of the Plainfield Township Zoning Officer.
6. 
Construction-Related Tree Cutting.
A. 
Living trees with a DBH of six inches or more shall not be removed as part of or in preparation of a subdivision, land development or other construction improvement, unless such tree meets or will meet one or more of the following conditions where the nearest portion of the tree trunk:
(1) 
Is located in or within 10 feet of a proposed or existing vehicular cartway (including improved shoulder) and the supporting roadside swale.
(2) 
Is within 10 feet of a proposed sidewalk.
(3) 
Is within 60 feet of the foundation of a structure.
(4) 
Is within a proposed utility corridor, with the exception that trees removed purely for construction of the utility line that are not part of the permanent area needed for continued maintenance or direct access for maintenance of the utility line, shall be replaced on a 1:1 basis as per Subsection 11B within six months of the completion of construction.
Or the tree:
(1)
Has a dripline which is within 20 feet of an approved stormwater detention basin, paved area, driveway or on-lot sewage system.
(2)
Poses a clear danger to a structure, utility or public improvement.
(3)
Poses a sight distance obstruction for required sight lines of a traveled road or driveway or intersections involving roads or driveways.
(4)
Is clearly unhealthy, dead or diseased.
(5)
Is within an area of an approved principal or accessory use that clearly requires the removal of the tree to the satisfaction of the Township Zoning Officer.
(6)
Is within the area of proposed construction deemed necessary for a change in grade. The limits of these areas to be graded triggering tree removal shall be reviewed and approved by the Township.
(7)
Is within any area of improvement where tree removal is approved by the Township.
B. 
Removing woodlands or existing trees to avoid requirements of this Chapter is hereby prohibited. See Subsection 11B.
C. 
Subdivision and land development plans shall clearly depict and note the maximum extent of tree removal allowed conforming with this Chapter.
D. 
During design of subdivision, land development, grading or site plans, tree removal and encroachment into woodland areas by proposed improvements such as, but not limited to, roads, detention basins, stormwater conveyance systems, etc., shall be minimized. Tree trimming shall be utilized where possible to avoid tree removal. Submission of plans to the Township for approval must include information showing that alternatives have been explored and analyzed. Sketch Plan submission to the Township is recommended when tree removal is planned. The Board of Supervisors (or the Planning Commission in the case of minor subdivisions) shall have the right to deny, allow or allow with mitigation (tree replacement), tree removal for construction.
E. 
Once tree removal areas are established, the remaining trees shall be designated to be within a tree protection zone. Trees within a tree protection zone shall be subject to the following during construction:
(1) 
No change in existing grade shall be permitted within the tree protection zone. Appropriate fencing or other means of protection acceptable to Plainfield Township shall be installed for the duration of construction at the tree protection zone of trees being retained and that are adjacent to construction. Roots of trees being retained shall not be cut.
(2) 
No boards or other materials shall be nailed or otherwise attached to trees during construction.
(3) 
Construction materials, equipment, soil and/or debris shall not be stored, nor disposed of, within the tree protection zones of trees being retained, except for mulched vegetative matter used to prevent soil compaction.
(4) 
Tree trunks, limbs and exposed roots damaged during construction shall be protected from further damage by being treated immediately in accordance with ISA standards.
(5) 
Any clearing within the tree protection zone shall be done by hand-operated equipment.
7. 
Timber Harvesting General Regulations.
A. 
When a property owner wishes to conduct, or permit to be conducted, a timber harvesting operation on his or her property, which will remove more than an average of 12 trees/acre of woodland with a DBH in excess of six inches within a twelve-month period, such owner shall obtain a timber harvesting permit from Plainfield Township.
B. 
A timber harvesting permit shall not apply to:
(1) 
Work performed on clearing subdivision roads and rights-of-way as shown on subdivision plans which have received, at a minimum, preliminary plan approval by Plainfield Township.
(2) 
Work performed in accordance with land development plans which have received, at a minimum, preliminary plan approval by Plainfield Township.
(3) 
The cutting of trees for the personal use of the landowner and not for resale in any form.
