City of Easton, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Residential uses.
(1) 
Single-family and two-family dwellings.
(a) 
In the Downtown District, single-family detached dwellings shall be located outside of the Street Corridor Enhancement Overlay.
(b) 
In the INS Districts, minimum lot size is 1,500 square feet per dwelling unit with a minimum lot width of 50 feet, unless otherwise specified.
(c) 
Minimum dwelling unit size: 450 square feet.
(d) 
The primary facade of single-family and two-family dwellings shall front the street upon which it is constructed. Only one primary façade is required; the street address of the property shall determine the street upon which a single-family and two-family dwellings are constructed.
(2) 
Multifamily dwellings.
(a) 
Minimum lot size: 1,250 square feet per dwelling unit with a minimum lot width of 50 feet.
(b) 
Minimum dwelling unit size: 450 square feet.
(c) 
The primary façade of multifamily dwellings shall front the street upon which it is constructed. In the case of corner lots, multifamily dwellings shall have primary façades on each street the building is situated, except in the case of the corner lot being created by an alley or the building is set back from the side street by more than five feet.
(3) 
Residential low-rise.
(a) 
Minimum lot size: 1,250 square feet per dwelling unit with a minimum lot width of 50 feet and a minimum dwelling unit size of 450 square feet.
(b) 
Maximum impervious surface: 50% in the INS District or 80% in the DD.
(c) 
Maximum dwelling units per acre: 20.
(d) 
Maximum building length: 150 feet.
(e) 
The primary façade of residential low-rise buildings shall front the street upon which it is constructed. In the case of corner lots, low-rise buildings shall have primary façades on each street the building is situated, except in the case of the corner lot being created by an alley or the building is set back from the side street by more than five feet.
(f) 
No part of any building shall be nearer than 12 feet to any other building or groups of attached buildings, and no portion of the front or rear of any building or groups of attached buildings shall be nearer than 50 feet to the front and rear of another building or groups of attached buildings.
(4) 
Residential mid-rise.
(a) 
Minimum lot size: 1,000 square feet per dwelling unit with a minimum lot width of 50 feet and a minimum dwelling unit size of 450 square feet.
(b) 
No part of any building shall be nearer than 12 feet to any other building or groups of attached buildings, and no portion of the front or rear of any buildings or groups of attached buildings shall be nearer than 50 feet to the front and rear of another building or groups of attached buildings.
(c) 
The primary façade of residential mid-rise buildings shall front the street upon which it is constructed. In the case of corner lots, residential mid-rise buildings shall have primary façades on each street the building is situated, except in the case of the corner lot being created by an alley or the building is set back from the side street by more than five feet.
(5) 
Short-term rental.
(a) 
No signs shall be posted on the property advertising short-term rental opportunities, or otherwise identifying the property as a short-term rental.
(b) 
One off-street parking space shall be provided for each guest.
(c) 
No short-term rental property shall be located within 500 feet of another short-term rental property.
(d) 
A short-term rental use shall only be permitted in a dwelling unit.
(6) 
Mixed residential/business.
(a) 
No nonresidential use shall be located on a floor above any residential use.
(b) 
The primary façade of mixed residential/business buildings shall front the street upon which it is constructed. In the case of corner lots, mixed residential/business buildings shall have primary façades on each street the building is situated, except in the case of the corner lot being created by an alley or the building is set back from the side street(s) by more than five feet.
(c) 
Minimum residential dwelling unit size: 450 square feet.
(7) 
Mixed-use/dormitory.
(a) 
Residential uses shall not be at or below grade level, unless allowed for in a specific zoning district.
(b) 
Nonresidential uses shall not be located on a floor above any residential use, unless allowed for in a specific zoning district.
(c) 
The minimum lot size shall be 12,000 square feet.
(d) 
The primary façade of mixed-use/dormitory buildings shall front the street upon which it is constructed. In the case of corner lots, mixed-use/dormitory buildings shall have primary façades on each street the building is situated, except in the case of the corner lot being created by an alley or the building is set back from the side street(s) by more than five feet.
(8) 
Group homes.
(a) 
The use shall be conducted in a detached residential structure containing not less than 1,000 square feet gross floor area plus 100 square feet gross floor area per occupant capacity.
(b) 
The use shall not be established within 1,000 feet of a similar use.
(c) 
The use shall be provided with trained supervision 24 hours per day.
(d) 
No sign shall advertise the use.
(e) 
The primary façade of group homes shall front the street upon which it is constructed, except if otherwise permitted by special exception.
(9) 
Manufactured home park.
(a) 
No person shall construct, maintain, operate or alter any manufactured home park within the City limits unless he holds a valid operating permit issued annually by the Board in the name of such person for the specific manufactured home park. All permits expire April 1 following their issuance. Application for renewal shall be made prior to March 15 of each year for a further period of 12 months.
(b) 
Any change in the site requires submission of plan to the Planning and Codes Department.
(c) 
An annual inspection fee will be charged to each manufactured home park according to the schedule as specified in Chapter 285, Fees.
(d) 
All manufactured home parks within the limits of the City shall be subject to Pennsylvania Code, as amended, except for the following which will be governed by applicable City regulations:
[1] 
All water used in the operation of a manufactured home park.
[2] 
All structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and energy regulations.
[3] 
Whenever food service is provided.
[4] 
Measures for the control of vermin and vectors.
B. 
Cultural activities and entertainment.
(1) 
Parks. Parks shall be developed in a manner that preserves natural features such as watercourses, unique rock outcrops, steep slopes and vegetation.
(2) 
Adult entertainment.
(a) 
The requirements of § 595-40C, Special exceptions, shall be met.
(b) 
No use as defined under § 595-09A, B5 (adult entertainment), shall be established within 500 feet of any dwelling.
(c) 
No use as defined under § 595-09A, B5 (adult entertainment), shall be established within 500 feet of any such previously existing use.
(d) 
No use as defined under § 595-09A, B5 (adult entertainment), shall be established within 1,000 feet of a school, religious use or recreation use.
(e) 
Any use as defined under § 595-09A, B5 (adult entertainment), shall not have more than one sign, the dimensions of which shall not exceed 20 square feet.
(f) 
A sign for a use as defined under § 595-09A, B5 (adult entertainment), shall contain no words, symbols or graphics which explicitly refer to sexual gratification or which are generally considered sexual in nature.
(g) 
No sign for a use as defined under § 595-09A, B5 (adult entertainment), shall be visible from adjacent properties other than public roadways.
(h) 
All activities of a use as defined under § 595-09A, B5 (adult entertainment), shall be conducted within a fully enclosed building, secured such that the activities cannot be viewed outside the confines of the building.
(i) 
No illicit activity shall be permitted.
(j) 
A complete site plan shall be submitted at the time of application to the City following the requirements of § 595-09, Subdivision and land development plan, and shall be subject to approval of the Zoning Administrator.
(3) 
Indoor shooting range.
(a) 
Shall only be permitted to operate between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
(b) 
Noise from this use shall not create a sound so as to cause a noise disturbance across a real property boundary or on a public right-of-way.
(c) 
No shooting range shall create a nuisance that interferes with other's rights to safety and enjoyment of their own property.
(d) 
Alcohol and controlled substances shall not be permitted at the facility.
(e) 
The design of a shooting range shall comply with all applicable laws and standards, and shall receive the approval of the Zoning Administrator, Building Official, and Chief of Police.
(f) 
No shooting range property boundary shall be within 1,000 feet of another shooting range property boundary.
(g) 
Indoor shooting ranges shall be designed so projectiles cannot penetrate the walls, floor, or ceiling, and ricochets or back splatter cannot harm range users.
(h) 
Indoor shooting ranges shall be designed that noise does not transmit through the walls, floor or ceiling of the shooting range.
C. 
Retail uses. Food establishments, eating and drinking places, retail specialty establishments shall be located in the CH, SS or WW Districts only as part of a mixed residential/business use.
(1) 
General merchandise.
(a) 
Zoning application applicants:
[1] 
Shall provide hours of operation.
[2] 
Shall provide types of retail goods for sale.
[3] 
Shall not include drive-in or drive-through facilities.
(b) 
The primary façade of general merchandise buildings or uses shall front the street upon which it is constructed. In the case of corner lots general merchandise buildings or uses shall have primary façades on each street the building is situated, except in the case of the corner lot being created by an alley or the building is set back from a side street(s) by more than five feet.
(2) 
Retail sales - large scale.
(a) 
The primary façade of buildings containing retail sales uses shall front the street upon which it is constructed. In the case of corner lots, buildings containing retail sales uses shall have primary façades on each street the building is situated, except in the case of the corner lot being created by an alley or the building is set back from a side street(s) by more than five feet.
(b) 
Grocery stores shall provide plans for:
[1] 
Store exterior lighting and security.
[2] 
Shopping cart storage.
(c) 
All merchandise shall be kept inside the premises, except for limited outdoor sales for which a plan must be provided. The plan should include the size of outdoor sales area, coverage for inclement weather, and the dates during which the outdoor sales area will be utilized. This area shall not impede upon pedestrian accessibility or required visibility.
[1] 
Limited outdoor sales shall not exceed 120 days in any calendar year.
(d) 
Buildings shall be oriented to face public streets and transit routes.
(e) 
Building entrances shall be emphasized with entry plazas, vertical massing and architectural elements such as awnings or arcades.
(f) 
No building walls facing streets shall run in a continuous place for more than 20 feet without an opening. Openings fulfilling this requirement shall have transparent glazing and provide views into work areas, display areas, sales areas, lobbies, or active spaces, or into window displays that are at least three feet deep. The maximum length of the wall may be 40 feet if it includes artwork approved by the City. If located in the downtown historic district, exterior design shall be approved by the Historic District Commission and granted a certificate of appropriateness.
(3) 
Pharmacy. A pharmacy use includes a traditional pharmacy and/or a medical marijuana dispensary. The following regulations apply to a medical marijuana dispensary:
(a) 
The primary façade of buildings containing pharmacy uses shall front the street upon which it is constructed. In the case of corner lots, buildings containing a pharmacy use shall have primary façades on each street the building is situated, except in the case of the corner lot being created by an alley or the building is set back from a side street(s) by more than five feet.
(b) 
A medical marijuana dispensary may only dispense medical marijuana indoors within an enclosed, secure building which includes electronic locking systems, electronic surveillance and other features required by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as required by Act 16, as amended and not within a trailer, cargo container, mobile or modular unit, mobile home, recreational vehicle or other motor vehicle.
(c) 
A medical marijuana dispensary may not operate on the same site as a facility used for growing and processing medical marijuana.
(d) 
There shall be no emission of dust, fumes, vapors, odors, or waste into the environment from any facility where medical marijuana growing, processing or testing occurs, and the facility shall comply with § 595-29, Environmental controls and protection.
(e) 
A medical marijuana dispensary shall:
[1] 
Not have a drive-through service;
[2] 
Not have outdoor seating areas;
[3] 
Not have outdoor vending machines;
[4] 
Prohibit the application and consumption of medical marijuana on the premises; and
[5] 
Not offer direct or home delivery service.
(f) 
A medical marijuana dispensary may not be located within 1,000 feet of the property line of a public, private or parochial school, a charter school or a day-care center; unless an adjustment or waiver of such prohibition shall have been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and satisfactory proof thereof shall have been provided to the Zoning Officer. This distance shall be measured in a straight line from the closest property line in which the business is conducted or proposed to be conducted, to the closest property line of the protected use, regardless of the municipality in which it is located.
(g) 
Any medical marijuana dispensary facility lawfully operating shall not be rendered in violation of these provisions by the subsequent location of a public, private or parochial school, a charter school or a day-care center, provided the dispensary use shall not have been, or thereafter become, abandoned in the manner provided by § 595-10G, Abandonment.
(h) 
Loading and off-loading areas within the structure are preferred. If an external loading dock arrangement is designed it should be from within a secure environment, in accordance with § 595-33M.
(i) 
The applicant shall submit documentation showing compliance with federal and state law, as amended, and all related regulations, including, but not limited to, licensure, upon demand of the Zoning Officer.
(4) 
Retail specialty establishments.
(a) 
The primary façade of buildings containing retail specialty uses shall front the street upon which it is constructed. In the case of corner lots, buildings containing retail specialty uses shall have primary façades on each street the building is situated, except in the case of the corner lot being created by an alley or the building is set back from a side street(s) by more than five feet.
(b) 
Retail specialty establishments shall not be located within 1,000 feet of any other retail specialty establishment.
D. 
Service uses.
(1) 
Repair services, personal services, or professional services shall be located in the CH, SS or WW Districts only as part of a mixed residential/business use, unless otherwise specified within the underlying district.
(2) 
Bed-and-breakfast.
(a) 
A maximum of eight guest rooms shall be permitted.
(b) 
One sign with a maximum of five square feet of sign area shall be permitted.
(c) 
The principal building shall comply with the dimensional criteria of the designated zoning district and block class.
(d) 
The primary façade of buildings containing a bed-and-breakfast shall front the street upon which it is constructed. In the case of corner lots, buildings containing a bed-and-breakfast shall have primary façades on each street the building is situated, except in the case of the corner lot being created by an alley or the building is set back from a side street(s) by more than five feet.
(3) 
Check-cashing facility and pawnshop.
(a) 
A minimum distance of 1,000 feet, as measured from property line to property line, shall be maintained between any check-cashing facility and/or pawnshop establishment.
(b) 
All storefronts shall contain transparent glass windows that allow for views into the establishment from the nearest public right-of-way.
(c) 
The primary façade of buildings containing check-cashing facility or pawnshop shall front the street upon which it is constructed. In the case of corner lots, buildings containing check-cashing facilities shall have primary façades on each street the building is situated, except in the case of the corner lot being created by an alley or the building is set back from a side street(s) by more than five feet.
(4) 
Kennel.
(a) 
Kennels are permitted only in the AR (Adaptive Reuse) District.
(b) 
Kennels must be located 500 feet from the lot line of any property zoned or used for residential purposes.
(c) 
Kennels must be soundproofed so no dogs or cats can be heard off of the property.
(d) 
No kennel shall be located in a front yard.
E. 
Institutional uses.
(1) 
Educational facilities and religious worship services (in the CH, SS and WW Districts).
(a) 
Minimum lot size: 30,000 square feet.
(b) 
Minimum lot width: 150 feet.
(c) 
Minimum side yard(s): 25 feet.
(d) 
Minimum rear yard: 50 feet.
(e) 
Build-to line: shall comply with the average build-to line of the buildings of the two adjoining blocks, with a maximum of 15 feet.
(f) 
Maximum impervious surface: 50% or higher if allowed in the applicable zoning district.
(g) 
Access to parking areas shall be taken directly from an arterial or collector street as identified in the City of Easton Comprehensive Plan.
(h) 
The primary façade of buildings containing educational or religious worship uses shall front the street upon which it is constructed, except if otherwise permitted by special exception.
(2) 
Extended-care facilities.
(a) 
Minimum lot size: 1,000 square feet per patient bed with a minimum lot width of 50 feet.
(b) 
Maximum impervious surface for WW or INS Districts: 50%; for DD: 100%.
(c) 
Maximum dwelling units per acre: 20.
(d) 
Maximum building length: 150 feet.
(e) 
The principal building(s) shall comply with the required yards and height of the designated zoning district and block class.
(f) 
No part of any building shall be nearer than 25 feet to any other building or groups of attached buildings, and no portion of the front or rear of any building or groups of attached buildings shall be nearer than 50 feet to the front and rear of another building or groups of attached buildings.
(g) 
The primary façade of buildings containing extended-care facilities shall front the street upon which it is constructed, except if otherwise permitted by special exception.
F. 
Light industrial and agricultural uses.
(1) 
Cottage industry.
(a) 
In the CH, SS and WW Districts, the industry shall be:
[1] 
Located in a mixed residential/business building where the primary operator of the industry is a permanent occupant; and
[2] 
Limited to one industry per lot.
(b) 
A maximum of four employees in addition to any full-time occupant(s) of the building may be employed.
(c) 
The maximum floor area of the use shall not exceed 2,000 square feet.
(d) 
The use shall be limited to the first floor of the building and any accessory buildings.
(e) 
If located within the Street Corridor Enhancement Overlay, a retail component with public access from the street front shall be required. The retail component shall comply with the design standards in § 595-20F.
(f) 
One sign with a maximum of five square feet shall be permitted.
(g) 
Parking shall be calculated for each use in accordance with § 595-33 Off-street and on-street parking.
(h) 
No exterior storage shall be permitted.
(i) 
Sales of goods on the premises shall be limited to:
[1] 
Goods made on the premises.
[2] 
Goods relating to services performed on the premises.
(2) 
Husbandry uses.
(a) 
Five acres or more are required for an animal husbandry use.
