City of Bradford, PA
Mckean County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Bradford: Art. I, 12-20-1961 as Ord. No. 2660; Art. II, 9-11-1981 as Ord. No. 3026. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 80.
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 84.
Flood hazard areas — See Ch. 114.
Historic preservation — See Ch. 125.
Housing standards — See Ch. 127.
Sewers — See Ch. 175.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 187.
Trees — See Ch. 202.
Water — See Ch. 216.
Zoning — See Ch. 220.
[Adopted 12-20-1961 as Ord. No. 2660]
[Amended 6-11-1974 by Ord. No. 2921]
In accordance with Article V of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Code,[1] whoever, being the owner or agent thereof, subdivides any lot, tract or parcel of land in the City of Bradford by any means into two (2) or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land, including changes in existing lot lines, for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of lease, transfer of ownership or building or lot development shall, prior to filing his subdivision plat or map in the office of the County Clerk of McKean County and before proceeding to sell lots or land so subdivided, submit his plan of street and lot layout to the City of Bradford Planning Commission and a duplicate of such plan directly to the Mayor and City Council as provided below and shall have the approval of the Planning Commission and the City Council before the plat map may be recorded.
[1]
Editor's Note: See now the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
A. 
It is suggested that application by the owner or his agent for approval of a plan of subdivision of land shall be made, in writing, to the Mayor and City Council and a duplicate to the Bradford City Planning Commission. The plan of subdivision shall be such as to meet the minimum requirements contained below.
B. 
A preliminary plat showing the information specified shall be submitted for examination. In submitting the preliminary plat, the owner or his agent may present ideas and suggested development of the proposed platted area either in person or in writing to the Council and a copy to the Planning Commission.
C. 
Approval of the preliminary plat shall constitute approval as to form only, that is, as to the arrangement and dimensions of streets, lots and other planned features. The approval of the final plat required for recording purposes will be considered only after the requirements for final plat outlined herein shall have been fulfilled and after all other specified conditions have been met.
A. 
To subdivide land into lots or to dedicate or reserve streets, alleys or land for public or private use or to subdivide land into building lots, the owner shall submit three (3) copies of the preliminary sketch plan, preferably black-and-white prints, to the Mayor and City Council and three (3) copies to the Planning Commission before submission of the final plan.
B. 
The preliminary plat shall be drawn to a scale of not more than one hundred (100) feet to the inch and shall show:
(1) 
Property line of the land to be subdivided; the names of all owners of all immediately adjacent subdivisions or, in unplatted areas, the layout of adjoining streets; and location of all lines of incorporated areas, streets, buildings, tree masses and isolated trees more than ten (10) inches in diameter and watercourses within the area to be subdivided.
(2) 
A legible key map showing the relation of the property to adjoining property and to all streets or roads existing within six hundred (600) to one thousand (1,000) feet of any part of the property to be subdivided.
(3) 
The proposed location and width of streets, alleys, lots, building and setback lines and easements.
(4) 
Existing sanitary and storm sewers, water mains, culverts and other underground structures within the tract or immediately adjacent thereto. The location and size of the nearest water main and sewer or inlet are to be indicated in a general way upon the plat.
(5) 
The title under which the proposed subdivision is to be recorded and the name or corporate officers of the subdivider platting the tract.
(6) 
Contours at vertical intervals of not greater than five (5) feet for land with average natural slope of ten percent (10%) or greater and at vertical intervals not greater than two (2) feet for land of lesser average slopes. However, contours need not be shown for land subdivisions with a gross area of less than one-half (1/2) acre or for land subdivisions containing no new streets or roads, unless specifically requested by City Council or the Planning Commission.
(7) 
North point (magnetic or true, and so indicated), scale and date.
(8) 
The preliminary plat shall be accompanied by tentative center-line grades shown by elevations on the preliminary plan.
(9) 
Plans or written and signed statements regarding the width and type of proposed pavement, location, size and type of proposed sanitary sewers or other sewage disposal facilities, proposed water mains and hydrants and other proposed utilities, proposed stormwater drainage facilities and other proposed improvements, such as sidewalks, planting and parks.
C. 
Approval of the preliminary plat shall not constitute an acceptance of the subdivision by the City Council or the Planning Commission. One (1) copy of the approved preliminary plat, signed by the Chairman of the Planning Commission, shall be retained at all times in the office of the City Engineer. One (1) signed copy shall be given to the subdivider.
