Borough of West Chester, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The overall purpose and intent of these general regulations is to identify supplementary provisions and standards which are common to all zoning districts.
A. 
Lot area and yard requirements.
(1) 
An existing lot that complies with the area and dimensional standards of this chapter shall not be reduced in size so that the minimum lot area and/or dimensional requirements of this chapter are no longer met. An existing lot that does not comply with the minimum lot area standards of this chapter shall not be subdivided. A lot that does not comply with the minimum dimensional standards shall not be subdivided so as to further reduce the nonconforming standard or create a new nonconforming condition.
(2) 
Where a minimum lot area is specified, no principal building or use shall be erected or established on any lot of lesser area, except as provided in § 112-96G.
(3) 
The lot or yard requirements for any permitted building or use shall not include any part of a lot that is required by any other permitted building or use to comply with the requirements of this chapter.
B. 
Frontage and access.
(1) 
Every principal permitted building shall be built upon a lot with frontage upon a public or private street which is improved in accordance with the design standards for streets as set forth in the Borough Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance[1] or for which such improvements have been insured by the posting of a performance guaranty pursuant to the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance. Such frontage shall be in accordance with that specified in the Article pertaining to the particular district in which such lot is located.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 97, Subdivision and Land Development.
(2) 
Driveways may be shared by two lots in accordance with the design standards for driveways in the Borough Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
C. 
No more than one permitted principal use shall be permitted on a lot, except in the following cases:
(1) 
Conversions of existing buildings to apartments or professional offices, as permitted in the NC-2 and NC-3 Districts.
(2) 
Multiple-tenant occupancy in the TC, CS, ID and IS Districts.
D. 
Minimum lot width at the building line. Where a minimum lot width at the building line is specified, no principal building shall be erected on any part of a lot which has a width of less than required under the applicable zoning district, except as provided in § 112-96G.
E. 
Front yards of corner lots. Corner lots shall provide for equal front yard setbacks on both streets for any new lot created after the effective date of this Zoning Ordinance.
F. 
Front yard regulations. Where a minimum depth of front yard is specified in a district, an open space of at least the specified depth shall be provided between the street line or lines and the nearest point of any building or structure, except as may be hereinafter permitted.
G. 
Exception to required front yard for certain accessory uses. The front yard requirements for any district shall not apply to driveways, sidewalks, lights, fences, walls, signs and designated off-street parking areas open to the air in the Commercial Service and Industrial Districts. Garages, carports or other like structures shall not be located in front yards.
H. 
Side and rear yard requirements. Where a minimum width of side yard is specified, no building or other structure shall be erected within such width from either side lot line, except as provided in § 112-88J and Article XVI.
I. 
Projections of buildings into required yards.
(1) 
No building or structure or part thereof shall be erected within or shall project into any required yard in any district, except for:
(a) 
Uncovered and unroofed spaces, including steps, ramps or patios on grade.
(b) 
Clothes-drying lines.
(c) 
Marquees, awnings and canopies, subject to Article XIV, pertaining to sign regulations.
(d) 
Buttresses, chimneys and cornices.
(e) 
Pedestrian walkways which are built over a public right-of-way, provided that they are built in compliance with the Borough's Building Code. The pedestrian walkway shall not be used in the calculation of any area and bulk requirement in this chapter, and the maximum width of the walkway shall not exceed 15 feet. The use of the walkway shall be limited to pedestrian connection between two buildings which are on opposite sides of a public right-of-way.
[Added 9-23-2009 by Ord. No. 13-2009]
(2) 
Except for a pedestrian walkway which is built over a public right-of-way, no projection permitted in § 112-88I(1) shall extend more than five feet from the building line into the required yard setback.
[Amended 9-23-2009 by Ord. No. 13-2009]
(3) 
Setback distances for accessory use structures shall be in accordance with § 112-88J and Article XVI.
(4) 
Decks shall only be permitted to extend up to five feet into the required rear yard setback. With regard to buildings that have existing nonconforming side yard setbacks, a deck may be constructed, provided that the degree of nonconformity with respect to the side yard setback is not increased. Notwithstanding the foregoing, under no circumstances shall a deck be any closer than three feet to the side lot line.
J. 
Accessory use structures in yards. In any district, unless otherwise specified, accessory use structures may be erected in the side or rear yard not closer than five feet from the side and rear lot lines, provided that such structures are entirely separated from the principal building and are located at least 10 feet farther back from the front street line than the rearmost portion of the principal building, except for:
(1) 
Fences or walls which define property boundary lines or serve as a required continuous visual buffer.
