Borough of Lansdowne, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[1]
Editor's Note: For complete details, see Appendix A4.
Lansdowne is divided into zoning districts listed in the chart below:
A. 
Lansdowne's traditional, primarily residential neighborhoods are grouped together in a Neighborhood Conservation District Overlay.
B. 
Lansdowne's traditional commercial core, the Central Business District, and Baltimore Avenue east of Lansdowne Avenue are in the Downtown District Overlay.
C. 
The general commercial areas adjacent to historic neighborhoods in the vicinity of the intersection of Baltimore and Union Avenues and southeast Lansdowne are in the General Business District Overlay.
D. 
Special rules also apply in a floodplain, areas with steep slopes, and in proximity to the Lansdowne train station.
Districts
Neighborhood Conservation
NR
Neighborhood Residential District
TN
Traditional Neighborhood District
NB
Neighborhood Business District
Downtown
CBD
Central Business District
BAM
Baltimore Avenue Mixed Use District
General Business
GB
General Business District
Special Overlay
TOD
Transit Oriented Development Overlay District
Conservation Overlays
FP
Floodplain Overlay District
SS
Steep Slopes Overlay District
An official map is on file in the Lansdowne Borough Municipal Building. This map is a part of this chapter and shall be known as the "Lansdowne Borough Zoning Map." Where there is any uncertainty, contradiction, or conflict as to the location of any zoning district boundary, the Zoning Officer shall make an interpretation.
This chapter shall not apply to any building, use of real property or extension thereof, of or by the Borough of Lansdowne, if at any time hereafter the Council of the Borough of Lansdowne shall, after a public hearing (14 days' notice of which shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Borough stating time and place of hearing), decide that such building or use or extension thereof is reasonably necessary for the convenience or welfare of the public.
A. 
Within all zoning districts, the Borough shall regulate:
(1) 
The proposed demolition of any building with a footprint larger than 150 square feet.
(2) 
Any proposed addition to an existing building, including its size, height, and design.
(3) 
The size, height, and design of any new building.
(4) 
The location of any new building on a lot.
(5) 
The location and design of parking lots for three or more spaces.
(6) 
The location, size, and design of fences.
B. 
Within all zoning districts, the Planning Commission shall review:
(1) 
Any major alteration of a facade of any building visible from a public street.
Within all zoning districts:
A. 
Any applicant who seeks to demolish a building, construct a building, construct an addition to an existing building, alter a facade, or erect a fence shall submit an application provided by the Borough. The application shall include the information described in Article III, Applications, of this chapter.
(1) 
If the Zoning Officer determines the application meets the applicable provisions contained in §§ 330-15 and 330-16 of this chapter, he or she shall issue a zoning permit for the work.
(2) 
If there is any question as to whether the application meets the applicable guidelines set forth in §§ 330-15C and 330-16C, the Zoning Officer shall refer the matter to the Lansdowne Borough Planning Commission to review the application and either recommend approval or recommend alternatives to the applicant. Recommendations shall be advisory only and shall not be considered as grounds for approving or denying an application.
(3) 
No zoning permit shall be issued until the applicant has formally acknowledged s/he has received the recommendations of the Planning Commission. However, if the proposed change conforms to the requirements of this chapter other than those set forth in §§ 330-15C and 330-16C, the Building Code and all other applicable state and Borough ordinances, the Zoning Officer shall issue a zoning permit for the work. The Zoning Officer shall act on all zoning permit applications within 90 days of receiving them.
A. 
The provisions of this section shall apply to the following two classifications of historic structures:
(1) 
Class I: a structure that meets the definition of "historic structure" as established in Article II, Definitions.
(2) 
Class II: a structure that can be documented to be at least 50 years old to the satisfaction of the Zoning Officer and which may potentially qualify for classification as a Class I historic structure due to its architectural or historical significance.
B. 
The demolition of any existing historic structure should be considered a last resort, only after the applicant can either:
(1) 
Demonstrate that no other viable alternatives for reuse of the structure exist. This would include:
(a) 
An analysis of the structure's adaptive reuse feasibility.
(b) 
Evidence that no feasible reuse has been found within an eighteen-month period.
(c) 
Evidence that no sales or rentals have been possible during an eighteen-month period of significant marketing; or
(2) 
Demonstrate that demolition of a structure is an unavoidable and integral part of a construction scheme affecting a larger area than the structure in question, which will, in the opinion of Borough Council, provide substantial public benefit.
C. 
No structure or portion of a structure shall be demolished until plat and design review of any proposed new structures has been conducted by the Lansdowne Borough Planning Commission and approved by Borough Council.
A. 
Intent.
(1) 
It is the intent of the Neighborhood Conservation District to incorporate and utilize the requirements and provisions of Sections 603, 604, and 605 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act 247 of 1968, as amended,[1] to create such Zoning Ordinance provisions that will:
(a) 
Promote, protect, and preserve areas of historic significance.
(b) 
Promote, protect, and facilitate preservation of areas with historic values.
(c) 
Regulate the uses of structures at, near, or along places having unique historical architectural interest or value as contemplated by the relevant provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. §§ 10603, 10604 and 10605.
(2) 
Lansdowne Borough is almost fully built out. Less than 1% of the Borough's total land area is vacant. Therefore, the majority of future development in Lansdowne will involve the renovation and alteration of existing buildings and the construction of new buildings interspersed with existing development.
(3) 
Changes in the appearance of existing buildings and new construction interspersed with existing historic buildings have a powerful impact on the established character and the social and economic well-being of the residents and property owners of Lansdowne.
(4) 
One of Lansdowne's greatest assets is its heritage. Its oldest neighborhoods were built more than 100 years ago, in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Nearly all of Lansdowne's residential areas are at least 50 years old.
(5) 
Through participation in numerous plans and studies, and more recently through the comprehensive planning process, the people of Lansdowne have said they want to preserve and enhance the traditional small-town character of the Borough. They like its rich architecture and its neighborhood feel, with sidewalks, street trees, and mixture of houses, offices and stores within walking distance of each other.
(6) 
Lansdowne currently has two historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Lansdowne Park Historic District and the Henry Albertson Subdivision. Two individual properties are also listed, the Lansdowne Theatre and the Twentieth Century Club, while the Penn Wood High School has been considered eligible for listing by the Pennsylvania Bureau for Historic Preservation and can be placed on the register once the application process is completed. In addition, the Central Business District is designated as a local historic district under Pennsylvania Act 167.
(7) 
The emphasis of this chapter is to preserve existing desirable development, ensure that new infill development is compatible with the existing, and generally enhance Lansdowne's traditional community character by establishing effective guidelines and controls concerning design, access, screening, signage, environment, walkability, and property maintenance. Lansdowne's traditional residential neighborhoods are incorporated into the Neighborhood Conservation District Overlay with the following purposes:
(a) 
Preserve the architectural integrity of traditional residential areas.
(b) 
Ensure that new buildings are compatible with existing traditional areas.
(c) 
Find viable uses for old buildings that are no longer suitable for their original use.
Neighborhood Conservation District Summary Chart
This chart is designed for quick reference only. Specific requirements are stated in §§ 330-15B, Development standards, and 330-15C, Design guidelines.
Development Standard
Existing Buildings
New Buildings
Demolition
Applicant must demonstrate there is no viable alternative.
Design review required for new buildings replacing demolished structures.
Building placement
Should have the same average setbacks as existing buildings on the same block within a radius of 250 feet.
Building size and width
Should be the same average size as existing buildings on the same block within a radius of 250 feet, or appear to be from the street.
Building height
Should be the average height of existing buildings on the same block within 250 feet.
Proportion of building walls to openings
Window and door openings visible from the street in existing historic buildings should not be enlarged or reduced.
The proportion of walls to openings on walls visible from the street should be from 2:1 to 1:1.
Accessory buildings
Garages should be the same general size, height, and placement as existing garages and similar accessory buildings on the same block within 250-foot radius. Storage sheds shall be no larger than 100 square feet.
Fences and walls
Restrictions on materials for front and side fences facing a street.
Height:
Restrictions on materials for front and side fences facing a street.
Height:
Front fences: 3 feet
Front fences: 3 feet
Side fences facing street: 4 feet
Side fences facing street: 4 feet
Interior side and rear fences: 6 feet
Interior side and rear fences: 6 feet
Parking lots
Should be located to the rear of buildings whenever possible. If not possible, to the side of buildings. Access should be from alley or side street whenever possible.
Should be located to the rear of buildings whenever possible. If not possible, to the side of buildings. Access should be from alley or side street whenever possible.
Design Guideline
Existing Buildings
New Buildings
Style of architecture
Retain architectural styles whenever possible.
Shall be compatible with the architectural style of existing historic structures.
Base, body, cap
Should have base, body, and cap similar to adjoining or adjacent buildings.
Building form
Buildings should match the majority of existing buildings on the same block as either vertical or horizontal form.
Texture and pattern of exterior materials
New materials, such as siding, should appear similar to original materials. No vinyl siding over brick or stone walls.
Exterior building materials should be compatible with the materials used in nearby historic structures.
Additions
Additions should be at the rear, in very few cases the side, but not the front. Additions should be similar in form, scale and materials to existing building.
Porches
Front porches and side porches facing a street should not be enclosed. If closure is absolutely necessary, the original elements, including proportion of walls to openings, must be retained.
Porches needed on new buildings if adjacent buildings on the block have porches facing the street. The new porches should be similar in form, scale, and materials to existing porches.
B. 
Development standards. When reviewing applications for permits within the Neighborhood Conservation District Overlay, the Borough shall apply the development standards in Subsections B(1) through (5) below:
(1) 
Building placement.
(a) 
Setback from the street.
[1] 
The distance of a new principal building from the curb of the street shall be either:
[a] 
The average distance of the existing buildings on the same block facing the same street within a radius of 250 feet; or
[b] 
The same distance as at least 30% of the buildings on the same block facing the same street within a radius of 250 feet.
[2] 
This distance may be adjusted by as much as 30%, unless all buildings on the same block facing the same street have the same setback. This distance also applies to additions to existing buildings.
Traditional streetscape with consistent setbacks.
(b) 
Setback from other buildings.
