This district has been established and the regulations of this article enacted in support of the following purposes:
To establish a location for certain nonresidential uses which require access to high-volume roadway and which by their scale and nature are likely to attract customers and clients from outside of the Township in addition to Township residents;
To establish standards for such uses that will promote development that is environmentally responsible; protective of the public health, safety, and welfare; and aesthetically pleasing;
To preserve large lots for development as described in § 220-44A and, conversely, to prevent the subdivision of property into small lots that would preclude or discourage such development;
To assure the provision of lighting, landscaping, and other amenities that will enhance public safety and the aesthetic quality of the highway corridor;
To protect the health, safety, welfare, and morals of the community.
Uses by right.
Office buildings and office parks for professional, executive, and administrative uses; financial institutions; and governmental operations. In addition to those allowed by § 220-44A(10), permitted accessory uses are limited to retail sales (excluding uses prohibited by § 220-45), personal services, business services, fitness centers, eating and drinking establishments, private nursery schools and kindergartens, and child day-care facilities.
Research establishments and laboratories for product testing and/or development. No commercial manufacturing, production, or storage shall be permitted as part of such establishments. Production and storage facilities shall be limited to the production of prototypes and storage of materials necessary for research purposes. In addition to those allowed by § 220-44A(10), permitted accessory uses are limited to retail sales (excluding uses prohibited by § 220-45), personal services, business services, fitness centers, eating and drinking establishments, private nursery schools and kindergartens, and child day-care facilities.
Hotels and conference centers. In addition to those allowed by § 220-44A(10), permitted accessory uses are limited to retail sales (excluding uses prohibited by § 220-45), personal services, business services, bank branch offices, fitness centers and other indoor recreational facilities, eating and drinking establishments, and child day-care facilities.
Shopping centers, subject to the provisions of § 220-74C and D of this chapter. Within this C-2 District, shopping centers shall comply with the provisions of this article in lieu of the provisions of § 220-74A and B. Shopping centers in this C-2 District may include any combination of retail stores, shops, or service establishments for the conducting of any retail business or service, excluding uses prohibited by § 220-45; eating and drinking establishments; bank branches and other financial services; child day-care centers; movie theatres, excluding adult theatres; indoor amusement and recreational facilities; health clubs and fitness centers; and professional and administrative offices. Accessory uses permitted under § 220-44A(10) are also permitted.
Any combination of the above uses.
Animal hospital or veterinary facility without outdoor housing or penning of animals and subject to the provisions of § 220-89 of this chapter. Commercial kennels are prohibited in this zoning district.
Uses and structures clearly accessory to the above uses on the same lot as the principal use, including, but not necessarily limited to, garages and off-street parking areas in conformance with § 220-61, signs subject to the provisions of § 220-46K(5), outdoor recreational areas and facilities, and storage within completely enclosed structures.
Uses by conditional use.
Wholesale businesses, storage and warehousing establishment uses carried on within completely enclosed structures (off-street parking and loading facilities need not be within such a structure).
Nursing home, assisted living facility, or physical rehabilitation center subject to the provisions of § 220-80 of this chapter.
Outdoor storage shall be permitted solely as an accessory use to some commercial activity permitted in § 220-44A above and shall be located on the same lot as the principal commercial use.
Outdoor storage areas shall be completely surrounded by a fence. All gates shall be locking. The fencing, exclusive of the gate(s), shall be completely screened by a screen planting meeting the requirements of § 220-64 of this chapter.
Items stored in an outdoor storage area shall not be visible from any public right-of-way or from any public or private property other than the property upon which it is located.
Outdoor storage areas shall be permitted only within the rear yard. If an outdoor storage area is proposed for a corner lot (which, by definition, has no rear yard) the applicant shall demonstrate that the area has been sited to minimize the visual impact of the storage area upon surrounding properties and public roads.
Signs larger than otherwise permitted (up to an absolute maximum area of 250 square feet) may be permitted as a special exception where the design of such sign includes aesthetic elements that mitigate the impact of the sign on the surrounding lands and provide a visual enhancement to the community.
Variation from design requirements.
Within their reasonable discretion, the Board of Supervisors may approve minor variations from the design requirements of § 220-46, below, as a conditional use. Applicants for a conditional use of this type shall demonstrate that:
Uses by special exception. In the granting of any special exception, the Zoning Hearing Board shall, insofar as possible, determine compliance with the regulations of the supplementary regulations of this chapter. Furthermore, the Board shall attach such additional conditions that are reasonable and necessary to secure the public health, safety, and welfare and to advance the purposes of this district as stated above in § 220-43.
Any combination of permitted uses that does not meet the definition of a shopping center, subject to the following:
The lot proposed for such use shall meet all of the requirements of § 220-46 of this chapter; that is, a preexisting nonconforming lot and/or structure shall not accommodate more than one principal use.
The submission of a site plan at the time of the Zoning Hearing Board hearing showing how the design of the structure(s), parking area, lighting, and highway access will promote the public health, safety, and welfare in addition to creating an aesthetically pleasing facility. An artist's rendering shall not be acceptable in lieu of a site plan.
Any other use that the Zoning Hearing Board shall determine to be of the same general character as the uses permitted by these regulations.
The following uses shall not be permitted within this C-2 District, either as an independent use or as part of or within any development:
Lots proposed for development in accordance with this article shall have a minimum lot area of 10 acres. Two or more adjoining lots may be developed as a single project in accordance with this article, provided that their total combined area is not less than 10 acres and further provided that all affected lots are owned or are otherwise under the legal control of the same entity.
