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Township of Tredyffrin, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 5-23-2011 by Ord. No. HR-388]
The preservation and protection of historic resources in Tredyffrin Township (the "Township") are in the interests of education, property values, and general welfare of the citizens of the Township. The purposes of this article are:
A. 
To protect the integrity of the historic resources of Tredyffrin Township;
B. 
To establish a process by which proposed changes to historic resources are reviewed by Tredyffrin Township;
C. 
To encourage the continued, viable use of historic resources in Tredyffrin Township;
D. 
To discourage the unnecessary demolition of historic resources in Tredyffrin Township; and
E. 
To maintain the property rights of Township residents.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CULTURAL STUDIO
A building to present cultural, scientific, or academic lectures or performances or art displays to the general public by a nonprofit entity.
DEMOLITION or DEMOLISH
The razing or destruction, whether entirely or in significant part, of the exterior of a building, structure or site. Demolition includes the removal of a building or structure from its site or the removal, stripping, concealing or destruction of the facade or any significant interior or exterior architectural features which are integral to the historic character of the resource, for whatever purpose, including new construction or reconstruction.
A. 
The failure to provide ordinary and necessary maintenance and repair to a building or structure designated as an historic resource on the Township Historic Resource Map, except for ruins existing at the time of adoption of this section, whether by ordinary negligence or willful neglect, purpose or design by the owner or any party in possession thereof, which results in the following conditions:
(1) 
The deterioration of exterior features so as to create or permit a hazardous or unsafe condition to exist.
(2) 
The deterioration of exterior walls, roofs, chimneys, or windows; the lack of adequate waterproofing; or deterioration of the structural system or foundations which will or could result in permanent damage or loss of exterior features.
B. 
Demolition by neglect includes having a building or structure open or vulnerable to vandalism or decay by the elements.
HISTORICAL COMMISSION
The Historical Commission of Tredyffrin Township which advises the Township on matters concerning the preservation of historic resources, the members of which are appointed by the Board of Supervisors.
HISTORIC OVERLAY DISTRICT
An overlay zoning district as established and applied under this article, designating historic resources within the Township.
HISTORIC RESOURCE(S)
Within the context of this chapter, all buildings, sites, structures, and districts designated on the Historic Resources Map.
HISTORIC RESOURCES MAP
A map adopted as part of this chapter showing historic resources.
A. 
Establishment and membership. There shall be a Historical Commission which shall consist of nine members, all of whom shall be residents of or persons who conduct business in Tredyffrin Township. The Historical Commission shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The membership of the Historical Commission shall include individuals who have an interest in history, archeology, or historic preservation, and to the extent available one registered architect and one licensed real estate professional. The Tredyffrin Township Building Inspector shall serve as an advisor to the Historical Commission but shall not be a member. The terms of the members of the Historical Commission shall not exceed three years, except that the terms of the members newly appointed at the time of adoption of this article shall be so fixed at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors that no more than three members shall be reappointed or replaced during any future calendar year.
B. 
Organization. The Historical Commission shall annually elect, from its own membership, a Chairperson who will direct the activities of the Historical Commission and such other officers as may be required for the conduct of its business. A quorum shall be not less than a majority of the current membership. The Historical Commission may make, alter, and rescind rules and forms for its procedures consistent with the ordinances of the Township and laws and regulations of the Commonwealth. To the extent necessary, the Solicitor for the Township shall act as counsel to the Historical Commission. The Historical Commission shall conduct business in compliance with Pennsylvania law. The Historical Commission shall submit a report of its activities to the Board of Supervisors by March of each year.
C. 
Functions and duties. In accordance with the purposes of this article, the Historical Commission shall have the following functions and duties:
(1) 
Maintain a system for the survey, inventory, and photographic documentation of historic buildings, sites, structures, and objects in Tredyffrin Township.
(2) 
Conduct research on and nominate significant resources to the national Register of Historic Places and any other appropriate lists or programs.
(3) 
Make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors concerning revisions, updates, or corrections to the Historic Resource Map on an annual basis or more frequently as deemed necessary by the Historic Commission.
(4) 
Maintain an updated list which clearly identifies buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts and their respective classifications on the Historic Resource Map.
(5) 
Advise the Zoning Officer and Board of Supervisors on the issuance of demolition permits for historic resources.
(6) 
Review and comment on subdivision or land development applications which include historic resources, in accordance with the requirements and procedures of the Tredyffrin Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 181, Subdivision and Land Development.
(7) 
Advise the Board of Supervisors or Zoning Hearing Board on all requests for conditional uses or variances involving historic resources.
(8) 
Review applications for the rehabilitation, enlargement, or alteration of historic resources and advise the Board of Supervisors thereon.
A. 
