Borough of Pottstown, PA
Montgomery 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

§ 500 Miscellaneous Regulations.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 500; as amended by Ord. 2042, 8/13/2007]
1. 
Two or more permitted uses shall not be permitted on one lot unless subdivision or land development approval is secured, unless these uses are unified and form one overall use conforming to the regulations of the district where it is located.
2. 
No lot shall have erected upon it two or more principal buildings unless permitted otherwise by this Chapter.
3. 
Any truck, trailer, compressor, or other piece of equipment used in connection with a commercial or manufacturing use, assuming the use is legal or is legally nonconforming, shall be considered an extension of that use when:
A. 
It is actually in use in performing some legitimate service at the site at which it is parked.
B. 
It is being used in connection with on-going construction or similar work at the site.
C. 
It is a motor vehicle under 20 feet in length and 5,000 pounds in weight and is being used as a private vehicle, even if equipment is attached to it or carried on it.
D. 
The truck or trailer is parked on the lot of the legal or legally nonconforming use.
E. 
The truck or trailer is parked on the street adjacent to the legal or legally nonconforming use.
F. 
It is parked within a completely enclosed garage.
4. 
No more than two boats, recreational vehicles, or similar vehicles may be parked on one lot in any zoning district. The only exception to this limit is for a sales and service center for such vehicles or a commercial storage business for such vehicles.
5. 
In no case shall any street or alley in the Borough be used for automobile repair or any other use other than public passage unless authorized by ordinance, license, or act of Borough Council.
6. 
Temporary buildings and structures for uses incidental to construction work shall be permitted, provided such buildings are removed promptly upon completion or abandonment of the construction work.
7. 
All fences in the Flex Office, Highway Business, and Heavy Manufacturing Districts shall conform to the following:
A. 
Fences shall be made of durable materials which shall be maintained in good condition. Fences shall be constructed and maintained so that the most aesthetic side shall face the exterior of the property. The requirement that the most aesthetic side shall face the exterior of the property shall not be applicable where fences are located upon abutting or contiguous private property lines.
B. 
A fence separating a wholly nonresidential use from any other wholly nonresidential use may not exceed 10 feet in height.
C. 
In the Highway Business and Flex Office Districts, no front yard fence may exceed four feet in height.
D. 
No fence shall be electrified or otherwise present a hazard to the public. Barbs and concertina wire shall be permitted in nonresidential districts only, seven feet in height and above.
8. 
Necessary or traditional accessory structures or architectural or structural features shall be exempted from applicable height regulations to the extent necessary. This exemption shall apply to spires, smokestacks, antennae, parapets, and the like.
9. 
All lots shall have frontage on a public street or a private street built to Borough-approved standards.
10. 
The placement of vending machines on any residentially used property as an accessory use is prohibited in all zoning districts.
[Added by Ord. 2085, 9/12/2011]
11. 
Yard sales located on and associated with residentially used properties (including the adjacent sidewalks) shall be prohibited in the following zoning districts: Downtown (D), Gateway East (GE), and Gateway West (GW).
[Added by Ord. 2085, 9/12/2011]

§ 501 Prohibited Uses.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 501]
1. 
Any use not permitted, specifically or by implication, in a zoning district in this Chapter is prohibited specifically in that zoning district. The following uses and activities are specifically prohibited in any zoning district in the Borough:
A. 
Residential structures without permanent foundations or without permanent connections to utilities.
B. 
Mobile homes other than those permitted within approved mobile home parks. A mobile home affixed permanently to a permanent foundation (that is to say the home cannot be removed from the foundation simply by unbolting, utility disconnection, and the severing of stabilizing attachments) and is connected to required utilities, no longer shall be classified a mobile home but shall be considered a conventional structure.
C. 
The showing or presenting of lewd material or entertainment in an outdoor setting or theatre.
D. 
Any depository for dead animals or any facility for animal slaughtering or rendering.
E. 
The tanning of hides.
F. 
Any facility designed or used for the purpose of raising or maintaining animals, including fowl, to be used for food.
G. 
The use of any land for the storage of:
(1) 
Motor vehicles not fully operable or not having current inspection and registration stickers.
(2) 
Vehicle parts, machinery or parts thereof.
(3) 
Scrap metals, wood, furniture, paper, rags, or any discarded material whatsoever unless a valid permit has been issued for it. This shall not include trash deposited in Borough approved containers and awaiting pickup for no more than one week.

§ 502 Performance Standards.

[Ord. 1968, 9/8/2003, § 502]
All uses allowed in the Conservation and Gateway Districts shall be managed so as not to cause an unacceptable level of:
A. 
Air pollution.
B. 
Noise.
C. 
Odor.
D. 
Glare or heat.
E. 
Vibration.
F. 
Radioactivity or electrical disturbance.
G. 
Fire or explosion hazard.
H. 
Outdoor storage.
I. 
Waste disposal.
DETAILS: For specific regulations, see Appendix A5, Section A502, located at the end of this Chapter.