(b) 
Any farm animals on these properties shall be confined so they are not roaming on other neighboring properties.
G. 
Heavy manufacturing.
(1) 
Heavy manufacturing uses.
(a) 
A heavy buffer screen shall be placed along all street and river frontage consisting of a six-foot-tall solid fence and evergreen vegetation.
(2) 
Commercial communications facility.
(a) 
The structure(s) shall be completely fenced, screened, or otherwise obscured from view or blended into the surroundings to render invisible or minimally visible to the casual observer.
(b) 
Such use shall not adversely affect the operation of any equipment beyond its lot lines.
(3) 
Utility service. The facility shall be essential for the provision of the utility service, and alternative locations in nonresidential districts cannot be utilized.
H. 
Accessory uses.
(1) 
Accessory rooming unit.
(a) 
Such a unit shall only be permitted in a single-family detached dwelling.
(b) 
There shall be a limit of one such unit per dwelling.
(c) 
There shall be a limit of one person inhabiting the rooming unit.
(d) 
An additional 1,000 square feet of lot area shall be provided in addition to the minimum lot area required per the designated zoning district and block class.
(e) 
One additional off-street parking space shall be provided on the same lot as the unit served.
(2) 
Large family day-care home.
(a) 
Such use shall be conducted in a single-family dwelling only.
(b) 
No sign shall be displayed advertising the use.
(c) 
A state registration to conduct such activity shall be obtained.
(d) 
No structural or decorative modifications that may alter the exterior residential character of the building or neighborhood shall be permitted.
(e) 
Outdoor play areas shall be fenced or otherwise enclosed.
(f) 
Any outdoor activity or play equipment must be set back at least four feet from any property line.
(g) 
Two additional off-street parking spaces shall be provided.
I. 
Forestry uses.
(1) 
Timber activities. Forestry activities, including, but not limited to, timber harvesting, shall be a permitted by right use in all zoning districts of the City of Easton. Forestry activities shall be conducted in accordance with the following requirements, conditions and/or approvals:
(a) 
Forestry activities shall be set back a minimum of 50 feet from any property line.
(b) 
Forestry activities shall be set back a minimum of 150 feet from any residential structure.
(c) 
No debris, such as, but not limited to, tree limbs or branches, chipped wood, etc., shall be stored within the above-specified setbacks.
(d) 
Tree replacement shall take place in accordance with § 520-33, Tree replacement standards.
(e) 
Forestry activities are prohibited in riparian buffers, on very steep slopes (greater than 25%) or within the one-hundred-year floodplain.
(2) 
Timber harvesting operation. In addition to the regulations for timber activities, Subsection A, timber harvesting operations shall be conducted in accordance with the following requirements, conditions and/or approvals:
(a) 
A zoning permit shall be obtained from the Zoning Administrator prior to forestry activities or timber harvesting;
(b) 
A timber harvesting plan shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator for approval prior to removing 10 or more trees per acre of six-inch caliper or greater on any tract of land larger than one acre;
(c) 
Prior to the issuance of a zoning permit for timber harvesting operation, an erosion and sedimentation control plan shall be submitted by the applicant to the County Conservation District for review, recommendation and approval;
(d) 
When harvesting or otherwise removing five or more trees on tracts larger than one acre, at least 60% of the forest cover (canopy) shall remain and the residual trees shall be well distributed. At least 30% of these residual trees shall be composed of highest value species pursuant to the timber harvesting plan; and
(e) 
No timber harvesting operation or removal of products shall take place between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. or any time on weekends or legal holidays.
A. 
Application of provisions. The off-street parking and loading provisions of this chapter shall apply as follows:
(1) 
For all buildings and structures erected and all uses of land established after the effective date of this chapter, accessory parking and loading facilities shall be provided as required in this section.
(2) 
When the intensity of use of any building, structure or premises shall be increased through addition of dwelling units, gross floor area, seating capacity or other units of measurement specified herein for required parking and loading facilities, parking and loading facilities shall be provided for such increase in intensity of use.
(3) 
Whenever the existing use of a building, structure or land shall hereafter be changed to a new use, parking and loading facilities shall be provided as required for such new use. However, if the existing use of land or structure was established prior to the effective date of this chapter, additional parking or loading facilities are mandatory only in the amount by which the requirements for the new use would exceed those for the existing use if the latter were subject to the parking and loading provisions of this chapter.
(4) 
Mixed use parking structures:
(a) 
Mixed use parking structures shall incorporate usable commercial space for retail, office or similar uses into its design when such structure is proposed on a lot containing frontage on a public street other than a twenty-foot-wide alley. The commercial space shall be permitted by right or as a special exception within the zoning district.
(b) 
The commercial area of a parking structure shall, except for incidental access drives, occupy the facade area abutting each street of the first floor for the entire length of the structure and shall provide direct pedestrian access from the sidewalk into the commercial area.
B. 
Minimum spaces required.
Use
Required Spaces
Additional Standard
Residential uses
Single-family dwellings
1 per dwelling unit
Two-family dwellings
1.5 per dwelling unit
Multifamily dwellings; residential low-rise; residential mid-rise; high-rise
1.5 per dwelling unit
Mixed residential/business
1 per dwelling unit + business
Group home
1 space per employee on shift of greatest employment
Rooming house, rooming unit
1 per four beds, plus 1 additional space per 2 employees on shift of greatest employment
Arts, entertainment and recreation
Auditorium, theater, convention
1 per 4 seats or 10 per 1,000 square feet gross floor area, whichever is greater
Bowling alley
3 per lane
Public library, gallery, museum
1 per 500 square feet gross floor area
Private social club
1 per 300 square feet gross floor area
Indoor health and fitness centers
1 per 200 square feet gross floor area
Outdoor recreation
1 space per every 1,500 square feet of recreation court area plus 20 spaces per acre of active recreation field plus swimming pools; 1 space per every 50 square feet of water surface plus golf courses; 4 spaces for each hole, (miniature golf, 1 space per hole) plus restaurant/assembly use if applicable
Retail uses
Drive-in service
4 queuing spaces per window or booth
8 queuing spaces per window or booth for uses associated with coffee or fast food sales
General merchandise and retail
1 per 400 square feet
Restaurants
1 per 4 seats and 1 space per 2 employees on the shift of greatest employment
Restaurant, fast food
1 space for every 2 seats, plus 1 space for every 1.2 employees on the shift of greatest employment
Drive thru services has additional requirements
Shopping center development, planned business development
4 per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area
Vehicle, service station/repair garage
1 space for every 250 square feet of gross floor area plus 2 spaces for each fuel pump plus parking required for any retail store space plus 1 space for each employee on the shift of greatest employment
Vehicle, sales agency
1 per 1,000 square feet used for display plus 1 space for every 2 employees on the shift of greatest employment
Vehicle washing, self-wash
3 per bay
Vehicle washing, automatic
2 per 1,000 square feet
Plus 4 queuing per bay
Service uses
Day-care center
1 space per every 400 square feet of gross floor area used for day-care plus 1 space for every employee on the shift of greatest employment, plus 2 spaces for the dwelling unit (if applicable) (minimum of 3 spaces)
Funeral home
1 per 75 square feet of assembly room space
Hospital/nursing home
1 per 4 beds
Plus 1 space per employee on shift of greatest employment and 1 space per facility vehicle
Hotel/motel
1 per guest bedroom, plus 1 space per employee on shift of greatest employment
Plus spaces required for restaurants, etc.
Bed-and-breakfast
1 per guest room
Plus 2 for dwelling
Offices
Business
1 space per 400 square feet gross floor area
General office, financial
1 space per 400 square feet gross floor area
Plus drive-in service
Medical office/physical rehabilitation facility
6 spaces for every doctor or dentist working concurrently
Government services
1 space per 400 square feet gross floor area
Schools
Nursery school
1 per 1,000 square feet classroom use
Elementary or junior high school
2 per classroom
Plus auditorium parking
High school; business or trade school
1 space per employee on shift of greatest employment plus 1 space for every 3 students in tenth grade and higher
College or university
Cumulative total of all spaces required for each of the following: 1 per 4 residential beds; 1 per 1.33 employees on campus at any one time; 2.5% of the total of the previous 2 categories as visitor or contingency spaces
Research institute, laboratory
1 per 800 square feet
Industrial
Cottage industry
1 per 1,000 square feet
Minimum of 2 spaces
Industrial, manufacturing, wholesale, distribution
1 per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area
Minimum of 5 spaces
Warehouse
1 space for every 1.1 employees on the shift of greatest employment, plus 1 space for each company vehicle parked on premises
Public transportation facility or terminal
4 spaces per each loading/unloading stalls for buses plus 1 space for every 2 employees on the shift of greatest employment
Public utility
1 space per vehicle routinely needed to service facility
C. 
Uses not listed. For uses not specifically listed, the same requirements shall apply as for the most similar use listed in § 595-33B, as determined by the Zoning Officer.
D. 
Mixed uses. For mixed uses, total requirements shall be the sum of the requirements of the component uses computed separately, except for the Downtown District (DD) and Business and Entertainment District (BE), where the total requirements may be reduced by 1/2.
E. 
Size of parking space.
(1) 
All off-street parking spaces shall be of a size no less than nine feet wide and 18 feet deep unless otherwise specified in § 595-33H, not including maneuvering space, whether inside or outside of a structure, for the purpose of long- or short-term standing of automotive vehicles, to be used exclusively as a parking stall for one automotive vehicle.
(2) 
All on-street parking spaces shall be no less than seven feet wide and 22 feet long.
F. 
Computation of spaces.
(1) 
In all districts, when the required parking area or number of parking spaces calculated as provided in § 595-33B results in the requirements of a fractional space, any fraction of 1/2 or greater shall be construed as requiring a full space.
(2) 
Parking Management Plan. A Parking Management Plan, prepared by a qualified professional or professional firm with experience in preparing parking management plans or parking master plans for institutions, may be accepted by the City to allow a reduction in the number of parking spaces otherwise required by this section. The plan shall be fully implemented, monitored, and maintained by the applicant, and the results of the parking management plan shall be reported to the City every year for five years. For any project amendment requiring City approval, the Parking Management Plan must be updated. The Parking Management Plan shall include the following:
(a) 
Summary of the parking inventory by facility, with regular and accessible spaces identified in a table.
(b) 
Vehicle occupancy counts of all facilities during the peak two-hour window of time on the day of the week with maximum class enrollment, as verified by the individual in charge of enrollment, and a table of occupancy by facility with the total spaces used and the spaces vacant.
(c) 
A general description of the allocation of spaces (spaces used by employees, resident students, commuter students, the institution, visitors, etc.).
(d) 
A description of any transportation system and the parking it serves.
(e) 
Any upcoming plans for parking displacement, replacement and/or construction.
(f) 
Calculation of future parking demand associated with any proposed facility or change in use of an existing facility.
(g) 
A description of how parking is managed, operated, and enforced.
(h) 
A statement of the adequacy of parking for a defined future period, and a contingency plan to provide adequate parking if it will not exist for the defined future period.
(3) 
The fee for review of the initial Parking Management Plan, and subsequent reviews, revisions, or other necessary documents for maintenance of the plan, shall be in accordance with § 285-31G.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 285, Fees.
G. 
Maneuvering area; space layout. For the purpose of determining the minimum maneuvering area required for any array of five or more off-street parking spaces, the parking schedule shown in this section shall be complied with. When angles other than those listed are proposed, review and approval by the Planning Commission shall be required.
Parking Schedule
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
Parking Angle
(degrees)
Stall Width
(feet)
Stall to Curb
(feet)
Aisle Width
(feet)
Curb Length per Car
(feet)
Width Double Aisle
(feet)
Row Between
(feet)
0
9
9
12
22
30
30
20
9
15
11
26.3
41
32.5
30
9
17.3
11
18
45.6
37.8
45
9
19.8
13
12.7
52.6
46.2
60
9
21
18
10.4
60
55.5
70
9
21
19
9.6
61.6
57.9
80
9
20.3
24
9.1
64.6
63
90
9
18
24
9
62
62
Diagram 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.
H. 
Provision for compact cars. In off-street parking areas in excess of 20 spaces, up to 25% of the total spaces may be designed and clearly designated for compact cars. In such areas the required stall width B shall be reduced by one foot and required stall-to-curb length C shall be reduced by two feet.
I. 
Joint use. The number of spaces in a common parking area required for two or more uses may be reduced below the required sum total for such uses through special exception procedure, if it can be demonstrated to the Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board that the hours or days of peak parking needed for the use are so different that a lesser total will provide adequately for all uses served by the facility, based on a publication entitled "Shared Parking," Second Edition, 2005, or the most recent version thereof, by the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Developers, owners or tenants of premises who seek to satisfy parking requirements pursuant to this section by utilization of a joint-use common parking area which they do not own shall enter into, provide for City review, and maintain a legally enforceable agreement for the use of the joint-use common parking area which is acceptable in form to the City Solicitor, and which shall continuously provide for the use of that number of parking spaces deemed adequate by the Planning Commission, Zoning Hearing Board or Zoning Administrator with jurisdiction over the application. This agreement shall remain valid and in full force and effect at all times during which satisfaction of parking requirements requires utilization of the joint-use common parking area. The City Zoning Administrator shall be notified by the property owner who requires the parking of the termination or any material changes or amendments to such agreement within 10 days of such change.
J. 
Off-street parking access and control.
(1) 
For the purpose of servicing any property held under single and separate ownership, entrance and exit drives shall be limited to two along the frontage of any single street. The location, sight distance and design of such drive shall be subject to the standards used by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, where appropriate, and otherwise subject to the review and approval of the City Engineer.
(2) 
In no case shall off-street parking areas for three or more vehicles be designed to require or encourage vehicles to back into a public street in order to leave the lot.
(3) 
Off-street parking spaces are not permitted in front of the minimum building setback line and shall be at least four feet from any side or rear lot line, except for the additional requirements in buffer yards.
(4) 
All off-street parking areas of over five spaces shall be separated from any public street or adjacent property line by a landscaped buffer area to protect adjacent areas, unless exempted in the specific zoning district. Required yard areas may be used for this purpose.
(5) 
No off-street parking shall be permitted in front of buildings, unless permitted in the specific zoning district.
(6) 
All off-street parking areas of over five spaces, including access drives, shall be provided with a bituminous, concrete or other permanent surface, and all stalls shall be clearly marked with stripe paint.
(7) 
All artificial lighting used to illuminate any off-street parking space or spaces shall be so arranged that no direct rays from such lighting shall fall upon any neighboring property or streets.
(8) 
Sight triangles shall be provided in accordance with § 595-28H, Required sight triangle.
K. 
Location of facilities.
(1) 
A substantial wall or landscaping enhancement, of enough strength and resilience, shall be placed near all lot lines to protect pedestrians and adjoining structures and property abutting any off-street parking or loading area containing five spaces or more.
(a) 
Other landscape enhancements should consist of fencing, sitting walls, brick pavers, and other attractive hardscape elements.
(2) 
No off-street parking spaces shall be located in the front yard area of the lot. Off-street parking areas shall be designed and configured so as to minimize the visibility of parking from any street or pedestrian sidewalk. For purposes of this subsection, the "front yard" of the lot shall be defined in § 595-04A, Word usage; terms and words defined.
(3) 
New driveways shall be accessible from an alley.
(4) 
All parking spaces required herein shall be located on the same lot as they are intended to serve; however, where, in the opinion of the Zoning Administrator, practical difficulties prevent such an arrangement, they may be established within 600 feet of the premises they are intended to serve.
[Added 9-24-2008 by Ord. No. 5120]
L. 
Off-street loading requirements. In connection with any building or structure which is to be erected or substantially altered and which requires the receipt or distribution of materials or merchandise by trucks or similar vehicles, there shall be provided off-street loading berths not less than the minimum requirements specified below:
(1) 
Service vehicle areas. Areas provided for loading and unloading of delivery trucks and other vehicles and for the servicing of shops by refuel, collection, fuels and other service vehicles shall be so arranged that they may be used without:
(a) 
Blocking or interfering with the use of accessways, automobile parking facilities, or pedestrian ways; or
(b) 
Ingress and egress shall not require backing onto a street or lot.
(2) 
Location. All required loading berths shall be located on the same lot as the use to be served, and no portion of the vehicles shall project into any traffic lane.
(3) 
Size. A required off-street loading berth shall be at least 10 feet in width by at least 40 feet in length, exclusive of aisle and maneuvering space, and shall have vertical clearance of at least 14 feet.
(4) 
Access. All required off-street loading berths shall be designed with appropriate means of vehicular access to an interior drive in a manner which will least interfere with traffic movements and shall be subject to approval of the Office of the City Engineer. They shall have all-weather surfaces to provide safe and convenient access during all seasons. All access areas shall further be set back from street intersections as required by § 595-33K.