[1] 
The minimum distance between any new principal building and existing buildings shall be:
[a] 
The average distance between the existing buildings on the same block facing the same street within a radius of 250 feet.
[2] 
This distance may be adjusted as much as 30%. This distance also applies to additions to existing buildings.
(c) 
Setback from rear lot line.
[1] 
The minimum distance of any new principal building from the rear lot line shall be:
[a] 
The average rear yard distance of the existing buildings on the same block facing the same street within a radius of 250 feet.
[b] 
This distance may be adjusted by as much as 50%. This distance also applies to additions to existing buildings.
How to Measure Distances
Distances can either be measured in the field or by using maps available at Lansdowne Borough Hall.
Examples:
Setback from curbline: A property owner wishes to subdivide the open lot at the intersection of McKinley and Wycombe Avenues, shown below, and construct a new building. Using the 1909 Mueller map, we see there are 16 buildings facing the street on the block. At least 30% of the buildings are placed 20 feet back from the curb, so the new building may be placed 20 feet back from the curb. Alternately, we can add the setbacks of all 16 buildings and divide by 16 to get an average setback of 25 feet from the curb, which may be adjusted by as much as 30%, for a possible setback of 17.5 feet to 32.5 feet from the curb.
Setback from other buildings: Measuring the total distance between the 16 buildings on the block and dividing by 16, we reach an average distance of 11.6 feet. This can be adjusted by as much as 30%, so a new building may be placed, as a minimum distance, 8 feet from neighboring buildings.
Setback from rear lot line: Measuring the total distance of the existing 16 buildings from their rear lot line and dividing by 16, we reach an average distance of 65 feet. This figure may be adjusted by 50%, so a new building may be placed, as a minimum distance, 33 feet from the rear lot line.
[2] 
A 1909 Mueller map of Lansdowne Borough shows the footprint of every building on McKinley Avenue. The block has remained that way for over 90 years and still looks the same today. Note the buildings are generally proportionate in size, shape, setback from the street, and side yards.
(d) 
Setbacks in undeveloped areas. In cases where a new principal building is proposed in an area of the Borough where no block structure exists or where there are fewer than four existing principal buildings on the block facing the same street, the applicant shall use the closest block within the same zoning district with at least four principal buildings facing the same street to determine the size, setbacks and height of new buildings.
(e) 
Setbacks for corner lots. For buildings to be constructed at the intersection of two streets, the setback for the side of the building shall be:
[1] 
The average distance of the existing buildings adjacent to the same corner; or
[2] 
The same distance as at least one of the buildings adjacent to the same corner.
(2) 
Building size.
(a) 
A new building or an existing building with a new addition shall be either:
[1] 
The average size of other buildings on the same block facing the same street within a radius of 250 feet; or
[2] 
The average size of at least 30% of the buildings on the same block facing the same street within a radius of 250 feet.
[3] 
The average size as determined in Subsection B(2)(a)[1] or [2] above may be adjusted as much as 30%.
(b) 
A new building, or an existing building with a new addition, may be 30% to 100% larger than other buildings facing the same block as a special exception use if the applicant can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Zoning Hearing Board that the facade of the new building will be compatible with existing buildings on the block regarding:
[1] 
Form, either horizontal or vertical.
[2] 
Base, body, cap.
[3] 
Scale.
[4] 
Texture and pattern of materials.
[5] 
Proportion of walls to openings.
(c) 
In all cases, the new building or existing building with a new addition must conform to the side yards and setbacks in Subsection B(1), Building placement, the height limitations in Subsection B(3), Building height, and meet all other provisions of this chapter.
(3) 
Building height. Building height is the vertical distance from the grade at the front of the building to the top of the roof for buildings with flat roofs. For other buildings, the perceived height is measured as illustrated below. Cupolas, towers, or turrets of less than 50 square feet are not counted when measuring height. The height of new buildings shall be either:
(a) 
Within 15% of the perceived height of the buildings on either side of the new building; or
(b) 
Within 15% of the average perceived height of buildings facing the same side of the block within a radius of 250 feet.
(4) 
Proportion of building walls to openings. The number and size of windows and doors in a building strongly affect its appearance. The amount of open space in a wall can be expressed as a ratio. For example, a building with twice as much wall space as windows and doors would have a two-to-one ratio. Most of Lansdowne's historic buildings have a wall-to-openings ratio between two-to-one and one-to-one. Some new buildings have walls that are largely glass or largely wall. To be compatible with Lansdowne's existing buildings, they should have wall-to-openings ratios between two-to-one and one-to-one.
This building has a wall-to-opening ratio of approximately 5 to 1 and is not compatible with Lansdowne's traditional buildings.
This traditional building has a wall-to-opening ratio of approximately 1 to 1.
(a) 
Development standard for existing buildings.
[1] 
If windows and doors are replaced, the new ones shall use the same space as the windows and doors they are replacing. They shall not create a larger or smaller opening in the wall. If the property owner can demonstrate that the current doors and windows are not original, the facade may be restored to its original proportion of wall to opening.
(b) 
Development standard for new buildings or additions.
[1] 
A new building must have a proportion of wall to opening ranging from two-to-one to one-to-one.
(c) 
Dark-tinted or reflective glass in windows is prohibited.
(5) 
Fences and walls.
(a) 
Development standard.
[1] 
All fences must meet the standards set forth in the table below:
Location
Maximum Height
Material
Front yard
3 feet
• Brick
Side yard adjacent to a street (not including alleys)
4 feet
• Ornamental iron
• Ornamental aluminum or steel designed to look like iron
Rear yard adjacent to a street (not including alleys)
• Stone
• Wood in the form of a picket fence
• Vinyl designed to look like wood in the form of a picket fence
• Vinyl designed to look like iron
Interior side yard or rear yard
6 feet
• Any common fence material
Tennis or similar athletic court
12 feet
C. 
Design guidelines. When reviewing applications for permits within the Neighborhood Conservation District Overlay, the Borough shall consider the design guidelines in Subsections C(1) through (6) below:
(1) 
Style of architecture.
(a) 
Lansdowne Borough encourages property owners to rehabilitate existing historic structures rather than redesign them. In the vast majority of cases, the best design is the building's original design.
(b) 
The following illustrations demonstrate many of the details that define the characteristics of Lansdowne buildings. The most important part of any building is its facade, the front of the building facing the street.
(c) 
Design guideline for existing buildings. Lansdowne Borough encourages property owners, whenever possible, to retain or repair original architectural features such as cornices, lintels, windows and doors. If these features cannot be repaired, they should be replaced with reproductions of the originals. If this is not feasible, they should be replaced with features that are similar in size and scale to the original. The facade is the most important part of the building to conserve in its original form.
(d) 
Design guideline for new buildings. New buildings in the Neighborhood Conservation District Overlay shall be designed so that they are compatible with architectural styles of surrounding historic structures.
(2) 
Base, body, and cap.
(a) 
The front facade of most Lansdowne buildings have three primary components:
[1] 
Base: a portion of a building foundation, or in the case of stores, the first floor of a building, which is distinct from the upper floors.
[2] 
Body: one or more architecturally similar stories that are distinct from the base.
[3] 
Cap: the roof of a building, including a cornice or parapet where the body of the building ends.
(b) 
Design guideline for existing buildings.
[1] 
For renovations and alterations, a distinct base, body and cap should be retained.
(c) 
Design guideline for new buildings.
[1] 
Each new building should have a distinct base at street level, a body with a consistent character for the main or upper stories, and a cap.
[2] 
The base, body and cap should roughly line up with the base, body, and cap of adjoining buildings.
(3) 
Building form.
(a) 
Buildings are usually either vertical or horizontal in shape. For example, Victorian-era buildings are usually vertical — narrow and tall.
(b) 
In the Victorian era, even very wide buildings often appear to be vertical because their windows and doors are taller than they are wide, and they are grouped together vertically.
(c) 
Another method to make a wide building appear vertical is to break the facade into separate sections through the use of setbacks.
(d) 
In Lansdowne's western neighborhoods, split-level homes constructed in the years following World War II are horizontal — wider than they are tall.
(e) 
Design guideline. New buildings shall match adjacent traditional buildings to determine whether they will have a vertical or horizontal orientation. If a new building is considerably larger than adjoining vertical buildings, its facade shall be divided into vertical sections.
These split-level homes in Lansdowne's western suburbs are horizontal — wider than they are tall.
(4) 
Texture and pattern of materials. New buildings should be constructed of durable and easily maintained materials such as stone, brick, precast concrete, masonry or metal, and in keeping with the surrounding pattern of construction. Undesirable materials include false masonry, vinyl siding, and asphalt shingles.
(5) 
Additions.
(a) 
Because facades are so important to the appearance of a building, additions should be avoided at the front of a building. Whenever possible, additions should be constructed at the rear of a building, or the least conspicuous side. The more visible the addition from the street, the more important compatibility becomes.
(b) 
Design guideline. When reviewing proposals for additions, the Borough shall judge its suitability based on:
[1] 
Placement.
[2] 
Height.
[3] 
Scale.
[4] 
Proportion of walls to openings.
[5] 
Form.
[6] 
Texture and pattern of exterior materials.
[7] 
Architectural style.
(6) 
Porches.
(a) 
Porches are a common element of many traditional Lansdowne homes. They are semienclosed with a roof attached to the building and supported by columns, allowing people to sit outdoors protected from the elements.
(b) 
Occasionally property owners will enclose a porch to provide more living space, but it is almost always at the cost of degrading the appearance of the building.
(c) 
Design guideline.
[1] 
Front porches and side porches that face a street shall not be enclosed, except by glass or screens that leave intact the original elements of the porch — the open space, the railings, columns and roof.
[2] 
When columns and railings need replacement, they shall be replaced with the same materials as the original or materials that are similar in appearance to the original. Wrought iron or aluminum columns shall not replace wooden elements. Wooden railings and columns shall be painted.
Some examples of appropriate, well-designed enclosed porches.
D. 
Use regulations.
(1) 
Neighborhood Residential District (NR).
(a) 
Intent: to preserve and enhance the Borough's existing traditional neighborhoods that consist primarily of single-family detached dwellings.
(b) 
Uses permitted by right:
[1] 
Dwelling, single-family detached.
[2] 
No-impact home-based business.
