Questions about eCode360? Municipal users Join us daily between 12pm and 1pm EDT to get answers and other tips!
Township of Lower Oxford, PA
Chester County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1600]
1. 
Hereafter, no land shall be used or occupied, and no building or structure shall be erected, altered, used or occupied, except in conformity with the regulations herein established for the district in which such land, building or structure is located.
2. 
In cases of mixed occupancy, the regulations for each use shall apply to the portion of the building or land so used.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1601; as amended by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
1. 
For the administration of this chapter, a Code Enforcement Officer, who shall not hold any elective office in the Township of Lower Oxford, shall be appointed.
2. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall meet the qualifications established by the Township of Lower Oxford and shall be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Township of Lower Oxford a working knowledge of municipal zoning.
3. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall administer this chapter in accordance with its literal terms, and shall not have the power to permit any construction or any use or change of use which does not conform to this chapter.
4. 
The Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized to institute civil enforcement proceedings as a means of enforcement when acting within the scope of his employment.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1602; as amended by Ord. 2-2006, 11/8/2006]
A building permit shall be required prior to any construction or development being undertaken including, but not limited to, the erection or alteration of or enlargement of any building or other structure or portion thereof. It shall be unlawful for any person to commence work for the erection of or alteration of or enlargement of any building or structure or portion thereof until a permit has been duly issued therefore.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1603; as amended by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993; and by Ord. 2-2006, 11/8/2006]
1. 
All applications for building permits shall be made in writing on a form furnished by the Township and shall be accompanied by a plot plan drawn accurately showing the exact size and location of any existing or proposed buildings on the lot in question or upon abutting land within 50 feet of the side and rear lines of such lot and the lines within which the proposed building or other structure shall be erected, altered or enlarged. There shall, in addition, be included with all applications such other plans, documents, and information as may be necessary to enable the Code Enforcement Officer to ascertain compliance with this Chapter 27 and all other pertinent ordinances.
2. 
No building permit shall be issued unless the applicant has first secured permits from the Chester County Board of Health for an on-site sewage facility and to install a well, a driveway permit from the Township for access to Township roads or a Highway Occupancy permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for access to state roads, an erosion and sediment control permit, and all other permits required by federal, state and/or local statutes, regulations, laws and ordinances. At the time the applicant applies for a building permit, the applicant shall submit proof of his having secured such permits.
A. 
Application Procedures and Requirements.
(1) 
Application for such a building permit shall be made, in writing, to the Code Enforcement Officer on forms supplied by the (Township, Borough, etc.). Such application shall contain the following:
(a) 
Name and address of applicant.
(b) 
Name and address of owner of land on which proposed construction is to occur.
(c) 
Name and address of contractor.
(d) 
Site location including address.
(e) 
Listing of other permits required.
(f) 
Details of any prior flood-related damage if available.
(g) 
Brief description of proposed work and estimated cost, including a breakout of any flood damage related cost and the market value of the building before the flood damage occurred.
(h) 
A plan of the site showing the exact size and location of the proposed construction as well as any existing buildings or structures.
(2) 
If any proposed construction or development is located entirely or partially within any identified floodplain area, applicants for building permits shall provide all the necessary information in sufficient detail and clarity to enable the Code Enforcement Officer to determine that:
(a) 
All such proposals are consistent with the need to minimize flood damage and conform with the requirements of this and all other applicable codes and ordinances.
(b) 
All utilities and facilities, such as sewer, gas, electrical and water systems are located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage.
(c) 
Adequate drainage is provided so as to reduce exposure to flood hazards.
(3) 
Applicants shall file the following minimum information plus any other pertinent information as may be required by the Code Enforcement Officer to make the above determination:
(a) 
A completed building permit application form.
(b) 
A plan of the entire site, clearly and legibly drawn at a scale of one inch being equal to 100 feet or less, showing the following:
(i) 
North arrow, scale, and date.
(ii) 
Topographic contour lines, if available.
