[Ord. 3/29/1990A, § 200; as amended by Ord. 93-2, 2/8/1993, § 5; and by Ord. 07-03, 3/26/2007, § 1]
Unless a contrary intention clearly appears, the following words and phrases shall have for the purposes of this chapter the meanings given in the following subsections.
For the purposes of this chapter, words and terms used herein shall be interpreted as follows:
Words used in the present tense include the future.
The singular includes the plural.
The word "person" includes an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association or government entity; including a trustee, a receiver, an assignee or a similar representative.
The word "lot" includes the word "plot" or "parcel."
The term "shall" is mandatory.
The word "used" or "occupied," as applied to any land or building, shall be construed to include the words "intended," "arranged" or "designed to be occupied."
The word "Supervisors" and the words "Board of Supervisors" always mean the New Hanover Township Board of Supervisors.
The word "Commission" and the words "Planning Commission" always mean the New Hanover Township Planning Commission.
The words "Zoning Hearing Board" always mean the New Hanover Township Zoning Hearing Board.
The words "Zoning Officer" always mean the New Hanover Township Zoning Officer.
Any word or term not defined herein shall be used with a meaning of standard usage.
[Ord. 3/29/1990A, §§ 201 — 263; as amended by Ord. 93-2, 2/8/1973, §§ 5 — 14; by Ord. 95-8, 9/25/1995, § 2; by Ord. 95-8B, 11/27/2995, §§ 4 — 6; by Ord. 97-7, 10/13/1997, § 27-202; by Ord. 98-6, 6/22/1998, § 1; by Ord. 99-2, 6/28/1999, § 03; by Ord. 01-4, 10/22/2001, § 1; by Ord. 01-6, 10/22/2001, § 8; by Ord. 05-06, 8/22/2005, § 2; by Ord. 06-02, 1/30/2006, § 8; and by Ord. 06-03, 4/24/2006, § 1; by Ord. 07-03, 3/26/2007, § 3; by Ord. 08-02, 4/14/2008, § 2; by Ord. 08-03, 9/22/2008, § 1; by Ord. 09-03, 6/22/2009, § 6; by Ord. 09-04, 8/10/2009, § 1; and by Ord. 17-03, 3/27/2017]
- AGRICULTURAL OPERATION
- An enterprise that is actively engaged in the commercial production and preparation for market of crops, livestock and livestock products and in the production, harvesting and preparation for market or use of agricultural, agronomic, horticultural, silvicultural and acquicultural crops and commodities. The term includes an enterprise that implements changes in production practices and procedures or types of crops, livestock, livestock products or commodities produced consistent with practices and procedures that are normally engaged by farmers or are consistent with technological development within the agricultural industry.
- The use of land for agricultural purposes, including farming, dairy, pasturage, apiculture, horticulture, floriculture, viticulture, silviculture and aquiculture and animal and poultry husbandry and the necessary accessory uses for packing, treating and storing the produce; provided, however, that the operation of any such accessory uses shall be secondary to that of the normal agricultural activities. Included in the term "agriculture" is the use of machinery designed and used for agricultural operations including, but not limited to, crop dryers, feed grinders, saw mills, hammer mills, refrigeration equipment, bins and related equipment used to store or prepare crops for marketing, and those items of agricultural equipment and machinery defined by the Act of December 12, 1994, P.L. 944, No. 134, known as the "Farm Safety and Occupational Health Act," 3 P.S. § 1901 et seq. Custom work and the movement of crops harvested off-site to the farmstead property shall be considered normal farming practice.
- As applied to a building or structure, a change or rearrangement in the structural parts, or an enlargement or diminution, whether by extending on a side or by increasing in height, or the moving from one location or position to anther. The change or rearrangement of nonstructural parts to enlarge or diminish the size or bulk of a building or structure. Any change that would convert an existing building into a different structure, adapt it to a different use or, which in the case of a nonconforming use, would prolong the life of such use.
- BANKFULL FLOW
- The point above a waterway which defines the maximum height of channel flow of a waterway. It is either determined visually or computed as an elevation using the peak rate of runoff from a two-year storm event.
- That portion of a building that, partly or completely, is below grade (see "story above grade."
- A room having a minimum area of 70 square feet, located in a dwelling and of proportions clearly usable, on a regular basis, for sleeping. Dens, family rooms and other rooms which, in the opinion of the Township, are not suitable for regular use as sleeping rooms shall not be counted as bedrooms for the purposes of this chapter.
