Township of Lower Providence, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 9-21-2006 by Ord. No. 556]
For the purposes of this chapter, the following general regulations shall govern each and every zoning district.
[Amended 9-21-2006 by Ord. No. 556]
A maximum of one principal use is permitted on each lot, except:
A. 
As permitted within a shopping center;
B. 
If conditional use approval is granted for two or more principal uses in the RPBD, HC, GC, or VC Zoning Districts, or EVC Zoning Districts.
[Amended 1-21-2016 by Ord. No. 631]
C. 
If specifically stated as permitted by a provision of this chapter.
No lot shall be so reduced that the area of the lot, or the dimensions of the required open spaces, shall be less than herein prescribed.
[Amended 9-21-2006 by Ord. No. 556]
Where an unimproved lot of record is situated on the same street frontage with two adjacent improved lots or one unimproved and one improved lot, the front yard setback requirement for that lot shall be permitted to the existing building line of the adjacent lots on each side of the existing lot.
On all corner lots, the minimum setback for any facade of a building facing the street shall be equal to the required front yard setback.
[Amended 9-21-2006 by Ord. No. 556]
A triangular lot shall contain a front yard setback where the lot meets the minimum lot width line and shall include one front lot line, one rear lot line and one side lot line.
[Amended 9-21-2006 by Ord. No. 556]
In all zoning districts of the Township, existing or proposed lots which are not served by public sanitary sewers and by public water shall have a minimum lot area of 30,000 square feet and a minimum lot width at the building line of 150 feet.
[Amended 5-5-2005 by Ord. No. 525; 9-21-2006 by Ord. No. 556; 10-20-2011 by Ord. No. 602]
A. 
Residential accessory uses. Accessory uses authorized by this chapter shall include the following: Uses accessory to the principal residential use and meeting the definition of accessory use, as set forth in § 143-6 herein, shall be authorized in all residential zoning districts subject to the provisions of § 143-27 and any specific limitations on said uses as may be established in the provisions applicable to said zoning district.
B. 
Residential accessory building/structures. Accessory buildings/structures, as defined in § 143-6, shall be permitted in all residential districts subject to the provisions of § 143-27, the limitations herein set below and any additional limitations established in the provisions of the applicable to the zoning district:
(1) 
No accessory building/structure shall be located within the front yard setback.
(2) 
Except as permitted hereinbelow, all accessory buildings/structures on the same lot shall meet all of the zoning district setback requirements in the zoning district in which it is located that are applicable to the principal building on the same lot.
(3) 
In zoning districts R1, R2, R3 and R4, one shed or one accessory building/structure for the purpose of storage of lawn care equipment, products and household goods shall be permitted with a five-foot setback from the rear and/or side yard property lines, provided said shed or said structure shall not exceed 250 square feet in overall size and shall not exceed 12 feet in height, as measured from the lowest point in the grade at the entrance to the structure to the highest peak of the roof ridge.
[Amended 1-21-2016 by Ord. No. 631]
(4) 
An accessory building/structure permitted for the purpose of an accessory use as a private garage shall not exceed 1,000 square feet in overall size and shall have a minimum roof pitch ratio of 2:12.
(5) 
The Board of Supervisors may, pursuant to public notice and hearing, allow or deny an application for a conditional use permit, made by the property owner, to construct a detached garage of more than 1,000 square feet. In granting said conditional use, the Board of Supervisors may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards, in addition to the zoning requirements expressed in this chapter for the zoning district in which the property is located, as they may deem necessary to implement the purposes of this chapter.
(6) 
Conditions for approval of a conditional use: The applicable procedures for consideration of a conditional use application shall be those set forth in Article XIV, § 143-80.
C. 
Nonresidential accessory uses. Nonresidential uses accessory to the principal nonresidential use and meeting the definition of accessory use, as set forth in § 143-6 hereof, shall be authorized in all nonresidential zoning districts subject to any specific limitations on said uses as may be established in the provisions herein applicable to said zoning district.
D. 
Nonresidential accessory buildings/structures. All nonresidential accessory buildings/structures, as defined in § 143-6, authorized in nonresidential zoning districts shall meet all of the zoning district setback requirements and other regulations applicable to the principal building.