A. 
Requirements.
(1) 
The final plat of that part to be developed in the immediate future on tracing cloth and a reproducible copy thereof, together with a copy of any restrictions where such are too lengthy to be shown on the plat, shall be submitted to the Mayor and Council and the Planning Commission.
(2) 
The final plat shall be drawn at a scale of not less than one (1) inch equals one hundred (100) feet. If the final plat is drawn in two (2) or more sections, it shall be accompanied by a key map showing the location of several sections.
(3) 
The final plat shall conform to the preliminary plat as approved by the Council and the Commission and shall show:
(a) 
The full plan of development, including street and alley lines, lot lines, building lines and areas to be dedicated to street, park and other public purposes. Lot lines may be omitted at the discretion of the Commission when adversely affecting a special development scheme, provided that a statement is placed on the record plat specifying the minimum size of lot to be sold and provided that other satisfactory assurance of appropriate development is given.
(b) 
The boundary lines of the area being subdivided with accurate distances and angles or bearings.
(c) 
The names of adjoining subdivisions.
(d) 
The lines of all proposed streets and alleys with their width (designation of space allotted for roadway, park strip and sidewalk) and names; lengths of tangents, radii, arcs and chords and central angles for all center-line curves on streets; and tangent, chord, arc, radius and central angle of all street corners.
(e) 
The accurate outline of any property which is offered for dedication for public use.
(f) 
Identification system for all lots and blocks.
(g) 
Location of all monuments, which monuments shall be referenced to any existing coordinated monuments within a reasonable distance of the land to be subdivided and approved by the Municipal Engineer.
(h) 
A title which shall include the name and location of the subdivision, the name of the owner or his agent or corporate officers and the name of the certifying engineer or surveyor.
B. 
The final plat shall be accompanied by:
(1) 
A copy of the deed to the property containing such private restrictions or restrictive schemes as may be imposed upon the property, conditional to sale, together with a statement of any restrictions that may already carry with the title to the land being subdivided.
(2) 
Street profiles for all streets.
(3) 
Utility profiles for sewer lines and stormwater facilities.
C. 
Boundary survey. The boundary of the subdivided tract shall be determined by an accurate survey, which must be balanced, referred to at least three (3) permanent monuments, where such exist, and closed within an error of one (1) in three thousand (3,000).
D. 
Action upon and approval of the final plat. The final or record subdivision plat shall be prepared and submitted to the City Council and then from Council to the Planning Commission by the owner of the property or his authorized representative within one (1) year after the approval of the preliminary plat; otherwise the approval of the preliminary plat shall become null and void, unless an extension of time is applied for, in writing, and the application is granted by City Council and the Commission.
E. 
Endorsement of approval. Upon approval of a final plat, such approval shall be indicated by a statement to that effect on the original or record map, with the signature of the members of the authorized governing body in the municipality wherein the subdivision is located.
The subdivider shall observe the following requirements and principles of land subdivision:
A. 
Street system.
(1) 
The plat shall conform to such plan or plans (where existing) for the city and surrounding area as shall have been prepared and adopted by the City Planning Commission and other borough and township commissions.
(2) 
The arrangement of streets in new subdivisions shall make provision for the continuation of the principal existing streets in adjoining areas (or their proper protection where adjoining land is not subdivided) insofar as they may be deemed necessary by the City Council and the Planning Commission for public requirements. The width of such streets in new subdivisions shall not be less than the minimum street widths established herein. The street and alley arrangement must also be such as to cause no hardship to owners of adjoining property when they plat their own land and seek to provide for convenient access to it. In general, provisions shall be made for through streets at intervals of approximately one-half (1/2) mile or less. Offset streets shall be avoided.
(3) 
Minor streets should approach the major streets at an angle of not less than eighty degrees (80º) nor more than one hundred degrees (100º).
(4) 
Proposed street names shall be checked to prevent duplication of street names.
B. 
Street and alley right-of-way widths. The subdivider shall provide minimum rights-of-way for the following thoroughfares:
(1) 
Main arterial (city-to-city) highways, boulevards, expressways, freeways and parkways shall conform to the standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Highways.[1]
[1]
Editor's note: Now the Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
(2) 
Secondary thoroughfares, seventy (70) feet.
(3) 
Minor streets, fifty (50) feet.
