Borough of Ridley Park, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The purpose of this article is to identify certain regulations and standards that are either common to all zoning districts or applicable to more than one district.
A. 
No building or structure, or part thereof, shall hereafter be erected, constructed, or altered, and no new use or change shall be made or maintained of any building, structure, land, or part thereof, except in accordance with this chapter.
B. 
Every principal building shall hereafter be built on a lot with frontage on a public or private street.
C. 
No lot or premises shall hereafter be subdivided or reduced in area or size in any manner so as to violate the provisions of this chapter.
No principal building, or part thereof, shall be erected within, or shall project into, any required yard in any district, except for unenclosed porches, decks, wheelchair ramps, one-story bay windows, eaves, chimneys, balconies, fire escapes, buttresses, cornices, or steps, and none of these, except wheelchair ramps and unenclosed decks or similar projects, shall encroach more than three feet into any required yard.
A. 
On any corner lot, no wall, fence, or other structure shall be erected or maintained, and no hedge, tree, shrub, or other growth shall be planted, grown, or maintained which may cause danger to vehicular traffic by obscuring the view or in any other way be a source of danger.
B. 
Clear sight triangles shall be provided at all intersections. Within such clear sight triangle, no object greater than 2 1/2 feet in height shall be erected, placed, planted, or allowed to grow except for utility poles, light standards, street signs, and fire hydrants, and no other object that would obscure the vision of a motorist shall be permitted. Such triangles shall be established in accordance with current PennDOT guidelines, including but not limited to Design Manual Part 2 and the Smart Transportation Guidebook. In utilizing the Smart Transportation Guidebook, the Borough shall be consulted in defining the land use context and roadway type. Wherever a portion of the clear sight triangle extends behind the building setback line, such portion of the clear sight triangle shall be the building setback line. In no case shall the clear sight triangle be less than 25 feet measured along the curbline from the point of intersection of the extended curblines.
C. 
The Borough shall have the right to declare any obstruction to vision within the line of the sight triangle a safety hazard and shall direct the owner of the property to have it removed. If the owner fails to do so within 30 days after written notice, the Borough shall remove the obstruction and bill the owner and lien the property for the expense involved.
A. 
Except in the Industrial District, no accessory structures may be placed in front of the principal building.
B. 
On corner lots, accessory structures shall be placed no closer to the side street than the principal building.
C. 
Except for fences, decks, and sheds, there shall be a distance of not less than three feet between an accessory structure and a side or rear lot line. Also see § 213-108.
D. 
Except in the Industrial District, accessory structures shall not exceed 15 feet in height.
E. 
Accessory structures shall not be used for permanent or temporary human habitation.
F. 
No storage shall be allowed in front yards in nonindustrial zoning districts.
G. 
In residential districts, not more than one storage shed shall be placed on a lot. Sheds shall be placed near the rear of the lot not less than five feet from the rear lot line.
H. 
The maximum size of storage sheds shall not exceed 2% of the total lot area, with the following exceptions:
(1) 
C-1 Commercial District: 60 square feet maximum.
(2) 
C-1 Commercial District: 100 square feet maximum.
I. 
The area of a garage shall not exceed 450 square feet in the R-1 Residential District and 250 square feet in the R-2 and R-3 Districts.
A. 
No-impact home-based businesses shall be permitted as an accessory use in all residential districts.
B. 
The business activity shall be compatible with the residential use of the property and surrounding residential uses.
C. 
The business shall employ no employees other than family members residing in the dwelling.
D. 
There shall be no display or sale of retail goods and no stockpiling of inventory of a substantial nature.
E. 
There shall be no outside appearance of a business use including, but not limited to, parking, signs, or lights.
F. 
No on-site parking of commercially identified vehicles shall be permitted.
G. 
The business activity may not use any process or equipment which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors, or electrical or electronic interference with radio or television reception which is detectable in the neighborhood.
H. 
The business activity may not generate any solid waste or sewage discharge, in volume or type, which is not normally associated with residential use in the neighborhood.
I. 
The business activity shall be conducted only within the dwelling and may not occupy more than 25% of the habitable floor area.
J. 