The provisions of the Historic Resource Overlay District shall be deemed to be an overlay on any zoning districts now or hereafter enacted to regulate the use of land in Tredyffrin Township applicable to any property shown on the Historic Resource Map, as amended by the Board of Supervisors by resolution from time to time. The provisions of this chapter shall supersede any and all otherwise applicable requirements of the underlying zoning district.
B. 
Should any portion of the overlay district be determined to be inapplicable, such portion shall be deemed severable and the remaining portions of this article shall remain in full force and effect. Should this overlay district be determined not to be applicable in whole for any reason, the zoning requirements and other regulatory measures applicable to the property in question shall be those of the underlying zoning district without consideration of this article.
C. 
Revisions. The Historic Resources Map may be revised from time to time by the Board of Supervisors.
(1) 
In considering any revision, including additions, deletions, or changes of classification to the Historic Resources Map, the Board shall receive a written recommendation from the Historical Commission stating in detail the reason(s) for any revisions to the Historic Resources Map.
(2) 
The owner(s) of any property within Tredyffrin Township may propose the inclusion of his or her property on the Historic Resources Map and such property may be included upon recommendation of the Historical Commission and the approval of the Board of Supervisors.
(3) 
The owner(s) of any property(ies) which are the subject of proposed inclusion on the Historical Resources Map shall be given written notice of the Historical Commission's recommendation to the Board of Supervisors as required for zoning district/map changes in the Zoning Ordinance. Said written notice will specify that the owner(s) must consent to the proposed recommendation within 90 days by sending a written acceptance of the proposed recommendation to the Township Manager or the property will not be added to the Historic Resources Map.
(4) 
If the owner consents, as a predicate to the inclusion of any property on the Historic Resources Map, the owner(s) of the property shall submit to the Township a declaration on a form prepared by the Township to be recorded in the Office of the Record of Deeds of Chester County against the property providing a record notice of the inclusion of the property on the Historic Resources Map. The declaration shall be signed by all record owners of the property and in recordable form. Without such signed declaration, the property shall not be added to the Historic Resources Map.
The following uses and no other shall be permitted in the Historic Resource Overlay District:
A. 
Any use permitted in the underlying zoning district in which the property is located.
B. 
The following additional uses:
(1) 
A property upon which a historic resource is situated, excluding buildings and structures which do not contribute to the historic resource, which property obtains access from any street, may be used for any one of the following uses, subject to obtaining a recommendation from the Historical Commission and obtaining conditional use approval from the Board of Supervisors:
(a) 
Bed-and-breakfast, subject to the following conditions:
[1] 
A bed-and-breakfast facility shall be considered a low-impact home-based business and shall be subject to all applicable standards of § 208-120 regarding low-impact home-based businesses. If there is a conflict between § 208-120 and this section, the regulations in this section shall prevail.
[2] 
A bed-and-breakfast facility shall be permitted only in single-family detached owner-occupied dwellings, or existing buildings accessory thereto on the same property, provided that the property on which the dwellings or buildings are situated is located on a collector road.
[3] 
A lot size of not less than 80,000 square feet shall be required for the operation of a bed-and-breakfast facility, provided that:
[a] 
Parking to meet the requirements of § 208-13 can be provided on the lot without substantially altering its residential character and shall not be located in any required front or side yard area.
[b] 
An adequate sewage system exists to handle the anticipated sewage flows and the availability of sufficient backup area on the lot has been certified by the Chester County Health Department on the basis of an on-site inspection.
[4] 
The principal use of the property shall remain that of a single-family dwelling.
[5] 
No more than three guest rooms may be offered for bed-and-breakfast purposes on any individual residential property.
[6] 
There shall be provided one full bathroom (including one toilet, wash basin, bath and/or shower) for each two guest rooms.
[7] 
Length of stay shall not exceed seven uninterrupted days for any guest.
[8] 
Meals shall consist of breakfast only, and only for guests of the establishment. Owners shall comply with all federal, state, and local requirements for the preparation, handling, and serving of food.
[9] 
Any amenities (swimming pool, tennis court, etc.) shall be for the sole use of the resident owner and the bed-and-breakfast guests.
[10] 
The owner shall maintain a current guest register.
[11] 
There shall be no kitchen or cooking facilities in any guest suite.
(b) 
Cultural studio, subject to the following conditions if located in a residential zoning district:
[1] 
The use shall be limited to one instructional class at a time with not more than 10 students in the class and not more than two instructors.
[2] 
One off-street parking space shall be provided in the amount equal to half of the permitted occupancy rate, with a minimum of four off-street parking spaces.
(c) 
Gallery or museum, subject to the following conditions if located in a residential zoning district:
[1] 
The area devoted to the use shall be limited to 4,500 square feet.
[2] 
One off-street parking space shall be provided in the amount equal to half of the permitted occupancy rate, with a minimum of four off-street parking spaces.