(2) 
A shared driveway for two lots, which may straddle property lines.
(3) 
Structures in the Town Center District, which shall meet the setback requirements of Article VII.
(4) 
Structures for which no other viable location exists, as approved by the Zoning Hearing Board as a special exception.
[Amended 4-19-2000 by Ord. No. 8-2000]
The Borough Council may determine that the height regulations prescribed within this chapter may be exempted for church spires, steeples or belfries; cupolas or domes; solar panels; clock towers; chimneys; ventilating fans; air-conditioning equipment; roof structures for the housing of elevators and/or stairways; fire or parapet walls; skylights; flagpoles; water towers or water tanks; utility poles; windmills; silos; smokestacks; and ornamental or other necessary mechanical appurtenances, provided that such structures are not used for human occupancy and are set back a distance equal to their height (from ground level to the top of the structure) from a lot line.
[Amended 10-15-1997 by Ord. No. 14-1997]
A. 
No fence or wall over eight feet in height shall be erected in the IS or ID Districts within any of the required yards except a retaining wall or a wall of a building permitted under the terms of this chapter, unless that portion of the fence or wall which exceeds eight feet in height has a ratio of open to solid area of at least 4 to 1, subject to the provisions of §§ 112-91 and 112-99.
B. 
No fence or wall over six feet in height shall be erected in the NC, TC or CS Districts within any of the required side or rear yards except a retaining wall or a wall of a building permitted under the terms of this chapter, subject to the provisions of §§ 112-91 and 112-99.
C. 
No fence or wall over six feet in height shall be erected within the front yard on a lot in the NC, TC or CS Districts or beyond the front wall of the principal building on a lot in the NC, TC or CS Districts, unless that portion of the fence or wall which exceeds six feet in height has a ratio of open to solid area of at least 4 to 1, subject to the provisions of §§ 112-91 and 112-99.
D. 
Fences or walls which exceed six feet in height and/or fences or walls which exceed six feet in height that do not have a ratio of open to solid area of at least 4 to 1 may be erected within the front yard on a lot in the NC, TC or CS Districts or beyond the front wall of the principal building on a lot in the NC, TC or CS Districts may be approved as a conditional use, subject to the provisions of §§ 112-91 and 112-99 and the conditional regulations of this chapter. The application fee for such conditional use shall be $75 or such other fee as may be established by Borough Council from time to time in accordance with § 112-109.
On any lot, no wall, fence or other structure shall be erected, altered or maintained and no hedge, tree, shrub or other growth shall be installed or maintained which may cause danger to traffic on a street by obscuring the view. A clear sight triangle shall be maintained in accordance with the design standards and required improvements for streets set forth in the Borough Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 97, Subdivision and Land Development.
Whenever the existing street right-of-way is less than that required by the Borough Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance for the particular classification of street, the right-of-way widths set forth in the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance shall be applicable to any development related to this chapter.
A. 
Except as may be permitted in the TC and CS Districts, no part of the street right-of-way, no sidewalks or other areas intended or designed for pedestrian use, no required parking areas and no part of the required front yard shall be occupied by outside storage and display, except in the case of a sidewalk sale, flea market, public auction or garage sale, provided that such sales shall not take place more than four times per year for a period not to exceed four days per event.
B. 
Outside storage and display areas shall occupy an area of less than 1/2 the existing building coverage.
C. 
Outside storage and display areas not related to a sidewalk sale, flea market, public auction or garage sale shall be screened from view from any public street or residential zoning district in accordance with the landscaping standards of Article XVI.
D. 
Uses requiring more land area for such storage or display may be permitted by special exception. However, in no case shall more than 25% of the lot area be used in outdoor storage or display.
E. 
All organic rubbish or storage shall be contained in airtight, verminproof containers.
F. 
Recreational vehicles and travel trailers. Recreational vehicles and/or travel trailers may be stored in the rear or side yard of the principal permitted use or in a garage or roofed structure and shall be no closer to a property line that the setback line created by the various yard requirements when stored outside. Such vehicles and/or trailers shall be screened from adjacent properties in accordance with Article XVI.
G. 
Junk vehicles.[1] Junk vehicles may not be kept or stored outdoors on public or private property for longer than 96 hours during any thirty-day period, provided that junk vehicles may be worked on or stored within a garage or other fully enclosed structure. This regulation does not apply to the following:
(1) 
Commercial businesses which are permitted principal land uses and are normally involved in the repair or assembly of such vehicles.