E. 
Bus shelters, as defined in § 143-6 hereof, shall be a permitted use in all zoning districts in Lower Providence Township in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) 
A bus shelter may be located within a public right-of-way, provided:
(a) 
The provider of the bus shelter has secured all rights/permission necessary for said use from any governmental entity responsible for the particular right-of-way to be used.
(b) 
The bus shelter provider and the Township shall enter into an agreement satisfactory to the Township for, but not limited to, the construction, location, maintenance, signage, advertising, revenue, permits, fees, renewal and removal of said bus shelter.
(c) 
All appropriate Township permits shall first be obtained by the bus shelter provider.
(2) 
Bus shelters may be located on private property open to the public, provided:
(a) 
The use of the bus shelter on said private property shall continue to be open to the public.
(b) 
The private property owner requests and/or agrees, in writing, that the bus shelter shall be located on its private property and that the private property will remain open to the public for use of the bus shelter.
(c) 
The private property owner and the bus shelter provider enter into an agreement with the Township for, but not limited to, construction, location, maintenance, signage, advertising, revenue, permits, fees, renewal and removal of said bus shelter.
(3) 
All bus shelters provided in accordance with the provisions herein shall:
(a) 
Have any zoning setback requirements applicable to the specific location of a bus shelter permitted hereunder suspended for the duration of the time the bus shelter remains in said location.
(b) 
Said setback suspension shall be specific to the bus shelter and shall not be applicable or extend to any other structure or use on said property.
(c) 
Said setback suspension shall expire upon the violation of the terms and conditions of the agreement with the Township and/or the removal of the bus shelter.
(d) 
All appropriate Township permits shall first be obtained.
F. 
Solar energy systems. Solar energy systems, accessory to the principal use on the same lot and meeting the definition of an accessory use as set forth in § 143-6 hereof, shall be authorized in all zoning districts, subject to any applicable regulation set forth elsewhere in this chapter and in accordance with the following:
[Added 4-7-2016 by Ord. No. 637]
(1) 
Solar energy systems accessory to residential uses shall conform to the setbacks provided § 143-27 below.
(2) 
Solar energy systems accessory to nonresidential uses shall meet all of the zoning district setback requirements and other regulations applicable to the principal nonresidential building or to the setbacks provided § 143-27 below, whichever is more restrictive.
G. 
Backup generators. Permanent backup generators, used only on a temporary emergency basis, are allowed in all zoning districts as an accessory use.
[Added 4-7-2016 by Ord. No. 636]
(1) 
In the R1, R2, and R3 zoning districts, generators shall be installed no closer than seven feet to a rear or side property line and shall not be installed in front yards outside of the required building envelope.
(2) 
In all other zoning districts, generators shall only be installed within the required building envelope and meet all setback requirements of the principal use.
(3) 
No modification may be made to a generator's manufacturer-installed noise reduction mechanisms.
[Amended 7-6-2006 by Ord. No. 550]
Each and every lot shall abut a public street for at least 50 feet at the right-of-way lines, provided that, in the case of a rear lot, the required abutment along the public street shall be not less than 25 feet for each such lot. The portion of a rear lot required for the access driveway shall not be included in calculating the required front, rear and side yards or the required lot area.
[Amended 9-21-2006 by Ord. No. 556]
All on-lot sanitary sewer disposal systems constructed or placed shall comply with county and state design and isolation requirements.
[Amended 5-5-2005 by Ord. No. 525]
A CAFO is a lot or facility where at least 50 livestock or poultry animals have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of at least 45 days in any twelve-month period, and the animal confinement area does not sustain crops, vegetation, forage growth, or post-harvest residues in the normal growing season. It is not necessary that the same animals are fed or maintained on the lot for the forty-five-day period nor do the 45 days need to be consecutive. For the requirements of having a Pennsylvania nutrient management plan, a CAFO is also defined as where the animal density exceeds two AEUs (AEU being defined as 1,000 pounds live weight of livestock or poultry animals, regardless of the actual number of individual animals comprising the unit) per acre on an annualized basis. A CAFO shall only be located within an industrial district on a tract of land with at least 10 acres and all building(s) where slaughtering takes place shall not be located closer than 250 feet from all exterior lot lines and no closer than 1,000 feet from an existing dwelling or the boundary of a residential district. This use must meet the buffer requirements for an industrial use and shall be approved as a conditional use only.