(c) 
Uses permitted by special exception, subject to Article V:
[1] 
Place of worship.
[2] 
Family day-care home.
[3] 
Professional offices.
[4] 
Public parks.
[5] 
Group living arrangements.
[6] 
School, elementary or secondary.
(d) 
Accessory uses:
[1] 
Off-street parking (subject to Article VIII, Parking).
[2] 
Signs (subject to Article VII, Signs).
[3] 
Private recreational uses.
[4] 
Home occupation.
[5] 
Garage (private).
[6] 
Storage sheds.
[7] 
Noncommercial greenhouses.
[8] 
Doghouse, kennel or other similar quarters.
[9] 
Not more than one room may be used as a bedroom by boarders who are not members of the immediate family that resides in a principal single-family residential use.
(e) 
Minimum lot area:
[Added 1-7-2009 by Ord. No. 1236]
[1] 
The minimum lot area shall be 10,000 square feet.
(2) 
Traditional Neighborhood District (TN).
(a) 
Intent: to preserve and enhance the Borough's traditional neighborhoods that are primarily residential but have a limited number of commercial and office uses interspersed with the housing.
(b) 
Uses permitted by right:
[1] 
Dwelling, single-family detached.
[2] 
Dwelling, single-family semidetached.
[3] 
No-impact home-based business.
(c) 
Uses permitted by special exception, subject to Article V:
[1] 
Place of worship.
[2] 
Family day-care home.
[3] 
Professional offices.
[4] 
Public parks.
[5] 
Group living arrangements
[6] 
School, elementary or secondary.
[7] 
Dwelling, attached (townhome/row home).
[8] 
Dwelling, two-family detached (duplex).
(d) 
Existing building special exception uses, subject to Article V:
[1] 
Any existing apartment/condominium building:
[a] 
Office as a single use or with apartments/condominiums on upper floors.
(e) 
Accessory uses:
[1] 
Off-street parking (subject to Article VIII, Parking).
[2] 
Signs (subject to Article VII, Signs).
[3] 
Private recreational uses.
[4] 
Home occupation.
[5] 
Garage (private).
[6] 
Storage sheds.
[7] 
Noncommercial greenhouses.
[8] 
Doghouse, kennel or other similar quarters.
[9] 
Not more than one room may be used as a bedroom by boarders who are not members of the immediate family that resides in a principal single-family residential use.
(f) 
Minimum lot area:
[Added 1-7-2009 by Ord. No. 1236]
[1] 
Single-family detached dwellings: 6,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[2] 
Single-family semidetached dwellings: 3,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[3] 
Single-family attached dwellings: 2,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit (allowed by special exception).
[4] 
Two-family detached dwellings: 6,000 square feet minimum per two-family structure (allowed by special exception).
[5] 
Apartment and office building: 21,780 square feet minimum per principal structure (as allowed by special exception for existing apartment/condominium buildings).
[6] 
All other uses: 6,000 square feet per structure.
(3) 
Neighborhood Business District (NB).
(a) 
Intent: to preserve and enhance the Borough's traditional neighborhood business districts with a variety of pedestrian-oriented uses including retail, personal service, business, and professional uses that primarily serve the surrounding residential neighborhoods.
(b) 
Uses permitted by right:
[1] 
All uses permitted by right in the Central Business District.
[2] 
Retail store.
[3] 
Personal services.
[4] 
Restaurant (sit-down).
[5] 
Business or professional office.
[6] 
Bank or financial institution.
[7] 
Artist's studios or dance studios.
[8] 
Restaurants, fast-food, excluding drive-through service.
[9] 
Dwelling, single-family detached or semidetached, when proposed as a replacement for a previously existing dwelling of similar type.
(c) 
Uses permitted by special exception, subject to Article V:
[1] 
Outdoor storage of items for sale.
(d) 
Prohibited uses:
[1] 
Automobile-related uses including the sale, rental, painting, washing or repair of motor vehicles.
[2] 
Automobile service stations and automobile fuel stations.
[3] 
Adult entertainment uses.
[4] 
Fortune-telling establishments.
[5] 
Pawnshops.
[6] 
Tattoo and/or body piercing establishments.
[7] 
Off-premises advertising signs.
[8] 
Vending machines.
[9] 
Parking lots and garages, when not an accessory use.
[10] 
Institutional uses, including hospitals and churches, synagogues and mosques and other places of worship.
[11] 
Massage parlors.
[12] 
Indoor amusement places, including arcades.
[13] 
Nail salons.
[14] 
Community centers.
[15] 
Family day-care home, group day-care home or day-care center.
[16] 
Hotel or motel.
[17] 
Check-cashing establishments.
(e) 
Accessory uses:
[1] 
All accessory uses permitted in the Central Business District (CBD).
(f) 
Minimum lot area:
[Added 1-7-2009 by Ord. No. 1236]
[1] 
Single-family detached dwellings: 6,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[2] 
Single-family semidetached dwellings: 3,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[3] 
All other uses: 6,000 square feet per structure.
A. 
Intent.
(1) 
To preserve and enhance downtown Lansdowne's traditional character by preserving and enhancing existing, traditional buildings and architecture and ensuring that new infill development is compatible with the existing.
(2) 
To incorporate and utilize the requirements and provisions of Sections 603 and 604 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act 247 of 1968, as amended,[1] to create such Zoning Ordinance provisions that will:
(a) 
Promote, protect, and preserve areas of historic significance.
(b) 
Promote, protect, and facilitate preservation of areas with historic values.
(c) 
Regulate the uses of structures at, near, or along places having unique historical architectural interest or value as contemplated by the relevant provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. §§ 10603 and 10604.
(3) 
The physical design of a commercial district contributes greatly to the overall image of the community; each has its own unique cultural qualities to attract residents, customers and visitors. The distinctive characteristics of buildings of varying ages make commercial corridors assets and are often one of the most interesting and satisfying aspects of the street. On a commercial corridor, facades built in the 19th century may exist alongside those built in the mid-20th century. Often, commercial structures started as residences and were later converted to shops. Thus, building features from one period were reconfigured to that of another, simply to keep up with architectural fashion. If the resulting appearance shows quality craftsmanship and is pleasing in proportions, composition and details, then the facade is a valuable visual resource for the corridor. Thoughtfully designed new construction and improvements to existing buildings reinforce the positive identity of a community's retail core and create a "sense of place" that is distinct to the neighborhood.
(4) 
The emphasis of this chapter is to preserve existing desirable development, ensure that new development is compatible with the existing, and generally enhance Lansdowne's traditional community character by establishing effective guidelines and controls concerning design, access, screening, signage, environment, walkability, and property maintenance.
(5) 
Lansdowne's traditional commercial neighborhoods are incorporated into the Downtown District with the following purposes:
(a) 
Preserve the architectural integrity of Lansdowne's traditional commercial core.
(b) 
Ensure that new structures are compatible with existing traditional buildings.
(c) 
Find viable uses for old buildings that are no longer suitable for their original use.
Downtown District Summary Chart
This chart is designed for quick reference only. Specific requirements are stated in § 330-16B and C (Development Standards and Design Guidelines).
Development Standard
Existing Buildings
New Buildings
Demolition
Applicant must demonstrate there is no viable alternative.
Design review required for new buildings replacing demolished structures.
Building placement
Buildings should be sited up to the sidewalk, not set back from the property line.
Building size and width
New construction should be consistent with the pattern of small-scale storefronts. Where new construction has a large street frontage, facades should be articulated to reflect the character of multiple storefronts.
Building height
2-story minimum along Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenues. Within 15% of average height of buildings within 250-foot radius.
Proportion of building walls to openings
Window and door openings visible from the street in existing historic buildings should not be enlarged or reduced.
Facades should include windows and doors that provide a minimum 40% transparency.
Accessory buildings
Garages should be the same general size, height, and placement as existing garages and similar accessory buildings on the same block within 250-foot radius. Storage sheds shall be no larger than 100 square feet.
Fences and walls
Restrictions on materials for front and side fences facing a street.
Height:
Restrictions on materials for front and side fences facing a street.
Height:
Front fences: 3 feet
Side fences facing street: 4 feet
Interior side and rear fences: 6 feet
Front fences: 3 feet
Side fences facing street: 4 feet
Interior side and rear fences: 6 feet
Parking lots
Should be located to the rear of buildings whenever possible. If not possible, to the side of buildings. Access should be from alley or side street whenever possible.
Should be located to the rear of buildings whenever possible. If not possible, to the side of buildings. Access should be from alley or side street whenever possible.
Design Guideline
Existing Buildings
New Buildings
Architectural styles
Retain original architectural elements and styles whenever possible.
Shall be compatible with the architectural style of existing historic structures.
Base, body, cap
Should have base, body, and cap similar to adjoining buildings. The scale, rhythm, cornice height and fenestration of new construction should be consistent with surrounding buildings.
Texture and pattern of exterior materials
New materials, such as siding, should appear similar to original materials. No vinyl siding over brick or stone walls.
Exterior building materials should be compatible with the materials used in nearby historic structures.
Additions
Additions should be at the rear, in very few cases the side, but not the front. Additions should be similar in form, scale and materials to existing building.
B. 
Development standards. When reviewing applications for permits under this chapter, the Borough shall apply the development standards in Subsections B(1) through (8) below:
(1) 
Building placement.
(a) 
Setback from the street.
[1] 
Build-to line. A building shall have a minimum front yard setback of zero feet and a maximum setback of five feet from the front property line. A setback may be increased to 20 feet from the front property line for the purposes of a courtyard, plaza, square, recessed entrance, or an outdoor dining area [see Subsection B(6), Outdoor dining, for standards] adjacent to the public street.
[2] 
At corner locations, buildings shall be built to the property line of both the main commercial street (Baltimore or Lansdowne Avenue) and the adjacent side street to anchor the street corner. Whenever possible, the entrance shall be located on the corner with an appropriate building articulation, such as a chamfered corner, turret, canopy, or other similar building feature.
Buildings shall be built to the sidewalk. The streetscape is framed by the buildings, which create the "outdoor room" character of the street.
(b) 
Setback from other buildings.
[1] 
The minimum distance between any new principal building and existing buildings shall be:
[a] 
The average distance between the existing buildings on the same block facing the same street within a radius of 250 feet.