The business may not involve any illegal activity.
A. 
Decks located at the rear or side of a dwelling may encroach into required yards, provided that they are a minimum of 15 feet from any lot line.
B. 
The deck shall be placed not less than one foot from the party wall of a twin or row dwelling. This setback is needed for access and maintenance.
C. 
Decks more than 30 inches above ground level shall adhere to the following requirements:
(1) 
Must have a hand railing not less than 36 inches high around the entire deck with spindles not more than four inches apart.
(2) 
Must have a hand railing on any stairway.
D. 
In an area where motor vehicles may park or drive, decks shall have support designed by a licensed professional engineer.
E. 
All materials used in the construction of a deck shall comply with the most recently adopted Uniform Construction Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 73, Building Construction, Art. I, Administration and Enforcement of Uniform Construction Code.
A. 
Satellite antennas shall be considered as a permissible accessory use in all zoning districts.
B. 
The diameter of a satellite antenna shall not exceed two feet.
C. 
The satellite antenna shall be located only in the rear yard and not closer than eight feet to the property line.
D. 
When roof-mounted, the satellite antenna shall be located on a portion of the roof sloping away from the front of the lot, and no part thereof shall project above the ridge line.
E. 
All wiring for ground-based antennas shall be underground.
F. 
The satellite antenna shall be of a color that blends with the surrounding landscape.
G. 
All satellite antennas shall be adequately grounded for protection against a direct strike of lightning.
H. 
No more than one satellite antenna shall be permitted on any lot.
I. 
Before the erection of any such satellite antenna, a building permit must be applied for and issued by the Ridley Park Borough Building Inspector.
A. 
The discharge of water from any private swimming pool into any sanitary sewer or storm sewer shall be permitted only after a plumbing permit for the same has been issued in accordance with the Borough Plumbing Code[1] and such other applicable Borough ordinances.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 158, Plumbing.
B. 
Although discharge into sanitary sewers is the preferred environmental alternative, in cases where water is not discharged into a sanitary sewer, it should be pumped over a grassy area to allow absorption, filtration, and aeration.
C. 
Where approval is obtained to discharge water from a private swimming pool into the sanitary sewer system, the owner or occupant of said pool may discharge the water only at a time or times designated by the Building Inspector and endorsed on the permit.
D. 
No private swimming pool shall be located closer than 10 feet to a property line or eight feet to a cellar or basement, nor shall it be constructed in the front yard of any property. Accessory buildings, such as locker rooms, bathhouses, cabanas, shower rooms, and toilets, and other physical facilities or equipment incident to the operation of any private swimming pool shall conform to the requirements of the Borough Building, Zoning, and Plumbing Codes.
E. 
Every private swimming pool shall be completely surrounded by a fence. Every person maintaining a private swimming pool shall keep the gate closed and securely locked at all times when said pool is not in use by the person maintaining the same, his family, or his guests. Said fence must be a minimum distance of six feet from the edge of the pool and must be erected around the entire perimeter of the pool.
F. 
The fence surrounding the pool shall be not less than six feet high.
G. 
No artificial lighting shall be maintained or operated in connection with private swimming pools in such location or manner as to be a nuisance or an unreasonable annoyance to the neighboring properties, and it shall be arranged and shaded to reflect light away from adjoining premises.
H. 
Health requirements:
(1) 
Every private swimming pool constructed, installed, established, or maintained in the Borough of Ridley Park shall at all times comply with the requirements of the local Board of Health. Any nuisance or hazard to health which may exist or develop in or in consequence of or in connection with any such private swimming pool shall be abated and removed by the owner, lessee, or occupant of the premises on which said pool is located within 10 days of receipt of notice from the Building Inspector or Health Officer of the Borough of Ridley Park. It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector and the Health Officer, respectively, or their authorized assistants to enforce the provisions of this subsection.
(2) 
The Building Inspector and/or Health Officer or any of their assistants or deputies shall have the right to enter any premises or any building or other structure for the performance of their duties to ascertain compliance with this section.
A. 
Fences and walls are prohibited in the front yards of properties.
B. 
Fences and walls constructed in side yards shall in no case be permitted to extend beyond the front building line into the front yards of properties.
