[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Penn 4-15-2009 by Ord. No. 853.Amendments noted where applicable.]
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 150.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 156.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 180.
Zoning — See Ch. 190.
Editor’s Note: This ordinance superseded former Ch. 90, Impact Fees, adopted 6-18-1997 by Ord. No. 683, as amended.
This chapter shall be known as the "Penn Township Transportation Improvements Program Amendment."
Editor's Note: Ordinance No. 905, adopted 11-16-2015, suspended the applicability of this chapter, retroactive to 4-1-2015. During the period of suspension, no impact fees shall be assessed or charged against any development within the Penn Township Transportation Improvement District. The Township will evaluate the necessity of continuing the future applicability of this chapter.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish a Penn Township Transportation Improvement Program, including a Transportation Capital Improvements Plan, to ensure that the transportation system is available and adequate to support existing volumes of traffic and traffic projected to be generated by new growth and development. To advance this objective, the Penn Township Transportation Improvement Program shall be based upon the imposition of an impact fee payable to Penn Township at the time of building permit issuance, which is necessary to provide minimum levels of service outlined in Exhibit B and identified as transportation capital improvements in Exhibit E, revised in Exhibit I. Additionally, the program identifies existing deficiencies, deficiencies due to pass-through trips and future trip generation attributable to new development (Exhibit E, revised in Exhibit I). The program will provide a continuing generation of funds necessary for Penn Township to initiate and complete capacity transportation improvements as needed in support of new growth and development. Such a program will involve participation by developers for capacity improvements and by the local, state and federal governments. Through the Transportation Improvement Program, Penn Township is establishing a process whereby future traffic needs can be addressed in a timely manner, and the impact of increased traffic volumes can be minimized to the extent possible.
The Board of Commissioners hereby finds and declares that:
Penn Township is responsible for and committed to the provision of a transportation system at a service level necessary to support residential and nonresidential use, growth and development;
Such transportation service level shall be provided by Penn Township utilizing funds allocated via the capital budget and capital improvements programming processes and relying upon the funding sources indicated therein (Exhibit E, revised in Exhibit I).
The aggregation of development in the designated transportation service district intensifies the demand for transportation improvements designed to accommodate traffic volumes at a "D" level of service in the former Northwest Transportation Service District, a "C" level of service in the former Southeast Transportation Service District, and a "D" level of service in the revised Penn Township Transportation Service District, as defined by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Science, which is the minimum acceptable level of service to accommodate such development and the intensity thereof;
To the extent that such development in the designated transportation service district places demands upon the transportation system, those demands should be satisfied by the establishment of a transportation improvement program which distributes the responsibility for financing the provision of such transportation facilities between the public at large (Township, state and federal governments) and the development community;
The amount of the impact fee to be imposed shall be determined by the cost of the transportation improvements needed to meet the minimum level of service and which public facilities are identified in a capital improvements plan (Exhibit E, revised in Exhibit I), considering the projected growth and development in the transportation service district;
Penn Township hereby finds and declares that an impact fee imposed upon residential and nonresidential development in order to assist in the financing of specified transportation service improvements, the demand for which has been quantified through the application of land use assumptions provided by the Impact Fee Advisory Committee appointed by the Board of Commissioners, is in the best interest of the Township and its residents.
As used in this chapter, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings, unless another meaning is plainly intended:
- That period in the development of Penn Township, estimated to occur sometime after the year 2025, during which growth ceases due to the unavailability of developable land.
- CHANGE OF USE
- Any use which increases p.m. peak-hour trips generated by an approved development. A change of use request will require a reassessment of fees.
- COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
- The Comprehensive Development Plan for Penn Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania (February 2005).
- Any person, partnership or corporation, landowner, subdivider or applicant responsible for any undertaking which requires a building, zoning or conditional use permit.
- That which is to be done pursuant to a building, zoning or conditional use permit.
- The Transportation Improvement Fund established by the Board of Commissioners of Penn Township.
- IMPACT FEE
- A fee, to be paid at the time of zoning (building) permit application and prior to zoning (building) permit issuance, and calculated based upon the costs of transportation capacity improvements in proportion to development creating the need for such improvements.
- IMPROVEMENTS, OFF-SITE
- Transportation improvements listed in Exhibit E and revised in Exhibit I (September 2008), the Transportation Capital Improvements Plan for Penn Township.
