Township of Lower Providence, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
It is the intent of the HC Highway Commercial District to provide regulations for continuing commercial use opportunities in areas of existing commercial development. Specifically, it is the intent of the district to:
A. 
Relate specific types of uses to appropriate minimum lot sizes to ensure adequate land use area relative to intensity of use.
B. 
Minimize the potential for increased traffic congestion, overcrowding of land, noise, glare and pollution resulting from commercial development.
C. 
Discourage any use which would interfere with the use of the district as a shopping and service center for surrounding residential areas.
D. 
Ensure that the character of adjacent and nearby neighborhoods is protected by design controls.
E. 
Effectively regulate the establishment and maintenance of businesses requiring outdoor storage of vehicles, equipment or merchandise.
The following general requirements shall apply to all properties within the HC Highway Commercial District:
A. 
Outdoor display. The following types of commercial uses and no others may display vehicles, equipment, goods or merchandise within front yards:
(1) 
Garden supply center, nursery or florist.
(2) 
Produce shop.
(3) 
Auto dealership.
(4) 
Building materials and home equipment supplies.
B. 
The following regulations shall apply to all outdoor display:
(1) 
Outdoor display is intended to comprise samples or examples of the goods, merchandise, equipment or vehicles available for purchase, rather than the entire stock of an item.
(2) 
Displayed items may not be permanently affixed in front yards.
(3) 
Outdoor display areas may not encroach upon any required parking areas.
(4) 
Outdoor display areas may not exceed 50% of the required front yard area.
(5) 
Outdoor display areas shall be considered to be sales floor area for the purpose of computing parking requirements.
(6) 
Outdoor parking areas shall be separated from the ultimate right-of-way of any street by a twenty-foot landscaped buffer, planted in grass, ground cover or low shrubs.
C. 
Outdoor storage. Any commercial use which includes outdoor storage of merchandise shall conform to the following standards:
(1) 
No vehicles, equipment or merchandise shall be parked, stored or displayed within the ultimate right-of-way of any street or any other areas intended for pedestrian use.
(2) 
All storage areas shall be permitted only to rear of buildings and shall be set back at least 30 feet from property boundaries.
(3) 
All storage areas shall be screened from public view by an opaque fence or wall at least 6 feet and no more than 12 feet high. Stored materials may not exceed the height of the fence.
(4) 
A screen buffer at least 15 feet wide, designed according to the requirements of § 123-50 of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, shall be provided along side and rear property lines of all adjacent properties.
D. 
Refuse areas. All commercial uses shall provide for storage of refuse either inside the building(s) or within an outdoor area enclosed by walls or opaque fencing, at least 6 feet and no more than 12 feet high. Refuse shall be kept within one or more lidded container(s) not to exceed 6 feet in height. All refuse areas shall meet the following requirements:
(1) 
The refuse area shall not interfere with circulation within the parking lot.
(2) 
The refuse area shall be shielded from direct view of any adjacent property.
(3) 
The refuse area shall be located at least 10 feet from any adjacent nonresidential property and 50 feet from any residential property line or ultimate right-of-way line.
E. 
Buffers. Where a commercial use abuts a residential use or district, a screen buffer at least 15 feet wide shall be provided along the property boundary between the districts or uses. Where a district boundary divides a single lot, the buffer shall be placed along the nearest property boundary between commercial and residential uses. The buffer shall be designed according to the requirement of § 123-50 of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
F. 
Landscaping. All commercial uses shall be landscaped in accordance with the following standards:
(1) 
Internal landscaping shall be provided in compliance with § 123-50 of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
(2) 
Perimeter landscaping shall be provided along all road rights-of-way and property lines abutting other nonresidential uses, in compliance with § 123-50 of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
On lots with a minimum area of 20,000 square feet and a minimum width at the building line of 10 feet, any one of the following uses and no other is permitted:
A. 
Retail establishment for sale of dry goods, variety merchandise, clothing, food, beverages, flowers, plants, drugs, hardware, books, furnishings and sale and repair of jewelry, optical goods, cameras and home appliances; and similar uses.