C. 
Fences and walls in the residential districts will be subject to the following provisions:
Location
Maximum Height
(feet)
Materials
Side yard adjacent to a street
4
Brick
Ornamental iron
Ornamental aluminum or steel designed to look like iron
Stone
Wood in the form of a picket fence
Vinyl designed to look like wood in the form of a picket fence
Vinyl designed to look like iron
Rear yard adjacent to a street
Interior side or rear yard
6
Any common fence material
D. 
In the nonresidential and mixed-use districts, no fence, wall, hedge, or similar growth shall exceed six feet in height.
E. 
All fences or walls shall be erected 1/2 foot inside the property line, provided that said fences or walls may be erected on a joint property line with the consent of both owners.
F. 
The fence shall be installed so that the finished side faces toward the outside of the property.
G. 
Hedges and other plantings, whether or not they constitute a fence, shall be trimmed so as not to grow out over sidewalks, streets, or adjoining properties.
H. 
Barbed-wire fences are prohibited.
I. 
Before erecting a fence, a permit must be obtained from the Zoning Officer, as required in Article XXII.
A. 
Unless specifically stated otherwise for a particular district, all refuse shall be placed in closed, verminproof containers.
B. 
In the case of multifamily buildings, all refuse receptacles shall be effectively screened from the view of residents and from public streets and sidewalks by means of a fence, wall, or plantings. All such receptacles shall be placed on the property responsible for the refuse.
Multifamily dwellings and nonresidential buildings shall be properly lighted to assure safe driving conditions at night as well as security and safety of residents and patrons. All lighting shall be designed to protect neighboring properties from glare.
A. 
A planted visual screen, as defined in Article II, shall be provided and maintained under the following circumstances. In case of conflict between a regulation in this article and that in any individual district, the regulation in the individual district shall prevail.
(1) 
When a commercial or industrial structure is constructed or extended adjacent to an existing residential use or district.
(2) 
When a multifamily or townhouse structure or addition thereto is proposed to abut an existing single-family detached dwelling.
(3) 
Where any proposed institutional use or an expansion of an existing industrial use abuts an existing residential use or residential district.
(4) 
Any other instance where screening is required by this chapter, by the Borough, or by the Zoning Hearing Board.
B. 
A privacy fence, subject to § 213-111, may be substituted for a planted visual barrier only when there is insufficient area to provide a planted visual screen.
C. 
Screening shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) 
The planted visual screen shall consist of species indigenous to the area so as to provide a year-round visual barrier.
(2) 
Such screens shall incorporate earthen mounds or berms, where possible, to improve sound as well as visual buffering.
(3) 
Plants shall be at least six feet high when planted, and no plantings shall be placed closer than five feet to the property line.
(4) 
Placement of screening material shall not obscure sight lines at intersections.
(5) 
All mechanical equipment not enclosed in a structure shall be fully and completely screened and landscaped in a manner compatible with the style of the buildings on the site.
D. 
Upon a recommendation of the Planning Commission, an opaque privacy fence or wall may be substituted for the planted screen required above. Such alternate screening must be constructed and placed so as to clearly provide an effective visual barrier.
A. 
General regulations.
(1) 
Any part or portion of a site which is not used for buildings or other structures, loading and parking spaces, aisles, sidewalks, and designated storage areas shall be planted and maintained with landscaping. Maximum advantage shall be taken of existing trees and shrubs in landscaping.
(2) 
All landscaped planting areas shall be planted with grass seed, sod, or other ground cover and shall be maintained and kept clean of all debris, rubbish, weeds, and tall grass; provided, however, that if such land is naturally wooded, it may continue in its natural state.
(3) 
Unless otherwise specified, landscaped planting areas may be part of the required front, side, and rear yards.
(4) 
Except for single-family and two-family dwellings, any part or portion of a site which is not used for loading and parking spaces, aisles, sidewalks, and designated storage areas shall be landscaped according to an overall plan prepared and approved as part of the development plan or shall be left in its natural state. A replacement program for nonsurviving plant material should be included.
B. 
Landscaping plans.
