City of Harrisburg, PA
Dauphin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Harrisburg 7-8-2014 by Ord. No. 5-2014.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
CROSS REFERENCES
Special exceptions and variances — see Chapter 7-323.
Design standards — see Subdivision and Land Development Code, Chapter 7-507.
Attachment 1 - Development Standards
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Part Three, 7-300, composed of Ord. Nos. 112-1964, 17-1965, 79-1965, 13-1974, 29-1974, 30-1974, 13-1977, 26-1977, 19-1985, 6-1988, 25-1993, 26-1995, 10-1996, 61-1996 and 3-2012, as amended.

§ 7-307.1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish development standards, including minimum lot size and setback dimensions, for development within specific zoning districts and for certain uses in all zoning districts.

§ 7-307.2 Applicability.

This chapter applies to all development located within the City of Harrisburg. Any request for relief from the development standards in this chapter will require a variance permit from the Zoning Hearing Board, as further described in Chapter 7-323, Special Exceptions and Variances.

§ 7-307.3 Development standards.

The following development standards[1] shall apply for the specific zoning district, unless a more restrictive requirement for a specific use is required by Chapter 7-309, Specific Criteria, or another section of this Code. If a lot includes more than one use, whichever requirements of this Code which are more restrictive shall apply. All measurements shall be in feet unless otherwise stated.
[1]
Editor's Note: The development standards are included as an attachment to this chapter.

§ 7-307.4 Access to public street.

A. 
A new principal building shall only be built upon a lot that abuts a public street, and a new lot shall only be approved if it abuts a public street, except:
(1) 
An existing lot of record may be used for a single dwelling unit on the lot, provided the lot has access to a paved public alley with a minimum cartway width of 10 feet from the lot to a public street;
(2) 
A multifamily dwelling development may have access to individual units using a parking court and/or a shared driveway/private street within the tract to reach a public street;
(3) 
A commercial or industrial building which is part of an office/industrial park with two driveways/private streets to reach a public street, provided there is a permanent method to guarantee access and to fund maintenance; or
(4) 
As may be specifically permitted otherwise by this Zoning Code.

§ 7-307.5 Number of permitted uses.

A. 
Occupancy of a principal commercial or industrial building by more than one permitted use is specifically allowed, provided that all other requirements of this and other City codes are satisfied.
B. 
A lot approved for nonresidential uses or multifamily dwellings may include more than one permitted principal building. In such case, the minimum front, side, and rear yard requirements shall only apply at exterior lot lines of the property, except as otherwise provided by this Code. Individual buildings or portions of such buildings may be held in approved condominium ownership, but the lot shall be owned by a single legal entity.

§ 7-307.6 Accessory setbacks.

A. 
The setback requirements of the applicable district shall apply to every accessory building, structure, or use unless a standard that is clearly meant to be more restrictive or less restrictive is specifically stated in this chapter for a particular accessory use.
B. 
No accessory structure, use, or building shall be permitted in a required front yard in any district, unless specifically permitted by this Code.
C. 
Any portion of a building (such as a garage) that is structurally attached to a principal building shall be considered part of such principal building for the purposes of determining setbacks.

§ 7-307.7 Setback exceptions.

A. 
The following features may project into required yard setbacks as specified:
(1) 
Emergency fire escapes, new or improved fire exits, and handicapped access facilities added onto a building that existed prior to the adoption of this Code may project a maximum of four feet into a required yard, provided that a fire escape shall not intrude into a required front yard;
(2) 
Routinely projecting architectural features such as bay windows, cornices, eaves, fireplaces, flues, gutters, chimneys, or window sills may project a maximum of two feet into a required yard;
(3) 
Stairs, stoops, and landings that are not covered by structural roofs that are necessary for entry into the main doors of a building may project a maximum of three feet into a required yard;
(4) 
A patio may project into a required yard, provided it is not covered by a structural roof and other roofing material;
(5) 
Awnings and canopies may extend into a required yard if the following standards are met:
(a) 
The awnings or canopies shall be constructed of fire-resistant material that has a general appearance similar to canvas or other fabric;
(b) 
The awnings or canopies shall be maintained in good condition;
(c) 
The awnings or canopies shall not be enclosed on the front or sides.