(4) 
Dead-end streets, not more than five hundred (500) feet long, fifty (50) feet wide. All dead-end streets shall terminate in a circular right-of-way with a minimum radius of forty (40) feet to the outside right-of-way line, unless the Commission approves an equally safe and convenient form of paved space instead of the required turning circle.
(5) 
Alleys, twenty (20) feet.
C. 
Street alignment; grades. Unless otherwise granted by the Commission in special consideration, maximum percent grades shall be as follows:
(1) 
Main arterial highways, boulevards, expressways, freeways and parkways, subject to standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Highways.[2]
[2]
Editor's note: Now the Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
(2) 
Secondary thoroughfares, not greater than five percent (5%).
(3) 
Minor streets, not greater than ten percent (10%).
(4) 
Alleys, not greater than twelve percent (12%).
D. 
Alignment and visibility.
(1) 
Clear visibility, measured along the center line, shall be provided for at least six hundred (600) feet on main thoroughfares, boulevards, expressways, freeways and parkways; three hundred (300) feet on secondary thoroughfares; and at least one hundred (100) feet on minor thoroughfares.
(2) 
It is recommended that wherever possible reversed curves on the center line of any thoroughfare shall always be connected by a tangent, which in most instances shall be greater than fifty (50) feet in length.
(3) 
No broken-back curves shall be permitted along the center line of any thoroughfare.
(4) 
Street curb intersections shall be rounded by a radius of at least ten (10) feet. The minimum radius of ten (10) feet shall be increased when the smallest angle of intersection is less than eighty degrees (80º).
E. 
Block sizes.
(1) 
Length. No block shall be longer than one thousand two hundred (1,200) feet nor less than five hundred (500) feet between street right-of-way lines.
(2) 
Width.
(a) 
In plotting residential lots containing from six thousand (6,000) square feet to fifteen thousand (15,000) square feet, it is recommended that the depth of the block not exceed three hundred (300) feet.
(b) 
Except where existing conditions or special plan provisions warrant deviation, no block shall be less than two hundred forty (240) nor more than three hundred fifty (350) feet in width.
(c) 
If a block exceeds one thousand (1,000) feet in length, the Planning Commission may require that a footpath of not less than ten (10) feet in width shall be provided at a convenient place to extend across the width of the block.
F. 
Lots.
(1) 
The lot arrangement shall be such that they will provide desirable sites for buildings. Whenever, in the same block, certain lots are wider than others, the wider lots shall be located at the corners.
(2) 
Double-frontage lots shall be avoided.
(3) 
Every lot shall abut on a street or on an officially approved cul-de-sac.
(4) 
Side lot lines shall be approximately at right angles to the street line on which the lot faces.
(5) 
Whenever the subdivision is located in an area affected by zoning regulations, the lot areas shall be not less than the minimum areas required in the zoning regulations.
(6) 
Where corner lots rear upon lots facing the side street, the corner lots shall have extra width sufficient to permit the establishment of front building lines on both the front and the side of the lots adjoining the streets. Extra width should be provided on all corner lots irrespective of whether they rear upon lots facing the side streets.
G. 
Building lines. Building lines shall be shown on all plats of lots intended for residential use of any character and on commercial or industrial lots immediately adjoining residential areas. In all cases, building lines shall be no less than required by any zoning or building line regulation applying to the property. Where the subdivided area is not under zoning control, the subdivider shall establish building lines in accordance with the needs of each addition. It is suggested that building lines not be less than twenty-five (25) feet from the right-of-way of the street or highway upon which the lot fronts, except that on side streets not used as lot fronts, building lines may be not less than fifteen (15) feet. Restrictions requiring buildings to be set back to such building lines shall be shown on the plat.
H. 
Political boundaries. Political boundary lines shall be located along side or rear lot property lines, and, whenever possible, location of the same along center lines of streets and other public thoroughfares shall be avoided.
A. 
Character of the development. The City Council, Mayor and then the Planning Commission shall confer with the subdivider regarding the type and character of development and may agree with the subdivider as to certain minimum restrictions to prevent the construction of substandard buildings, which, unless so controlled, might lessen the value of the proposed subdivision and adjoining property.
B. 
Parks, school sites and other common areas. In subdividing property, consideration shall be given to suitable sites for schools, parks, playgrounds and other common areas for public use. Any provision for schools, parks and playgrounds should be indicated on the preliminary plan in order that it may be determined when and in what manner such areas will be dedicated to or acquired by the appropriate agency.
C. 