(2) 
Antique cars or other automobiles in the process of being reconstructed for purposes of qualifying as antique cars and which have been registered with the Zoning Officer, provided that:
(a) 
Such vehicles shall be suitably covered at all times when not actively being worked on.
(b) 
The vehicles must receive antique registration within one year from the date of initial registration of the vehicles with the Zoning Officer.
(3) 
No more than one vehicle without current inspection or registration or license tags shall be permitted outside on any residential lot, and such vehicle shall not at any time be in a state of major disassembly or disrepair or be in the process of being stripped or dismantled.
(4) 
No more than two vehicles without current inspection or registration or license tags shall be permitted outside on any nonresidential lot, and such vehicles shall not at any time be in a state of major disassembly or disrepair or be in the process of being stripped or dismantled.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 103, Vehicles, Abandoned.
A temporary permit may be issued by the Zoning Officer for structures or uses necessary during construction or other special circumstances of a nonrecurring nature, subject to the following additional provisions:
A. 
The life of such permit may not exceed one year and shall be reviewed annually for an aggregate period of not more than three years.
B. 
Such structure or use shall be removed completely upon expiration of the permit without cost to the Borough.
A. 
It is the intent of these regulations to prevent land or buildings, including those permitted by right, conditional use or special exception, from being used or occupied in any manner so as to create any dangerous, injurious, noxious or otherwise objectionable condition adversely affecting the surrounding area. All uses shall operate in conformance with the environmental controls set forth herein and relevant statutes, codes, rules and other regulations of the United States government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Chester County, the Borough and governmentally regulated companies, authorities and other entities which have jurisdiction over sewage disposal, water supply, water quality, traffic and other consumption or emission characteristics of land use. The most stringent regulation applicable shall be used.
B. 
All plans for proposed development in the Borough shall illustrate, depict, note or otherwise demonstrate compliance with this section and with the requirements of the Borough Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 97, Subdivision and Land Development.
C. 
Noise control. The following provisions shall apply to any noise-producing source within the Borough:
(1) 
No person shall make, continue or cause to be made or continued any noise disturbance.
(2) 
The following acts and the causing thereof are in violation of this chapter, including but not limited to the following;
(a) 
Operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, cassette player, sound amplifier or similar device which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound:
[1] 
At any time in such manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a lot line or between the hours of 9:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the following days so as to be audible across a lot line of the receiving land use.
[2] 
In such manner as to create a noise disturbance across such a lot line or at 50 feet from such source, whichever is less, when the source is operated in, from or on a motor vehicle or hand carried on a public right-of-way or public space.
[3] 
In such a manner and at a time as to cause a noise disturbance and which disturbs the peace and quiet of the immediate neighborhood.
(b) 
Engaging in loud or raucous yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on the public streets between the hours of 9:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day or at any time or place in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance.
(c) 
Operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used on construction operations, drilling or demolition or other work or in the sweeping of parking lots in areas adjacent to residential districts between the hours of 9:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day on weekdays and Saturdays or at any time on Sundays or legal holidays such that the sound therefrom causes a noise disturbance across a residential lot line, except for emergency work.
(d) 
Operating or permitting the operation of any electrically powered saw, drill, sander, grinder, lawn or garden tool, snowblower or similar device used outdoors between the hours of 9:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day so as to cause a noise disturbance across a lot line of the receiving land use.
(e) 
Loading, opening, closing or other handling of boxes, crates, containers, building materials, garbage cans or other objects between the hours of 9:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential lot line. This subsection shall not apply to municipal or utility services in or about the public right-of-way.
(f) 
Owning, possessing, harboring or controlling any animal or bird which howls, barks, meows, squawks or makes other sounds continuously and/or incessantly for a period of 10 minutes or makes such noise intermittently for one-half (1/2) hour or more to the disturbance of any person at any time of the day or night, regardless of whether the animal or bird is situated in or upon private property; provided, however, that at the time the animal or bird is making such noise, no person is trespassing or threatening to trespass upon private property in or upon which the animal or bird is situated or for any other cause which teased or provoked the animal or bird.
(g) 
Offering for sale or selling by shouting or outcry or by any other amplified or unamplified sound, except between the hours of 7:00 a.m. of one day and 7:00 p.m. of the same day.