- IMPROVEMENTS, ON-SITE
- All private improvements constructed on or abutting the developer's property and required to be constructed by the developer of property pursuant to any ordinance of Penn Township including, but not limited to, the Subdivision of Land Development Ordinance, the Township's Zoning Ordinance, or the Township's Building Code.
- TRAFFIC GENERATOR
- Any landowner, developer, builder, tenant, occupant or other user of real estate who increases traffic using public streets and highways either by the construction of new buildings or structures, by the construction of additions to existing buildings or structures, or by changing the existing use of land or buildings. A traffic generator may also be considered a subdivider or an applicant.
- TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PLAN
- The identified transportation improvement projects; Exhibit I.
- TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS
- Those projects listed in Exhibit E, revised in Exhibit I, now or as amended by action of the Board of Commissioners.
- TRANSPORTATION SERVICE DISTRICT
- Those geographically defined areas of Penn Township which, pursuant to the Comprehensive Plan and current Zoning Ordinance and applicable district regulations, have an aggregation of sites with development potential creating the need for transportation improvements for the district to be funded by impact fees. (See Exhibit J.)
- TRIP GENERATION RATES
- Those rates of traffic for the peak hour of adjacent street traffic between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. as determined by The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) in "Trip Generation," 7th Edition 2003, and any amendments thereto and all future editions thereof.
- UNIT COST PER TRIP
- The dollar figure calculated by dividing the total roadway improvement cost estimates by the total forecasted p.m. peak-hour trips through buildout (Exhibit H).
- ZONING (BUILDING) PERMIT
- The permit required for new construction and additions pursuant to Article VIII, § 190-86, of Ordinance No. 659, Zoning. The term "zoning permit," as used herein, shall not be deemed to include permits required for remodeling, rehabilitation or other improvements to an existing structure or rebuilding a damaged or destroyed structure, provided there is no increase in gross floor area or number of dwelling units resulting therefrom.
Editor's Note: Said exhibits are on file in the Township offices.
Editor's Note: See Chs. 156, Subdivision and Land Development, 190, Zoning, and 63, Building Construction.
Editor's Note: Exhibit I is on file in the Township offices.
Editor's Note: Exhibit J is on file in the Township offices.
Editor's Note: Exhibit H is on file in the Township offices.
Revisions to Ordinance No. 613, Subdivision and Land Development and Ordinance No. 659, Zoning, previously enacted for the purpose of administering the Penn Township Transportation Improvements Program Amendment, shall remain in full force and effect.
This chapter shall be uniformly applicable to all development which occurs within the designated transportation service district.
No zoning (building) permit shall be issued for a development in the designated transportation service district as herein defined unless the applicant therefor has paid the impact fee imposed by and calculated pursuant to this chapter.
The Board of Commissioners has directed the completion of a traffic study of transportation sufficiency problems. The traffic study projects future traffic volumes in the transportation service district, lists the need for and recommends specific transportation improvements, and estimates construction costs. Projects are scheduled by the Board of Commissioners in accordance with the Wooster and Associates engineering studies, and the recommendation of the Transportation Impact Fee Advisory Committee.
The unit cost per trip shall be established by resolution of the Board of Commissioners and may be amended from time to time as set forth in § 90-13 or at such other time as deemed necessary by the Board of Commissioners.
The impact fee imposed by this chapter upon all new traffic generators shall be determined by applying the unit cost per trip in the transportation service district to the p.m. peak-hour trips generated by a project, as identified in the ITE Trip Generation Manual, 7th Edition 2003, any amendments and all future editions thereof, or by a special transportation study pursuant to § 90-11. To determine the fee for a specific use, the p.m. peak-hour trip generation rate for the proposed use shall be multiplied by the unit cost per trip rate for the transportation service district.
If the development for which a zoning (building) permit is sought contains a mix of uses, the uses must be separately calculated to determine the impact fee due for each type of development.
A maximum ten-percent contingency is hereby authorized as an additional cost to be added to construction cost estimates for transportation improvements where deemed necessary and appropriate by the Township Consulting Engineer in order to cover costs anticipated.
A consolidated and revised Penn Township Transportation Service District is established as shown on the "Transportation Service District Map" (See Exhibit J attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference).
