Short title. This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Millcreek Township Zoning Ordinance."
Long title: an ordinance of Millcreek Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania to establish zoning regulations for the use of land, structures, open spaces, watercourses and other bodies of water; defining and regulating the size, height, bulk, location, erection, construction, repair, maintenance, alteration, demolition, area, intensity of use and dimensions of land, structures, open spaces and bodies of water for agricultural, business, industrial, residential, public service, environmental or other purposes; the density of population and intensity of use; the provision of design specifications and performance standards; the percentage of lots which may be occupied by buildings; size of yards and open spaces; the establishment of legislative, administrative, enforcement and appeal procedures; prescribing fines and remedies for violations; and including severability and repealer clauses.
Headings and titles. The headings and titles of this chapter are placed herein for convenience only, and shall not be construed or interpreted as limiting the subject matter following the said headings or titles.
This chapter is enacted to promote an orderly plan of development according to the goals, objectives and recommendations of the Millcreek Township Comprehensive Plan, as amended and updated (the "Comprehensive Plan"). The Comprehensive Plan includes data on existing conditions with reasonable consideration of the existing character of the various uses within the Township and the respective suitability of particular land uses.
The general purposes, which are the basis for the provisions and regulations of this chapter, are set forth in the Millcreek Township Comprehensive Plan and in Sections 603 and 604 of the Municipalities Planning Code, as amended. The zoning regulations and districts set forth in this chapter are made in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan for the general welfare of the Township and are intended, but not limited, to achieving the following objectives:
To implement the policy goals and strategies of the Millcreek Township Comprehensive Plan (2002 Update), as may in the future be amended.
To prevent one or more of the following: overcrowding of land, blight, danger and congestion in travel and transportation, loss of health, life or property from fire, flood, panic or other dangers.
To promote and facilitate coordinated and practical community development in relation to infrastructure facilities.
To promote, protect and facilitate any or all of the following: the public health, safety, morals and general welfare; coordinated and practical community development; the proper density of population; emergency management preparedness and operations; airports and national defense facilities; the provisions of adequate light and air; access to incident solar energy; provision of police and fire protection and emergency medical services; vehicle parking and loading space; transportation, water and sewage service; schools, recreational facilities and public grounds; provision of a safe, reliable and adequate water supply for domestic, commercial, agricultural, business and industrial use; preservation of the natural, scenic and historic values in the environment; preservation of and access to forests, open spaces, recreation areas and scenic areas; preservation of steep slopes, wetlands, aquifers and floodplains; and other public requirements.
To provide for all appropriate land uses necessary to the community, considering attractiveness and function, and to encourage environmental consideration and discourage conflicts among the various uses.
To encourage high-quality development and redevelopment which minimizes negative environmental impacts and creates developments which are fiscally sound.
To manage development so that growth does not overtax existing infrastructure, including streets and sewer, water and storm sewer facilities.
To minimize negative environmental impacts of transportation improvements.
To provide for the use of land within the Township for residential housing of various dwelling types encompassing all basic forms of housing, including single-family, two-family and multifamily dwellings and manufactured homes and manufactured home parks; provided, however, that this chapter shall not be deemed invalid for the failure to provide for any other specific dwelling type.
To provide affordable and attractive housing to all existing and future residents of the Township.
To allow for and encourage various types of affordable housing that appeals to all income levels.
To promote the maximum availability and usage of appropriate commercial, office and industrial properties within the Township which will provide for growth of the local economy.
To recognize, preserve and protect the historic and cultural resources of the Township as a means for enhancing its visual character and improving the overall quality of life of Township residents.
To provide standards to control the amount of open space and impervious surfaces within a development and to control the intensity of development in areas of sensitive natural resources or natural features in order to reduce or eliminate adverse environmental impacts.
To encourage future land use and development to complement a logical, harmonious and efficient pattern of future Township growth.
To support and encourage order and beauty in the development of Millcreek Township's environment for the convenience, pleasure and enjoyment of present and future citizens and residents through sound land development practices and the provision of adequate public utilities and facilities.
To encourage future residential use to occur in a harmonious arrangement within compact neighborhood units.
To guide commercial development in such a way as to minimize adverse influences on adjacent streets and infrastructure or land uses; to maintain and protect existing commercial uses; and to encourage new commercial facilities to locate in functionally designed centers with safe and adequate street and highway access.
To protect property uses and values to insure a suitable, attractive and efficient community environment.
To encourage developers to incorporate adequate public facilities, open spaces and recreation areas to incorporate adequate public and private facilities and open spaces in neighborhood design.
To provide standards for regulating the time, place, and manner of signage to promote the public health, safety, welfare, and morals of the community:
[Added 7-9-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-12]
Signs obstruct views, distract motorists, displace alternative uses for land and pose other problems that legitimately call for regulation. Signs also perform an important function in identifying and promoting properties, businesses, services, residences, events, and other matters of interest to the public.
Sign regulations established in this chapter are intended to regulate the size, color, illumination, movement, materials, location, height, condition and number of signs in order to ensure that they are appropriate for their respective uses, in keeping with the appearance of the affected property and surrounding environment, and are protective of property values, the character of neighborhoods and the public's health, safety, and general welfare.
