Township of Lower Providence, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Professional and Business Office District is to provide appropriate locations primarily for office and related uses. The regulations which apply within the district are designed to encourage the formation and continuance of a quiet, compatible and uncongested environment for business and professional offices. Specifically, it is the intent of the district to:
A. 
Discourage an encroachment by unrestricted commercial or industrial establishments or other uses which might adversely affect the specialized office, service and residential character of the district.
B. 
Encourage the conversion of existing buildings to office use in order to encourage the preservation of sound structures which maintain the visual character and architectural scale of existing development.
C. 
Attract professional office and service uses which do not generate large volumes of traffic and continuous customer turnover.
D. 
Encourage the orderly, well-planned development of professional and business offices and limited service establishments within the district when a proliferation of unrestricted commercial usage would be undesirable.
A. 
Professional offices for doctors, dentists, chiropractors or any other licensed practitioner of the healing arts for humans, lawyers, engineers, architects, urban planners, accountants, economic consultants, business and management consultants.
B. 
Business offices, including labor unions, credit services, financial investments and commodity brokerages, real estate sales, employment counseling, insurance sales, advertising, mailing and stenographic services.
C. 
Single-family dwellings in accordance with the requirements of the R-2 Residential District with respect to area and height regulations as set forth in Article VI, § 143-37.
D. 
Mixed use structures containing any combination of permitted uses as set forth in the above Subsections A, B and C.
E. 
Communications antennas and communications buildings, in accordance with the requirements of § 143-250 of this chapter.
[Added 2-15-2001 by Ord. No. 453]
F. 
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]
The following conditional uses when authorized by the Board of Supervisors, pursuant to the procedural requirements set forth in § 143-118 below:
A. 
Service activities and/or establishments which directly serve the needs of the permitted uses in § 143-116A and B herein, including but not limited to such uses as pharmacy, optometrist, dental equipment laboratory, employee cafeteria or snack bar, conference rooms or union hall, including ancillary kitchen facilities, copy center and any other use of a similar nature; provided, however, that any such use shall be ancillary to the primary use of the district, intended to provide services to the permitted uses and not intended to serve the general public. No external signs advertising said use(s) shall be permitted.
B. 
Professional or business offices similar to those permitted in § 143-116A and B upon a showing that their function and usage is substantially the same as those uses specifically enumerated in § 143-116A and B.
C. 
Day-care center. A facility which is licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and in which care is provided for seven or more children, 16 years old or younger, at any one time.
D. 
Village House development option in compliance with the following design standards and the procedural requirements set forth in § 143-118, Subsection B through E.
[Added 1-21-2016 by Ord. No. 632]
(1) 
Tract area. The minimum tract area for the Village House development option shall be five acres. The maximum tract area for the Village House development option shall be 15 acres.
(2) 
Permitted uses. Single-family detached dwellings at a maximum density of 3.8 dwelling units per gross acre.
(3) 
Minimum open space. A minimum of 15% of the area of the tract shall be set aside as open space. At least 20% of the required minimum open space shall be in the form of improved common areas or greens. Open space areas may include stormwater management facilities.
(4) 
Lot area. The minimum lot area shall be 6,000 square feet per dwelling.
(5) 
Lot width. The minimum lot width shall be 60 feet.
(6) 
Building coverage. Not more than 35% of the area of the building lot may be covered by buildings.
(7) 
Impervious coverage. The maximum impervious coverage of each building lot shall not exceed 50% at the time of initial land development and an additional 5% for the future homeowner. The total impervious coverage per building lot shall not exceed 55%.
(8) 
Yard requirements.
(a) 
Front yard. There shall be a front yard on each lot which shall be not less than 25 feet in depth from the street line. For corner lots, a front yard setback shall be provided along each street.
(b) 
Side yards. On each interior lot there shall be two side yards each having a minimum width of 10 feet.
(c) 
Rear yard. There shall be a rear yard on each lot, the depth of which shall not be less than 25 feet, except that patios may extend into the rear yard a maximum of 10 feet. Decks may extend into the rear yard a maximum of 10 feet provided that the deck height (excluding handrails) is less than five feet.
(9) 
Height. The maximum height of buildings or structures in a Village House development shall be 35 feet, not to exceed three stories, exclusive of basements.
(10) 
Parking. A minimum of two off-street parking spaces shall be required for each dwelling unit. In addition, there shall be no less than 0.8 spaces per dwelling guest parking.
(11) 
Additional regulations for a Village House development:
(a) 
The development must be served by public sewer and water facilities.
(b) 
The development may be designed with public or private streets.
(c) 
Accessory use structures shall not be permitted, except as noted in Subsection D(8)(c) above.
(d) 
Architectural design standards:
[1] 
Roofs shall be pitched and architectural features such as porches, staggered setbacks, bay windows, gables, dormers, and decorative garage doors are encouraged to enhance the design.
[2] 
The facades shall be comprised of at least two materials, one of which shall be masonry.
