Township of Schuylkill, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Schuylkill 11-20-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-07. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 140.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 310.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 320.
Zoning — See Ch. 370.
252a Appendix A

§ 252-100 Authorization.

This chapter is adopted by Schuylkill Township pursuant to the authority granted by Article VII of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code,[1] Act of 1968, P.L. 805, No. 247, as reenacted and amended (the "Act").
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10701 et seq.

§ 252-101 Statement of community objectives.

By the adoption of this chapter the Board of Supervisors of Schuylkill Township (the "Board") establishes the following community objectives: to encourage a more varied and attractive pattern of residential development than is possible under conventional zoning regulations so that the future demand for housing may be met by offering a range of housing types, densities, design and layout, while encouraging development which conserves natural resources and places the minimum burden on public services. This chapter shall be interpreted and implemented to be consistent with these community objectives. All applications for approval under this chapter shall be based on and interpreted in relation to this statement of community objectives.

§ 252-102 Qualifying conditions.

The following conditions shall be satisfied prior to the consideration by the Board of any application request for a planned residential development:
A. 
The tract for any planned residential development shall be within the PRD Overlay Zone as shown on the official Zoning Map of Schuylkill Township.
B. 
The tract for any planned residential development shall consist of a contiguous area with a minimum land area of 60 acres and with not less than two points of access to public roads.
C. 
The planned residential development shall be served by a public water supply and located in the Act 537 sanitary sewer service area.
D. 
The tract of land and its development shall be held in single and separate ownership, or in the case of multiple ownership, the tract shall be developed according to a single plan with common authority and common responsibility.

§ 252-103 Use regulations.

A. 
Uses permitted by right.
(1) 
Single-family dwellings.
(2) 
Two-family dwellings.
(3) 
Semidetached dwellings.
(4) 
Townhouse dwellings.
(5) 
Quadraplex dwellings.
(6) 
The following accessory uses shall be permitted within a planned residential development when customarily incidental to any of the foregoing permitted uses:
(a) 
Customary residential accessory uses, buildings and structures, including garages, swimming pools, tennis courts and buildings and structures housing utilities which serve the development.
(b) 
Accessory recreation facilities intended and designed solely for the use of residents of the development.
(c) 
Agricultural or conservation use within the common open space area.
(d) 
Class A home occupations.

§ 252-104 Site development considerations.

In order to facilitate a comprehensive review of site suitability, the following standards shall be applied to sites being considered for planned residential development:
A. 
General tract considerations.
(1) 
In order to help determine which areas may be suitable for development, a thorough inventory of the natural features of the site shall be required. The inventory shall include the following:
(a) 
PNDI search to verify that there are no endangered species present or, if present, an inventory of their habitat.
(b) 
Hydrology. An inventory of the watershed in which the tract is located, including site-specific inventory of water resources such as streams, drainage swales, floodplain areas, outstanding resource waters, and wetlands and other areas possessing a high water table. Water bodies shall be preserved and incorporated into the design of the development.
(c) 
Geology. An inventory of rock formation characteristics underlying the tract, including aquifers, areas of shallow soil and rock outcroppings, and areas which are unsuitable to serve as foundation materials.
(d) 
Topography. An inventory of the terrain of the tract, including the mapping of elevation and the delineation of slope into the following categories: 0% to 15%, greater than 15% slopes. Other than for crossings and stormwater management facilities, slopes exceeding 15% shall be preserved in their natural state, unless variance relief is granted by the Township's Zoning Hearing Board.
(e) 
Soils. An inventory of soil characteristics of the tract in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Web Soil Survey, including a delineation of prime building soils, soils susceptible to erosion, soils which are not suitable for supporting development, and soils which are seasonally wet or found in floodplains. Floodplain soils shall be governed by Article XI of the Township's Zoning Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 370, Zoning.
(f) 
Vegetation. An inventory of tree and plant cover of the tract, including the location of riparian buffers, meadow and wooded areas.
(2) 
The Township shall require that the tentative plan site design generally consider the results of these inventories.
B. 
General dwelling site considerations. The following considerations shall apply to dwelling and lot design:
(1) 
Environmental conditions. The areas proposed for the actual location of dwelling units shall be free of environmental constraints, including slopes in excess of 15%, floodplains, riparian buffers and wetlands.
(2) 
Privacy. All dwellings shall be designed to ensure natural light and ventilation, while affording privacy.
(3) 
Access. In areas of townhouse and quadraplex housing, access to vehicular parking and pedestrian walks shall be convenient to dwellings without creating a nuisance or detracting from the privacy of residents. All dwellings shall be served by residential streets.
(4) 
Clustering. Dwelling units and lots may be clustered to reduce the amount of roads required to serve the development and to provide for an adequate open space design.
C. 
Project impact studies. The applicant shall be responsible for the preparation and cost of the following impact studies. These studies shall be submitted for consideration during the tentative plan approval process. This supporting data shall be designed to assist the Township in the review of the proposal and offer documentation on how impacts associated with the project shall be treated:
(1) 
Traffic impact study. The applicant shall submit a traffic impact study, prepared by a trained traffic consultant, following current PennDOT guidelines for such studies. The study shall identify any proposed improvements which would be required to obtain any PennDOT permits necessary for construction and occupancy of the PRD. The study area shall include any intersections identified by PennDOT regulations and/or policies as needing to be studied in order to obtain any permit or approval required by PennDOT.
(2) 
Community impact study. The applicant shall submit a professionally prepared study which will sufficiently assess the impact the development will have on the Township and the level of public services. The study shall analyze the following services and facilities:
(a) 
Fire protection. The impact the proposed development will have on fire-protection capability, including, but not limited to, municipal water supply, pumping capacity and specialized equipment, should be analyzed. The analysis shall predict what effect the proposed development will have on these factors and its ability to meet any specialized needs.
(b) 
Historical. A study shall be made that determines the location of historic properties and structures both on and within 400 feet of the site and the effect, if any, said development will have on those properties and structures, and what effort, if any, the developer will make to preserve historic properties and structures.
(c) 
Water. A study of the amount of water needed for domestic and fire use shall be provided. The study shall indicate the location of the source and anticipated pressure of the proposed source.
(d) 
Sewer. The developer shall provide information on the estimated gallons per day of sewage that will be generated by the PRD for treatment in the public sewer system and details on specific improvements, if any, to the public sewer system required to provide service to the proposed development.
(e) 
School facilities. A study to determine the impact the development will have on school enrollment within the Phoenixville School District. The study shall project the number of school-aged children to be generated by the development. Said calculations shall consider the target market for each dwelling type proposed and shall utilize demographics of the U.S. Census.

