City of Monessen, PA
Westmoreland County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
If the Zoning Officer has reason to believe that the proposed use may have difficulty complying with the standards of this article, then the Zoning Officer may require an applicant to provide written descriptions of proposed machinery, hazardous substances, operations and safeguards. The applicant may specify that portions of such submittal shall be treated as confidential to be viewed only by City officials without a business interest in such matters, in order to protect proprietary information.
A. 
No landowner, tenant nor lessee shall use or allow to be used land or structures in a way that seriously threatens to or creates any of the following conditions:
(1) 
Communicable disease or other public health hazards, including activities that encourage the breeding of disease-prone insects or rodents.
(2) 
Significant physical hazards to the public, especially hazards that would be easily accessible by small children.
(3) 
Activity that prevents a neighboring landowner of ordinary sensitivities from making reasonable use of their property.
(4) 
Activity that creates a significant hazard to public health and safety because of serious explosive, fire, biological, biogenetic or toxic hazards.
(5) 
Activity that causes serious pollution to groundwaters or surface waters. See § 375-37.
B. 
It is the responsibility of every property owner to ensure that their property does not threaten public health or safety and to remove or alter any structure or situation that threatens the public health and safety. This includes but is not limited to structurally unsound structures, including those damaged by fire. The City does not accept responsibility to identify or address all such hazards.
C. 
Junk vehicles.[1]
[Added 10-15-2003 by Ord. No. 12-2003]
(1) 
Junk vehicle nuisances are not permitted on private property. It shall be unlawful for any person to store, accumulate, or allow to remain on any private property, any junk vehicle as defined in § 375-21.
(2) 
Furthermore, it is hereby declared that any junk vehicle located on private property, unless otherwise noted under exceptions, constitutes a threat to the public health and safety and is a nuisance. If any junk vehicle is kept upon private property in violation hereof, both the owner of the property and the person(s) occupying said property shall be notified of the violation and either or both may be subject to fines or penalties under the law.
(3) 
The only exceptions to junk vehicle nuisances are: the junk vehicle is stored inside an enclosed structure, not visible from the outside, such as a garage.
[1]
Editor’s Note: See also Ch. 367, Vehicles, Junk.
A. 
If the Zoning Officer, based upon review by the City Engineer or the County Conservation District or DEP or the Fish and Wildlife Service or the Army Corps of Engineers, has reason to believe that a portion of a site proposed to be altered may possibly meet the state or federal definitions of a wetland, the Zoning Officer may require the applicant to provide a study by a qualified professional delineating the locations of wetlands. However, the City accepts no responsibility to identify all wetlands or to warn all parties of such possibilities.
B. 
All permits of the City are issued on the condition that the applicant comply with federal and state wetlands regulations, and such permits may be revoked or suspended by the Zoning Officer for noncompliance with the regulations.
A. 
Purpose. To protect the water quality of surface waters, preserve physical access to surface waters in case of future public acquisition, minimize erosion and sedimentation, preserve the natural stormwater drainage system of the area, conserve sensitive wildlife and aquatic habitats, preserve vegetation along waterways that will help screen out eroded soil and other pollutants and provide for setbacks that can be used as required yard areas for a use.
B. 
Setbacks from Monongahela River. No construction of a new principal building, the expansion of an existing building, or commercial and industrial storage areas shall be located within 600 feet from the low waterline of the Monongahela River to the northerly right-of-way line of the former P. & L. E. Railroad (now known as the C.S.X. Railroad), without the prior review and approval of the Planning Commission. Furthermore, any new construction or expansion of existing facilities is prohibited in those areas designated as flood hazard areas on the FEMA Flood Insurance Program Maps, except those permitted uses as outlined in § 375-44. Flood-prone areas, Subsection D, Permitted and prohibited uses in the one-hundred-year floodplain.
[Amended 8-15-2012 by Ord. No. 5-2012]
C. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C, Exceptions, was repealed 8-15-2012 by Ord. No. 5-2012.
D. 
Setback areas and construction. During any filling, grading or construction activity, all reasonable efforts shall be made to leave the setback areas of this section undisturbed, except at approved waterway crossings.
A. 