(4) 
Pre-commercial timber stand improvement on lots less than two acres in size. Timber harvested for the above stated purpose shall only be for use of the landowner and not for resale in any form.
(5) 
The cutting of trees by or for the landowner for resale, but not exceeding an average of 12 trees per wooded acre within a twelve-month period.
C. 
No timber harvesting shall occur until the timber harvesting permit has been issued by the Zoning Officer. The permit application shall be in writing and shall include a timber harvesting plan, specify the land on which harvesting will occur, the expected size of the harvest area, and as applicable, the anticipated starting and completion date of the operation. Plainfield Township shall be notified in writing before any timber harvesting operation begins and terminates. Plainfield Township shall be notified one business day prior to starting the timber harvest.
8. 
Submission Requirements for Timber Harvesting Plan and Permit Application.
A. 
Any timber harvesting operation shall be undertaken in accordance with a timber harvesting plan approved by the Plainfield Township Zoning Officer. All timber harvesting plans shall be prepared by a professional forester or an individual knowledgeable in proper timber harvesting practices and submitted to Plainfield Township for review for compliance with the standards for timber harvesting operations set forth herein not less than 45 days prior to commencement of the timber harvesting operation. Within 30 days of submission to Plainfield Township, a timber harvesting plan shall be approved; denied or approved subject to reasonable conditions and the applicant so notified in writing.
B. 
The timber harvesting permit application shall be in writing and shall include a timber harvesting plan submitted to Plainfield Township for review and approval. The timber harvesting plan shall include a plan or plans containing the following information:
(1) 
Purpose of the proposed operation.
(2) 
Name, address and telephone number of the property owner and of the forestry operator responsible for the harvest.
(3) 
Total property area and total land footprint area involved in the proposed timber harvesting operation.
(4) 
An erosion and sedimentation control plan must be submitted to the Northampton County Conservation District for review. A letter of adequacy for the plan and a copy of the final approved plan must be submitted to the Township Zoning Officer prior to issuance of the timber harvesting permit.
(5) 
Site location and boundaries of both the entirety of the property upon which the timber harvesting operation shall occur and the specific area proposed for timber harvesting.
(6) 
The general location of the proposed operation in relation to municipal and state roads and any proposed accesses to those roads.
(7) 
Existing watercourses, and wetlands, if timber harvest occurs within 50 feet of that area.
(8) 
Topography of the property, including all slopes of 25% or greater.
(9) 
Earth disturbance locations, including skid trails and landing areas.
(10) 
Design, construction, maintenance of site work required for the retirement closure and restoration of the access system, including haul roads, skid roads, skid trails and landings.
(11) 
Design, construction, maintenance and location of water control measures and structures.
(12) 
Design, construction, maintenance and location of proposed stream and wetland crossings.
(13) 
Proposed hours of operation and duration of forestry operation.
C. 
If the timber harvest will access state or local roads via new temporary or permanent driveways, access permits must be acquired from PennDOT or the Township and submitted with the application for a timber harvesting permit.
D. 
Any permits required by any other agency under any applicable regulation shall be the responsibility of the landowner or timber harvesting operator as applicable. Copies of all required permits shall be submitted to Plainfield Township prior to issuance of a permit.
9. 
Timber Harvesting Operation Regulations.
A. 
In addition to the requirements listed in this Chapter, timber harvesting shall be conducted following the most current version of the guidelines outlined in the Timber Harvest Operations Field Guide for Waterways, Wetlands and Erosion Control, published by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Best Management Practices for Pennsylvania Forests published by Penn State, College of Agricultural Sciences.
B. 
Timber harvesting is prohibited within a riparian buffer established by plan or easement, or within 50 feet of the top of the stream bank of a watercourse or the edge of normal water level of a permanent pond or lake having an outlet to, and located within 1,000 feet of a watercourse.
C. 
Clear-cutting is permitted on slopes of less than 25% where it is done for the purposes of managing or improving the natural habitat. Clear-cutting is prohibited on areas with slopes of 25% or greater, in floodplains and in wetlands.
D. 
Trees falling on adjacent properties as a result of a timber harvesting operation shall be returned immediately to the harvesting landowner's properly, who shall be responsible for any damage, cost or restoration to the affected adjacent property.