(5) 
Surfacing. All open off-street loading berths shall be paved.
(6) 
Repair and service. No storage of any kind or motor vehicle repair work of any kind, except emergency work, shall be permitted within any required loading berth.
(7) 
Space allowed. Space allowed to any off-street loading berth shall not, while so allocated, be used to satisfy the space requirements for any off-street parking facilities or portions thereof. Required off-street parking spaces shall not be used for loading and unloading purposes except during hours when business operations are suspended.
Loading Berth Schedule
Use
Floor Area
(square feet)
Required Berths
Service
Under 10,000
0
10,000 or more
1
Each additional 50,000 or fraction thereof
1 additional
Retail
Under 5,000
0
5,000 or more
1
Each additional 20,000 or fraction thereof
1 additional
Industrial
Under 3,000
0
3,000 or more
1
Each additional 15,000 or fraction thereof
1 additional
(8) 
The above requirements for off-street loading may be modified upon review and approval by the City Engineer and the Easton Police Department. In no case shall a use that requires at least one off-street loading berth, as detailed above, have less than one off-street loading berth, subject to dimensional modification as approved by the City Engineer and/or Easton Police Department.
M. 
Additional design standards.
(1) 
All off-street parking areas of five or more spaces shall be illuminated such that public security and safety is maintained. All lighting shall be directed away from property so as to not cause glare or other nuisances to adjacent properties.
(2) 
Planting buffers shall be installed to screen off-street parking and be comprised of design to include 80% native and 20% nonnative plant material, designs shall be one of a multi-level nature, approved by the City Forester.
(3) 
In addition to required buffering along the perimeter of off-street parking areas, interior landscaping shall be provided in accordance with the following standards:
(a) 
No less than one canopy tree shall be provided for every five vehicles served by the facility.
(b) 
The location of shade trees shall be evenly distributed throughout the parking area to create maximum shade to parked vehicles and minimum disruption of pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow and visibility.
(c) 
Where possible, shade trees and other landscaping should be planted in otherwise unusable areas. However, no continuous row of parking stalls shall exceed 10 spaces without one separate planter equal in size to the adjacent stalls.
(d) 
Trees shall be provided to the extent that 20 years from the date of planting, tree canopies will provide a minimum of 50% coverage of the parking lot area. The area of the parking lot is the square foot area of the parking spaces and aisles and interior parking lot islands, excluding access drives that do not contain either parallel or perpendicular parking spaces. The extent of canopy at maturity shall be based on published reference texts, generally accepted by certified design professionals, nurserymen and arborists.
N. 
Bicycle and electric vehicle provisions.
(1) 
Provisions for adequate accommodations for bicycles supports many mixed-transportation initiatives. The minimum parking requirements for off-street parking areas for at least five spaces, may be reduced by one space when providing a bicycle rack or similar feature to accommodate the parking, storage, and securing of at least five bicycles. A maximum reduction of two spaces may occur when providing the aforementioned accommodations for at least 10 bicycles, when the minimum number of required off-street parking spaces is 10.
(2) 
Provisions to charge electric vehicles supports efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The minimum parking requirements for off-street parking areas for at least five spaces, may be reduced by one when providing a maintained electric vehicle charging station accessible to the public. A maximum reduction of two spaces may occur when providing two maintained electric vehicle charging station accessible to the public, when the minimum number of required off-street parking spaces is 10.
(3) 
When providing provisions for both bicycles and electric vehicles as specified in §§ 595-33N(1) and 595-33N(2), the reduction of required parking spaces shall not be stacked and must be calculated independently. A maximum of one space may be reduced for each off-street parking area required to have at least five off-street parking spaces, to a maximum reduction of four off-street parking spaces for an off-street parking area required to have at least 20 off-street parking spaces.
A. 
Applicability. Any sign erected, altered, or maintained after the effective date of this chapter shall conform to the following regulations.
B. 
Purpose and intent. Signs perform an important function in identifying and promoting properties, businesses, services, residences, events, and other matters of interest to the public. The intent of this section is to regulate all signs within the City of Easton to ensure that they are appropriate for their respective uses, in keeping with the appearance of the affected property and surrounding environment, and protective of the public health, safety, general welfare by:
(1) 
Setting standards that permit reasonable use of signs and preserve the character of the City of Easton.
(2) 
Avoiding excessive conflicts from large or multiple signs, so that permitted signs provide adequate identification and direction while minimizing clutter, and confusion.
(3) 
Establishing a process for the review and approval of sign permit applications.
C. 
Definitions. Words and terms used in this code shall have the meanings given in this section. Unless expressly stated otherwise, any pertinent word or term not part of this listing but vital to the interpretation of this chapter, shall be construed to have their legal definition.
ABANDONED SIGN
A sign which has not identified or advertised a current business, service, owner, product, or activity for a period of at least 60 days, in the case of off-premises signs, or at least 30 days in the case of on-premises signs.
ADDRESS SIGN
A sign that designates the street number and/or street name for identification purposes, as designated by the United States Postal Service. (Also known as a "nameplate sign.")
ANIMATED SIGN
A sign depicting action, motion, or light or color changes through electrical or mechanical means.
AWNING
A cloth, plastic, or other nonstructural covering that projects from a wall for the purpose of shielding a doorway or window. An awning is either permanently attached to a building or can be raised or retracted to a position against the building when not in use.
AWNING SIGN
Any sign painted on, or applied to, an awning.
BANNER
Any cloth, bunting, plastic, paper, or similar nonrigid material attached to any structure, staff, pole, rope, wire, or framing which is anchored on two or more edges or at all four corners. Banners are temporary in nature and do not include flags.
BUILDING FRONTAGE
The maximum linear width of a building measured in a single straight line parallel, or essentially parallel, with the abutting public street or parking lot.
CANOPY
A structure other than an awning made of fabric, metal, or other material that is supported by columns or posts affixed to the ground and may also be connected to a building.
CANOPY SIGN
Any sign that is part of, or attached to a canopy.
CLEARANCE
The distance above the walkway, or other surface if specified, to the bottom edge of a sign. This term can also refer to a horizontal distance between two objects.
DIGITAL DISPLAY
The portion of a sign message made up of internally illuminated components capable of changing the message periodically. Digital displays may include but are not limited to LCD, LED, or plasma displays. Digital displays shall only be permitted on off-premises signs in the Expressway Transitional Zone.
DIRECTIONAL SIGN
Signs designed to provide direction to pedestrian and vehicular traffic into and out of, or within a site.
FLAG
Any sign printed or painted on cloth, plastic, canvas, or other like material with distinctive colors, patterns, or symbols attached to a pole or staff and anchored along only one edge or supported or anchored at only two corners.
FLASHING SIGN
A sign whose artificial illumination is not kept constant in intensity at all times when in use and which exhibits changes in light, color, direction, or animation. This definition does not include electronic message centers signs or digital displays that meet the requirements set forth herein.
FREESTANDING SIGN
A sign supported by structures or supports that are placed on, or anchored in, the ground; and that is independent and detached from any other building or other structure. The following are subtypes of freestanding signs:
(1) 
A sign permanently affixed to the ground at its base, supported entirely by a base structure, and not mounted on a pole or attached to any part of another building. (Also known as a "monument sign.")
(2) 
A freestanding sign that is permanently supported in a fixed location by a structure of one or more poles, posts, uprights, or braces from the ground and not supported by a building or a base structure.
FUNCTIONAL SIGN
A directional, informational, cautionary or public service sign providing a message regarding the location of public facilities, information related to mechanical or electrical equipment, hours of operation, public safety, entrances and exits, and related matters.
GAS STATION CANOPY
A freestanding, open-air structure constructed for the purpose of shielding service station islands from the elements.
GAS STATION CANOPY SIGN
Any sign that is part of, or attached to, the vertical sides of the gas station canopy roof structure. For the purposes of this chapter, gas station canopy signs shall be considered wall signs.
GOVERNMENT/REGULATORY SIGN
Any sign for the control of traffic or for identification purposes, street signs, warning signs, railroad crossing signs, and signs of public service companies indicating danger or construction, which are erected by or at the order of a public officer, employee or agent thereof, in the discharge of official duties.
HOLIDAY DECORATIONS
Signs or displays including lighting which are a non-permanent installation celebrating national, state, and local holidays, religious or cultural holidays, or other holiday seasons. (Also known as "seasonal decorations.")
ILLUMINATED SIGN
A sign with electrical equipment installed for illumination, either internally illuminated through its sign face by a light source contained inside the sign or externally illuminated by a light source aimed at its surface.
ILLUMINATION
A source of any artificial or reflected light, either directly from a source of light incorporated in, or indirectly from an artificial source.
(1) 
Artificial light, located away from the sign, which lights the sign, the source of which may or may not be visible to persons viewing the sign from any street, sidewalk, or adjacent property.
(2) 
A light source that is concealed or contained within the sign and becomes visible in darkness through a translucent surface. Message center signs, digital displays, and signs incorporating neon lighting shall not be considered internal illumination for the purposes of this chapter.
(3) 
A sign using a three-dimensional message, logo, etc., which is lit in such a way as to produce a halo effect. (Also known as "back-lit illumination.")
INCIDENTAL SIGN
A sign that displays general site information, instructions, directives, or restrictions that are primarily oriented to pedestrians and motor vehicle operators who have entered a property from a public street. These signs shall not contain any commercial advertising.
INCIDENTAL WINDOW SIGN
Signs displayed in the window displaying information such as the business' hours of operation, credit institutions accepted, commercial and civic affiliations, and similar information. These signs shall be informational only and shall not contain a commercial message.
INFLATABLE SIGN
A sign that is an air-inflated object, which may be of various shapes, made of flexible fabric, resting on the ground or structure and that may be equipped with a portable blower motor that provides air into the device.
INTERACTIVE SIGN
An electronic or animated sign that reacts to the behavior or electronic signals of motor vehicle drivers.
LIMITED DURATION SIGN
A nonpermanent sign that is displayed on private property for more than 30 days, but not intended to be displayed for an indefinite period.
MANUAL CHANGEABLE COPY SIGN
A sign or portion thereof on which the copy or symbols are changed manually through placement or drawing of letters or symbols on a sign face.
MARQUEE
A permanent structure, other than a roof or canopy, attached to, supported by, and projecting from a building and providing protection from the elements.
MARQUEE SIGN
Any sign attached to a marquee for the purpose of identifying a use or product. If attached to a theater, performing arts center, cinema, or other similar use, it may also advertise films or productions.
MECHANICAL MOVEMENT SIGN
A sign having parts that physically move rather than merely appear to move as might be found in a digital display. The physical movement may be activated electronically or by another means, but shall not include wind-activated movement such as used for banners or flags. Mechanical movement signs do not include digital signs that have changeable, programmable displays.
MENU SIGN
A permanent sign for displaying the bill of fare available at a restaurant, or other use serving food, or beverages.
MESSAGE CENTER SIGN
A type of illuminated, changeable copy sign that consists of electronically changing alphanumeric text often used for gas price display signs and athletic scoreboards.
MESSAGE SEQUENCING
The spreading of one message across more than one sign structure.
MURAL (OR MURAL SIGN)
A large picture/image (including, but not limited to, painted art) which is painted, constructed, or affixed directly onto a vertical building wall, which may or may not contain text, logos, and/or symbols.
NEON SIGN
A sign illuminated by a neon tube, or other visible light-emanating gas tube, that is bent to form letters, symbols, or other graphics.
NONCONFORMING SIGN
A sign that was legally erected and maintained at the effective date of this chapter, or amendment thereto, that does not currently comply with sign regulations of the district in which it is located.
OFF-PREMISES SIGN
An outdoor sign whose message directs attention to a specific business, product, service, event or activity, or other commercial or noncommercial activity, or contains a noncommercial message about something that is not sold, produced, manufactured, furnished, or conducted on the premises upon which the sign is located. (Also known as a "third-party sign," a "billboard," or "outdoor advertising.")
ON-PREMISES SIGN
A sign whose message and design relate to an individual business, profession, product, service, event, point of view, or other commercial or noncommercial activity sold, offered, or conducted on the same property where the sign is located.
PENNANT
A triangular or irregular piece of fabric or other material, commonly attached in strings or strands, or supported on small poles intended to flap in the wind.
PERSONAL EXPRESSION SIGN
An on-premises sign that expresses an opinion, interest, or position.
PORTABLE SIGN
A sign designed to be transported or moved and not permanently attached to the ground, a building, or other structure.
(1) 
A type of freestanding, portable, temporary sign consisting of two faces connected and hinged at the top and whose message is targeted to pedestrians. (Also known as an "A-frame sign.")
(2) 
A sign affixed to a vehicle in such a manner that the sign is used primarily as a stationary advertisement for the business on which the vehicle sits or is otherwise not incidental to the vehicle's primary purpose.
PROJECTING SIGN
A building-mounted, double-sided sign with the two faces generally perpendicular to the building wall, not to include signs located on a canopy, awning, or marquee. (Also known as a "blade sign.")
PUBLIC SIGN
A sign erected or required by government agencies or utilities, including traffic, utility, safety, railroad crossing, and identification signs for public facilities.
REFLECTIVE SIGN
A sign containing any material or device which has the effect of intensifying reflected light.
REVOLVING SIGN
A sign which revolves in a circular motion; rather than remaining stationary on its supporting structure.
ROOF SIGN
A building-mounted sign erected upon, against, or over the roof of a building.
SIGN
Any device, structure, fixture, painting, emblem, or visual that uses words, graphics, colors, illumination, symbols, numbers, or letters for the purpose of communicating a message. Sign includes the sign faces as well as any sign supporting structure.
SNIPE SIGN
A sign tacked, nailed, posted, pasted, glued, or otherwise attached to trees, poles, stakes, fences, public benches, streetlights, or other objects, or placed on any public property or in the public right-of-way or on any private property without the permission of the property owner. (Also known as a "bandit sign.")
STREAMERS
A display made of lightweight, flexible materials, consisting of long, narrow, wavy strips hung individually or in a series, with or without a logo or advertising message printed or painted on them and typically designed to move in the wind.
STREET POLE BANNER
A banner suspended above a public sidewalk and attached to a single street pole.
TEMPORARY SIGN
A type of nonpermanent, sign that is located on private property that can be displayed for no more than 30 consecutive days at one time. These include, but are not limited to, a lawn sign promoting a particular candidate for an election, or advertising a sale or promotion at a retail establishment.
VENDING MACHINE SIGN
A sign displayed on a vending machine indicating the name of the product being sold and/or the price of such product.
WALL SIGN
A building-mounted sign which is either attached to, displayed on, or painted on an exterior wall in a manner parallel with the wall surface. A sign installed on a false or mansard roof is also considered a wall sign. (Also known as a "fascia sign," a "parallel wall sign," or a "band sign.")
WINDOW SIGN
Any sign that is applied, painted, or affixed to a window, or placed inside a window, facing the outside of the building, and easily seen from the outside. Customary displays of merchandise or objects and material without lettering behind a store window are not considered signs.
D. 
Prohibited signs. The following signs are unlawful and prohibited:
(1) 
Abandoned signs.
(2) 
Snipe signs. Signs shall only be attached to utility poles in conformance with state and utility regulations and the requirements of this chapter.
(3) 
Vehicular signs. This regulation does not include the use of business logos, identification or advertising on vehicles primarily and actively used for business purposes and/or personal transportation.
(4) 
Mechanical movement signs, including revolving signs.
(5) 
Pennant strings and streamers.
(6) 
Animated signs, flashing signs, or signs that scroll or flash text or graphics.
(7) 
Digital display signs, except when used as permitted off-premises signs.
(8) 
Inflatable devices or balloon signs, with the exception of balloons used in temporary, noncommercial situations.
(9) 
Any signs that imitate, resemble, interfere with, or obstruct official traffic lights, signs, or signals.
(10) 
Signs which prevent free ingress or egress from any door, window, fire escape, or that prevent free access from one part of a roof to any other part. No sign other than a safety sign shall be attached to a standpipe or fire escape.
(11) 
Signs which emit smoke, visible vapors, particulate matter, sound, odor or contain open flames.
(12) 
Reflective signs or signs containing mirrors.
(13) 
Interactive signs.
(14) 
Any banner or sign of any type suspended across a public street, without the approval of City Council.
(15) 
Roof signs.
(16) 
Signs erected without the permission of the property owner, with the exception of those authorized or required by local, state, or federal government.
(17) 
Any sign containing information which states or implies that a property may be used for any purpose not permitted under the provisions of the City of Easton's Zoning Ordinance.
(18) 
Signs that exhibit statements, words, or pictures of obscene or pornographic subjects as determined by the City of Easton.
(19) 
Any sign that promotes illegal activity.
