Township of Lower Providence, PA
Montgomery County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
It is the intent of the Institutional Overlay District to:
A. 
Provide suitable areas within the Township to accommodate emergency, medical, treatment, correctional or similar institutional uses having a special character.
B. 
Provide design and regulatory standards for institutional facilities which will ensure the compatibility of adjacent uses and which will minimize any adverse traffic or environmental impacts.
C. 
Relate specific types of uses to appropriate setbacks, based on intensity of use.
D. 
Promote the development of safe and affordable housing for elderly persons and to ensure that such housing provides accessibility to essential community facilities and services.
The Institutional Overlay District shall be an overlay to the existing or hereafter created underlying districts as shown on the Zoning Map.[1] The following provisions shall also apply to the overlay district:
A. 
The provisions of the Institutional Overlay District shall serve as a supplement to the underlying district provisions.
B. 
In the case of conflict between the provisions or requirements of the Institutional Overlay District and those of any underlying district, the more restrictive provisions shall apply.
C. 
A change in the underlying zoning shall not affect the classification of any land zoned as the Institutional Overlay District.
D. 
Whenever the Institutional Overlay District is declared inapplicable to any land by administrative or judicial action or whenever the Township deletes land from the district, the underlying zoning classification for the subject land shall apply.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is on file in the Township offices.
The following uses shall be permitted in the Institutional Overlay District:
A. 
Emergency services, including ambulance services and fire houses.
B. 
Community center, adult education center, senior citizens center or similar facility operated by an educational, philanthropic or religious institution, subject to the following:
(1) 
The use shall not be conducted as a private for-profit business.
(2) 
No outdoor recreation area shall be located closer than 50 feet to any lot line.
C. 
Library or museum open to the public.
The following conditional uses are permitted when authorized by the Board of Supervisors pursuant to the procedural requirements set forth in § 143-212 below:
A. 
The following licensed institutions: medical and surgical hospital, sanitarium, rehabilitation hospital, hospital for care of the mentally ill, subject to the following additional requirements:
(1) 
The proposed use shall be served by public sewer and water facilities.
(2) 
The proposed site shall have direct access to a feeder or higher classification street and shall not have driveway access to local or residential streets whenever possible. The adopted ultimate right-of-way map shall be used to determine street classification.
(3) 
Existing residential areas shall not be infringed upon by significant increases in traffic volumes from the proposed facility as determined by the Board of Supervisors.
B. 
Penal or correctional facilities, including prisons, prison farms and reform schools.
C. 
Licensed institution for care of the handicapped or elderly, including skilled nursing care, personal care and intermediate care facilities. The following accessory uses are authorized in connection with the conditional use under this Subsection C:
(1) 
Parking in garages or parking lots of automobiles or other vehicles providing transportation services to occupants of the dwelling units or institutional facilities.
(2) 
Congregate dining facilities.
(3) 
Auditoriums, activity and craft rooms, libraries, lounges, fitness facilities, swimming pools and other similar recreational/social facilities to provide services to the occupants of the dwelling units or institutional facilities.
(4) 
Office, retail and service facilities to serve the needs of the occupants and which may be used only by the occupants of the dwelling units or institutional facilities and their guests and invitee(s), including but not limited to a doctor's office, pharmacy, variety store, gift shop, coffee shop, post office, beauty shop or any combination thereof.
(5) 
Administrative office and maintenance facility.
(6) 
Recreational facilities.
D. 
Multifamily dwellings, single-family detached, single-family attached, single-family semidetached (twins) and duplex dwellings occupied primarily by the elderly or handicapped or disabled persons and necessary support staff. The requirements of this section concerning dwellings for the elderly are met if at least 80% of the dwelling units are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older. Dwelling units shall be limited to two bedrooms or less. The following accessory uses are authorized in connection with the conditional use under this Subsection D:
(1) 
Parking in garages or parking lots of automobiles or other vehicles providing transportation services to occupants of the dwelling units or institutional facilities.
(2) 
Congregate dining facilities.
(3) 
Auditoriums, activity and craft rooms, libraries, lounges, fitness facilities, swimming pools and other similar recreational/social facilities to provide services to the occupants of the dwelling units or institutional facilities.
