Township of Warminster, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 689, 9/10/2009]
1. 
Unless a contrary intention clearly appears, the following words and phrases shall have, for the purpose of this chapter, the meanings given in the following clauses.
2. 
For the purpose of this chapter, words and terms used herein shall be interpreted as follows:
A. 
Words used in the present tense include the future.
B. 
The singular includes the plural.
C. 
The word "person" includes a corporation, partnership, and association, as well as the individual.
D. 
The word "lot" includes the word "plot" or "parcel."
E. 
The term "shall" is always mandatory.
F. 
The word "used" or "occupied," as applied to any land or building, shall be construed to include the words "intended, arranged or designed to be occupied."
G. 
The word "Supervisors" and the words "Board of Supervisors" always mean the Warminster Township Board of Supervisors.
H. 
The word "Commission" and the words "Planning Commission" always mean the Warminster Township Planning Commission.
I. 
The word "Board" or the words "Zoning Hearing Board" always mean the Warminster Township Zoning Hearing Board.
J. 
The words "Zoning Officer" always mean the Warminster Township Zoning Officer.
3. 
Any word or term not defined herein shall be used with a meaning of standard usage.
[Ord. 689, 9/10/2009]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY BUILDING
See "building."
ACCESSORY USE
See "use."
ALTERATIONS
As applied to a building or structure, a change or rearrangement in the structural parts, or an enlargement, whether by extending on a side or by increasing in height, or the moving from one location or position to another.
ALTERNATIVE THERAPY
Includes the following:
[Added by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
A. 
The practice of an individual who uses touch to manipulate the energy systems, acupoints, Qi meridians, or channels of energy of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics. Such practices include acupressure, Asian bodywork therapy, polarity therapy bodywork, quigon, reiki, shiatsu, and tui na.
B. 
Reflexology.
C. 
The practice of an individual who uses touch, words, and directed movement to deepen awareness of existing patterns of movement in the body and to suggest new possibilities of movement, while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics.
D. 
Any massage-like activity that does not meet the definition of "massage therapy" set forth hereinafter.
ALTERNATIVE THERAPY PROVIDER
Any establishment where alternative therapy is administered for the payment of a fee or other compensation or consideration, but not including: a hospital; nursing home; medical clinic; the office of a physician, surgeon, physical therapist, chiropractor, or osteopath currently licensed as such by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; barbershops or practices licensed by the Department of Cosmetology; or any athletic program of accredited junior and senior high schools or colleges in which a massage is administered by a trainer within the scope of such athletic program.
[Added by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
ANTENNA
Any system of wires, rods, discs, panels, flat panels, dishes, whips, or other similar devices used for the transmission or reception of wireless signals. An antenna may include and omnidirectional antenna (rod), directional antenna (panel), parabolic antenna (disc) or any other wireless antenna. An antenna shall not include "tower-based wireless communications facilities" defined below.
[Amended by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
A. 
The total of areas taken on a horizontal plane at the main grade level of the principal building and all accessory buildings, exclusive of uncovered porches, terraces, and steps.
B. 
The sum of the areas of the several floors of building structure, including areas used for human occupancy and basements, attics, and penthouses, as measured from the exterior faces of the walls. Within residential districts, "gross floor area" shall not include cellars, unenclosed porches, attics not used for human occupancy, or any floor space in accessory building or in the main building intended and designed for the parking of motor vehicles or any such floor space intended and designed for accessory heating and ventilating equipment.
[Amended by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
C. 
The area contained within the property lines of the individual parcels of land shown on a subdivision plan, excluding any area within a street right-of-way, excluding areas within any easement, excluding areas within the Floodplain Conservation District, and excluding any area required as open space under this chapter and any other areas as may be specifically excluded by the terms of this chapter.
[Amended by Ord. 737, 1/19/2017]
BASEMENT
A story partly underground, but having 1/2 or more of its height (measured from floor to ceiling) above the average level of the adjoining ground. A basement shall be counted as a story for the purpose of height measurement or determining square footage only if the vertical distance between the ceiling and the average level of the adjoining ground is more than four feet or if used for business or dwelling purposes.
BUFFER YARD
A strip of required yard space adjacent to the boundary of a property or district (including along rights-of-way) of a width not less than that designated by this chapter.
[Amended by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016; Ord. 737, 1/19/2017]
BUILDING
A structure having a roof which is used for the shelter or enclosure of persons, animals, or property. The word "building" shall include any part thereof.
A. 