Additional transportation service districts or combinations of transportation service districts may be designated by the Board of Commissioners consistent with the procedures set forth in this chapter and Act 209 of December 1990. The Township Board of Commissioners must consider the following factors in determining when and whether to add or amend transportation service districts based on recommendations from the Transportation Impact Fee Advisory Committee:
The most recently adopted Comprehensive Plan;
Any standards for adequate public facilities incorporated in the general Capital Improvements Plan;
The projected buildout and timing of development;
The need for and cost of unprogrammed transportation improvements necessary to support projected development; and
Such other factors as the Board of Commissioners may deem relevant.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10502-A et seq.
The identification of a transportation service district and the programming of improvement projects in the district ensures that projected development in the transportation service district will be adequately served by necessary transportation improvements which shall meet such minimum level of service so that inadequate transportation capacity will not limit development in such transportation service district. Fees collected from development in the transportation service district will be used exclusively to fund transportation improvement projects scheduled in the district.
Editor's Note: Exhibit J is on file in the Township offices.
In the event that the trip generation characteristics of a traffic generator are not sufficiently documented in the ITE Trip Generation Manual, 7th Edition, and any amendments thereto and all future editions thereof, the applicable impact fee shall be determined by the Township staff following review of a special transportation study submitted by the developer. Such study shall document projected p.m. peak volumes at the subject site based on completion and occupancy of the proposed development. The traffic generator may apply for an adjustment based on actual p.m. peak-hour trip counts within one year after the site is fully operational, and shall be responsible for all trips originally estimated to be generated in the special transportation study.
Prior to making an application for a zoning (building) permit, an applicant may request a nonbinding impact fee estimate from the Township which shall be based upon the maximum development potential of the site pursuant to existing zoning regulations unless the applicant specifies a lesser use or development. Said impact fee estimate shall be provided within a reasonable period of time as appropriate staff or consultants are available and shall be on a form provided by the Township.
Collection of impact fees. Impact fees due pursuant to this chapter shall be collected by the Township in the manner or manners prescribed herein prior to issuance of a zoning (building) permit.
Establishment of fund. Upon receipt of impact fees, the Township Manager/Secretary shall be responsible for the separate and proper accounting of such fees. All such fees shall be deposited in interest-bearing accounts in a bank authorized to receive deposits of Township funds. Interest earned by the account shall be credited to that account and shall be used solely for the purpose specified for funds of such account.
Establishment and maintenance of accounts. The Township Manager/Secretary shall maintain and keep adequate financial records for each such account which shall show the source and disbursement of all revenues, which shall account for all monies received, and which shall ensure that the disbursement of funds from each account shall be used solely and exclusively for the provision of projects specified in the Transportation Capital Improvements Plan for the particular transportation service district. Funds may be consolidated where transportation service districts are revised and shall be disbursed exclusively for the provision of transportation improvements scheduled within the transportation service district.
Advisory Committee role. The Transportation Impact Fee Advisory Committee shall monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Transportation Capital Improvements Program as adopted by the Board of Commissioners and report as requested on the assessment of impact fees. In addition, the Advisory Committee shall make recommendations to Penn Township on the need to update or revise the adopted land use assumptions, transportation capital improvements or impact fees at the request of the Board of Commissioners based on the following:
New subsequent development which has occurred;
Completed transportation capital improvements;
Unavoidable delays in construction of transportation improvements beyond the Township's control or responsibility;
Significant changes in the land use assumptions;
Significant changes in the estimated costs of the transportation improvements proposed; and
Significant changes in the projected revenue from sources listed.
Penn Township may issue bonds, revenue certificates and other obligations of indebtedness in such manner and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law, in furtherance of the provisions of transportation improvement projects. Funds pledged toward retirement of bonds, revenue certificates or other obligations of indebtedness for such projects may include impact fees and other Penn Township revenues as may be allocated by the Board. Impact fees paid pursuant to this chapter, however, shall be restricted to use solely and exclusively for financing directly, or as a pledge against bonds, revenue certificates and other obligations of indebtedness for the cost of transportation improvements as specified herein.