(4) 
Office, retail and service facilities to serve the needs of the occupants and which may be used only by the occupants of the dwelling units or institutional facilities and their guests and invitee(s), including but not limited to a doctor's office, pharmacy, variety store, gift shop, coffee shop, post office, beauty shop or any combination thereof.
(5) 
Administrative office and maintenance facility.
(6) 
Recreational facilities.
E. 
Residential life-care facility for the elderly consisting of the uses provided in Subsection C herein and any combination of independent living units in the forms specified in Subsection D herein. Accessory uses authorized in connection with the uses in Subsections C and D are authorized in connection with a residential life-care facility as well.
[Added 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 433]
The following special exception uses shall be permitted in the Institutional Overlay District: adult uses, pursuant to the regulations contained in Article XXVIII.
The dimensional standards for permitted uses shall be in compliance with the following unless a specific standard is specified elsewhere in this article for the use:
A. 
Minimum lot size: two acres.
B. 
Minimum lot width at building setback line: 200 feet.
C. 
Minimum street frontage: 100 feet.
D. 
Minimum building setback:
(1) 
From ultimate right-of-way line: 50 feet.
(2) 
From residential side yard: 50 feet.
E. 
Maximum building height: 35 feet.
F. 
Maximum building coverage: 30%.
G. 
Maximum impervious coverage: 50%.
H. 
Minimum vegetation, trees or landscaping: 30%.
I. 
Minimum distance between building(s): 25 feet.
J. 
Minimum parking area setback:
(1) 
From ultimate right-of-way line: 25 feet.
(2) 
From buildings: 15 feet.
(3) 
From property lines: 25 feet.
The dimensional standards for conditional uses shall be in compliance with the following unless a specific standard is specified elsewhere in this article for the use:
A. 
Minimum lot size: five acres.
B. 
Minimum lot width: 400 feet.
C. 
Minimum street frontage: 200 feet.
D. 
Minimum building setback for uses under § 143-208A and B:
(1) 
From ultimate right-of-way line(s): 100 feet.
(2) 
From residential property line(s): 100 feet.
(3) 
From all other property lines: 75 feet.
E. 
Minimum building setback for uses under § 143-208C, D and E:
[Amended 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 433]
(1) 
From ultimate right-of-way line(s): 100 feet.
(2) 
From all other property line(s): 75 feet.
F. 
Maximum building height: 45 feet or the building height permitted in the underlying zoning district, whichever is less restrictive.
[Amended 8-21-2003 by Ord. No. 489]
G. 
Maximum horizontal building dimension:
(1) 
Lot size less than 10 acres: 200 feet.
(2) 
Lot size 10 acres or more: 400 feet.
(3) 
Covered walkways connecting buildings shall not be excluded from these dimensional requirements.
H. 
Maximum building coverage: 20%.
I. 
Maximum impervious coverage: 50%.
J. 
Minimum vegetation, trees or landscaping: 50%.
K. 
Minimum distance between buildings:
[Amended 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 433; 4-4-2002 by Ord. No. 466]
(1) 
Minimum distance between buildings for uses under § 143-208A and B: 45 feet.
(2) 
Minimum distance between single-family structures as authorized by § 143-208D: 30 feet.
(3) 
Minimum distance between all other structures authorized in § 143-208D, § 143-208C and § 143-208E: 45 feet.
L. 
Minimum parking area setback:
(1) 
Minimum parking area setback for uses under § 143-208A and B:
(a) 
From ultimate right-of-way: 50 feet.
(b) 
From buildings: 20 feet.
(c) 
From property lines: 50 feet.
(2) 
Minimum parking area setback for uses under § 143-208C, D and E:
[Amended 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 433]
(a) 
From ultimate right-of-way: 25 feet.
(b) 
From ultimate right-of-way when parking area has 50 or more spaces: 40 feet.
(c) 
From buildings: 15 feet.
(d) 
From property lines: 25 feet.
(e) 
From property lines when parking area has 50 or more spaces: 40 feet.
M. 