(h) 
The removal or rendering inoperative by any person, other than for purposes of maintenance, repair, replacement or other work, of any muffler or sound-dissipative device or element of design or noise label of any product; the intentional moving or rendering inaccurate or inoperative of any sound-monitoring instrument or other device positioned by or for the Borough or other governmental entity, provided that such device or the immediate area is clearly labeled or posted to warn of the potential illegality; and the use of a product which has had a muffler or sound-dissipative device or element of design or noise label removed or rendered inoperative with knowledge or reason to know that such action has occurred.
(i) 
Repairing, rebuilding or testing or otherwise working on any motorcycle or other motor vehicle, motorboat or aircraft in such a manner as to cause such disturbance across a lot line of the receiving land use.
(3) 
The noise from any of the aforesaid prohibited acts that disturbs two or more residents or owners in use or occupancy, who are in agreement as to the times and durations of the noise and who occupy separate buildings across a lot line from the noise source, shall be prima facie evidence of a noise disturbance.
(4) 
The following sounds are exempted from the provisions above:
(a) 
Blasting, only if performed in accordance with a permit issued by the Fire Marshal. Such blasting may occur only between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. unless specifically authorized otherwise by the permit.
(b) 
Band concerts, carnivals or other performances or similar activities publicly or privately sponsored and presented in any public or private space outdoors, provided that such activities do not occur between 11:00 p.m. on one day and 10:00 a.m. on the following day.
(c) 
Sounds caused by the performance of emergency work or by the ordinary and accepted use of emergency apparatus and equipment.
(d) 
Sounds resulting from the repair or replacement of any municipal or utility installation in or about the public right-of-way.
(e) 
Sounds, not electronically amplified, created by organized school-related programs, activities, athletic and entertainment events or other public programs, activities or events, other than motor vehicle racing events.
(f) 
Sounds made by warning devices operating continuously for three minutes or less, except that, in the event of an actual emergency, the limitation shall not apply.
D. 
Vibration control. Operating or permitting the operation of any device that creates vibration which is above the vibration perception threshold of an individual at or beyond the property boundary of the source if on private property or at 50 feet from the source if on a public space or public right-of-way shall be prohibited. For the purposes of this section, "vibration perception threshold" means the minimum ground- or structure-borne vibrational motion necessary to cause a normal person to be aware of the vibration by such direct means as but not limited to sensation by touch or visual observation of moving objects.
E. 
Storage control.
(1) 
All storage of flammable materials shall comply with the provisions of the West Chester Borough Code.
(2) 
No materials or wastes shall be deposited upon a lot in such form or manner that they may be transferred off the lot by natural causes or forces, nor shall any substance which can contaminate a stream or watercourse or otherwise render such stream or watercourse undesirable as a source of water supply or recreation or which will destroy aquatic life be allowed to enter any stream or watercourse.
(3) 
All materials or wastes which cause fumes or dust or which constitute a fire hazard or which may be edible or otherwise attractive to rodents or insects shall be stored outdoors only if enclosed in containers adequate to eliminate such hazards or any leaching to substratum.
F. 
Glare and heat control.
(1) 
In any nonresidential district, direct, unshielded or sky-reflected glare from spotlights or floodlights over 150 watts or from high-temperature processes (such as combustion or welding or from other sources) greater than two footcandles visible at the lot line of the receiving land use shall be prohibited. There shall be no emission or transmission of heat or heated air so as to be discernible at the lot line of the receiving land use.
(2) 
In any residential district, floodlighting or high-intensity lighting over 150 watts shall be located so that the glare or reflection is not greater than one footcandle at the lot line of the receiving land use.
(3) 
No floodlighting or high-intensity lighting, except for surveillance, security, decorative or safety lighting, shall be permitted after 11:00 p.m. in any residential district
G. 
Fire and explosion control. All activities and all storage of flammable and explosive materials at any point within a lot shall be provided with adequate safety and fire-fighting devices.
H. 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection H, Traffic control, was repealed 7-26-2016 by Ord. No. 9-2016.
I. 
Excavation control. Except as related to gardening activities, excavation and removal of sod, topsoil and earth material, such as sand, gravel or rock, and earthmoving activities shall be in full compliance with Chapter 97, Subdivision and Land Development, and may occur only under the following conditions:
(1) 
For the sole purposes of constructing or altering a building or street or grading related to such improvements.
(2) 
When such activities would not result in the establishment of pits, mounds, loose boulders or other conditions which could be hazardous.
(3) 
When such activities would not result in new topographic conditions which would alter the pattern and volume of drainage onto adjoining properties.
(4) 
When such activities would not result in the transport of sod and earth materials which could result in the deposit of soil and dust particles on the Borough's streets, in the air or on adjoining properties.
