Article X – General Regulations
Section 1000 – Wireless Telecommunications Facilities
The intent of this Section is to ensure that residents and businesses in Upper Darby Township have reliable access to wireless telecommunications networks and state of the art communications services while also ensuring that this objective is achieved in a fashion that preserves the intrinsic aesthetic character of the community. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 preserved, with certain limitations, local government land use and zoning authority concerning the placement, construction, and modification of wireless telecommunications facilities. It is the further intent of this Section to:
- Ensure that the placement, construction or modification of wireless telecommunications facilities is consistent with the Township’s land use policies.
- Ensure access to reliable wireless communications services throughout all areas of the Township.
- Encourage the use of existing Monopoles, Towers, Utility Poles and other structures for the collocation of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities.
- Minimize the number of new support structures that would otherwise need to be constructed by providing incentives for the use of existing structures.
- Encourage the location of support structures, to the extent possible, in areas where the adverse impact on the community will be minimal.
- Minimize the potential adverse effects associated with the construction of support structures through the implementation of reasonable design, landscaping and construction practices.
- Ensure public health, safety, welfare, and convenience.
- Conform to Federal and State laws that allow certain antenna(e) to be exempt from local regulations.
- Preserve the UDT Telecommunications Commission and its applicable Ordinances and Resolutions, specifically, Ordinance No. 2853 (An Ordinance Creating a Telecommunications Commissions and Granting to it Certain Powers Concerning Cable and Wireless Telecommunication Facilities); Ordinance No. 2865 (An Ordinance Granting to the Telecommunications Commission Certain Additional Powers Concerning Telecommunications Facilities); Resolution No. 48-97 (A Resolution of the Upper Darby Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Amending Resolution No. 83-89, As Amended, to Add Section 26 Establishing Fees for Review By the Telecommunications Commission of Applications for Wireless Telecommunications Towers and Antennae); however, Ordinance No. 2866 is repealed by the adoption of this Ordinance, and the reference to “Ordinance 2866” contained in Ordinance No. 2865 is hereby replaced and amended to read “Section 1000 - Wireless Telecommunications Facilities of the Upper Darby Township Zoning Ordinance”.
As used in this Section, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below:
- Accessory Equipment - Any equipment serving or being used in conjunction with a Wireless Telecommunications Facility. This equipment includes, but is not limited to, utility or transmission equipment, power supplies, generators, batteries, cables, equipment buildings, cabinets and storage sheds, shelters or other structures.
- Antenna(e) - Any structure or device used to collect or radiate electromagnetic waves for the provision of cellular, paging, personal communications services (PCS) and microwave communications. Such structures and devices include, but are not limited to, directional antenna(e), such a panels, microwave dishes and satellite dishes, and omnidirectional antenna(e), such as whips.
- Collocation - The act of sitting Wireless Telecommunications Facilities in the same location on the same support structure as other telecommunications facilities. Collocation also means locating telecommunications facilities on an existing structure (for example: buildings, water tanks, towers, utility poles, etc.) without the need to construct a new support structure.
- FAA - The Federal Aviation Administration.
- FCC - The Federal Communications Commission.
- Monopole - A single, freestanding pole-type structure supporting one or more antenna(e).
- Support Structure - A structure designed to support Telecommunications Facilities including, but not limited to, Monopoles, Towers, Utility Poles and other freestanding self- supporting structures including existing buildings.
- Tower - A lattice-type structure, guyed or freestanding, that supports one or more antenna(e).
- Wireless Telecommunications Facility – Any unmanned facility established for the purpose of providing wireless transmission of voice, data, images or other information including, but not limited to, cellular telephone service, personal communications service (PCS), and paging service. A Wireless Telecommunications Facility can consist of one or more support structures with antenna(e), antenna(e) on and existing support structures, and accessory equipment.
- Pre-existing wireless telecommunications facilities shall not be required to meet the requirements of this ordinance, but shall be required to meet all local, state and federal requirements as established by the FAA, the FCC, and the Upper Darby Township Building Code.
- All new wireless telecommunications facilities, including new support structures and antenna(e) on existing support structures, shall be permitted per Article III, Table 3-1.
- Special Exception uses must meet the general criteria for review specified in Article XII, Section 1200-J of this ordinance.