  Development density. Uses developed pursuant to § 143-208C, D and E shall adhere to the maximum densities established herein:
[Added 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 433]
(1) 
In computing density, an adjusted net tract area shall first be computed, upon which the density for these uses is based. Adjusted net tract area is determined by deducting the sum of the areas attributable to the following factors from the gross tract area:
(a) 
One hundred percent of the legal right-of-way of existing streets;
(b) 
One hundred percent of other public rights-of-way;
(c) 
One hundred percent of floodplains as defined by the Floodplain Conservation District of this chapter;
(d) 
One hundred percent of any wetlands; and
(e) 
Thirty-three percent of steep slopes as defined by the Steep Slope Conservation District.
(2) 
The following densities are the maximum permitted for the uses listed and are computed as dwelling units per adjusted net tract area. These are maximums permissible and may not be achievable in any specific development because of a site's physical features, shape or other factors:
(a) 
For development pursuant to § 143-208C: 12 dwelling units per acre.
(b) 
For uses developed pursuant to § 143-208D: six dwelling units per acre.
(c) 
For development pursuant to § 143-208E: 15 dwelling units per acre. In computing density for said development, every two beds in personal (assisted) care, skilled nursing or other nonindependent living arrangements shall constitute one dwelling unit.
The Board of Supervisors shall determine that the following standards are met prior to granting approval of a conditional use:
A. 
A community impact analysis shall be submitted to the Township containing the following information for review by the Township Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors:
(1) 
The compatibility of the proposed development with land uses that are adjacent to the site and consistency with the Lower Providence Comprehensive Plan.
(2) 
The impact of the proposed development on sensitive natural areas, including floodplains, steep slopes, woodlands, waterways, recreational areas and conservative areas.
(3) 
The impact of the development on public utilities, including sewage disposal, storm drainage and electrical utilities and the provision of police and fire protection.
(4) 
A traffic impact study shall be submitted as required by § 143-214 of this article.
(5) 
Documentation of on-site or off-site improvements proposed to alleviate any projected negative impacts of the development.
B. 
The use shall not generate excessive noise, noxious odors, air pollution or glare or result in pedestrian-vehicular conflict or other safety hazards to people or property. Artificial light shall be directed away from adjacent property and buildings. Artificial lighting shall be located to avoid shining into habitable room windows off site. Outdoor recreation facilities shall only be permitted where the noise generated by the use will have a minimal impact on nearby residential uses and where hazards, such as golf balls in flight, are contained on the site to the maximum extent possible.
C. 
Outdoor storage, waste disposal and loading areas shall be screened from streets and adjacent uses to preserve the character of the surrounding area. Such activities shall be located to the rear of structures. The location and design of parking areas shall be in harmony with preserving the general appearance and character of the area.
D. 
Applications for conditional uses shall include, as a minimum, a tentative sketch plan with sufficient data to document compliance with the standards and criteria of this section. The Board of Supervisors may request that the applicant submit additional information to permit the Board to evaluate the impacts of the conditional use.
E. 
The applicant shall demonstrate that appropriate measures can be designed, imposed and enforced which will alleviate any negative impacts projected as a result of the development.
F. 
The applicant shall demonstrate in plan form the presence of both active and passive open space and recreation areas provided for the relevant population within the development. The plan should include indoor and/or outdoor recreational facilities within the development with amenities such as walking paths, community gardens, outdoor seating area, plazas and covered walkways encouraged, provided that stormwater management calculations shall include any impervious surface anticipated by these facilities.
[Amended 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 433]
G. 
Covered walkways. The design of a covered walkway system shall be required by the Township Fire Marshal and found acceptable for fire, safety and emergency access.
Any use in the Institutional District shall comply with the development standards below:
A. 
Traffic and access. The applicant shall demonstrate to the Township Engineer and the Board of Supervisors that satisfactory provisions are made to prevent traffic congestion and hazards to the surrounding area. Provisions shall be made for safe and efficient ingress and egress to and from the development. The Board of Supervisors may require a traffic impact study for any use in this district when they determine, after consulting with the Township Engineer, that such a study is necessary to demonstrate the adequacy of the access points and streets for accommodating the traffic generated by the proposed use. Existing residential areas shall not be infringed upon by significant volumes of traffic from the proposed use.
B. 
