Township of Easttown, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 455-102 Purpose.

This chapter provides for certain uses, which are permitted within the Township as conditional uses. Such uses have been designated as conditional based upon the Supervisors recognition that they may or may not be appropriate at every location within any specific district where they are generally allowed; therefore, procedures, standards and criteria have been established in this article by which the Township can evaluate and decide upon applications for these uses. Conditional uses are so classified because they have the potential for substantial impact upon Easttown Township, as it has developed. As a consequence, these uses must comply with the minimum standards for conditional uses herein described, in addition to the area and bulk regulations, design standards, and general regulations stipulated as controlling within the district in which the proposed conditional use is authorized. Failure of any proposed conditional use to comply with any of these standards and criteria shall be grounds for denial of a conditional use application. If there is a conflict between the standards set forth in this article and other applicable criteria and standards elsewhere established in this or other applicable ordinances, the more stringent standards shall always apply. It is not the intent of this article to abrogate or impair any other such standards or requirements. It is recommended that at the time the application is obtained, the applicant arrange a meeting with the Zoning Officer to review the application materials and procedures.

§ 455-103 Application procedure.

A. 
Eighteen hard copies and one electronic copy in PDF format of an application for conditional use approval shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer on a form provided by the Township and shall be accompanied by the application fee, the amount of which shall be established by resolution of the Supervisors.
[Amended 12-15-2014 by Ord. No. 424-14]
B. 
Whenever a conditional use permit is required by this chapter for any use proposed or inherent in any proposed subdivision and/or land development, all applications for conditional use shall be filed and all plans, documents, and other submissions required to accompany the application shall be filed with the Township Zoning Officer contemporaneously with the filing of a preliminary plan for subdivision and/or land development, as applicable, complying with Chapter 400, Subdivision and Land Development.
C. 
Where a preliminary subdivision or land development plan is not required because the conditional use does not occur within the context of a development requiring subdivision and/or land development approval, the application for conditional use, including all documents and other submissions, shall be filed with the Township Zoning Officer along with the appropriate fees and shall include a plan prepared by a Pennsylvania-registered professional engineer drawn to sketch plan specifications established in § 400-12 of Chapter 400, Subdivision and Land Development, which shall contain, at a minimum, the following:
(1) 
General information:
(a) 
The name, signature, and address of the applicant.
(b) 
The name, signature, and address of the owner of the property to be affected by the proposed conditional use application.
(c) 
A description and location of the property on which the conditional use is proposed.
(d) 
A statement of the present use, zoning classification, and improvements thereon of the property in question.
(e) 
A statement of the section of this chapter, or amendment thereof, which authorizes the conditional use.
(2) 
Site plan. A site plan shall contain, at a minimum, the following:
(a) 
A location map showing the location of the proposed use within the Township.
(b) 
A site plan depicting the size and dimension of the lot or lot(s), including the following:
[Amended 12-15-2014 by Ord. No. 424-14]
[1] 
North arrow, scale, and date.
[2] 
Existing and proposed buildings and accessory structures, including location, dimensions, use, coverage, height, and any proposed improvements, where applicable, in relation to property and street lines.
[3] 
The location of surrounding lots and buildings, including the names of property owners.
[4] 
The existing natural features of the site related to sleep slopes, flood hazard areas, wetlands, woodlands, and other critical environmental areas regulated by Article VII of this chapter.
[5] 
Streets on, adjacent to, or nearby the lot, properly named or identified.
[6] 
Features that present compliance with all applicable area, width, coverage, yard, and design standards as regulated within this chapter.
[7] 
Proposed general street and lot layout.
[8] 
The location, dimension, and arrangements of proposed facilities, including sidewalks, roads, access drives, off-street loading and unloading, and parking areas.
[9] 
Location, dimension, and arrangement of all areas devoted to ground cover, trees, screen plantings, buffers, open space and recreational facilities, both active and passive.
[10] 
Provisions for handling of stormwater drainage, disposal of wastewater, and supply of water.
[11] 
The location, dimensions and arrangement of proposed signs.

§ 455-104 Standards for review.

