Article VI of this Part 1 of this chapter of the Code provides the procedural requirements and general provisions for contracts, municipal improvement agreements, dedication of municipal improvements and maintenance guarantees, as well as all other contributions or fees that may be required as a result of a subdivision or land development application within Muhlenberg Township.
The provisions established under Article VI shall be subject to the interpretation of the Muhlenberg Township Board of Commissioners, Planning Commission and/or Engineer. Should a dispute arise concerning the interpretation of these regulations, the person aggrieved by the interpretation may file an appeal with the Board of Commissioners. In all cases, the burden of proof and submission of technical evidence shall be the responsibility of the applicant or person appealing the interpretation of the Muhlenberg Township Board of Commissioners, Planning Commission and/or Engineer.
Where the provisions of this chapter conflict with the specific provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, the specific provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code shall be complied with, unless otherwise directed by the Board of Commissioners.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
No subdivision or land development plan shall be granted final approval unless the streets, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, walkways, streetlights, water mains, sanitary sewers, fire hydrants, storm sewers, stormwater management facilities, shade trees, buffer or screen plantings, recreational facilities, open space improvements and other infrastructure improvements as required by this Part 1 of this chapter of the Code have been provided and installed in accordance with this chapter of the Muhlenberg Township Code.
In lieu of the completion of any improvements which may be required as a condition for the final approval of the subdivision or land development plan, including improvements and fees required by this Part 1 of this chapter of the Code, the applicant shall deposit with Muhlenberg Township an amount as hereinafter calculated to cover the costs of such required improvements or common amenities, including but not limited to streets, curbs, gutters, walkways, streetlights, water mains, sanitary sewers, fire hydrants, storm sewers, stormwater management facilities, shade trees, buffer or screen plantings, recreational facilities, open space improvements and other required improvements.
When requested by the applicant to facilitate financing, the Board of Commissioners shall furnish the applicant with a signed copy of a resolution indicating approval of the final plan contingent upon the applicant obtaining satisfactory financial security and executing a development agreement.
The final plan shall not be signed nor recorded until the financial security is tendered and a development agreement is executed. The resolution or letter of contingent approval shall expire and be deemed to be revoked if the financial security is not tendered and the development agreement is not executed within 90 days of the date of the resolution or contingent approval. The Board of Commissioners may, at its discretion, grant a written extension, which shall be placed in writing at the request of the applicant.
In addition to cash deposits and escrow accounts, federal- or commonwealth-chartered lending institution irrevocable letters of credit extending for a term of one year beyond completion of all improvements and restrictive or escrow accounts in such lending institution shall be deemed acceptable financial security for the purposes of securing the completion of the required improvements. Such financial security shall be posted with Muhlenberg Township by a bonding company or federal- or commonwealth-chartered lending institution chosen by the applicant, provided such bonding company or lending institution is authorized to conduct business within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Such bond or other security shall provide for and secure to the public the completion of any improvements which may be required on or before the date fixed in the formal action of approval or accompanying agreement for completion of the improvements.
The amount of financial security to be posted for the completion of the required improvements shall be equal to 110% of the cost of completion estimated as of 90 days following the date scheduled for completion by the applicant and all administrative and engineering inspections, fees, costs and expenses.
Muhlenberg Township may adjust the amount of the financial security on an annual basis, by comparing the actual cost of the improvements which have been completed and the estimated cost for completion of the remaining improvements as of the expiration of the 90th day after either the original date scheduled for completion or a rescheduled date of completion. Subsequent to said adjustment, Muhlenberg Township shall require the applicant to post additional security in order to assure that the financial security equals the 110% and administrative and engineering costs as specified above. Any additional security shall be posted by the applicant.
The amount of required financial security shall be based upon an estimate of the cost of completion and inspection of the required improvements submitted by the applicant or developer and prepared by a professional engineer licensed as such in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and certified by such engineer to be a fair and reasonable estimate of all such costs.
Muhlenberg Township, upon the recommendation of the Township Engineer, may refuse to accept such estimate for good cause shown. If the applicant or applicants and Muhlenberg Township are not able to agree upon an estimate, then the estimate shall be recalculated and certified by another professional engineer licensed as such in the commonwealth and chosen mutually by Muhlenberg Township and the applicant or applicants. The estimate certified by the third engineer shall be presumed fair and reasonable.
If the applicant requires more than one year from the date of posting the financial security to complete the required improvements, the amount of financial security shall be increased by an additional 10% for each one-year period or portion thereof beyond the first anniversary date from posting of financial security or to an amount not exceeding 110% of the cost of completion and inspection of the required improvements as reestablished on or about the expiration of the preceding one-year period by using the procedure described above.
In the case where development is projected over a period of years, Muhlenberg Township may at its discretion authorize approval of final plans by sections, stages or phases of development with the understanding that no sale of lots and no work within the areas reserved from development may commence until the required contracts are signed and the financial security posted with respect to those areas reserved from development. Muhlenberg Township shall also have the right to impose additional requirements and conditions in connection with the phases as they are approved so as to assure that each section or phase will not be dependent for access or other improvement or common amenity upon completion of improvements in the subsequent phase or stage.
As the work of installing the required improvements proceeds, the party posting the financial security may request the Board of Commissioners to release or authorize the release, from time to time, of such portions of the financial security. Any such request shall be in writing addressed to the Board of Commissioners, and the Board of Commissioners shall have 45 days from receipt of such request within which the Muhlenberg Township Engineer shall certify, in writing, to Muhlenberg Township whether such portion of the improvements has been completed in accordance with the approved plan and applicable specifications.
