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Article VII – Overlay Zoning Districts

Section 700 – Intent

It is the intent of this Article to provide for the establishment of overlay districts which will provide options for meeting the demand for innovative land uses and development practices and incorporating protections for environmentally sensitive lands while maintaining the integrity of the base zoning regulations established by the Township. The following overlay zoning districts are hereby established by the Township:

Where a lot is located within any Overlay Zoning District with the exception of the Riparian Corridor Overlay District, the owner of the property shall have the option to follow and comply with either the Base Zoning District Regulations or the Overlay Zoning District Regulations, but must adhere to the full set of applicable regulations, either base or overlay. With regard to the Riparian Corridor Overlay District, the owner of the lot must comply with both the Base Zoning District Regulations and the Riparian Corridor Overlay District Regulations.

Section 701 – Residential-Office Overlay District

701-A. Applicability and Intent

The intent of the Residential-Office Overlay District is to permit by Special Exception the conversion to office use of residential dwellings which are located within single family residential zoning districts but which, because of proximity to the densely developed and commercially active central business district, do not lend themselves exclusively to residential use as the highest and best use. The use regulations and development standards established in this district are intended to minimize the impact of office use upon the residential neighborhoods, thereby recognizing the legitimate property interests of owners of properties and preventing abandonment and associated potential deleterious effects on surrounding neighborhoods.

All regulations within the Residential-Office Overlay District shall apply only to those uses listed in Section 701-B of this Article. All other uses shall be controlled by the pertinent regulations within the underlying existing zoning districts. Where the regulations of the Residential-Office Overlay District conflict with other articles in this Ordinance, the requirements within this district shall prevail.

701-B. Use Regulations

The following uses shall be permitted by Special Exception: Professional offices for medical professionals, lawyers, architects, engineers, insurance sales, real estate services, travel services, and other professions considered appropriate for the surrounding neighborhood.

701-C. Development Standards

The development standards for the underlying zoning district shall apply.

701-D. Special Exception Use Standards

  • The professional office uses as defined in Section 701-B be permitted only as a conversion to an existing residential dwelling. Demolition and replacement of the residential dwelling with said uses, expansion of an existing residential dwelling to accommodate said uses, or new construction of said uses on a vacant parcel or as a separate structure on the same parcel shall not be permitted.
  • Goods for sale shall not be publicly displayed on the premises.
  • No more than four (4) employees shall work within the professional office. The Zoning Hearing Board may authorize additional employees upon the request of the applicant and a satisfactory showing of need for additional employees.
  • The professional office shall be restricted to the conduct of business only during the hours of 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The Zoning Hearing Board may authorize an extension of operating hours upon the request of the applicant and a satisfactory showing of need for the extension.

701-E. Special Exception Review Criteria

In addition to the general criteria for review specified in Article XII, Section 1200-J of this Ordinance, the following criteria for Special Exception uses shall apply when determining approval or disapproval of a Special Exception permit:

  • Whether the use will generate such amount of vehicular traffic as to be detrimental to the peace and quiet of the adjacent residential area.
  • Whether the traffic expected to be generated by the proposed use will result in noise or air pollution, glare to a degree detrimental to the adjacent residential area.
  • Whether the proposed use will require servicing or delivery of supplies by trucks having more than two (2) axles.

701-F. Parking

Off-street parking facilities for the office uses defined in Section 701-B shall not be required.

701-G. General Regulations

The general regulations in Article X of this Ordinance shall apply.

Section 702 - Corridor Residential-Office Overlay District

702-A. Applicability and Intent

The intent of the Corridor Residential-Office Overlay District is to permit by Special Exception the conversion to office use of residential dwellings which are located within single family residential zoning districts but which, because of exposure to heavily traveled streets, do not lend themselves exclusively to residential use as the highest and best use. The use regulations and development standards established in this district are intended to minimize the impact of office use upon the residential neighborhoods, thereby recognizing the legitimate property interests of owners of properties and preventing abandonment and associated potential deleterious effects on surrounding neighborhoods.

All regulations within the Corridor Residential-Office Overlay District shall apply only to those uses listed in Section 702-B of this Article. All other uses shall be controlled by the pertinent regulations within the underlying existing zoning districts. Where the regulations of the Corridor Residential-Office Overlay District conflict with other articles in this Ordinance, the requirements within this district shall prevail.

702-B. Use Regulations

The following uses shall be permitted by Special Exception:

Professional offices for medical professionals, lawyers, architects, engineers, insurance sales, real estate services, travel services, and other professions considered appropriate for the surrounding neighborhood.

702-C. Development Standards

The development standards for the underlying zoning district shall apply.