§ 252-105 Density regulations.

An applicant utilizing planned residential development, when designed in accordance with this chapter, may provide for a greater number of dwelling units per acre than would be permitted by the otherwise applicable zoning regulations. The permitted maximum density computed over the entire planned residential development is 1 1/2 dwelling units per acre of gross tract area. The density of the planned residential development shall not exceed the permitted maximum density.

§ 252-106 Dwelling unit combination.

A planned residential development shall include a minimum combination of three of the following dwelling unit combinations to insure a variety of housing types:
A. 
Single-family homes on lots equal to or greater than 15,000 square feet in size. If this type of dwelling unit is provided, it must equal at least 10% of the total dwelling units.
B. 
Single-family homes on lots between 6,000 square feet and 14,999 square feet in size (which are sometimes referred to as "village lots"). If this type of dwelling unit is provided, it must equal at least 20% of the total dwelling units.
C. 
Semidetached and/or two-family dwellings. If these types of dwelling units are provided, they must equal at least 30% of the total dwelling units.
D. 
Townhouse and quadraplex dwellings. If these types of dwelling units are provided, they must equal at least 30% of the total dwelling units.
E. 
The remainder of the housing stock shall be left to the discretion of the developer, except that single-family dwellings on lots equal to or greater than 15,000 square feet in size shall comprise no more than 50% of the total number of housing units.

§ 252-107 Area and bulk regulations.

The following area and bulk requirements shall apply to all residential uses permitted within a planned residential development:
A. 
Single-family dwellings on lots equal to or greater than 15,000 square feet in size.
(1) 
Minimum lot area: 15,000 square feet.
(2) 
Minimum lot width:
(a) 
Building line: 80 feet.
(b) 
Street line: 50 feet.
(3) 
Minimum front yard depth from right-of-way: 35 feet.
(4) 
Minimum side yard depth: 12 feet.
(5) 
Minimum rear yard depth: 30 feet.
(6) 
Maximum building coverage: 25%.
(7) 
Maximum lot coverage (total): 50%.
(8) 
Maximum building height: 35 feet.
B. 
Single-family dwellings on lots between 6,000 square feet and 14,999 square feet in size (village lots).
(1) 
Minimum lot area: 6,000 square feet.
(2) 
Minimum lot width:
(a) 
Building line: 70 feet.
(b) 
Street line: 40 feet.
(3) 
Minimum front yard depth from right-of-way: 25 feet.
(4) 
Minimum side yard depth: 10 feet.
(5) 
Minimum rear yard depth: 15 feet.
(6) 
Maximum building coverage: 50%.
(7) 
Maximum lot coverage (total): 75%.
(8) 
Maximum building height: 35 feet.
C. 
Semidetached and two-family dwellings.
(1) 
Minimum lot size per dwelling unit: 4,500 square feet.
(2) 
Minimum lot width per dwelling unit:
(a) 
Building line: 40 feet.
(b) 
Street line: 20 feet.
(3) 
Minimum front yard depth from right-of-way: 25 feet.
(4) 
Minimum distance between buildings: 15 feet.
(5) 
Minimum rear yard depth: five feet.
(6) 
Maximum building coverage: 75%.
(7) 
Maximum lot coverage (total): 90%.
(8) 
Maximum building height: 35 feet.
D. 
Townhouse and/or quadraplex dwellings.
(1) 
Minimum allowable lot area reserved for each dwelling unit free of common parking and street areas: 7,000 square feet.
(2) 
Minimum distance between buildings: 60 feet.
(3) 
Maximum building height: 35 feet.
(4) 
Maximum building coverage: 30%.
(5) 
Maximum lot coverage: 70%.