- All other requirements set forth in this Section shall apply.
- In granting a special exception, the Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) may impose conditions to the extent the Zoning Hearing Board concludes such conditions are necessary to minimize any adverse effect of the proposed support structure or antenna(e) on adjoining properties. This may include methods to make the antenna(e) and related equipment not readily apparent to a casual observer by means of enclosing, camouflaging, screening, obscuring or by other methods.
- Any special exception request or appeal of an administrative decision shall require public notice pursuant to the dictates of this Zoning Ordinance.
- Any applicant proposing the erection, construction, installation or placement of a Wireless Telecommunications Facility shall first be required to submit a separate application for expert consideration and review by the Telecommunications Commission along with any fees or other documents as may be required by the Telecommunications Commission and / or its applicable ordinances, resolutions or regulations.
- If the proposed Wireless Telecommunications Facility is a permitted use pursuant to per Article III, Table 3-1, the Telecommunications Commission shall review the application and any supporting plans, drawings or other documents and submit a report of its review to the Township Director of Licenses and Inspections.
- If the proposed Wireless Telecommunications Facility is a use permitted only by Special Exception pursuant to per Article III, Table 3-1, or if such use requires a variance or other zoning relief, the Telecommunications Commission shall review the application and any supporting plans, drawings or other documents and submit a report of its review to the Zoning Board, including any recommendation pertaining to any Telecommunications issues relevant to the zoning application.
1000-D. General Requirements for All New Wireless Telecommunications Facilities
- Facilities shall not be artificially lighted unless required by the FAA or other applicable authority. If lighting is required, the lighting alternative and design chosen must cause the least disturbance to the surrounding views.
- No signs shall be allowed on a wireless telecommunication facility, except as required by law.
1000-E. Requirements for New Support Structures
- Support structures shall not exceed 150 feet in height measured from undisturbed ground level.
- New Support structures must be set back a distance equal to at least twice the applicable setback requirements, but in no case less than 50’ from any adjoining lot line. An equipment building, shelter or cabinet must not exceed five hundred (500) square feet in area and twelve (12) feet in height, including the support structure for the equipment building.
- Support structures shall be landscaped with a buffer of plant materials that effectively screen the view of the lower compound from property used for residences. The standard buffer shall consist of a landscaped strip at least four (4) feet wide outside the perimeter of the compound.
- In locations where the visual impact of the support structure would be minimal, the landscaping requirement may be reduced or waived.
- Existing mature tree growth and natural land forms on the site shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible. In some cases, such as structures sited on large, wooded lots, natural growth around the property perimeter may be sufficient buffer.
1000-F. Requirements for Antenna(e) on Existing Support Structures
- Antenna(e) and accessory equipment may exceed the maximum building height requirements of the underlying zoning district but shall not extend more than ten feet above the existing support structure upon which it is attached.
- Equipment Storage
The equipment cabinet or structure used in association with legally-placed antenna(e) mounted on rooftops shall comply Section 1000-C.2.(c).
1000-G. Removal of Abandoned Wireless Telecommunications Facilities
Any support structure or antenna(e) that is not operated for a continuous period of twelve (12) months shall be considered abandoned, and the owner of such facility shall remove the same within ninety (90) days of receipt of notice from Upper Darby Township notifying the owner of such abandonment. Failure to remove an abandoned facility within said ninety (90) days shall be grounds for the Township to cause the removal of facility at the owner’s expense. If there are two or more users of a single support structure, then this provision shall not become effective until all users cease using the support structure.
1000-H. Nonconforming Uses
- Support structures that are constructed, and antenna(e) that are installed, in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance shall not be deemed to constitute the expansion of a nonconforming use or structure.
- Pre-existing support structures shall be allowed to continue their usage as they presently exist. Routine maintenance (including replacement with a new structure of like construction and height) shall be permitted on such pre-existing support structures. New construction other than routine maintenance on a preexisting support structure shall comply with the requirements of this ordinance.
- Notwithstanding Section 1000-G, pre-existing nonconforming facilities that are damaged or destroyed may be rebuilt without having to first obtain administrative approval or a special exception. The type, height, and location of the facility onsite shall be of the same type and intensity as the original facility. Building permits to rebuild the facility shall comply with the then applicable building codes and shall be obtained with 180 days from the date the facility is first damaged or destroyed. If no permit is obtained or if said permit expires, the facility shall be deemed abandoned as specified in Section 1000-G.