702-D. Special Exception Use Standards

  • The professional office uses as defined in Section 702-B shall be permitted only as a conversion to an existing residential dwelling. Demolition and replacement of the residential dwelling with said uses, expansion of an existing residential dwelling to accommodate said uses, or new construction of said uses on a vacant parcel or as a separate structure on the same parcel shall not be permitted.
  • Goods for sale shall not be publicly displayed on the premises.
  • No more than four (4) employees shall work within the professional office. The Zoning Hearing Board may authorize additional employees upon the request of the applicant and a satisfactory showing of need for additional employees.
  • The professional office shall be restricted to the conduct of business only during the hours of 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The Zoning Hearing Board may authorize an extension of operating hours upon the request of the applicant and a satisfactory showing of need for the extension.

702-E. Special Exception Review Criteria

In addition to the general criteria for review specified in Article XII, Section 1200-J of this Ordinance, the following criteria for Special Exception uses shall apply when determining approval or disapproval of a Special Exception permit:

  • Whether the use will generate such amount of vehicular traffic as to be detrimental to the peace and quiet of the adjacent residential area.
  • Whether the traffic expected to be generated by the proposed use will result in noise or air pollution, glare to a degree detrimental to the adjacent residential area.
  • Whether the proposed use will require servicing or delivery of supplies by trucks having more than two (2) axles.

702-F. Parking

Required off-street parking for the office uses defined Section 702-B shall adhere to the parking requirements established in Article VIII of this Ordinance.

702-G. General Regulations

The general regulations in Article X of this Ordinance shall apply.

Section 703 – Hospitality Overlay District

703-A. Intent

The intent of the Hospitality Overlay District is to permit conference, hotel, and banquet facilities in appropriate locations in the Township to meet the needs for such facilities and provide for the convenience of locating them on the same site. The district also provides for protection of environmentally sensitive lands, including stream corridors and other natural resources by requiring that these areas remain in preserved open space.

703-B. Applicability

  • All regulations within the HD Hospitality Overlay District shall apply only to those uses listed in Section 703-D of this Article. All other uses shall be controlled by the pertinent regulations within the underlying existing zoning districts.
  • Structures, sites and uses permitted within the HD Hospitality Overlay District shall be controlled by the regulations within this Article. The regulations shall not apply to legally existing nonconforming conditions.

703-C. Conditions of Eligibility of the HD Hospitality Overlay District

All proposed developments within the HD Hospitality Overlay District must meet the following conditions of eligibility (“Conditions of Eligibility”):

  • The tract of land must be under one ownership.
  • The tract of land must have or be capable of having, and any development within the HD Hospitality Overlay District must include, at least two areas of vehicular access as follows:
    • A Main Entrance providing vehicular access through not more than one (1) public or private street leading directly to a state highway having a signalized intersection and an area at the intersection which qualifies under Section 703-I.5 for an “Off-Premises Directional Sign”. The Owner of the tract must agree with the Township, as a provision in the Land Development Agreement, that the Main Entrance shall be designated as such in all advertising and promotional material for the uses within the HD Hospitality Overlay District.
    • The tract of land must have, or be capable of having at least one (1) Secondary Entrance providing vehicular access to a public or private street. The Township, in order to minimizes traffic impacts on surrounding residential areas, may require that one or more Secondary Entrance be designated and limited as an Emergency Entrance only, providing emergency vehicles access to the HD Hospitality Overlay District tract from a Township Street, with a gate designed and operated for opening and closing only by fire, police and other emergency vehicles.
  • In the event the tract is located adjacent to a Riparian Corridor Overlay District, the tract must have or be capable of having, and any development within the HD Hospitality Overlay District must include, a walking trail at least five (5) feet in width located generally parallel to the stream within the Open Space or other areas of the tract or within the adjacent Riparian Corridor Overlay District and accessible from the site.
  • The Owner shall demonstrate, to the Township’s satisfaction, that the Conditions of Eligibility either exist as of the time the HD Hospitality Overlay District overlay is applied to the tract, or capable of being met, and agreed to be met in the Land Development Agreement and will be met during the Land Development of the tract for HD Hospitality Overlay District uses.

703-D. Use Regulations

The following uses shall be permitted within the HD Overlay District. A minimum of two (2) different uses from the following list of primary uses permitted by right shall be provided.

  • Primary Uses permitted by right.
    • Hotel
    • Banquet Facility
    • Convention Facility
    • Meeting and Exhibiting Rooms
    • Restaurant
  • Accessory Uses permitted by right
    • Parking
    • Any use which is incidental to and customarily conducted in connection with the above principal permitted uses and is on the same lot as the principal permitted use.