Applicability. If an area of a lot including slopes of 15% or greater is proposed for construction of buildings, streets or driveways or nonagricultural grading, then the applicant shall submit a steep slope site plan to the Zoning Officer. These submittal requirements may be met by including the required information on subdivision/land development plans.
B. 
Plan. A steep slope site plan shall meet the following requirements:
(1) 
Show detailed slope contours for all areas that potentially may be disturbed and constructed upon.
(2) 
Identify all areas of 15% to 25% and greater than 25% slope.
(3) 
Be to scale (such as one inch = 50 feet).
(4) 
Show substantial areas of trees and dense vegetation proposed to be removed or preserved prior to or during the development of the use.
(5) 
Be stamped by a professional surveyor, professional engineer or registered landscape architect.
(6) 
Show proposed locations of principal buildings, streets, driveways, on-lot septic fields and other areas of soil disturbance. (If the exact location of these features is not definitely determined at the time of plan submittal, then the plan shall designate the outer limits of areas where such features may potentially be located. If different locations outside of the approved location would be proposed after approval of the site plan, then the applicant shall prove to the Zoning Officer that the revised location would still meet the requirements of this section.)
(7) 
State the maximum slope of proposed driveways and streets.
(8) 
Show an area of 20 feet around the proposed principal building locations.
C. 
Fifteen percent to 25%. If a proposed principal building and driveway location and any areas within 20 feet of such location on the lot include more than 1,000 square feet with 15% or greater slopes, but do not include more than 1,000 square with slopes greater than 25%, the following regulations shall apply, unless more restrictive regulations are stated elsewhere in this chapter:
(1) 
Minimum lot area of 10 acres per dwelling unit or per principal nonresidential use; and
(2) 
Maximum impervious coverage of 5%.
D. 
Greater than 25%. If a proposed principal building location and any areas within 20 feet of such location on the lot include more than 1,000 square feet with slopes greater than 25%, then the Zoning Officer shall not permit the construction of such principal buildings within the proposed location.
E. 
Erosion control. See § 375-43.
F. 
Grading; man-made slopes. No grading shall occur in such a way that would circumvent the requirements of this chapter, such as prior to submittal for a zoning or building permit or subdivision or land development approval. The steep slope requirements shall apply based on the slope of land at the time of the adoption of this chapter. This section shall not apply to man-made slopes that naturally were not 15% or greater slope.
G. 
Driveways. A new driveway shall not be built that would require cutting against contours through an area of 30% or greater natural slope for 75 feet or longer, measured in a straight line.
A. 
No substance shall be stored in such a way that it could be washed into the groundwater or surface water, if such substance could seriously contaminate groundwater or surface water or serious harm aquatic life of a waterway.
B. 
If a substance threatens groundwater or surface water contamination, it shall be stored within an impermeable containment. Such storage shall be surrounded if needed by a berm that would drain any spilled substance to a engineered collection area or other method approved in writing by the City Council or DEP.
C. 
All hazardous substances shall be properly labeled and shall be in compliance with the Pennsylvania Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 7301 et seq.
D. 
Brownfield remediation. The following shall apply to all land within the City of Monessen, along the riverfront between the shore of the Monongahela River and the former P. & L.E. Railroad right-of-way (now known as the C.S.X. Railroad):
[Added 8-15-2012 by Ord. No. 5-2012]
(1) 
To protect the health and well-being of the community, future residents, businesses and industries alike, a Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessment study shall be prepared and submitted to the Planning Commission for review and acceptance prior to construction work. Contaminated sites shall be identified and appropriate mitigation measures shall be identified and completed prior to the development of any site.
All methods of wastewater disposal shall meet requirements of DEP, the City Sewer Authority and the Official City Sewage Facilities Plan, as amended, as applicable.
A. 
No principal or accessory use or its operations shall generate a sound level exceeding the limits established in the table below, when measured at the specified locations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said table, Sound Level Limits by Receiving Land Use/District, is included at the end of this chapter.
B. 
The maximum permissible sound levels in the above table shall not apply to any of the following:
(1) 
Sound needed to alert people about an emergency.
(2) 
Repair or installation of utilities or construction of structures, sidewalks or streets.