A subordinate building located on the same lot as a principal building and clearly incidental and subordinate to the principal building, not to exceed a footprint of 500 square feet. Any portion of a principal building devoted or intended to be devoted to an accessory use is not an accessory building.
B. 
A building in which is conducted, or is intended to be conducted, the principal use of the lot on which it is located.
BUILDING COVERAGE
That percentage of the plot or lot area covered by the building area.
BUILDING HEIGHT
A vertical distance measured from the mean elevation of the proposed finished grade at the front of the building to the highest point of the roof for flat roofs, to the deckline of mansard roofs and to the mean height between eaves and ridge for gable, hip, and gambrel roofs.
A. 
The rear line of the minimum front yard, as herein designated for each use and each district, measured at a distance equal to and no greater than the minimum front yard from the street line.
B. 
A line parallel to the side lot line at a distance therefrom equal to the depth of the minimum side yard required.
C. 
A line parallel to the rear lot line at a distance from the rear lot line equal to the depth of the minimum rear yard required.
BUS SHELTER
A covered structure located at a designated bus stop that provides protection against the weather for people waiting for a bus.
[Added by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
CELLAR
A story partly underground and having more than 1/2 of its height (measured from floor to ceiling) below the average level of the adjoining ground. A cellar shall not be considered in determining the permissible number of stories or square footage, nor shall it be used for dwelling purposes.
CO-LOCATION
The placement or installation of new wireless telecommunications facilities on previously approved and constructed wireless support structures, including self-supporting or guyed monopoles or towers, electrical transmissions towers, water towers or any other structures that can support the placement or installation of wireless telecommunications facilities if approved by the municipality.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
DECISION
Final adjudication of any board or other body granted jurisdiction under any land use ordinance or this chapter to do so, either by reason of the grant of exclusive jurisdiction or by reason of appeals from determinations. All decisions shall be appealable to the Court of Common Pleas of the county and judicial district wherein the Township lies.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
The Department of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
[Added by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
DETERMINATION
Final action by an officer, body or agency charged with the administration of any land use ordinance or applications thereunder, except the following:
A. 
The Board of Supervisors.
B. 
The Zoning Hearing Board.
DISTRIBUTED ANTENNA SYSTEMS (DAS)
Network of spatially separated antenna sites connected to a common source that provides wireless service within a geographic area or structure.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
A. 
A building containing one or more dwelling units.
B. 
Any room or group of rooms located within a residential building and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating by one family.
C. 
A building having two or more dwelling units which may have either a common or independent outside access. Said units may be arranged horizontally, one above the other, or vertically separated by party walls. It is the intention to include within this definition of "multifamily dwelling" all recognized architectural types or structures accommodating two or more dwelling units in the same building, whether the individual units are for lease or sale.
D. 
(1) 
Only one dwelling unit from ground to roof;
(2) 
Independent outside access; and
(3) 
Open space on all sides.
E. 
A dwelling having only one dwelling unit from ground to roof and only one wall in common with another dwelling unit.
EMERGENCY
A condition that:
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
A. 
Constitutes a clear and immediate danger to the health, welfare, or safety of the public; or
B. 
Has caused or is likely to cause facilities in the rights-of-way to be unusable and result in loss of the services provided.
A. 
Any number of individuals living together on a nontransient basis as a single housekeeping unit and doing their cooking on the premises when said individuals are related by blood, marriage or adoption, including any number of foster children; no more than five unrelated individuals living together as a single housekeeping unit and doing their cooking on the premises, except when an application for a special exception to enable a greater number of unrelated individuals to occupy a dwelling is reviewed and approved by the Zoning Hearing Board, as provided herein. The definition of "family" shall not apply to the occupants of a club, fraternity house, lodge or residential club.
B. 
Notwithstanding the definition in the preceding subsection, "family" shall also be deemed to include any number of mentally or physically handicapped persons occupying a dwelling unit as a single, nonprofit housekeeping unit, if such occupants are handicapped persons as defined in Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Such unrelated individuals shall have the right to occupy a dwelling unit in the same manner and to the same extent as any family unit as defined in Subsection A of this definition.
[Amended by Ord. 737, 1/19/2017]
FCC
Federal Communications Commission.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
FLOOR AREA RATIO
The ratio of the gross floor area of a structure to the gross lot area, upon which the use and structure(s) is/are to be located. Total floor area includes the total floor space within a structure, except for those areas devoted to internal atriums.
GROSS LOT AREA
The aggregate total of all areas contained within the deeded or surveyed boundaries of a parcel of land.
