City of Lebanon, PA
Lebanon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 1-2020, 21, passed 6-22-2020]
In addition to serving the overall purposes of this title, this Article 1308 is intended to:
(a) 
Promote the retention of community character through preservation of the local heritage by recognition and protection of historic and architectural resources;
(b) 
Encourage continued use, appropriate rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings;
(c) 
Implement Sections 603(b), 603(g), 604(1) and 605(2) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code,[1] which address protecting and facilitating the preservation of historic values through zoning and using zoning to regulate uses and structures at or near places having unique historic, architectural or patriotic interest or value; and
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. §§ 10603(b), 10603(g), 10604(1), and 10605(2), respectively.
(d) 
Strengthen the local economy by promoting heritage tourism, improving property values and increasing investment in older buildings.
[Ord. No. 1-2020, 21, passed 6-22-2020]
This Article 1308 shall apply to principal buildings located within the Historic Overlay District that is adopted as part of this title, as shown on the Historic Overlay District Map.[1] This Article 1308 shall only apply to a building that was built before January 1, 1940. If a building was built in stages, this Article 1308 shall only apply to the portion that was built before such date. Additional properties may be added to this overlay district in the future as a zoning ordinance amendment, after a public hearing by City Council.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said map is included as an attachment to this title.
[Ord. No. 1-2020, 21, passed 6-22-2020]
(a) 
"Demolition" shall be defined as the dismantling, tearing down, removal or razing of the exterior of a building, in whole or in part. This term shall not include changes to the interior of a building, provided such changes do not alter the structural integrity of the building. A "partial demolition" shall mean: 1) removal of exterior portions of a building, or 2) removal of original exterior architectural features, such as, but not limited to, an attached porch roof, porch columns, cornices, exterior window details or similar features.
(b) 
A building within the Historic Overlay District shall not be demolished, including any partial demolition, unless the applicant proves to the satisfaction of the Zoning Hearing Board as a special exception use that one or more of the following conditions exists:
(1) 
The existing building cannot feasibly and reasonably be reused, and that such situation is not the result of intentional neglect or demolition by neglect by the current owner or a person who owned the property within the previous two years; or
(2) 
The denial of the demolition would result in unreasonable economic hardship to the owner, and the hardship was not self-created; or
(3) 
The demolition is necessary to allow a specific development or transportation project to occur that will have substantial and unusual public benefits that will greatly outweigh the loss of the building (such as the establishment or expansion of a major employer, or the development or expansion of a needed community facility); or
(4) 
The design of the replacement building will result in a net improvement to the streetscape.
(c) 
Application. Prior to conducting a complete or partial demolition, a complete application for such work shall be submitted by the applicant, in writing, and such demolition shall need prior approval under this article. After a complete application has been filed, it shall be forwarded to the City Planning Commission members, and the Commission should be allowed an opportunity to provide a review at a meeting. This application shall include the following:
(1) 
The name, address and daytime telephone number of the owner of record and the applicant for the demolition.
(2) 
Recent exterior photographs of the building proposed for demolition. If the applicant is alleging that the building cannot be reused or rehabilitated, then interior photos and floor plans shall be provided as needed to support the applicant's claim.
(3) 
A site plan drawn to scale showing existing buildings and the proposed demolition.
(4) 
A written statement of the reasons for the demolition.
(5) 
The proposed use of the site, and a proposed time line for development of that proposed use.
(d) 
Evidence. The applicant shall provide sufficient credible evidence to justify any claims that a building cannot feasibly be repaired or reused. The Zoning Hearing Board may require that an applicant submit a written and signed report or in-person testimony by a qualified professional and/or written cost estimates from bona fide contractors to support a claim.
(e) 
Emergency. The Zoning Officer shall issue a zoning permit for the demolition without compliance with the demolition approval requirements of this Article 1308 if the Construction Codes Official certifies, in writing, that the building represents a clear and immediate hazard to public safety and that no other reasonable alternatives exist to demolition.
(f) 
Replacement. Where new construction or vehicle parking is proposed in place of the demolished building, information about the proposed use shall be provided prior to approval of the demolition.
(g) 
Exceptions. Special exception use approval shall not be needed for the following:
(1) 
Interior renovations or removal of features (such as a rear porch) that do not harm the structural stability of the building and that are not visible from a public street (not including improvements that are only visible from a rear or side alley of less than 14 feet cartway).
(2) 
Removal of features that were added after January 1, 1940, such as a modern porch, aluminum siding, a building addition or a carport.
(3) 
Relocation of a building within the City, provided that the relocation does not result in a partial or complete demolition that is regulated by this Article 1308.
(h) 
Salvage. When a building within the Historic Overlay District is proposed for demolition, the applicant shall describe efforts that will be made, to the maximum extent feasible, to remove and preserve significant exterior and interior historic features of the building. Such features may be sold, may be donated to an organization that will oversee their reuse, may be incorporated into a new building, or may be otherwise appropriately preserved. Such preservation may be established as a written condition of an approval.
[Ord. No. 1-2020, 21, passed 6-22-2020]
(a) 
This § 1308.04 allows certain additional uses if the use would be within a principal building built before January 1, 1940, within the Historic Overlay District. If the use is already allowed as a permitted by right use in the zoning district, it shall continue to be permitted by right. The following additional uses shall be allowed as special exception uses within such a building:
(1) 
The development of one or more dwelling units within the building.
(2) 
The conversion of such a building into an office, personal service use, restaurant, retail stores, art/custom crafts studio, financial institution or art gallery. Any drive-through service windows shall be placed as far as practical from the front facade of the building.
(3) 
The conversion of such a building into a bed-and-breakfast inn, college use, primary or secondary school, or a hotel.
(4) 
The conversion of the building into another use that the applicant proves to the satisfaction of the Zoning Hearing Board would be appropriate, considering the adjacent uses, without creating hazards to the public health and safety.
(b) 
To be eligible for these uses, the applicant shall first submit architectural plans to the Zoning Officer and the Zoning Hearing Board showing the extent of changes proposed to the exterior of the front of the building as viewed from a public street that are proposed as part of the change of use and/or any building expansion.
(c) 
The building may be expanded, provided the expansion meets all of the dimensional requirements of this title.
[Ord. No. 1-2020, 21, passed 6-22-2020]
As a special exception, the Zoning Hearing Board shall have the authority to modify yard, coverage and other dimensional requirements for a lot occupied by a building built before January 1, 1940, within the Historic Overlay District, if the applicant proves to the Zoning Hearing Board that such modifications are necessary to promote the historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of such building.