[b] 
This distance may be adjusted as much as 30%. This distance also applies to additions to existing buildings.
How to Measure Distances
Distances can either be measured in the field or by using maps available at Lansdowne Borough Hall.
Examples:
• Setback from other buildings: Measuring the total distance between the 16 buildings on the block and dividing by 16, we reach an average distance of 11.6 feet. This can be adjusted by as much as 30%, so a new building may be placed, as a minimum distance, 8 feet from neighboring buildings.
• Setback from rear lot line: Measuring the total distance of the existing 16 buildings from their rear lot line and dividing by 16, we reach an average distance of 65 feet. This figure may be adjusted by 50%, so a new building may be placed, as a minimum distance, 33 feet from the rear lot line.
[2] 
A 1909 Mueller map of Lansdowne Borough (below) shows the footprint of every building on McKinley Avenue. The block has remained that way for over 90 years and still looks the same today. Note the buildings are generally proportionate in size, shape, setback from the street, and side yards.
(c) 
Setback from rear lot line. The minimum distance of any new principal building from the rear lot line shall be:
[1] 
The average rear yard distance of the existing buildings on the same block facing the same street within a radius of 250 feet.
[2] 
This distance may be adjusted by as much as 50%. This distance also applies to additions to existing buildings.
(d) 
Setbacks in undeveloped areas. In cases where a new principal building is proposed in an area of the Borough where no block structure exists or where there are fewer than four existing principal buildings on the block facing the same street, the applicant shall use the closest block within the Central Business District with at least four principal buildings facing the same street to determine the size, setbacks and height of new buildings.
(2) 
Building size.
(a) 
A new building or an existing building with a new addition shall be either:
[1] 
The average size of other buildings on the same block facing the same street within a radius of 250 feet; or
[2] 
The average size of at least 30% of the buildings on the same block facing the same street within a radius of 250 feet.
[3] 
The average size as determined in Subsection B(2)(a)[1] or [2] above may be adjusted as much as 30%.
(b) 
New construction shall be consistent with the pattern of small-scale storefronts. Where new construction has a large street frontage, facades shall be articulated to reflect the character of multiple storefronts.
Pattern of small-scale storefronts for infill development
(c) 
A new building, or an existing building with a new addition, may be 30% to 100% larger than other buildings facing the same block as a special exception use if the applicant can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Zoning Hearing Board that the facade of the new building will be compatible with existing buildings on the block regarding:
[1] 
Form, either horizontal or vertical.
[2] 
Base, body, cap.
[3] 
Scale.
[4] 
Texture and pattern of materials.
[5] 
Proportion of walls to openings.
(d) 
In all cases, the new building or existing building with a new addition must conform to the side yards and setbacks in Subsection B(1), the height limitations in Subsection B(3), and meet all other provisions of this chapter.
(3) 
Building height. Building height is the vertical distance from the grade at the front of the building to the top of the roof for buildings with flat roofs. For other buildings, the perceived height is measured as illustrated § 330-15B(3). Cupolas, towers, or turrets of less than 50 square feet are not counted when measuring height.
(a) 
Within the Central Business District and Baltimore Avenue Mixed Use District:
[1] 
New buildings shall be at least two stories in height. Two-story buildings are intended to provide opportunities for the vertical mix of uses of a building, promote less building coverage, and give stature and structure to the streetscape.
[2] 
If an existing one-story building is adaptively reused through redevelopment, it shall be at least 18 feet in height.
(b) 
In general, new buildings should be in keeping with the height and proportion of traditional buildings on a block.
(4) 
Proportion of building walls to openings.
(a) 
Development standard for existing buildings.
[1] 
If windows and doors are replaced, the new ones shall use the same space as the windows and doors they are replacing. They shall not create a larger or smaller opening in the wall. If the property owner can demonstrate that the current doors and windows are not original, the facade may be restored to its original proportion of wall to opening.
(b) 
Development standard for new buildings or additions.
[1] 
Building facades shall include windows and glazed doors to provide a minimum of 40% transparency to allow views into the building interior.
[2] 
Where windowless walls along the sidewalk are unavoidable, these walls shall incorporate surface treatments which add visual interest, e.g., blind arches, expression of floor lines, piers or pilasters, murals, planters, etc.
(c) 
Dark-tinted or reflective glass in windows is prohibited.
(5) 
Sidewalk displays. Within the Downtown District, the public rights-of-way, specifically the sidewalks, may be used for the purpose of exhibiting wares, goods and merchandise for sale and for the use in a manner which will be conducive to business, subject to the following provisions:
(a) 
Sidewalk displays shall be restricted to use sidewalks contiguous to property lines in excess of three feet in width minimum from the building line to street line, and the sidewalk display shall leave a minimum of 36 inches of usable, safe, clear walk area of the sidewalk that provides for American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant access. In the event that 36 inches is not adequate for ADA compliance, more than the 36 inches of useable sidewalk may be required in order to be ADA compliant; this will be determined by the Code Enforcement Officer.
(b) 
The use shall be limited to the sidewalk area contiguous to the business use and may not extend beyond the building facade.
(c) 
The use of the sidewalk area shall be from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. daily or, if a business normally operates beyond 6:00 p.m., then during said business hours when the business is operating, but not beyond 9:00 p.m. daily, after which all merchandise, equipment or fixtures shall be removed from said right-of-way.
(6) 
Outdoor dining. Outdoor dining helps create pedestrian activity along the sidewalk and adds a sense of human scale to the community. Outdoor dining generates more people on the street, increasing liveliness, and a sense of safety in the downtown. Within the Downtown District, the public rights-of-way, specifically the sidewalks, may be used for outdoor dining, subject to the following provisions:
(a) 
Outdoor furnishings are limited to tables, chairs, and umbrellas.
(b) 
Outdoor furniture shall be stored inside the restaurant after normal operating hours.
(c) 
Planters, posts with ropes, or other removable enclosures, as well as a reservation podium, are encouraged and shall be used as a way of defining the area occupied by the cafe.
(d) 
Outdoor dining is for table service only and is restricted to use sidewalks contiguous to property lines in excess of three feet in width minimum from the building line to street line, and the use for outdoor dining shall leave a minimum of 36 inches of usable, safe, clear walk area of the sidewalk that provides for American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant access. In the event that 36 inches is not adequate for ADA compliance, more than the 36 inches of useable sidewalk may be required in order to be ADA compliant; this will be determined by the Code Enforcement Officer.
(e) 
The use for outdoor dining of the sidewalk area from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. daily is permitted if a permit is received from the Borough.
(f) 
During the Borough-permitted events, the Borough will determine on an event-by-event basis, due to the concerns for the Borough citizens' health, safety and welfare, if outdoor dining may occur. Reasonable notice shall be given to permit holders under this chapter.
(g) 
Imposition of additional restrictions. Nothing herein is intended to limit the power of the Council of the Borough of Lansdowne to specifically designate times and places during which the streets and rights-of-way of the Borough of Lansdowne can be used for the exhibition and sale of merchandise.
(7) 
Fences and walls. Street walls are intended to form and frame the streetscape and the traditional character of Lansdowne Borough. Street walls are also intended to buffer parking.
(a) 
Street walls shall be created and maintained to promote the traditional streetscape character of the Borough.
(b) 
Street walls shall be built to the build-to line which is the right-of-way, and may vary, as a recess or projection, up to four feet from the build-to line.
(c) 
All fences and walls must meet the guidelines set forth in the table below:
Location
Maximum Height
Material
Front yard
3 feet
• Brick
Side yard adjacent to a street (not including alleys)
Rear yard adjacent to a street (not including alleys)
4 feet
• Ornamental iron
• Ornamental aluminum or steel designed to look like iron
• Stone
• Wood in the form of a picket fence
• Vinyl designed to look like wood in the form of a picket fence
• Vinyl designed to look like iron
Interior side yard or rear yard
6 feet
• Any common fence material
Tennis or similar athletic court
12 feet
(8) 
Trash enclosures.
(a) 
Trash receptacles are required for all nonresidential developments. All trash receptacles shall be located in trash enclosures placed at the rear of a site, in an area obscured from adjacent properties and thoroughfares and shall meet the following requirements:
[1] 
Trash enclosures shall be at least six feet high and shall be gated and screened in a manner consistent with the color and materials on the building(s).
[2] 
Trash shall be constructed of decorative masonry to match the building.
[3] 
The trash receptacle area shall be screened at the opening with a six-foot-high metal-framed wood screening gate.
(b) 
Where the Planning Commission determines that the type of operation does not necessitate a trash receptacle, the Commission may vary the requirements of this section to facilitate the trash storage needs of the development.
(c) 
No trash receptacle shall be allowed within the front yard.
(d) 
If no trash receptacle is required or needed for a proposed use, this shall be noted on any site plan.
(e) 
Bollards will be required to protect the structure.
(f) 
All trash enclosures shall have a six-inch reinforced concrete floor and apron.
C. 
Design standards. When reviewing applications for permits within the Downtown District Overlay, the Borough shall consider the design guidelines in Subsections C(1) through (5) below:
(1) 
Style of architecture.
(a) 
Traditional, pedestrian-oriented commercial streets are generally characterized by a narrow right-of-way, continuous street walls, numerous storefronts and high volumes of pedestrian traffic. The overall goal of these design standards is to maintain and build upon the positive qualities of the Borough's commercial districts while maintaining and enhancing Lansdowne's traditional community character.
(b) 
The following illustration demonstrates some of the details that define the characteristics of Lansdowne buildings. The most important part of any building is its facade, the front of the building facing the street.
(c) 
Design guideline for existing buildings. Lansdowne Borough encourages property owners, whenever possible, to retain or repair original architectural features such as cornices, lintels, windows and doors. If these features cannot be repaired, they should be replaced with reproductions of the originals. If this is not feasible, they should be replaced with features that are similar in size and scale to the original. The facade is the most important part of the building to conserve in its original form.
(d) 
Design guideline for new buildings. New buildings in the Downtown District shall be designed so that they are compatible with architectural styles of surrounding traditional buildings.
(2) 
Base, body, and cap.
(a) 
The front facade of most traditional Lansdowne buildings has three primary components:
[1] 
Base: a portion of a building foundation, or in the case of stores, the first floor of a building, which is distinct from the upper floors.