HOOKAH BAR/LOUNGE
Any establishment that is dedicated, in whole or in part, to the smoking of a water pipe with a smoke chamber, a bowl, a pipe and a hose, commonly referred to as a "hookah," and also known as a narghile, argileh, shisha, hubble-bubble, and goza, or any similar device.
[Added by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
Surfaces which do not absorb water and which prevent the infiltration of water into the ground. Any area which has been or is proposed to be modified from grass, dirt, vegetation, wooded, or ground cover, including but not limited to the area of all buildings, streets, parking areas, driveways, roads, sidewalks, swimming pools, and any areas in concrete, asphalt, porous pavers, packed stone or other similar materials shall be considered impervious surfaces. Impervious surfaces also include other areas determined to be impervious by the Township Engineer.
[Amended by Ord. 737, 1/19/2017]
IMPERVIOUS SURFACE RATIO
Unless otherwise provided in Chapter 22, Subdivision and Land Development, the total area of all impervious surfaces within the lot divided by the lot area.
A. 
A lot which has an interior angle of less than 135° at the intersection of two street lines. A lot abutting upon a curved street or streets shall be considered a corner lot if the tangent to the curve at the points beginning within the lot or at the points of intersection of the side lot lines with the street lines intersect at an angle of less than 135°.
B. 
The mean distance from the street line of the lot to its opposite rear line, measured in the general direction of the sidelines of the lot.
C. 
A designated parcel, tract or area of land established by a plat or otherwise as permitted by law and to be used, developed or built upon as a unit.
D. 
The distance measured between the side lot lines at the required building setback line; in a case where there is only one side lot line, between such side lot line and the opposite rear lot line or street line.
E. 
An interior lot having frontage on two parallel or approximately parallel streets.
A. 
Any boundary line of a lot.
B. 
Any lot line which is parallel to or within 45° of being parallel to a street line, except for a lot line that is itself a street line, and except that, in the case of a corner lot, the owner shall have the option of choosing which of the two lot lines that are not street lines is to be considered a rear lot line. In the case of a lot having no street frontage or a lot of an odd shape, only the one lot line furthest from any street shall be considered a rear lot line.
C. 
Any lot line which is not a street line or a rear lot line.
D. 
See "street line."
027 Street Line.tif
E. 
Letters correspond to above definitions.
MASSAGE THERAPY
Any method of pressure on or friction against or stroking, kneading, rubbing, tapping, pounding, vibrating or stimulating of the external soft parts of the body with hands or with the aid of any mechanical or electrical apparatus, with or without such supplementing aids as rubbing alcohol, liniments or other similar preparations commonly used in this practice. The term does not include the diagnosis or treatment of impairment, illness, disease, or disability, a medical procedure, a chiropractic manipulation - adjustment, physical therapy mobilization - manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, or prescription of medicines for which a license to practice medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, occupational therapy, podiatry or other practice of the healing arts is required or any other area licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
[Added by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
MASSAGE THERAPY CENTER
Any establishment where massage therapy is administered for the payment of a fee or other compensation or consideration, but not including: a hospital; nursing home; medical clinic; the office of a physician, surgeon, physical therapist, chiropractor, or osteopath currently licensed as such by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; barbershops or practices licensed by the Department of Cosmetology; or any athletic program of accredited junior and senior high schools or colleges in which a massage is administered by a trainer within the scope of such athletic program.
[Added by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACT
Act 16 of 2016, 35 P.S. § 10231.101 et seq.
[Added by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY
A person, including a natural person, corporation, partnership, association, trust or other entity, or any combination thereof, which is registered by the Department of Health under the Medical Marijuana Act to dispense medical marijuana. The term does not include a health care medical marijuana organization under Chapter 19 of the Medical Marijuana Act.
[Added by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
MEDICAL MARIJUANA GROWER/PROCESSOR
A person, including a natural person, corporation, partnership, association, trust, or other entity, or any combination thereof, which is registered by the Department of Health under the Medical Marijuana Act to grow and process medical marijuana. The term does not include a Health Care Medical Marijuana Organization under Chapter 19 of the Medical Marijuana Act.
[Added by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
MOBILE HOME
A transportable, single-family dwelling intended for permanent occupancy, contained in one unit or in two or more units designed to be joined into one integral unit capable of again being separated for repeated towing, which arrives at a site complete and ready for occupancy, except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations, and constructed so that it may be used without a permanent foundation.
