City of Easton, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Flood hazard areas. Properties within the flood hazard area, as identified in City Code § 298-8, shall comply with Chapter 298[1] and any other applicable regulations.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 298, Floodplain Management.
B. 
Landscaping requirements. All applications shall comply with City Code §§ 520-32, 520-33, and 520-34.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 520, Subdivision and Land Development.
A. 
Minimum lot size. All new uses in all districts shall conform to the minimum lot size requirements outlined in Part 2, Zoning Uses, Districts and Regulations, under the appropriate uses and district.
B. 
Minimum lot width. All new uses in all districts shall conform to the minimum lot width requirements outlined in Part 2, Zoning Uses, Districts and Regulations, under the appropriate use and district.
C. 
Build-to line or setback. All new uses in all districts shall conform to the minimum build-to line or setback requirements outlined in Part 2, Zoning Uses, Districts and Regulations, under the appropriate use and district; except that:
(1) 
Where a new building does not propose a porch, portico or stoop, such building shall be set back six feet from the build-to line in order to accommodate a future porch, portico or stoop.
(2) 
Where lots comprising 50% or more of the frontage on the same side of a block or, in the case where there is no block, on the same side of the street between two intersecting streets are developed with buildings having shorter build-to lines than that required for the particular zoning district, the shorter build-to line shall establish the build-to line for the remainder of the frontage.
(3) 
The build-to line shall apply to the first four stories of building height only. Any additional stories shall meet the setback requirements of the underlying zoning district or applicable zoning overlay.
D. 
Minimum yard requirement. All new uses in all districts shall conform to the minimum yard requirements outlined in Part 2, Zoning Uses, Districts and Regulations, under the appropriate use and district.
E. 
Corner lots. Corner lots shall have two front yards and one rear yard.
F. 
Maximum building height.
(1) 
All new uses in all districts shall conform to the minimum building height requirements outlined in Part 2, Zoning Uses, Districts and Regulations, under the appropriate use and district.
(2) 
Chimneys, mechanical towers, church spires, cupolas and similar features may exceed the requirements outlined in each zoning district by a maximum of 12 feet.
(3) 
In the case of a sloped site where the slope is greater than 5%, the building height may be measured separately for each forty-foot segment, as measured along the primary façade.
G. 
Maximum impervious surface. All new uses in all districts shall conform to the maximum impervious percentages outlined in Part 2, Zoning Uses, Districts and Regulations, under the appropriate use and district.
H. 
Required sight triangle.
(1) 
In any district, no structure, fence, planting, or other structure shall be maintained between a plane two feet above curb level and a plane 10 feet above curb level so as to interfere with traffic visibility within 15 feet from the intersection. On any corner lot in the DD, BE, INS-1, INS-2, WW/INS-2 T, or CH/INS-1 T Zoning District, the sight triangle shall be reduced from 15 feet to eight feet.
(2) 
At each point where a private accessway intersects a public street or road, a clear sight triangle of eight feet, measured from the point of intersection of the street line and the edge of the accessway, shall be maintained, within which any visual obstructions shall be limited to a height of not more than two feet above the curb level and a plane 10 feet above curb level. When a private access point intersects an alley, then the clear sight triangle may be reduced to three feet.
(3) 
An existing building may be replaced with a new building without needing a larger setback to comply with this subsection.
A. 
Intent.
(1) 
The following environmental control and protection standards are established to protect the public health, safety and welfare by minimizing adverse environmental impacts and are specifically authorized by § 604 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Code, 53 P.S. § 10604, as enacted and amended. These standards are intended to meet the following purposes:
(a) 
Promote and implement §§ 603(c)(7), 603(g)(2), and 604(1) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Code, 53 P.S. §§ 10603(c)(7), 10603(g)(2) and 10604(1), providing for the protection and preservation of environmentally sensitive areas and natural resources through municipal zoning ordinances.
(b) 
Define and delineate selected environmental resources within the City and establish resource protection standards to assist the City in reducing the impact proposed uses will have on the environment.
B. 
Environmental controls.
(1) 
No use or activity shall endanger the critical features of the environment through pollutants and other degradation.
(2) 
All uses shall comply with City standards regarding land, noise, water and air quality.
(3) 
No use or activity established after the effective date of this chapter which transmits or receives electrical or electromagnetic waves or signals shall adversely affect the operation of any equipment beyond its lot lines.
(4) 
No use or activity established after the effective date of this chapter shall direct or reflect heat or glare, whether from lights or from high-temperature processing such as welding or otherwise, beyond its lot lines.
(5) 
No use or activity established after the effective date of this chapter shall produce any vibration which is discernible without the aid of instruments beyond its lot lines.
(6) 
No construction shall take place, fill added, soil removed, or any other activity take place as to alter the existing grade of a property, that will alter water runoff without review and approval by the City Engineer and Zoning Administrator.
C. 
Resource protection standards.
(1) 
Wetlands.
(a) 
Delineation. The applicant shall delineate the limits of wetlands on the site in accordance with the following:
[1] 
A full wetland delineation report conducted by a qualified wetland biologist, soil scientist, or environmental professional of demonstrated qualifications shall be submitted to the City. If there is a question as to the accuracy of the wetland delineation report, the City may hire a qualified consultant to review the delineation and recommend revisions, at the applicant's expense.
[2] 
Such a professional shall certify that the methods used correctly reflect the currently accepted technical concepts, including identification and analysis of wetland vegetation, hydric soils and hydrologic indicators. Methods used in the delineation report shall be acceptable to the City Engineer.
[3] 
The wetland report shall include a determination of whether wetlands are present or not present on the site and a full delineation, area measurement (in square feet), and description of any wetlands determined to be present.
(b) 
Resource protection standards.
[1] 
Any applicant proposing a use, activity or improvement which would entail the regrading or placement of fill in wetlands shall provide the City with proof that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (Bureau of Dams and Waterway Safety and Bureau of Water Quality Management) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been contacted to determine the applicability of state and federal wetland regulations. The applicant shall concurrently provide to the City a copy of the application and any other wetlands information submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
[2] 
Wetlands shall not be regraded, filled, piped, diverted, channeled, built upon, or otherwise altered or disturbed except where state or federal permits have been obtained.
[3] 
Existing wetlands shall not be used for stormwater management except where the wetlands are highly degraded and a mitigation program is provided.
(2) 
Wetland buffer.
(a) 
Except as noted below, no more than 20% of a wetland buffer shall be regraded, filled, built upon, or otherwise altered or disturbed.
(b) 
The following uses or activities shall be permitted in the wetland buffer and shall not be counted towards the 20% disturbance allowance:
[1] 
Regulated activities permitted by the commonwealth.
[2] 
Provision for unpaved trail access.
[3] 
Selective removal of hazardous or invasive alien vegetative species.
[4] 
Vegetation management in accordance with an approved landscape plan.
[5] 
A soil or stream conservation project approved by the Northampton County Conservation District.
(3) 
Riparian buffers.
(a) 
Delineation. For purposes of this chapter, riparian buffers shall be divided into two zones:
[1] 
Zone 1: Inner Riparian Buffer. This zone begins at the top of each stream bank of an identified watercourse and occupies a margin of land with a minimum width of 35 feet measured horizontally on a line perpendicular to the edge of the water at the top of the defined bank, as reviewed and approved by the City Engineer. Where very steep slopes (25% and over) are located within 35 feet of a watercourse, Zone 1 shall extend the entire distance of this sloped area.
[2] 
Zone 2: Outer Riparian Buffer. This zone begins at the outer edge of Zone 1 and occupies a maximum width of 35 feet in addition to Zone 1.
[a] 
In cases where Zone 1 extends beyond 35 feet due to the presence of very steep slopes, the width of Zone 2 shall be adjusted so that the total riparian buffer width equals a total width of 70 feet.
[b] 
Where the entire width of the Zone 2 riparian buffer is not wooded, the outer edge, up to the maximum seventy-foot width, shall be maintained as a filter strip of dense grass or other features to provide sediment filtering, nutrient uptake, and convert concentrated flow to uniform, shallow sheet flow.
