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Township of Middle Smithfield, PA
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The MPC provides that zoning is not applicable to any existing or proposed building, or extension thereof, used, or to be used, by a public utility corporation if, upon petition of the corporation, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission shall, after a public hearing, decide that the present or proposed situation of the building in question is reasonably necessary for the convenience or welfare of the public. If the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission issues a certificate of convenience, then zoning shall not apply. Deregulated services are not exempt.
The MPC expressly recognizes the preemption of municipal zoning regulations of agriculture by the act of May 20, 1993 (P.L. 12, No. 6), known as the Nutrient Management Act, the act of June 30, 1981 (P.L. 128, No. 43), known as the Agricultural Area Security Law, the act of June 10, 1982 (P.L. 454, No. 133), known as [A]n Act Protecting Agricultural Operations from Nuisance Suits and Ordinances Under Certain Circumstances, the Right to Farm law, and other state and federal laws, all as amended from time to time. The MPC further provides that "zoning ordinances may not restrict agricultural operations or changes to or expansions of agricultural operations in geographic area where agriculture has traditionally been present unless the agricultural operation will have a direct adverse effect on the public health and safety." The Agriculture, Communities and Rural Environment Initiative (ACRE), amending Title 3 (Agriculture), also provides additional exemptions from municipal zoning regulations. [Note: See 3 P.S. § 1717, 3 P.S. § 911(b), 3 P.S. § 951 et seq., 53 P.S. § 10603(b), 53 P.S. § 10603(h) and Act 38 of 2005, respectively.]
The MPC expressly recognizes preemption by state and federal mining laws of municipal regulation through zoning of mineral extraction. [Note: See 53 P.S. § 10603(b).] Such laws include, but are not limited to, the act of May 31, 1945 (P.L. 1198, No. 418), known as the "Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act,"[1] the act of December 19, 1984 (P.L. 1093, No. 219), known as the "Noncoal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act,"[2] and the act of December 19, 1984 (P.L. 1140, No. 223), known as the "Oil and Gas Act,"[3] and to the extent that the subsidence impacts of coal extraction are regulated by the act of April 27, 1966 (1st Sp. SESS., P.L. 313, No. 1), known as the "Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act,"[4] all as amended from time to time. The MPC also mandates that the Township provide for the reasonable development of minerals within its boundaries.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 52 P.S. § 1396.1 et seq.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 52 P.S. § 3301 et seq.
[3]
Editor's Note: See 58 P.S. § 601.101 et seq.
[4]
Editor's Note: See 52 P.S. § 1406.1 et seq.
Pursuant to the MPC, forestry activities are a permitted use by right in all zoning districts within the municipality. [Note: See 53 P.S. § 10603(f). Section 603(f) further provides that the zoning ordinance may not "unreasonably" restrict forestry activities.]
Pursuant to the MPC, no-impact home-based businesses [Note: "Exempt premises" under "day-care center" shall be included in this section.] are permitted by right in all residential districts within the Township, except that such permission shall not supersede any deed restriction, covenant and/or agreement restricting the use of land, nor any master deed, bylaw or other document applicable to a common interest ownership community. [Note: See 53 P.S. § 10603(l).]
It is the intention of this Township to regulate religious institutions in compliance with the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) [Note: See 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq.] which, in summary, provides that no Township may impose or implement land use regulations in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution, unless certain criteria is met, as well as with the Pennsylvania Religious Freedom Protection Act (RFPA)[1] which, in summary, provides that no Township shall impose or implement a land use regulation that discriminates against any assembly or institution on the basis of religion or religious denomination, and, pursuant to the MPC, the display of religious symbols on property being used for religious purposes may not be unduly restricted.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 71 P.S. § 2401 et seq.
This Township, through zoning rules, policies and practices, intends to make reasonable accommodations to afford any individual equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling in compliance with the federal Fair Housing Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, as both may be amended from time to time. Both acts exempt from this prohibition on discrimination "housing for older persons," as defined by the acts. [Note: See Act No. 214, December 19, 2002, 71 P.S. § 2401 et seq.; Act of October 27, 1955, P.L. 74, as amended, 43 P.S. §§ 951 through 963; 42 U.S.C. § 3607(b)(1); and 43 P.S. § 955(h)(9).]
To the extent that a licensed gaming facility has been approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Act 71 ("Gaming Act"),[1] approved July 5, 2004, and as amended from time to time, provides that the conduct of gaming, including the physical location of a licensed facility and extending to racetracks and related facilities, shall not be prohibited or otherwise regulated by this ordinance.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 4 Pa.C.S.A. § 1101 et seq.
The minimum lot area, minimum lot width and minimum street frontage requirements of this ordinance shall not apply to uses and/or structure(s) owned by Middle Smithfield Township or by a municipal authority created by the Township for uses and/or structure(s) that are intended for stormwater management, public recreation or public health and safety purposes.