(20) 
Internally or externally illuminated vending machine signs.
(21) 
Internal illumination signs.
(22) 
Neon signs and LED that mimic neon.
E. 
Signs exempt from permit requirements. The following signs shall be allowed without a sign permit and shall not be included in the determination of the type, number, or area of permanent signs allowed within a zoning district, provided such signs comply with the regulations in this section, if any.
(1) 
Official traffic signs.
(2) 
Government/regulatory signs.
(3) 
Signs inside a building, or other enclosed facility, which are not meant to be viewed from the outside, and are located greater than three feet from the window.
(4) 
Holiday and seasonal decorations.
(5) 
Personal expression signs of any sign type provided that they are not illuminated. Personal expression signs shall follow the requirements of Subsection I.
(6) 
Address signs. Up to two signs stating address, number and/or name of occupants of the premises and do not include any commercial advertising or other identification.
(7) 
Public signs. Signs erected or required by government agencies or utilities, including traffic, utility, safety, railroad crossing, and identification or directional signs for public facilities.
(8) 
Signs or emblems of a religious, civil, philanthropic, historical or educational organization that do not to exceed four square feet in area.
(9) 
Flags.
(10) 
Legal notices.
(11) 
Memorial signs, public monument or historical identification sign erected by the City of Easton, including plaque signs.
(12) 
Signs which are a permanent architectural feature of a building or structure, existing at the time of adoption of this chapter.
(13) 
Signs that identify individual buildings within a complex in which the principal use or uses are educational services, government services, a hospital, extended-care facility, or house of worship services and which do not include any commercial advertising content.
(14) 
Nondigital incidental signs, including incidental window signs. These signs shall not exceed more than five square feet in total area.
(15) 
Directional signs, provided they do not contain any commercial messaging.
(16) 
Art and murals, provided such signs do not contain any commercial messaging.
(17) 
Temporary signs.
F. 
Regulations by sign type: on-premises signs.
(1) 
Wall signs.
(a) 
No portion of a wall sign shall be mounted less than eight feet above the finished grade or extend out more than 12 inches from the building wall on which it is affixed.
(b) 
No such sign shall be located within one foot from a side property line or edge of a building.
(2) 
Canopy or awning signs.
(a) 
A canopy or awning without lettering or other advertising shall not be regulated as a sign.
(b) 
Canopy or awning signs must be centered within or over architectural elements such as windows or doors.
(c) 
No awning or canopy sign shall be wider than the building wall or tenant space it identifies.
(d) 
Sign placement.
[1] 
Letters or numerals shall be located only on the front and side vertical faces of the awning or canopy.
[2] 
Logos or emblems are permitted on the top or angled portion of the awning or canopy up to a maximum of three square feet. No more than one emblem or logo is permitted on any one awning or canopy.
(e) 
Sign height.
[1] 
The lowest edge of the canopy or awning sign shall be at least eight feet above the finished grade.
(3) 
Projecting signs.
(a) 
No portion of a projecting signs shall project more than four feet from the face of the building.
(b) 
The outermost portion of a projecting sign shall project no closer than five feet from a curbline or shoulder of a public street.
(c) 
Sign height. The lowest edge of a projecting sign shall be at least eight feet above the finished grade.
(4) 
Window signs.
(a) 
Incidental window signs displaying pertinent business information such as the business' hours of operation and credit cards accepted, shall be excluded from area calculations for window signs.
(b) 
A maximum of 15% of the total window area of any single nonresidential use may be used for signs.
(5) 
Marquee signs.
(a) 
Such signs shall be located only above the principal public entrance of a building facing a public street or parking lot.
(b) 
No marquee shall be wider than the entrance it serves, plus two feet on each side thereof.
(c) 
No marquee shall extend closer to the curb than three feet.
(d) 
Sign height.
[1] 
No portion of a marquee sign shall extend vertically above the eave line.
[2] 
The lowest edge of the marquee sign shall be at least 10 feet above the finished grade.
(6) 
Freestanding signs.
(a) 
The lowest edge of any freestanding pole sign shall be either less than four feet or greater than seven feet above the ground.
(b) 
Freestanding ground signs shall be supported and permanently placed by embedding, anchoring, or connecting the sign in such a manner as to incorporate it into the landscape or architectural design scheme.
(c) 
Sign placement.
[1] 
All freestanding signs shall be set back five feet from the right-of-way, except for official traffic signs and government/regulatory signs.
[2] 
No freestanding sign may occupy an area designated for parking, loading, walkways, driveways, fire lane, easement, cartway of the right-of-way or other areas required to remain unobstructed.
G. 
Regulations by sign type: off-premises signs.
(1) 
Locations permitted.
(a) 
Off-premises signs are permitted in the following locations:
[1] 
Expressway Transitional (ET) Zone.
(2) 
Requirements.
(a) 
An off-premises sign may be erected on a lot, provided:
[1] 
Location relative to road network. Off-premises signs shall be located no more than 200 linear feet from the edge of right-of-way of a controlled access, divided interstate or United States highway.
[2] 
Right-of-way. No portion of an off-premises sign shall be located in any vehicular right-of-way.
[3] 
Line of sight. No off-premises sign shall obstruct the line of sight within any vehicular right-of-way.
[4] 
Orientation. Off-premises signs shall be oriented roughly perpendicular to the flow of traffic of the adjacent controlled access, divided interstate or United States highway, so that the sign face is directed towards oncoming traffic on these roads.
[5] 
Historic resources. No off-premises sign shall be visible from any local, state and/or federal historic district, local, state and/or federal scenic by way, or any resource listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
[6] 
Residential structures. No off-premises sign shall be within 300 feet of a residential structure.
[7] 
Structural support. Off-premises signs shall be freestanding and not connected to other structures.
[8] 
Landscaping.
[a] 
Landscaping shall be provided at the base of all off-premises signs. Trees and shrubbery, including evergreen and flowering trees, of sufficient size and quantity shall be used to achieve the purpose of this section.
[b] 
Trees four inches or greater in diameter removed for construction of the sign shall be replaced on-site at a ratio of one replacement tree for each removed tree using native species no less than three inches in diameter.
[9] 
Lot size. No off-premises sign shall be located on lots smaller than one acre (43,560 square feet).
[10] 
Lot frontage. No off-premises sign shall be located on a lot with less than 400 feet of frontage that is adjacent to a limited access, divided highway.
[11] 
Pedestrians and utilities. No off-premises sign shall obstruct the flow of pedestrians on sidewalks or trails, or the safe operation of utilities.
[12] 
Number of signs. No more than one off-premises sign shall be permitted on a single lot.
[13] 
Sign faces. No off-premises signs shall have more than two faces.
[14] 
Structural soundness. Any applicant proposing an off-premises sign shall submit documentation from a Pennsylvania-registered professional engineer certifying that the proposed installation will be structurally sound, considering factors such as wind and other loads associated with the off-premises sign location. In addition, signs shall only be built where ground conditions are suitable for this form of development.
[15] 
Application/plan requirements. Plans submitted for off-premises advertising signs shall show the following:
[a] 
The location of the proposed sign on the lot with the required sign setbacks from the property line and ultimate right-of-way.
[b] 
The location and species of existing trees.
[c] 
The distance to the nearest existing off-premises advertising sign.
[d] 
The distance to the nearest right-of-way, property line, building, structure, on-premises sign, off-premises sign, intersection, interchange, safety rest area, bridge, residential district, or institutional use, sewer rights-of-way, and water, electric or petroleum pipelines.
[e] 
Site plan containing all of the applicable requirements set forth in the City of Easton Zoning Code, as amended.
[f] 
Certification under the seal by a licensed engineer that the off-premises sign, as proposed, is designed in accordance with all federal, state, and local laws, codes, and professional standards.
[16] 
Sign standards. All off-premises signs shall also meet the requirements for freestanding signs, per Subsection F(6).
[17] 
Environmental hazards. No off-premises sign shall be erected within the FEMA-defined 100- or 500-year floodplain, NWI-defined wetland, or upon slopes greater than 25%.
[18] 
Other governing bodies. All off-premises signs shall conform to any regulations and permitting set forth by the state and/or federal government, in addition to any and all requirements of the City of Easton.
[19] 
Digital display signs. All digital and transitioning signs shall conform to the following:
[a] 
All regulations regarding off-premises signs.
[b] 
Each sign may display only a series of still images, each of which is displayed for at least eight seconds.
[c] 
Still images displayed on signs may not move or present the appearance of motion and may not use flashing, scrolling, twirling, twinkling, oscillating, rotating, scintillating, blinking, or traveling lights or any other means not providing constant illumination.
[d] 
Any portion of a message or still image must have a minimum duration (hold time) of eight seconds and must be a static display. Messages may change immediately or fade in and out only.
[e] 
Transition or blank screen time between one still image and the next may not exceed one second. Transitions shall occur simultaneously on the entire sign face.
[f] 
Illumination and/or intensity of the sign shall be controlled so as to not create glare, hazards or nuisances. Such signs shall have a maximum nits level of 7,000 nits; provided the brightness of the digital sign does not exceed 0.3 footcandle of light above normal ambient light levels.
[g] 
Signs shall be equipped with automatic dimming technology which automatically adjusts the sign's brightness based on ambient light conditions.
[h] 
Sign luminance specification shall be determined by a footcandle metering device held at a height of five feet, and aimed towards the sign, from a distance of 175 feet. Metering devices should be at a location perpendicular to the sign center (as seen in plan view) as this angle has the highest luminance. Signs shall have a display that is at least 50% white when luminance is measured. If the difference in luminance is 0.3 footcandle or less, as measured in the aforementioned manner, the sign is in compliance with this requirement.
[i] 
Audio speakers and/or any form of pyrotechnics are prohibited.
[j] 
All signs must be equipped with a properly functioning default mechanism that will stop the sign in one position should a malfunction occur.
[k] 
Upon notification, the sign operators agree to coordinate with City staff to display emergency information critical to the traveling public, such as amber alerts, silver alerts, and other similar alerts issued by authorized sources, as well as information, including, but not limited to, terrorist or military attacks, environmental catastrophes, matters of homeland security, immediate risks to public health or safety, and natural disasters. Emergency messages are to remain in the display's rotation according to the designated issuing agency's protocols.
[l] 
No existing, nonconforming sign may be converted to a digital sign.
[m] 
Slat, panel, or blade-twirl-type signs are prohibited.
[20] 
Lighting. For static display signs, lighting shall be focused directly on the sign face, and designed in a manner to limit excess light from illuminating nonsign areas. Lighting shall not be directed or focused as to shine directly onto adjacent properties or interrupt or create hazardous conditions on roadways.
[21] 
Owner. All applications for off-premises signs must be signed and submitted by the property owner, in writing, on forms supplied by the City. If the owner/operator of the sign is not the owner of the property upon which a proposed off-premises sign is to be erected, the owner/operator of the sign shall also be a signatory to application documents.
[22] 
Emergency access. Access shall be provided to the off-premises sign by means of a public street or easement to a public street. All easements shall be a minimum of 20 feet in width and shall be improved to a width of at least 10 feet and remain sufficiently clear for the passage of emergency vehicles year-round. These conditions must be met prior to the sign's construction and continue until such a time that all sign equipment is removed. An approved emergency management system, such as Knox key accessibility, must be installed and fully operational for all fenced/secured components before installation of any off-premises sign may begin.
[23] 
Sign is to be operated in such fashion that it does not disorient motorists.
(b) 
Area and height. One off-premises sign may be erected on a lot, provided:
[1] 
The maximum area of an off-premises sign face shall be no more than 800 square feet. Off premises signs shall be rectangular in shape, with the area considered to be the smallest rectangle enclosing all display elements of the sign.
[2] 
No off-premises sign shall exceed the maximum building height of the underlying zoning district.
(c) 
Construction and maintenance.
[1] 
All plans for off-premises signs shall be certified by a licensed engineer registered in Pennsylvania.
[2] 
All off-premises advertising signs shall be constructed in accordance with industry-wide standards established by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and the Institute of Outdoor Advertising, or their successor organizations. All off-premises advertising signs shall be structurally sound and maintained in good condition and in compliance with the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code.
[3] 
Every three years, the owner of the billboard shall have a structural inspection made of the billboard by a licensed engineer registered in Pennsylvania and shall provide to the City of Easton a certificate certifying that the billboard is structurally sound.
(d) 
Abatement.
[1] 
Whenever any off-premises sign is erected and/or maintained in violation of this chapter, or of the regulations promulgated under the Code of the City of Easton, the Department of Planning and Zoning shall serve written notice of such violations upon the property owner on which said off-premises sign is located, directing compliance within 30 days of receipt of the notice of violation. In the case where ownership cannot be determined or notice cannot be delivered, the Department of Planning and Codes shall place a violation notice upon the sign and/or sign structure.
[2] 
After expiration of the time for compliance as stated on the notice of violation, if the violation has not been corrected, the City may itself or by contract remove the offending sign. The costs incurred by the City shall be charged against the person owning such offending sign. If the sign is abandoned, the property owner on whose premises the sign is located shall be responsible for the cost of removal.
[3] 
If any condition and/or location of an off-premises sign results in an immediate peril to persons or property, the City may require immediate compliance to mitigate harm. If such compliance is not forthcoming, the City may without other notice, in addition to invoking any other sanction or remedial procedure provided, apply with the approval of the City Police to any court with jurisdiction for relief by injunction or restraining order.
(e) 
Compliance with other City obligations. A permit will not be issued for any off-premises sign if the applicant or owner of the parcel upon which the off-premises sign is to be erected is delinquent paying any taxes, in violation of any law, code, standard, regulation, or similar obligations.
H. 
Regulations by sign type: limited duration signs.
(1) 
Limited duration signs, as defined in this section, located on private property are subject to the regulations set forth below. Limited duration signs that comply with the requirements in this subsection shall not be included in the determination of the type, number, or area of signs allowed on a property. Unless otherwise stated below, the requirements listed below shall apply to both commercial and noncommercial signs.
(2) 
Size and number.
(a) 
Zoning Districts: Adaptive Reuse, River Corridor and Other Green Areas, Expressway Transitional, Institutional-1, College Hill/Institutional-1 T, Institutional-2, and Downtown.
[1] 
Large limited durations signs: One large limited duration sign is permitted per property per year in these zoning districts.
[a] 
Type:
[i] 
Freestanding sign.
[ii] 
Window sign.
[iii] 
Wall sign.
[b] 
Area. Each large limited duration sign shall have a maximum area of 12 square feet.
[c] 
Height. Large limited duration signs that are freestanding shall have a maximum height of eight feet.
[2] 
Small limited duration signs. In addition to the large limited duration sign(s) outlined above, one small limited duration sign is permitted per property per year in these zoning districts.
[a] 
Type:
[i] 
Freestanding sign.
[ii] 
Window sign.
[iii] 
Wall sign.
[b] 
Area. Each small limited duration sign shall have a maximum area of six square feet.
[c] 
Height. Small limited duration signs that are freestanding shall have a maximum height of six feet.
(b) 
Zoning Districts. College Hill, South Side, and West Ward.
[1] 
Large limited duration sign. One large limited duration sign is permitted per property per year so long as the property is greater than two acres in size and has at least 200 feet of street frontage.
[a] 
Type:
[i] 
Freestanding sign.
[ii] 
Window sign.
[iii] 
Wall sign.
[b] 
Area. Each large limited duration sign shall have a maximum area of 12 square feet.
[c] 
Height. Large limited duration signs that are freestanding shall have a maximum height of eight feet.
[2] 
Small limited duration sign. One small limited duration sign is permitted per property per year.
[a] 
Type:
[i] 
Freestanding sign.
[ii] 
Window sign.
[iii] 
Wall sign.
[b] 
Area. Each small limited duration sign shall have a maximum area of six square feet.
[c] 
Height. Small limited duration signs that are freestanding shall have a maximum height of six feet.
(3) 
Permit requirements.
(a) 
A permit for a limited duration sign is issued for one year and may be renewed annually.
(b) 
One sign is allowed per permit.
(c) 
An application for a limited duration sign permit must include:
[1] 
A description of the sign indicating the number, size, shape, dimensions, and colors of the sign, and the expected length of time the sign will be displayed.
[2] 
A schematic drawing of the site showing the proposed location of the sign in relation to nearby buildings and streets.
(4) 
Installation and maintenance.
(a) 
All limited duration signs must be installed such that they do not create a safety hazard.
(b) 
All limited duration signs must be made of durable materials and shall be well-maintained.
(c) 
Limited duration signs that are frayed, torn, broken, or that are no longer legible shall be deemed unmaintained and required to be removed.
(5) 
Illumination. Illumination of any limited duration sign is prohibited.
I. 