Sewer and water. Use over 5,000 square feet gross floor area shall be served by public sewer. If public water is not available and if the demand is in excess of 500 gallons per day, the applicant shall demonstrate to the Board of Supervisors that a well on the site will not adversely affect existing water supply systems in the area.
C. 
Neighborhood impact. The impact of the proposed use on the surrounding properties and neighborhood shall be considered. The use shall not adversely effect the general welfare and orderly development of the general neighborhood in which it is proposed.
[Amended 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 433]
(1) 
The scale, form and appearance of structures and open space shall be compatible with the general character of any adjacent residential area.
(2) 
The applicant shall submit profile drawings showing the views into the proposed development from adjacent properties which are either used for or zoned to permit single-family detached residential uses and which will have a view of any proposed building greater than two stories in height.
(a) 
The views shall be taken from a point on each adjacent property at the minimum rear or side yard setback (depending upon whether a rear or side lot line abuts the proposed development) where the proposed development will be most visible. The view shall be taken from a height of 5 1/2 feet above grade at the designated point. Depending upon specific circumstances of a proposed development, the Township reserves the right to request additional profiles or to request the view be considered from a different point or from a different height.
(b) 
The views shall be drawn with identical horizontal and vertical scales. The scale shall be no less than one inch equals 20 feet.
(c) 
Views shall show proposed buildings, or portions thereof, which would be seen from the prescribed vantage point. Proposed landscaping and berming which would be installed as part of the proposed development should also be shown so that their impact on the views can be evaluated.
(d) 
Wherever the views indicate that a building, or portion thereof, greater than two stories will be clearly visible, the applicant shall propose mitigating actions. These may include relocating the building, reducing the building's height, adding landscaping and/or berms or other appropriate actions to be approved by the Township.
(3) 
The proposed development shall have a consistent architectural theme throughout. In order to provide architectural interest in larger buildings, the applicant shall follow the recommendations contained in § 143-28 of this chapter.
(4) 
The applicant shall present evidence on the need for the proposed use, including data on the location of similar uses in the Township and surrounding areas.
A traffic impact study shall be submitted simultaneously with an application for any conditional use. A traffic impact study may be required by the Board of Supervisors for other uses in the district when the proposed site is determined to be a congested area by the Board of Supervisors and/or when a traffic impact study is deemed necessary by the Board of Supervisors to evaluate the community impact of any proposed development. Whenever a traffic impact study is required, the preliminary plan shall be considered incomplete until the required traffic impact study shall be prepared by a professional traffic engineer and shall contain the following:
A. 
A study impact area agreed to by the Township Engineer.
B. 
An inventory of site conditions which shall include:
(1) 
A sketch plan of the proposed development.
(2) 
Existing average daily traffic (ADT) on roads within the study area. This shall include traffic volumes at peak highway hours and at peak development generated hours.
(3) 
Existing levels of service (A through F) as defined in the Highway Capacity Manual of the Institute of Transportation Engineers on roads and intersections within the study area. The level of service for signalized intersections refers to the average stopped delay per vehicle during a fifteen-minute analysis period.
(4) 
List of pending or proposed development within a reasonable distance of the development and impacted intersections. The Township Engineer shall prepare this list.
(5) 
Other information requested by the Township Engineer.
[Amended 7-15-1999 by Ord. No. 433]
Where an institutional use abuts a noninstitutional use or district, a screen buffer at least 25 feet wide shall be provided along the property boundary between the districts or uses. The buffer shall be designed according to the requirements of § 123-50C of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance[1] with a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees. The provisions of § 123-50C(3) shall be followed, unless the Township concurs with the applicant that this is impractical due to unique site characteristics.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 123, Subdivision and Development of Land.
All institutional uses shall be landscaped in accordance with the following requirements:
A. 
Internal landscaping of all parking areas shall be provided in compliance with the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
B. 
Perimeter landscaping shall be provided along all road rights-of-way and property lines abutting other nonresidential uses, in compliance with the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
The applicant shall guarantee that any development constructed under the provisions of this article as elderly housing shall be used as elderly housing as defined in this chapter.
A. 
The guarantee shall be in a form acceptable to the Board of Supervisors, upon recommendation of the Township Solicitor.
B. 
The guarantee shall be a covenant running with the land, acceptable to the applicant and his or her heirs, successors and assigns.