Sign regulations must be interpreted in a manner consistent with the United States and Pennsylvania constitutions regarding freedom of speech.
The intent of the Township in establishing sign regulations is to:
Create an atmosphere of prosperity and stimulate commercial activity;
Establish standards for the size, color, movement, materials, height, quantity, location, construction, maintenance and permitting of signs;
Establish standards for the illumination of signs to ensure visibility while minimizing potential hazards, distractions to traffic and visual chaos;
Set standards and provide uniform controls that permit reasonable use of signs and preserve the character of the municipality;
Restrict the location of sign types to certain zoning districts; and
Provide for permit fees for all signs and for enforcement of regulations.
The sign regulations are not intended to and do not apply to signs erected, maintained or otherwise posted, owned or leased by the Commonwealth, the federal government or this Township. The inclusion of government in describing some signs does not intend to subject the government to regulation, but instead helps illustrate the type of sign that falls within the immunities of the government from this regulation.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. §§ 10603 and 10604, respectively.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all zoning districts, lots, uses, buildings, structures, land developments and subdivisions within the municipal boundaries of Millcreek Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania.
The provisions of this chapter shall be construed and interpreted to constitute the minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety and welfare.
Relationship with other ordinances, rules, regulations and permits. This chapter is not intended to interfere with, abrogate or annul any ordinance, rule, regulation or permit previously adopted or issued, and not in conflict with any of the provisions of this chapter, or which shall be adopted or issued, pursuant to the use of buildings or premises and likewise not in conflict with this chapter; nor is this chapter intended to interfere with, abrogate or annul any easement, covenant or other agreement between parties, subject to the provisions of § 145-5B.
Restrictions in ordinance to control. Where this chapter imposes greater restrictions upon the use of a building, structure or land, upon the bulk, height or size of a building or structure, coverage of lots, establishes performance standards and regulations or requires larger open spaces than is or are required by other ordinances, regulations or permits or by easements or agreements, the provisions of this chapter shall govern.
Greater restrictions elsewhere. Where any other ordinance, rule, regulation, permit, easement, covenant or agreement imposes greater restrictions than those set forth in this chapter, such other restrictions shall govern.
Construction and other standards. Specific standards governing construction as are established in Chapter 29, Code Enforcement, Part 3, Uniform Construction Code, and Part 2, Public and Private Improvements, and Chapter 125, Subdivision and Land Development, and other ordinance enacted by the Township or other governmental entity shall govern actual construction, this chapter to govern administration and the submission of and action on applications for zoning permits and certificates.
Relationship to development regulation. Where regulations established in this chapter are also established in Chapter 125, Subdivision and Land Development, or other ordinance applicable to regulation of land developments and subdivisions, the Board of Supervisors, in the course of its regulation and action on a plan application, shall have authority to address such matters.
Amendment and restatement. This chapter constitutes and is intended to be a comprehensive amendment and restatement of the Millcreek Township Zoning Ordinance, first enacted as Ordinance No. 2 on April 4, 1949, amended and restated by Ordinance No. 100, enacted on September 15, 1958, and by Ordinance No. 74-29, enacted on December 30, 1974, including all amendments thereto enacted prior to the effective date of this amended and restated ordinance. All regulations in this chapter shall be deemed to have been first enacted as of the effective date of the ordinance first establishing such regulation(s).
Incorporation of regulations in individual ordinances. This chapter incorporates, amends and restates regulations previously established in ordinances other than the Zoning Ordinance or amendments thereto. Regulations from such ordinances so incorporated herein shall be deemed effective from the date of such ordinances' enactment.
Commencing with the effective date of this chapter, the use of land as a junkyard shall be authorized as a use on special exception under Article VIII of this chapter. Such uses authorized and permitted prior to the effective date of this chapter under the Junkyard Ordinance (No. 61-6), enacted September 11, 1961, shall continue to be authorized and, from the effective date of this chapter, shall adhere to standards as incorporated and amended in Article VIII of this chapter, any future expansion or alteration of a preexisting use to be deemed an application for use on special exception under Article VIII. Subject to the provisions of this § 145-5G, the Junkyard Ordinance shall be repealed.
This chapter incorporates regulations formerly established in such ordinances as the Sign Ordinance (No. 88-21). It is intended that enactment of this amended and restated Ordinance shall repeal Ordinance No. 88-21.
Incorporation in this chapter of regulations formerly established in other ordinances, generally, shall repeal such other ordinances insofar as their regulations are incorporated herein.
No structure shall be located, erected, demolished, constructed, moved, altered externally, converted or enlarged, nor shall any structure or land be used or be designed to be used, except in full compliance with all provisions of this chapter, and the subsequent lawful issuance of all permits and certifications required by this chapter.
Whenever, in any district established under this chapter, a use is not specifically authorized and an individual makes an application to the Zoning Officer for such use, the Zoning Officer shall refer the application to the Zoning Hearing Board, which shall have the authority to permit or deny the proposed use. The use may be authorized if it is similar to and compatible with uses permitted or authorized in the district and in no way is in conflict with the general purpose and intent of this chapter or any provision permitting or authorizing the same; provided, that the same shall comply with and follow all requirements of this chapter.