Regulations by sign type: temporary signs. Temporary signs, as defined in this section, located on private property, are exempt from standard permit requirements. Temporary signs that comply with the requirements in this subsection shall not be included in the determination of the type, number, or area of signs allowed on a property.
(1) 
Unless otherwise stated below, the requirements listed below shall apply to both commercial and noncommercial signs.
(2) 
Size and number.
(a) 
Zoning districts. Adaptive Reuse, River Corridor and Other Green Areas, Expressway Transitional, and Downtown.
[1] 
Large temporary signs. One large temporary sign is permitted per property per year in these zoning districts.
[a] 
Type.
[i] 
Freestanding sign.
[ii] 
Window sign.
[iii] 
Wall sign.
[b] 
Area. Each large temporary freestanding, or wall sign shall have a maximum area of 12 square feet.
[c] 
Height. Large temporary signs that are freestanding shall have maximum of eight feet.
[2] 
Small temporary signs. In addition to the large temporary sign(s) outlined above, one small temporary sign is permitted per property per year in these zoning districts.
[a] 
Type:
[i] 
Freestanding sign.
[ii] 
Window sign.
[iii] 
Wall sign.
[iv] 
Personal expression sign.
[b] 
Area. Each small temporary sign shall have a maximum area of six square feet.
[c] 
Height. Small temporary signs shall have a maximum height of six feet.
(b) 
Zoning districts. College Hill, South Side, and West Ward.
[1] 
Large temporary signs. One large temporary sign is permitted per residential property so long as the property is greater than two acres in size and has at least 200 feet of street frontage.
[a] 
Type:
[i] 
Freestanding sign.
[ii] 
Window sign.
[iii] 
Wall sign.
[iv] 
Personal expression sign.
[b] 
Area. Each large temporary freestanding, window, or wall sign shall have a maximum area of 12 square feet.
[c] 
Height. Large temporary signs that are freestanding shall have a maximum height of eight feet.
[2] 
Small temporary signs. One small temporary sign is permitted per residential property.
[a] 
Type:
[i] 
Freestanding sign.
[ii] 
Window sign.
[iii] 
Wall sign.
[iv] 
Personal expression sign.
[b] 
Area. Each small temporary sign shall have a maximum area of six square feet.
[c] 
Height. Small temporary signs shall have a maximum height of six feet.
(3) 
Duration and removal.
(a) 
Temporary signs may be displayed up to a maximum of 30 consecutive days, two times per year.
(b) 
The City of Easton or the property owner may confiscate signs installed in violation of this chapter. Neither the City of Easton nor the property owner is responsible for notifying sign owners of confiscation of an illegal sign.
(4) 
Permission. The party posting the temporary sign is solely responsible for obtaining the permission of the property owner before posting their temporary sign.
(5) 
Municipal notification. Temporary signs are exempt from the standard permit requirements but the date of erection of a temporary sign must be written in indelible ink on the lower right hand corner of the sign. Signs without this marking shall be deemed to have been erected for more than 30 days.
(6) 
Installation and maintenance.
(a) 
All temporary signs must be installed such that they do not create a safety hazard.
(b) 
All temporary signs must be made of durable materials and shall be well-maintained.
(c) 
Temporary signs that are frayed, torn, broken, or that are no longer legible will be deemed unmaintained and required to be removed.
(7) 
Illumination. Illumination of any temporary sign is prohibited.
J. 
Regulations by sign type: portable signs.
(1) 
General provisions.
(a) 
Illumination. Illumination of any portable sign is prohibited.
(b) 
Hours of display.
[1] 
All portable signs must be taken in during hours of non-operation of the business being advertised.
(2) 
Sandwich board. Sandwich board signs that comply with the requirements in this subsection shall not be included in the determination of the type, number, or area of signs allowed on a property.
(a) 
Number. One sandwich board sign is permitted per establishment.
(b) 
Area. Each sign shall have a maximum area of seven square feet per sign face.
(c) 
Height. Signs shall have a minimum height of three feet and a maximum height of four feet.
(d) 
Sign placement.
[1] 
If a sign is located on a public or private sidewalk, a minimum of 36 inches of unobstructed sidewalk clearance must be maintained between the sign and any building or other obstruction.
[2] 
The sign must be located on the premises, and within six feet of the primary public entrance, of the establishment it advertises.
[3] 
Portable signs shall be weighted, temporarily secured, or strategically placed so as to avoid being moved by high winds.
(e) 
Manual changeable copy.
[1] 
Manual changeable copy signs are permitted when integrated into sandwich board sign.
[2] 
Commercial messages must advertise only goods and services available on the premises.
K. 
Special regulations for signs in the local historic district. In addition to all other requirements of this chapter, the following regulations shall be applicable to any sign placed in the designated Local Historic District:
(1) 
No sign shall be erected or altered until an application has been reviewed and approved by the Historic District Commission and after City Council has issued a certificate of appropriateness.
(2) 
Installation must not damage or require removal of historic materials and must be done in a manner such that signs can be removed without harm to the masonry or architectural detailing.
(3) 
The Historic District Commission shall ensure that the proposed sign is appropriate in relation:
(a) 
To the style, period, type, size, and scale of the building and district for which it is proposed.
(b) 
With other signs in the district.
(4) 
Permit requirements.
(a) 
All applications for a certificate of appropriateness must contain the following information:
[1] 
A current color photograph of the property.
[2] 
An illustration of the building facade showing the proposed sign.
[3] 
A scaled drawing showing the sign itself and including the size, materials, colors, lighting, lettering, and method of attachment. Material samples may be required.
[4] 
The type of illumination.
L. 
Removal of unsafe, unlawful, or abandoned signs.
(1) 
Unsafe or unlawful signs.
(a) 
Upon written notice by the City of Easton, the owner, person, or firm maintaining a sign shall remove the sign when it becomes unsafe, is in danger of falling, or it becomes so deteriorated that it no longer serves a useful purpose of communication, or it is determined by the City of Easton to be a nuisance, or it is deemed unsafe by the City of Easton, or it is unlawfully erected in violation of any of the provisions of this section.
(b) 
The City of Easton may remove or cause to be removed the sign at the expense of the owner and/or lessee in the event of the owner of the person or firm maintaining the sign has not complied with the terms of the notice within 30 days of the date of the notice. In the event of immediate danger, the City of Easton may remove the sign immediately upon the issuance of notice to the owner, person, or firm maintaining the sign.
(2) 
Abandoned signs.
(a) 
It shall be the responsibility of the owner of any property upon which an abandoned sign is located to remove such sign within 30 days of the sign becoming abandoned as defined in this section. Removal of an abandoned sign shall include the removal of the entire sign including the sign face, supporting structure, and structural trim.
(b) 
Where the owner of the property on which an abandoned sign is located fails to remove such sign within the 30 days the City of Easton may remove such sign. Any expense directly incurred in the removal of such sign shall be charged to the owner of the property. Where the owner fails to pay, the City of Easton may file a lien upon the property for the purpose of recovering all reasonable costs associated with the removal of the sign.
M. 
Permits and applications.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to erect, alter, repair, or relocate any sign within the City of Easton without first obtaining a sign permit, unless the sign is specifically exempt from the permit requirements.
(2) 
In order to apply for a sign permit, the applicant must provide the following information to the City of Easton:
(a) 
Name, address, e-mail, and telephone number of applicant.
(b) 
Name, address, e-mail, and telephone number of the property owner, and the signature of the property owner or duly authorized agent for the owner.
(c) 
Description of any existing signage that will remain on the site.
(d) 
Identification of the type of sign(s) to be erected by the applicant.
(e) 
Location of the lot, building, and proposed sign in relation to each public right-of-way, building, and driveway.
(f) 
The design of each sign face and sign structure, including dimensions, total area, sign height, depth, color scheme, structural details, materials, lighting scheme and proposed location.
(g) 
A permit fee shall be paid.
(3) 
Each owner and applicant (if different than owner) shall be required as a continuing condition of any permit issued under this section, to provide the City of Easton with written notice of a change of address within 14 days of such a change, to be sent to both the Zoning Officer of the City of Easton and the Director of Finance of the City of Easton. Failure to comply with this requirement is considered grounds for revocation of the permit. Moreover, each owner and applicant, by acceptance of the permit, agrees that if a notice is returned because the party is no longer at that address, or otherwise is not signed for, the service requirement is satisfied if the City mails a notice by first class mail to the last address provided to the City, as well as posting the notice upon the property subject to the permit.
N. 
Nonconforming signs.
(1) 
Signs legally in existence at the time of the adoption of this chapter, which do not conform to the requirements of this chapter, shall be considered existing nonconforming signs.
(2) 
All permanent signs and sign structures shall be brought into conformance with the sign regulations when and if the following occurs:
(a) 
The sign is removed, relocated, or significantly altered. Significant alterations include changes in the size or dimension of the sign. Changes to the sign copy or the replacement of a sign face on a nonconforming sign shall not be considered a significant alteration.
(b) 
If more than 50% of the sign area is damaged, it shall be repaired to conform to this chapter.
(c) 
A change in the mechanical facilities or type of illumination.
(d) 
The property on which the nonconforming sign is located submits a subdivision or land development application requiring municipal review and approval.
(e) 
The property on which the nonconforming sign is located undergoes a change of land use requiring the issuance of either a use and occupancy permit or a change of use and occupancy permit by the City of Easton.
O. 
Permitted signs by district.
(1) 
The Table of Permitted Signs by District is located at the end of this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Table of Permitted Signs by District is available for review in the City Clerk's office.
(2) 
Requirements.
(a) 
Not more than one such sign shall be erected for each unit unless:
[1] 
Such property fronts on more than one street, in which case one such sign may be erected on each street frontage in all zoning districts except:
[a] 
Institutional-1 (INS-1), Institutional-2 (INS-2), College Hill Institutional-1 Transitional (CH/INS-1 T), West Ward Institutional-2 Transitional (WW/INS-2 T) and Adaptive Reuse (AR) Zoning Districts where two signs per frontage shall be allowed if the total area of all signs does not exceed 32 square feet.
(b) 
Downtown Zoning District and Street Corridor Enhancement Overlay District where two signs per frontage shall be allowed if:
[1] 
At least one of the signs per frontage is a projecting sign; and
[2] 
The total area of all signs does not exceed 32 square feet per frontage.
P. 
Complaints.
(1) 
All complaints regarding signs must:
(a) 
Be submitted in writing and include:
[1] 
Name, address, phone number and signature of the complainant.
[2] 
Proof that the complainant is a resident of, landholder in, or possesses a valid business license in the City of Easton.
(b) 
Be filed with the Zoning Officer or his/her staff.
(2) 
Only the Zoning Officer shall enforce this chapter.
(3) 
All written complaints will be referred to the responsible entity by the City of Easton.
A. 
Applicability. An impact assessment report shall be submitted for the following:
(1) 
Any proposed land development involving a special exception or variance.
(2) 
Any land development which involves a project on 10,000 square feet or more of land or involves five or more dwelling units, leaseholds or buildings.
(3) 
Any industrial use.
(4) 
Any commercial use of 5,000 square feet or greater (gross floor area).
(5) 
Any construction of a new street or alley, or any widening or extension of an existing street or alley.
(6) 
Any institutional use of 20,000 square feet or greater (gross floor area).
(7) 
Any environmentally sensitive lands.
(8) 
Any petition for a Zoning Map amendment or any petition for a zoning text change which would involve any of the above.
B. 
Submission requirements.
(1) 
Refer to § 520-42, Submission requirements, of the Subdivision and Land Development chapter.
A. 
Purpose. Technical developments in the telecommunications field have provided new options for the expansion and delivery of communications services to the City of Easton and its residents. The City of Easton, its police, fire and emergency medical services and its residents and visitors rely on wireless communications services for business and personal uses. Therefore, the City of Easton desires to encourage efficient and adequate wireless communication services within the City of Easton while at the same time protecting the public health, safety and welfare. In an effort to facilitate efficient and adequate communications services and protect the interests of its residents, the Easton City Council desires to regulate the construction and the placement of communications towers and antennas.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this Code, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALTERNATIVE MOUNTING STRUCTURE
A man-made tree, clock tower, church steeple, bell tower, utility pole, light standard, identification pylon, flagpole or similar structure designed to support and camouflage or conceal the presence of telecommunications antennas.
ANTENNA
A structure or device for commercial use utilized to collect or radiate electromagnetic waves, including directional antennas, such as panels, wireless cable and satellite dishes, and omnidirectional antennas, such as whips, but not including satellite earth stations.
ANTENNA ARRAY
An arrangement of antennas and their supporting structure.
ANTENNA, DISH
A parabolic or bowl-shaped device that receives and/or transmits signals in a specific directional pattern.
ANTENNA, PANEL
An antenna which receives and/or transmits signals in a directional pattern.
ANTENNA, STEALTH
A telecommunications antenna that is effectively camouflaged or concealed from view.
ANTENNA, WHIP
An omnidirectional dipole antenna of cylindrical shape which is no more than six inches in diameter.
APPLICANT
Any entity or person that applies for a communications facility building permit, Zoning approval and/or permission to use the public right-of-way, City-owned land, or other property.
CO-LOCATION
The mounting of one or more communications antennas on an existing communications tower, or on any existing structure or any structure that has been approved by the City to support at least one communications antenna.
COMMUNICATIONS ANTENNA
Any device used for the transmission or reception of radio, television, wireless telephone, pager, commercial mobile radio service or any other wireless communications signals, including without limitation omnidirectional or whip antennas and directional or panel antennas, owned or operated by any person or entity licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to operate such device. This definition shall not include private residence mounted satellite dishes or television antennas or lightning rods or amateur radio equipment, including, without limitation, ham or citizen band radio antennas.
COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT BUILDING
An unmanned building or cabinet containing communications equipment required for the operation of communications antennas and covering an area on the ground not greater than 375 square feet.
COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY
A group or single communications antenna, communications equipment building, and/or communications tower.
COMMUNICATIONS TOWER
A structure other than a building, such as a monopole, self-supporting or guyed tower, designed and used to support communications antennas.
EIA-222
Electronics Industries Association Standard 222, "Structural Standards for Steel Antenna Towers and Antennas Support Structures."
FCC
Federal Communications Commission.
HEIGHT OF A COMMUNICATIONS TOWER
The vertical distance measured from the ground level to the highest point on a communications tower, including antennas, hazard lighting and other appurtenances, if any, mounted on the tower.
IDENTIFICATION PYLON
A permanent ground-mounted sign consisting solely of a single monolithic structure used to identify a development.
PUBLIC UTILITY TRANSMISSION TOWER
A structure, owned and operated by a public utility electric company regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, designed and used to support overhead electricity transmission lines.
RELATED EQUIPMENT OR BASE STATION
Any structure or equipment at a fixed location, not including a tower, that enables FCC-licensed communications between a user and a wireless network.
STEALTH TECHNOLOGY
Camouflaging methods applied to communications facilities which render them more visually appealing or blend the proposed facility into the existing structure or visual backdrop in such a manner as to render it minimally visible to the casual observer. Such methods include, but are not limited to, alternative mounting structures, such as architecturally screened roof-mounted antennas, building-mounted antennas painted to match the existing structure and facilities constructed to resemble trees, shrubs, flagpoles, and light poles.
STRUCTURE
Anything built, constructed or erected which requires location on the ground or attachment to something located on the ground.
SUBSTANTIALLY CHANGE or SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE
A modification to an existing communications facility that changes the physical dimensions of a communications tower or base station if it meets any of the following criteria:
(1) 
For a communications tower outside the public rights-of-way:
(a) 
It increases the height of the facility by more than 10%, or by the height of one additional antenna array with separation from the nearest existing antenna, not to exceed 20 feet, whichever is greater.
(b) 
It protrudes from the edge of the communications facility by more than 20 feet, or more than the width of the tower structures at the level of the appurtenance, whichever is greater.
(2) 
For a communications tower in the right-of-way:
(a) 
It increases the height of the facility by more than 10% or 10 feet, whichever is greater;
(b) 
It protrudes from the edge of the structure by more than six feet;
(c) 
It involves the installation of more than the standard number of new equipment cabinets for the technology involved, but not to exceed four cabinets;
(d) 
It entails any excavation of deployment outside the current site of the communications tower; or
(e) 
It does not comply with conditions associated with prior approval of construction or modification of the communications tower unless the noncompliance is due to an increase in height, increase in width, or addition of cabinets.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS
The transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of audio and/or visual information of the user's choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE
The offering of telecommunications for a fee directly to the public or to such classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the public, regardless of the facilities used.
TOWER, ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION
A self-supporting structure in excess of 50 feet (15 meters) in height designed to support high voltage electric lines. This does not include local utility or distribution poles (with or without transformers) designed to provide electric service to individual customers.