MOBILE HOME LOT
A parcel of land in a mobile home park, improved with the necessary utility connections and other appurtenances necessary for the erection thereon of a single mobile home.
MOBILE HOME PARK
A parcel, or contiguous parcels, of land which has been so designated and improved that it contains two or more mobile home lots for the placement thereon of mobile homes.
MONOPOLE
A WCF or site which consists of a single pole structure, designed and erected on the ground or on top of a structure, to support communications antennas and connecting appurtenances.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY
A body politic and corporate created pursuant to the Act of May 2, 1945 (P.L. 382, No. 164), known as the "Municipalities Authority Act of 1945," 53 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 5601 through 5623, as amended.
[Amended by Ord. 737, 1/19/2017]
NONCONFORMING LOT
A lot, the area or dimension of which was lawful prior to the adoption or amendment of this chapter, but which fails to conform to the requirements of the zoning district in which it is located by reason of such adoption or amendment.
NONCONFORMING STRUCTURE
A structure or part of a structure which does not comply with the applicable area, setback, yard, building height, location, size, impervious surface, and/or other dimensional requirements of this chapter or amendment heretofore or hereafter enacted, where such structure lawfully existed prior to the enactment of this chapter or amendment. Such nonconforming structures include, but are not limited to, nonconforming signs.
NONCONFORMING USE
A use, whether of land or of a structure, which does not comply with the applicable use provisions in this chapter or amendment heretofore or hereafter enacted, where such use was lawfully in existence prior to the enactment of this chapter or amendment or prior to the application of this chapter or amendment to its location by reason of annexation.
NON-TOWER WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY (NON-TOWER WCF)
All non-tower wireless communications facilities, including, but not limited to, antennas and related equipment. Non-tower WCF shall not include support structures for antennas and related equipment.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
PERSONS
Individuals, corporations, companies, associations, joint stock companies, firms, partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations and other entities established pursuant to statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, provided that "person" does not include or apply to the Township or to any department or agency of the Township.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
A. 
See "building."
B. 
See "use."
PUBLIC HEARING
A formal meeting held pursuant to public notice by the Board of Supervisors or Planning Commission, intended to inform and obtain public comment, prior to taking action in accordance with this chapter.
PUBLIC MEETING
A forum held pursuant to notice under the Act of October 15, 1998 (P.L. 729, No. 93), known as the "Sunshine Act," 65 Pa.C.S.A. § 701 et seq.
[Amended by Ord. 737, 1/19/2017]
PUBLIC NOTICE
Notice published once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Township. Such notice shall state the time and place of the hearing and the particular nature of the matter to be considered at the hearing. The first publication shall not be more than 30 days and the second publication shall not be less than seven days prior to the date of the hearing.
REPORT
Any letter, review, memorandum, compilation or similar writing made by any body, board, officer or consultant other than a solicitor to any other body, board, officer or consultant for the purpose of assisting the recipient of such report in the rendering of any decision or determination. All reports shall be deemed recommendatory and advisory only and shall not be binding upon the recipient, board, officer, body or agency, nor shall any appeal lie therefrom. Any report used, received or considered by the body, board, officer or agency rendering a determination or decision shall be made available for inspection to the applicant and all other parties to any proceeding upon request, and copies thereof shall be provided at cost of reproduction.
RIGHT-OF-WAY or ROW
The surface of and space above and below any real property in the Township in which the Township has a regulatory interest, or interest as a trustee for the public, as such interests now or hereafter exist, including, but not limited to, all streets, highways, avenues, roads, alleys, sidewalks, tunnels, viaducts, bridges, skyways, or any other public place, area or property under the control of the Township, and any unrestricted public or utility easements established, dedicated, platted, improved or devoted for utility purposes, but excluding lands other than streets that are owned by the Township. The phrase "in the right(s)-of-way" means in, on, over, along, above and/or under the right(s)-of-way.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
SIGN
See Part 23 of this chapter.
SOBER LIVING FACILITY
Facilities where six or more individuals reside together, either voluntarily or by court order, for the purpose of recovering from drug, alcohol, and/or substance abuse, and which serves as an interim environment between rehabilitation facilities/hospitalization and reintegration to independent living. The term shall include recovery houses and halfway houses.
[Added by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
SPECIAL EXCEPTION
A use permitted in a particular zoning district pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and Articles VI and IX of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. §§ 10601 et seq., and 10901 et seq.
