[Amended by Ord. No. 885, 10/3/2011]
The purpose of this article is to create an Airport District Overlay that considers safety issues around the airports, regulates and restricts the heights of constructed structures and objects of natural growth, creates appropriate zones, establishing the boundaries thereof and providing for changes in the restrictions and boundaries of such zones, creates the permitting process for use within said zones and provides for enforcement, assessment of violation penalties, an appeals process and judicial review.
The Airport District Overlay shall not modify the boundaries of any underlying zoning district. Where identified, the Airport District Overlay shall impose certain requirements on land use and construction in addition to those contained in the underlying zoning district.
The following words and phrases when used in this article shall have the meaning given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
- AIRPORT ELEVATION
- The highest and lowest point of an airport's useable landing area measured in feet above sea level.
- AIRPORT HAZARD
- Any structure or object, natural or manmade, or use of land which obstructs the airspace required for flight of aircraft in landing or taking off at an airport or is otherwise hazardous as defined in 14 CFR Part 77 and 74 Pa.C.S.A. § 5102.
- AIRPORT HAZARD AREA
- Any area of land or water upon which an airport hazard might be established if not prevented as provided for in this article and Act 164 of 1984 (Pennsylvania Laws Relating to Aviation).
- APPROACH SURFACE (ZONE)
- An imaginary surface longitudinally centered on the extended runway centerline and extending outward and upward from each end of the primary surface. An approach surface is applied to each end of the runway based on the planned approach. The inner edge of the approach surface is the same width as the primary surface and expands uniformly depending on the planned approach. The approach surface zone, as shown on Figure 1, is derived from the approach surface.
- CONICAL SURFACE (ZONE)
- An imaginary surface extending outward and upward from the periphery of the horizontal surface at a slope of 20 feet horizontally to one foot vertically for a horizontal distance of 4,000 feet. The conical surface zone, as shown on Figure 1, is based on the conical surface.
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
- Federal Aviation Administration of the United States Department of Transportation.
- For the purpose of determining the height limits in all zones set forth in this article and shown on the Zoning Map, the datum shall be mean sea level elevation unless otherwise specified.
- HORIZONTAL SURFACE (ZONE)
- An imaginary plane 150 feet above the established airport elevation that is constructed by swinging arcs of various radii from the center of the end of the primary surface and then connecting the adjacent are by tangent lines. The radius of each arc is based on the planned approach. The horizontal surface zone, as shown on Figure 1, is derived from the horizontal surface.
- LARGER THAN UTILITY RUNWAY
- A runway that is constructed for and intended to be used by propeller driven aircraft of greater than 12,500 pounds maximum gross weight and jet powered aircraft.
- NON-PRECISION-INSTRUMENT RUNWAY
- A runway having an existing instrument approach procedure utilizing air navigation facilities with only horizontal guidance, or area type navigation equipment, for which a straight-in non-precision-instrument approach procedure has been approved or planned.
- NONCONFORMING USE
- Any preexisting structure, object of natural growth, or use of land which is inconsistent with the provisions of this article or an amendment thereto.
- Any structure, growth or other object, including a mobile object, which exceeds a limiting height set forth by this article.
- PRECISION INSTRUMENT RUNWAY
- A runway having an existing instrument approach procedure utilizing an Instrument Landing System (ILS) or a Precision Approach Radar (PAR). It also means a runway for which a precision approach system is planned and is so indicated on an approved airport layout plan or any other planning document.
- PRIMARY SURFACE (ZONE)
- An imaginary surface longitudinally centered on the runway, extending 200 feet beyond the end of paved runways or ending at each end of turf runways. The elevation of any point on the primary surface is the same as the elevation of the nearest point on the runway centerline. The primary surface zone, as shown on Figure 1, is derived from the primary surface.
- A defined area of an airport prepared for landing and takeoff of aircraft along its length.
- An object, including a mobile object, constructed or installed by man, including but without limitation, buildings, towers, cranes, smokestacks, earth formation and overhead transmission lines.
- TRANSITIONAL SURFACE (ZONE)
- An imaginary surface that extends outward and upward from the edge of the primary surface to the horizontal surface at a slope of seven feet horizontally to one foot vertically. The transitional surface zone, as shown on Figure 1, is derived from the transitional surface.
- Any object of natural growth.
- UTILITY RUNWAY
- A runway that is constructed for and intended to be used by propeller driven aircraft of 12,500 pounds maximum gross weight or less.
- VISUAL RUNWAY
- A runway intended solely for the operation of aircraft using visual approach procedures.
There are hereby created and established certain airport zones within this Airport District Overlay Ordinance, defined in § 2102 and depicted on Figure 1 and illustrated on the Airport Hazard Area Maps, hereby adopted as part of this chapter, which include:
Approach Surface Zone.
Conical Surface Zone.
Horizontal Surface Zone.
Primary Surface Zone.
Transitional Surface Zone.