(1) 
Landscaping shall be installed and maintained in accordance with a landscape plan approved by Borough Council. The landscape plan shall depict all proposed plantings which relate to, complement, screen, or accentuate buildings, roads, parking areas, sidewalks, walkways, sitting areas, service or maintenance structures, courtyards, and other site features.
(2) 
The landscaping plan shall be coordinated with the development plan and shall show the location, type, size, height, and other characteristics of the proposed landscaping.
(3) 
The plan shall be accompanied or shall include information regarding the continued maintenance of plantings indicating that all plantings will be replaced, if damaged, diseased, or dead, in locations shown on the approved plan.
C. 
Specific requirements. For every new building, alteration, or expansion erected after the effective date of this chapter, landscaping shall be provided as noted below.
Zoning District or Use
Minimum Landscaping Requirements
C-1 Commercial District
2 shrubs which may be placed in planters in front of the principal building.
C-2 Commercial District
3 feet wide along the principal road frontage or 3 feet wide adjacent to the front of a principal building.
Medical Campus District
6 feet wide along the principal road frontage and adjacent to at least 2 sides of a principal building.
Industrial District and Interstate Fronting Civic Use District
3 feet wide in front of a principal building.
In the event that multifamily dwellings are converted or developed as condominiums, such condominiums shall be owned and operated in accordance with the Pennsylvania Uniform Condominium Act of 1980, as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 68 Pa.C.S.A. § 3101 et seq.
In determining if a proposed use is of the same general character as the listed uses, Borough Council and the Planning Commission shall consider the compatibility standards listed below:
A. 
Type and volume of sales, retail or wholesale activity, size and type of items sold, and nature of inventory on the premises.
B. 
Extent of processing, assembly, warehousing, shipping, and distribution done on the premises of any dangerous, hazardous, toxic, or explosive materials.
C. 
The nature and location of storage and outdoor display of merchandise and the predominant items stored.
D. 
The type, size, and nature of buildings and structures supporting the use.
E. 
The number of employees and customers in relation to business hours and employment shifts.
F. 
The business hours the use is open for business, ranging from seven days a week, 24 hours a day to several times a year.
G. 
The transportation requirements for people and freight, by volume, type, and characteristics of traffic generation to and from the site, trip purposes, and whether trip purposes can be shared with other uses on the site.
H. 
Parking characteristics, turnover and generation, ratio of the number of spaces required per unit area or activity, and potential for shared parking with other uses.
I. 
The tendency for attracting or repelling criminal activities to and from or on the premises.
J. 
The amount and nature of nuisances generated on the premises, such as noise, smoke, odor, glare, vibration, radiation, and fumes.
K. 
Any special public utility requirements for serving the use, such as water supply, wastewater output, pretreatment of wastes and emissions recommended or required, and significant power structures and communication towers or facilities.
A. 
Construction/office trailers, as defined in Article II, shall be temporarily placed at or near a work or construction site, only after acquiring a permit from the Borough that shall be effective for not more than 90 days. The applicant may then apply for another permit.
B. 
Trailers shall be prohibited in residential and commercial districts except for those used at new construction sites.
C. 
Trailers shall be removed from the site within five days after completion of the construction or other work activity that was the basis for permitting the placement of the temporary trailer.
D. 
In the Industrial District, office/storage trailers shall require a permit from the Borough only if they are placed or intended to be placed within 200 feet of the right-of-way line of a public street. Such permits shall be effective for one year.
E. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the parking of recreational trailers or similar vehicles in private garages or driveways.
A. 
Intent. The provisions of this chapter are designed to encourage the sensitive treatment of hillsides and their related soil and vegetation resources in an effort to minimize adverse environmental impacts. Further, the following objectives serve to complement this specific purpose and the overall purpose of this chapter:
(1) 
To conserve and protect steep and very steep slopes from inappropriate development and disturbance such as excessive grading, land form alteration, and extensive vegetation removal.
(2) 
To avoid potential hazards to property and the disruption of ecological balance, which may be caused by increased runoff, flooding, soil erosion and sedimentation, blasting and ripping rock, landslide, and soil failure.