Upon certification of completion, Muhlenberg Township shall authorize release by the bonding company or lending institution of an amount as estimated by Muhlenberg Township Engineer fairly representing the value of the improvements completed or, if Muhlenberg Township fails to act within said forty-five-day period, Muhlenberg Township shall be deemed to have approved the release of funds as requested.
Muhlenberg Township shall, prior to release at the time of completion and certification by Muhlenberg Township Engineer, require retention of 15% of the estimated cost of the required improvements.
The Board of Commissioners shall, at its discretion, accept a part or all of the required improvements if satisfied that the applicant has complied with the approved plan and all specifications and ordinances of Muhlenberg Township.
The applicant shall furnish Muhlenberg Township with legal descriptions for all roads and easements. In addition, the applicant shall provide two complete sets of prints of the completed required improvements, including drainage profiles and utilities, and pay all costs for the Clerk of Courts and Recorder of Deeds of Berks County regarding the petition and resolution of the Board of Commissioners for its acceptance of the required improvements and any deed of dedication for the same.
Unless permitted by Muhlenberg Township, no roads or other subsequent improvements will be accepted by Muhlenberg Township during the period from November 1 to April 1 of each calendar year.
Where Muhlenberg Township accepts dedication of all or some of the required improvements following completion, Muhlenberg Township shall require the posting of financial security to secure structural integrity of said improvements as well as the functioning of said improvements in accordance with the design standards and specifications as shown on the final plan.
The maintenance period shall be 18 months from the date of acceptance of dedication. The financial security shall be of the same type as described previously in this part of this chapter of the Code. The amount of financial security for maintenance shall be 15% of the actual cost of the installation of said improvements.
If municipal sanitary sewage disposal facilities and/or municipal water supply facilities are to be installed under the jurisdiction and pursuant to the rules and regulations of a municipal authority separate and distinct from Muhlenberg Township, financial security to assure proper completion and maintenance thereof shall be posted in accordance with the regulations of the Muhlenberg Township Authority and shall not be included within the financial security as otherwise required by Muhlenberg Township.
If basic public utilities (electric, natural gas, cable television, and telephone) are to be installed under the jurisdiction and pursuant to the rules and regulations of a public utility and distinct from Muhlenberg Township, financial security to assure proper completion and maintenance thereof shall be posted in accordance with the regulations of the controlling public utility providing service and shall not be included within the financial security as otherwise required by Muhlenberg Township.
When the applicant has completed all of the necessary and appropriate improvements, the applicant shall notify Muhlenberg Township, in writing, by certified or registered mail, of the completion of the required improvements and shall send a copy thereof to the Muhlenberg Township Engineer. Pursuant to the provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and Muhlenberg Township Code, the Muhlenberg Township Engineer shall inspect all of the required improvements.
The Muhlenberg Township Engineer shall, thereupon, file a report, in writing, with Muhlenberg Township and shall promptly mail a copy of the same to the applicant by certified or registered mail. The report shall be made and mailed within 30 days after receipt by the Muhlenberg Township Engineer of the aforesaid authorization from Muhlenberg Township, and said report shall be detailed and shall indicate approval or rejection of said improvements or any portion thereof. If the improvements are not approved or shall be rejected by the Muhlenberg Township Engineer, said report shall contain a statement of reasons for such nonapproval or rejection. Muhlenberg Township shall notify the applicant, within 15 days of receipt of the Engineer's report, in writing, by certified or registered mail, of the action of Muhlenberg Township with relation thereto.
If Muhlenberg Township or the Muhlenberg Township Engineer fails to comply with the time limitation provisions contained within this Part 1 of this chapter of the Code, all improvements will be deemed to have been approved, and the applicant shall be released from liability for installation, pursuant to its performance guarantee bond or other security agreement, but shall be liable for and shall provide a maintenance guarantee as otherwise provided for herein.
If any portion of said improvements shall not be approved or shall be rejected by Muhlenberg Township, the applicant shall proceed to complete the same and, upon completion, the same procedure of notification as outlined within this Part 1 of this chapter of the Code shall be followed.
The applicant shall reimburse Muhlenberg Township for the reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the inspection of improvements. Such fees shall be based on a fee schedule adopted by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
In the event that any required improvements have not been installed as provided for in these regulations or in accordance with the approved final plan, Muhlenberg Township shall have the power to enforce any corporate bond or other security by appropriate legal and equitable remedies. If the proceeds of such bond or other security are insufficient to pay the cost of installing or making repairs or corrections to all the improvements covered by said security, Muhlenberg Township may, at its option, install part of or all such improvements in the subdivision or land development and may institute appropriate legal action to recover the monies necessary to complete the remainder of the improvements.
In addition to the posting of security, the applicant shall be required to enter into a contract with Muhlenberg Township, in a form acceptable to the Muhlenberg Township Solicitor, covering the completion of the required improvements. The contract shall also provide for engineering inspections, insurance and reimbursement of expenses to Muhlenberg Township, procedure upon default, and other subjects deemed necessary by the Muhlenberg Township Solicitor to ensure proper and reasonable development of the land.
The Muhlenberg Township Board of Commissioners has established by municipal resolution or ordinance a fee schedule for the submission and processing of all applications pertaining to this Part 1 of this chapter of the Code. The proposed application shall not be considered by Muhlenberg Township until all pertinent fees are paid in full. All such fees shall be utilized to pay for all administrative costs as well as all review fees for any professional consultants designated by Muhlenberg Township, as authorized by law.
The Board of Commissioners may alter or change the schedule of the fees by resolution in accordance with the appropriate provisions established within the Muhlenberg Township Code and the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
All other fees and contributions that may be required for transportation improvements, recreation facilities, community facilities and/or other infrastructure improvements shall be paid by the applicant prior to final approval of the subdivision or land development plan.