§ 252-108 Common open space standards.

A. 
Area calculation standards.
(1) 
The total area preserved in open space shall include a minimum of 35% of the total tract area.
(2) 
At least 15% of the total tract area must be open space that is not comprised of floodplain, wetlands and/or slopes in excess of 15%.
(3) 
A minimum of 20% of the area designated for open space shall have environmental characteristics which make it suitable for supporting active and/or passive recreation.
(4) 
Land area designated for streets, internal drives and parking shall not be included in the minimum open space calculation. Lots used for preserving historic structures may be used in the calculation for open space.
B. 
Design and location standards.
(1) 
Open space shall be designed in order to be sensitive to the physical characteristics of the site. Except for residential lots used to preserve historic structures, open space shall be available to all residents of the planned residential development and shall be designed to provide direct access from all dwelling clusters.
(2) 
A minimum of 30% of the designated open space area shall remain undisturbed in its natural state. This may include wetlands, floodplain areas and slopes in excess of 15%.
(3) 
Open space may be used to preserve unique features of the site.
(4) 
Open space areas shall contain only those structures relating to the designated purpose for which the land has been reserved as specified in the tentative approval, including the structures on lots used to preserve historic features.
(5) 
All land set aside for open space shall be deed restricted in the deed to the owner of that land from being further subdivided or used in a manner inconsistent with the tentative approval.
C. 
Ownership standards. Areas to be preserved in open space shall be held either individually or collectively using the following methods of ownership, with the selection of the option being made by the applicant:
(1) 
Homeowners' association. The open space areas and their facilities may be held in common ownership by a homeowners' association. The association shall be formed and operated in accordance with the provisions of § 252-108D.
(2) 
Condominium. The open space areas and their facilities may be held as common element under a condominium agreement. Such agreement shall be in conformance with the Uniform Condominium Act of 1980.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 68 Pa.C.S.A. § 3101 et seq.
(3) 
Fee simple dedication to the Township. The Board of Supervisors may consider for dedication open space lands and their facilities for public use at the time of application for planned residential development approval. The Township has neither the obligation to accept such property nor the need to require common property be dedicated as a condition for approval.
(4) 
Dedication of easements. Easements within common areas along such unique natural features as water bodies may be offered for dedication to the Township for public use or to a private conservancy. Title to such lands remains in ownership by homeowners' association or condominium.
D. 
Homeowners' association regulations. The following regulations shall be considered minimum standards governing the homeowners' association:
(1) 
Bylaws describing the formation and the duties of the association, including the responsibilities for maintenance of the common open areas, shall be defined and presented to the Township for review as part of the application for final plan approval of the first phase of the PRD.
(2) 
Membership shall be mandatory by all residents of the planned residential development. Membership and voting rights shall be defined in the recorded homeowners' association declaration.
(3) 
Rights and duties of the Township and members of the association in the event of a breach of the covenants and restrictions shall be defined in the recorded homeowners' association declaration.
(4) 
The bylaws shall include a statement which grants to the Township the power, but not the duty, to maintain the common open space and common facilities and to assess the cost of the same as provided within the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
(5) 
A provision for leasing open space back to the original developer, individual, or corporation for the maintenance of open space, provided that residents have access at all times and is approved by the association and the Board of Supervisors, may be included.
E. 
Maintenance standards.
(1) 
Delinquency. In the event that the organization established to own and maintain common open space, or any successor organization, shall at any time after establishment of the planned residential development fail to maintain the common open space in reasonable order and condition in accordance with the development plan, the Board may serve written notice upon such organization or the residents of the planned residential development, including:
(a) 
The manner in which the organization has failed to maintain the common open space in reasonable condition.
(b) 
A demand that such deficiencies of maintenance be corrected within 30 days.
(c) 
The date and place of a hearing which shall be held within 14 days of the notice.
(2) 
Public hearing. At such a hearing the Board may modify the terms of the original notice concerning the deficiencies and may give an extension of time within which they shall be corrected. If the deficiencies shall not be corrected within 30 days or within any extension, the Township may enter upon the common open space and maintain the same for a period of one year. The said maintenance by the Township shall not constitute a taking of said common open space nor vest in the public any rights to use the same.
(3) 
Burden of proof. Before the expiration of said year, the Township shall, upon its initiative or upon the request of the organization responsible for the maintenance of the common open space, call a public hearing upon notice to such organization and to the residents of the planned residential development. At the hearing, such organization or the residents of the planned residential development shall show cause why such maintenance by the Township shall not, at the option of the Township, continue for a succeeding year. If the Board shall determine that such organization is ready and able to maintain said common open space in reasonable condition, the Township shall cease to maintain common open space at the end of said year. If the Board shall determine that such organization is not ready and able to maintain said common open space in a reasonable condition, the Township may, in its discretion, continue to maintain said common open space during the next, succeeding year and, subject to a similar hearing and determination, in each year thereafter.
(4) 
The decision of the Board shall be subject to appeal to court in the same manner, and within the same time limitation, as is provided in zoning appeals in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
(5) 
Cost of maintenance. The cost of such maintenance and enforcement proceedings by the Township shall be assessed ratably, in accordance with present tax assessments, against the properties within the planned residential development which have a right of enjoyment of the common open space and shall become a lien on the said properties. The Township, upon entering the common open space for the purposes of maintenance, shall file a notice of such lien in the County Office of the Prothonotary.

