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City of Easton, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
This Zoning Code is adopted pursuant to the provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code; is made in accordance with the Official Comprehensive Development Plan of the City, hereinafter referred to as the Comprehensive Plan; and is intended to be consistent with the City of Easton Building Code. It is adopted for the following purposes:
A. 
The promotion and protection of the public health, safety, morals, comfort, convenience and the general welfare of the people.
B. 
The division of the City into districts, restricting and regulating therein the location, construction, reconstruction, alteration, intensity, use and form of buildings, structures and land for commercial, industrial, recreational, residential and other specified uses.
C. 
The protection of the established character and maintenance of the stability of commercial, industrial, recreational and residential areas within the City and the promotion of orderly growth and beneficial development and redevelopment of such areas so that, even after the granting of permits by the Planning Commission and the granting of area variances and special exceptions by the Zoning Hearing Board, as herein provided, the character and stability of such areas will be preserved and protected from incompatible land use.
D. 
The provision of adequate light, air, privacy and convenience of access to property.
E. 
The provision of water, sewerage, schools, recreational facilities, public grounds, access to incident solar energy, police protection and a safe, reliable and adequate water supply for domestic, commercial or industrial use.
F. 
The accommodation of reasonable overall community growth, including population and employment growth, and opportunities for development of a variety of residential dwelling types and nonresidential uses.
G. 
The preservation of the City's natural and scenic values, the preservation of the City's historic resources and landmarks, and the preservation of environmentally sensitive lands, including forests, woodlands, wetlands, aquifers, steep slopes, waterways, and floodplains.
H. 
The prevention of congestion in the public streets and the protection of the health, safety, convenience and general welfare by providing for off-street parking of motor vehicles and for the loading and unloading of commercial vehicles.
I. 
The protection and extension of the City's traditional street grid for reasons of public safety, walkability, enhanced vehicular access and connectivity, and the preservation of the City's historic character.
J. 
The prevention of overcrowding of land and undue concentration of structures by regulation of the size, height, bulk, location and use of buildings and structures in relation to the surrounding land.
K. 
The protection against fire, explosion, noxious fumes and other hazards in the interest of public health, safety, comfort and general welfare.
L. 
The conservation of taxable value of land and buildings throughout the City.
M. 
The promotion in the public interest of the utilization of land for the purpose for which it is most appropriate.
N. 
The definition of and limitations on the powers and duties of the administrative offices and bodies provided in this chapter.
[Amended 4-11-2012 by Ord. No. 5352; 5-9-2018 by Ord. No. 5636]
Easton's community development objectives are encompassed in the City's Comprehensive Plan as adopted by resolution of Council in 1997.
A. 
College Hill District's purpose is to protect the character of this unique hillside neighborhood adjoining Lafayette College, accommodating a mix of housing types and development intensities, neighborhood retail and commercial services, green space, and appropriate infill.
B. 
College Hill/Institutional 1 Transitional Zone District's purpose is to provide for a mix of residential and nonresidential uses and development that will enhance the transition from Lafayette College campus to College Hill community. Uses would allow students, staff, faculty, residents, and visitors to live, shop, dine and receive their wellness needs. The district encourages mixed-use buildings and alternative modes of transportation such as walking and biking, with an emphasis on promoting safe and attractive pedestrian-oriented landscapes as well as a reduction in the need for impervious surfaces for parking.
C. 
South Side District's purpose is to enhance the character of this neighborhood by accommodating a mix of housing types and development intensities, green space, local and regional commercial, and appropriate redevelopment and infill that maintains or extends the existing network of streets and alleys.
D. 
West Ward District's purpose is to protect and enhance the character of this existing neighborhood located on a similar topographic plane as the Downtown by accommodating a mix of housing types and development intensities, green space, neighborhood retail and commercial services, and appropriate infill and redevelopment that maintains or extends the existing network of streets and alleys.
E. 
River Corridors and Other Green Areas District's purpose is to accommodate appropriate development while providing for adequate protection and buffering of the City's waterways and other natural resources; assist in flood management; protection of environmentally sensitive areas; and meet the need for local and regional greenways, open space, and recreation within the City.
F. 
Institutional-1 District's purpose is to accommodate the orderly development and expansion of Lafayette College.
G. 
Institutional-2 District's purpose is to accommodate the orderly development needed to meet the institutional needs of Northampton County.
H. 
Downtown District's purpose is to provide the highest intensity of development within the core of the City of Easton, while preserving the City's historic resources and context; to promote a mix of regional commercial and office space, with residential opportunity and neighborhood services; and to support mass transit and transit-oriented development.
I. 
Adaptive Reuse District's purpose is to promote the redevelopment and revitalization of underutilized and underperforming areas of the City with mixed residential, commercial and light industrial development in an environmentally sensitive manner.
J. 
Street Corridor Enhancement Overlay District's purpose is to accommodate medium- and high-intensity development at the gateways to the City and along the principal vehicular and pedestrian corridors, and to promote compact, walkable, mixed-use buildings with local and regional commercial services, compatibly scaled light industrial, and residential uses.
K. 
Innovation Overlay District's purpose is to protect the existing residential neighborhood while accommodating the expansion and enhancement of compatible light industrial and commercial opportunities that meet rigorous design standards and review.
L. 
Flood Hazard Overlay District's purpose is to establish basic performance standards to mitigate flood hazards in and adjacent to floodway, flood-fringe, and flood-prone areas of the City.
M. 
Steep Slope Conservation District's purpose is to establish basic performance standards for development on and adjacent to steep slope areas to mitigate soil erosion, sedimentation and mass wasting (landslides).
N. 
Expressway Transitional District's purpose is to accommodate uses that are suited ideally to areas adjacent to the City's major expressways, while limiting potential negative impacts of these uses to residential, commercial, mixed-use, natural and historic areas.
In interpreting and applying the provisions of this article, they shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the promotion of the health, safety, morals and the general welfare of the City of Easton. The provisions of any statute, other articles of this chapter, law, rule or regulation which impose greater restrictions than this chapter shall be controlling. Conversely, the provisions of this chapter shall be controlling when such provisions impose greater restrictions than those of any other statute, other chapters of this Code, law, rule or regulations.