§ 7-307.8 Height exceptions.

A. 
The maximum height specified for each zoning district shall not apply to: communications antennae, household or standard antennae, water towers, cupolas, clock or bell towers, steeples or spires of places of worship and similar architectural extensions, utility lines and poles, industrial raw material storage silos (other than for fuels), flag poles, elevator shafts and stairway enclosures, ventilators, skylights, windmills, smokestacks, chimneys, or other similar appurtenances usually required to be and customarily placed above the roof level and not intended for human occupancy.
B. 
At a minimum, any structure proposed to have a height of 200 feet or more above average surrounding ground level shall present sufficient information to the Zoning Officer to prove that the structure would comply with all applicable federal, state, and City requirements regarding airport approaches and warning lights.

§ 7-307.9 Fences and walls.

A. 
Fences, walls, and hedges are permitted by right in all zoning districts subject to the following general standards:
(1) 
A building permit is required for all permanent fences and walls. Any fence or wall shall be durably constructed and well-maintained. Fences that have deteriorated shall be replaced or removed.
(2) 
Fences and walls located in a municipal historic district must receive a certificate of appropriateness, as regulated under Chapter 7-317 of this Code.
(3) 
Fences and walls located in a special flood hazard area must obtain a floodplain special exception permit, as regulated under Chapter 7-315 of this Code.
(4) 
Fences and walls shall comply with the standards of this chapter unless a special exception permit is obtained, as regulated under Chapter 7-323 of this Code.
(5) 
No fence, wall, or hedge shall obstruct safe sight distances at intersections of streets and driveways, as regulated under § 7-307.14.
(6) 
No fence or wall shall obstruct a drainage swale or other needed easement without approval from the City.
(7) 
No fence shall be constructed out of fabric, junk, junk vehicles, rolled wire, sheet metal, appliances, tanks, or barrels.
(8) 
No fence or wall shall be built within the existing public right-of-way. A fence or wall may be constructed on a lot line but shall not be located in front of any required plantings.
B. 
The following standards shall apply in the OSR Zoning District:
(1) 
Fences and walls shall have a maximum height of four feet.
(2) 
Fences and walls shall be made of brick, stone, ornamental metal, wood, or wood composite material.
(3) 
Chain link fences require special exception permits.
(4) 
Barbed, razor, or other security wire fencing is prohibited.
C. 
The following standards shall apply in the RL or RM Zoning Districts or on a lot used residentially:
(1) 
Any fence or wall located in the required front yard of a lot, or located to the front of the dwelling, in a residential district shall not exceed four feet in height.
(2) 
A fence or wall located in a residential district in a location other than a required front yard or to the front of a dwelling shall have a maximum height of six feet.
(3) 
Fences and walls shall be made of brick, stone, ornamental metal, wood, wood composite material, or PVC.
(4) 
Barbed, razor, or other security wire fencing is prohibited.
D. 
The following standards shall apply in the RF Zoning District:
(1) 
Fences and walls shall have a maximum height of six feet.
(2) 
Fences and walls shall not be erected in the front yard setback or any yard which abuts Front Street without a special exception permit.
(3) 
Fences and walls shall be made of brick, stone, ornamental metal, wood, or wood composite material.
(4) 
Barbed, razor, or other security wire fencing is prohibited.
E. 
The following standards shall apply in the CN, CG, DC, and INS Zoning Districts:
(1) 
Fences and walls shall have a maximum height of six feet.
(2) 
Barbed, razor, or other security-type wire fencing is prohibited.
F. 
The following standards shall apply in the IND Zoning District:
(1) 
Fences shall have a maximum height of eight feet.
(2) 
Barbed, razor, or other security-type wire fencing is prohibited.
G. 
Walls shall be installed in accordance with the following:
(1) 
Engineered retaining walls necessary to hold back slopes are exempt from setback regulations and the regulations of this Code, and are permitted by right as needed in all districts;
(2) 
A wall shall have a maximum height of three feet within the required front yard in a RL or RM District;
(3) 
No wall shall be built within the existing public right-of-way. A wall may be constructed on a lot line, but shall not be located in front of required plantings as part of a buffer yard or planting strip; and
(4) 
Walls that are attached to a building shall be regulated as a part of that building.