TOWER, GUYED
Any telecommunications tower supported in whole or in part by cables anchored to the ground.
TOWER, MONOPOLE
A self-supporting telecommunications tower which consists of a single vertical pole fixed into the ground and/or attached to a foundation.
TOWER, SELF-SUPPORTING LATTICE
A telecommunications tower which consists of an open network of metal braces forming a tower which is usually triangular or square in cross section.
WBCA
Pennsylvania Wireless Broadband Collation Act (53 P.S. § 11702.1 et seq.).
WIRELESS SUPPORT STRUCTURE
A freestanding structure, such as a communications tower or any other support structure that could support the placement or installation of a wireless communications facility if approved by the City.
C. 
Requirements and standards for communication antennas.
(1) 
General and specific requirements for communications antennas. The following regulations shall apply to all communications antennas, except those operated by a federally licensed amateur radio operator:
(a) 
Standard of care. All communications antennas shall be designed, constructed, operated, maintained, repaired, modified and removed in strict compliance with all current applicable technical, safety and safety-related codes, including, but not limited to, the most recent editions of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Code, and National Electrical Code. Communications antennas shall at all times be kept and maintained in good condition, order, and repair by qualified maintenance and construction personnel, so that the same shall not endanger the life of any person or any property in the City.
(b) 
Permitted in all zoning districts pursuant to regulations pursuant to parcel classification. Communications antennas are permitted pursuant to this chapter in all zoning districts throughout the City, so long as they comply with all of the terms and conditions of this chapter; however, communications equipment buildings shall not be located on land classified as Block Class A in the CH, SS or WW Districts, or within the FEMA one-hundred-year-floodplain.
(c) 
Historic areas.
[1] 
To the extent permitted by state and federal law, no communications antenna may be located upon any property, or on a building or structure that is listed on either the National or Pennsylvania Registers of Historic Places (either inside or outside the public rights-of-way), or that is deemed by the City to be of specific historical significance, unless such equipment is screened from view utilizing stealth technology.
[2] 
Downtown Local Historic District. Should the applicant demonstrate that the sole manner by which it can infill a gap in coverage or capacity in the Downtown Local Historic District is by the siting of a communications antenna in such district, it must prove that the addition of the proposed antenna to properties located in the Downtown Local Historic District, as approved by the Pennsylvania Historical Museums Commission, will not adversely affect any historic and/or culturally significant resources within the viewshed of the proposed site. The applicant shall comply with historic and cultural resource guidelines for communications facilities as established by the Easton Historic District Commission.
(d) 
Wind. Communications antennas structures shall be designed to withstand the effects of wind gusts of at least 100 miles per hour in addition to the standard designed by the American National Standards Institute as prepared by the engineering departments of the Electronics Industry Association, and Telecommunications Industry Association (ANSI/TIA-222, as amended). Wind load calculations should be reviewed and verified by a professional engineer.
(e) 
Aviation safety. Communications antennas shall comply with all federal and state laws and regulations concerning aviation safety.
(f) 
Public safety communications and other communications services. Communications antennas shall not interfere with public safety communications or the reception of broadband, television, radio or other communication services enjoyed by occupants of nearby properties.
(g) 
Radio frequency emissions. A communications antenna shall not, by itself or in conjunction with other antennas and/or communications towers, generate radio frequency emissions in excess of the standards and regulations of the FCC, including, but not limited to, the FCC Office of Engineering Technology Bulletin 65 entitled "Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields," as amended.
(h) 
Removal. In the event that use of a communications antenna is discontinued, the owner shall provide written notice to the City of its intent to discontinue use and the date when the use shall be discontinued. Unused or abandoned communications antennas, or portions of communications antennas, shall be removed as follows:
[1] 
All abandoned or unused communications antennas and related equipment shall be removed within two months of the cessation of operations at the site unless a time extension is approved by the City.
[2] 
If the communications antenna or related equipment is not removed within two months of the cessation of operations at a site, or within any longer period approved by the City, the communications antenna and/or related equipment may be removed by the City. As security, the City reserves the right to the salvage value of any removed communications antenna and/or related equipment, if such communications antenna and/or related equipment are not removed by the owner within the specific time frame enumerated in this chapter.
(i) 
Indemnification. Each person that owns or operates a communications antenna shall, at its sole cost and expense, indemnify, defend and hold harmless the City, its elected and appointed officials, employees and agents, at all times against any and all claims for personal injury, including death, and property damage arising in whole or in part from, caused by or connected with any act or omission of the person, its officers, agents, employees or contractors arising out of, but not limited to, the construction, installation, operation, maintenance or removal of the communications antenna. Each person that owns or operates a communications antenna shall defend any actions or proceedings against the City in which it is claimed that personal injury, including death, or property damage was caused by the construction, installation, operation, maintenance or removal of a communications antenna. The obligation to indemnify, hold harmless and defend shall include, but not be limited to, the obligation to pay judgments, injuries, liabilities, damages, reasonable attorneys' fees, reasonable expert fees, court costs and all other costs of indemnification. The City of Easton communication facility zoning permit application requires that the applicant execute an indemnification agreement with the City.
(j) 
Maintenance. To the extent permitted by law, the following maintenance requirements shall apply:
[1] 
The communications antenna shall be fully automated and unattended on a daily basis and shall be visited only for maintenance or emergency repair.
[2] 
Such maintenance shall be performed to ensure the upkeep of the facility in order to promote the safety and security of the City's residents.
[3] 
All maintenance activities shall utilize nothing less than the best available technology for preventing failures and accidents.
(k) 
Removal, replacement and modification.
[1] 
To the extent permitted by law, the removal and replacement of communications antennas and/or related equipment for the purpose of upgrading or repairing the communications antenna is permitted, so long as such repair or upgrade does not substantially change the overall size of the wireless support structure or the number of communications antennas.
[2] 
To the extent permitted by state law, any material modification to a communications antenna shall require notice to be provided to the City, and possible supplemental permit approval to the original permit or authorization.
(2) 
Regulations for specific applications. The following regulations shall apply only to communications antennas or communications facilities that fall under the Pennsylvania Wireless Broadband Collocation Act and/or the mandatory-approval provisions of the FCC's October 2014 Report and Order, as amended:
(a) 
Permit required. Communications antenna applicants proposing changes to an existing communications tower, base pad, related equipment, or communications antenna that do not substantially change the dimensions of the existing wireless support structure or otherwise fall under the WBCA shall obtain a construction permit from the City. In order to be considered for such a permit, the applicant must submit a permit application to the City in accordance with applicable permit policies and procedures.
(b) 
Timing of approval for applications that fall under the WBCA and/or FCC's October 2014 Report and Order, as amended. Within 30 calendar days of the date that an application for a communications antenna is filed with the City, the City shall notify the applicant in writing of any information that may be required to complete such application. Within 60 calendar days of receipt of a complete application, the City shall make its final decision on whether to approve the application and shall advise the applicant in writing of such decision.
(c) 
Permit fees. The City may assess appropriate and reasonable permit fees directly related to the City's actual costs in reviewing and processing the application for approval of a communications antenna or $1,000, whichever is less.
(3) 
Additional regulations for communications antennas that do not fall under the WBCA. In addition to the regulations enumerated in § 595-01C, the following regulations shall apply to communications antennas that do not fall under the Pennsylvania Wireless Broadband Collocation Act or the mandatory-approval provisions of the FCC's October 2014 Order and Report, as amended:
(a) 
Prohibited on certain structures. Communications antennas shall not be located on any single-family detached, single-family semidetached, single-family attached, two-family detached, two-family semidetached, two-family attached, multifamily or rooming house dwellings as defined in § 595-09, Use definitions, of this chapter of the Code of the City of Easton.
(b) 
Special exception approval required. Any applicant proposing the construction of a new communications antenna, or a material modification to an existing antenna, shall first obtain special exception authorization from the City. New constructions, modifications, and replacements that fall under the WBCA, or the applicable provisions of the FCC's October 2014 Report and Order, shall be not be subject to the special exception process. The special exception application, and accompanying documentation, shall demonstrate that the proposed facility complies with all applicable provisions in this section of the City of Easton Zoning Ordinance.
(c) 
Retention of experts. The City may hire any consultant(s) and/or expert(s) necessary to assist the City in reviewing and evaluating the application for approval of the communications antenna and, once approved, in reviewing and evaluating any potential violations of the terms and conditions of these communications antenna provisions. The applicant and/or owner of the communications antenna shall reimburse the City for all costs of the City's consultant(s) in providing expert evaluation and consultation in connection with these activities.
(d) 
Permit fees. The City may assess appropriate and reasonable permit fees directly related to the City's actual costs in reviewing and processing the application for approval of a communications antenna, as well as inspection, monitoring, and all other related costs.
(e) 
Development regulations.
[1] 
Communications antennas shall be co-located on existing wireless support structures subject to the following conditions:
[a] 
The total height of any wireless support structure and mounted communications antenna shall not exceed 20 feet above the maximum height permitted in the underlying zoning district.
[b] 
In accordance with industry standards, all communications antenna applicants must submit documentation to the City justifying the total height of the communications antenna. Documentation shall be analyzed in the context of such justification on an individual basis.
[c] 
If the applicant proposes to locate the related equipment in a separate building, the building shall comply with the minimum requirements for the applicable zoning district, and landscaping may be required to screen as much of the equipment building as possible at the sole discretion of the Zoning Officer. An evergreen screen shall surround the site and comply with the standards set forth in § 595-27B, Landscaping requirements, of this chapter.
[2] 
Upon application for a communications antenna, information shall be provided, detailing the contents of the proposed equipment building servicing the proposed communications antenna. The information shall include, but not be limited to, the type and quantity of oil, gasoline, batteries, propane, natural gas or any other fuel stored within the building. Information shall also be submitted which demonstrates that any hazardous materials stored on site, including, but not limited to, fuel sources, shall be housed to minimize the potential for any adverse impact on adjacent land uses. Materials safety data sheets for any hazardous material stored or utilized in the equipment building shall be submitted to the municipality. The use of fuels and hazardous materials shall also be consistent with any federal, state or municipal requirements regarding the same.
(f) 
Security fence. A security fence with a maximum height of six feet shall surround any separate communications equipment building where appropriate as may be determined by the Zoning Officer. Vehicular access to the communications equipment building, or any structure housing related equipment, shall not interfere with the parking or vehicular circulations on the site for the principal use.
(g) 
Noncommercial usage exemption. City residents utilizing satellite dishes and antennas for the purpose of maintaining television, phone, radio and/or internet connections at their respective residences, as well as amateur radio operators, shall be exempt from the regulations enumerated in this section of the Zoning Ordinance.
(h) 
Design regulations. Communications antennas shall employ stealth technology, be designed as an alternative mounting structure, or be treated to match the wireless support structure to which they are mounted in order to minimize aesthetic impact. The application of the stealth technology/alternative mounting/color treatment chosen by the applicant shall be subject to the approval of the City.
(i) 
Inspection. The City reserves the right to inspect any communications antenna to ensure compliance with the provisions of the zoning ordinance and any other provisions found within the City Code or state or federal law. The City and/or its agents shall have the authority to enter the property upon which a communications antenna is located, upon reasonable notice to the operator, to ensure such compliance.
(j) 
Insurance. Each person that owns or operates a communications antenna shall provide the City with a certificate of insurance, naming the City as an additional insured, and evidencing general liability coverage in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence and property damage coverage in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence covering the communications antenna.
(4) 
Additional regulations applicable to all communications antennas located in the public rights-of-way (ROW). In addition to the regulations enumerated in § 595-36, the following regulations shall apply to communications antennas located in the public rights-of-way:
(a) 
Co-location. Communications antennas in the ROW shall be co-located on existing infrastructure, such as existing utility poles or light poles. If co-location is not technologically or economically feasible, the applicant, with the City's approval shall locate its communications antennas on existing poles or freestanding structures in the public rights-of-way that do not already act as wireless support structures.
(b) 
Special exception approval required. Any applicant proposing the construction of a new communications antenna shall first obtain special exception authorization from the City. New constructions, modifications, and replacements that fall under the WBCA or the applicable provisions of the FCC's October 2014 Report and Order shall be not be subject to the special exception process. The special exception application, and accompanying documentation, shall demonstrate that the proposed facility complies with all applicable provisions in the City of Easton zoning ordinance.
(c) 
Design requirements:
[1] 
To the extent permitted by state and federal law, communications antenna installations located above the surface grade in the public ROW, including, but not limited to, those on streetlights and utility poles, shall consist of equipment components that are no more than six feet in height and that are compatible in scale and proportion to the structures upon which they are mounted. All equipment shall be the smallest and least visibly intrusive equipment feasible.
[2] 
Communications antennas and related equipment shall be treated with stealth technology by the communications antenna owner and/or applicant to match the wireless support structure upon which they are mounted, and may be required to be painted, or otherwise coated, to be visually compatible with the support structure upon which they are mounted.
(d) 
Time, place and manner. The City shall determine the time, place and manner of construction, maintenance, repair and/or removal of all communications antennas in the ROW based on public safety, traffic management, physical burden on the ROW, and related considerations. For public utilities, the time, place and manner requirements shall be consistent with the police powers of the City and the requirements of the Public Utility Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 66 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
(e) 
Equipment location. Communications antennas and related equipment shall be located so as not to cause any physical or visual obstruction to pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or to otherwise create safety hazards to pedestrians and/or motorists or to otherwise inconvenience public use of the ROW as determined by the City. In addition:
[1] 
Ground-mounted related equipment shall be located between the sidewalk and the curb, and shall be as close to the curb as possible, meeting PADOT standards for clearances, and shall not interfere with existing utilities. For reasons of safety and aesthetics, such equipment shall neither protrude onto the curb, nor obstruct the sidewalk.
[2] 
Ground-mounted related equipment that cannot be placed underground shall be screened, to the fullest extent possible, through the use of landscaping or other decorative features to the satisfaction of the City.
[3] 
Required electrical meter cabinets shall be screened to blend in with the surrounding area to the satisfaction of the City.
[4] 
Graffiti on any wireless support structures or any related equipment shall be removed at the sole expense of the owner.
[5] 
Any proposed underground vault related to communications antennas shall be reviewed and is subject to approval by the City.
(f) 
Relocation or removal of facilities. Within two months following written notice from the City, or such longer period as the City determines is reasonably necessary or such shorter period in the case of an emergency, the owner of a communications antenna in the ROW shall at its own expense, temporarily or permanently remove, relocate, change or alter the position of any communications antenna when the City, consistent with its police powers and applicable Public Utility Commission regulations, shall have determined that such removal, relocation, change or alteration is reasonably necessary under the following circumstances:
[1] 
The construction, repair, maintenance or installation of any City or other public improvement in the right-of-way;
[2] 
The operations of the City or other governmental entity in the ROW;
[3] 
Vacation of a street or road or the release of a utility easement; or
[4] 
An emergency as determined by the City.
D. 
Requirements and standards for communication towers.
(1) 
General and specific requirements for all communications towers. The following regulations shall apply to all communications towers, excluding any noncommercial tower that is owned and operated by a federally licensed amateur radio operator.
(a) 
Standard of care. All communications towers shall be designed, constructed, operated, maintained, repaired, modified and removed in strict compliance with all current applicable technical, safety and safety-related codes, including, but not limited to, the most recent editions of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Code, Electrical Code, as well as the accepted and responsible workmanlike industry practices of the National Association of Tower Erectors. At all times, communications towers shall be kept and maintained in good condition, order and repair by qualified maintenance and construction personnel, so that the same shall not endanger the life of any person or any property in the City.
(b) 
Notice. For the installation of towers which are less than 40 feet in height, the Zoning Officer shall notify all property owners within a 100-foot radius of said tower installation, and shall receive written notification; and towers which exceed 40 feet in height, property owners who live within 500 feet of the location of the tower shall receive written notification.
(c) 
Special exception authorization required. Communications towers are permitted by special exception in certain zoning districts, at a height necessary to satisfy their function in the applicant's wireless communications system. No applicant shall have the right under these regulations to erect a tower to the maximum height specified in this section unless it proves the necessity for such height. The applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed communications tower is the minimum height necessary for its service area.
[1] 
Prior to the City Zoning Hearing Board's consideration of a special exception application authorizing the construction and installation of a communications tower, it shall be incumbent upon the applicant for such special exception approval to prove to the reasonable satisfaction of City Zoning Hearing Board that the applicant cannot adequately extend or infill its communications system by the use of equipment such as redoes, repeaters, communications antennas, and other similar equipment installed on existing structures, such as utility poles or their appurtenances and other available tall structures. The applicant shall further demonstrate that the proposed communications tower must be located where it is proposed in order to serve the applicant's service area and that no other viable co-location alternative location exists.
