Township of Upper Hanover, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 425-500 Landscaping regulations.

[Amended 10-16-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-09]
For all subdivisions and land developments, applicants shall be required to minimize the removal of healthy trees and shrubs and to install, maintain and guarantee plant materials as required herein for visual and other environmental benefits, including buffering, screening, or otherwise defining and dividing spaces.
A. 
Required landscaping plan.
(1) 
Applicants shall submit a landscaping plan as part of the preliminary plan submission for all subdivisions and land developments, except for residential subdivisions of three lots or less. The landscaping plan shall be prepared by a certified planting professional (landscape architect, nurseryman, arborist, horticulturalist, or urban forester). The Board of Supervisors may seek the advice of a certified planting professional regarding compliance with the ordinance standards.
(2) 
For residential subdivisions of no more than five lots, a formal landscaping plan is not required, but the applicant's plans shall be required to show compliance with the applicable planting requirements herein.
(3) 
All trees to be preserved shall be clearly located on the landscape plan and marked "to remain."
(4) 
Tree survey plan/inventory. A separate tree survey/inventory shall be submitted as described below in § 425-500B(2) herein, where all trees greater than six inches in diameter must be identified.
B. 
Preservation, protection, and compensation of existing vegetation.
(1) 
Woodland, trees and/or shrubs shall be preserved to the greatest extent feasible and preserved vegetation may be counted in lieu of the requirements herein. For this purpose, the Board of Supervisors may waive a part or all of these planting requirements if the applicant requests a waiver and provides sufficient evidence in compliance with § 425-106 of this chapter.
(2) 
Tree survey plan/inventory. An inventory of all trees six inches in diameter and larger on the site of the proposed subdivision and/or land development shall be conducted. The inventory shall include an identification of sizes, species and condition. The use of annotated aerial photographs at a scale to include sufficient detail to allow quantification of trees may be used to show compliance with this requirement. This requirement may also be satisfied by the use of multiple sample areas of no less than 100 feet by 100 feet (10,000 square feet), each to be used to estimate the total woodland tree count.
(3) 
A calculation and estimate of existing trees to be removed shall be documented on the submitted tree survey plan, which must be approved before any clearing commences.
C. 
Identification of preserved vegetation.
(1) 
All subdivisions and land developments shall be laid out in a manner that minimizes the removal of healthy trees and shrubs. Special consideration shall be given to major specimen trees. The following guidelines shall be used in determining whether specific vegetation is to be preserved or removed:
(a) 
Each freestanding mature tree, tree mass or woodland on the site shall be designated "to remain" or "to be removed" on the submitted tree survey plan/inventory. Existing trees that are to be relocated on site shall be classified as existing trees "to remain." Special consideration shall be given to mature specimen trees and ecologically significant woodlands. Trees shall be considered "to remain" only if they meet the following criteria:
[1] 
The outermost branches of the tree or trees are at least five feet from any proposed buildings, structures, paving, parking or utilities, overhead or underground.
[2] 
The outermost branches of the tree or trees are at least five feet from any proposed changes in grade or drainage, such as excavations, mounding or impoundments.
[3] 
The tree or trees are clear of any proposed sight triangles and do not, by their location and apparent health, pose any undue threat to the health, safety and welfare of the community.
[4] 
The drainage pattern around the preserved vegetation is maintained.
[5] 
Sediment and erosion control measures are installed to prevent accumulation of silt on the root zone of the preserved vegetation.
(b) 
It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that existing vegetation removal is minimized by showing that no alternative layouts are possible and that no alternative clearing or grading plan would reduce the loss of mature trees, tree masses and woodlands.
(c) 
Mature trees, tree masses, or woodlands that do not fit the above criteria shall be designated "to be removed." The applicant shall remove these trees during construction.