Payment of the transportation improvement impact fee shall be made by the traffic generator prior to the issuance of a zoning (building) permit by the Township to the traffic generator for development on the applicable site. In the alternative, at the sole discretion of the Board of Commissioners, the traffic generator may enter into a traffic improvement fund agreement providing for an extended payment schedule of said impact fees over a period not to exceed three (3) years. Such agreement shall be in a form approved by the Township Solicitor.
Any traffic generator who shall be performing, at his or her own expense, off-site improvements, as herein defined, shall be eligible for a credit from the impact fee otherwise due in the amount of the actual cost of such off-site improvements as approved by the Township Consulting Engineer. Such credit shall not exceed the amount of the impact fee.
If the traffic generator makes such improvements, the traffic generator must enter into an agreement with the Township prior to issuance of any zoning (building) permit. The agreement must establish the estimated cost of the improvement, the schedule for initiation and completion of the improvement, a requirement that the improvement be completed to Penn Township and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation standards and design criteria and such other terms and conditions as deemed necessary by Penn Township. Penn Township must review the improvement plan, verify costs and time schedules, determine if the improvement is an eligible improvement and determine the amount of the applicable credit for such improvement to be applied to the otherwise applicable impact fee prior to issuance of any zoning (building) permit. In no event may the Township provide a credit which is greater than the applicable impact fee.
The payer of the impact fee may apply for a refund of such fee:
If the Township has failed to commence a transportation improvement within the designated transportation service district within three years of the scheduled construction start from the date of payment of the impact fee; or
The project for which a zoning (building) permit has been issued has been altered resulting in a decrease in the amount of the impact fee due; or
If upon completion of any road improvement project the actual expenditures are less than 95% of the costs allocable to the fee paid within the transportation service district in which the improvement was adopted, Penn Township shall refund the pro-rata difference between the budgeted costs and the actual expenditures, including interest, to the payer of such fees.
The request for refund must be submitted to the Township Manager or his duly designated agent on a form provided by Penn Township for such purpose.
In the event that Penn Township terminates or completes an adopted capital improvements plan for the transportation service district and there remains at the time of termination or completion of all programmed transportation improvement projects undisbursed funds in the accounts established for that purpose, the Township shall provide written notice by certified mail to those persons who previously paid the fees which remain undisbursed of the availability of said funds for refund of the person's proportionate share of the fund balance. The allocation of the refund shall be determined by generally accepted accounting practices. In the event that any of the funds remain unclaimed following one year after the date of the notice, which notice shall be provided to the last known address provided by the payer of the fees, Penn Township shall be authorized to transfer any funds so remaining to any other fund in the Township without any further obligation to refund said funds.
This chapter shall not affect, in any manner, the permissible use of property, density of development, previously adopted design and improvement standards and requirements or any other aspect of the development of land or provision of public improvements which remain subject to applicable zoning, subdivision, and land development regulations of Penn Township, which shall be operative and remain in full force and effect without limitation with respect to all such development.
The impact fee is additional and supplemental to, and not in substitution of, any other requirements imposed by Penn Township on the development of land or the issuance of building/zoning permits. It is intended to be consistent with and to further the objectives and policies of the Comprehensive Plan, the Transportation Capital Improvements Plan, and all other Penn Township growth management policies, ordinances and resolutions by which the Township seeks to ensure the provision of public facilities in conjunction with the development of land. In no event shall a property owner be obligated to pay for transportation improvements in an amount in excess of the amount calculated pursuant to this chapter; but, provided that a property owner may be required to pay, pursuant to Township ordinance, regulations or policies, for other public facilities in addition to the impact fee for transportation improvements as specified herein.
The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to effectively carry out its purposes which are hereby found and declared to be in furtherance of the public health, safety, welfare and convenience of all residents of Penn Township.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon its passage. As per Section 503-A, Subsection (c)(2) of Act 209, an amendment to the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, the provisions of this chapter shall be a continuance of the previously adopted Penn Township Transportation Improvements Program Amendment, and have retroactive application for a period commencing with the date of adoption by the Board of Commissioners of Penn Township of Resolution No. 125 (December 18, 1995), which created the Township's Impact Fee Advisory Committee, and apply to all preliminary or tentative applications for subdivisions, land developments, or construction authorized by a building/zoning permit application filed with Penn Township on or after the date of the first publication of the Township's notice of intention to adopt an impact fee ordinance.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10505-A(c)(2).