A. 
The proposed conditional use shall demonstrate conformance to the policies of Township plans and ordinances and compatibility with adjacent land uses by indicating, when applicable, that:
(1) 
The plan shall be consistent with § 455-2, Purposes; community development objectives, of this chapter, with the Easttown Comprehensive Plan (2001) for the orderly development of the Township, and with the goals and objectives of the Easttown Open Space, Recreation, and Environmental Resources Plan (1993).
(2) 
The proposed use shall be limited to those authorized as conditional uses within the district in which the applicant's land is located and as indicated on Figure 3-1, Land Use Table.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Figure 3-1 is included as an attachment to this chapter.
(3) 
The use and value of property adjacent to the proposed use will not be adversely affected by the proposed use. Every reasonable attempt shall be made to make the proposed use compatible with the adjacent properties and surrounding neighborhood in terms of parking, lighting, screening, buffering, landscaping, and other design features.
(4) 
The capacity of existing streets and thoroughfares is adequate to absorb the additional traffic demand created by the proposed use.
(5) 
The proposed use shall consist of a harmonious grouping of buildings or other structures with adequate service, parking, and open spaces.
(6) 
Any degradation to the natural features of the proposed site and its surroundings resulting from the proposed use shall, to the satisfaction of the Supervisors, be mitigated, that the management of stormwater and any other alterations to the site's predevelopment condition reflect an environmentally sensitive approach to land planning and design based on thorough site analysis and evaluation related to topography, soils, vegetation, hydrology, geology, visual quality, and related site conditions and characteristics.
(7) 
If the use is to be carried out in progressive stages, each stage shall be so planned that the foregoing conditions and intent of this chapter shall be fully complied with at the completion of each stage.
(8) 
The level of service at unsignalized and signalized intersections contiguous to the applicant's property necessary to serve the proposed use by providing egress and ingress thereto (intersections through which at least 35% of the use's traffic must flow to gain access to the use) shall not fall below Level of Service "D" as specified in the Transportation Research Board, Special Report 209, Highway Capacity Manual 1985, published by the Transportation Research Board, Washington D.C., 1985, or latest edition, provided the Supervisors may waive these criteria where they find such waiver to be in the interest of the public health, safety, and general welfare. This subsection shall not be construed to preclude improvement of such intersections to retain at least a Level of Service "D."
(9) 
Vehicular trip generation resulting from the proposed use will not result in such increased traffic or turning movements as will significantly affect existing congestion on streets and roads within the immediate vicinity of the proposed development or adversely impact the reserve capacity of the public roads and road intersections providing access to the applicant's property.
(10) 
Improvements to streets and highways contiguous to the applicant's property as part of the improvements for the proposed conditional use, such as road widening, acceleration/deceleration lanes, traffic control devices, and similar features, shall be sufficient to obviate adverse traffic impacts caused by the use and to protect the safety of the traveling public, and the location and design of facilities for ingress or egress are so located as to provide safe access to adjoining streets and roads and to avoid unnecessary traffic through existing neighborhoods.
(11) 
When required, adequate on-site recreational space and facilities sufficient to accommodate the needs of the number of occupants reasonably anticipated to occupy the proposed conditional use are provided consistent with the requirements of Chapter 400, Subdivision and Land Development.
(12) 
Sufficient land area is provided within the applicant's property to effectively screen the proposed conditional use from adjoining uses, whether similar or dissimilar in type or character. Where, in the opinion of the Supervisors, proposed screening otherwise required by this chapter is insufficient, additional screening shall be required.
(13) 
The proposed use as depicted on the plans for subdivision or land development includes adequate proposal for landscaping in addition to any requirements otherwise imposed by this chapter, Chapter 274, Natural Resources Protection, or Chapter 400, Subdivision and Land Development, in areas such as the entrances, along property boundaries, in areas which are highly visible, such as along roads, walks or trails, and in other places reasonably deemed necessary by the Supervisors, where the use of trees, shrubs, and ground covers would be functional and appropriate.
(14) 
The proposed use is properly sited and is not disruptive to existing topography, streams, ponds, vegetation, and other natural resources existing on the site.
(15) 
Where setbacks from adjoining properties are necessary to remove any potential adverse impact or interference with adjoining uses, whether similar or dissimilar, the Supervisors may require a reasonable increase in setbacks and/or buffer areas otherwise mandated by the district regulations.
(16) 
If public services are planned for the property, the proposed use shall be consistent with the planned extension of public services and utilities, such as public water and public sewer, and will not have a negative effect on the public services and utilities of the surrounding properties.
(17) 
Every development containing conditional uses shall provide adequate access for firefighting and other emergency service equipment. In addition to criteria established in the applicable district regulations, the Supervisors may impose additional requirements to insure adequate access. Such access shall include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, turning radii sufficient to accommodate fire equipment, adequacy of roadway and right-of-way widths to accommodate the free flow of such equipment, paved emergency access roads/ways, provision for adequate access in front of, between and behind buildings and structures, including paved or compacted surfaces sufficient to support the weight of fire equipment.
B. 
In approving a conditional use or a development containing conditional uses, the Supervisors may impose reasonable conditions affecting the following:
(1) 
Size and location of school bus shelters at each point of egress and ingress to the development and adequate provision for vehicular and pedestrian access thereto.
(2) 
Control of signs, placement, location, size, and intensity of common lighting, height of light standards, adequacy of loading and unloading facilities and control and/or prohibition of parking on streets within the development site.
(3) 
The layout, circulation, and performance standards within the development, which they deem necessary to ensure efficient and adequate traffic circulation, furthering the health, safety, and welfare of the development's residents.
(4) 
Other information as may be deemed necessary by the Board of Supervisors.