(2) 
Existing vegetation to remain shall be identified in the field prior to any clearing and shall be physically protected during construction. A temporary physical barrier such as a snow fence shall be erected a minimum of one foot outside the dripline on all sides of individual trees, tree masses, and woodlands prior to clearing and construction. The barrier shall be placed to prevent disturbance to or compaction of soil inside the barrier and shall remain until construction is complete. The barrier shall be indicated on the erosion and sedimentation control plan and the landscape plan. Reference to the installation of tree protection should be included in the sequence of construction notes to ensure incorporation of tree protection prior to the earliest stages of site disturbance.
(3) 
Specimen trees or individual trees from woodlands or tree masses that are to be removed may be transplanted with a tree spade from one area of the site to another. The transplanted trees shall be replanted in accordance with standard practices of guying. Trees not included on the List of General Plant Materials[1] may be transplanted when approved by the Board of Supervisors.
[1]
Editor's Note: The List of General Plant Materials is included as Appendix B in the Appendixes at the end of this chapter.
(4) 
Trees to be preserved near developed portions of a site should be pruned and fertilized prior to the beginning of construction in order to ensure their health.
(5) 
Disturbance allowance.
(a) 
Any subdivision or land development proposal which will result in the destruction of more than 25% of the existing trees six inches in diameter or greater on a lot shall replace these trees according to Subsection C(6) below. This percentage shall be applied on a per-lot basis. For subdivision or land development applications that are a cluster development or utilizing a subdivision design that does not propose individual lots, then this requirement shall apply to the total land area involved in the subdivision or land development.
(b) 
No more than 50% of the total acreage containing woodlands on a site shall be regraded, cleared, built upon or otherwise altered unless undertaken as an approved forestry operation by the Montgomery County Conservation District. This percentage shall apply on a per-lot basis. If the impervious coverage requirements permit greater clearance, the impervious coverage requirement takes precedence. Also, for subdivision land development applications that are a cluster development or utilizing a subdivision design that does not propose individual lots, then this requirement shall apply to the total land area involved in the subdivision or land development.
(c) 
Removal or disturbance of vegetation in environmentally sensitive areas, including wetlands and floodplains, steep slopes, riparian corridors, Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) wildlife habitats, and ecologically significant woodlands, shall be minimized.
(d) 
The design of a proposed subdivision or land development shall to the greatest extent possible preserve the contiguity of existing woodlands on the site with surrounding lands to preserve continuous woodland corridors and allow for the normal movement, dispersion and migration of wildlife.
(6) 
Removal and compensation of existing trees.
(a) 
Existing vegetation designated "to be removed" in accordance with the standards of Subsection C(1) above, over the 25% permitted in Subsection C(5)(a), shall be replaced according to the following standards:
[1] 
Trunk diameters shall be measured according to the following guidelines.
[a] 
For single-trunked shade trees, at a point 4.5 feet above ground level.
[b] 
For single-trunked ornamental trees, at a point 12 inches above ground level.
[c] 
For evergreen trees, at a point 12 inches above ground level.
[d] 
For multitrunked trees that branch between one foot and 4.5 feet above ground level, at a point just below the split.
[e] 
For multitrunked trees that branch below one foot above grade, the diameter shall be 60% of the sum total of all trunks measured at a point 4 1/2 feet above ground level.
[2] 
Compensatory trees shall be provided in the following ratios, based on the sum total of the diameter inches of trees being removed over the allowed 25%. These standards are applicable to both deciduous and evergreen trees. Compensation is not required for shrubs, unless otherwise required by the Board of Supervisors.
[a] 
For trees six to 18 inches in diameter, one inch of new tree caliper shall be provided for every one inch of existing tree diameter cut or removed.
[b] 
For trees 24 inches in diameter or greater (specimen trees), two inches of new tree caliper shall be provided for every one inch of existing tree diameter cut or removed.
[3] 
The number of compensatory trees shall be calculated from the total diameter inches to be replaced, divided by three and rounded up to the next whole number. All compensatory trees shall be shade trees with the exception of the following:
[a] 
Evergreen and ornamental trees may be substituted for shade trees at a ratio of 2 to 1 for up to 50% of the requirement. Alternative types of compensatory planting may be permitted, when approved by the Board of Supervisors.