J. 
Electromagnetic radiation controls. No use shall produce any electromagnetic radiation or radioactive emission injurious to human beings, animals or vegetation. Electromagnetic radiation or radioactive emissions shall not be of any intensity that interferes with the use of any other property.
K. 
Slope controls. Slope controls shall be in accordance with the regulations for the same as set forth in Chapter 97, Subdivision and Land Development.
A. 
Except as otherwise noted in this section, the following regulations shall apply in all districts to any lot where there is any nonconformity on the effective date of this chapter. For purposes of this section, the words "area and bulk regulations" shall mean the lot area, lot width at building line, lot width at street line, lot coverage, green area, building setback line, design standards, side yard, rear yard, maximum building height and similar regulations established in each of the district regulations.
[Amended 5-10-1995 by Ord. No. 6-1995]
B. 
Continuation. Any nonconforming building or structure, nonconforming use of a building or structure, nonconforming use of a lot or use of a nonconforming lot existing on the effective date of this chapter may be continued, except as otherwise provided in this section.
C. 
Extension, enlargement or additional buildings. The erection of new buildings, enlargement of existing buildings or structures, extension of existing uses of land or establishment of uses on a lot where there is any legal nonconformity of use, size or location on the lot at the effective date of this chapter or amendment thereto shall be regulated according to the type of nonconformity in accordance with the provisions of the section regulating the type of nonconformity involved.
D. 
Nonconforming uses of land. A nonconforming use of land, exclusive of buildings on the lot, or of land containing no buildings may be extended on the lot so used where such use exists at the effective date of this chapter, provided that the area of such use shall not be increased by more than 10% of the area of that portion of the lot actually occupied by the use, and such extension shall conform to the most-restrictive area and bulk requirements and to the design standards for the district. The extension of a nonconforming use of land shall be limited to that which was in single and separate ownership on the effective date of this chapter, except that any portion of the lot which is subdivided after the effective date of this chapter and to which the nonconforming use has not been extended before subdivision shall, after subdivision, be used only in conformity with all the provisions of this chapter.
E. 
Conforming uses, conforming buildings on nonconforming lots. Conforming buildings of which a conforming use is made and which are located on a lot which is nonconforming at the effective date or amendment of this section may be enlarged or additional buildings may be erected, subject to the following:
[Amended 5-10-1995 by Ord. No. 6-1995]
(1) 
Provided that all of the area and bulk regulations, except minimum lot size and minimum lot width at building line and all design standards for the district in which the lot is located, are complied with and not exceeded.
(2) 
If a lot on which a single-family detached dwelling has been constructed is rendered nonconforming in the minimum lot size by an amendment to this section adopted after the construction and residential use and occupancy of such dwelling, subject to the grant of a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board, the owner may enlarge the dwelling by encroachment into the existing rear yard, provided that:
(a) 
There is no encroachment of such enlargement within any side yard, and
(b) 
The dwelling enlarged is a minimum of 30 feet from the rear property line in the NC-1 District and a minimum of 20 feet from the rear property line in the NC-2 District.
(3) 
Provided, if the owner of such lot owns or controls adjacent land sufficient to enable him to enlarge the lot in conformity or more nearly in conformity with the district regulations, he shall be required to enlarge the lot before any extensions, enlargements or additional buildings are permitted; provided, however, that such enlargement of a nonconforming lot shall not create nonconformity of any kind on such adjacent land.
F. 
Conforming uses of nonconforming buildings on conforming lots.
[Amended 5-10-1995 by Ord. No. 6-1995]
(1) 
Buildings of which a conforming use is made, but which are nonconforming in area and bulk by exceeding the allowed coverage or height for the district in which they are located, may not be enlarged unless the lot size is enlarged to conform to the district regulations. If the lot size is enlarged, the addition or enlargement shall conform in all respects to all of the area and bulk regulations and design standards for the district in which the lot is located.
(2) 
Buildings of which a conforming use is made, but which are nonconforming in location on a lot, may be enlarged or additional buildings may be constructed, subject to the following:
(a) 
Additional buildings and enlargement of existing buildings shall conform to all of the area and bulk regulations and all design standards for the district in which the lot is located. No existing side yard nonconformity in the side may be increased by such additional building or enlargement of existing buildings.
[Amended 9-20-1995 by Ord. No. 15-1995]
(b) 
A nonconforming building located entirely outside the building envelope shall not be enlarged or added to.