703-E. Development Standards

Table 7-1: Development standards for the Hospitality Overlay District

Minimum street frontage200 feet
Minimum front yardFor buildings up to 40 feet in height, the minimum front setback shall be 50 feet from the public right-of- way or from the edge of cartway where no right-of-way exists. For every foot above 40 feet in height, the front setback shall be increased by one foot.
Minimum side yard25 feet or 65 feet when adjacent to a residential district.
Minimum rear yard45 feet
Maximum building height80 feet
Maximum building coverage30%
Maximum impervious coverage70%

703-F. Refuse Areas

All uses shall provide for storage of refuse inside the principal structure(s) or within a fully enclosed perimeter space, which shall be attached to the principal structure(s). Any refuse area outside of the principal structure(s) shall be constructed with the same surface materials as the principal structure(s), shall not be located in the front of the principal structure(s), shall not exceed twelve (12) feet in height, shall not interfere with vehicular circulation, and shall be located at least thirty (30) feet from any property line.

703-G. Open Space Requirements

  • A minimum of thirty percent (30%) of the net tract of land area proposed in the HD Hospitality Overlay District shall be set aside for common open space. Open space shall be so planned within the development that a close visual and physical relationship between the open space and the development as is reasonably possible is created. Environmentally protected lands (wetlands and associated buffers, floodplains and wellhead protection areas) may be part of the preserved lands.
  • The configuration of the open space areas shall be arranged so that connections can be made to existing or future adjacent open spaces and other community facilities.
  • Portions of open space shall be developed to afford both passive and active recreational opportunities. Passive recreational activities may include, but are not limited to, pedestrian paths, gardens, sitting areas and naturally preserved areas. Active recreational areas may include, but are not limited to, bicycle paths and court games. The size, location and type of all such recreational facilities shall be shown on the land development plan.
  • All land that is included in the thirty percent (30%) required open space designation shall be permanently restricted from future development. Open space shall be made subject to such agreement with the Township and such deed restrictions duly recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds in Delaware County as may be required by Township Council for the purpose of preserving the common open space for such use.
  • Ownership and Maintenance of Open Space. Ownership and maintenance of common open space shall be borne by the property owner.

703-H. Parking

The parking requirements in Article VIII of this Ordinance shall apply.

703-I. Traffic Impact Study

An application for development, redevelopment or expansion of a structure or site in the HD Overlay District shall be accompanied by a traffic impact study demonstrating the manner in which projected traffic flows will be accommodated, and the proposed road improvements, if any, to be undertaken in conjunction with development, redevelopment or expansion of the site. The Traffic Impact Study shall be prepared by a professional traffic engineer or transportation planner and shall include the following elements:

  • Identification of traffic impact area. The traffic impact area shall be determined by the characteristics of the surrounding areas as mutually agreed upon by the Township's engineer and the transportation engineer preparing the analysis.
  • Existing peak hour traffic volume data for all roads located within the traffic impact area identified in Section 703-I.1. above.
  • Estimates of the total number of vehicle trips to be generated by the proposed development for typical a.m. and p.m. peak periods.
  • Assignment of future peak hour volumes to the roads located within the traffic impact area identified in Section 703-I.1. above based on the estimate from Section 703-I.3. above, and estimates of normal growth in overall traffic volumes.
  • The directional distribution of site generated trips to and from the approach roads surrounding the proposed development.
  • Projected peak hour turning movement data for all access points proposed for the development.
  • Capacity/Level of Service (LOS) analysis of existing and future traffic on major intersections contained in the identified study which will be impacted by the additional volumes generated by the proposed development.
  • Prior to approval of proposed development, the LOS analysis shall demonstrate:
    • The proposed development does not cause the overall level of service for any signalized intersection located within the traffic impact area to fall below the existing LOS or LOS D, whichever is lower; and
    • The traffic impact study shall identify those improvements needed to maintain the existing level of service, and what additional improvements would be needed to raise the level of service to the standards indicated.
  • Data about existing accident levels at these intersections, categorized by accident type for each intersection.
  • A determination based on accident data and traffic volume information as to the need for traffic control signalization.
  • A determination of pedestrian traffic, based on the site's location to other pedestrian trails or amenities, including, but not limited to, places of employment, recreation or commercial uses, and a description of what improvements might be needed to facilitate pedestrian circulation in light of other traffic and circulation issues.
  • Cost estimates of any proposed improvements that will be required.
  • Descriptions of existing and planned public transportation services in the Township and the potential to serve the proposed subdivision or land development.
  • Descriptions of any actions proposed or offered by the applicant to alleviate any burdens caused by the impact of the proposed subdivision or land development on the transportation network.
  • Written text to interpret the information and data presented in terms of the aforementioned objectives.
  • The Township engineer shall review the results of the local traffic impact study, then submit it along with written recommendations to the Township Council before Council makes a decision regarding the development plan.