[4] 
Compensatory trees shall be a minimum of three to 3.5 inches in caliper for deciduous trees and a minimum of six feet in height for evergreen trees and planted in accordance with § 425-500J.
(b) 
Tree compensation mix. Compensation trees are required to be a mix of species and types. Tree selections shall be made from Appendix B of this chapter. Any other species may be permitted if approved by the Township Board of Supervisors.
(c) 
Compensation trees shall be planted on the site to mitigate for the existing trees to be removed and shall be in addition to other landscaping or buffers required by this chapter or by Chapter 500, Zoning. The compensation trees shall be identified as such on the plant schedule included on the submitted landscape plan. Locations of compensatory trees must be clearly labeled on the landscape plan.
(d) 
At its discretion, when the Board of Supervisors agrees that, because of size, shape, location, access, topography or other physical features of the land, the site does not reasonably contain enough room for the required replacement trees, the Board may require replacement trees on public lands, a payment of a fee in lieu of compensatory trees or a combination thereof. Said fee shall be established by resolution.
D. 
Street trees.
(1) 
Street trees shall be selected from the shade trees in the List of General Plant Materials in Appendix B[2] and shall be required in the following locations:
(a) 
Along all existing streets when they abut or lie within any proposed subdivision or land development.
(b) 
Along all proposed streets.
(c) 
Along access driveways that serve five or more residential dwelling units or two or more nonresidential properties.
(d) 
Along walkways through parking lots and between nonresidential buildings, as recommended by the Township Planning Commission.
[2]
Editor's Note: Appendix B is included at the end of this chapter.
(2) 
The Board of Supervisors may waive the street tree requirements where there is sufficient existing vegetation or where it is desirable to maintain scenic views of open space, farmland or natural features or to provide solar access.
(3) 
Street trees shall be provided by the subdivider or developer between the ultimate right-of-way and the building setback line and shall meet these standards:
(a) 
Trees shall be planted a minimum distance of five feet and a maximum distance of 15 feet from the ultimate right-of-way line, except that the Board of Supervisors may permit trees to be planted within the ultimate right-of-way in the following circumstances:
[1] 
In developed areas, such as existing villages, where a large portion of the front yards may be located within the ultimate right-of-way.
[2] 
In cases where closely spaced rows of street trees may be desirable and future street widening is considered unlikely.
(b) 
In nonresidential developments, trees shall be located within a planting bed within the front yard setback at least 10 feet in width, planted in grass or ground cover. In areas where wider sidewalks are desirable or space is limited, planting pits may be used.
(c) 
Trees shall be located so as not to interfere with the installation and maintenance of sidewalks and utilities. Trees shall be planted a minimum of three feet from curbs and sidewalks, 15 feet from overhead and underground utilities.
(d) 
Trees shall be planted at a ratio of at least one tree per 50 feet of frontage or fraction thereof. Trees shall be distributed along the entire frontage of the property although they need not be evenly spaced.
(e) 
Street trees shall be selected from Appendix B, Section 1, Large Shade Trees.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Appendix B is included at the end of this chapter.
E. 
Property line buffer requirements. All subdivisions and land developments shall be landscaped with property line buffers to integrate new development with its surroundings and to separate it from dissimilar land uses on abutting parcels.
(1) 
Buffer locations and dimensions.
(a) 
Property line buffers shall be located within an area of not less than 25 feet nor more than 50 feet in width contiguous to the entire lengths of all side and rear property lines and external street boundaries of the tract ultimate rights-of-way (UROW) proposed for subdivision and/or land development.
(b) 
Where zoning permits a building side yard less than 25 feet, and the building is proposed to be less than 25 feet from the tract boundary, the buffer may be reduced to equal the proposed side yard dimension.
(2) 
Determining buffer intensities:
(a) 
The quantity and type of materials shall be determined by the type and intensity of the proposed land use and the adjacent land uses, or zoning district when vacant, according to Table 1 herein.