E. 
Felling or skidding on or across any public road or right-of-way is prohibited without the express written consent of Plainfield Township or the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, whichever is responsible for maintenance of such public road or right-of-way.
F. 
No treetops or slash shall be left:
(1) 
Within 50 feet of any public road, street, adjacent property or private roadway providing access to any adjoining property.
(2) 
Within 25 feet of the boundary of any property adjoining the timber harvesting operation without the written consent of the owner thereof.
(3) 
In a wetland or established riparian buffer unless greater damage would result by removing treetops or slash from there.
G. 
All tree tops, limbs and slash shall be cut to a height of no more than four feet above ground level.
H. 
The stumps of all felled trees shall be permitted to remain for soil stabilization provided that they extend no more than two feet above grade.
I. 
Littering is prohibited and litter resulting from a timber harvesting operation shall be removed from the site on a daily basis.
J. 
During the periods of abnormal forest fire danger, as determined by Plainfield Township Volunteer Fire Company, Plainfield Township shall have the authority to order a suspension of timber harvesting operations until the danger subsides.
K. 
Plainfield Township shall have the authority to order the suspension of any timber harvesting operation if in the opinion of Plainfield Township, conditions created by the spring thaw, adverse weather or any other cause makes soil erosion likely.
L. 
Upon completion of the timber harvesting operation, all disturbed areas, including, but not limited to, the landing areas and skid trails shall be re-vegetated pursuant to the approved timber harvesting plan.
M. 
A timber harvesting operation shall not include any night processing of harvested trees or manufacturing except as defined in the approved timber harvesting plan.
N. 
Pursuant to 75 Pa.C.S.A., Chapter 49, and 67 Pa. Code, Chapter 189, the landowner and the operator shall be responsible for repairing any damage to Plainfield Township roads caused by traffic associated with the timber harvesting operation, to the extent the damage is in excess of that caused by normal traffic, and shall be required to furnish a bond to guarantee the repair of such potential damages, as determined by the Plainfield Township with advice from the Township Engineer.
10. 
Right to Inspect.
A. 
Plainfield Township, by its own personnel or outside agent, may enter upon the site of any proposed timber harvesting operation after an application to conduct such operation has been filed for the purpose of reviewing the plans for the proposed operation and thereafter recommending or opposing the proposed operation or recommending or requiring changes or modifications thereto.
B. 
After a permit for a timber harvesting operation has been issued, Plainfield Township shall have the right by its own personnel or agent, to enter upon the site before, during and after the timber harvesting operation to ensure and require compliance with both the plans for said operation as finally approved and all of the terms and provisions of this Chapter.
C. 
For safety, Township personnel shall contact the timber harvester listed on the permit prior to entering the site, and wear personal protective equipment.
11. 
Violations.
A. 
Timber Harvesting Violations.
(1) 
Upon finding that a timber harvesting operation is in violation of any provision of this Section, Plainfield Township shall issue the logging operator and the landowner a written notice of violation in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter regarding enforcement notices, describing each violation and specifying a date by which corrective action must be taken.
(2) 
Plainfield Township may order the immediate suspension of any timber harvesting operation and may institute any appropriate action to prevent, restrain, correct or abate the violation of this Section upon finding that:
(a) 
Corrective action has not been taken by the date specified in a notice of violation.
(b) 
The operation is proceeding without a timber harvesting plan.
(3) 
Suspension orders shall be in writing and shall be issued to the forestry operator and the landowner and shall remain in effect until the timber harvesting operation is brought into compliance with this Section or other applicable statutes or regulations.
B. 
Replacement Trees.
(1) 
For nontimber harvesting violation where existing trees six inches or more in diameter at breast height have been removed because of land development or land disturbing activity in violation of this Chapter, the landowner shall be required to replace the trees on a 1:1 basis.
(2) 
In cases where replacement trees are required, the following shall apply:
(a) 
The replacement tree shall be of the same species (unless the original was a nonnative species) and a cultivar that has the same maximum height and growth rate of the tree to be removed. If this is not feasible, the replacement trees shall be selected from the Plainfield Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance [Chapter 22]. Where trees having a large maturing height are required and overhead utility lines exist, smaller native trees shall be substituted.