[2] 
Body: one or more architecturally similar stories that are distinct from the base.
[3] 
Cap: the roof of a building, including a cornice or parapet where the body of the building ends.
(b) 
Design guideline for existing buildings.
[1] 
For renovations and alterations, a distinct base, body and cap should be retained.
(c) 
Design guideline for new buildings. The scale, rhythm, cornice height and fenestration of new buildings should be consistent with the architectural character of surrounding buildings.
[1] 
Each new building should have a distinct base at street level, a body with a consistent character for the main or upper stories, and a cap.
[2] 
The base, body and cap should roughly line up with the base, body, and cap of adjoining/adjacent buildings.
[3] 
Front facades should utilize columns, offset rooflines, cornices, and transoms to articulate architectural styles and provide an articulated first-story entryway.
Scale, rhythm, cornice, and fenestration
(3) 
Texture and pattern of materials. New buildings should be constructed of durable and easily maintained materials such as stone, brick, precast concrete, masonry or metal, and in keeping with the surrounding pattern of construction. Undesirable materials include false masonry, vinyl siding, and asphalt shingles.
(4) 
Additions. Because facades are so important to the appearance of a building, additions should be avoided at the front of a building. Whenever possible, additions should be constructed at the rear of a building, or the least conspicuous side. The more visible the addition from the street, the more important compatibility becomes.
(a) 
When reviewing proposals for additions, the Borough shall judge its suitability based on:
[1] 
Placement.
[2] 
Height.
[3] 
Scale.
[4] 
Proportion of walls to openings.
[5] 
Texture and pattern of exterior materials.
[6] 
Architectural style.
(5) 
Awnings. The use of awnings is encouraged to add visual interest and create a sense of enclosure along commercial streets. Awnings should complement the distinct character of each storefront; continuous awnings which cross over several storefronts are discouraged. Weather-treated canvas or other natural-looking material should be used for awnings. Plastic awnings are generally not appropriate.
D. 
Use regulations.
(1) 
Central Business District (CBD).
(a) 
Intent: to preserve and enhance the Borough's traditional commercial core with a variety of pedestrian-oriented uses including retail, personal service, business, professional, and residential.
(b) 
Uses permitted by right:
[1] 
Retail store.
[2] 
Personal services; provided, however, that a beauty salon shall be permitted only if the condition set forth at Subsection D(1)(e) hereof is met. If the condition set forth in Subsection D(1)(e) hereof is not met, then the use shall not be permitted.
[3] 
Restaurant, sit-down.
[4] 
Bank or financial institution.
[5] 
Movie, performing arts, and play theaters.
[6] 
Offices, excluding client-based social service provider and general office.
[7] 
Libraries.
[8] 
Artist's studios or dance studios.
[9] 
Art galleries.
[10] 
U.S. Postal Service retail office.
[11] 
Municipal building.
[12] 
Dwelling, single-family detached or semidetached dwelling, when proposed as a replacement for a previously existing dwelling of similar type.
[13] 
The following uses, provided they do not occur on the first floor:
[a] 
Dwelling, multifamily dwelling/apartment/condominium, subject to § 330-24.
[b] 
Business or trade school.
[c] 
Private club or lodge.
[d] 
Shops or offices of tradesmen.
[e] 
Wholesale, warehouse or distribution use.
[14] 
Mixed-use development involving any of the above permitted uses.
(c) 
Prohibited uses:
[1] 
Automobile-related uses, including the sale, rental, painting, washing or repair of motor vehicles.
[2] 
Automobile service stations and automobile fuel stations.
[3] 
Adult entertainment uses.
[4] 
Fortune-telling establishments.
[5] 
Pawnshops.
[6] 
Tattoo and/or body piercing establishments.
[7] 
Off-premises advertising signs.
[8] 
Outdoor storage, including vending machines.
[9] 
Parking lots and garages, when not an accessory use.
[10] 
Institutional uses, including hospitals and churches, synagogues and mosques and other places of worship.
[11] 
Restaurants, fast-food.
[12] 
Massage parlors.
[13] 
Indoor amusement places, including arcades.
[14] 
Community centers.
[15] 
Family day-care home, group day-care home or day-care center.
[16] 
Hotel or motel.
[17] 
Check-cashing establishments.
[18] 
Wholesale, warehouse or distribution use on the first floor. Where the first floor of a property is used for the storage of goods or inventory and the property is not open for business with the intent of being a retail establishment to the general public and actively identified and promoted as such, and open to the general public at least five days a week and/or a minimum of 30 hours a week, the use shall be deemed to be a warehouse use.
[Added 7-1-2009 by Ord. No. 1245]
(d) 
Accessory uses:
[1] 
Indoor storage, provided that it is limited to the stock and related supplies of a permitted use.
[2] 
Off-street parking.
(e) 
To prevent the over-concentration of certain uses and to promote a complementary mix of uses that will generate pedestrian foot traffic and promote the economic health of the Central Business District, beauty salon uses authorized pursuant to Subsection D(1)(b) above shall be permitted only if no identical or similar use is located within a five-hundred-foot radius from the proposed use.
(f) 
Minimum lot area:
[Added 1-7-2009 by Ord. No. 1236]
[1] 
Single-family detached dwellings: 6,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[2] 
Single-family semidetached dwellings: 3,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[3] 
Single-family attached dwellings: 2,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[4] 
Two-family detached dwellings: 6,000 square feet minimum per two-family structure.
[5] 
Apartment and office building: 21,780 square feet minimum per principal structure.
[6] 
All other uses: 6,000 square feet per structure.
(2) 
Baltimore Avenue Mixed Use District (BAM).
(a) 
Intent: to promote the Baltimore Avenue corridor as a "main street" environment with a variety of primarily pedestrian-oriented uses including retail, personal service, business, professional, and residential.
(b) 
Uses permitted by right:
[1] 
All uses permitted by right in the Central Business District (CBD).
[2] 
Dwelling, apartment (with a minimum 2,400 square feet on the ground floor), subject to § 330-24.
[3] 
School or studio for the arts and related fields, including music, dance, fine arts, and similar establishments, but not including gymnastics or martial arts schools or studios.
[4] 
Mixed-use development involving any of the above permitted uses.
(c) 
Uses permitted by special exception, subject to Article V:
[1] 
The offices and shops of tradesmen.
[2] 
Laboratories and research development facilities.
[3] 
Exterminator.
[4] 
Upholstery workshop and associated sales.
[5] 
Beverage distributor, subject to applicable state laws and local ordinances, regulations and prohibitions.
[6] 
Indoor or outdoor recreational activity, including bowling alleys, golf courses and similar uses; provided, however, that said facility is supervised by at least one employee during all hours that the facility is open for business.
[7] 
Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and similar health care facilities.
[8] 
Catering establishments.
[9] 
Private clubs or lodge halls.
[10] 
Business school or trade school.
[11] 
School or studio for gymnastics, martial arts and similar establishments.
[12] 
Funeral homes, not to include crematoria.
[13] 
Check-cashing establishments.
[14] 
Parking structures.
(d) 
Prohibited uses:
[1] 
Automobile-related uses, including the sale, rental, painting, washing or repair of motor vehicles.
[2] 
Automobile service stations and automobile fuel stations.
[3] 
Adult entertainment uses.
[4] 
Fortune-telling establishments.
[5] 
Pawnshops.
[6] 
Tattoo and/or body piercing establishments.
[7] 
Off-premises advertising signs.
[8] 
Outdoor storage, including vending machines.
[9] 
Parking, lots, when not an accessory use.
[10] 
Institutional uses, including churches, synagogues and mosques and other places of worship.
[11] 
Restaurants, fast-food.
[12] 
Massage parlors.
[13] 
Community centers.
[14] 
Family day-care home, group day-care home or day-care center.
[15] 
Hotel or motel.
(e) 
Accessory uses.
[1] 
All accessory uses permitted in the Central Business District (CBD).
(f) 
Minimum lot area:
[Added 1-7-2009 by Ord. No. 1236]
[1] 
Single-family detached dwellings: 6,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[2] 
Single-family semidetached dwellings: 3,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[3] 
Single-family attached dwellings: 2,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[4] 
Two-family detached dwellings: 6,000 square feet minimum per two-family structure.
[5] 
Apartment and office building: 21,780 square feet minimum per principal structure.
[6] 
All other uses: 6,000 square feet per structure.
A. 
Intent: to provide locations for the conduct of general business and light industrial activities, including some business activities which may be prohibited or considered inappropriate in the Central Business District, the Baltimore Avenue Mixed Use District, or the Neighborhood Business District.
General Business District Summary Chart
This chart is designed for quick reference only. Specific requirements are stated in Subsection B (Design Guidelines).
Design Guideline
Existing Buildings
New Buildings
Demolition
Applicant must demonstrate there is no viable alternative.
Design review required for new buildings replacing demolished structures.
Architectural styles
New buildings
Additions
When renovating, modify building when possible to reflect architectural style of adjoining historic neighborhoods.
Architectural style should be compatible with adjoining historic neighborhoods.
Placement
Buildings should face a principal street.
Proportion of building walls to openings
Window and door openings visible from the street in existing historic buildings should not be enlarged or reduced.
The proportion of walls to openings on walls visible from the street should be from 2:1 to 1:1.
Texture and pattern of exterior materials
When renovating, modify building when possible to reflect the texture and pattern of construction materials in adjoining historic neighborhoods.
Construction materials should reflect the texture and pattern of construction materials in adjoining historic neighborhoods.
Fences and walls
Restrictions on materials for front and side fences facing a street.
Height:
Restrictions on materials for front and side fences facing a street.
Height:
Front fences: 3 feet
Side fences facing street: 4 feet
Interior side and rear fences: 6 feet
Front fences: 3 feet
Side fences facing street: 4 feet
Interior side and rear fences: 6 feet
Restrictions on materials for front and side fences.
Restrictions on materials for front and side fences.
Parking lots
Should be located to the rear of buildings whenever possible. If not possible, to the side of buildings.
Should be located to the rear of buildings whenever possible. If not possible, to the side of buildings.
Lot size, building placement, building size, and height
See Subsection D, Area and bulk regulations.
See Subsection D, Area and bulk regulations.
B. 