(c) 
A nonconforming building which is located partially outside the building envelope may be enlarged or added to, provided that such enlargement or addition is located wholly within the building envelope and the area of the building envelope is reduced by an area equal to twice the area of the nonconforming building footprint which is located outside the building envelope.
(d) 
Where an additional building is proposed to be constructed within the building envelope on a lot on which an existing nonconforming building is located wholly outside the building envelope, the conforming building envelope shall be reduced by an area equal to twice the area of the nonconforming building footprint measured to the outside walls.
(e) 
If a single-family dwelling is rendered nonconforming in location on the lot by an amendment to this section adopted after the construction and residential use and occupancy of such dwelling, the owner may, as of right, enlarge the dwelling laterally along and within the existing building setback of such dwelling, provided that there is no encroachment into the minimum side yard, and/or the owner may, as of right, enlarge the dwelling laterally along the line established by the rear wall of the existing dwelling, provided that there is no encroachment into any minimum side yard. There shall be no encroachment permitted into that part of the rear yard extending from the face of the rear wall of the existing dwelling to the rear property line.
(f) 
A building may be enlarged within the existing building footprint by the construction or enlargement of one or more additional stories or parts thereof not exceeding the maximum height limitation for the district in which the building is located.
G. 
Conforming uses of nonconforming buildings on nonconforming lots. A nonconforming building existing on a nonconforming lot at the effective date or amendment of this section, if such building is used in conformity with the use provisions of the district in which it is located, may be enlarged or additional buildings may be constructed, subject to the following:
[Amended 5-10-1995 by Ord. No. 6-1995]
(1) 
Provided that all area and bulk regulations (except minimum lot size and minimum lot width at building line) meet all design standards for the district in which the lot is located and are complied with and not exceeded. No building which exceeds the minimum lot coverage or height limitations of the district shall be enlarged or extended.
(2) 
Except as otherwise restricted, a building may be enlarged within the existing building footprint by the construction or enlargement of one or more additional stories or parts thereof not exceeding the maximum height limitation for the district in which the building is located.
(3) 
A nonconforming building located wholly or partially outside the building envelope shall be subject to the provisions of Subsection F(2)(b) through (d) of this section.
(4) 
If the lot on which the single-family dwelling has been constructed is rendered nonconforming in minimum lot size and location of the dwelling on the lot, by an amendment to this section adopted after the construction and residential use and occupancy of such dwelling, the owner may, as of right, enlarge the dwelling laterally along and within the existing building setback of such dwelling, provided that there is no encroachment into any minimum side yard, and/or the owner may, as of right, enlarge the dwelling laterally along the rear wall of the existing dwelling, provided that there is no encroachment into any minimum side yard. There shall be no encroachment permitted into that part of the rear yard extending from the face of the rear wall of the dwelling to the rear property line, absent the grant of a special exception, as provided for in this section.
(5) 
If a lot upon which a single-family dwelling has been constructed is rendered nonconforming in minimum lot size by an amendment to this section adopted after the construction and residential use and occupancy of such dwelling, subject to the grant of a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board, the owner may enlarge the dwelling by encroachment into the existing rear yard, provided that:
(a) 
There is no encroachment of such enlargement within any side yard, and
(b) 
The dwelling, as enlarged, is a minimum of 30 feet from the rear property line in the NC-1 District and a minimum of 20 feet from the rear property line in the NC-2 District.
(6) 
Such enlargements or additional buildings shall be limited to the lot which was in single and separate ownership at the effective date or amendment of this section. If the owner of such lot owns or controls adjacent lands sufficient to enable such owner to enlarge the lot in conformity or more nearly in conformity with the district regulations, he shall be required to enlarge the lot before any building enlargement or addition is permitted; provided, however, that such enlargement or addition on a nonconforming lot shall not create nonconformity of any kind on such adjacent land.
H. 
Nonconforming uses of conforming buildings on conforming lots. A building which is conforming in area and bulk regulations and design standards on a conforming lot which houses a nonconforming use may be increased in area by enlargement of the existing building or by construction of additional buildings, subject to the following requirements:
[Amended 9-16-1992 by Ord. No. 17-1992; 5-10-1995 by Ord No. 6-1995]
(1) 
A special exception is granted by the Zoning Hearing Board for expansion of the proposed use.
(2) 
The existing building, plus such extension, enlargement or additional buildings, do not exceed the area and bulk regulations or design standards for the district in which the lot is located or for that use in a zoning district where the use is allowed or otherwise cause the lot to become nonconforming.