[2] 
The special exception application shall be accompanied by a propagation study evidencing the need for the proposed tower or other communication facilities and equipment, a description of the type and manufacturer of the proposed transmission/radio equipment, the frequency range (megahertz band) assigned to the applicant, the power in watts at which the applicant transmits, and any relevant related tests conducted by the applicant in determining the need for the proposed site and installation.
[3] 
The special exception application shall be accompanied by documentation demonstrating that the proposed communications tower complies with all state and federal laws and regulations concerning aviation safety.
[4] 
Where the communications tower is located on a property with another principal use, the applicant shall present documentation to the City Zoning Hearing Board that the owner of the property has granted an easement for the proposed communications tower and that vehicular access will be provided to the facility.
[5] 
The special exception application shall be accompanied by documentation demonstrating that the proposed communications tower complies with all applicable provisions in this chapter.
(d) 
Engineer inspection. As a condition of approval, for the construction and erection of a communications tower, a structural engineer registered in Pennsylvania shall issue to the City a written certification of the proposed communications tower's ability to meet the structural standards offered by either the Electronic Industries Association or the Telecommunication Industry Association and certify the proper construction of the foundation and the erection of the structure in compliance with adopted building and electrical codes. This certification shall be provided during the special exception proceedings before the City Zoning Hearing Board, or, at a minimum, be made as a condition attached to any approval given such that the certification be provided prior to issuance of any building permits.
(e) 
Visual appearance. Communications towers shall employ stealth technology or be designed as an alternative mounting structure. All communications towers and related equipment shall be aesthetically and architecturally compatible with the surrounding environment and shall maximize the use of a like facade to blend with the existing surroundings and neighboring buildings to the greatest extent possible. The City Zoning Hearing Board shall consider whether its decision upon the subject application will promote the harmonious and orderly development of the zoning district and/or surrounding area involved; encourage compatibility with the character and type of development existing in the area; benefit neighboring properties by preventing a negative impact on the aesthetic character of the community; preserve woodlands and trees existing at the site to the greatest possible extent; and encourage sound engineering and construction principles, practices and techniques.
(f) 
Co-location and siting. An application for a new communications tower shall demonstrate that the proposed communications tower cannot be accommodated on an existing or approved structure or building. The City Zoning Hearing Board may deny an application to construct a new communications tower if the applicant has not made a good faith effort to mount a communications antenna on an existing structure. The applicant shall demonstrate that it contacted the owners of tall structures, buildings, and towers within a one-quarter-mile radius of the site proposed, sought permission to install a communications antenna on those structures, buildings, and towers and was denied for one of the following reasons:
[1] 
The proposed antenna and related equipment would exceed the structural capacity of the existing building, structure or tower, and its reinforcement cannot be accomplished at a reasonable cost.
[2] 
The proposed antenna and related equipment would cause radio frequency interference with other existing equipment for that existing building, structure, or tower and the interference cannot be prevented at a reasonable cost.
[3] 
Such existing buildings, structures, or towers do not have adequate location, space, access, or height to accommodate the proposed equipment or to allow it to perform its intended function.
[4] 
A commercially reasonable agreement could not be reached with the owner of such building, structure, or tower.
(g) 
Permit required for modifications. To the extent permissible under applicable state and federal law, any applicant proposing the modification of an existing communications tower, which substantially changes the overall height of such wireless support structure, shall first obtain a building permit from the City.
(h) 
Gap in coverage or capacity. The applicant must demonstrate that a significant gap in wireless coverage or capacity exists in the applicable area and that the type of communications tower being proposed is the least intrusive means by which to fill that gap. The existence or nonexistence of a gap in wireless coverage or capacity shall be a factor in the City Zoning Hearing Board's decision on an application for approval of communications tower.
(i) 
Additional communications antennas. The applicant shall provide the City with a written commitment that it will allow other service providers to co-locate communications antennas on communications towers where technologically and economically feasible. To the extent permissible under federal and state law, the owner of a communications tower shall not install any additional communications antennas without obtaining the prior written approval of the City.
(j) 
Wind. All communications towers shall be designed to withstand the effects of wind gusts of at least 100 miles per hour in addition to the standard designed by the American National Standards Institute as prepared by the engineering departments of the Electronics Industry Association, and Telecommunications Industry Association (ANSI/EIA/TIA-222), as amended.
(k) 
Height. In all zoning districts except Adaptive Reuse (AR), the maximum height of any communications tower shall be 150 feet; provided, however, that such height may be increased to no more than 199 feet. In the Adaptive Reuse (AR) Zoning District, the maximum height of any communications tower shall be 179 feet. Communications towers in the ROW shall not exceed a height comparable to the average height of utility poles or electrical poles within a two-block radius of the proposed facility, unless the applicant proves to the satisfaction of the Zoning Hearing Board that it cannot infill its gap in coverage or capacity at such height.
(l) 
Related equipment. Either one single-story wireless communications equipment building not exceeding 300 square feet in area, or up to five boxes placed on a pad not exceeding 10 feet by 20 feet in area housing related equipment, may be located on the site for each unrelated company sharing space on the communications tower. Exposed foundations are considered to be a structure and an encroachment if proposed to be located in a public right-of-way. A proposed encroachment shall require approval by the Council of the City of Easton.
(m) 
Public safety communications and other communications services. No communications tower shall interfere with public safety communications or the reception of broadband, television, radio or other communication services enjoyed by occupants of nearby properties.
(n) 
Maintenance. The following maintenance requirements shall apply:
[1] 
A communications tower shall be fully automated and unattended on a daily basis and shall be visited only for maintenance or emergency repair.
[2] 
Such maintenance shall be performed to ensure the upkeep of the communications tower in order to promote the safety and security of the City's residents, and utilize the best available technology for preventing failures and accidents.
(o) 
Radio frequency emissions. A communications tower shall not, by itself or in conjunction with other communications towers or antennas, generate radio frequency emissions in excess of the standards and regulations of the FCC, including, but not limited to, the FCC Office of Engineering Technology Bulletin 65 entitled "Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields," as amended.
(p) 
Historic buildings or districts.
[1] 
To the extent permitted by state and federal law, no communications tower may be located upon any property, or on a building or structure, that is listed on either the National or Pennsylvania Registers of Historic Places (either inside or outside the public rights-of-way), or that is deemed by the City to be local historic significance.
[2] 
Downtown Local Historic District. Should the applicant demonstrate the only manner by which it can infill a gap in coverage or capacity is to site a communications tower in the Downtown Local Historic District, it must prove that the addition of the proposed communications tower to properties located in the Downtown Local Historic District, as approved by the Pennsylvania Historical Museums Commission, will not adversely affect any historic and/or culturally significant resources within the view shed of the proposed site. The applicant shall comply with historic and cultural resource guidelines for wireless communications facilities as established by the Easton Historic District Commission.
[3] 
The Easton Historic District Commission shall also consider and provide comment on all applications for proposed communications towers to be located on and/or within 200 feet of individually eligible or listed National Register of Historic Places resources within the City boundaries. Easton Historic District Commission comment shall be provided to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission within 30 days of the receipt of notification for a proposed telecommunications facility. A certificate of appropriateness must be obtained from the Easton Historic District Commission for a proposed cellular communications tower within a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission-delineated local historic district(s) as governed by the Historic District Act of June 13, 1961, Pennsylvania Law 282, No. 167, as amended, 53 P.S. § 8001 et seq.
(q) 
Signs. All communications towers shall post a sign in a readily visible location identifying the name and phone number of a party to contact in the event of an emergency. The only other signage permitted on the communications tower shall be those required by the FCC, or any other federal or state agency.
(r) 
Lighting. No communications tower shall be artificially lighted, except as required by law. If lighting is required, the applicant shall provide a detailed plan for sufficient lighting, demonstrating as unobtrusive and inoffensive an effect as is permissible under state and federal regulations. The applicant shall promptly report any outage or malfunction of FAA-mandated lighting to the appropriate governmental authorities and the City Manager.
(s) 
Noise. Generators shall be suitably soundproofed so that noise volumes measured at all property lines do not exceed ambient levels as outlined in Chapter 376, Noise, of the Code of the City of Easton. Additionally, all telecommunications towers and associated noise- and/or vibration-generating sources shall meet the noise control standards required by Chapter 376, Noise, of the Code of the City of Easton.
(t) 
Aviation safety. Communications towers shall comply with all federal and state laws and regulations concerning aviation safety.
(u) 
Retention of experts. The City may hire any consultant and/or expert necessary to assist the City in reviewing and evaluating the application for approval of the communications tower and, once approved, in reviewing and evaluating any potential violations of the terms and conditions of these provisions. The applicant and/or owner of the communications tower shall reimburse the City for all costs of the City's consultant(s) in providing expert evaluation and consultation in connection with these activities.
(v) 
Timing of approval pursuant to FCC regulations, as amended. Within 30 calendar days of the date that an application for a communications tower is filed with the City, the City shall notify the applicant in writing of any information that may be required to complete such application. All applications for communications towers shall be acted upon within 150 days of the receipt of a fully completed application for the approval of such communications tower and the City shall advise the applicant in writing of its decision.
(w) 
Nonconforming uses. Nonconforming communications towers which are hereafter damaged or destroyed due to any reason or cause may be repaired and restored at their former location, but must otherwise comply with the terms and conditions of this section.
(x) 
Removal. In the event that use of a communications tower is planned to be discontinued, the owner shall provide written notice to the City of its intent to discontinue use and the date when the use shall be discontinued. Unused or abandoned communications towers, or portions of communications towers, shall be removed as follows:
[1] 
All unused or abandoned communications towers and related equipment shall be removed within two months of the cessation of operations at the site unless a time extension is approved by the City.
[2] 
If the communications tower and/or related equipment is not removed within two months of the cessation of operations at a site, or within any longer period approved by the City, the communications tower and related equipment may be removed by the City and the cost of removal assessed against the owner of the communications tower. As security, the City reserves the right to the salvage value of any removed, communications tower and/or related equipment, if such communications tower and/or related equipment are not removed by the owner within the time frames enumerated in this chapter.
[3] 
Any unused portions of communications towers, including antennas, shall be removed within two months of the time of cessation of operations. The City must approve all replacements of portions of a communications tower previously removed.
(y) 
Permit fees. The City may assess appropriate and reasonable permit fees directly related to the City's actual costs in reviewing and processing the application for approval of a communications tower, as well as related inspection, monitoring, and related costs.
(z) 
FCC license. Each person that owns or operates a communications tower over 40 feet in height shall submit a copy of its current FCC license, including the name, address, and emergency telephone number for the operator of the facility.
(aa) 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
[1] 
The applicant shall demonstrate that all NEPA requirements, where applicable, for any proposed communications tower and/or antenna facilities have been met.
[2] 
In addition, the applicant shall notify the City at least 30 days prior to any hearing or consideration of the environmental assessment report by the Federal Communications Commission or Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The applicant shall provide to the municipality documentation demonstrating how any negative impact on the features noted above will be mitigated.
(bb) 
Insurance. Each person that owns or operates a communications tower greater than 40 feet in height shall provide the City with a certificate of insurance naming the City as an additional insured, and evidencing general liability coverage in the minimum amount of $5,000,000 per occurrence and property damage coverage in the minimum amount of $5,000,000 per occurrence covering the communications tower. Each person that owns or operates a communications tower 40 feet or less in height shall provide the City with a certificate of insurance naming the City as an additional insured, and evidencing general liability coverage in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence and property damage coverage in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence covering each communications tower.
(cc) 
Indemnification. Each person that owns or operates a communications tower shall, at its sole cost and expense, indemnify, defend and hold harmless the City, its elected and appointed officials, employees and agents, at all times against any and all claims for personal injury, including death, and property damage arising in whole or in part from, caused by or connected with any act or omission of the person, its officers, agents, employees or contractors arising out of, but not limited to, the construction, installation, operation, maintenance or removal of the communications tower. Each person that owns or operates a communications tower shall defend any actions or proceedings against the City in which it is claimed that personal injury, including death, or property damage was caused by the construction, installation, operation, maintenance or removal of the communications tower. The obligation to indemnify, hold harmless and defend shall include, but not be limited to, the obligation to pay judgments, injuries, liabilities, damages, reasonable attorneys' fees, reasonable expert fees, court costs and all other costs of indemnification.
(dd) 
Engineer signature. All plans and drawings for a communications tower shall contain a seal and signature of a professional structural engineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(ee) 
Financial security. Prior to receipt of a zoning permit for the construction or placement of a communications tower, the applicant shall provide to the City financial security sufficient to guarantee the construction of the communications tower. Said financial security shall remain in place until the communications tower is fully constructed. Should the communications tower be abandoned by the owner and/or operator, and not removed within two months of such abandonment, the City shall have the authority to remove the communications tower and sell all of its pieces, as well as related equipment, used in the operation of the communications tower, in order to recover the cost of said removal.
(2) 
Additional requirements for communications towers located outside the public rights-of-way. In addition to the regulations enumerated in § 595-36C(1), the following regulations shall apply to communications towers located outside the public rights-of-way:
(a) 
Development regulations.
[1] 
Communications towers shall not be located in or within 75 feet of an area in which all utilities are located underground.
[2] 
Communications towers are permitted via special exception, subject to the prohibitions contained herein, in certain zoning districts throughout the City.
[3] 
Sole use on a lot. A communications tower shall be permitted as a sole use on a lot, provided that the underlying lot meets the minimum size specifications set forth in the City Zoning Code.
[4] 
Combined with another use. A communications tower may be permitted on a property with an existing use, or on a vacant parcel in combination with another use, except residential, subject to the following conditions:
[a] 
The existing use on the property may be any permitted use in the applicable district, and need not be affiliated with the communications tower.
[b] 
Minimum lot area. The minimum lot shall comply with the requirements for the applicable zoning district and shall be the area needed to accommodate the communications tower and guy wires, the equipment building, security fence, and buffer planting if the proposed communications tower is greater than 40 feet in height.
[c] 
Minimum setbacks. The minimum distance between the base of a communications tower and any adjoining property line or street right-of-way line shall be equal to 100% of the height of the communications tower. The underlying lot must be large enough to accommodate related equipment and all other features typically found within the immediate area of a communications tower.
(b) 
Design regulations.
[1] 
The communications tower shall employ the most current stealth technology available in an effort to appropriately blend into the surrounding environment and minimize aesthetic impact. Application of the stealth technology chosen by the applicant shall be subject to the approval of the City Zoning Hearing Board.
[2] 
To the extent permissible by law, any height extensions to an existing communications tower shall require prior approval of the City.
[3] 
Any proposed communications tower shall be designed structurally, electrically, and in all respects, to accommodate both the applicant's communications antennas and comparable antennas, for the maximum amount of future users based on the size of the proposed communications tower.
[4] 
Any communications tower over 40 feet in height shall be equipped with an anticlimbing device, as approved by the manufacturer.
(c) 
Surrounding environs.
[1] 
The applicant shall ensure that the existing vegetation, trees and shrubs located within proximity to the communications tower shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible.
[2] 
The applicant shall submit a soil report to the City complying with the standards of Appendix I: Geotechnical Investigations, ANSI/EIA-222, as amended, to document and verify the design specifications of the foundation, consistent with Chapter 245,[2] as amended, of the communications tower, and anchors for guy wires, if used.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 245, Construction.
(d) 
Fence/screen.
[1] 
A security fence with a maximum height of six feet shall completely surround any communications tower greater than 40 feet in height, as well as guy wires, or any building housing related equipment.
[2] 
Where appropriate, the base of a communications tower shall be landscaped with plants native to the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania area so as to screen the foundation, base and communications equipment building from abutting properties, as determined by the Zoning Officer. All planting screens shall meet the provisions outlined in § 595-27B, Landscaping requirements, of this chapter. Any combination of existing vegetation, topography, walls, decorative fences or other features instead of landscaping may be permitted if they achieve the same degree of screening as the required planting screen. In addition, existing vegetation on and around the site shall be preserved to the greatest extent possible. Proposed plant type(s) and locations shall be shown on the site plan and are subject to approval by the City of Easton Shade Tree Commission.
(e) 
Related equipment.
[1] 
Ground-mounted related equipment associated to, or connected with, a communications tower shall be placed underground or screened from public view using stealth technologies or plant screening, as described herein.
[2] 
All related equipment shall be architecturally designed to blend into the environment in which it is situated and shall meet the minimum setback requirements of the underlying zoning district.
[3] 
Upon application for a communications tower, information shall be provided, detailing the contents of the proposed equipment building servicing the proposed communications tower. The information shall include, but not be limited to, the type and quantity of oil, gasoline, batteries, propane, natural gas or any other fuel stored within the building. Information shall also be submitted which demonstrates that any hazardous materials stored on site, including, but not limited to, fuel sources, shall be housed to minimize the potential for any adverse impact on adjacent land uses. Materials safety data sheets for any hazardous material stored or utilized in the equipment building shall be submitted to the municipality. The use of fuels and hazardous materials shall also be consistent with any federal, state or municipal requirements regarding the same.