§ 503 Solar Energy Equipment.

[Ord. 2064, 7/13/2009, § 2; as amended by Ord. 2085, 9/12/2011]
1. 
Purpose. The purpose of this Section is to provide standards for the use of solar energy equipment as accessory uses within the Borough of Pottstown. This Section seeks to protect properties from incompatible uses and to conserve and enhance property values, while promoting the use of alternative energy sources, where appropriate. This Section provides a process to facilitate the use of solar power in a manner that minimizes visual impacts of solar energy equipment and the potential for nuisance, in residentially zoned and mixed use areas in the Borough.
2. 
Definition. Solar energy equipment is defined as a solar photovoltaic panel, solar hot air or hot water panel collector device, or other type of energy system which relies upon solar radiation as a source for the generation of electricity or transfer of stored heat.
3. 
Accessory Use. Solar energy equipment shall be permitted as an accessory use in any zoning district upon receipt of a permit from the Zoning Officer.
4. 
Application for Zoning Permit. An applicant who seeks to install solar energy equipment shall submit an application for a zoning permit, as provided by the Borough. The application shall include photographs of the existing conditions of the property as well as renderings of the proposed solar energy equipment, a description of the screening to be provided for ground or wall-mounted solar energy equipment, an electrical permit and manufacturers specifications.
5. 
Review of Application. Upon receipt of a completed application for the installation of solar energy equipment, the Zoning Officer shall review the application and determine if a proposal meets the guidelines set forth in this Chapter, and if so, the Zoning Officer shall approve the application. The Zoning Officer shall have the authority to impose reasonable conditions to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare.
6. 
Criteria for the Use of Solar Energy Equipment in All Districts.
A. 
General.
(1) 
Solar energy equipment shall be located in the least visibly obtrusive location where panels would be functional.
(2) 
Solar energy equipment must comply with all setback and height requirements for the zoning district in which the property is located.
(3) 
Nonfunctioning solar energy equipment shall be repaired or replaced within three months of becoming nonfunctional.
(4) 
Solar energy systems shall be designed and located in order to prevent reflective glare toward any inhabited structure on adjacent properties, as well adjacent street rights-of-way.
(5) 
An applicant shall locate a solar energy system so that tree removal is not required to the extent practical. Any trees to be removed shall be accompanied by a plan demonstrating the need to remove trees and replacement of the trees.
B. 
Ground-Mounted Solar Energy Equipment.
(1) 
Solar energy equipment shall only be located in the side or rear yard of a property.
(2) 
Ground-mounted solar energy equipment may not exceed a height of 10 feet in height above the ground.
(3) 
Solar energy equipment must be substantially screened from public view (including adjacent properties and public rights-of-way) by fencing, plantings, or a combination thereof, as determined by the Zoning Officer.
(4) 
All exterior electrical and/or plumbing lines must be in placed in a conduit and buried below the surface of the ground.
(5) 
Solar energy equipment shall not block any required parking areas, sidewalks or walkways.
C. 
Roof- or Wall-Mounted Solar Energy Equipment.
(1) 
It is encouraged that roof-mounted solar energy equipment shall be installed in the plane of the roof (flush mounted) or made a part of the roof design (capping or framing is compatible with the color of the roof or structure). Mounting brackets shall be permitted if the applicant can demonstrate that the existing pitch of the roof would render the solar energy equipment ineffective or would be impossible.
(2) 
Solar energy equipment shall be located on a rear or side facing roof, as seen from the fronting street, unless the applicant can demonstrate that such installation would be ineffective or is impossible.
(3) 
Solar energy equipment shall not project vertically above the peak of the roof to which it is attached, or project vertically more than five feet above a flat roof.
(4) 
All exterior electrical and/or plumbing lines must be painted in a color scheme that matches as closely as reasonably possible the color of the structure and the materials adjacent to the lines.
7. 
In the event of a conflict between this Section and the provisions of Chapter 23 of the then-current version of the International Residential Code (IRC), the International Mechanical Code (IMC), and the National Electric Code (NEC) (hereinafter collectively referred to as "applicable codes"), then the applicable codes shall supersede this Section.

§ 504 Home Occupations.