Section 1001 – Fences
It is the intent of this Section to regulate the materials, location, height, and maintenance of fences in order to prevent the creation of nuisances and preserve the visual character of Upper Darby’s residential neighborhoods.
1001-B. Placement of Fences
- Fences shall not be constructed, erected, and/or maintained in the front yard of any lot, tract, or parcel of land located in an R-C, R-C1, R-1, or R-2 Residence District. However, if within an R-C, R-C1, R-1, or R-2 Residence District, the lot is a corner lot which abuts on more than one street, a fence may be erected in any front yard which does not abut the street which is designated by the United States Postal Service as the address of the lot. The postal address shall not be changed to circumvent this requirement. Only one side of a corner lot may be considered as the front yard. Such fence shall not extend beyond the side of the structure facing the street of address.
- The provisions of Section 1001.B.1. above shall not apply to properties owned by any public or private school for academic instruction, government agencies, or public transportation companies.
- Fences shall not extend into the street right-of-way.
- No fence may be constructed, erected, and/or maintained so that traffic from intersecting streets, driveways, or alleys will be obscured from view, thereby endangering the public health, safety and welfare.
1001-C. Fence Height
- The maximum height of fences on any lot, tract, or parcel of land in the Township shall be six (6) feet above grade, deck, patio or terrace.
- The maximum height of all front yard fences located on properties in R-3 Residence Districts shall be four (4) feet.
- The maximum height of a fence, landscaping wall, or decorative post located on the property line between houses that are separated by a party wall shall be four (4) feet as measured from the top of the highest grade, except that fences or railings on patios and decks may be a maximum of six (6) feet high as measured from the top of the highest grade but may only extend up to six (6) feet from the building line.
- The maximum height of a fence located on a property owned by any public or private school for academic instruction, government agencies, or public transportation companies or businesses located in a C-3 & C-4 zoning district shall be ten (10) feet; however, when authorized as a Special Exception by the Zoning Hearing Board the maximum height of such fences may be fifteen (15) feet.
1001-D. Fence Materials
- For fences located in the front yard of any lot, tract, or parcel of land in the Township or along a property line that faces a public street, fences shall be open to the extent necessary to insure that the address of the structure is not obscured unless the address is placed in a location on the side of the fence facing the public right-of-way or is posted in some other manner in the area outside the fence so as to be clearly visible from the street.
- No fence may be constructed, erected and/or maintained which contains barbed wire, metal spikes, razor ribbon, or other dangerous materials.
- Owners who remove existing non-conforming fences which contain barbed wire, metal spikes, razor ribbon, or other dangerous materials may replace the fencing with a conforming fence that is up to two (2) feet higher than the maximum height permitted in the zoning district in which it is located.
1001-E. Temporary Fences
Temporary fencing, including the use of wood or plastic snow fences for the purposes of limiting snow drifting between November 1 and April 1, protection of excavation and construction sites, and the protection of plants during grading and construction and during special events is permitted for up to sixty (60) consecutive days.
1001-F. Nonconforming Fences
Non-conforming fences may be repaired or replaced as long as the degree of non-conformity is not increased.
Section 1002 – Accessory Buildings and Structures
No accessory building shall exceed fifteen (15) feet in height.
- Accessory structures shall not be constructed in the required front yard or closer to any side or rear lot line than permitted by the Building Code, with the following exception:
- In the R-3 district only, accessory structures, including parking on the non-address front yard side of end attached and semi-detached units that are on a corner lot and have two (2) front yards shall be permitted provided the structure is located at least three (3) feet from the sidewalk.
- A planted buffer strip of at least three (3) feet in width shall be provided between the accessory structure and the building line.
- Placement of any accessory structure cannot create any hazard including blocking lines of sight for vehicular traffic.
- No accessory building shall be constructed within three (3) feet of the main or primary building.
All trailers, with the exception of temporary construction trailers, shall be considered accessory uses and must comply with the setback requirements of the zoning district in which they are located.