(iii) 
All property and lot lines including dimensions, and the size of the site expressed in acres or square feet.
(iv) 
The location of all existing and proposed buildings, structures, and other improvements, including the location of any existing or proposed subdivision and land development.
(v) 
The location of all existing streets, drives, and other access-ways.
(vi) 
The location of any existing bodies of water or watercourses, identified floodplain, areas, and, if available, information pertaining to the floodway, and the flow of water including direction and velocities.
(c) 
Plans of all proposed buildings, structures and other improvements, drawn at suitable scale showing the following:
(i) 
The proposed lowest floor elevation of any proposed building based upon North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
(ii) 
The elevation of the one-hundred-year flood.
(iii) 
If available, information concerning flood depths, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces and other factors associated with a one-hundred-year flood.
(iv) 
Detailed information concerning any proposed floodproofing measures.
(v) 
Supplemental information as may be necessary under 34 Pa. Code, Chapters 401-405, as amended, and Section 1612.5.1, Section 104.7 and 109.3 of the 2003 IBC and Section R106.1.3 and R104.7 of the 2003 IRC.
(d) 
The following data and documentation:
(i) 
A document, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, which states that the proposed construction or development has been adequately designed to withstand the one-hundred-year flood elevations, pressures, velocities, impact and uplift forces associated with the one-hundred-year flood.
Such statement shall include a description of the type and extent of floodproofing measures which have been incorporated into the design of the structure and/or the development.
(ii) 
The appropriate component of the Department of Environmental Protection's "Planning Module for Land Development."
(iii) 
Where any excavation of grading is proposed, a plan meeting the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection, to implement and maintain erosion and sedimentation control.
B. 
Review by County Conservation District. A copy of all applications and plans for any proposed construction or development in any identified floodplain area to be considered for approval shall be submitted by the Code Enforcement Officer to the County Conservation District for review and comment prior to the issuance of a building permit. The recommendations of the Conservation District shall be considered by the Code Enforcement Officer for possible incorporation into the proposed plan.
C. 
Review of Application by Others. A copy of all plans and applications for any proposed construction or development in any identified floodplain area to be considered for approval may be submitted by the Code Enforcement Officer to any other appropriate agencies and/or individuals (e.g. planning commission, municipal engineer, etc.) for review and comment.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1604; as amended by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993; by Ord. 1-95, 5/10/1995, § 10; and by Ord. 2-2006, 11/8/2006]
No building permit shall be issued until the Code Enforcement Officer certified that the proposed construction, development, building, structure, alteration or enlargement complies with the provisions of this Chapter 27 and all applicable ordinances. Upon completion of the construction, development of land, erection, alteration, or enlargement of any building, structure, or portion thereof, authorized by any building permit obtained in compliance with this Chapter 27 and prior to use or occupancy, the holder of such permit shall notify the Code Enforcement Officer of such completion. Use and occupancy shall not be authorized until the Code Enforcement Officer has certified that the work has been inspected and approved as being in conformity with this and other applicable ordinances and has issued a use and occupancy permit as provided hereinafter. During the period of construction during which the building permit is in effect, the permittee must provide approved sanitary facilities for workers on the Job site. Failure to do so will result in the issuance of a cease and desist order until such time that facilities are provided.
In the case of existing structures, prior to the issuance of any building permit, the Code Enforcement Officer shall review the history of repairs made due to flood-related damage to the subject building, so that any repetitive loss issues can be addressed before the permit is issued.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1605]
It shall be unlawful for any person to use or occupy any building or other structure or land until a Use and Occupancy Permit, if required, has been duly issued therefor. A Use and Occupancy Permit shall be required prior to any of the following:
1. 
Use and occupancy of any building or other structure hereinafter erected, altered or enlarged for which a building permit is required.
2. 
Change in use of any building or structure.
3. 
Use of land or change in the use thereof except that the placing of vacant land under cultivation shall not require a use and occupancy permit.
4. 