- BOARDER, ROOMER OR LODGER
- A person, except family, occupying any room or group of rooms forming a single, habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping, but not for cooking or eating purposes, and paying compensation for lodging or board and lodging by prearrangement for a week or more at a time to an owner or operator. Any person occupying such room or rooms and paying such compensation without prearrangement for less than a week at a time shall be classified for purposes of this chapter not as a roomer, boarder or lodger, but as a guest of a commercial lodging establishment (motel, hotel, inn, guesthouse, tourist home).
- A structure under roof, used for the shelter or enclosure of persons, animals or property. The word "building" shall include any part thereof.
- BUILDING COVERAGE
- The percentage of the lot area covered by the aggregate of the maximum horizontal cross-section areas of all buildings on a lot above the ground level measured at the greatest outside dimensions excluding cornices, eaves, gutters and as otherwise qualified elsewhere in this chapter.
- BUILDING ENVELOPE
- That area of the lot that has no development restrictions. The building envelope shall not include the area of any required setbacks, buffer yards, natural features within 100% protection standard and the portion of those natural features that may not be developed or intruded upon as specified in § 27-2101, Natural Resource Protection Standards.
- BUILDING HEIGHT
- A vertical distance measured from the elevation of the finished grade at the front of the building or structure to the mean height of the highest roof surface. If a building faces onto more than one street, the maximum height requirement shall refer to the average of the mean height of the highest roof surface measured from the elevation of the finished grade for each facade of the building which fronts on a street. See § 27-1910, Height, and § 27-1911, Height Limitations of Fences and Walls.
- BUILDING SETBACK LINE
- The minimum front yard, as herein designated, for each use and each district, measured at a distance equal to and no greater than the minimum front yard from the street line as defined in "street line." For exceptions, see "rear lot."
- BUILDING SPACING
- The minimum distance between buildings. The minimum building spacing shall be measured from the outermost wall or projection, excluding bay windows, chimneys, flues, columns, ornamental features, cornices and gutters. These exceptions may encroach no more than two feet.
- Real estate, portions of which are designated for separate ownership and the remainder of which is designated for common ownership solely by the owners of those portions. Real estate is not a condominium unless the undivided interests in the common elements are vested in the unit owners. A condominium is a unit with all of the following characteristics:
- A. The unit may be any permitted land use. A condominium is an ownership arrangement, not a land use.
- B. All or a portion of the exterior open space and any community interior spaces are owned and maintained in accordance with the Pennsylvania Uniform Condominium Act, 68 Pa.C.S.A. § 3101 et seq., and in accordance with the provisions for open space, roads or other development features in this chapter and Chapter 22, Subdivision and Land Development.
- A measure of the number of dwelling units per lot area acre. Density shall be expressed in dwelling units per acre.
- DETACHED DWELLING
- A single detached dwelling unit on an individual lot with private yards on all sides of the house.
- Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or the storage of equipment or materials.
- DRIVE-THROUGH FACILITY
- Any commercial business, including an eating or drinking establishment, retail business, bank or related use, or service offering refreshments, entertainment, or services to patrons, who purchase and/or consume such refreshments, entertainment, or services on the premises and/or outside of the building, including patrons who may be served in their automobiles. These facilities include stacking lanes directly serving a service area, the service window where transactions such as sales of medication, food or other uses takes place, and the exit lanes not otherwise associated with exit lanes from a parking area.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A single unit providing complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.
- A person who is employed or is engaged in gainful activity. For the purposes of this chapter, the term shall refer to the maximum number of employees on duty at any time at a place of business, whether the employees are full or part time. If shifts are involved in which two shifts overlap, it refers to the total of both shifts.
- EXTRACTIVE OPERATION
- An enterprise that is actively engaged in the removal of any aggregate or mass of mineral matter including, but not limited to, limestone and dolomite, sand and gravel, rock and stone, earth, fill, slag, iron ore, zinc, copper, or vermiculite and clay, anthracite and bituminous coal, coal refuse, peat, crude oil and natural gas. The term includes an enterprise that implements changes in extractive practices and procedures consistent with technological development within the mining industry.