General Business District design guidelines. When reviewing applications for permits under this chapter, the Lansdowne Planning Commission and Lansdowne Borough Council shall apply the design guidelines in Subsections B(1) through (5) below.
(1) 
Architectural style and additions. Downtown Lansdowne and Lansdowne's traditional neighborhoods were built in a number of distinctive styles, which give the Borough its pleasant character. Various examples are pictured in the Neighborhood Conservation District, § 330-15.
(a) 
Design guideline. New buildings within the General Business District should be compatible with these styles. As existing buildings are renovated, and additions constructed, they should be designed to be compatible with the styles of existing buildings in adjacent traditional neighborhoods.
(2) 
Building placement. In the General Business District, buildings should face a principal street.
(3) 
Proportion of building walls to openings. The number and size of windows and doors in a building strongly affect its appearance. The amount of open space in a wall can be expressed as a ratio. For example, a building with twice as much wall space as windows and doors would have a two-to-one ratio. Most of Lansdowne's historic buildings have a wall to openings ratio between two-to-one and one-to-one. To be compatible with Lansdowne's existing buildings, new buildings in Lansdowne's General Business District should have wall-to-openings ratios between two-to-one and one-to-one.
(4) 
Texture and pattern of materials.
(a) 
Design guideline for existing buildings.
[1] 
Brick walls of buildings visible from any public right-of-way shall not be covered with vinyl or aluminum siding, stucco, or any other such materials.
[2] 
In the case of other existing walls, if new materials are used to cover them, the materials should be compatible with the materials on buildings in adjacent traditional neighborhoods, such as wood and brick.
(b) 
Design guideline for new buildings.
[1] 
The exterior materials of new buildings should be similar in appearance to those of existing buildings in adjacent traditional neighborhoods, such as wood and brick.
[2] 
New materials not found on existing buildings in adjacent traditional neighborhoods may be judged acceptable if, in the judgment of the Borough, the new building conforms in other ways, such as height, form, and proportion of walls to openings.
(c) 
Dark-tinted or reflective glass in windows is prohibited.
(5) 
Fences and walls.
(a) 
Design guideline. Fences and walls shall be placed according to the following chart:
Location
Maximum Height
Material
Front yard
3 feet
• Brick
Side yard adjacent to a street (not including alleys)
Rear yard adjacent to a street (not including alleys)
4 feet
• Ornamental iron
• Ornamental aluminum or steel designed to look like iron
• Stone
• Wood in the form of a picket fence
• Vinyl designed to look like wood in the form of a picket fence
• Vinyl designed to look like iron
Front or side yard of a building that abuts sidewalk
6 feet
• Brick
• Ornamental iron
• Ornamental aluminum or steel designed to look like iron
• Stone
• Wood
• Vinyl designed to look like wood or iron
• Stucco over concrete block, capped with brick or stone
Interior side yard
Rear yard
6 feet
• Any common fence material
C. 
Use regulations.
(1) 
General Business District (GB).
(a) 
Intent: to provide locations for the conduct of general business and light industrial activities, including some business activities which may be prohibited or considered inappropriate in the Central Business District, the Baltimore Avenue Mixed Use District, or the Neighborhood Business District.
(b) 
Uses permitted by right:
[1] 
All uses permitted in Baltimore Avenue Mixed Use District (BAM) as a matter of right, by special exception or conditional use.
[2] 
Truck and other transportation terminals.
[3] 
Manufacturing or assembly operations.
[4] 
Printing, publishing, bookbinding, engraving, lithography, photofinishing, film processing or similar establishments.
[5] 
Monument establishments and cemeteries.
[6] 
Food-processing establishments, including cold storage and frozen food plants.
[7] 
Photography, cinema, radio and television studios.
[8] 
Commercial greenhouse, nursery or wholesale florist.
[9] 
Automobile-related uses, including sale, rental, painting, washing, or repair of automobiles.
[10] 
Automobile service stations and automobile fuel stations and car washes.
[11] 
Restaurants, fast-food.
[12] 
Fortune-telling establishments.
[13] 
Places of worship.
[14] 
Offices.
[15] 
Community centers.
[16] 
Family day-care home, group day-care home or day-care center.
[17] 
Hotel or motel.
[18] 
Check-cashing establishments.
[19] 
Pawnshops.
[20] 
Tattoo and/or body piercing establishments.
[21] 
Off-premises advertising signs.
[22] 
Parking lots garages, when not accessory use.
(c) 
Uses permitted by special exception, subject to Article V:
[1] 
Outdoor storage of items for sale.
[2] 
Adult entertainment use establishments.
[3] 
Indoor amusement places, including arcades.
[4] 
Any other legally permitted use not expressly provided for in any other zoning district.
(d) 
Accessory uses.
[1] 
All accessory uses permitted in the Central Business District (CBD).
(e) 
Minimum lot area:
[Added 1-7-2009 by Ord. No. 1236]
[1] 
Single-family detached dwellings: 6,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[2] 
Single-family semidetached dwellings: 3,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[3] 
Single-family attached dwellings: 2,000 square feet minimum per dwelling unit.
[4] 
Two-family detached dwellings: 6,000 square feet minimum per two-family structure.
[5] 
Apartment and office building: 21,780 square feet minimum per principal structure.
[6] 
All other uses: 6,000 square feet per structure.
D. 
Area and bulk regulations.
(1) 
Building coverage: 75% maximum.
(2) 
Side yards: none required, except when side yard abuts a residential district, in which case a ten-foot minimum side yard is required.
(3) 
Rear yards: none required, except when the rear yard abuts a residential district, in which case a ten-foot minimum rear yard is required.
(4) 
Height: 35 feet maximum.
A. 
Intent.
(1) 
To encourage, through infill and redevelopment, a variety of higher density and intensity individual and mixed uses, compatible with existing development, within walking distance of the Lansdowne train station and those roads with regular bus service. These uses include commercial, residential, institutional, employment, open space, and civic uses.
(2) 
To increase the economic competitiveness of these areas by building on the assets of transit, which newer suburbs often lack, and quiet neighborhood feel, which is often lacking in central urban areas.
(3) 
To encourage public transit use and walking and bicycling, and reduce unnecessary vehicular trips.
(4) 
To orient buildings and neighborhood activity to public spaces, the train station, and to bus stops.
(5) 
To create and enhance pedestrian-friendly street networks that directly connect the train station and bus stops with residential neighborhoods, the business district, and civic uses.
(6) 
To encourage design, style, density, and character of development that complements the historic development in the above-mentioned areas surrounding the train station, which were initially developed as railroad suburbs. This does not mean recreating older development design, style, density, and character exactly, but using modern practices to augment historic characteristics.
(7) 
To preserve existing open space and recreational areas.
(8) 
To provide development incentives for those plans that include design features, support facilities, and/or amenities that reinforce implementation of the TOD Overlay District's goals and its relationship to the surrounding community.
B. 
Use regulations. In the TOD Overlay District, the uses permitted by right, by special exception, and accessory uses, as well as prohibited uses, shall be the same as those uses identified in the underlying zoning districts.
C. 
Development standards. In the TOD Overlay District the following development standards shall apply, in addition to the regulations of the underlying zoning district(s):
(1) 
Build-to line. A building shall have a minimum front yard setback of zero feet and a maximum setback of five feet from the front property line. A setback may be increased to 20 feet from the front property line for the purposes of a courtyard, plaza, square (subject to Subsection E, Streetscape and green area standards), recessed entrance, or an outdoor dining area adjacent to the public street, but not for off-street parking.
(2) 
Side yard setback. There shall be no side yard setback for buildings that share a party wall. The setback between buildings shall be 10 feet (five feet per each building) when not sharing a party wall.
(3) 
Maximum impervious coverage: 100%.
(4) 
Building height.
(a) 
Buildings shall be a minimum of two stories.
(b) 
Buildings may be up to a maximum of 40 feet by right.
(c) 
Buildings may be up to a maximum of 65 feet by special exception, and provided that the streetscape and green area standards in Subsection E are followed.
(5) 
Maximum building footprint for nonresidential buildings: 10,000 square feet.
(6) 
Floor area ratio (FAR):
(a) 
2.0 FAR.
(b) 
An increase 0.5 FAR for a total FAR of 2.5 is permitted for the following:
[1] 
If an historic structure is preserved and enhanced and/or the facade is maintained and enhanced following the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.
[2] 
For buildings located within 400 feet of a transit facility or a public parking facility.
D. 
Design standards.
(1) 
Pedestrian design standards:
(a) 
Sidewalks are required along all street frontages with a minimum width of eight feet.
(b) 
Sidewalks are required to connect the street frontage to all front building entrances, parking areas, central open space, and any other destination that generates pedestrian traffic. Sidewalks shall connect to existing sidewalks on abutting tracts and other nearby pedestrian destination points and transit stops.
(2) 
Building design standards, nonresidential. Nonresidential buildings and apartment buildings shall meet the following requirements:
(a) 
Building footprint. The maximum building footprint of nonresidential buildings shall not exceed 10,000 square feet.
(b) 
Building orientation and entrances.
[1] 
In order to interrelate the transit and other uses in the TOD Overlay District, the location of buildings shall be appropriately oriented toward the train station, bus stops, and sidewalks and away from vehicular driveways, loading areas and parking areas.
[2] 
Each building in the TOD Overlay District shall have a principal entrance in the front of the building facing the sidewalk.
[3] 
When buildings are located on corners, if possible the entrance shall be located on the corner with an appropriate building articulation, such as a chamfered corner, turret, canopy, or other similar building feature.
[4] 
All primary building entrances shall be accentuated. Entrances permitted include: recessed, protruding, canopy, portico, and overhang.
(c) 
Walls and windows. Blank walls shall not be permitted along any exterior wall facing a street, parking area, or walking area. Exterior walls in these locations shall meet the following criteria:
[1] 
Such walls shall have architectural treatments that are the same as the front facade, including consistent style, materials, colors, and details.
[2] 
Windows. The ground floor of any wall facing a street, parking area, or walking area shall contain windows in accordance with the following requirements:
[a] 
The ground-floor front facades of retail commercial uses, personal service businesses, and restaurants shall consist of at least 40% window area, with views provided through these windows into the business.