Section 1003 – Home Occupations
It is the intent of this Section to allow for the reasonable use of residential homes as home occupations to accommodate contemporary flexible employment options while ensuring that such home occupations will not be a detriment to the character and livability of the surrounding neighborhood.
1003-B. Non-Impact Home Occupation Standards
A non-impact home occupation is a business or commercial activity administered or conducted as an accessory use which is clearly secondary to the use as a residential dwelling and which involves no customer, client or patient traffic, whether vehicular or pedestrian, pickup, delivery or removal functions to or from the premises, in excess of those normally associated with residential use. The business or commercial activity must satisfy the following requirements:
- The business activity shall be compatible with the residential use of the property and surrounding residential uses.
- The business shall employ no employees other than family members residing in the dwelling.
- There shall be no display or sale of retail goods and no stockpiling or inventory of a substantial nature.
- There shall be no outside appearance of a business use, including, but not limited to, parking, signs or lights.
- The business activity may not use any equipment or process which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors or electrical or electronic interference, including interference with radio or television reception, which is detectable in the neighborhood.
- The business activity may not generate any solid waste or sewage discharge, in volume or type, which is not normally associated with residential use in the neighborhood.
- The business activity shall be conducted only within the dwelling and may not occupy more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the habitable floor area.
- The business may not involve any illegal activity.
- Non-impact home occupations shall meet the parking requirements for commercial motor vehicles in Section 801-B.1. and 801-B.2. herein.
1003-C. Prohibited uses
The following uses shall be prohibited as home occupations:
- Food preparation and service.
- Veterinary uses (including care, grooming or boarding)
- Hospital or clinic
- Machine or welding shop
- Equipment rental
- Beauty shops, barbershops and similar uses
- Any service involved in the preparation of animals or animal products for human use or consumption
- Retail sales
- Funeral homes
- Vehicle repair
- Laundry or dry cleaning
Section 1004 - In-Home Child Care
It is the intent of this Section to allow for the reasonable use of residential homes as child care facilities to accommodate the needs of the Township’s working parents.
1004-B. In-Home Child Care Standards
An in-home child care facility is a residence in which for-profit child care is provided for a maximum of five (5) children under the age of sixteen (16) who do not reside in the residence and shall be permitted provided that the in-home child care facility satisfies all of the following requirements:
- An in-home child care facility shall be permitted only within a single-family dwelling and shall be operated by the permanent resident of the dwelling unit.
- An in-home child care facility shall be permitted to operate only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Outside play by children at the in-home child care facility shall be limited to the hours between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- Commercial signs or displays which identify an in-home child care facility shall be prohibited.
Every individual who operates an in-home child care facility shall be required to secure a certificate of occupancy and business license from the Township.
Section 1005 – Group Living Quarters
It is the intent of this Section to allow for the provision of groups living quarters in the Township while introducing standards to protect the character of residential neighborhoods, prevent concentrations of such facilities in single locations, and ensure that the appropriate state and county requirements have been met.
1005-B. Special Exception Standards
Group living quarters shall be permitted as by Special Exception in all residential zoning districts.
All group homes shall meet the following Special Exception criteria:
- No group living quarters facility shall be located within one thousand (1,000) feet of another such facility. Measurement shall be made from the nearest point of the site of the existing facility to the nearest point of the site of the proposed facility.
- The number of residents shall be limited to eight (8) occupants, including on-site staff.
- One (1) off-street parking space shall be provided for each staff member on duty, and one (1) off-street parking space shall be provided for each four (4) residents.
- The facility shall provide 24-hour supervisory staff.
- Any medical or counseling services provided shall be done only for the residents of the facility.
- In residential districts, the facility shall be, as practically as possible, in keeping with the building and architectural design of the properties in the neighborhood, considering the size of the building and the character of the building materials.
- The facility shall be approved by the appropriate state and county agencies and shall be maintained and operated in accordance with the applicable state and county regulations.
- The group living quarters facility shall notify the Township within fourteen (14) days if there is a change in the type of clients in the home, or if an applicable certification or license expires, is suspended or is withdrawn.