Area and bulk standards.
Any tract proposed for development under these provisions shall be contiguous, except that it may be divided by a public road other than U.S. Route 222 (SR O222).
Plans for development of a tract under these provisions shall be for the entire tract, except that final plans for a phased development may show only the phase proposed for final plan approval, provided that there exists an approved preliminary plan for the tract showing all phases and addressing the entire tract.
Developments proposed under the provisions of this article shall be connected to the public sanitary sewerage system. Water supply may be provided by an on-site system, a private community system, or by connection to the public water supply. The cost of such systems (or of connection to existing public systems) shall be borne by the developer. The water distribution system shall be designed to supply water to each structure proposed for human use or occupancy at such pressure and with main sizes and fire hydrant locations that comply with the specifications of the Insurance Services Office (ISO), or a successor agency thereto recognized by the Township.
Structures for human occupancy may exceed 35 feet in height, subject to compliance with the Uniform Construction Code, as amended. Such buildings shall have a minimum setback from all property lines equivalent to their height.
Traffic and access management.
Proposed developments that are expected to generate in excess of 1,000 daily vehicle trip ends on the day of greatest traffic volume shall provide not fewer than two points of access to the public road network. Such traffic estimate shall be in accordance with the Trip Generation publication of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, most recent edition.
Proposed developments that are expected to increase the volume of traffic on adjacent public roads by more than 15%, or which shall cause a D level of service or worse on adjacent public roads, shall be required to submit a traffic impact study as part of the proposal for land development (or subdivision, if applicable). Existing traffic counts shall be less than one-year old at the time that the study is submitted and shall be the documented field observations of a private traffic planning consultant, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Township, or the Berks County Planning Commission. Traffic estimates of proposed development shall be taken from the Trip Generation publication of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, most recent edition.
Any area not covered by buildings or other structures, loading or parking spaces and aisles, or sidewalks shall be landscaped and continually maintained in accordance with an overall landscape plan prepared by a registered landscape architect and approved by the Township.
The landscape plan may retain areas of healthy natural vegetation (such as woodlands or meadows) that existed upon the site prior to development activity, provided that the landscape plan includes a management plan for the care of such natural areas.
New planting materials shall be chosen to prevent soil erosion and subsequent sedimentation, and shall be disease-free and suitable for the local climate.
No landscaping other than grass cover is permitted within a utility right-of-way, or above any underground infrastructure elements such as sewer and water mains and laterals; gas mains and laterals; electric, telephone, and cable television lines; and other similar features.
Wherever the tract abuts land developed for residential use, a screen planting in accordance with § 220-64 shall be provided by the developer between the proposed development and the area of residential use.
Parking lots and loading areas. Parking lots and loading areas shall be designed and constructed in compliance with § 220-61 of this chapter. The following regulations are in addition to these requirements:
Parking lots shall incorporate a marked pedestrian circulation system, distinct from the vehicular circulation system.
In addition to any required screen planting, not less than 10% of the interior portion of the parking lot shall be landscaped and continually maintained in accordance with an overall landscape plan prepared by a registered landscape architect and approved by the Township.
Such landscaped areas shall be configured to promote pedestrian safety by defining walkways, to enhance motorist safety by defining traffic lanes and discouraging cross-lot taxiing, to act as a barrier against wind-borne debris and dust, to provide shade moderating microclimatic conditions, to reduce the volume and velocity of stormwater runoff, and to enhance the appearance of the parking area.
Landscaping shall not obstruct sight distances for motorists or pedestrians, nor shall such landscaping create any potential hazard to public safety.
Each individual plot of landscaping within a parking lot shall cover at least 50 square feet and shall have no side dimension less than five feet.
Landscaped areas shall be protected from the encroachment of vehicles by use of curbing, wheel stops, bollards, fencing, or other appropriate barriers.
Within and adjacent to parking lots, trees with large leaves which could clog storm drains should be avoided. Trees that are brittle, disease-prone, have low brachiation, have shallow root systems, which drop large fruit or much sap, or which are otherwise messy shall also be avoided. Except for trees native to the site which are being retained, all trees shall be healthy nursery stock with a minimum caliper of no less than 1.5 inches as measured three feet from the ground. Species suggested for use in parking areas are listed in the Landscape Guide found in the appendix of this chapter.
Editor's Note: Said appendix is included as an attachment to this chapter.
Projects proposed under the provisions of this C-2 District shall be designed to present an attractive, unified appearance appropriate to the high level of visibility afforded by the location of the district.
Projects may be built in phases, subject to the following conditions:
The preliminary land development plan must show all phases. Final plan submissions must be for one or more phases.
Phases numbers shall indicate the sequence by which final plans are to be submitted.
Each phase (except the last) must contain at least 25% of the gross floor area of the proposed project.
Projects may be designed as multiple structures.
Developers are encouraged to pursue innovative designs and original architecture that demonstrates sensitivity to the character of the land and to the Township in general. Projects should relate well to the highway and to their neighborhoods as well as demonstrate sensitivity to human scale and aesthetic considerations. Building surfaces of cinder block, rough-finished concrete, or corrugated metal shall not be visible from any public right-of-way or any adjoining property. Similarly, nondecorative fencing, where visible from a public right-of-way or adjoining property, shall be completely hidden from view by a screen planting that meets the requirements of § 220-64 of this chapter.