- Any number of persons related by blood, foster relationship, marriage or adoption and, in addition, any domestic servants or gratuitous guests thereof; or a group of not more than five persons who need not be so related and, in addition, domestic servants thereof, who are living together in a single, nonprofit dwelling unit and maintaining a common household with single cooking facilities. A roomer, boarder or lodger shall not be considered a member of the family. Notwithstanding anything herein contained, family shall also be deemed to include any number of mentally or physically handicapped persons occupying a dwelling unit as a single housekeeping unit, if such occupants are handicapped persons as defined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, in which instance such unrelated individuals shall have the right to occupy a dwelling unit in the same manner and to the same extent as any family unit as herein defined. Occupation of the dwelling unit shall be subject to confirmation by the representatives of the Montgomery County Health Department or Code Enforcement Officer, whichever is applicable, that sanitary sewage facilities, whether onsite or municipal in nature, potable water supply and off-street parking are sufficient to address the needs of the total number of individuals occupying the dwelling unit.
- Areas adjoining streams, ponds or lakes subject to floodwater inundation during the one-hundred-year recurrence interval flood. The areas considered to be floodplain within New Hanover Township shall include those areas identified as being subject to the one-hundred-year flood in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) prepared for Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, by the Federal Insurance Administration, dated October 19, 2001, and the accompanying Flood Boundary and Floodway Map, dated October 19, 2001, or the most recent revision thereto, and FEMA-approved revisions and additions. This definition includes those portions of the floodplain identified below. Refer to §§ 27-2101, 27-2102 and 27-2103 for protection standards.
- FLOODPLAIN SOILS
- Areas subject to periodic flooding and listed in the Soil Survey of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, April, 1967, as being subject to "flooding." Refer to §§ 27-2101, 27-2102 and 27-2103 for protection standards. Floodplain soils may include, but are not limited to, the following soil types:
- FLOOR AREA
- See "area, floor."
- FLOOR AREA RATIO
- The ratio of the floor area to the lot area, as determined by dividing the floor area by the lot area.
- The science of planting and taking care of forests.
- Water occurring in a saturated zone or stratum percolating beneath the surface of land and for the purpose of this chapter shall include water emanating or generated from any underground aquifer, spring, infiltration gallery or artesian water source.
- HYDRIC SOILS
- A soil that is saturated, flooded or ponded long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions that favor the growth and regeneration of wetlands vegetation. Wetlands vegetation are those plant species that have adapted to the saturated soils and periodic inundations occurring in wetlands as classified in the Soil Survey of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, April, 1967. Hydric soils may include, but are not limited to, the following soil types:
- IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
- Those surfaces which do not absorb water. All buildings, parking areas, driveways, roads, sidewalks and any areas in concrete, asphalt and packed stone shall be considered impervious surfaces within this definition. In addition, other areas determined by the Township Engineer to be impervious within the meaning of this definition will also be classed as impervious surfaces.
- A parcel of land, used or set aside and available for use as the site of one or more buildings and any buildings accessory thereto or for any other purpose, in one ownership and not divided by a street, nor including any land within the right-of-way of a public street upon which said lot abuts, even if the ownership to such right-of-way is in the owner of the lot. A lot for the purpose of this chapter may or may not coincide with a lot of record. A lot shall front on a public street.
- Any aggregate or mass of mineral matter, whether or not coherent. The term includes, but is not limited to, limestone and dolomite, sand and gravel, rock and stone, earth, fill, slag, iron ore, zinc, copper, or vermiculite and clay, anthracite and bituminous coal, coal refuse, peat, crude oil and natural gas.
- MINERAL EXTRACTION
- An enterprise that is actively engaged in the removal of any aggregate or mass of mineral matter, including, but not limited to, limestone and dolomite, sand and gravel, rock and stone, earth, fill, slag, iron ore, zinc, copper, or vermiculite and clay, anthracite and bituminous coal, coal refuse, peat and crude oil and natural gas. The term includes an enterprise that implements changes in extractive practices and procedures consistent with technological development within the mining industry.
- MOBILE HOME
- A transportable, single-family dwelling unit intended for permanent occupancy, office or place of assembly, contained in one unit, or in two units designed to be jointed into one integral unit capable of again being separated for repeated towing, which arrives at a site complete and ready for occupancy except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations, and constructed so that it may be used without a permanent foundation. For the purposes of this part, any inhabited mobile home shall be considered a detached dwelling unit and as such shall be subject to all applicable regulations in this or other Township ordinances. As a structure, a mobile home shall be used only in conformance with § 27-305 and Parts 4 through 8.
- MOBILE HOME LOT
- A parcel of land in a mobile home park, improved with the necessary utility connections and other appurtenances (accessory attachments) necessary for the erection thereon of a single mobile home.