(b) 
The applicant shall determine the adjacent land uses along each property boundary by on-site investigation. If the adjacent land is vacant, then the zoning district shall be used for the intensity of land use to determine the amount and type of plant material required for buffering. If there are several permitted uses on an adjacent site, the most restrictive requirements shall apply. The Board of Supervisors shall have final approval of interpretation of the land uses and/or Zoning Map.
(3) 
Quantities and types of plant materials for property line buffers:
(a) 
After determining required buffer intensities according to § 425-500E(2)(a) and (b) and Table 1 herein, the applicant shall install at least the following minimum quantities and types of plant material for every 100 linear feet of property line and external street boundary to be buffered:
[1] 
Low intensity: one canopy tree plus two ornamental trees.
[2] 
Medium intensity: one canopy tree plus two ornamental trees plus two evergreen trees plus five shrubs.
[3] 
High intensity: one canopy tree plus two ornamental trees plus five evergreen trees plus 10 shrubs.
(b) 
Tree selection.
[1] 
Canopy trees shall be selected from Section 1, Large Shade Trees, of Appendix B.
[2] 
Ornamental trees shall be selected from Section 2, Smaller Shade Trees; Section 3.B, Flowering Trees; or Section 3.D.2, Flowering Small Trees.
[3] 
Evergreen trees shall be selected from Section 3.D.3, Evergreen Trees.
[4] 
Shrubs shall be selected from Section 3.C, Low-Growing Shrubs and Ground Covers, or Section 3.D.4, Hedge Plants.
(c) 
The landscaping plan shall identify the locations and lengths of each required buffer area and list the numbers and types of plant materials required in graphic form and by explanatory labels on the landscaping plan.
(4) 
Design criteria.
(a) 
The required plant materials shall be distributed throughout the entire buffer areas according to the required intensities.
[1] 
Plant materials shall be arranged in an aesthetically pleasing manner, compatible with the proposed subdivision/land development and its surroundings.
[2] 
Applicants are encouraged to use plant groupings creatively to optimize the benefits of the buffers. Formal planting patterns are permitted where appropriate, but rigid, monotonous design should be avoided.
(b) 
In addition to the required plant materials, applicants are encouraged to use a variety of ground covers, decorative fences or walls, gravel, river stones, rocks, earth mounding, and water features to add visual interest within and adjoining the property line buffers.
(c) 
Site element screens are permitted in the buffer area, in addition to the buffer landscaping.
(d) 
Stormwater basins are permitted in the buffer area, provided that the purposes of the property line buffer are not compromised.
(e) 
Parking is not permitted in the buffer area.
(f) 
Existing features, including landforms, vegetation and water features, may be substituted for part or all of the required property line buffer, provided that the visual effect shall be equal to or exceed that of the required buffer, as determined by the Board of Supervisors.
Table 1
Property Line Buffers
[Amended 4-14-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-01]
Adjacent Use or Zoning District When Undeveloped
Proposed Use
Office/ Institutional and Public Recreation
Commercial/ Industrial
Multifamily, SFA, MHP
Two-Family, SFD
Office/ institutional1
Low
Low
Medium
High
Commercial/ industrial
Medium
Low
High
High
Residential2
Low
Medium
Low
Medium
Active recreation: playing fields, golf courses, swim clubs, etc.
Low
Low
Low
Low
NOTES:
1
All uses in office/limited industrial parks shall be considered office/institutional uses.
2
Buffers are required for all multifamily, single-family attached, clustered single-family, and mobile home park developments.
F. 
Site element screen requirements. Applicants shall install site element screens in all proposed subdivisions and land developments to soften or conceal the effects of site elements that are incompatible with adjoining land use or otherwise considered undesirable in terms of appearance, functions, noise generation, or other characteristics.
(1) 
The following site elements shall be screened by an appropriate site element screen when they are part of the applicant's proposal and located partially or fully within 100 feet of the applicant's tract boundary lines or public or private rights-of-way:
(a) 
Parking lots.
(b) 
Dumpsters, trash disposal, or recycling areas.