B. 
Personal service shop, provided that at least 30% of the gross floor area is devoted to customer service.
C. 
Dry-cleaning drop-off establishment; copy center.
D. 
Sale of small automotive accessories (no automobile service work permitted).
E. 
Job printing.
F. 
Business or professional office; bank and financial institution, not to include banks with drive-in windows.
G. 
Restaurant, bar or tavern, not to include fast-food or drive-in restaurants.
H. 
Dance, music or art studio.
I. 
Municipal or government use.
J. 
Family day-care home.
K. 
Bed-and-breakfast establishment.
L. 
Two-family conversion of a single-family residence.
M. 
Animal hospital (no outdoor facilities permitted.)
N. 
Any one use of the same general character as those listed above, when approved by the Zoning Hearing Board as a special exception.
O. 
Communications antennas and communications buildings, in accordance with the requirements of § 143-250 of this chapter.
[Added 2-15-2001 by Ord. No. 453]
P. 
Communications towers shall be permitted by special exception, in accordance with the requirements and standards of § 143-250 of this chapter.
[Added 2-15-2001 by Ord. No. 453]
On any Class One lot, a combination of two or more Class One uses may be permitted by the Board of Supervisors as a conditional use, meeting the standards of § 143-113 of this article.
On any Class Two lot, a minimum area of 40,000 square feet and a minimum width at the building line of 200 feet, any one of the following uses and no other is permitted:
A. 
Any Class One permitted use.
B. 
Bank with drive-in windows, meeting the following standards:
(1) 
A minimum of an eight-car stacking area shall be provided, including the space at the pick-up window.
(2) 
These spaces shall not interfere with other parking spaces or internal circulation of the site.
C. 
Fast-food or drive-in restaurant. Restaurants with drive-in windows shall meet the following standards:
(1) 
A minimum of an eight-car stacking area shall be provided, including the space at the pick-up window.
(2) 
These spaces shall not interfere with other parking spaces or internal circulation of the site.
D. 
Conversion of a single-family residence into a tourist home, rooming or boarding house.
E. 
Day-care center, in compliance with § 143-118F of Article XVII of this chapter.
F. 
Undertaking or funeral establishment.
G. 
Ancillary indoor storage building (for other permitted use).
H. 
Multifamily conversion of a single-family residence, to a maximum of four dwelling units.
I. 
Private club, lodge or fraternity.
J. 
Educational, religious or philanthropic use.
K. 
Car wash, motor vehicle garage or repair shop, not to include body repair work or painting.
L. 
Tires, batteries and automotive accessories store, with service bay.
M. 
Gasoline service station (not to include a car wash) that meets the following standards:
(1) 
Minimum lot width of at least 200 feet along each street the lot abuts.
(2) 
All activities except those performed at fuel or air pumps to be performed within enclosed building.
(3) 
Fuel pumps shall be set back at least 25 feet from any ultimate right-of-way.
(4) 
All auto parts and other storage within enclosed building.
(5) 
No paint spraying or body work permitted.
N. 
Multifamily apartments in conjunction with one or more commercial uses, meeting the following standards:
(1) 
All apartment units shall be located at or above the second-story level.
(2) 
An additional minimum lot area of 5,000 square feet is required for each apartment unit.
O. 
Any one use of the same general character as those listed above, when approved by the Zoning Hearing Board as a special exception.
P. 
Communications antennas and communications buildings, in accordance with the requirements of § 143-250 of this chapter.
[Added 2-15-2001 by Ord. No. 453]
Q. 
Communications towers shall be permitted by special exception, in accordance with the requirements and standards of § 143-250 of this chapter.
[Added 2-15-2001 by Ord. No. 453]
R. 
Retail motorcycle sales and service.
[Added 9-2-2004 by Ord. No. 515]
On any Class Two lot, a combination of two or more Class One or Class Two permitted uses may be permitted by the Board of Supervisors as a conditional use, meeting the standards at § 143-113, Condition use standards for multiple uses on lot.
On lots with a minimum area of two acres and a minimum width at the building line of 300 feet, any one of the following uses and no other is permitted:
A. 