STEALTH TECHNOLOGY
Camouflaging methods applied to wireless communications towers, antennas and other facilities which render them more visually appealing or blend the proposed facility into the existing structure or visual backdrop in such a manner as to render it minimally visible to the casual observer. Such methods include, but are not limited to, architecturally screened roof-mounted antennas, building-mounted antennas painted to match the existing structure and facilities constructed to resemble trees, shrubs, and light poles.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
STORY
That part of a building located between a floor and the floor or roof next above. The first story of a building is the lowest story having 75% or more of its wall area above ground level. A half story is a story under a gable, hip or gambrel roof, the wall plates of which on at least two opposite exterior walls are not more than two feet above such story.
STREET
Includes street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, freeway, parkway, lane, alley, viaduct or any other ways used or intended to be used by vehicular traffic or pedestrians, whether public or private.
STREET LINE
The dividing line between the street and the lot. The street line shall be the same as the legal right-of-way line, provided that the street right-of-way line shall be not less than 25 feet from the center line of any road or street, and, where a future right-of-way width for a road or street has been officially established, then the street right-of-way line shall be the sideline of the future right-of-way so established.
STRUCTURE
Any man-made object having an ascertainable stationary location on or in land or water, whether or not affixed to the land.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
A. 
Any increase in the height of a wireless support structure by more than 10%, or by the height of one additional antenna array with separation from the nearest existing antenna not to exceed 20 feet, whichever is greater, except that the mounting of the proposed wireless communications facility may exceed the size limits set forth herein if necessary to avoid interference with existing antennas; or
B. 
Any further increase in the height of a wireless support structure which has already been extended by more than 10% of its originally approved height or by the height of one additional antenna array.
TAVERNS
An establishment that primarily serves alcoholic beverages to the general public for on-premises consumption, is licensed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and where food sales account for less than 55% of the establishment's gross income. This definition includes, but is not limited to, beer gardens, bars, bar rooms, pubs, cocktail lounges, saloons, taprooms, and nightclubs. "Restaurants" (as defined in this chapter) that serve alcoholic beverages but are primarily engaged in the retail sale of prepared food are not included in this definition. This term shall not include any type of adult business activity as defined in this chapter.
[Added by Ord. 733, 9/15/2016]
TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT BUILDING
The building in which the electronic receiving and relay equipment for a cellular telecommunications facility is housed.
[1]
TOWER-BASED WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY (TOWER-BASED WCF)
Any structure that is used for the purpose of supporting one or more antennas, including, but not limited to, self-supporting lattice towers, guy towers and monopoles, utility poles and light poles. DAS hub facilities are considered to be tower-based WCFs.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
TOWNSHIP
Warminster Township, Bucks County, PA.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
A. 
A use located on the same lot with a principal use and clearly incidental or subordinate to, and customary in connection with, the principal use.
B. 
The main use on a lot.
C. 
Any activity, occupation, business or operation carried on, or intended to be carried on, in a building or other structure or on a tract of land.
WIRELESS
Transmissions through the airwaves, including, but not limited to, infrared line of sight, cellular, PCS, microwave, satellite, or radio signals.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY (WCF)
The antennas, nodes, control boxes, towers, poles, conduits, ducts, pedestals, electronics and other equipment used for the purpose of transmitting, receiving, distributing, providing, or accommodating wireless communications services.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY APPLICANT (WCF APPLICANT)
Any person that applies for a wireless communication facility building permit, zoning approval and/or permission to use the public ROW or other Township-owned land or property.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
WIRELESS SUPPORT STRUCTURE
A freestanding structure, such as a tower-based wireless communications facility or any other support structure that could support the placement or installation of a wireless communications facility if approved by the Township.
[Added by Ord. 718, 3/20/2014]
VARIANCE
Relief granted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and Articles VI and IX of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
YARD
An open space unobstructed from the ground up, on the same lot with a structure, extending along a lot line or street line and inward to the structure. The size of a required yard shall be measured as the shortest distance between the structure and a lot line or street line.
A. 
A yard between any structure and a street line and extending the entire length of the street line. In the case of a corner lot, the yards extending along all streets are front yards. In the case of a lot other than the corner lot that fronts on more than one street, the yards extending along all streets are front yards.
[Amended by Ord. 737, 1/19/2017]
B. 
A yard between a structure and a rear lot line and extending the entire length of the rear lot line.
C. 
A yard between a structure and a side lot line, extending from the front yard to the rear yard. In the case of a lot having no street frontage or a lot of odd shape, any yard that is not a front yard or a rear yard shall be considered a side yard.
[1]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "tower," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 3/20/2014 by Ord. 718.