(d) 
Accessory apartment. This use may be conducted in a structure accessory to the principal dwelling on the property, rather than within the principal dwelling, provided the accessory structure is determined by the Board of Supervisors to be a contributing resource and is identified as such on the Historic Resource Map and subject to the following:
[1] 
The accessory apartment can be the only other single-family dwelling unit on the property.
[2] 
Two off-street parking spaces shall be required for the accessory apartment.
(2) 
A property upon which an historic resource is situated, excluding buildings and structures which do not contribute to the historic resource, which obtains direct access from a major collector or higher order roadway in the currently enacted Tredyffrin Township Comprehensive Plan, may also be used for any one of the following, subject to obtaining a recommendation from the Historical Commission and obtaining conditional use approval from the Board of Supervisors. Where the facility is located in a residential zoning district, the property owner or manager or lessor of the facility must reside on the premises.
(a) 
Professional office, limited to one employee per 500 square feet of gross habitable floor area devoted to professional office use.
(b) 
Artist studio or craft workshop employing not more than five persons. Such crafts shall include model making, rug weaving, lapidary work, furniture making, and similar crafts.
C. 
For all uses located in a residential zoning district, the following regulations shall apply:
(1) 
To the extent that proposed new off-street parking would otherwise be visible from neighboring properties, such parking areas shall be completely screened by plant material or a combination of plant material, fencing, or berms to a height of at least four feet.
(2) 
There shall be no use of show windows or display or advertising visible outside the premises, other than a single, nonilluminated sign not exceeding two square feet.
(3) 
No use shall be permitted which generates noise perceptible at the property line.
(4) 
Site lighting shall be designed to screen the source of illumination and glare completely from adjacent properties.
(5) 
No square footage added to a historic resource after January 1, 2011, may be used in the calculations of gross habitable floor area for purposes of this section.
The requirements applicable to the underlying zoning district relating to building area, impervious surfaces and front, side, and rear yard setbacks may be modified by up to 15% with respect to historic resources, subject to obtaining a recommendation from the Historical Commission and conditional use approval from the Board of Supervisors. These modifications shall apply to the area of the lot as it existed on January 1, 2011.
A. 
The additional building area and impervious surface coverages permitted by this section each may not exceed 50% of the building area of the historic resource.
B. 
Where the requested relief is determined by the Board of Supervisors to be essential to the preservation of the historic resources because without such relief it would not be physically or economically possible to maintain the historic resource, the Board of Supervisors may, by conditional use, reduce such requirements to a greater degree than permitted by this section to protect the historic resource.
A. 
Standards. Any proposed rehabilitation, alteration, or enlargement of any historic resource shall be in substantial compliance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, as published in its current edition.
B. 
Compliance. Determination of compliance with these standards shall be made by written report of the Historical Commission, using the Secretary's Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings to apply the standards to each project. The Board of Supervisors' decision on the conditional use shall be made as per the requirements for conditional use in the Zoning Ordinance.
In any instance where the Board of Supervisors is required to consider a request for a conditional use in accordance with the provisions of this article, the following shall apply in addition to the requirements of § 208-117 of this chapter. Where the requirements of this section expressly conflict with any requirement of § 208-117, the requirements of this section shall be followed.
A. 
Applicant shall submit the appropriate application, including the following information:
(1) 
Name and address of the record owner and applicant (if different).
(2) 
Site plan showing all buildings and structures on the property.
(3) 
Recent photographs of the historic resource.
(4) 
A detailed narrative description of the proposed use(s).
(5) 
Any physical changes proposed for the affected historic resource(s) and the surrounding landscape.
B. 
The application shall be accompanied by a historic resource impact study where any land development or subdivision is proposed on a property that contains any historic resource(s).
C. 
The Zoning Officer shall forward the complete application to the Historical Commission. The Historical Commission, at a public meeting, shall review the application for conditional use and shall forward its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors within 60 days from the date the application was filed. In formulating its recommendations, the Historical Commission shall consider each of the criteria imposed by this section for the grant of conditional use approval. If the Historical Commission fails to act within 60 days, the application shall be deemed to be not recommended by the Historical Commission.
D. 
Any conditional use granted under this subsection shall be subject to the expiration requirements of § 208-117F, Expiration of conditional use.
E. 
Criteria for the grant of conditional use approval. Where a use is permitted in a Historical Resource Overlay District by conditional use, that use shall not be granted unless the following requirements have been satisfied, in addition to those set forth at § 208-150:
(1) 
The applicant shall have the burden of demonstrating that approval of the application will not jeopardize the preservation of historic resource(s) contained on the property subject to application. To sustain this burden the applicant shall present evidence demonstrating the following:
(a) 
Exact location of the area in which the work is to be done.
(b) 
The exterior changes to be made or the exterior character of the structure to be erected.