- The following additional information shall be provided to the Township prior to occupancy:
- The name of the operator of the facility
- The type of the program
- The maximum number of residents proposed
- The date of issuance or anticipated issuance of state and county certificates, licenses and/or approvals
Section 1006 – Projection into Required Yards
It is the intent of this section to restrict projections into required front, side and rear yards to limited architectural features, such as patios, decks, porches, chimneys, etc. Permitted projections are subject to specified standards to protect residential character.
1006-B. Permitted Projections
No portion of a building may project into any required yard area except as follows:
- Cornices, projecting eaves, gutters, pier, or pilaster of a building may project not more than eighteen (18) inches into a required yard. A chimney may project up to twenty-four (24) inches into a rear yard or into a side yard. Bay windows may project a maximum of thirty-six (36) inches into a required yard.
- Open, unenclosed fire escapes and steps may project not more than three (3) feet into a required rear or side yard.
- Central and window-type air conditioning units may project up to four (4) feet into a required side, or rear yard, provided that ground-mounted central units are appropriately screened from adjoining properties. Air conditioning units must conform to the Township Noise Ordinance.
- Open or covered porches, patios and decks may project into a front yard or rear yard subject to the standards set forth in Section 1006-C below.
1006-C. Porches, Patios & Decks
- Standards for open or covered patio, deck or porch:
Table 10-1 Standards for open or covered patio, deck or porch
|District||RC & RC-1||R-1 & R-2||R-3 & R-4|
|Maximum front yard projection||25 feet||10 feet||10 feet|
|Maximum rear yard projection||25 feet||15 feet||15 feet|
|Maximum side yard projection|
(refer to Section 1006-C.4 for additional standards)
|15 feet||15 feet||15 feet|
|Minimum distance from side property line||4 feet||4 feet||4 feet|
|Minimum distance from rear property line||10 feet||10 feet||No restriction|
|Minimum distance from edge of common driveway||NA||NA||5 feet|
- Standards for enclosed porches:
- Enclosed porches shall be permitted for single family detached and semi-detached units only.
- An enclosed porch shall be considered a part of the building and may not extend into the front, side or rear yards except those covered porches built prior to the enactment of this Ordinance.
- Standards for open decks (with or without a roof) or additions on an existing nonconforming structure:
Open decks (with or without a roof) or additions into the rear yard in line with an existing nonconforming structure shall not be closer than three (3) feet to the side property line and all stairs which are part of an open deck shall also not be closer than three (3) feet to the side property line. In addition to the side yard requirements set out above all rear additions must still meet the area and bulk standards for each zoning district.
- Standards for projections into side yards:
Open decks are permitted to project a maximum of fifteen (15) feet into the side yard but shall not be closer than four (4) feet to the property line, easement, common driveway or right-of-way and all stairs, platforms or steps which are part of an open deck shall also not be closer than four (4) feet to the property line.
- Standards for private garages and greenhouses
Private garages and greenhouses may be constructed in side and rear yards within three (3) feet of the property lines and in compliance with the fire rating as required by the Upper Darby Township Building Code. Garages in R-3 Districts that were originally built on the property line, and are being reconstructed, may be rebuilt on the same property line.
- Standards for stairs, fences or obstructions
All stairs, fences or obstructions must be at least four (4) feet from a common driveway located in a non-residence district. Existing non-conforming stairs, fences or obstructions may not be replaced within four (4) feet of a common driveway located in a non-residence district. All stairs, fences, or obstructions in a common driveway located in a residence district must be built in such a way so as to not interfere with any emergency, sanitation, and private vehicular traffic in the common driveway.
- Standards for freestanding decks and patios
Freestanding decks and patios may be located in the rear yard only and must be setback at least ten (10) feet from the side or rear property line.
Section 1007 – Lot Averaging
The intent of this section is to permit variation in lot sizes to provide flexibility in design and to maximize natural resource protection on constrained properties. Lot averaging shall not result in an increase in the number of lots permitted according to required lot sizes in each zoning district.
1007-B. Lot Averaging Standards
In any subdivision other than by lease in a community shopping center or neighborhood shopping center, the areas of some lots may be less than the minimum required providing:
- The average lot area of all lots is equal to or greater than the minimum required lot area.
- No lot is less than ninety percent (90%) of the minimum required lot area.
- All lots are less than two (2) times the minimum required lot area.
- There is no reduction of the frontage, setback side yard, rear yard, lot width or off street parking requirements.