As regulated by Act 164 and defined by 14 CFR Part 77.13(a) (as amended or replaced), any person who plans to erect a new structure, to add to an existing structure, or to erect and maintain any object (natural or man-made), within any of the Airport Zones established by § 2103 of this article, shall submit their plans to the Elizabeth Township Zoning Officer (the "Zoning Officer"). The Zoning Officer shall in cooperation with the Elizabeth Township Engineer (the "Engineer") determine whether the proposed plans interfere with any of the Airport Zones.
If the Zoning Officer and Engineer determine that there is no interference, the applicant may proceed with their plans, which shall then be considered to be in compliance with the intent of this Overlay article. If the Zoning Officer and the Engineer determine that the plans interfere with any of the Airport Zones, the applicant shall then notify the Department's Bureau of Aviation (BOA) by submitting PennDOT Form AV-57 to obtain an obstruction review of the proposal at least 30 days prior to commencement thereof. The Department's BOA response must be included with this permit application for it to be considered complete. If the Department's BOA returns a determination of no penetration of airspace, the permit request should be considered in compliance with the intent of this Overlay article. If the Department's BOA returns a determination of a penetration of airspace, the permit shall be denied, and the project sponsor may seek a variance from such regulations as outlined in § 2105.
No permit is required to make maintenance repairs to or to replace parts of existing structures which do not enlarge or increase the height of an existing structure. For purposes of calculating whether proposed plans interfere with any of the Rostraver Airport Zones, the location of the Rostraver Airport is as follows:
For purposes of calculating whether proposed plans interfere with any of the Inter County Airport Zones, it is presumed that all objects less than 50 feet in height within the Inter County Airport Zones do not interfere with the zones. The location of Inter County Airport is as follows:
Any request for a variance from the provisions of this article shall include documentation in compliance with 14 CFR Part 77 Subpart B (FAA Form 7460-1 as amended or replaced). Determinations of whether to grant a variance will depend on the determinations made by the FAA and the Department's BOA as to the effect of the proposal on the operation of air navigation facilities and the safe, efficient use of navigable air space. In particular, the request for a variance shall consider which of the following categories the FAA has placed the proposed construction in:
No Objection: The subject construction is determined not to exceed obstruction standards and marking/lighting is not required to mitigate any potential hazard. Under this determination a variance shall be granted.
Conditional Determination: The proposed construction/alteration is determined to create some level of encroachment into an airport hazard area which can be effectively mitigated. Under this determination, a variance shall be granted contingent upon implementation of mitigating measures as described in § 2108, Obstruction Marking and Lighting.
Objectionable: The proposed construction/alteration is determined to be a hazard and is thus objectionable. A variance shall be denied and the reasons for this determination shall be outlined to the applicant.
Such requests for variances shall be granted where it is duly found that a literal application or enforcement of the regulations will result in unnecessary hardship and that relief granted will not be contrary to the public interest, will not create a hazard to air navigation, will do substantial justice, and will be in accordance with the intent of this article.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, no use shall be made of land or water within the Airport Zones established by this article in such a manner as to create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communications between the airport and aircraft, make it difficult for pilots to distinguish between airport lights and others, impair visibility in the vicinity of the Airport, create bird strike hazards or otherwise endanger or interfere with the landing, takeoff or maneuvering of aircraft utilizing the Airports.
The regulations prescribed by this article shall not be construed to require the removal, lowering or other change or alteration of any structure or tree not conforming to the regulations as of the effective date of this article; or otherwise interfere with the continuance of a nonconforming use. No nonconforming use shall be structurally altered or permitted to grow higher, so as to increase the nonconformity, and a nonconforming use, once substantially abated (subject to the underlying zoning ordinance) may only be reestablished consistent with the provisions herein.
Any permit or variance granted pursuant to the provisions of this article may be conditioned according to the process described in § 2105 to require the owner of the structure or object of natural growth in question to permit the municipality, at its own expense, or require the person requesting the permit or variance, to install, operate and maintain such marking or lighting as deemed necessary to assure both ground and air safety.
The provisions of this Airport District Overlay article shall be enforced as provided in Ordinance No. 820 of 2006, the Elizabeth Township Zoning Ordinance (the "Zoning Ordinance"), as amended, and the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. Permits required by the provisions of this Airport District Overlay article shall be issued or denied by the Elizabeth Township Zoning Officer according to the provisions of this article.
Any person who is denied a permit by the Elizabeth Township Zoning Officer under § 2104 of this chapter may apply to the Elizabeth Township Zoning Hearing Board (the "Zoning Hearing Board") for a variance from the provisions of this article. Upon application the Zoning Hearing Board shall hold a hearing to determine whether to grant the variance. In deciding whether to grant the variance the Zoning Hearing Board shall follow the guidelines of § 2105 of this chapter. Otherwise the hearing shall be conducted as provided in Article XIX of this chapter. All appeals from decisions rendered by the Zoning Hearing Board shall be taken to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas as provided in Article XIX of this chapter and the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
Where there exists a conflict between any of the regulations or limitations prescribed in this article and any other regulation applicable to the same area, the more stringent limitation or requirement shall govern and prevail.
If any of the provisions of this article or the application thereof to any person or circumstance are held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this article which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end, the provisions of this article are declared to be severable.