Change in use or extension of a nonconforming use.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1606; as amended by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
All applications for Use and Occupancy Permits shall be made in writing on forms furnished by the Township and shall include all information necessary to enable the Code Enforcement Officer to ascertain compliance with this Chapter 27.
1. 
No certificate of use and occupancy, required by § 27-1605, shall be issued until the applicant for such certificate has done the following:
A. 
Obtained the Building Permit required in § 27-1602 of this Chapter 27;
B. 
Produced a Certificate of Compliance from the Chester County Board of Health for on-site sewage facilities;
C. 
Produced a Certificate of Compliance from the Chester County Board of Health for on-site well yield and water quality; and
D. 
Produced certifications of approval showing compliance with all applicable Township ordinances and permit conditions as inspected by the following:
(1) 
The Building Inspector, for compliance with the Building Code;
(2) 
Code Enforcement Officer, for compliance with the Zoning Ordinances; and
(3) 
The Roadmaster, for compliance with the Township or state (highway) occupancy permit.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1607; as amended by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
No use and occupancy permits shall be issued until the Code Enforcement Officer has certified that the proposed use complies with the provisions of this Chapter 27. Pending completion of a building or of alterations thereto, a temporary Use and Occupancy Permit may be issued by the Code Enforcement Officer for a temporary occupancy of part or all of the building, provided that such temporary occupancy will not tend in any way to jeopardize life or property.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971; as added by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
A driveway construction permit shall be required prior to the construction of a driveway taking access to an existing Township Road or a road scheduled for dedication to the Township. It shall be unlawful for any person to commence work for the construction of a driveway until a permit has been duly issued therefore.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971; as added by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
All applications for building permits shall be made in writing on a form furnished by the Township and shall be accompanied by a plot plat drawn accurately showing the exact size and location of any existing or proposed driveways on the lot in question or on adjacent lots fronting on the same street for a distance of 100 feet. The general grade of the lot and the right-of-way of the street to be accessed shall also be shown on the plan.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971; as added by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
No driveway construction permit shall be issued until the Roadmaster has certified that the proposed driveway location and design complies with the provisions of this chapter and all other applicable ordinances. Upon completion of the construction of the driveway authorized by the driveway construction permit obtained in compliance with this chapter and prior to use, the holder of such permit shall notify the Roadmaster of such completion. Use and occupancy shall not be authorized until the Roadmaster has certified that the work has been inspected and approved as being in conformity with this chapter and other applicable ordinances and has issued a use and occupancy permit as provided hereinafter.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971; as added by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
It shall be unlawful for any person to use a driveway until a Use and Occupancy Permit has been duly issued therefore.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1608; as amended by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
If the Code Enforcement Officer determines that an application is in compliance with the provisions of this Chapter 27, it shall be his duty to issue the appropriate permit; and if he determines that an application is not in compliance with the provision of this Chapter 27, it shall be his duty to refuse the permit.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1609; as amended by Ord. 3-88, 12/21/1988, § 4]
Fees for building permits and other fees required in the administration of this Chapter 27 shall be paid in advance in accordance with a schedule of fees adopted by the Board of Supervisors by resolution.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971; as added by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
In case any building, structure, landscaping or land is, or is proposed to be, erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, converted, maintained or used in violation of this chapter, the Board of Supervisors or, with the approval of the Board of Supervisors, an officer of the Township of Lower Oxford, or any aggrieved owner or tenant of real property who shows that his property or person will be substantially affected by the alleged violation, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such building, structure, landscaping or land, or to prevent, in or about such premises, any act, conduct, business or use constituting a violation. When any such action is instituted by a landowner or tenant, notice of that action shall be served upon the Township of Lower Oxford at least 30 days prior to the time the action is begun by serving a copy of the complaint on the Board of Supervisors. No such action may be maintained until such notice has been given.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971; as added by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993; as amended by Ord. 1-98, 3/11/1998, § 4]
1. 
If it appears to the Township of Lower Oxford that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the Township of Lower Oxford shall initiate enforcement proceedings by sending an enforcement notice as provided in this section.