[Amended 9-21-2006 by Ord. No. 556]
It is hereby declared to be the policy of Lower Providence Township to prohibit and prevent noise pollution, as hereinafter defined, for the purpose of securing and promoting public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare, peace and quiet in residentially zoned districts. Levels exceeding said permissible levels are prohibited.
A. 
Noise prohibitions.
(1) 
The creation or allowance of such creation within any residential zoning district of noise/sound levels in excess of 65 dB(A) during the daytime hours and 55 dB(A) during the nighttime hours is hereby prohibited.
(2) 
In situations where noise levels are measured at an interface or boundary line between a residential district and a nonresidential zoning district or where noise levels measured in a residential zoning district emanate from a source in another zoning district, the applicable permissible noise level at the point of measurement shall be the noise level permitted in the residential zoning district.
(3) 
It is prohibited for any person to cause, permit or allow any noise emanated by him or from property owned by him in any nonresidential zoning district to reach any residential zoning district when said noise levels exceed those set forth in Subsection A(1) above.
B. 
Exemptions. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
(1) 
Devices used solely for the purpose of warning, protecting or alerting the public, or some segment thereof, of the existence of an emergency situation.
(2) 
Household tools and portable appliances in normal usage.
(3) 
Lawn care equipment in normal daytime usage if used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
(4) 
Motor vehicles licensed for operation on public roads.
(5) 
Operations by, or sanctioned by, the proper authorities (city, state or federal) for the protection of persons or property where imminent physical trauma or property damage demands immediate attention.
(6) 
Emergency utility operation.
(7) 
Operations by Township, county or commonwealth departments.
(8) 
Nonamplified sound emanating from duly permitted or licensed and/or authorized athletic contests, fairs, parades and municipally sponsored events.
(9) 
Mechanical and electrical construction noise resulting from the operation of tools and equipment used in the ordinary course of drilling, renovations, lawn/yard and/or pool maintenance, tree maintenance, trimming and/or removal, digging, demolition and all related practices, provided that the noise emanating from said use occurs during daytime hours.
(10) 
All activities granted immunity and/or exemption from noise pollution control by the legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the extent of the immunity or exemption as granted by state law.
C. 
Measurement.
(1) 
The measurement of noise levels shall be conducted at points on the property line of the source if the source is in a residential zoning district, on the boundary of a zoning district if the source emanates from property in a nonresidential zoning district, or may be made on the premises of any property in a residentially zoned district reached by the sound waves from the noise emanating from the source.
(2) 
Measurement equipment shall be sound-level meters complying with ANSI SI.4, 1971, Specifications for Sound-Level Meters, of at least Type 2 quality and sensitivity, comprising a microphone, amplifier, output meter and frequency weighting network(s).
(3) 
Measurement equipment operators shall be members of the Code Enforcement and/or Police Departments of Lower Providence Township who have been properly trained in the operation and interpretation of the noise measuring equipment.
[Amended 5-5-2005 by Ord. No. 525]
A zoning permit may be issued by the Township Zoning Officer or Director of Zoning for structures or uses, subject to the following additional provisions:
A. 
Statement from owner. Prior to the issuance of a permit for a temporary use or structure, the applicant shall present a statement from the owner of record of the land, recognizing the application and accepting responsibility and liability to ensure that the use or structure is removed once the permit expires. Such structure or use shall be removed completely upon expiration of the permit without cost to the Township. If the structure or use is not removed in a timely fashion after proper notification, the Township may remove the use or structure at the cost of the person who owns the land upon which the structure or use is located.
B. 
Bond. The Zoning Officer may require that a bond or other acceptable form of security be posted by the applicant to ensure removal of the temporary use or structure. Such a bond shall be equal to 125% of the cost of removing the structure or use, as estimated by the Township Engineer.
C. 
Compatibility. The temporary use or structure shall be compatible with adjacent uses.