- MODULAR HOME
- A dwelling unit erected on a foundation and made of one or more sections built in a factory. The completed unit shall meet the building code in effect.
- OPEN SPACE
- Land used for noncommercial purposes including recreation, agriculture, resource protection or amenity; is freely accessible to all residents of the development; and is protected by the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 22, Subdivision and Land Development, to ensure that it remains in such uses. Open space does not include land occupied by nonrecreational buildings, roads or road rights-of-way; nor does it include the yards or lots of dwelling units, nonresidential buildings, or parking areas as required by the provisions of this chapter. Open space for recreational uses may contain impervious surfaces; and such surfaces shall be included in the calculation of the impervious surface ratio. Refer to § 27-2104, Open Space in Residential Developments, for limitations on the use of open space for buffer yards, utility easements, community sewage systems and/or stormwater management improvements.
- OPEN SPACE RATIO
- A measure of the intensity of land use. It is arrived at by dividing the total amount of open space within the site by the base site area.
- OWNER (LANDOWNER)
- The legal or beneficial owner or owners of land including the holder of an option or contract to purchase (whether or not such option or contract is subject to any condition), a lessee under a written lease, who has written authorization of the legal owner, shall be deemed to be landowner for the purpose of this chapter.
- POND SHORELINES
- Areas around ponds measured 100 feet from the spillway crest elevation. Refer to § 27-2101, Subsection 1G, for protection standards.
- Natural or artificial bodies of water 1/4 acre or larger which retain water year-round. Artificial ponds may be created by dams or result from excavation. Refer to § 27-2101, Subsection 1F, for protection standards.
- PUBLIC AMENITY
- Any infrastructure facility, building, structure, service or combination thereof, or a fee-in lieu of such improvement, intended for use by the general public or land approved for such use, that is owned, leased, operated and/or controlled by a local governmental entity or a private entity performing governmental functions. Public facilities must be community-serving and may be developed for local neighborhood communities or the Township as a whole. Such facilities include, but are not limited to, the following: fire and police stations, public libraries, swimming pools, athletic fields, a public transportation center, public administration or maintenance building.
- The process of creating woodlands with three distinct layers of vegetation: canopy trees, understory shrubs or trees, and herbaceous groundcover plants. Reforestation can occur through both natural regeneration and through active management and planting.
- RIPARIAN AREA OR RIPARIAN CORRIDOR
- Land adjacent to a stream, lake, pond, wetlands, or waterway. Riparian areas form the transition between the aquatic and the terrestrial environment.
- SELECTIVE CUTTING
- A method of removing small groups of trees scattered throughout a woodland in order to retain the biodiversity of the woodland while allowing limited harvesting of trees.
- SINGLE AND SEPARATE OWNERSHIP
- The ownership of a lot by one or more persons, partnerships or corporations, which ownership is separate and distinct from that of any adjoining lot.
- The site shall be defined in the deed. This area shall be determined from an actual site survey rather than from a deed description. When required by this chapter, a minimum area required for a specified use, form of development or subdivision. In the determination of the minimum site area required for the specific use of land or structure, any portion of the parcel designated in a different zoning district classification shall not be included.
- SITE AREA, BASE
- The base site area is the area of the site remaining after subtracting land which is not contiguous, land previously subdivided, and existing road and utility rights-of-way from the site area. See § 27-2102, Subsection 1C, for the specific calculations.
- SITE AREA, NET BUILDING
- The area of the site at which may be altered, disturbed or regraded for development purposes. The net buildable site area could contain buildings, roads, parking areas, sewage systems and stormwater management facilities. The net buildable site area would not contain required open space, recreation areas and natural resource protection areas. See § 27-2102, Subsection 1C, for the specific calculations.
- SITE CAPACITY
- The maximum number of lots or dwelling units, the maximum impervious surfaces, the net buildable site area and the minimum required open space as calculated under the provisions of § 27-2102, Subsection 1C.
- STEEP SLOPES
- Areas where the average slope exceeds 15% which, because of this slope, are subject to high rates of stormwater runoff and therefore erosion and flooding. Refer to § 27-2101, Subsection 1C.
- A story is that portion of a building included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the floor next above it, or if there is no floor above it, then the space between the floor and the ceiling next above it and including those basements used for the principal use.
- STORY ABOVE GRADE
- Any story having its finished floor surface entirely above grade, except that a basement shall be considered as a story above grade where the finished surface of the floor above the basement is:
- STREET (ROAD)
- A strip of land including the entire ultimate right-of-way including street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, freeway, parking, lane or viaduct publicly or privately owned, serving primarily as a means of vehicular and pedestrian travel, furnishing access to abutting properties, which may also be used to provide space for sewers, public utilities, shade trees and sidewalks.