- Lot coverage does not exceed that permitted for the average lot area.
Section 1008 – Airport and Transitional Surface Zones
It is the intent of this Section to establish regulations that prevent interference with the landing, take off, or maneuvering of aircraft intending to use the Philadelphia International Airport.
1008-B. Airport Surface Zone Height Limitations
Except as otherwise provided in this Ordinance, no structure shall be erected, altered or maintained, and no tree shall be allowed to grow in any Transitional Surface Zone created by this Ordinance to a height in excess of the applicable height limit herein established for such zone:
- For those portions of Upper Darby Township situate south of Baltimore Pike – One thousand four hundred (1400) feet.
- For those portions of Upper Darby Township situate north of Baltimore Pike – two thousand (2000) feet.
1008-C. Transitional Surface Zone Use Restrictions
Notwithstanding any provisions of this Ordinance, no use can be made of land or water within any Transitional Surface Zone established by this Ordinance in such a manner as to create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communication between the Airport and aircraft, make it difficult for pilots to distinguish between Airport lights and others, result in glare in the eyes of pilots using the Airport, impair visibility in the vicinity of the Airport, create bird strike hazards, or otherwise in any way endanger or interfere with the landing, take off, or maneuvering of aircraft intending to use the Airport.
Section 1009 – Temporary Off-Street Retail Sales
This section sets standards for the conduct of temporary outdoor retail sales activities including farmers’ markets, flea markets, and sales of holiday items such as cut trees, pumpkins, and cut flowers.
1009-B. General Standards
- Off-Street Retail Sales are permitted by right in the following locations, subject to the standards established in this Article:
- Any property located in the C-1 and C-2 districts;
- All properties that are owned by Upper Darby Township, Upper Darby School District, or County of Delaware.
- All institutional properties covered under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA).
- All applicants for an off-street retail sales use must provide a reference sketch plan of the site drawn accurately to scale indicating thereon the exact sales location on the site which is to be used, its relationship to the other businesses, structures, streets, sidewalks already existing at the site, and the proposed lighting if night time operation is planned.
- Parking for off-street retail sales shall comply with the requirements of Section 801-A of this Ordinance. In addition, such use shall not interfere with adequate access to the required off-street parking spaces, traffic flow, or egress and/or ingress to the site being so used.
- Off-street retail sales businesses may not be located in any public right of way and must be set back at least five (5) feet from the inside of the sidewalk or the edge of cartway, whichever is greater.
- No area used for the outside storage or display of merchandise shall be located within twenty-five (25) feet from the edge of cartway or within ten (10) feet from the edge of cartway for corner properties.
- No area for required off-street parking may be used for outside storage or display of merchandise.
- The sale of food items is subject to applicable regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
1009-C. Duration of Use
- Temporary off-street retail sales are to occur no more than one (1) day per week and not more than fifteen (15) times per calendar year.
- Sales of holiday items, such as cut trees, pumpkins and cut flowers may be displayed for up to thirty (30) days preceding and including the holiday but must be removed the day immediately following the holiday.
Section 1010 - Nonconformities
This Section is intended to guide the development of Upper Darby Township in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan and other specific plans of action. The rights of the owners of nonconforming structures, lots, and uses are recognized and will be protected by law.
1010-B. Nonconforming Structures
- All structures, lots, uses of structures and uses of land that do not conform to the regulations of the district in which they are located after the effective date of this chapter or amendment thereto shall be regarded as nonconforming and may be continued so long as they remain otherwise lawful, including subsequent sales of property.
- Legal nonconforming structures may continue to be occupied but may not be expanded unless all additions conform with the requirements of this Ordinance.
- A nonconforming structure of which more than fifty percent (50%) of the floor and roof area is destroyed or a nonconforming structure which has been legally condemned may be rebuilt only if permitted as a Special Exception and subject to the following conditions:
- The replacement structure shall not exceed the height, area and volume of the previous structure.
- It is demonstrated that the replacement structure will not be materially detrimental to the surrounding area or the interest of the Township.
- It is demonstrated that the replacement structure will not require more parking than the previous structure.
- The remains of a nonconforming structure of which more than fifty percent (50%) of the floor and roof area is destroyed must be removed from the site within six (6) months.