(3) 
Household power tools and lawn mowers.
(4) 
Agricultural activities, including permitted raising of livestock, but not exempting a commercial kennel.
(5) 
Railroads, aircraft or vehicles operating on a public street.
(6) 
Public celebrations specifically authorized by the City Council or a county, state or federal government agency or body.
(7) 
Unamplified human voices or the sounds of pets.
(8) 
Ringing of bells and chimes by a place of worship.
No use shall generate vibration that is perceptible to an average person through their senses, without the use of measuring instruments, on private property beyond the exterior lot line of the use generating the vibration. This requirement shall not apply to occasional nonroutine blasting that may be necessary during construction of streets, structures and utilities.
A. 
No use shall generate odors or dust that are significantly offensive to persons of average sensitivities beyond the boundaries of the subject lot.
B. 
This restriction shall not apply to odors or dust created by permitted agricultural uses that are using normal farming practices within Act 133 of 1982, as amended, the State Right to Farm Act,[1] or an official Agricultural Security Area. This odor restriction shall apply to uses that do not follow the farming practices referenced in those state laws, such as if manure is not plowed under within a reasonable period of time.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 3 P.S. § 951 et seq.
A. 
Streetlighting exempted. This § 375-42 shall not apply to streetlighting that is owned, financed or maintained by the City or the state.
B. 
Glare. All lights and signs shall be designed and operated to reasonably minimize the amount of light and glare they generate onto residential lots and streets. All light sources, including signs, shall be properly diffused as needed with a translucent or similar cover to prevent exposed bulbs from being directly visible from streets, public sidewalks, dwellings or adjacent lots. All light sources, including signs, shall be shielded around the light source and carefully directed and placed to prevent the lighting from creating a nuisance to reasonable persons in adjacent dwellings and to prevent the lighting from shining into the eyes of passing motorists.
C. 
Height of lights. No luminaries, spotlight or other light source that is within 200 feet of a dwelling shall have a height exceeding 25 feet above the average surrounding ground level. This limitation shall not apply to lights needed for air safety nor lights intended solely to illuminate an architectural feature of a building.
D. 
Flickering. Flashing, flickering or strobe lighting are prohibited, except for nonadvertising seasonal lights between October 25 and January 10.
A. 
Grading and erosion plans. In advance of any earth disturbance (including grading, filling and excavation), other than crop farming, an appropriate sedimentation and erosion control and grading plans shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer if such work:
(1) 
Involves an area greater than 0.5 acre;
(2) 
Will create finished slopes greater than 3:1; or
(3) 
Involves alteration of areas with a natural slope in excess of 15%.
(4) 
These plans may be subject to reviews by the City Engineer and the County Conservation District.
B. 
Erosion. Earthmoving activities and the stripping of vegetation shall be held to a reasonable minimum to avoid erosion. All City permits are granted on the condition that state erosion and sedimentation regulations and any submitted erosion and sedimentation plan are complied with. Failure to comply with such regulations or plan shall be cause for suspension of City permits.
C. 
Drainage. The ground adjacent to a building shall be graded so that surface water will be drained away from such building and away from on-lot septic fields. Adequate stormwater control shall be used to protect buildings on the subject lot and all adjoining property. This shall include, but not be limited to, measures to prevent high-velocity, concentrated runoff from damaging other property and causing erosion.
D. 
Grading shall not be completed in such a way that soils, rocks or other debris are left in an unsightly fashion nor in a fashion that interferes with drainage, streets or utilities.
E. 
Fill. Materials used for fill as a future base for construction shall be nonbiodegradable, well compacted and provide a suitable and secure base.
F. 
Dumping. Outdoor dumping of junk or solid waste in other than an approved solid waste disposal facility, composting facility or junkyard is prohibited.
G. 
Stripping of topsoil. Sufficient topsoil to grow grass and similar vegetation shall remain on all land, except for areas approved to be paved.
[1]
Former § 375-44, Flood-prone areas, was repealed 1-15-2014 by Ord. No. 1-2014. This ordinance stated that “Subsections A through D and subparts have been superseded and replaced by Ordinance No. 1 of 2011.” See now Ch. 230, Floodplain Management.