[3] 
The applicant shall submit representative architectural examples at the time of the conditional use application.
The Board of Supervisors shall determine that the following standards are met prior to granting approval of a conditional use application:
A. 
The use is ancillary to the primary use of a permitted use set forth in § 143-116A or B and that it directly serves the needs of said use(s).
B. 
The use will not generate a significantly greater amount of traffic volume than those uses permitted in § 143-116, herein, in the judgment of the Township Board of Supervisors upon recommendations of the Township Engineer.
C. 
The use shall not generate noise, noxious odors, air pollution or glare nor result in pedestrian-vehicular conflict or other safety hazards.
D. 
Any necessary loading and unloading operations shall be carried on within or contiguous to the facade of any conditional use structure.
E. 
Appropriate conditions can be designed, imposed and enforced which will alienate any difficulties or concerns brought by the proposed use.
F. 
Applications for day-care center uses shall document compliance with the following requirements, in addition to the other requirements of this article:
(1) 
That the use will be conducted in a building already existing in the district which has been previously used, occupied and approved for the care and/or education of children, 16 years old or younger.
(2) 
All day-care centers shall be fully protected by smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
(3) 
Parking. One off-street parking space shall be provided for each employee and one safe passenger loading space 10 feet by 20 feet for each 10 children that the facility is licensed to accommodate.
(4) 
Fencing. The outdoor play area required by state licensing shall be surrounded by a safety fence or natural barrier.
(5) 
Play area setback. No portion of the outside play area shall be less than 50 feet from an existing occupied dwelling.
(6) 
Hours. Outside play shall be limited to the hours between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
(7) 
Access. A driveway and parking area shall be required in order to allow off-street pickup and dropoff of children.
(8) 
Application. A tentative sketch plan indicating basically how the applicant intends to develop the property and sufficient written data to document compliance with this chapter shall be submitted as part of the conditional use application for a day-care center.
The following regulations shall apply in the Professional and Business Office District:
A. 
Lot area. A minimum of one acre (43,560 square feet) shall be provided for every principal building erected or used for any use permitted in this district. In addition, a lot width of not less than 150 feet at the right-of-way shall be provided. Conversion of an existing structure to any use permitted according to § 143-116 on a lot smaller than one acre (43,560 square feet) may be permitted as a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board, provided that all required parking can be properly located, on the same lot or on an adjacent lot to which access is legally guaranteed. All additions to principal buildings shall be located at least 20 feet from all property lines, and all parking shall be located at least 15 feet from all property lines. The Zoning Hearing Board may, to encourage conversion of an existing viable building, permit a bonus of not more than 10% impervious coverage above that permitted in Subsection B herein. In allowing any conversion, the Zoning Hearing Board shall attach any reasonable standards it deems appropriate to ensure said use(s) are developed in a manner consistent with other uses in the district and are compatible with said uses.
B. 
Building coverage. Not more than 25% of the area may be covered by buildings, and total impervious coverage shall not exceed 65%.
C. 
Yard requirements.
(1) 
Front yard. There shall be a front yard on each lot which shall be not less than 75 feet in depth from the street line.
(2) 
Side yards. On each interior lot there shall be two side yards having an aggregate width of not less than 75 feet, neither side yard having a width of less than 30 feet.
(3) 
Rear yard. There shall be a rear yard on each lot the depth of which shall not be less than 50 feet, except that an accessory-use structure may be erected within the rear yard not closer to any property line than 15 feet.
D. 
Height. The maximum height of buildings or structures hereinafter erected or enlarged in a Professional Business Office District shall be 35 feet, not to exceed three stories, exclusive of basements. For any accessory building or structure, the maximum height shall be 15 feet.
E. 
Maximum building dimension. The greatest dimension of a structure measured parallel to exterior building walls shall be 200 feet. For circular or partially circular buildings, the diameter or assumed diameter shall not exceed 225 feet.
In the event of new construction on a vacant lot or where a building has been removed, the design of the structure shall be consistent with the predominant character of buildings within the district.
The number of parking spaces shall be in accordance with Article XII of the Zoning Ordinance.
The following regulations shall pertain to access for all lots to be developed in the Professional and Business Office District and shall also govern lots to be redeveloped in this district to the maximum extent feasible.
A. 
Accessways leading onto a public street shall be built to the dimensional requirements specified in the design standards of the Lower Providence Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 123, Subdivision and Development of Land.
B. 
Spacing of access drives should be 200 feet.
Along a side or rear property line which is adjacent to a residential use or district, the owner shall place and maintain a planting area 15 feet in width containing hedge, evergreens, shrubbery or suitable vegetation of sufficient planted density to reduce a total visual screening consistent with the topography. Wherever possible, the owner shall make every effort to retain existing natural screening, such as vegetation and topography.
A. 
All evergreen vegetation to be installed shall not be less than 5 feet in height at the time of planting and shall be of such species that expected height at maturity not be less than 15 feet.
B. 
All deciduous material to be installed shall not be less than eight feet in height or two-inch caliper.