(b) 
The replacement trees shall be not less than two inches caliper. The trees shall be at least 10 feet tall after planting and trimming. Trees shall not be planted within the tree protection zone of another tree. A maximum of 30% of the required trees may be replaced as evergreen trees.
(c) 
Where 10 or more replacement trees are required, not more than 50% of the replacement trees shall be of the same species of tree without the approval of Plainfield Township.
(d) 
The replacement trees may be placed on the site at any location selected by the property owner as long as such location does not violate any other provision of this Section.
(e) 
Any replacement tree which is not alive or healthy, as determined by Plainfield Township, or which subsequently dies due to construction activity within 18 months after the date of project closure, shall be removed by the applicant and replaced with a new healthy tree meeting the same minimum size requirements within six months of removal. The eighteen-month maintenance period will re-start on the date of planting this new healthy tree.
[Added by Ord. No. 393, 9/11/2019]
1. 
If groundwater or spring water is proposed to be withdrawn from a site, and the withdrawal involves more than 50,000 gallons per day for off-site nonagricultural use, then special exception approval shall be required. The gallons of usage may be measured based upon average use over a thirty-day period. The provisions of this § 27-520 shall serve as special exception criteria, in addition to the overall special exception criteria of this Section.
2. 
This Section shall not regulate water withdrawals by a public utility, municipality or water company that provides a centralized domestic water distribution system to customers in Plainfield Township (and which may also serve neighboring municipalities). This Section shall also not regulate water withdrawals for local agricultural uses or withdrawals that are recharged into the ground in Plainfield Township, such as water withdrawn for a golf course.
3. 
It is recognized that the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has authority to regulate many aspects of water withdrawals. As a result, the actual water withdrawal use is not limited to particular zoning districts, except the use shall be prohibited in the BMC Zoning District.
4. 
If the water will be trucked off-site, then as part of the special exception application, the applicant shall provide a written report by a professional engineer with substantial experience in traffic engineering. Such study shall analyze the suitability of the area road system to accommodate the truck traffic that will be generated. The applicant shall document the structural condition of Plainfield Township public roads and Township and county bridges that will serve as the routes by trucks from the use, including pictorial documentation, for review by the Township Engineer. The Township Engineer may require the applicant to complete a core boring of a road to show whether construction is suitable for the truck traffic.
A. 
The full burden of proof shall be upon the applicant to prove to the satisfaction of the Zoning Hearing Board that the traffic resulting from the use will be able to be safely accommodated on the road system, without causing increased congestion and without causing damage to the road surfaces. Such proof shall address the road system and bridges to show they are suitable in terms of structure, geometry, safety and capacity to accommodate the additional truck traffic. The Zoning Hearing Board shall have the authority to deny the application if the road system and/or bridges are not proven to be suitable for the intended use.
B. 
If it is determined that the actual structure of the roads or bridges are not able to support the proposed design loads coming from the proposed operation, and if the applicant does not commit to make improvements to the roads and bridges, then the Zoning Hearing Board may establish a condition for the applicant to establish an agreement with the Board of Supervisors to post financial security to cover the costs of damage to the public roads or bridges from the resulting trucks.
5. 
If the water will be trucked off-site, any area used for loading or unloading of tractor-trailer trucks shall be setback a minimum of 150 feet from any preexisting dwelling on an adjacent lot. The Zoning Hearing Board shall have the authority to place reasonable conditions upon the hours of operation of trucking activities that are likely to create a noise nuisance for nearby dwellings.
6. 
Minimum lot area: 20 acres for the initial 50,000 gallons per day, plus 10 additional acres for each 50,000 gallons per day of approved capacity of withdrawal per day. A newly drilled well used for water withdrawal under this Section shall be setback a minimum of 200 feet from any lot line that is not in common ownership.
7. 
Any bottling, treatment or processing operations shall be considered a distinct use and shall only be allowed if granted special exception approval as a manufacturing use in the CI, I-BP or GI Zoning Districts.