D. 
Types of temporary structures permitted.. The following types of structures are considered temporary structures:
(1) 
Portable toilets for special events, construction sites or parks.
(2) 
Tents or small storage containers, for retail sales or special or personal events (e.g. weddings, graduation, etc) only as stated in Subsection G.
(3) 
Construction office or temporary storage trailers for active construction sites only.
(4) 
Mobile homes for a temporary living quarters for the replacement of an existing residential structure that is permitted to be demolished.
(5) 
The zoning permit issued for temporary structures shall expire after:
(a) 
One year for active construction associated with land development sites;
(b) 
Six months for active construction for residential, commercial or institutional uses associated with Township building permits only;
(c) 
Thirty days for all other temporary structures not listed above.
(d) 
Zoning permits for temporary structures shall not be renewed after their expiration date unless approved by the Lower Providence Township Zoning Hearing Board as a special exception.
E. 
Special and personal events duration. In the case of a special event and except under special circumstances, this shall be a maximum of five days in a sixty-day period. This duration section shall not apply to active construction sites only. The Zoning Officer may grant approval once for a recurring event.
F. 
Temporary storage structures. All temporary storage structures shall be made of wood, placed in the rear yard of the principal structure, must have access by a permanent driveway and must be enclosed by a temporary six-foot-high solid wooden fence. No temporary storage structure shall be permitted to exceed six feet in height. Plastic tarp or canvas tent-like structures shall only be used in the rear yards to cover landscaping or active construction material such as lumber or construction equipment only during inclement weather. Metal or portable metal storage box-like containers and or tractor-trailers being used for temporary or permanent storage shall be prohibited in all residential, institutional and commercial zoning districts unless being utilized as temporary storage for any principal structure damaged by natural forces, by fire, or for active construction in which a Township building permit has been issued for the existing structure(s) on the property.
G. 
Special exception use. All tents used for peddling purposes or solicitation (e.g., tents for selling flowers, fireworks) are permitted only by special exception approval from the Zoning Hearing Board. All other tents used for display, serving food for a festival or for selling products shall not be erected within commercial or industrial districts unless special exception approval is obtained from the Zoning Hearing Board. All tents must be placed outside of the ultimate right-of-way of any street and must be placed on a vegetated surface. This section shall not apply to tents erected for a maximum of five days in any calendar year for routine and customary accessory noncommercial uses, special events or personal events (e.g., weddings, carnivals, graduation).
H. 
Parking of trucks and commercial vans. Storage or parking of other business-use vehicles in a residential zoning district shall be located within a permanent indoor storage structure only. No servicing or outside storage of tractor-trailer trucks or large business vans shall be permitted in all residential, institutional and commercial zoning districts.
A. 
The maximum height of buildings and other structures erected or enlarged under this chapter shall be 35 feet, except that a nonhabitable building or structure of such height may be increased to a maximum of 60 feet, or such increased height as may be warranted when approved by the Zoning Hearing Board, for such structures as water towers, chimneys, stacks, antennas, transmission towers and windmills, provided that for every foot of height in excess of 35 feet there shall be added to each yard requirement one corresponding foot of width or depth.
B. 
Structures intended strictly for agricultural uses only, such as barns, silos or towers, may be erected or altered up to a height of 60 feet, provided that such structures are located 100 feet from the existing property line.
C. 
In considering an application for special exception to permit any of the uses set forth in Subsection A above, the following guidelines shall be observed by the Zoning Hearing Board:
(1) 
It must consider the suitability of the property for the use desired.
(2) 
It must assure itself that the proposed use is consistent with the spirit, purpose and intent of the Zoning Ordinance.
(3) 
It must determine that the proposed use will serve the best interests and the convenience of the community and the public welfare.
(4) 
It must consider the effect of the proposed use upon logical, efficient and economical extension of police and fire protection.
(5) 
It must consider the suitability of the proposed location of such uses with respect to probable effects upon highway or interior traffic and assure adequate access arrangements in order to prevent undue congestion and hazard.
(6) 
It must impose such conditions, in addition to those required, as are necessary to assure that the intent of the Zoning Code is complied with.