(c) 
A list of surrounding structures with their general exterior characteristics.
(d) 
The effect of the proposed change upon the general historic and architectural nature of the property.
(e) 
The appropriateness of exterior architectural features of structures involved with the proposed work.
(f) 
The general design, arrangement, texture, material, scale, mass and color of any affected building, structure, or site and the relation of such factors to similar features of other structures on the property.
(g) 
That rehabilitation work will not destroy the distinguishing qualities or character of the historic resource and its environment.
(h) 
Distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craftsmanship shall be preserved.
(2) 
The most current version of the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Structures, as amended, shall be used as a guideline in carrying out any plans involving the rehabilitation, alteration, or enlargement of historic resource(s).
(3) 
Where plans involving the rehabilitation, alteration, or enlargement of the historic resource(s) will result in all or portions of any such resource(s) remaining unoccupied, such unoccupied resources shall be securely sealed and barred off and the utilities turned off for safety, in a manner not jeopardizing historical integrity, as per the most current construction techniques for historic structures.
(4) 
A means to guarantee the protection of the historical integrity of the subject resource(s), such as the establishment of conservation easement(s) or appropriate covenants in a form acceptable to the Township Solicitor, shall be provided.
(5) 
The applicant shall have the burden of proving that the historical integrity of the historic resource has been provided for through the design of the building improvements as well as through implementation of buffering, landscaping, lighting, storage, access and traffic management, interior circulation, loading, parking, fencing, signage, and all other land development features.
(6) 
The applicant shall have the burden of proving that the grant of the application will not be destructive of the integrity of the historic resource or detrimentally affect the value of surrounding properties.
(7) 
The applicant must comply with the parking requirements for the proposed use as set forth in this article. The Board of Supervisors may prohibit any additional parking between the right-of-way and the facade of the building if the Board of Supervisors finds such parking would negatively impact the historical integrity of the resource.
(8) 
The applicant must comply with the requirements of this chapter with respect to signage. The Board of Supervisors may condition approval on a reduction in the size of the signage if it finds that the permitted signage will obstruct views required to assure the safety of the public or to retain the historic nature of the property.
(9) 
The Board of Supervisors may attach conditions to achieve the objectives set forth in this section and to promote the public health, safety, and welfare, which conditions may relate to any aspect of the proposed use of the property, including but not limited to buffering, parking, signage, traffic volume and flow, hours of operation, noise, and odor emissions.
(10) 
Where the Board of Supervisors waives any requirement which thereby increases the rate or volume of stormwater generated on the property, the additional rate and/or volume of runoff caused by such waiver shall be controlled for the one-hundred-year storm.
A. 
Demolition by neglect. No historic resource shall be demolished by neglect.
B. 
Demolition permits. No historic resource shall be demolished, in whole or in part, unless approved by the Board of Supervisors in accordance with the procedures as provided in this article, the Zoning Ordinance, and the Township Building and Fire Codes.
C. 
Application requirements for historic resources. In addition to applicable requirements under the Township Building and Fire Codes, any applicant seeking a permit to demolish a historic resource shall provide the following information with regard to that historic resource:
(1) 
The identity of the owner of record;
(2) 
Site plan showing all buildings and structures on the property;
(3) 
Recent photographs of the resource proposed for demolition, including internal features;
(4) 
Reasons for the proposed demolition;
(5) 
Method of proposed demolition;
(6) 
A statement of future use of the site and of the materials from the demolished resource; and
(7) 
In any instance where there is a claim that a historic resource cannot be used for any purpose for which it is or may be reasonably adapted, or where a permit application for demolition is based, in whole or in part, on financial hardship, the applicant shall submit financial documentation as requested by the Board of Supervisors.
D. 
Review by the Historical Commission. All applications for demolition of any property listed on the Historic Resource Map shall be submitted to the Historical Commission and no permit shall be issued without the completion of such review. The Historical Commission shall determine whether issuance of a demolition permit is in the public interest. The Historical Commission shall submit their recommendation to the Board of Supervisors not later than 60 days from the date application was filed. If the Historical Commission fails to act within 60 days, the application shall be deemed to be not recommended by the Historical Commission.
E. 
After review, the Historical Commission shall make a written report to the Board of Supervisors setting forth its recommendation regarding proposed demolition.
F. 
Within 45 days from receipt of the Historical Commission's recommendation, the Board of Supervisors will consider the Historical Commission's recommendation with regard to application for demolition of the historic resource at a public hearing. The property owner will be given a minimum of 10 days' notice of the meeting. The Board of Supervisors will consider evidence, reports, or testimony from interested parties and will render a decision either to deny or approve the application for demolition within 30 days of the meeting. If the Board of Supervisors fails to act within the time frames provided in this subsection, the application shall be deemed denied.