[b] 
All other ground-floor walls facing a street, parking area, or walking area shall contain at least 25% window area but not more than 75% window area, with views provided through these windows into the building.
[c] 
Dark-tinted glass or reflective glass in windows is prohibited.
(3) 
Building design standards, residential.
(a) 
Apartments above nonresidential. Parking areas and/or garages for any apartments provided above nonresidential areas may be provided to the side or rear of the nonresidential building. When four or less apartments are built, parking may be accommodated on street. Where the building is on a corner, off-street parking entrances should be minimized from both streets through building design or visual screening.
(4) 
Driveways. The creation of new sidewalk curbs cuts shall be avoided whenever an alternative point of access is available or can be created. Shared access agreements are encouraged.
(5) 
Landscaping. Street trees, buffers, parking lot landscaping, detention basin landscaping, and landscaping around nonresidential buildings shall be provided, in accordance with the landscaping provisions of this chapter and the landscaping section of the Lansdowne Borough Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Subdivision and land development in the Borough is regulated by the Delaware County Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
(6) 
Signs. All signs shall comply with the requirements of Article VII, Signs, of this chapter.
(7) 
Lighting. Exterior lighting should be designed to enhance the site, emphasize a building's architecture and entrances, and provide safety and security for pedestrians. Light fixtures are required to be 20 feet high for parking lots and 14 feet high for pedestrian walkways. In addition, all off-street parking areas and pedestrian walkways should be well lit.
E. 
Streetscape and green area standards. The following streetscape and green area standards are required for all new developments and additions/alterations along the street frontage:
(1) 
Streetscape and green area standards should relate to Lansdowne's streetscape design and be reviewed by Borough Council. The applicant shall demonstrate that these standards are met through elevations and conceptual sketches.
(2) 
Table 1 indicates the categories and minimum requirements for streetscape and green area standards. Category A contains planting and greening elements. Category B includes more elaborate greening elements as well as street furniture and other streetscape elements. Category C includes more extensive building elements, streetscape improvements, and open space elements. Table 2 presents the streetscape and green area items within each category. The applicant shall be required to comply with the requirements of Tables 1 and 2.
Table 1: Streetscape and Green Area Categories
Building Additions and Alterations
Two-story New Developments of 2,500-4,999 Gross Square Feet In Size
Two-story New Developments of 5,000-9,999 Gross Square Feet In Size
New Developments of 10,000 Gross Square Feet and Over In Size and/or New Buildings Greater Than Two Stories
4 points from Category A (no more than 3 of one item)
4 points from Category A (no more than 3 of one item)
5 points from Category A, 4 points from Category B
7 points from Category A, 5 points from Category B, and 6 points from Category C
Table 2: Streetscape and Green Area Items
Category
Item
Points
A
Hanging basket (minimum size 12 inches in diameter)
1
A
Decorative banners/flags
1
A
Window box (as wide as window sill and a minimum size 6 inches wide by 6 inches deep)
2
A
Additional planting area including shrubs, trees, ground covers, or flowers
2
A
Street planter (minimum size 24 inches in diameter)
2
B
Decorative building lighting
1
B
Bench (at least 5 feet in length)
2
B
Trash receptacle
2
B
Raised planting bed
2
B
Public art/mural
2
B
Trellis, arbor or pergola (planted with vines or shrubs)
2
B
Awning for window or door
2
B
Kiosk
3
C
Decorative paving
3
C
Balconies
3
C
Streetlighting
3
C
Planting in curb extension (planted bulb outs/large planters)
3
C
Urban garden [see requirements in Subsection E(3)]
3
C
Roof garden
3
C
Bus shelter
3
C
Clock tower
3
C
Decorative architectural treatments
4
C
Plaza, square, or courtyard [see requirements in Subsection E(4)]
6
C
Facade restoration
6
C
Other amenity approved by Borough Council
3-6
(3) 
Urban garden standards.
(a) 
Minimum size required is 300 square feet.
(b) 
An urban garden shall be located where it is visible and accessible from either a public sidewalk or pedestrian connection.
(c) 
Sixty percent of the garden shall be plant materials such as trees, vines, shrubs, and seasonal flowers with year-round interest. All trees shall be at least 2.5 inches in caliper.
(d) 
One seating space is required for each 30 square feet of garden area.
(4) 
Public plazas, squares, and courtyard standards.
(a) 
Minimum size required is 500 square feet.
(b) 
The plaza shall be located where it is accessible from either a public sidewalk or pedestrian connection.
(c) 
Thirty percent of the plaza shall be landscaped with trees, shrubs, and mixed plantings with year-round interest.
(d) 
The plaza shall use the following paving materials: unit pavers, paving stones, or concrete. No more than 20% of the plaza shall be concrete.
(e) 
One seating space is required for each 30 square feet of plaza area.
(f) 
The plaza shall not be used for parking, loading, or vehicular access (excluding emergency vehicular access).
(g) 
Public art is encouraged.
(h) 
Trash containers shall be distributed throughout plaza.
(i) 
The plaza shall provide shade by using the following elements: trees, canopies, trellises, umbrellas, or building walls.
(j) 
One tree is required for every 500 square feet of plaza, square, or courtyard. Trees shall be at least 2.5 inches in caliper.
(k) 
Lighting shall be provided.
(l) 
Plazas shall connect to other activities such as outdoor cafes, restaurants, and building entries.
(m) 
Plazas shall be located if possible to have maximum direct sunlight with a south or west orientation.
(n) 
Plazas, if constructed by a private entity, shall have an agreement with the Borough for public access.
A. 
Intent:
(1) 
Encourage the utilization of appropriate construction practices in order to prevent or minimize flood damage in the future.
(2) 
Minimize danger to public health by protecting water supply and natural drainage.
(3) 
Reduce financial burdens imposed on the community, its governmental units, and its residents, by preventing excessive development in areas subject to flooding.
(4) 
Comply with federal and state floodplain management requirements.
B. 
Identification of floodplain areas.
(1) 
Identification. The identified floodplain area shall be those areas of the Borough of Lansdowne which are subject to the one-hundred-year flood elevation, as identified in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) dated September 30, 1993, and the accompanying maps prepared for the Borough by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), or the most recent revision thereof.
(2) 
Description of floodplain areas. The identified floodplain area shall consist of the following specific areas:
(a) 
FW (Floodway Area): the areas identified as "Floodway" in the AE Zone in the Flood Insurance Study prepared by the FEMA. The term shall also include floodway areas which have been identified in other available studies or sources of information for those floodplain areas where no floodway has been identified in the Flood Insurance Study.
(b) 
FF (Flood-Fringe Area): the remaining portions of the one-hundred-year floodplain elevation in those areas identified as an AE Zone in the Flood Insurance Study where a floodway has been delineated. The basis for the outermost boundary of this area shall be the one-hundred-year flood elevations as shown in the flood profiles contained in the Flood Insurance Study.
(c) 
FA (General Floodplain Area): the areas identified as Zone A in the FIS for which no one-hundred-year flood elevations have been provided. When available, information from other federal, state and other acceptable sources shall be used to determine the one-hundred-year flood elevation, as well as a floodway area, if possible. When no other information is available, the one-hundred-year flood elevation shall be determined by using a point on the boundary of the identified floodplain area which is nearest the construction site in question.
C. 
Technical provisions.
(1) 
General.
(a) 
No encroachment, alteration or improvement of any kind shall be made to any watercourse until all adjacent municipalities that may be affected by such action have been notified by the municipality, and until all required permits or approvals have been first obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection's Regional Office. In addition, FEMA and Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) shall be notified prior to any alteration or relocation of any watercourse.
(b) 
Any new construction, development uses or activities allowed within any identified floodplain area shall be undertaken in strict compliance with the provisions contained in this chapter and any other applicable codes, ordinances and regulations.
(2) 
Special requirements for FW and FA Areas.
(a) 
Within any FW (Floodway Area), the following provisions apply:
[1] 
Uses permitted by right. The following uses and activities are permitted, provided that they are in compliance with the provisions of the underlying district and are not prohibited by any other ordinance and provided that they do not require structures, fill or storage of materials and equipment:
[a] 
Agricultural uses such as general farming, pasture, grazing, outdoor plant nurseries, horticulture, truck farming, forestry, sod farming, and wild crop harvesting;
[b] 
Public and private recreational uses and activities such as parks, day camps, picnic grounds, golf courses, boat launching and swimming areas, hiking and horseback riding trails, wildlife and nature preserves, game farms, fish hatcheries, trap and skeet game ranges and hunting and fishing areas;
[c] 
Accessory residential uses such as yard areas, gardens, play areas and parking areas; and
[d] 
Accessory industrial and commercial uses such as yard areas, parking and loading areas, etc.
[2] 
Uses permitted by special exception. The following uses and activities may be permitted by special exception, provided that they are in compliance with the provisions of the underlying district and are not prohibited by any other ordinance:
[a] 
Utilities and public facilities and improvements such as railroads, streets, bridges, transmission lines, stormwater management facilities, water and sewage treatment plants and other similar or related uses;
[b] 
Water-related uses and activities such as marinas, docks, wharves, piers, etc.;
[c] 
Extraction of sand, gravel and other materials;
[d] 
Temporary uses such as circuses, carnivals, and similar activities;
[e] 
Other similar uses and activities provided that they cause no increase in flood heights and/or velocities. All uses, activities, and structural developments shall be undertaken in strict compliance with the floodproofing provisions contained in all other applicable codes and ordinances.
[3] 
Any new construction, development, use, activity, or encroachment that would cause any increase in flood heights shall be prohibited.
[4] 
No new construction or development shall be allowed unless a permit is obtained by the Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Dams, Waterways and Wetlands.
A. 
Intent. The purpose of this district is to encourage the sensitive treatment of hillsides and their related soil and vegetation resources in an effort to minimize adverse environmental impacts. The following objectives serve to complement this specific purpose and the overall purposes of this chapter:
(1) 
To conserve and protect steep and very steep slopes from inappropriate development such as excessive grading, landform alteration and extensive vegetation removal.
(2) 
To avoid potential hazards to property and the disruption of ecological balance which may be caused by increased runoff, flooding, soil erosion and sedimentation, blasting and ripping of rock, and landslide and soil failure.