§ 252-109 Improvement standards.

The standards for design and construction of improvements within a planned residential development are set forth within Appendix A to this chapter,[1] as the same is amended from time to time by adoption by the Board pursuant to the procedures for the adoption of amendments to this chapter. The design standards shall also include the following:
A. 
Landscaping and buffering. Landscaping shall be required as an essential feature of every planned residential development. The landscape plan shall be included in the final plan approval application and shall be based upon the natural features of the tract. Use of a variety of native species, and incorporating existing vegetation where appropriate, shall be encouraged. Plantings shall be permanently maintained using good nursery practice. Design and maintenance shall be to the satisfaction of the Board.
(1) 
Careful attention shall be given to providing street shade trees. Shade trees shall be a minimum of eight feet in height with a minimum diameter of two inches, measured three feet from ground level.
(2) 
Planted areas and earthen berms (when appropriate) shall be provided at the entrances to a planned residential development to enhance the project and serve as a buffer from traffic-generated noise and adjacent tracts.
(3) 
Existing tree specimens.
(a) 
All existing trees having a diameter, measured at five feet in height, of 12 inches or greater shall be identified on the landscape plan.
(b) 
Such existing tree specimens that are within 100 feet of any proposed construction and are scheduled to be preserved shall be protected from disturbance during construction and may be used in the shade tree calculation for streets and parking areas.
B. 
Parking standards. Adequate off-street parking facilities for each proposed type of housing units, and for any nonresidential uses, if applicable, shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of Article XXII of the Township Zoning Ordinance.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 370, Zoning.
C. 
Sidewalks and trails. The lineal footage of sidewalks and trails within a PRD shall not be less than the total lineal footage of streets within the PRD. The tentative plan shall generally be a plan showing the location of sidewalks and trails, which locations shall be determined by the applicant, and designating which trails, if any, are intended for use by residents of the Township. The location of sidewalks and trails can be modified by the applicant at the time of final plan application but must continue to meet the requirement that the total lineal feet of sidewalks and trails be at least equal to the total lineal feet of streets within the PRD. Trails do not need to be located adjacent to roads and may be natural or constructed of asphalt or wood chips; however, the surface of any trails constructed within any public road right-of-way shall be as approved by the Board of Supervisors upon recommendation of the Planning Commission and Township Engineer.
D. 
Sanitary sewage disposal. All planned residential developments shall be serviced by a public sewage treatment system, in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Master Sewer Plan for Schuylkill Township (537 Plan).
(1) 
The system shall be approved, and permission to construct any facility shall be received from DEP.
(2) 
Aboveground sewer facilities, such as pump stations, shall be buffered and screened by plantings from residential structures.
(3) 
The Board of Supervisors may modify the public sewage system requirement in the event that the applicant has successfully demonstrated to DEP that such a system would not be feasible for the site. In such a case, alternative on-site disposal methods will be considered, provided that they receive approval by the Chester County Health Department and DEP and will not create a hazard to public health and safety.
E. 
Water supply. All planned residential developments shall be serviced by a public water system in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission for design and installation.
(1) 
The system shall be designed to furnish an adequate supply of potable water with a minimum constant, sufficient pressure at each dwelling unit.
(2) 
Water mains shall be designed, when practical, to form a loop system to enhance a continual supply of fresh water. When dead ends occur on new mains, they shall be all closed with new plugs, a blowoff valve, or fire hydrant.
(3) 
A functional fire hydrant system shall be incorporated into the water system. Hydrants shall be located no further than 600 feet from any dwelling. Alternate forms of emergency water supply may be permitted by the Board only if such supplies are approved by the appropriate fire company and the Fire Marshal.
(4) 
All hydrant connections shall be reviewed and approved by the appropriate fire company.
(5) 
The Board of Supervisors may modify the requirements pertaining to a central water supply system in the event that the applicant successfully demonstrates that such a system would not be feasible, that service by individual wells would not constitute a potential hazard to public safety and health and that the applicant obtains approval from the Chester County Health Department for individual wells.
F. 
Storm drainage standards. The following storm drainage standards shall apply to all planned residential developments:
(1) 
All planned residential developments shall incorporate stormwater management facilities which will protect downstream property from increased erosion and maintain base flow of streams.
(2) 
All storm drainage systems must comply with the requirements of Section 10 of Appendix A[3] and the requirements of DEP and must be approved by the Chester County Conservation District (CCCD).
[3]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included as an attachment to this chapter.
(3) 
Plans for storm drainage systems shall also be submitted to the Township for review and comment.
(4) 
The developer shall submit calculations, drawings and assumptions pertaining to cover, direction of flow, location of stormwater management facilities, and release timing that summarize compliance with Section 10 of Appendix A and the requirements of both DEP and the CCCD.
G. 
Erosion and sedimentation control. The following standards shall apply to erosion and sedimentation control:
(1) 
All earthmoving activities occurring on the tract shall be conducted in accordance with an erosion and sedimentation control plan which shall be required to accompany final plans.
(2) 
The erosion and sedimentation control plan shall be in accordance with the following standards:
(a) 
It shall be prepared by a person duly qualified by education and experience in the techniques and methods of erosion and sedimentation control.
(b) 
The developer is directed to use techniques, standards and specifications approved by the Chester County Conservation District in calculating projected soil loss.
(c) 
During construction the dropping of mud on existing roads from construction vehicles leaving the site shall be prohibited. The first 100 feet of construction entrances and exits shall be covered with stone and other measures which may be necessary.
(d) 
The developer shall, in addition, comply with the standards and specifications of the DEP Regulations, Title 4, Chapter 10, Erosion Control, and of the USDA Soil Conservation Service[4] as then adapted for use by the Chester County Conservation District.
[4]
Editor's Note: Now the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
(3) 
Periodic inspections of the site during construction shall be conducted by the Township as reasonably determined to be appropriate by the Township Engineer. Costs of such inspection shall be borne by the applicant.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included as an attachment to this chapter.