2. 
The enforcement notice shall be sent to the owner of record of the parcel on which the violation has occurred, to any person who has filed a written request to receive enforcement notices regarding that parcel, and to any other person requested in writing by the owner of record.
3. 
An enforcement notice shall state at least the following:
A. 
The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the Township of Lower Oxford intends to take action.
B. 
The location and tax parcel number of the property in violation.
C. 
The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of this chapter.
D. 
The date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and the date before which the steps must be completed.
E. 
That the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board within a period of 30 days.
F. 
That failure to comply with the notice within the time specified, unless extended by appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board, constitutes a violation, with possible sanctions clearly described.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1610; as amended by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
1. 
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township of Lower Oxford, pay a judgment of not more than $500 plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township of Lower Oxford as a result thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or payable until the date of the determination of a violation by the district justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township of Lower Oxford may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation, unless the district justice determining that there has been a violation further determines that there was a good faith basis for the person, partnership or corporation violating this chapter to have believed that there was no such violation, in which event there shall be deemed to have been only one such violation until the fifth day following the date of the determination of a violation by the district justice and thereafter each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
2. 
The court of common pleas, upon petition, may grant an order of stay, upon cause shown, tolling the per diem fine pending a final adjudication of the violation and judgment.
3. 
Nothing contained in this section shall be construed or interpreted to grant to any person or entity other than the Township of Lower Oxford the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this section.
4. 
District justices shall have initial jurisdiction over proceedings brought under this section.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1612; as amended by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
1. 
The Board of Supervisors may from time to time amend, supplement, or repeal any of the regulations and provisions of this chapter. The procedure for the preparation of a proposed zoning ordinance as set forth in § 607 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10607, is hereby declared optional.
2. 
Before voting on the enactment of an amendment, the Board of Supervisors shall hold a public hearing thereon, pursuant to public notice. In addition, if the proposed amendment involves a zoning map change, notice of said public hearing shall be conspicuously posted by the Township of Lower Oxford at points deemed sufficient by the Township of Lower Oxford along the perimeter of the tract to notify potentially interested citizens. The affected tract or area shall be posted at least one week prior to the date of the hearing.
3. 
In the case of an amendment other than that prepared by the Planning Commission the Board of Supervisors shall submit each such amendment to the Planning Commission at least 30 days prior to the hearing on such proposed amendment to provide the Planning Commission an opportunity to submit recommendations.
4. 
If, after any public hearing held upon an amendment, the proposed amendment is changed substantially, or is revised, to include land previously not affected by it, the Board of Supervisors shall hold another public hearing, pursuant to public notice, before proceeding to vote on the amendment.
5. 
At least 30 days prior to the public hearing on the amendment by the Board of Supervisors, the Township of Lower Oxford shall submit the proposed amendment to the county planning agency for recommendations.
6. 
Within 30 days after enactment, a copy of the amendment to this chapter shall be forwarded to the county planning agency.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971; as added by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
1. 
A landowner who desires to challenge on substantive grounds the validity of this chapter or the Zoning Map or any provision thereof, which prohibits or restricts the use or development of land in which he has an interest may submit a curative amendment to the Board of Supervisors with a written request that his challenge and proposed amendment be heard and decided as provided in § 916.1 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (hereinafter "MPC"), 53 P.S. § 10916.1. The curative amendment and challenge shall be referred to the Planning Commission and the county planning agency as provided in § 609 and notice of the hearing thereon shall be given as provided in §§ 610 and 916.1 of the MPC, 53 P.S. §§ 10609, 10610, and 10916.1.
2. 
The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with § 908 of the MPC and all references therein to the Zoning Hearing Board shall, for purposes of this section be referenced to the Zoning Hearing Board of Lower Oxford Township. If the Township of Lower Oxford does not accept a landowner's curative amendment brought in accordance with this subsection and a court subsequently rules that the challenge has merit, the court's decision shall not result in a declaration of invalidity for this entire chapter and Zoning Map, but only for those provisions which specifically relate to the landowner's curative amendment and challenge.