703-J. Signs in the HD Hospitality Overlay District

The following types of signs and no others shall be allowed in the HD Hospitality Overlay District:

  • Free-standing Signs and Ground Signs.
    • There shall be not more than (1) free-standing sign or ground sign identifying the name and uses in the HD Hospitality Overlay District at each street frontage.
    • Signs listing individual establishments shall be affixed to the same sign structure as the sign identifying the name and uses in the HD Hospitality Overlay District.
    • The size of the sign identifying the name and uses in the HD Hospitality Overlay District shall not exceed sixty (60) square feet in area. The size of each sign identifying individual establishments in the HD Hospitality Overlay District shall not exceed ten (10) square feet for each sign.
  • Wall Signs.
    • One (1) wall sign shall be permitted on the front wall of a building for each use in the building and one (1) additional wall sign on the side of a building.
    • The size of the wall sign on the front of a building shall not exceed one (1) square foot of sign area for each linear foot of the front wall. The size of the sign on the side wall of a building shall not exceed one-half (1/2) square foot of sign area for each linear foot of the side wall.
  • Canopy and Awning Signs.
    • Use of a canopy or awning sign shall be limited to not more than one (1) or each building.
    • The size of the canopy or awning sign shall not exceed twenty-five (25) square feet.
  • On-Premises Directional Signs.
    • On the premises of a HD Hospitality Overlay District, directional signs shall be permitted directing persons to the various buildings in the HD Hospitality Overlay District.
    • The size of each Directional Sign shall not exceed twenty-five (25) square feet.
  • Off-Premises Directional Signs.
    • Notwithstanding any other provision of this ordinance to the contrary, up to three (3) Off-Premises directional and identification signs shall be permitted directing persons to the buildings in the HD Hospitality Overlay District. Such signs shall only be permitted within the Township Right-of-Way if permitted pursuant to Township ordinance or resolution and must comply with the placement restrictions of Section 902-C.1 herein and all other applicable ordinances.
    • The size of each Off-Premises sign shall not exceed eighty (60) square feet.

703-K. General Regulations

The general regulations in Article X of this Ordinance shall apply, except that existing structures located within the HD Hospitality Overlay District are not required to meet the buffer requirements established in Section 1011-B herein.

Section 704 - Riparian Corridor Overlay District

704-A. Applicability and Intent

The intent of the Riparian Corridor Overlay District is to regulate the land use, siting, and engineering of all development adjacent to water courses and waterbodies to reduce the amount of nutrients, sediment, organic matter, pesticides, and other harmful substances that reach watercourses and waterbodies and to conserve the natural features important to land or water resources (e.g., headwater areas, groundwater recharge zones, floodway, floodplain, springs, streams, wetlands, woodlands, prime wildlife habitats) and other features constituting high recreational value or containing amenities that exist on developed and undeveloped land.

704-B. Riparian Buffer Requirements

If a perennial or intermittent stream passes through the site, the Applicant shall create a stream buffer extending a minimum of fifty (50) feet to either side of the top-of-bank of the channel in accordance with Section 406.G. of Ordinance No. 2945, the Upper Darby Township Stormwater Management Ordinance. In addition, the following regulations shall apply:

  • The riparian buffer will consist of two distinct zones designated as:
    • Zone One: This zone will occupy the portion of the buffer extending a minimum of twenty-five feet to either side of the top-of-bank of the channel.
    • Zone Two: This zone will begin at the outer edge of Zone One and occupy a minimum width of twenty-five (25) feet in addition to Zone One. Where Zone One has been adjusted to a width greater than twenty-five (25) feet, the width of Zone Two will be adjusted so that the total corridor width (Zone One and Zone Two) will be fifty (50) feet maximum.
  • The following uses and activities shall be permitted within the stream buffer:
    • Zone One:
      • Open space uses including wildlife sanctuaries, nature preserves, forest preserves, passive areas of public and private parklands, and recreational trails.
      • Corridor crossings by recreational trails, roads, railroads, centralized sewer and/or water lines, and public utility transmission lines, provided that disturbance is offset by corridor improvements identified.
    • Zone Two:
      • All uses permitted within Zone One.
      • Parking lots.
  • The following uses and activities shall be prohibited within the stream buffer:
    • Zone One:
      • Clearing of all existing vegetation, except where such clearing is necessary to prepare land for a use permitted under Section 704-B.2., herein, and where the effects of these actions are mitigated by reestablishment of vegetation.
      • Storage of any hazardous or noxious materials.
      • Roads, except where permitted as corridor crossings in compliance with Section 704-B.2.(a) ii. herein.
      • Parking lots.
      • Permanent structures.
      • Temporary structures, except as needed for a use permitted in Section 704-B.2. herein.
      • Subsurface sewage disposal areas.
    • Zone Two:
      • All uses prohibited in Zone One except parking lots.
  • The restrictions on use and activity within Zone One and/or Zone Two of the district set forth contained in Section 704.B.2 shall not apply to residential accessory structures in residential districts which otherwise meet all applicable requirements and restrictions of this Zoning Ordinance.