§ 252-110 General procedural requirements.

All applications for planned residential development shall follow the stages listed below:
A. 
Tentative plan approval (§ 252-111).
B. 
Final plan approval (§ 252-115).

§ 252-111 Application for tentative plan approval.

A. 
Application. An application for tentative plan approval of a development plan shall be filed by or on behalf of the owner or owners of the land. An application shall be accompanied by a filing fee required by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. Applications shall be filed with the Board of Supervisors.
B. 
Development plan. A development plan for a planned residential development submitted for tentative plan approval (tentative plan) shall include the following information. In the case of any conflict between the provisions of this section and the provisions of Appendix A, the provisions of Appendix A shall govern.[1]
(1) 
Plans shall have a scale of not less than one inch equals 50 feet, with a location map of not less than one inch equals 1,000 feet identifying adjacent parcels, roads and streams. A plan shall be submitted having a scale at one inch equals 100 feet indicating the entire project. Plans shall include the following data:
(a) 
An existing features inventory as required pursuant to Section 1(C)[2] of Appendix A of this chapter.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Part I, Final Plan, Item 3, Existing Features Inventory.
(b) 
Existing groups of trees as well as existing trees with a twelve-inch or greater diameter at five feet above ground level.
(c) 
Total number of residential units and types proposed and by phase.
(d) 
Unique natural features and historic structures.
(e) 
All buildings within 400 feet of the site boundaries.
(2) 
The location, size and topography of the site and the nature of the landowner's interest in the land proposed to be developed.
(3) 
The proposed gross density for the entire project and proposed number of lots for each phase or housing type to be developed.
(4) 
The location, size and designated purpose of the common open space as defined in § 252-108.
(5) 
The approximate dimensions and locations of lots, buildings, and other structures.
(6) 
An analysis of the feasibility of the proposal for disposition of sanitary waste, supply of potable water, and stormwater management.
(7) 
A general statement of the provisions of covenants, grants of easements or other restrictions to be imposed upon the use of the land, buildings and structures, including proposed easements for public utilities.
(8) 
The provisions for parking, and the location and width of proposed streets and public ways.
(9) 
A general statement of the proposed modifications to existing land use regulations otherwise applicable to the subject property.
(10) 
In the case of a plan proposed to be built in phases, a schedule indicating the proposed timing in which applications for final plan approval of all sections are intended to be filed. This schedule must be updated annually, on the anniversary of its approval, until the development is completed.
(11) 
A written statement by the landowner setting forth the reasons why, in his/her/its opinion, a PRD would be in the public interest and would be consistent with the comprehensive plan for the development of the Township.
(12) 
Proposed location of trails.
(13) 
The location and nature of any historic resource identified as such on any official Township listing of historic resources. Any use, maintenance, restoration, enlargement or demolition, in whole or in part, whether intentional or by neglect, shall be governed by the applicable ordinances of the Township, regardless of whether those ordinance provisions would have otherwise been superseded by the approval of tentative and final approval of the PRD.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included as an attachment to this chapter.
C. 
The application for tentative and final plan approval of a development plan for a PRD prescribed in this chapter and under Article VII of the MPC[3] shall be in lieu of all other procedures or approvals otherwise required pursuant to the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, the Township Zoning Ordinance, or Articles V and/or VI of the MPC.[4]
[3]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10701 et seq.
[4]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 320, Subdivision and Land Development; Ch. 370, Zoning; and 53 P.S. § 10501 et seq. and/or 53 P.S. § 10601 et seq., respectively.
D. 
Filing fee. Applications for planned residential development shall be made on forms provided by the Township and shall be accompanied by the fees as set forth below:
(1) 
The Township shall make available to applicants the form upon which all applications for approval of a planned residential development plan shall be made.
(2) 
Every applicant shall, at the time of filing application for planned residential development, pay to the Township a basic filing fee, as per the schedule established by resolution of the Board.
(3) 
Every applicant shall, as part of his application for approval of the plan, agree to pay the Township such fees and expenses as said Township incurs for the services of the solicitor, land planner, the designated Township Engineer and/or Inspector in investigation, tests and advising the Board in relation to the plan, the inspection of construction of public improvements, and review of agreements and documents required by this chapter.