(c) 
Service or loading docks.
(d) 
Outdoor storage or sales yard.
(e) 
Vehicle storage.
(f) 
Rear yards of single-family attached dwelling units.
(g) 
Rear yards of multifamily dwellings.
(h) 
Active recreation facilities.
(i) 
Sewage treatment plants and pumping stations.
(j) 
Site elements with visual impact similar to the above elements, as determined by the Township Planning Commission, Engineer or Supervisors.
(2) 
Determining site element screen types:
(a) 
The type of site element screen required shall be determined by the type of site element and the type of adjacent existing land use, or zoned use in the case of vacant land, according to Table 2 herein. Design criteria for screen types are found in § 425-500G.
(b) 
The applicant shall determine the adjacent land uses along each property boundary by on-site investigation. If the adjacent land is vacant, then the uses allowed in the existing zoning district shall be used. If there are several permitted uses on an adjacent site, the most restrictive requirements shall apply. The Board of Supervisors shall have final approval of interpretation of the land uses and/or Zoning Map.
(c) 
Site elements not included in the above list that have a similar visual impact shall be screened in accordance with requirements for the most similar elements as determined by the Township Planning Commission, Engineer or Supervisors.
(3) 
Screen location and extent. At a minimum, the site element screen shall be placed between the site element and the property line. As needed, the screen shall be extended to maximize its concealing effects and shall be required to surround the site element without impeding its function or encroaching on sight triangles, as determined by the Township Planning Commission, Engineer or Supervisors.
Table 2
Site Element Screen Types
Adjacent Land Use/Zoning District When Undeveloped
Nonresidential
Residential
All Roads
Proposed Site Element
Office or Institutional
All Other Nonresidential
Single-Family Detached or Attached; Multifamily
Parking lots, 30 stalls or less
1
1
2
1 or 2
Parking lots, 31 stalls or greater
1
1
2, 3, 5, 6 or 7
1, 2, 6, or 7
Dumpster, trash or recycling areas
5, 6, or 8
4, 6, or 7
5, 6, or 8
4, 6, or 7
Service and loading docks
8, 9, or 10
8, 9, or 10
9 or 10
8, 9, or 10
Outdoor sales yard and vehicle storage (excluding car sales areas)
8 or 9
4,6, or 7
8 or 9
2, 6, or 7
Attached residential or multifamily, rear yards only
2, 5, 6, or 7
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9
2, 5, 6, or 7
5, 6, 7, 8, or 9
Active recreational facilities: tennis, basketball, court games, etc.
7, 8, or 9
6 or 7
8 or 9
4, 5, 6, or 7
Sewage treatment plants and pump stations
9
7, 8, or 9
9
8 or 9
NOTES:
1.
When both residential and nonresidential uses are allowed by the zoning district on the adjacent land, the residential requirements shall apply.
2.
Numbers 1 through 10 refer to types of site element screens as described in § 425-500G herein.
3.
When more than one alternative is given, choose one.
G. 
Design criteria for screen types.
(1) 
Screen types specified in Table 2 herein shall comply with the following criteria:
(a) 
Screen Type 1: evergreen or deciduous shrubs. Shrubs shall be placed three feet on center in a minimum five-foot-wide bed and arranged to provide a continuous hedge-like screen up to a minimum height of 3 1/2 feet at maturity. Shrubs may be clipped to form a hedge or left in natural habit.
(b) 
Screen Type 2: berm with evergreen or deciduous shrubs. A two- to three-foot-high continuous berm with a maximum slope of 3:1, planted with shrubs as in Screen Type 1.
(c) 
Screen Type 3: low wall. A wall of brick, stone, or decorative modular retaining wall system (not cement block) at least 50% opaque, not less than three feet in height, with a decorative fence less than 50% opaque on top.
(d) 
Screen Type 4: opaque fence or wall. A six-foot opaque fence or decorative wall.