[Ord. 2142, 11/9/2015]
1. 
Home occupations, as defined by this chapter, shall be permitted in all zoning districts. No-impact home occupations shall be permitted as of right. Major home occupations shall be permitted as a conditional use in all districts. The following types of conduct would be considered evidence of a home occupation within the Borough:
A. 
Use of any sign, circular, card, brochure, telephone book, magazine, newspaper, website, or any electronic media or other publication to advertise; or
B. 
By any other means representing that the person is in business in the Borough; or
C. 
Holding an active license or permit issued by a governmental agency indicating that the person is in business in the Borough.
2. 
No-impact home occupations shall be permitted as an accessory use if the home occupation satisfies the following requirements:
A. 
It shall be compatible with the residential use of the property and surrounding residential uses.
B. 
The exterior appearance of the structure or premises must be maintained as a residential property.
C. 
No exterior evidence of the activity in the form of lighting or the display, inventorying, or stockpiling of goods shall be visible.
D. 
No retail sales shall be conducted, with the exception of telephone and/or Internet solicitations and those products of the home occupation or items deemed accessory to or directly associated with the home occupation.
E. 
The principal practitioner of the home occupation must be a resident of the dwelling unit.
F. 
No more than one person not residing in the dwelling shall be employed at any given time by the practitioner of the home occupation.
G. 
Any activity may be conducted only within the principal dwelling unit and may not occupy more than 25% of the habitable floor area of the dwelling unit or 500 square feet, whichever is less.
H. 
The activity shall not require the delivery of materials and goods by a truck larger than standard panel trucks equipped with no more than one rear axle.
I. 
Manufacturing, repairing, or other mechanical work shall only be performed indoors.
J. 
Noise, dust, smoke, heat, radiation, hazardous substances, vibration, glare, fumes, odor, or electrical or electronic interference, including Wi-Fi, radio or television reception that is detectable in the neighborhood shall be prohibited.
K. 
The activity may not generate any solid waste or sewage discharge in volume or type that is not normally associated with residential use in the neighborhood.
L. 
No customer or client traffic, whether vehicular or pedestrian, and no pickup, delivery or removal functions to or from the premises, shall be in excess of those normally associated with residential use.
M. 
A resident practitioner shall demonstrate that adequate off-street parking exists for both the home occupation and the dwelling unit.
N. 
There shall be no more than one home occupation per dwelling unit.
O. 
The dwelling unit in which a home occupation is conducted shall have its own direct access to ground level.
P. 
There shall be no illegal activity.
Q. 
One sign, no larger than two square feet in area and consistent in all other respects with Chapter 27, Part 7, Signs, shall be permitted.
3. 
Major-impact home occupations shall be required to substantially meet all of the requirements for no-impact home occupations. In addition, the following additional and alternative requirements/restrictions shall be required and presented to the Borough Council as part of the conditional use hearing:
A. 
If the resident conducting the major home occupation is a tenant and not the owner of the property, the owner of the property shall be a party to the application for conditional use approval.
B. 
Such occupation may be located only within a single-family detached dwelling or within an accessory building located on the same lot as a single-family detached dwelling.
C. 
Such occupation may be conducted, in whole or in part, within an accessory building on the property. The total floor devoted to the major home occupation shall not exceed 25% of the floor area of the single-family detached dwelling or 600 feet, whichever is less.
D. 
The Borough Council may, as a condition of approval, require buffering or screening treatment along specific property lines where it determines the proposed conditional use will create off-site impacts in the form of noise, glare, proximity of use or associated parking area to neighboring properties, or other conditions directly related to public health, safety and welfare.
E. 
In no case shall a major home occupation be permitted on a lot with a gross lot area less than 15,000 square feet.
F. 
In addition, as part of the conditional use approval process, the applicant shall document, and the Borough Council shall specifically evaluate, the amount of customer, client and/or patient traffic anticipated to be generated by the proposed home occupation use. The level of such traffic may be greater than that associated with no-impact home occupation but will not exceed an amount that, as determined by the Borough Council, will disrupt the residential character of the neighborhood in which the property is located.
4. 
Registration/Permitting.
A. 
All home occupations shall register with the Department of Licensing and Inspections within six months of the effective date of this section. A failure to register, as required, shall be deemed an abandonment of any right to operate a nonconforming home occupation regardless of actual intent. Thereafter, any such home occupation will be required to obtain a permit and be treated as though it were a newly created home occupation.
B. 
No home occupation shall be established or maintained unless a permit is obtained from the Department of Licensing and Inspections.
(1) 
An application for a permit shall, at minimum, include the name, location, exact nature or kind of business for which the permit is being requested, and a copy of fictitious name registration or certificate of incorporation/organization as applicable.
(2) 
The fee for obtaining a permit shall be established by resolution of the Borough Council from time to time.
(3) 
The Department of Licensing and Inspections shall revoke any home occupation permit for noncompliance with this Section.
(4) 
The Department of Licensing and Inspections is hereby empowered to make rules and regulations consistent with the provisions of this Section.
5. 
Impermissible Home Occupations. Under no circumstances shall any of the following be considered home occupations: operation of a clinic, hospital, rooming house, restaurant, motel, hotel, animal hospital, boarding kennel, breeding kennel, rescue network kennel, mortuary, vehicle or boat repair or painting shop, construction equipment or material storage, equipment or vehicle rental, furniture sales, eating services, plumbing services, air-conditioning services, laboratory or taxidermy shop, private club, bar or restaurant, antique shops or any similar use.