§ 252-112 Public hearings.

A. 
Time requirements. Within 60 days after the filing of an application for tentative plan approval of a planned residential development, a public hearing pursuant to public notice on said application shall be held by the Board of Supervisors, in the manner prescribed in Article IX of the MPC.[1] After the filing of the application for tentative approval, the Board of Supervisors shall refer the application to the Township Planning Commission, the Township Environmental Council and the Township Historical Commission for review and comment.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10901 et seq.
B. 
The Chairman or, in his absence, the Acting Chairman of the Board may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All testimony by witnesses at any hearing shall be given under oath, and every party of record at a hearing shall have the right to cross-examine adverse witnesses.
C. 
Record. A verbatim record of the hearing shall be caused to be made by the Board whenever such records are requested by any party to the proceedings, but the cost of making and transcribing such a record shall be borne by the party requesting it, and the expense of copies of such record shall be borne by those who wish to obtain such copies. All exhibits accepted in evidence shall be identified and duly preserved or, if not accepted in evidence, shall be properly identified and the reason for the exclusion clearly noted in the record.
D. 
Continuance of hearings. The Board of Supervisors may continue the hearing from time to time and may refer the matter back to the Planning Commission for a further report; provided, however, that in any event the public hearing or hearings shall be concluded within 60 days after the date of the first public hearing.

§ 252-113 Findings.

A. 
Action.
(1) 
The Board, within 60 days following the conclusion of the public hearing provided for in this chapter or within 180 days after the date of filing of the application, whichever occurs first, shall, by registered letter to the landowner, either:
(a) 
Grant tentative plan approval of the development plan as submitted;
(b) 
Grant tentative plan approval subject to specified conditions not included in the development plan as submitted, including conditions relating to the performance of off-site improvements whether or not they were included in the development plan as submitted; or
(c) 
Deny tentative plan approval to the development plan.
(2) 
Failure to so act within said period shall be deemed to be a grant of tentative plan approval of the development plan as submitted. In the event, however, that tentative plan approval is granted subject to conditions, the landowner may, within 30 days after receiving a copy of the official written communication of the Board of Supervisors, notify such Board of Supervisors of his refusal to accept all said conditions, in which case the Board of Supervisors shall be deemed to have denied tentative plan approval of the development plan. In the event the landowner does not, within said period, notify the Board of Supervisors of his refusal to accept all said conditions, tentative plan approval of the development plan, with all said conditions, shall stand as granted.
B. 
Findings. The grant or denial of tentative plan approval by official written communication shall include not only conclusions but also findings of fact related to the specific proposal and shall set forth the reasons for the grant, with or without conditions, or for the denial, and said communication shall set forth with particularity in what respects the development plan would or would not be in the public interest, including but not limited to findings of fact and conclusions on the following:
(1) 
In what respects the development plan is or is not consistent with the comprehensive plan for the development of the Township;
(2) 
The extent to which the development plan departs from zoning and subdivision regulations otherwise applicable to the subject property, including but not limited to density, bulk and use, and the reasons why such departures are or are not deemed to be in the public interest;
(3) 
The purpose, location and amount of the common open space in the planned residential development, the reliability of the proposals for maintenance and conservation of the common open space and the adequacy or inadequacy of the amount and purpose of the common open space are related to the proposed density and type of residential development;
(4) 
The physical design of the development plan and the manner in which said design does or does not make adequate provision for public services, provide adequate control over vehicular traffic, and further the amenities of light and air, recreation and visual enjoyment;
(5) 
The relationship, beneficial or adverse, of the proposed planned residential development of the neighborhood in which it is proposed to be established; and
(6) 
In the case of a development plan which proposes development over a period of years, the sufficiency of the terms and conditions intended to protect the interests of the public and of the residents of the planned residential development in the integrity of the development plan.
C. 
Time limits. In the event a development plan is granted tentative plan approval, with or without conditions, the Board of Supervisors may set forth in the official written communication the time within which an application for final plan approval of the development plan shall be filed or, in the case of a development plan which provides for development over a period of years, the period of time within which applications for final plan approval of each part thereof shall be filed. Except upon the consent of the landowner, the time so established between grant of tentative plan approval and an application for final plan approval shall not be less than nine months, and in the case of developments over a period of years, the time between applications for final plan approval of each part of a plan shall be not less than 12 months.