(f) 
Access road. An access road, turnaround space and parking shall be provided to ensure adequate emergency and service access to communications towers. The access road shall be a dust-free all-weather surface for its entire length. Maximum use of existing roads, whether public or private, shall be made to the extent practicable. Road grades shall closely follow natural contours to ensure minimal visual disturbance and minimize soil erosion. Where applicable, the communications tower owner shall present documentation to the City that the property owner has granted an easement for the proposed facility.
(g) 
Parking. For each communications tower greater than 40 feet in height, there shall be two off-street parking spaces.
(h) 
Inspection. The City reserves the right to inspect any communications tower to ensure compliance with the Zoning Ordinance and any other provisions found within the City Code or state or federal law. The City and/or its agents shall have the authority to enter the property upon which a communications tower is located at any time, upon reasonable notice to the operator, to ensure such compliance.
(3) 
Additional requirements for communications towers located within the public ROW. In addition to the regulations enumerated in § 595-36D(1), the following regulations shall apply to communications towers located in the public rights-of-way.
(a) 
Location and development standards.
[1] 
Communications towers in the ROW shall not exceed a height comparable to the average height of utility poles or electrical poles within a two-block radius of the proposed facility. Communications towers are prohibited in areas in which all utilities are located underground.
[2] 
New communications towers shall not be located in the front facade area of any structure.
[3] 
Communications towers shall be permitted along City streets by special exception throughout the City, regardless of the underlying zoning district.
(b) 
Time, place and manner. The City shall determine the time, place and manner of construction, maintenance, repair and/or removal of all communications towers in the ROW based on public safety, traffic management, physical burden on the ROW, and related considerations. For public utilities, the time, place and manner requirements shall be consistent with the police powers of the City and the requirements of the Public Utility Code.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: See 66 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
(c) 
Equipment location. Communications towers and related equipment shall be located so as not to cause any physical or visual obstruction to pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or to otherwise create safety hazards to pedestrians and/or motorists or to otherwise inconvenience public use of the ROW as determined by the City. In addition:
[1] 
Ground-mounted related equipment shall be located between the sidewalk and the curb, and shall be as close to the curb as possible, meeting PADOT standards for clearances, and shall not interfere with existing utilities. For reasons of safety and aesthetics, such equipment shall neither protrude onto the curb, nor obstruct the sidewalk.
[2] 
Ground-mounted related equipment that cannot be placed underground shall be screened, to the fullest extent possible, through the use of landscaping or other decorative features to the satisfaction of the City Zoning Hearing Board.
[3] 
Required electrical meter cabinets shall be screened to blend in with the surrounding area.
[4] 
Any graffiti on the tower or on any related equipment shall be removed at the sole expense of the owner.
[5] 
Any underground vaults related to communications towers shall be reviewed and approved by the City Zoning Hearing Board.
(d) 
Design regulations.
[1] 
A communications tower shall employ the most current stealth technology available in an effort to appropriately blend into the surrounding environment and minimize aesthetic impact. The application of the stealth technology chosen by the applicant shall be subject to the approval of the City Zoning Hearing Board.
[2] 
To the extent permissible under state and federal law, any height extensions to an existing communications tower shall require prior approval of the City, and shall not violate the provisions described herein.
[3] 
A communications tower shall be designed structurally, electrically, and in all respects to accommodate both the applicant's communications antennas and comparable antennas for the maximum amount of future users based on the size of the proposed communications tower.
[4] 
The siting and construction of communications towers and related equipment along the City's streets and sidewalks shall not impact the City's obligations outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended.
[5] 
The base of a communications tower shall not impede pedestrian walkways or extend into the cartway. All towers shall meet PADOT stands for clearances.
[6] 
The applicant shall ensure that proposed communications towers and related equipment comply with Chapter 515, Streets and Sidewalks.
(e) 
Relocation or removal of facilities. Within 60 days following written notice from the City, or such longer period as the City determines is reasonably necessary or such shorter period in the case of an emergency, an owner of a communications tower in the ROW shall, at its own expense, temporarily or permanently remove, relocate, change or alter the position of any communications tower when the City, consistent with its police powers and applicable Public Utility Commission regulations, shall determine that such removal, relocation, change or alteration is reasonably necessary under the following circumstances:
[1] 
The construction, repair, maintenance or installation of any City or other public improvement in the right-of-way;
[2] 
The operations of the City or other governmental entity in the right-of-way;
[3] 
Vacation of a street or road or the release of a utility easement; or
[4] 
An emergency as determined by the City.
(f) 
Reimbursement for ROW use. In addition to permit fees as described in this section, every communications tower in the ROW is subject to the City's right to fix annually a fair and reasonable fee to be paid for use and occupancy of the ROW. Such compensation for ROW use shall be directly related to the City's actual ROW management costs, including, but not limited to, the costs of the administration and performance of all reviewing, inspecting, permitting, supervising and other ROW management activities by the City. The owner of each communications tower shall pay an annual fee to the City to compensate the City for the City's costs incurred in connection with the activities described above.
A. 
Purpose.
(1) 
To promote the use of solar energy systems for the generation of electricity (photovoltaics), or for water heating, or space heating or cooling (solar thermal — passive and active), and to obtain the benefits of solar energy as a renewable and clean energy source which enhances the reliability of the overall electrical power grid, reduces peak power demands, helps diversify Pennsylvania's energy supply portfolio, and helps reduce dependence on fossil fuels;
(2) 
To provide for the installation and construction of solar energy systems in the City of Easton subject to reasonable conditions that will protect the public health, safety and welfare, and protect the historic character and resources of the City;
(3) 
To provide protection of a reasonable amount of sunlight from shade from structures and vegetation whenever feasible to all parcels in the City in order to preserve the economic value of solar radiation falling on structures, investments in solar energy systems, and the options for future uses of solar energy;
(4) 
To promote, protect and facilitate access to incident solar energy, as provided by Section 604 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10604.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this code the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADJOINING LOT
Any lot that shares a common boundary with, or that otherwise touches, the lot on which a solar energy system is installed.
ARCHITECTURALLY INTEGRATED DEVICE
A device that is integrated in, as distinguished from merely positioned on, the external surfaces of the shell of buildings or building structures.
CLEARNESS INDEX (KT)
A number from zero to one that describes the amount of solar radiation that passes through the atmosphere.
MAJOR LOSS OF EFFICIENCY
Twenty percent loss of efficiency of solar energy system to nonsystem (outward) causes, such as shading of the solar access plane, based on NASA Clearness Index (KT) and NREL, "Typical Meteorological Year," TMY3 data, as well as Tilt and Orientation Factor (TOF) and Total Solar Resource Fraction (TSRF). Reports generated by "Solar Pathfinder," "Solmetric Suneye" or other devices that provide functionally equivalent reporting which utilize this data are acceptable.
NONRESIDENTIAL SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
A solar energy system that is an accessory use to lawful nonresidential use in any zoning district and mounted on the principal building on the lot.
RESIDENTIAL SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
A solar energy system that is an accessory use to a lawful residential use in any zoning district and mounted on the principal building on the lot.
SOLAR ACCESS
The access of a solar collector to direct sunlight.
SOLAR ACCESS PLANE
The area along a property line beginning a minimum of 12 feet above grade and bounded by the projections from the area of solar energy device perpendicular to the sun's rays between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on December 21.
SOLAR COLLECTOR
A solar photovoltaic cell, panel or array, or solar hot air or water collector device, that relies upon solar radiation as an energy source for the generation of electricity or transfer of stored heat.
SOLAR ENERGY
Radiant energy (direct, diffuse, and reflected) received from the sun at wavelengths suitable for conversion into thermal, chemical or electrical energy.
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM or SES
Any device or combination of devices or elements which converts solar energy to usable thermal, mechanical, chemical or electrical energy to meet all or part of a structure's energy requirements, including, but not limited to, any substance or device which collects sunlight for use in the heating or cooling of a structure or building, the heating or pumping of water, or the generation of electricity. A solar energy system may be used for purposes in addition to the collection of solar energy. These uses include, but are not limited to, serving as a structural member of part of the roof of a building or structure and serving as a window or wall. A solar energy system shall not be the primary use of the property.
TILT AND ORIENTATION FACTOR or TOF
The solar insolation at the actual tilt and orientation divided by the insolation at the optimal fixed tilt and orientation, expressed in percent. Note that for one-axis and two-axis tracking. TOF may be greater than 100%, since insolation may be more than with the fixed panel.
TOTAL SOLAR RESOURCE FRACTION or TSRF
The ratio of insolation available accounting for both shading and the specific tilt and orientation of the surface, divided by the total insolation available assuming no shade and assuming the surface is at the optimal tilt and orientation. TRSF is expressed in percent, according to the following equation: TSRF = Solar Access x TOF. Note that with one-axis and two-axis tracking, TSRF may be greater than 100% because it is compared to a fixed panel.
C. 
Applicability.
(1) 
Section 595-37 applies to:
(a) 
Solar energy systems to be installed and constructed after January 23, 2013;
(b) 
All applications for solar energy systems on existing structures or property; and
(c) 
Any upgrades, modifications or changes that materially alter the size or placement of a solar energy system existing on or before January 23, 2013.
(2) 
Solar energy systems constructed prior to January 23, 2013, shall not be required to meet the requirements of § 595-37; provided that any upgrade, modification or change to an existing solar energy system that materially alters the size or placement of the existing solar energy system shall comply with the provisions of this chapter.
(3) 
Use of solar energy systems as an accessory use:
(a) 
A building-mounted residential solar energy system is allowed as a permitted accessory use to any lawful residential use in any zoning district in the City if mounted on the principal building and the energy generated is used for one or more of the principal uses on the same lot, subject to requirements of § 595-37.
(b) 
A building-mounted nonresidential solar energy system is allowed as a permitted accessory use to any lawful nonresidential use in any zoning district in the City, if mounted on the principal building and the energy generated is used for one or more of the principal uses on the same lot, subject to the requirements of § 595-37.
(4) 
Use of solar energy systems is subject to the restraints imposed by the present development pattern and topography found inside the City limits of Easton, plus zoning and height restrictions. Where a strict provision of the Zoning Ordinance may prohibit adequate solar access without major loss of efficiency, the developer may apply to the City of Easton Zoning Hearing Board for a variance. In addition to other relevant factors, the Zoning Hearing Board shall weigh the following factors in its evaluation:
(a) 
Different levels of solar access.
(b) 
Restrictiveness of the ordinance with regard to height, bulk, setback, and related provisions.
(c) 
Local energy costs, topography, and aesthetics of the specific area or land tract proposed for solar access use.
(d) 
Characteristics of shading due to building and trees in determination of necessary solar access plane.
(e) 
Identification of possible conflicts with solar access, including architectural or historic preservation requirements, steep slopes, low- and moderate-income housing restrictions, and individual landowner preferences.
D. 
Design and installation.
(1) 
To the extent applicable, the solar energy system shall comply with the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code, Act 45 of 1999, as amended,[1] and the regulations adopted by the Department of Labor and Industry.
[1]
Editor's Note: See the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, 35 P.S. § 7210.101 et seq.
(2) 
The design of the solar energy system shall conform to applicable industry standards. To the extent reasonably possible, the design shall use materials, colors, textures, screening and landscaping that will blend the system into existing structures and environment.
(3) 
Low-slope roof. On low-slope roof structures (i.e., roof structures not exceeding 25% slope), solar devices shall be mounted with adequate setback so as to not be visible from any public way at ground level. Where this is not possible, solar devices shall be located so as not to be visible from the front of the building or from major approaches at ground level.
(4) 
Steep-slope roof. On steep-slope roof structures (i.e., roof structures exceeding 25% slope), solar devices shall not be visible from the street, unless the device is an architecturally integrated device. If the device must be visible (no other alternative is feasible without major loss of efficiency of the system), the design of the solar system shall be evaluated and approved by the authority having jurisdiction, including, where applicable, the Historic District Commission, prior to installation. Flush mount of solar panels on sloped roofs shall be utilized where possible.
(5) 
All installers of solar energy systems shall be on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's list of registered installers for the DEP Solar Sunshine program or shall establish to the satisfaction of the Code Official that they meet the certification standards of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
(6) 
In all cases, solar energy systems shall be set back from roof edges and from the roof ridgeline a minimum of three feet to provide safe access for firefighters and other emergency responders.
E. 
Solar access requirement and easements.
(1) 
Upon issuance of a zoning permit for a solar energy system, the Zoning Administrator shall provide written notice of the issuance of such permit by first-class mail to the owner of record of each adjoining lot, together with a copy of this section of the Zoning Code.
(2) 
When a solar energy system is installed on a lot, new accessory structures or vegetation established thereafter on an adjoining lot shall not be located in a manner that blocks the solar collector access to solar energy, or the solar access plane, so as to cause a major loss of efficiency. The portion of a solar collector that is protected is the portion which is located so as not to be shaded between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on December 21 by a hypothetical minimum twelve-foot-high obstruction located on the lot line.
(3) 
Subsection B of this section shall not apply to structures or vegetation existing on an adjoining lot at the time of installation of the solar energy collection system, or the effective date of this Part 4, whichever is later. It shall apply to the erection of any accessory structure and to the planting of new vegetation and its subsequent growth on adjoining lots after the installation of the solar energy system.
(4) 
Installation of a solar energy system does not guarantee the creation of a permanent easement for solar access. However, existing solar energy systems and solar access requirements shall be considered by the Planning Commission when reviewing applications for land development or subdivision.
(5) 
If the owner of any solar energy system claims that the erection of an accessory structure or planting of any vegetation is causing a major loss of efficiency, it shall be the burden of the owner of the system to establish all facts necessary to support the claim, including, but not limited to, the actual power output of the system prior to the erection of the structure or planting of vegetation, test conditions, comparable illumination levels, and other relevant factors, all of which shall be supported by a certification by a solar energy system installer meeting the qualifications set forth in Section D (above) or a professional engineer.
F. 
Required submittals. Required submittals:
(1) 
An application for installation along with application fee.
(2) 
Drawings indicating location and type of system, along with other technical information as required by the Building Code.
(3) 
In all applications involving the installation of solar energy systems, the property owner must supply plot plan and photographic documentation as required by the Department of Planning and Codes and must demonstrate adequate solar access during the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on December 21.
G. 
Evaluation.
(1) 
Setbacks and height restrictions.
(a) 
On existing construction, a solar energy system may be installed as long as it meets the requirements of this chapter and all other applicable construction codes.
(2) 
Solar easements.
(a) 
On new land development or subdivision plans that propose to provide for solar energy systems, the plans shall include a notation that restrictions have been placed on the lots in question concerning the placement of structures and vegetation as they relate to the solar energy systems.
(b) 
Approvals for new land development or subdivision plans that propose to provide for solar energy systems shall require that an easement for solar access be placed on the deeds of those lots proposed for a solar energy system and all adjoining lots in the approved development or subdivision.
(c) 
An easement of direct sunlight may be acquired over the land of another by express grant or covenant. Any instrument creating a solar easement may include, but the contents are not limited to, all of the following:
[1] 
A description of the dimensions of the easement expressed in measurable terms, such as vertical or horizontal angles measured in degrees, or the hours of the day on specified dates during which direct sunlight to a specified surface of a solar collector, device, or structural design feature may not be obstructed, or a combination of these descriptions.
[2] 
The restrictions placed upon vegetation, structures, and other objects which would impair or obstruct the passage of sunlight through the easement.
[3] 
The amount, if any, of permissible obstruction of the passage of sunlight through the easement, expressed in measurable terms, such as a specific percentage of sunlight that may be obstructed.
[4] 
The provisions for trimming vegetation that would impermissibly obstruct the passage of sunlight through the easement including any compensation for trimming expenses.
[5] 
Any provisions for compensation of the owner of property benefiting from the easement in the event of impermissible obstruction of the easement.
[6] 
The terms or conditions, if any, under which the easement may be revised or terminated.
(d) 
Any instrument creating a solar easement shall be recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for Northampton County.
H. 
Abandonment and removal. Any solar energy system that is not operated for a continuous period of six months shall be considered abandoned, and the owner of such system shall remove the same within 90 days of receipt of notice from the City of Easton notifying the owner of such abandonment. Failure to remove an abandoned system within said 90 days shall be grounds to remove the system at the owner's expense and constitute a code violation, subject to a fine of $300 per day or 90 days' imprisonment. The Zoning Administrator may extend the time for an unused system to remain in place up to six months following notice of abandonment.