Easements along streets. Whenever any stream or important surface drainage course is located in an area that is being subdivided, the subdivider shall dedicate an adequate easement along each side of the stream for the purpose of widening, deepening, sloping, improving or protecting the stream or for drainage, parkway or recreational use.
D. 
Bench mark. A permanent bench mark shall be accessibly placed, the location and elevation of which shall be accurately noted on the subdivision plat.
E. 
Street and sidewalk improvements. The rights-of-way shall be graded (except in cases where unusual topographic conditions do not permit) at time of construction for their full width to provide suitable finish grades for pavement, sidewalks and planting strips, with adequate surface drainage and convenient access to the lots and the roadway improved by surfacing according to minimum standards established by the governing Municipal Engineer.
Whenever the tract to be subdivided is one (1) acre or less in area or whenever, in the opinion of the City Council and the Commission, it is of such unusual size or shape or is surrounded by such development or unusual conditions that the strict application of the requirements contained in these rules would result in real difficulties and substantial hardships or injustices, the City Council and the Commission may vary or modify such requirements so that the subdivider is allowed to develop his property in a reasonable manner but also so that, at the same time, the public welfare and interests of the city and surrounding area are protected and the general intent and spirit of these rules are preserved.
These provisions shall be considered the minimum requirements for the protection of the public welfare, and the City Council, through the Planning Commission, reserves the right to modify or to extend them as may be deemed necessary for the public good.
[Adopted 9-11-1981 as Ord. No. 3026]
The specific purpose of these provisions is to:
A. 
Regulate the subdivision and/or development of land within any designated floodplain district in order to promote the general health, welfare and safety of the community.
B. 
Require that each subdivision lot in flood-prone areas be provided with a safe building site with adequate access and that public facilities which serve such uses be designed and installed to preclude flood at the time of initial construction.
C. 
To protect individuals from buying lands which are unsuitable for use because of flood by prohibiting the improper subdivision and/or development of unprotected lands within the designated floodplain districts.
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING
A combination of materials to form a permanent structure having walls and a roof.
DESIGNATED FLOODPLAIN DISTRICTS
Those floodplain districts specifically designated in Chapter 220, Zoning, as being inundated primarily by the one-hundred-year flood. Included would be areas identified as the Floodway District (FW), the Flood-Fringe District (FF) and the General Floodplain District (FA).
DEVELOPER
Any landowner, agent of such landowner or tenant with the permission of such landowner who makes or causes to be made a subdivision of land or a land development and the subdivision of land.
DEVELOPMENT
Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, the placement of mobile homes, streets and other paving, utilities, mining, dredging, filling, grading, excavation or drilling operations and the subdivision of land.
DWELLING
A building designed and constructed for residential purposes in which people live.
ONE-HUNDRED-YEAR FLOOD
A flood that, on the average, is likely to occur once every one hundred (100) years (i.e., that has a one-percent chance of occurring each year, although the flood may occur in any year).
REGULATORY FLOOD ELEVATION
The one-hundred-year flood elevation plus a freeboard safety factor of one and one-half (1 1/2) feet.
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed or erected on the ground or attached to the ground, including but not limited to buildings, factories, sheds, cabins and other similar items.
SUBDIVISION
The division or redivision of a lot, tract or parcel of land by any means into two (2) or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land, including changes in existing lot lines, for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of lease, transfer of ownership or building or lot development.
This Article supersedes any ordinances currently in effect in flood areas. However, any other applicable ordinances shall remain in full force and effect to the extent that those provisions are more restrictive.
The grant of a permit or approval of a plan for any proposed subdivision and/or land development to be located within any designated floodplain district shall not constitute a representation, guaranty or warranty of any kind by the municipality or by any official or employee thereof of the practicability or safety of the proposed use and shall create no liability upon the municipality, its officials or employees.
A. 
Prior to the preparation of any plans, it is suggested that prospective developers consult with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources concerning soil suitability when on-site sewage disposal facilities are proposed.
B. 
Prospective developers shall consult the County Conservation District representative concerning erosion and sediment control and the effect of geologic conditions on the proposed development. At the same time, a determination should be made as to whether or not any flood hazards either exist or will be created as a result of the subdivision or development.
The following information shall be required as part of the preliminary plan and shall be prepared by a registered engineer or surveyor:
A. 
Name of engineer, surveyor or other qualified person responsible for providing the information required in this section.
B. 