(3) 
The area of such building shall not be enlarged, nor shall any additional buildings be constructed which exceed, in floor area, more than 25% of the floor area of such building on the date it first became legally nonconforming.
(4) 
The enlargement, additional building or extension of such nonconforming use shall be limited to the lot which was in single and separate ownership at the effective date or amendment of this section.
I. 
Nonconforming uses of conforming buildings on nonconforming lots. Nonconforming uses of conforming buildings located on nonconforming lots shall be subject to the provisions of Subsection H of this section.
J. 
Nonconforming uses of nonconforming buildings on conforming lots. A nonconforming use of a nonconforming building located on a conforming lot shall be subject to the following provisions:
(1) 
In all districts, buildings nonconforming in area and bulk by exceeding the allowable lot coverage or height for the district shall not be enlarged or additional buildings constructed.
(2) 
In all districts, buildings nonconforming in location on the lot by reason of being closer to a lot line or setback line than the minimum requirements for the district may be enlarged or additional buildings constructed, subject to the following provisions:
(a) 
Enlargements and additional buildings shall conform to all setback requirements for the district.
(b) 
The buildings on the lot at the effective date of this chapter, plus the enlargements or additions, do not exceed the lot coverage requirements for the most restrictive district and all design standards for the district are complied with.
(c) 
The enlargements and additional buildings for the extension of a nonconforming use shall be limited to the lot which was in separate and single ownership at the effective date of this chapter.
(d) 
A special exception is granted by the Zoning Hearing Board.
(e) 
Prior to granting any special exception hereunder and as a condition precedent thereto, the Zoning Hearing Board shall determine that the proposed enlargement of existing buildings or construction of additional buildings is necessitated solely by reason of the need to accommodate the natural growth of the then-existing nonconforming use and not by reason of any change in use or addition of other principal or accessory uses.
[Added 9-16-1992 by Ord. No. 17-1992]
(f) 
The cumulative increase in floor area of all expansions, extensions and new construction, subsequent to the date of enactment of this subsection, shall not exceed 25% of the floor area that existed or was then authorized by a valid building permit.
[Added 9-16-1992 by Ord. No. 17-1992; amended 5-10-1995 by Ord. No. 6-1995]
K. 
Nonconforming uses of nonconforming buildings on nonconforming lots. A nonconforming building of which a nonconforming use is made on a nonconforming lot may not be enlarged, nor may additional buildings be constructed.
L. 
Nonconforming lots containing no buildings. A nonconforming lot which contains no buildings and which is in single and separate ownership at the effective date of this chapter which is not of the required minimum area or width or which is of unusual dimensions such that the owner could not provide the open spaces required for the district may be used or a building erected thereon under the following conditions:
(1) 
The owner does not own or control other adjoining properties sufficient to enable him to comply with the area and bulk requirements for the district.
(2) 
A special exception is granted by the Zoning Hearing Board. In addition to other standards governing special exceptions, the Board, in considering a special exception for this use, shall impose the following requirements:
(a) 
The use of the lot and building shall conform to the permitted uses in the district.
(b) 
The building height shall conform to the requirements for the district.
(c) 
The design standards for uses in the district shall be applied.
(3) 
In any residential district, a single-family dwelling may be constructed on a lot of this character without special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board if the conditions of Subsection L(1) above are met and if all the setback, yard and coverage requirements for the district are met; otherwise, the provisions of Subsection L(2) above shall apply.
M. 
Application to accessory uses. The provisions of this article relative to continuation and extension of nonconforming uses shall not apply or be applicable to an accessory use.
N. 
Standards applicable to nonconformities and to imposition of requirements by the Zoning Hearing Board.
[Amended 5-10-1995 by Ord. No. 6-1995]
(1) 
In passing upon any application for a special exception made with respect to the provisions of this section, the Zoning Hearing Board shall require the applicant to strictly comply with the provisions of this section. No special exception shall be granted in violation of area and bulk regulations or design standards of this section, except as expressly provided for in this section or unless a variance is granted from any applicable area and bulk regulation or design standard otherwise applicable. The owner of a nonconformity has no inherent right to build in gross conflict with setback, side and rear yard requirements, coverage requirements or other area and bulk regulations or design standards of the district in which the property is located. For purposes of these provisions, the term "area and bulk regulations" shall mean lot size, lot width at building line, lot width at street line, lot coverage, green area, building setback line, side yard, rear yard, maximum building height, design standards and similar regulations established in each of the district regulations, and the term "building envelope" shall mean that area established by the district's minimum yard and building setback regulations within a lot in which a building or structure may be located.