§ 455-105 Administrative review procedure.

A. 
The Zoning Officer shall review the application to determine if it is complete and act on such determination within five days of receipt of the application. If the application is determined to be complete, the Zoning Officer shall submit the application to the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission. If the application is deficient in any required component, the Zoning Officer shall notify the applicant in writing of the deficiencies. If such identified deficiencies are not remedied by the applicant within 30 days in the form of a resubmitted application rectifying said identified deficiencies, this shall constitute sufficient grounds for denial by the Supervisors of the application at the subsequent public hearing, should the Board deem such deficiencies to be substantially at variance with the requirements of this chapter or other applicable Township ordinances.
B. 
If a plan or application is resubmitted after a prior submission due to substantial changes or denial as per Subsection A above, then the resubmission shall be considered as a new submission in accordance with Subsection A above and the timing requirements of § 455-106C below.

§ 455-106 Review and decision process.

[Amended 9-21-2009 by Ord. No. 391-09]
A. 
At least 30 days prior to the date of the conditional use hearing, the Board of Supervisors shall forward a copy of the application and any supporting material to the Planning Commission with a request that such Commission review the application and submit recommendations and comments regarding the proposed conditional use. The Township may, at its discretion, forward a copy of the application to other consulting agencies, committees or consultants that the Supervisors deem appropriate, with a request that such agency, committee or consultant review the application and submit recommendations and comments regarding the proposed conditional use.
[Amended 6-2-2014 by Ord. No. 422-14]
B. 
Prior to the public hearing which is held by the Board of Supervisors on the conditional use application, the Township may send a copy of the public notice to the owner of record of every lot on the same street within 500 feet, measured along the street frontage of the lot or building in question, and of every lot not on the same street but within a five-hundred-foot radius of said lot or building by regular mail, and mailed a minimum of two weeks prior to the first scheduled public hearing on the application. The Township shall also mail the notice of the hearing by regular mail to the applicant, the Zoning Officer, the Township Secretary, the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors and any person who has made timely request for such notice, as well as to any Township residents or associations of residents who shall have registered their names and addresses for the purpose of receiving such hearing notices. Failure to give notice as required by this subsection shall not invalidate any action taken by the Supervisors.
[Amended 6-2-2014 by Ord. No. 422-14]
C. 
The Supervisors shall schedule and hold a public hearing on the application within 60 days from the date of receipt of the applicant's application, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time. Notice of such meeting shall be provided in compliance with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code ("MPC").[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
D. 
The property, which is the subject of the application, shall be posted in accordance with the MPC.
E. 
The conditional use hearing shall be conducted in accordance with all procedural requirements in the MPC.
F. 
In granting or denying a conditional use or establishing conditions upon the grant of the use, the Supervisors shall determine compliance with the standards and criteria established in § 455-104 to be mandatory. In granting a conditional use, the Board may attach such conditions as it deems necessary to protect the health, safety and public welfare.
G. 
The Supervisors shall render a written decision or, when no decision is called for, make written findings on the conditional use application within 45 days after the last hearing before the Supervisors. The date for the Supervisors' decision may be extended by the applicant either on the record or in writing addressed to the Supervisors. Where the application is contested or denied, each decision shall be accompanied by findings of fact or conclusions based thereon, together with any reasons therefor. Conclusions based upon this article, the MPC or any rule or regulation shall contain a reference to the provision relied on and the reasons why the conclusion is deemed appropriate in the light of the facts found. A copy of the decision or, where no decision is called for, of the findings shall be delivered to the applicant personally or mailed to him no later than the day following its date.
H. 
If, after the conclusion of the public hearings, the application is amended or revised, the Supervisors shall hold one or more public hearings thereon as may be necessary and shall issue a new decision thereon in conformance with the procedure established in this section.
I. 
Where a conditional use application involves land development and/or subdivision approval, any approval by the Supervisors shall be valid for a time period consistent with the terms of MPC Sections 508 and/or 917.[2] Conditional use approvals not resulting in land development and/or subdivision shall expire if the applicant fails to apply for a building permit or, if no building permit is required, a use or occupancy permit within six months from the date of the Supervisors' decision.
[Amended 6-2-2014 by Ord. No. 422-14]
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10508 and 53 P.S. § 10917.