- STREET LINE
- The dividing line between the street and the lot. The street line shall be the same as the legal right-of-way; provided, that where an ultimate right-of-way width for a road or street has been established, then that width shall determine the location of the street line.
- A combination of materials assembled, constructed or erected at a fixed location on or in land or water, including a building or a mobile home, whether or not affixed to the land.
- Material immediately underlying topsoil, consisting of, but not limited to, either singly or in combination, clay, sand, gravel or crushed rock but not including bedrock or other impervious surface, as more fully defined and set forth in the most recently adopted and approved Montgomery County soil survey, exclusive of the "A" Horizon.
- The science or technology of communications by electronic transmission of impulses as by telegraph, cable, telephone, radio, television, microwave, earth station broadcast/cable television communications and other similar technology not otherwise enumerated and as may evolve after enactment of this chapter.
- The top most layer of ground cover containing humus in some concentration capable of supporting plant growth as more fully defined and set forth in the most recently adopted and approved Montgomery County soil survey under the designation of the "A" Horizon, but not including subsoil.
- TREES, MATURE
- Mature trees are those which measure at least 10 inches dbh (diameter at breast height of 4 1/2 feet above the ground). Refer to § 27-2101, Subsection 1E, for protection standards.
- Any activity, occupation, business or operation carried on, or intended to be carried on, in a building or other structure or on a tract of land.
- USE, ACCESSORY
- A use located on the same lot with a principal use, and clearly incidental or subordinate to, and in connection with, the principal use.
- USE, PRINCIPAL
- The main use on a lot.
- Those services customarily rendered by public utility corporations, municipalities or municipal authorities, in the nature of electricity, gas, telephone, water and sewerage, including the appurtenances used in connection with the supplying of such services (buildings, wires, pipes, poles and the like).
- A stream, creek, river, pond, lake, or other watercourse or waterbody.
- Areas of undrained, saturated soils supporting wetland vegetation, where the water table is at or near the surface or where shallow water covers the area due to permanent or seasonal inundation of surface or ground water. For the purposes of this chapter, wetlands are identified as areas meeting one of the two following criteria:
- A. All areas comprised of hydric soils and all adjacent soil types with inclusion of hydric components.
- B. Areas as determined and delineated on a specific site by an environmental consultant experienced and qualified in the delineation of wetlands. Where hydric soils exist and a wetlands determination has been completed, the wetlands determination shall govern the location of the wetlands boundary. All wetlands determinations completed by environmental consultants shall follow the PA DEP accepted guidelines for the determination of wetlands. Where soil types with inclusion of hydric components exist adjacent to hydric soils a wetlands evaluation may be completed by an environmental consultant experienced in the determination of the existence of wetlands. When the evaluation determines the absence of hydric components in the soils adjacent to the hydric soils, the wetlands boundary shall be considered as the limits of the hydric soil. All wetland determination and wetland evaluation studies shall be subject to review and approval by the Board of Supervisors on the recommendation of the Township Engineer. See the definition of "hydric soils." See "Mapping Units With Inclusions of Hydric Components," published by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, included in the definition of "hydric soils" for a list of soil types with hydric components. Refer to § 27-2101, Subsection 1F, for protection standards.
- WETLANDS MARGIN
- The transitional area extending from the outer limit of the wetland. For purposes of this chapter, the wetlands margin shall extend 20 feet from the wetland boundary as defined in "wetlands." Refer to § 27-2101, Subsection 1H, for protection standards.
- Woodlands are areas comprised of one or more acres of mature or largely mature trees in which the largest trees measure at least six inches dbh (diameter at breast height or 4.5 feet above the ground). The woodland shall be measured from the drip line of the outer trees. Woodlands are also 10 or more individual trees which measure at least 10 inches dbh and form a contiguous canopy. Refer to § 27-2101, Subsection 1D, for protection standards.
- An open space unobstructed from the ground up except for permitted projections and plantings, on the same lot with a structure, extending along a lot line or street line and inward to the structure. The size of the required yard shall be that minimum area as set forth in the underlying zoning district for each of the types of yards described further herein. See § 27-1907, Projections into Required Yards, § 27-1908, Accessory Buildings in Required Yards, and § 27-1909, Fences, Hedges and Walls in Required Yards.