8. 
As part of the special exception application, a study by a qualified professional hydrogeologist shall be submitted by the applicant to the Zoning Officer. Such study shall analyze impacts of the withdrawal upon wetlands, water supply wells, agriculture and creek levels, particularly during periods of drought. The written credentials of the person conducting the study shall be submitted to the Township. Such professional should be made available to testify before the Zoning Hearing Board. Such study is not required by this Section to include any information or analysis that will not also be required to be submitted currently or at some time in the future to DEP or the DRBC.
9. 
If the withdrawal will need approval from DRBC, then a copy of materials required to be submitted by the applicant to the DRBC shall also be submitted to the Zoning Officer at the same time.
10. 
If the water withdrawal use is not within a commercial or industrial district and will result in an average of 10 or more trucks leaving the site per day that each have a loaded vehicle gross weight of more than 40,000 pounds, then the use shall only be allowed if the truck driveway exit of the use onto a public street is within a one mile driving distance from an entrance ramp of a limited access expressway.
[Added by Ord. No. 393, 9/11/2019]
1. 
Purposes.
A. 
To meet the requirements of Act 24 of 2008, which requires that Pennsylvania municipalities along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail take action, consistent with applicable law, to preserve the natural, scenic, historic, and aesthetic values of the trail and to conserve and maintain the trail corridor as a public natural resource.
B. 
To protect important natural and historic resources by maintaining a natural resource buffer along the Appalachian Trail. This natural resource buffer is intended to provide a physical and visual screen from the impacts of new development along the Appalachian Trail corridor.
C. 
To preserve the scenic and topographic conditions along the Appalachian Trail that are vital to the trail's natural and scenic quality by maintaining the existing tree canopy and protecting viewsheds.
D. 
To prevent negative noise, light, or other environmental impacts associated with land uses near the Appalachian Trail.
E. 
To promote community benefits to communities along the Appalachian Trail, including improving community health and increasing recreational opportunities.
2. 
Applicability. For any lot or portion thereof within the Appalachian Trail National Scenic Trail Overlay District, the regulations of the underlying zoning district shall continue to be in effect, except the regulations of the overlay district shall take precedence over any zoning regulations which are in direct conflict with those of the overlay district. The overlay district shall consist of the primary conservation zone and the secondary conservation zone, as described below.
3. 
Primary Conservation Zone. A lot located within the primary conservation zone (as delineated below) shall be used only in accordance with the following regulations.
A. 
Delineation. The primary conservation zone shall include lands as shown on the attached "Appalachian Trail Conservation Overlay Districts" Map.[1] The attached map is dated December 2018. Where such boundary is not depicted on the map as following an existing lot line or the centerline of a road, the boundary shall include land within a minimum width of 1,000 feet from the "exterior corridor boundary survey," as approved by the National Park Service for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. For the purposes of this § 27-521, such boundary shall be the edge of lands that are owned by the National Park Service or that are protected by a conservation easement by the National Park Service. For the purposes of this § 27-521, such boundary shall not include lands or easements acquired after January 1, 2010. Along segments of the Appalachian Trail where an exterior corridor boundary survey has not been completed, or within lands owned by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the primary conservation zone shall be 1,500 feet from the centerline of the Appalachian Trail.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said map is on file in the Township offices.
B. 
Buildings. A new building with a building footprint of more than 150 square feet shall not be allowed within 500 feet from the "exterior corridor boundary survey" boundary or 1,000 feet from the centerline of the Appalachian Trail where an exterior corridor boundary survey has not been completed.
C. 
Prohibited Activities. The following activities are specifically prohibited within the primary conservation zone, except for improvements necessary to provide public water supply facilities:
(1) 
Clearcutting of trees with a diameter at breast height of eight inches or more, other than maintenance by a federal, state, or municipal agency or a trail club that is partnered with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), and permissible timber harvesting or tree cutting as authorized in § 27-518 and 27-519.
(2) 
Storage of hazardous materials, except for types and amounts typically found in a one family home.