(2) 
In those districts in which the district regulations establish different area and bulk regulations for uses permitted as of right and for uses permitted by special exception or by conditional use, no lot shall be construed to be nonconforming for purposes of the regulations established in this section which complies with the minimum lot size requirements applicable to uses permitted as of right. Uses by special exception and/or conditional uses shall not be permitted on any such lot, and the area and bulk regulations applicable to special exception and/or conditional uses shall not render the lot nonconforming unless the applicant demonstrates that the lot cannot reasonably be used for any use permitted as of right in such district or unless the area and bulk regulations applicable to such uses permitted by special exception or conditional use are the same as those applicable to uses as of right.
(3) 
No provision of this section which establishes a twenty-five-percent limitation on the expansion of a nonconforming use shall be construed to automatically authorize an expansion to such twenty-five-percent maximum. The burden of proof shall rest upon the applicant to establish the need for such expansion consistent with the established principles of law. When such expansion has been permitted, no further expansion shall be allowed, either by action of the Zoning Officer or by the Zoning Hearing Board.
O. 
Change of use. A lawful nonconforming use of land, building or structure may be changed to a use permitted by right by the applicable zoning regulations for the district in which the land, building or structure is located. A lawful nonconforming use of land or of a building or other structure may be changed to another nonconforming use which is less intense than the prior use. Such intensity shall be measured by the extent of lot coverage, parking, traffic, noise pollution, air pollution, safety and other area and bulk regulations.
[Amended 5-10-1995 by Ord. No. 6-1995]
P. 
Abandonment of use. Whenever a nonconforming use of land or of a building or other structure or any portion thereof is abandoned or discontinued for a continuous period of one year or more, such abandonment or discontinuance shall be presumed to constitute an intention to abandon or discontinue such use. Any subsequent use of such building or structure or land shall be in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 5-10-1995 by Ord. No. 6-1995; 9-20-1995 by Ord. No. 15-1995]
Q. 
Restoration. Any lawful nonconforming building or other structure which has been involuntarily damaged or destroyed by fire, explosion, windstorm or other similar act or cause or a nonconforming building which has been legally condemned may be reconstructed and used for the same nonconforming use, provided that the reconstructed building shall not exceed in height, area and volume the building destroyed or condemned, and the building reconstruction shall be commenced within one year from the date the building was destroyed or condemned and shall be carried on without interruption.
R. 
Nonconforming signs.
[Amended 5-10-1995 by Ord. No. 6-1995]
(1) 
Any sign, signboard, billboard or advertising device existing at the time of the passage of this chapter that does not conform to the regulations of the district in which it is located shall be considered a nonconforming sign and may be used in its existing location, provided that it is maintained in good condition and repair at all times.
(2) 
Nonconforming signs, once removed, may be replaced only with conforming signs; however, legal nonconforming signs may be repainted or, after issue of a permit, repaired or modernized, provided that such repaired or modernized sign does not exceed the dimensions of the existing sign.
S. 
[1] Single-family residential dwellings rendered nonconforming use. If the residential use of a single-family residential dwelling is rendered nonconforming by an amendment to this section adopted after the construction and residential use and occupancy of such dwelling, changing the zoning classification of the lot on which the dwelling is located to any commercial or industrial zoning district classification, such dwelling may be extended and enlarged on the lot held in single and separate ownership at the time of such amendment, subject to the following:
[Added 5-10-1995 by Ord. No. 6-1995]
(1) 
Compliance with the area and bulk regulations and design standards applicable to the NC-3 Residential Zoning District; and
(2) 
The owner's execution of a covenant running with the land, in a form suitable for recordation, binding and enforceable by the Borough against the owners, their heirs, successors, administrators and assigns, in which the owner agrees on his and their behalf that, upon cessation of the residential use and occupancy, the lot and dwelling shall be used and occupied only in compliance with the use and area and bulk regulations and the design standards of the underlying commercial or industrial zoning district, as the case may be, and that the extension and/or enlargement authorized by this section shall be removed.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection S, which dealt with registration of nonconforming uses and structures, was deleted 9-27-1989 by Ord. No. 24-1989.
T. 
Area and bulk requirements. In instances where this chapter does not provide area and bulk requirements for a specific nonconforming use, the most restrictive area and bulk requirements for the zoning district where the use is located shall apply.
[Added 7-15-2015 by Ord. No. 10-2015]