(3) 
To encourage the use of steep and very steep slopes for open space and other uses which are compatible with the preservation of natural resources and protection of areas of environmental concern.
B. 
Use regulations.
(1) 
Areas of very steep slope (greater than or equal to 25%).
(a) 
Permitted uses:
[1] 
Agricultural uses that do not require structures.
[2] 
Conservation and recreation uses not requiring structures.
[3] 
Structures existing prior to the effective date of this chapter.
[4] 
Front, rear and side yards of any lot or tract.
(b) 
Special exception uses (refer to Article V, Special Exception Uses):
[1] 
Conservation and recreation uses requiring structures.
[2] 
Agricultural structures and cultivation.
[3] 
Proposed utilities, easements and rights-of-way.
[4] 
Accessory uses customarily incidental to any of the foregoing.
[5] 
Accessory structures to any uses permitted in Subsection B(1)(a).
[6] 
Roads and driveways only when no viable alternative alignment or location is feasible based upon a determination of the Board of Supervisors.
(c) 
Prohibited uses and activities:
[1] 
Cut and fill, other than in association with any uses related to Subsection B(1)(a) and (b) above.
[2] 
Soil, rock or mineral extraction.
[3] 
Removal of topsoil.
[4] 
On-lot sewage disposal systems.
(2) 
Areas of steep slope (15% to 25%).
(a) 
Permitted uses:
[1] 
Any principal use permitted in Subsection B(1)(a) herein.
(b) 
Special exception uses (refer to Article V, Special Exception Uses):
[1] 
Any special exception uses identified in Subsection B(1)(b) herein, and the following:
[2] 
Single-family detached dwellings.
[3] 
Stormwater management facilities.
[4] 
Sanitary sewers and sewage pumping stations.
[5] 
Accessory uses and structures customarily incidental to the foregoing.
(c) 
Prohibited uses and activities:
[1] 
Cut and fill other than in association with any uses related to Subsection B(2)(a) and (b) above.
[2] 
Soil, rock or mineral extraction and/or removal other than in association with any uses related to Subsection B(2)(a) and (b) above.
[Added 7-20-2011 by Ord. No. 1263]
A. 
Intent. The purpose of this section is to create an airport district overlay that considers safety issues around the Philadelphia International Airport, regulates and restricts the heights of constructed structures and objects of natural growth, creates appropriate zones, establishes the boundaries thereof and provides for changes in the restrictions and boundaries of such zones, creates the permitting process for use within said zones and provides for enforcement, assessment of violation penalties, an appeals process, and judicial review.
B. 
Relation to other zone districts. The Airport District Overlay shall not modify the boundaries of any underlying zoning district. Where identified, the Airport District Overlay shall impose certain requirements on land use and construction in addition to those contained in the underlying zoning district.
C. 
Definitions. The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have the meaning given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
AIRPORT ELEVATION
The highest point of an airport's usable landing area measured in feet above sea level. The airport elevation of the Philadelphia International Airport is 36 feet above sea level.
AIRPORT HAZARD
Any structure or object, natural or man-made, or use of land which obstructs the airspace required for flight or aircraft in landing or taking off at an airport or is otherwise hazardous as defined in 14 CFR Part 77 and 74 Pa.C.S.A. § 5102.
AIRPORT HAZARD AREA
Any area of land or water upon which an airport hazard might be established if not prevented as provided for in this section and Act 164 of 1984 (Pennsylvania Laws Relating to Aviation).[1]
APPROACH SURFACE (ZONE)
An imaginary surface longitudinally centered on the extended runway center line and extending outward and upward from each end of the primary surface. An approach surface is applied to each end of the runway based on the planned approach. The inner edge of the approach surface is the same width as the primary surface and expands uniformly depending on the planned approach. The approach surface zone, as shown on Figure 1,[2] is derived from the approach surface.
CONICAL SURFACE (ZONE)
An imaginary surface extending outward and upward from the periphery of the horizontal surface at a slope of 20 feet horizontally to one foot vertically for a horizontal distance of 4,000 feet. The conical surface zone, as shown on Figure 1,[3] is based on the conical surface.
DEPARTMENT
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
FAA
Federal Aviation Administration of the United States Department of Transportation.
HEIGHT
For the purpose of determining the height limits in all zones set forth in this section and shown on the Zoning Map, the datum shall be mean sea level elevation unless otherwise specified.
HORIZONTAL SURFACE (ZONE)
An imaginary plane 150 feet above the established airport elevation that is constructed by swinging arcs of various radii from the center of the end of the primary surface and then connecting the adjacent arc by tangent lines. The radius of each arc is based on the planned approach. The horizontal surface zone, as shown on Figure 1,[4] is derived from the horizontal surface.
NONCONFORMING USE
Any preexisting structure, object of natural growth, or use of land which is inconsistent with the provisions of this section or an amendment thereto.
OBSTRUCTION
Any structure, growth, or other object, including a mobile object, which exceeds a limiting height set forth in this section.
PRIMARY SURFACE (ZONE)
An imaginary surface longitudinally centered on the runway, extending 200 feet beyond the end of paved runways or ending at each end of turf runways. The elevation of any point on the primary surface is the same as the elevation of the nearest point on the runway center line. The primary surface zone, as shown on Figure 1,[5] is derived from the primary surface.
RUNWAY
A defined area of the airport prepared for landing and takeoff of aircraft along its length.
STRUCTURE
An object, including a mobile object, constructed or installed by man, including but without limitation, buildings, towers, cranes, smokestacks, earth formation and overhead transmission lines.
TRANSITIONAL SURFACE (ZONE)
An imaginary surface that extends outward and upward from the edge of the primary surface to the horizontal surface at a slope of seven feet horizontally to one foot vertically (7:1). The transitional surface zone, as shown on Figure 1,[6] is derived from the transitional surface.
TREE
Any object of natural growth.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 74 Pa.C.S.A. § 5101 et seq.
[2]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Borough offices.
[3]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Borough offices.
[4]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Borough offices.
[5]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Borough offices.
[6]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Borough offices.
D. 
Establishment of airport zones. There are hereby created and established certain zones within the Airport District Overlay section, defined in § 330-20.1C and depicted on Figure 1[7] and illustrated on the Philadelphia International Airport Hazard Area Map, hereby adopted as part of this section, which include:
(1) 
Approach Surface Zone.
(2) 
Conical Surface Zone.
(3) 
Horizontal Surface Zone.
(4) 
Primary Surface Zone.
(5) 
Transitional Surface Zone.
[7]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is on file in the Borough offices.
E. 
Permit applications.
(1) 
As regulated by Act 164 and defined by 14 CFR Part 77.13(a) (as amended or replaced), any person who plans to erect a new structure, to add to an existing structure, or to erect and maintain any object (natural or man made), in the vicinity of the airport, shall first obtain a permit from the Department's Bureau of Aviation (BOA) by submitting PENNDOT Form AV-57 to obtain an obstruction review of the proposal at least 30 days prior to commencement thereof. The Department's BOA response must be included with this permit application for it to be considered complete. If the Department's BOA returns a determination of no penetration of airspace, the permit request shall be considered in compliance with the intent of this overlay section. If the Department's BOA returns a determination of a penetration of airspace, the permit shall be denied, and the project sponsor may seek a variance from such regulations as outlined in Subsection F.
(2) 
No permit is required to make maintenance repairs to or to replace parts of existing structures which do not enlarge or increase the height of the existing structure.
(3) 
No permit shall be required for structures that:
(a) 
Are less than 200 feet in height; and
(b) 
Do not trigger one of the notice requirements of 14 CFR 77.13.
F. 
Variance.
(1) 
Any request for a variance shall include documentation in compliance with 14 CFR Part 77 Subpart B (FAA Form 7460-1 as amended or replaced). Determinations of whether to grant a variance will depend on the determinations made by the FAA and the Department's BOA as to the effect of the proposal on the operation of air navigation facilities and the safe, efficient use of navigable airspace. In particular, the request for a variance shall consider which of the following categories the FAA has placed the proposed construction in:
(a) 
No objection. The subject construction is determined not to exceed obstruction standards, and marking/lighting is not required to mitigate potential hazard. Under this determination a variance shall be granted.
(b) 
Conditional determination. The proposed construction/alteration is determined to create some level of encroachment into an airport hazard area which can be effectively mitigated. Under this determination, a variance shall be granted contingent upon implementation of mitigating measures as described in Subsection I, Obstruction marking and lighting.
(c) 
Objectionable. The proposed construction/alteration is determined to be a hazard and is thus objectionable. A variance shall be denied, and the reasons for this determination shall be outlined to the applicant.
(2) 
Such requests for variances shall be granted where it is duly found that a literal application or enforcement of the regulations will result in unnecessary hardship and that relief granted will not be contrary to the public interest, will not create a hazard to air navigation, will do substantial justice, and will be in accordance with the intent of this section.
G. 
Use restrictions. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, no use shall be made of land or water within the Airport District Overlay in such a manner as to create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communications between the airport and aircraft, make it difficult for pilots to distinguish between airport lights and others, impair visibility in the vicinity of the airport, create bird strike hazards or otherwise endanger or interfere with the landing, takeoff or maneuvering of aircraft utilizing the Philadelphia International Airport.
H. 
Preexisting nonconforming uses. The regulations prescribed by this section shall not be construed to require the removal, lowering, or other change or alteration of any structure or tree not conforming to the regulations as of the effective date of this section, or otherwise interfere with the continuance of a nonconforming use. No nonconforming use shall be structurally altered or permitted to grow higher, so as to increase the nonconformity, and a nonconforming use, once substantially abated (subject to the underlying zoning ordinance), may only be reestablished consistent with the provisions herein.
I. 
Obstruction marking and lighting. Any permit or variance granted pursuant to the provisions of this section may be conditioned according to the process described in Subsection F to require the owner of the structure or object of natural growth in question to permit Lansdowne Borough, at its own expense, or require the person requesting the permit or variance, to install, operate, and maintain such marking or lighting as deemed necessary to assure both ground and air safety.
J. 
Violations and penalties. The procedures for the administration and enforcement of this section, in accordance with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, are set forth in Article XII. Any actions to enforce violations and penalties shall be taken in accordance with Article XII, and all violations and penalties shall be controlled by § 330-90.