Any Class One or Class Two permitted use.
B. 
Outdoor amusement or recreation facility.
C. 
Hotel or motel.
D. 
Indoor theater.
E. 
Indoor amusement facility, such as a bowling alley, billiard room or indoor court for racquet sports.
F. 
Animal hospital or kennel with no outdoor facilities except by special exception.
G. 
Radio and/or television studios.
H. 
Newspaper publishing.
I. 
Garden supply center, nursery.
J. 
Building materials supply center or lumber yard.
K. 
New motor vehicles or recreational vehicle sales or rental and related service.
L. 
Sale of used vehicles or recreational vehicle sales or rental and related service.
M. 
Gasoline service station containing car wash and meeting all the requirements of § 143-108M of this article.
N. 
Any one use of the same general character as those listed above, when approved by the Zoning Hearing Board as a special exception.
O. 
Communications antennas and communications buildings, in accordance with the requirements of § 143-250 of this chapter.
[Added 2-15-2001 by Ord. No. 453]
P. 
Communications towers shall be permitted by special exception, in accordance with the requirements and standards of § 143-250 of this chapter.
[Added 2-15-2001 by Ord. No. 453]
On any Class Three lot, a combination of two or more Class One, Two or Three permitted uses may be permitted by the Board of Supervisors as a conditional use, meeting the standards of § 143-113 of this article.
[Amended 10-20-2011 by Ord. No. 602]
Dimensional standards for Classes One through Three shall be as follows:
Class One
Class Two
Class Three
Minimum lot size
20,000 square feet
40,000 square feet
2 acres
Minimum lot width
100 feet
200 feet
300 feet
Minimum front yard
No Parking in front yard
30 feet
30 feet
50 feet
Parking in front yard
50 feet
75 feet
100 feet
Minimum side yard
15 feet minimum/40 feet aggregate
15 feet minimum/40 feet aggregate
20 feet minimum/60 feet aggregate
Minimum rear yard
30 feet
50 feet
75 feet
Maximum building height
35 feet
35 feet
35 feet
Maximum impervious coverage
30%
30%
25%
Minimum landscaped area
20%
20%
25%
Maximum building dimension
100 feet
150 feet
300 feet
Minimum building set-back from residential district
50 feet
50 feet
75 feet
Minimum parking, driveway, loading area setback from residential district
25 feet
25 feet
50 feet
More than one use per lot may be permitted by the Board of Supervisors as a conditional use, provided that the proposed land development meets the following standards:
A. 
All uses, whether in a single building or in several buildings, shall be designed according to a unified architectural scheme, including treatment of building facades, lighting, signage, landscaping and circulation.
B. 
A maximum of two curb cuts for vehicular access shall be permitted for the entire development, unless traffic safety considerations require an alternate arrangement, based on the evaluation and recommendation of the Township Engineer.
C. 
Parking for each use shall meet the requirements of Article XII, Off-Street Parking Standards. The shared parking concept may be utilized where appropriate.
D. 
Signs shall be erected and installed in conformance with Article XIX of this chapter.
[Amended 1-18-2018 by Ord. No. 652]
E. 
The development shall comply with all other requirements of this article, including general regulations, dimensional standards and coverage requirements.
Any lot which has the required lot area for a given size class but which lacks sufficient street frontage for that class may qualify for any use in that class, as a conditional use, if one or more of the following conditions are met. [NOTE: for example, if a lot is 40,000 square feet in size (Class Two) but has a lot width of only 150 feet (Class One), the lot may be used for a Class Two use if these conditions are met.]
A. 
Access is shared with one or more adjacent properties, resulting in no more than one driveway entrance per 200 feet for all properties served. Shared access may be provided along property lines to serve future land uses.
B. 
Access is taken from an intersecting side street, rather than from the primary arterial street.
C. 
Applicant is willing to make additional road improvements (such as partial construction of a frontage or marginal access road) which will improve vehicular and pedestrian circulation as determined by the Board of Supervisors, with the advice of the Planning Commission and Township Engineer.