(3) 
To encourage the use of steep and very steep slopes for open space and other uses which are compatible with the preservation of natural areas and protection of areas of environmental concern.
B. 
Applicability. This section shall apply to all land, buildings, and uses and all grading of land in preparation for building in all zoning districts.
C. 
Submission.
(1) 
Any application for subdivision and land development or any application for a zoning or building permit for a principal building or principal use or any proposal to extensively alter the preexisting contour of land shall include the submission of a detailed topographic map if the existing lot involved includes any areas of 15% or greater slope that total greater than 1,000 square feet.
(2) 
The topographic map shall be at a scale of one inch equals 50 feet and shall show the preexisting contours of all lands proposed for any subdivision, land development, building, or use. Such contours shall be at intervals of five feet of vertical change. Contours shall be based on an actual field survey supervised and certified by a registered land surveyor.
(3) 
The topographic map shall clearly identify areas that have preexisting areas of steep slope of between 15% and 25% slope and areas of very steep slope of greater than 25% slope.
(4) 
The applicant shall clearly designate the proposed building site, including an area 25 feet around the proposed building location, for each lot that includes or is proposed to include any areas of 15% or greater slopes. Such building location shall become binding once approved, unless a subsequent submission and approval occurs under this section.
D. 
Permitted uses. The following uses and no others shall be permitted in areas of steep slope (15% to 25%) and very steep slope (25% or greater):
(1) 
Agricultural uses not requiring cultivation or structures.
(2) 
Conservation and recreational uses not requiring any structures.
(3) 
Front, side, or rear yards of any lot or tract.
(4) 
Public recreational uses owned by a governmental agency.
(5) 
Uses that are clearly customarily and incidentally accessory to a use permitted by this section.
(6) 
Nature preserves not involving any structures or commercial use.
(7) 
Structures existing prior to the effective date of this chapter.
E. 
Conditional uses. The following uses are permitted only as conditional uses, subject to Article XVIII:
(1) 
Conservation and recreational uses requiring structures.
(2) 
Proposed utilities, easements, and rights-of-way.
F. 
Standards for approval of conditional uses.
(1) 
In addition to the standards described in Article XVIII, Borough Council shall consider the following:
(a) 
The degree of modification to the topographic, soil, and vegetation resources and the techniques proposed to mitigate potential environmental impacts.
(b) 
The effect the development would have on adjacent properties.
(c) 
The relationship of the proposed uses to the objectives described in § 213-119A.
(2) 
Any use(s) or structure(s) approved as a conditional use shall provide evidence that:
(a) 
The steep slope area is being proposed for development since no other alternative location is feasible or practical.
(b) 
Earthmoving activities and vegetation removal will be conducted only to the extent necessary to accommodate proposed uses and structures and in a manner that will not cause excessive surface water runoff, erosion, sedimentation, and unstable soil conditions. Further, it shall be demonstrated that any and all reasonable mitigation techniques and procedures will be utilized or have been considered in the preparation of the subdivision and/or land development plan.
(c) 
Proposed buildings and structures are of sound engineering design and footings are designed in response to the site's slope, soil, and bedrock characteristics and, where applicable, shall extend to stable soil and/or bedrock.
G. 
Prohibited uses. The following uses and activities are specifically prohibited:
(1) 
Cut and fill, other than in association with any uses related to Subsection D above.
(2) 
Soil, rock, and mineral extraction and/or removal, other than in association with any uses related to Subsection D above.
(3) 
Removal of topsoil, other than in association with any uses related to Subsection D above.
(4) 
Stormwater management facilities, other than in association with any uses related to Subsection D above.
H. 
Slopes of roads and driveways.
(1) 
No portion of any street proposed to be dedicated to the Borough shall have a finished slope in excess of 10%.
(2) 
No portion of any private street, accessway, or driveway shall have a finished slope in excess of 12%.
(3) 
If road or driveway slope standards that are more restrictive are required under another applicable ordinance, those more restrictive standards shall apply.
I. 
Grading. The requirements of this section shall apply to the contours of land that existed at the time of the adoption of this chapter. The contours of land regulated by this section shall not be changed prior to submission and regulation under this section.