This part shall be known and may be cited as the "Fox Chapel Natural Resources Assessment and Protection Ordinance of 2011."
The purpose of this part is to promote the protection, preservation and improvement of the natural resources and environment and related visual amenities, including the land, the quality of the air and water, the wildlife and natural vegetation, and the Borough's character, which manifests such resources. These purposes are in furtherance of Article I, Section 27, of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq., and are consistent with the Fox Chapel Borough Natural Resources Plan (Ferguson and Flint, June 1981). Borough Resolution No. 174 declaring Fox Chapel to be a wildlife sanctuary (October 1970), and the authority vested in Pennsylvania environmental advisory councils (see 53 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 2322 to 2329), and various other commonwealth and federal statutes.
The goals of this part include but are not limited to:
The identification and analysis of the natural and visual resources of the Borough to determine which should be conserved and/or preserved and which require special protection due to their vulnerable, sensitive or unique aspects, including such vulnerable natural features as floodplains, bodies of surface water, steep and very steep slopes, areas where significant wildlife and wildflowers are present, and fragile geologic formations;
Preservation of the natural, scenic and historical values in the environment and preservation of forests, wetlands, aquifers and floodplains;
The identification of those sites and areas which should be preserved or which require special protection due to their historical aspects;
Development and implementation of standards to protect these identified natural, visual and historic resources;
The evaluation of the environmental impact of certain activities, as prescribed in this part, to minimize adverse environmental effects by requiring sound planning and design, construction, operation and maintenance, and appropriate mitigation measures; and
The acquisition, through private and public means, of open spaces, forests and other natural, visual, historic and ecologically valuable resources.
In interpreting and applying the factors, considerations and standards which are set forth in the provisions of this part as guidelines or examples, they shall be held to be minimum considerations or requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety and general welfare. Wherever the particular circumstances involved require the consideration of additional factors or the application of more stringent standards than those set forth herein, the Borough Council shall have the power to consider such additional factors and apply such standards as it shall deem appropriate and necessary under the circumstances involved in order to adequately protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the community.
Whenever the provisions of any other statute or ordinance require the imposition of higher standards than those explicitly or implicitly imposed by this part, the provisions of such other statute or ordinance shall govern.
This part does not repeal, abrogate, annul or in any way impair or interfere with existing provisions of other laws or ordinances, or any private restrictions placed upon property by covenant, deed or other private agreement, unless repugnant hereto.
The provisions of this part shall be severable. If any provision of this part is found by a court of record to be unconstitutional and void, or in conflict with a federal or state statute or regulation which takes precedence, the remaining provisions of this part shall, nevertheless, remain valid, unless the court finds the valid provisions of this part are so essentially and inseparably connected with and so dependent upon the void provision that it cannot be presumed the Council of the Borough of Fox Chapel would have enacted the remaining valid provisions without the void one; or unless the court finds that the remaining valid provisions, standing alone, are incomplete and are incapable of being executed in accordance with the Council's intent.
The approval by Council of a proposed environmental disturbance in accordance with the provisions of this part shall not constitute a representation, guaranty or warranty of any kind by the Borough of Fox Chapel, or by any official or employee thereof, of the practicability or safety of the disturbance proposed and shall create no liability upon the Borough of Fox Chapel, its officials or employees.
From and after the passage of this part, any environmental disturbance, as defined herein, within the geographical boundaries of the Borough of Fox Chapel, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, shall be subject to the restrictions, regulations, requirements and conditions hereinafter set forth in this part. In addition, all property within the Borough of Fox Chapel, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, shall be subject to the restrictions, regulations, requirements and conditions hereinafter set forth in §§ 363-31 to 363-34 of this part.