1010-C. Nonconforming Uses
- A legal nonconforming use of a structure or land may continue, and the sale or transfer of ownership of the use, structure, or land shall not affect this right.
- A nonconforming use of a structure or land may be changed to a conforming use or to a use of a more restricted classification in accordance with Sections 1010.C.4 and 1010.C.5. Whenever a nonconforming use of a structure or land has been changed to a use of a more restricted classification or to a conforming use, such use shall not thereafter be changed to a use of a less restricted classification. This does not, however, prevent the change in ownership of a nonconforming use.
- Should a nonconforming use cease operation for a period of twelve (12) consecutive months, said use shall be considered abandoned and all rights arising from the nonconforming status shall be considered voided, unless the property owner shall provide to the Zoning Officer (or, if on appeal, then to the Zoning Hearing Board), a preponderance of evidence demonstrating that the owner has not abandoned the non-conforming use status.
- A change in use to a more restrictive commercial classification may occur between the following groups: C-4, C-3, C-2, C-1, with C-1 being the most restrictive classification.
- A change in use to a more restrictive residential classification may occur between the following groups: R-4, R-3, R-2, R-1, R-C-1, R-C, with R-C being the most restrictive classification.
1010-D. Nonconforming Lots
- A structure may be constructed on any vacant lot which was lawful when created and was in separate ownership duly recorded by plan or deed, provided that the structure is in compliance with the bulk standards of this zoning code.
- Any existing structure on a nonconforming lot may be altered or have structures added to it on the lot as long as the following conditions are met:
- The added structure complies with all of the other requirements of this zoning code excepting lot area requirements.
- There will be no reduction of off-street parking requirements.
- There will be no increase in the permitted density for the zone in which the lot is located.
- The use must be permitted in the zone where the lot is located.
1010-E. Nonconforming Parking
Existing uses that do not meet the minimum parking requirements of Article VIII shall be permitted to continue, however, if there is a change in use which requires more parking than the previous use, the new use will be required to meet all parking requirements established in Article VIII.
Section 1011 – Landscaping and Buffering
It is the intent of this Section to improve the appearance of developed areas of the Township with landscaping and to protect residential uses from the impacts of adjacent non-residential uses with landscaped buffers.
1011-B. Landscaping and Buffer Requirements
- A ten (10) foot wide buffer planting strip shall be provided at sides and rear wherever a non-residential use adjoins a Residential District.
- If the ten (10) foot buffer strip required in Section 1011.B.1. above cannot be accommodated because a small lot size or irregular lot shape inhibits compliance with area, bulk and parking requirements, the buffer strip may be reduced by Special Exception approval and subject to the following conditions:
- It is demonstrated that the condition of the lot will not accommodate the required ten foot buffer without compromising compliance with area, bulk and parking requirements.
- The buffer strip shall not be less than two (2) feet wide.
- The buffer strip will include evergreen plantings or an opaque fence a minimum of six (6) feet in height. Metal or chain link fencing may not be used.
- Whenever required vegetation fails to survive it shall be replaced.
- There shall be a grassed or planted area at least two (2) feet wide between a property line and a paved private driveway or parking area except for attached and semi-detached dwellings located in R-3 Districts.
- There will be a buffer planting strip at least four (4) feet wide between a common driveway or parking area for more than two (2) dwelling units and the property line of adjoining R-C, R-1 or R-2 Districts.
- There will be a grassed or planted area at least four (4) feet wide between the side of a common driveway and property line except in the case when the driveway is common to properties on both sides of the property line in which case the driveway may extend over the property line.
- Parking area buffers and interior landscaping shall be provided in accordance with Article VIII, Sections 801-D.19. and 801-D. 20. herein.
Section 1012 – Lighting Facilities
It is the intent of this Section to reduce impacts of glare from lighting facilities.
1012-B. Lighting Facilities
Specific plans shall be provided for lighting facilities as needed and to be arranged in a manner which will protect public streets and neighboring properties from unreasonable glare.
Section 1013 - Temporary Dwelling or Structures
Temporary dwellings, including trailers, boats, or similar structures shall not be stored within the front yard area, except where there is an existing driveway, or set up for housekeeping purposes anywhere in any Residence District of the Township.