[3] 
Measurements for the Zone 1 boundary are to be made horizontally, perpendicular from the following reference points: edge of stream bank of perennial streams, center line of intermittent streams, and mean water level of lakes and ponds. Measurements for the Zone 2 boundary are to be made horizontally, perpendicular from the boundary of the environmentally sensitive lands (see Diagrams 5-1, 5-2).
Diagrams 5-1 and 5-2 Notice: Diagrams are for illustration purposes and are not to be construed as the operative language of the Zoning Ordinance. The obligations are governed only by the written standards set forth in this chapter.
(b) 
Resource protection (see Diagram 5-3).
[1] 
Zone 1 riparian buffer: Except as noted below, no land disturbance, shall be permitted within the Zone 1 riparian buffer.
[a] 
Regulated activities permitted by the commonwealth.
[b] 
Provision for trail access.
[c] 
Selective removal of hazardous or invasive alien vegetative species.
[d] 
Vegetation management in accordance with a landscape plan approved in accordance with §§ 520-32, 520-33, and 520-34.
[e] 
A soil or stream conservation project, including reforestation and stream bank stabilization, approved by the Northampton County Conservation District.
Diagrams 5-3 Notice: Diagrams are for illustration purposes and are not to be construed as the operative language of the Zoning Ordinance. The obligations are governed only by the written standards set forth in this chapter.
[2] 
Zone 2 riparian buffer. Except as noted below, no more than 35% of a Zone 2 riparian buffer shall be regraded, built upon or otherwise altered or disturbed.
[a] 
Those activities permitted in the Zone 1 riparian buffer shall be permitted in the Zone 2 riparian buffer and shall not count towards the 35% disturbance limit.
[3] 
Prohibited uses in a riparian buffer.
[a] 
Clear cutting of trees and other vegetation.
[b] 
Selective cutting of trees and other vegetation, except where such clearing is necessary to prepare and for an approved land development or subdivision application and where the effects of these actions are mitigated by revegetation.
[c] 
Removal or disturbance of vegetation that is inconsistent with erosion control.
[d] 
Storage of any hazardous or noxious materials.
[e] 
Use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and/or chemicals in excess of prescribed industry standards.
A. 
Legislative intent; requirements.
(1) 
Legislative intent.
(a) 
The purpose of the steep slope conservation is to establish basic performance standards for development within steep slope areas to mitigate sedimentation and erosion. Steep slope conservation regulations do not apply to man-made slopes.
(2) 
Requirements.
(a) 
Sloped lands shall be categorized as steep (12% to less than 25%), very steep (25% to less than or equal to 35%) and severely steep (35% and over).
B. 
Intent. The intent of this section is as follows:
(1) 
To conserve and protect sloped land from inappropriate development, such as excessive grading and extensive vegetation removal.
(2) 
To avoid potential hazards to property and the disruption of ecological balance which may be caused by increased surface water runoff, flooding, soil erosion and sedimentation, blasting and ripping of rock, and landslides.
(3) 
To encourage the use of sloped land for conservation and other uses which are compatible with the preservation of natural resources and protection of the environment.
(4) 
To avoid loss of biodiversity and wildlife habitat and corridors.
C. 
Interpretation. Interpretation of steep slope areas:
(1) 
In any application where the lot includes areas of steep, very steep slopes and severely steep slopes, the applicant shall, using two-foot contours, delineate slopes from 12% to 25%; greater than 25% but less than 35%; and greater than or equal to 35%. The applicant shall use an actual field topographic survey as the source of contour information and the basis for depicting such slope categories.
(2) 
This section shall apply only to those steep, very steep, and severely steep slopes which exist for three consecutive two-foot contour intervals (six cumulative vertical feet of slope). All steep, very steep, and severely steep slope areas shall be shown for the purpose of City review and verification, but only those occurring over three consecutive two-foot contour intervals will invoke the standards of herein.
(3) 
Once delineated, the mapping provided by the applicant shall be reviewed by the City Engineer. The applicant shall be required to follow all regulations of this section for those areas which reflect steep and very steep slope conditions as determined in accordance with this section through the City Engineer's review.
D. 
Application procedures.