3. 
Then, if it determines that a validity challenge has merit, the Township may accept a landowner's curative amendment, with or without revision, or may adopt an alternative amendment which will cure the challenged defects. The Township shall consider the curative amendments, plans and explanatory material submitted by the landowner and shall also consider:
A. 
The impact of the proposal upon roads, sewer facilities, water supplies, schools and other public service facilities;
B. 
If the proposal is for a residential use, the impact of the proposal upon regional housing needs and the effectiveness of the proposal in providing housing units of a type actually available to and affordable by classes of persons otherwise unlawfully excluded by the challenged provisions of this chapter or Zoning Map.
C. 
The suitability of the site for the intensity of use proposed by the site's soils, slopes, woodlands, wetlands, flood plains, aquifers, natural resources and other natural features;
D. 
The impact of the proposed use on the site's soils, slopes, woodlands, wetlands, flood plains, natural resources and natural features, the degree to which these are protected or destroyed, the tolerance of the resources to development and any adverse environmental impacts; and
E. 
The impact of the proposal on the preservation of agriculture and other land uses which are essential to public health and welfare.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971; as added by Ord. 1-93, 1/6/1993]
1. 
If the Township of Lower Oxford determines that this chapter, or any portion hereof, is substantially invalid, it shall take the following actions:
A. 
The Township of Lower Oxford shall declare by formal action, this chapter or portions hereof substantially invalid and propose to prepare a curative amendment to overcome such invalidity. Within 30 days such declaration and proposal the Planning Commission shall:
(1) 
By resolution make specific findings setting forth the declared invalidity of this chapter which may include:
(a) 
References to specific uses which are either not permitted or not permitted in sufficient quantity;
(b) 
Reference to a class of use or uses which requires revision; or,
(c) 
Reference to this entire chapter which requires revisions.
(2) 
Begin to prepare and consider a curative amendment to this chapter to correct the declared invalidity.
2. 
Within 180 days from the date of the declaration and proposal, the Township of Lower Oxford shall enact a curative amendment to validate, or reaffirm the validity of, this chapter pursuant to the provisions of § 609 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (hereinafter "MPC"), 53 P.S. § 10609, in order to cure the declared invalidity of this chapter.
3. 
Upon the initiation of the procedures as set forth in Subsection 1, the Board of Supervisors shall not be required to entertain or consider any landowner's curative amendment filed under § 609.1 of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 10609.1, nor shall the Zoning Hearing Board be required to give a report requested under §§ 909.1 or 916.1 of the MPC, 53 P.S. §§ 10909.1, 10916.1, subsequent to the declaration and proposal based upon the grounds identical or substantially similar to those specified by the resolution required by Subsection 1A. Upon completion of the procedures set forth in Subsections 1 and 2, no rights to a cure pursuant to the provisions of §§ 609.1 and 916.1 of the MPC, 53 P.S. §§ 10609.1, 10916.1, shall, from the date of the declaration and proposal, accrue to any landowner on the basis of the substantive invalidity of this chapter for which there has been a curative amendment pursuant to this section.
4. 
The Township of Lower Oxford, having utilized the procedures set forth in this section, may not again utilize said procedure for a period of 36 months following the date of enactment of a curative amendment, or reaffirmation of the validity of this chapter; Provided, however, if after the date of declaration and proposal there is a substantially new duty imposed upon the Township of Lower Oxford by virtue of a change in statute or by virtue of a Pennsylvania Appellate Court decision, the Township of Lower Oxford may utilize the provisions of this section to propose a curative amendment to this chapter to fulfill said duty or obligation.
[Ord. 1-71, 3/2/1971, § 1616]
The granting of a zoning permit or approval of a subdivision or land development plan on or near steep slope areas exceeding 25% grade slope shall not constitute a representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind by the Township of Lower Oxford or by any official or employee thereof of the practicability or safety of the proposed use and shall create no liability upon Lower Oxford Township, its officials or employees.