A map showing the location of the proposed subdivision and/or land development with respect to any designated floodplain district, including information on the one-hundred-year flood elevations.
C. 
Preliminary plan map.
(1) 
Where the subdivision and/or land development lies partially or completely within any designated floodplain districts or where such activities border on any designated floodplain district, the preliminary plan map shall include the following information:
(a) 
The location and elevation of proposed roads, utilities and building sites, fills and flood- or erosion-protection facilities.
(b) 
The one-hundred-year flood elevations.
(c) 
Areas subject to special deed restrictions.
(2) 
All such maps shall show contours at intervals of two (2) or five (5) feet, depending upon the slope of the land, and identify accurately the boundaries of the designated floodplain districts.
A. 
The following information shall be required as part of the final plan and shall be prepared by a registered engineer or surveyor:
(1) 
All information required for the submission of the preliminary plan, incorporating any changes requested by the City of Bradford.
(2) 
A map showing the exact location and elevation of all proposed buildings, structures, roads and public utilities to be constructed within any designated floodplain district. All such maps shall show contours at intervals of two (2) feet and identify accurately the boundaries of the flood-prone areas.
B. 
Submission of the final plan shall also be accompanied by all required permits and related documentation from the Department of Environmental Resources and any other commonwealth agency or local municipality where any alteration or relocation of a stream or watercourse is proposed. In addition, documentation shall be submitted indicating that all affected adjacent municipalities have been notified of the proposed alteration or relocation. The Department of Community Affairs and the Federal Insurance Administrator shall also be notified whenever any such activity is proposed.
A. 
Where not prohibited by this Article or any other laws or ordinances, land located in any designated floodplain district may be platted for development with the provision that the developer construct all buildings and structures to preclude flood damage in accordance with this Article and any other laws and ordinances regulating such development.
B. 
Building sites for residences or any other type of dwelling or accommodation shall not be permitted in any designated floodway district. Sites for these uses may be permitted outside the floodway district if the sites or dwelling units are elevated up to the regulatory flood elevation. If fill is used to raise the elevation of a site, the fill area shall extend out laterally for a distance of at least fifteen (15) feet beyond the limits of the proposed structures.
C. 
Building sites for structures or buildings other than for residential uses shall also not be permitted in any designated floodway district. Also, such sites for structures or buildings outside the floodway shall be protected as provided for in Subsection B above. However, the City of Bradford may allow the subdivision and/or development of areas or sites for commercial and industrial uses at an elevation below the regulatory flood elevation if the developer otherwise protects the area to that height or assures that the buildings or structures will be floodproofed at least up to that height.
D. 
If the City of Bradford determines that only a part of a proposed plat can be safely developed, it shall limit development to that part and shall require that development proceed consistent with this determination.
E. 
When a developer does not intend to develop the plat himself and the City of Bradford determines that additional controls are required to ensure safe development, it may require the developer to impose appropriate deed restrictions on the land. Such deed restrictions shall be inserted in every deed and noted on every recorded plat.
The finished elevation of proposed streets shall not be more than one (1) foot below the regulatory flood elevation. The City of Bradford may require, where necessary, profiles and elevations of streets to determine compliance with the requirements. Drainage openings shall be sufficient to discharge flood flows without unduly increasing flood heights.
All sanitary sewer systems located in any designated floodplain district, whether public or private, shall be floodproofed up to the regulatory flood elevation.
A. 
The City of Bradford shall prohibit installation of sewage disposal facilities requiring soil absorption systems where such systems will not function due to high ground water, flooding or unsuitable soil characteristics or are proposed for location in designated floodplain districts. The City of Bradford may require that the developer note on the face of the plat and in any deed of conveyance that soil absorption fields are prohibited in designated areas.
B. 
The City of Bradford may prescribe adequate methods for waste disposal. If a sanitary sewer system is located on or near the proposed subdivision and/or land development, the City of Bradford shall require the developer to provide sewage facilities to connect to this system, where practical, and shall prescribe the procedures to be followed by the developer in connecting to the system.
All water systems located in any designated floodplain districts, whether public or private, shall be floodproofed up to the regulatory flood elevation. If there is an existing public water supply system on or near the subdivision, the City of Bradford shall require the developer to connect to this system, where practical, and shall prescribe the procedures to be followed by the developer in connecting to the system.
All other public and private utilities and facilities, including gas and electric, shall be elevated or floodproofed up to the regulatory flood elevation.