§ 7-307.10 Special lot and yard requirements.

A. 
As a general rule:
(1) 
No lot, structure, or use shall be created or developed in such a way that it would result in another lot, structure, or use not being able to meet the requirements of this Code; and
(2) 
All uses and structures shall have adequate provisions for access by emergency vehicles; and
(3) 
No structure shall obstruct a required emergency exit. No building shall be located within three feet of an approximately parallel exterior door or window on another lot unless the owner of such lot provides a written and signed waiver of such setback.

§ 7-307.11 Landscaping requirements.

A. 
Any part of a new development or expansion of an existing development which is not used for structures, loading areas, parking spaces and aisles, sidewalks, and designated storage areas shall be provided with an all-season, well-maintained, vegetative ground cover and shall be landscaped with trees and shrubs.
B. 
All landscaped areas shall be perpetually maintained by the property owner and shall be kept in a healthy condition.
C. 
Any new development or expansion of a new development which abuts a residential use shall be required to include a plant screen of at least three feet in height which extends the length of the lot line. Any fencing shall be placed on the inside of any landscaped or plant screen area.
D. 
The Zoning Officer shall review such landscaping plans to determine that the plans are in conformance with the terms of this Code.

§ 7-307.12 Landscaping requirements for parking lots.

A. 
Any development or expansion of five or more new parking spaces shall be required to provide shade trees within or immediately around the edges of paved areas. This requirement shall not apply to development of underground parking or multilevel parking. The City may permit some or all of these required trees to be planted within the public right-of-way.
B. 
One deciduous tree shall be required for every 3,000 square feet of paved area.
C. 
All parking lots shall be required to install a plant screen with a minimum height of three feet along the length of the lot line. Any fencing shall be placed on the inside of the landscaped or plant screen area.

§ 7-307.13 Tree preservation.

A. 
All plans shall show the location of any existing trees with a trunk diameter of 12 inches or more (measured at 3.5 feet above the ground level), or concentrations of such trees, and any existing and proposed street trees.
B. 
Tree planting and tree removal in the public right-of-way is governed under the Shade Tree Ordinance, Chapter 10,[1] of the Codified Ordinances.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Title 10, Part 1 (10-100), Shade Trees.
C. 
To the maximum extent feasible, while still permitting reasonable use of the property, existing healthy trees on private property with a trunk diameter of 12 inches or more shall be preserved.
D. 
Where trees are to be preserved, a sufficient-sized area shall remain unpaved around the tree to provide oxygen and water. During construction, temporary fencing shall be used under the "dripline" of the tree to avoid compaction of soil and damage of roots by vehicles.

§ 7-307.14 Sight distance at intersections.

A. 
In order to ensure that traffic passing through an intersection or turning onto a street can safely see oncoming traffic, the following shall apply:
(1) 
A triangular area as described in this section shall be graded and shall be kept free of sight obstructions between a height of three feet and eight feet, including structures, nontransparent fences, vegetation, and signs (but not including sign posts or utility posts of less than one foot in width or the trunks of deciduous trees).
(2) 
Where required, a sight triangle shall be shown on development plans submitted to the City and be shown on any plan required to be recorded. Such triangle shall serve as a permanent setback line for all such visual obstructions and shall be binding upon present and future owners of the land.
(3) 
Where two streets intersect, a clear sight triangle shall be required. Each of the two shorter legs of the triangle shall be measured 30 feet back from the point of intersection of the street cartways. These two shorter legs shall be connected by a third longer leg.
(4) 
In no case shall a sight triangle be required for a driveway that only serves one or two dwelling units that enters onto a local street.
(5) 
Requirements for minimum sight distances on state highways shall comply with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation regulations.

§ 7-307.15 Sewer and water service.

Every principal building shall be served by both public water and public sewer service.

§ 7-307.99 Penalty.

Chapters 7-701 and 1-305 shall apply.