§ 252-114 Status of plan after tentative plan approval.

A. 
Filing and notation. The official written communication provided for in § 252-113B shall be certified by the Secretary/Treasurer of the Township and shall be filed in the Township office, and a certified copy shall be mailed to the landowner. Where tentative plan approval has been granted, the same shall be noted on the Zoning Map.
B. 
Disclaimer. Tentative plan approval of a development plan shall not qualify a plan of the planned residential development for recording or authorize development or the issuance of any building permits. A development plan which has been given tentative plan approval as submitted, or which has been given tentative plan approval with conditions accepted by the applicant, shall not be modified or revoked, or otherwise impaired by action of the Township pending an application or applications for final plan approval without the consent of the landowner, provided that the final plan application is, or, in the case of development over a period of years, the final plan applications are, filed within the period(s) of time specified in the official written communication granting tentative plan approval.
C. 
Abandonment. In the event that a development plan is given tentative plan approval and thereafter, but prior to final plan approval, the landowner shall elect to abandon the development plan and shall notify the Board in writing, or in the event the landowner shall fail to file an application or applications for final plan approval within the required period of time or times, as the case may be, and said periods of time or times have not been extended by the affirmative vote of the Board, the tentative plan approval shall be deemed to be revoked, and the portion of the area included in the development plan for which final plan approval has not been given shall be subject to those ordinances otherwise applicable thereto as they may be amended from time to time and the same shall be noted on the Zoning Map and in the records of the Secretary/Treasurer of the Township.

§ 252-115 Application for final plan approval.

A. 
Submission. An application for final plan approval may be for all the land in a development plan or for an individual phase. The application shall be made to the Board of Supervisors and within the time or times specified by the official written communication granting tentative plan approval. A public hearing on an application for final plan approval of the development plan, or part thereof, shall not be required, provided that the development plan, or the part thereof, submitted for final plan approval is in compliance with the development plan given tentative plan approval and with any specified conditions attached.
B. 
Content. The application shall include any drawings, specifications, covenants, easements, performance guarantees and such other requirements as may be specified by Appendix A of this chapter,[1] as well as any conditions set forth in the official written communication at the time of tentative plan approval.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included as an attachment to this chapter.
C. 
Development plan. Plans submitted for final plan approval of all or a portion of a planned residential development shall be prepared in accordance with the requirements for final plans set forth in Appendix A of this chapter.
D. 
Public improvements. The Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance,[2] as amended, shall govern the inspection and acceptance of all public improvements including the provisions for requirement of performance and maintenance guarantees.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 320, Subdivision and Land Development.
E. 
Decision. In the event the application for final plan approval has been filed, together with all drawings, specifications and other documents in support thereof, and as required by this chapter, including Appendix A hereof, and the official written communication of tentative plan approval, the Board shall, within 45 days from the date of the regular meeting of the governing body or the planning agency, whichever first reviews the application next following the date the application is filed, grant such development plan final plan approval; provided, however, that should the next regular meeting occur more than 30 days following the filing of the application, the forty-five-day period shall be measured from the 30th day following the day the application has been filed.

§ 252-116 Modifications, waivers and variances.