(3) 
Construction of parking lots of three or more parking spaces, except for federal, state, or municipally owned lots or spaces necessary to serve existing adjacent lawful uses, or as authorized by the federal agency responsible for the maintenance of the trail or adjacent land.
(4) 
Installation of a new communications tower (except as may be allowed under § 27-315, Subsection 8A) or wind turbine.
(5) 
Uses involving mineral extraction, groundwater extraction (except as part of an existing Public Utility Commission-regulated water system), a natural gas compressor station, or solar energy facilities covering more than 1,000 square feet of ground area.
(6) 
Development of any lot that results in an impervious coverage of greater than 5,000 square feet on a lot.
4. 
Secondary Conservation Zone. A lot or property located within the secondary conservation zone as herein delineated shall be used only in accordance with the following regulations.
A. 
Delineation. The secondary conservation zone shall include lands as shown on the "Appalachian Trail Conservation Overlay Districts Map." Where the boundary does not follow a lot line, centerline of a road or another dimension on the map, the zone shall include land within a minimum width of 1,500 feet from the edge of the primary conservation zone, but not including land within the primary conservation zone.
B. 
Allowed Uses. The allowed uses of the underlying zoning district shall apply, except as provided in Subsection 4C below.
C. 
Prohibited Activities. The following activities are specifically prohibited within the secondary conservation zone, except for improvements necessary to provide public water supply facilities:
(1) 
Clearcutting of trees with a diameter at breast height of eight inches or more, other than maintenance by a federal, state or municipal agency or a trail club that is partnered with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), and as may be approved under timber harvesting or tree cutting provisions in §§ 27-518 and 27-519.
(2) 
Storage of hazardous materials, beyond types and amounts typically found in a one family home.
(3) 
Construction of parking lots of five or more parking spaces, except for federal, state, county or municipally owned lots, or spaces necessary to serve existing adjacent lawful uses, or as authorized by the federal agency responsible for the maintenance of the trail or adjacent land.
(4) 
Development of any lot that results in an impervious coverage of greater than 20% or 10,000 square feet within the secondary conservation area, whichever is less restrictive.
(5) 
Uses involving mineral extraction, the surface point of groundwater or spring water extraction (except as part of an existing Public Utility Commission-regulated water system), a natural gas compressor station, or solar energy facilities covering more than 1,000 square feet of ground area.
5. 
Development Standards for the Primary Conservation Zone. Any use or development of a lot within the primary conservation zone shall comply with the following development standards:
A. 
New buildings shall be screened with landscaping (native species are preferred) or using preserved trees from view of the Appalachian Trail and shall be located on the site in such a way that best preserves viewsheds from the Appalachian Trail.
B. 
Any building should be sited in the least visually prominent location of a site. The use of earth tone colors is encouraged, while avoiding highly reflective roofs.
C. 
Any building should not be located at the top of a ridgeline, unless no other alternative location is feasible. Where a building is located at the top of a ridgeline, the highest portions of the building should be at less visible locations.
D. 
It is recommended to use earth-tone colors in exterior building materials and low-reflective roofing materials.
E. 
Timbering and tree removal: See §§ 27-518 and 27-519.
F. 
Steep slope requirements: See § 27-503.
G. 
Light and noise requirements: See §§ 27-511 and 27-514.
6. 
Submissions and Review Process. In addition to the standard process for applications for permits and approvals under this Section, the following additional information shall be provided on applications for a proposed use, development or regulated activity that is on a lot that is entirely or partially within a primary conservation zone and/or the secondary conservation zone.
A. 
When a site plan is required by this Section, the following additional information is needed:
(1) 
Existing and proposed man-made and/or natural features: Water courses (with names), lakes and wetlands; rock outcrops, ledges and stone fields; proposed buildings, structures and signs, with setbacks required by the Zoning Ordinance; locations of woodlands proposed to remain or be removed; stormwater management facilities; and plans for any required buffer plantings.
(2) 
Applicants shall accurately show the alignment of the Appalachian Trail and existing protected lands. This should include the trail alignment placed over an aerial photo or a site plan. Note: the trail alignment is available online from the Appalachian Trail Communities Network website.
7. 
Wireless Communications Facilities. See § 27-315.