(1) 
Before a permit is issued for any construction or land disturbance on land within or affecting steep and very steep slope areas, the following material shall be submitted for review by the City Engineer:
(a) 
Plans drawn to a scale of at least one-inch equals 50 feet, sealed by a registered professional engineer, depicting the following:
[1] 
The location, dimensions and elevation of the property.
[2] 
Existing and proposed uses and development.
[3] 
An earthmoving plan of the property which indicates existing and proposed grades with contour lines at two-foot intervals within the area of any proposed activity, disturbance or construction. All areas of steep and very steep slope shall be graphically highlighted.
[4] 
A site plan indicating existing and proposed buildings, structures, other impervious surfaces, storm drainage facilities and retaining walls. The site plan shall also depict within areas of steep and very steep slopes existing vegetation, including woodlands, open areas and their ground cover type, as well as proposed landscaping material to be installed.
[5] 
Typical cross section and elevations of the property and proposed buildings and structures at intervals prescribed by the City Engineer, as well as architectural plans, building elevations, and site sections.
[6] 
Photographs showing existing uses, vegetation and topography within the steep and very steep slope areas.
[7] 
A statement signed and sealed by a registered architect or professional engineer explaining the building methods to be used in overcoming foundation and other structural problems created by slope alteration; the proposed techniques to preserve natural drainage and prevent soil erosion and sedimentation; and the methods proposed to avoid excessive surface water runoff to neighboring properties and/or streets.
[8] 
Plan, profile and typical cross sections of any proposed street, emergency access or driveway within areas of steep and very steep slopes, with the seal of a registered professional engineer thereon.
E. 
Standards and criteria for applications. In evaluating any application, the City Planning Commission shall determine consistency of the proposal with the following:
(1) 
In areas with a natural slope of 12% to 25%, no more than 30% of such areas shall be regraded, cleared, built upon or otherwise altered.
(2) 
In areas with natural slope of 25% to 35%, no more than 15% of such areas shall be altered, regraded, cleared, built upon or otherwise altered.
(3) 
Disturbances shall be minimized where the length or area of steep and very steep slope is extensive both on the site and on adjacent lands within 50 feet of the site.
(4) 
In areas where the natural slope is 35% or greater, no area shall be altered, regraded, cleared, built upon or otherwise altered. Exceptions include approved trail development or repair.
(5) 
The proposed development, any impervious cover and resultant disturbance to the land and existing vegetative cover will not cause stormwater runoff and/or related environmental problems off the site.
(6) 
Removal of or disturbance to existing vegetation in steep slope areas shall be minimized. The proposed impacts on existing vegetation shall be evaluated in terms of the potentially detrimental effects on slope stability, conveyance and recharge of stormwater, aesthetic characteristics of the landscape and existing drainage patterns. Further, it shall be demonstrated that any and all reasonable mitigation techniques and procedures will be utilized or have been considered in the preparation of the plan, such as revegetation measures, control of soil erosion and sedimentation, stormwater management, and the like. For purposes of such demonstration, the City may request additional information, including, but not limited to, an erosion and sedimentation plan.
(7) 
Important visual qualities of the site shall be retained to the maximum extent possible. In addition to vegetation, these may include hilltops/ridgelines, rock outcroppings, and the natural terrain and contours of the site.
(8) 
Road and driveway construction shall follow the natural topography to the maximum extent possible. Cuts, fills and grading shall be minimized.
(9) 
Innovative, imaginative building techniques that are well-suited to slope conditions shall be encouraged, consistent with other applicable codes and regulations.
(10) 
The stability of the slope, as characterized by the existing interrelationships among the soil, vegetation, and rock, shall be disturbed as little as possible.
(11) 
Proposed buildings and structures shall be of sound engineering design. Footings shall be designed in response to the site's slope, soil and bedrock characteristics. Footings shall extend to stable soil and/or bedrock.
(12) 
All disturbed areas shall be stabilized and seeded or planted, and notes to this effect shall appear on all plans.
(13) 
Finished slopes of all permitted cut and fill shall not exceed three to one or 33%, unless the applicant can demonstrate the method by which steeper slopes can be stabilized and maintained adequately.