A. 
Modifications and waivers. The Board of Supervisors may grant modifications or waivers of one or more of the requirements set forth in §§ 252-104, 252-106, 252-107, 252-108, 252-109, 252-115 or Appendix A[1] of this PRD chapter when the literal enforcement and compliance with mandatory provisions is shown to the satisfaction of the Board to be unreasonable, to cause undue hardship because of peculiar conditions pertaining to the land in question, or when an alternative can be demonstrated to provide equal or better results, provided that such modification is not contrary to the public interest and that the purpose and intent of this chapter is observed.
(1) 
Requests for waivers. All requests for modifications or waivers shall be in writing and shall accompany and be a part of the tentative or final plan approval application. The request shall fully state the grounds and facts on which the request is based, the provision or provisions of this chapter involved, and the minimum modification necessary.
(2) 
The request for modification or waiver shall be referred to the Schuylkill Township Engineer for advisory comments.
(3) 
Written records of modifications or waivers. The Township shall maintain a written record of all actions on all requests for modifications or waivers.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included as an attachment to this chapter.
B. 
Variances.
(1) 
The Board of Supervisors may grant variances to one or more of the requirements set forth in § 252-103 or 252-105 of this PRD chapter. Requests for variances shall be made in writing as a part of the tentative plan application and shall be considered by the Board of Supervisors during the tentative plan hearing. Variances may be granted by the Board, provided that the following findings are made where relevant in a given case:
(a) 
There are unique physical circumstances or conditions, including irregularity, narrowness, or shallowness of lot size, of shape, or exceptional topographical or other physical conditions peculiar to the particular property, and that the unnecessary hardship is due to such conditions, and not the circumstances or conditions generally created by the provisions of this chapter in the neighborhood or district in which the property is located;
(b) 
That because of such physical circumstances or conditions there is no possibility that the property can be developed in strict conformity with the provisions of this chapter and that the authorization of a variance is therefore necessary to enable the reasonable use of the property under this chapter;
(c) 
That such unnecessary hardship has not been created by the appellant;
(d) 
That the variance, if authorized, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood or district in which the property is located, nor substantially or permanently impair the appropriate use or development of adjacent property, nor be detrimental to the public welfare; and
(e) 
That the variance, if authorized, will represent the minimum variance that will afford relief and will represent the least modification possible of the regulation in issue.
(2) 
In granting any variance, the Board may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it may deem necessary to implement the purpose of this chapter.

§ 252-117 Administration and enforcement; violations and penalties.

A. 
Guarantee of improvements. Prior to the release of the approved final plan for recording, the developer/applicant shall be required to post an improvement guarantee in the amount of 110% of all improvements, including inspections, as set forth in Article V of the MPC,[1] which article shall govern the amount, form and release of the security posted hereunder, and to execute and record a stormwater management best management practices operations and maintenance agreement.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10501 et seq.
B. 
Guarantee of maintenance. The applicant shall be required to post a maintenance bond in the amount of 15% of the cost of all dedicated improvements as set forth in Section 509(k) of the MPC[2] and shall maintain all such improvements in good condition for a period of 18 months from the date of acceptance of dedication by the Township.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10509(k).
C. 
As-built plans. The developer/applicant shall submit plans showing all changes from final plan submissions which have occurred during construction and an as-built plan of stormwater management facilities. As-built plans as well as as-built stormwater management calculations shall be submitted to the Township prior to the release of any improvement bond.
D. 
Development of the plan. All provisions of the development plan shall run in favor of the residents of the planned residential development but only to the extent provided in the development plan and in accordance with the terms of the development plan. The provisions may be enforced by law or equity by said residents in the development plan to act on their behalf. No provisions of the development plan shall be implied to exist in favor of residents of the planned residential development except as to those portions of the development plan which have been finally approved and have been recorded.
E. 
Public enforcement of provisions. All those provisions of the development plan authorized to be enforced by the Township under this section may be modified, removed, or released by the Township, except grants or easements relating to the service or equipment of a public utility, subject to the following conditions:
(1) 
No such modification, removal or release of the provisions of the development plan by the Township shall affect the rights of the residents of the planned residential development to maintain and enforce those provisions, at law or equity, as provided in this section.
(2) 
No modification, removal or release of the provisions of the development plan by the Township shall be permitted except upon a finding by the Board, following a public hearing called and held in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, that the same is consistent with the efficient development and preservation of the entire planned residential development and is not granted solely to confer a special benefit upon any person.
F. 
Residents of the planned residential development may, to the extent and in the manner expressly authorized by the provisions of the development plan, modify, remove or release their rights to enforce the provisions of the development plan, but no such action shall affect the right of the Township to enforce the provisions of the development plan in accordance with the provisions of this section.
G. 
The Zoning Officer appointed by the Board of Supervisors shall have the duty and the power and authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter. When written notice of a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter has been served by the Zoning Officer on the owner, agent, or occupant, contractor or builder of any property in a PRD, such violation shall be discontinued immediately.
H. 
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated the provisions of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Board of Supervisors, pay a judgment of not more than $500 per day plus all court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Township as a result thereof. All judgments, costs and reasonable attorneys' fees collected for the violation of this chapter shall be paid over to Schuylkill Township.
I. 
In case any building, sign, or structure is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted or maintained, or any building, sign, structure or land is used, or any hedge, tree, shrub or other growth is maintained in violation of any final plan approved under this chapter, in addition to other remedies provided by law, any appropriate action or proceeding, whether by legal process or otherwise, may be instituted or taken to prevent such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use, to restrain, correct or abate such violation, to prevent the occupancy of said building, structure, or land, or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises.