Borough of Zelienople, PA
Butler County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Five-year rule. When an application for approval of a plat, whether preliminary or final, has been approved or approved subject to conditions acceptable to the applicant, no subsequent change or amendment in the zoning, subdivision or other governing ordinance or plan shall be applied to affect adversely the right of the applicant to commence and to complete any aspect of the approved development in accordance with the terms of such approval within five years from such approval. Where final approval is preceded by preliminary approval, the five-year period shall be counted from the date of the preliminary approval. In the case of any doubt as to the terms of a preliminary approval, the terms shall be construed in the light of the provisions of the governing chapters or plans as they stood at the time when the application for such approval was duly filed.
B. 
Substantial completion rule. Where the landowner has substantially completed the required improvements as depicted upon the final plat within the aforesaid five-year limit, or any extension thereof as may be granted by the governing body, no change of municipal ordinances or plan enacted subsequent to the date of filing of the preliminary plat shall modify or revoke any aspect of the approved final plat pertaining to zoning classification or density, lot, building, street or utility location.
C. 
Schedule of work. In the case of a preliminary plat calling for the installation of improvements beyond the five-year period, a schedule shall be filed by the landowner with the preliminary plat, delineating all proposed sections as well as deadlines within which applications for final plat approval of each section are intended to be filed. Such schedule shall be updated annually by the applicant or before the anniversary of the preliminary plat approval until final plat approval of the final section has been granted, and any modification in the aforesaid schedule shall be subject to approval of Council, in its discretion.
D. 
Failure to adhere to schedule. Failure of the landowner to adhere to the aforesaid schedule of submission of final plats for the various sections shall subject any such section to any and all changes in zoning, subdivision and other governing ordinances enacted by the Borough subsequent to the date of the initial preliminary plan submission.
Where a plan is given an approval with conditions, the applicant shall provide a written acceptance of said conditions within 30 days of the date on which the Borough provided required notice of approval to the applicant. Failure of the applicant to provide such acceptance within the aforesaid timeline shall result in an automatic rescinding of the plan approval.
All major plans shall, upon final approval, require the execution of a developer's agreement, prepared by or under the direction of the Borough Solicitor and at a minimum containing the following information. The plans shall be recorded at the Butler County Recorder of Deeds at the expense of the developer before any permits are issued on the site:
A. 
All recording information relating to the subject site.
B. 
Inclusion of approved land development plans as an attachment, where applicable.
C. 
All conditions applied by Council.
D. 
Timeline of development related and referenced to the financial security posted as remedy to the developer's failure to adhere to said timeline and improvements.
E. 
Assignment of the agreement's obligations to the developer's heirs and assigns.
F. 
Seal by a notary public, the Borough, and the developer's corporation, where one exists.
G. 
Reference to the certificate of completion required by this chapter.
H. 
Requirement that covenants shall be recorded prior to the issuance of building permits on the site.
I. 
Where a record plat is not associated with the plan, a copy of the proposed conditions plan shall be attached to the developer's agreement.
J. 
The agreement shall be produced in a format recordable at the Butler County Recorder of Deeds.
No plat or developer's agreement shall be signed or released, nor shall any permit be issued for related subdivisions or land developments, unless all public and private improvements are installed or until financial security is provided as follows.
A. 
The developer may post a performance bond with a federal or commonwealth chartered lending institution, irrevocable letters of credit, and restrictive or escrow accounts in such lending institutions or other forms of financial security acceptable to the Borough. Such other forms shall be posted with a bonding company or federal or commonwealth chartered lending institution chosen by the party posting the financial security, provided said bonding company or lending institution is authorized to conduct such business within the commonwealth.
B. 
The performance bond shall guarantee construction prior to a date also specified in the developer's agreement and through the plan approval. The bond shall renew or guarantee the availability of funds to the Borough at least until 30 days beyond said date.
C. 
The amount of financial security to be posted for the completion of the required improvements shall be equal to 110% of the cost of completion estimated as of 90 days following the date scheduled for completion by the developer. Annually, the Borough may adjust the amount of the financial security by comparing the actual cost of the improvements that have been completed and the estimated cost for the completion of the remaining improvements as of the expiration of the 90th day after either the original date scheduled for completion or a rescheduled date of completion. Subsequent to said adjustment, the Borough may require the developer to post additional security in order to assure that the financial security equals said 110%. The developer shall post any additional security in accordance with this section.
D. 
The amount of financial security required shall be based upon an estimate of the cost of completion of the required improvements, submitted by an applicant or developer and prepared by a professional engineer licensed as such in this commonwealth, and certified by such engineer to be a fair and reasonable estimate of such cost. The Borough, upon the recommendation of the Municipal Engineer, may refuse to accept such estimate for good cause shown. If the applicant or developer and the Borough are unable to agree upon an estimate, then the estimate shall be recalculated and recertified by another professional engineer licensed as such in this commonwealth and chosen mutually by the Borough and the applicant or developer. The estimate certified by the third engineer shall be presumed fair and reasonable and shall be the final estimate. In the event that a third engineer is so chosen, fees for the services of said engineer shall be paid equally by the Borough and the applicant or developer.
E. 
If the party posting the financial security requires more than one year from the date of posting of the financial security to complete the required improvements, the amount of financial security may be increased by an additional 10% for each one-year period beyond the first anniversary date from posting of financial security or to an amount not exceeding 110% of the cost of completing the required improvements as reestablished on or about the expiration of the preceding one-year period by using the above bidding procedure.
F. 
In the case where development is projected over a period of years, the Borough may authorize submission of final plats by section or stages of development, subject to such requirements or guarantees as to improvements in future sections or stages of development as it finds essential for the protection of any finally approved section of the development.
G. 
As the work of installing the required improvements proceeds, the party posting the financial security may request the Borough to release or authorize the release, from time to time, of such portions of the financial security necessary for payment to the contractor or contractors performing the work. Any such requests shall be in writing addressed to the Borough, and the Borough shall have 45 days from receipt of such request within which to allow the Municipal Engineer to certify, in writing, to the Borough that such portion of the work upon the improvements has been completed in accordance with the approved plat. Upon such certification, the Borough shall authorize release by the bonding company or lending institution of an amount as estimated by the Municipal Engineer fairly representing the value of the improvements completed or, if the Borough fails to act within said forty-five-day period, the Borough shall be deemed to have approved the release of funds as requested. The Borough may, prior to final release at the time of completion and certification by its Engineer, require retention of 10% of the estimated cost of the aforesaid improvements.
A. 
The developer shall submit two recordable Mylars to the Borough for the application of all signatures and seals required, in a form as approved by Council at final plan approval.
B. 
Upon the completion of conditions specified in the approval, posting of required bonding or construction of improvements, and execution of the developer's agreement, the Borough may affix all signatures to a plat. In the case where a recordable plat is signed, the Borough shall require the deposit of an escrow to be released upon the delivery of a recorded Mylar to the Borough. The escrow shall be determined by resolution or ordinance and shall be sufficient to cover the costs of obtaining a Mylar copy of the recorded document.
C. 
Upon the approval of a final plat, within 90 days of such final approval or 90 days after the date of delivery of an approved plat signed by Council following completion of conditions imposed for such approval, whichever is later, the developer shall record the plan at the Butler County Recorder of Deeds. Failure to do so shall rescind approval. The Plan Administrator shall, upon request of the applicant and filing of any application fee required by the Borough via resolution or ordinance, reinstate the signatures and final approval dates if said request is made within an additional 90 days following the aforesaid deadline.
A. 
When the developer has completed all of the necessary and appropriate improvements, the developer shall notify the Borough, in writing, by certified or registered mail, of the completion of the aforesaid improvements and shall send a copy thereof to the Borough Engineer. The Borough shall, within 10 days after receipt of such notice, direct and authorize the Borough Engineer to inspect all of the aforesaid improvements. The Borough Engineer shall, thereupon, file a report, in writing, with the Borough, and shall promptly mail a copy of the same to the developer by certified or registered mail. The report shall be made and mailed within 30 days after receipt by the Borough Engineer of the aforesaid authorization from Council; said report shall be detailed and shall indicate approval or rejection of said improvements, either in whole or in part, and if said improvements or any portion thereof shall not be approved or shall be rejected by the Borough Engineer, said report shall contain a statement of reasons for such rejection.
B. 
Council, based upon the Borough Engineer's report, shall take action to approve or reject, in whole or in part, the aforesaid improvements and shall notify the developer within 15 days of receipt of the Engineer's report, in writing, by certified or registered mail, of Council's action with relation thereto.
C. 
Failure of Council to act within the aforementioned timeline shall constitute a deemed approval of the improvements.
D. 
The Borough shall require the posting of a maintenance bond for all public improvements, including recreational equipment, to be dedicated to the Borough. The bond shall equal 15% of the accepted cost of construction accepted by the Borough Engineer and developer and approved by Council at final approval and shall be posted for a period of 18 months from the date of acceptance of said improvements. The bond or bonds shall be posted prior to the acceptance of any related public improvements.
A. 
Where private improvements, excepting streets and related stormwater facilities, are approved, including but not limited to landscaping, private recreational facilities, the developer may separately post an amenities bond for the private improvements in the same manner and under the same criteria, requirements, and dispute resolution options afforded public improvements, outlined in § 240-36.
B. 
Release of amenities bonds. The developer shall follow all procedures outlined in § 240-35.
C. 
Council, through the adoption of this chapter, authorizes the Borough Engineer to finally approve the release of said bonds. The Engineer shall provide a report in accordance with the timelines outlined in § 240-36, except that, where the report does not contain a final decision, said decision shall be mailed to the developer via certified or registered mail within 15 days of the mailing of said report.
Nothing in this article, however, shall be construed to limit the developer's right to contest or question, by legal proceedings or otherwise, any determination of Council or the Borough Engineer.
A. 
All land developments shall require a certificate of completion prior to the issuance of occupancy permits for establishments or dwelling units therein.
B. 
The developer shall submit a formal request, in writing, to the Borough Manager.
C. 
The Manager shall direct the Plan Administrator and Borough Engineer to review the completeness of all improvements related thereto and the fulfillment of any outstanding conditions imposed through Council's conditional approval.
D. 
Final acceptance of public improvements and private amenities shall occur prior to the issuance of a certificate of completion.
E. 
The Manager, based upon the reports of the Plan Administrator and Borough Engineer, shall issue or deny the issuance of the certificate of completion within 20 days of the submitted request.
A. 
Upon completion of the public and/or private improvements in a plan, as-built plans and profiles of the public and/or private improvements, as constructed, shall be filed with the Plan Administrator by the developer within 10 days of the mailing of the formal remittance accepting the construction of public or private improvements. A sepia and print of each as-built drawing for public improvements shall be submitted. As-built plans and profiles shall be marked "as-built" and shall contain the final grade of all sanitary and storm sewers and appurtenances.
B. 
Additionally, as-built plans shall be submitted in a digital format, as required by the Borough, in a manner formatted to State Plane, 1983 Datum.
C. 
As-built drawings shall be submitted prior to the issuance of a certificate of completion or Council's acceptance, by ordinance, of public streets or recreational facilities.