(e) 
Screen Type 5: opaque fence or wall with ornamental trees and shrubs. A six-foot opaque fence or decorative wall provided with plantings at a minimum rate of three shrubs and one ornamental tree or large shrub for each 25 linear feet of proposed fence or wall, arranged formally or informally next to the fence or wall.
(f) 
Screen Type 6: evergreen hedge. An evergreen hedge (such as arborvitae, chionanthus, etc.) at a minimum height at planting of six feet at a maximum of three feet on center.
(g) 
Screen Type 7: berm with ornamental trees. A two- to three-foot-high continuous curvilinear berm with ornamental trees at the rate of one tree for every 20 feet, clustered or arranged informally. The berm shall have side slopes a maximum of 3:1 with the top of berm a minimum of three feet.
(h) 
Screen Type 8: double row of evergreen trees. A double row of evergreen trees placed 10 feet on center and offset 10 feet to provide a continuous screen at a minimum height of 12 feet at maturity.
(i) 
Screen Type 9: berm with shrubs and evergreen trees. A minimum five-foot-high continuous berm with a row of evergreen trees placed 10 feet on center on both sides, but not on top of the berm, and interspersed with a variety of ornamental trees and large shrubs at a rate of one per 25 feet.
(j) 
Screen Type 10: architectural extension of building. An eight-foot-minimum-height architectural extension of the building (such as a wing wall) shall enclose the service area and loading docks. The extension shall be consistent in building materials and style with the main building.
(2) 
Alternative screen types.
(a) 
The applicant may propose the use of alternative screen types or changes in plant materials or designs that fulfill the intent of these regulations, when approved by the Board of Supervisors as a waiver, in compliance with § 425-106 of this chapter.
(b) 
Existing features, including landforms, vegetation, and water features, may be substituted for part or all of the required site element screen, provided that the visual effect shall be equal to or exceed that of the required screen, when approved by the Board of Supervisors as a waiver, in compliance with § 425-106 of this chapter.
H. 
Parking lot landscaping. All parking lots with 10 or more spaces shall be effectively landscaped with trees and shrubs to reduce the visual impact of glare, headlights and parking lot lights; to help define driving lanes and rows of parking; to improve the overall appearance of the parking lot; and to provide shade to reduce the amount of reflected heat.
(1) 
Perimeter planting.
(a) 
The entire perimeter of all parking lots with 10 or more spaces shall be planted with shade trees (see Appendix B) at the rate of one tree per 50 feet of perimeter.
[1] 
These trees shall be planted not less than five or more than 10 feet from the edge of paving of the parking lot.
[2] 
When planted between the parking lot and a building, each tree shall be located in a planting bed or lawn area at least 100 square feet in area.
(b) 
The perimeter of all parking lots with 10 or more spaces shall be planted with site element screen planting in compliance with Table 2 herein.
(2) 
Planting islands.
(a) 
Each planting island required by § 425-416 of this chapter or otherwise proposed on a plan shall be planted with one shade tree selected from the lists in Appendix B, with the remaining island area entirely covered by ground cover and/or shrub planting less than two feet in height at maturity.
(b) 
Each planting island shall be a minimum of nine feet by 18 feet in area and shall be underlain by soil not base course material.
(3) 
Planting strips.
(a) 
Each planting strip required by § 425-416 of this chapter or otherwise proposed on a plan shall be planted in compliance with shade, flowering or evergreen trees selected from the lists in Appendix B at the rate of one tree per 30 feet of planting strip and shrubs planted at the rate of one per 20 feet, with the remaining planting strip area entirely covered by ground cover.
(b) 
Additional tree and shrub planting is encouraged within planting strips.
(c) 
Planting islands at the ends of planting strips shall be planted in compliance with § 425-500H(2) herein.
(d) 
Each planting strip shall be a minimum of 10 feet wide and run the length of the parking row and shall be underlain by soil not base course material.
(4) 
Additional planting within parking lots. All parking lots with a capacity of 50 or more spaces shall be provided with additional planting of shade trees at the rate of one tree per 10 spaces' capacity. These trees may be planted in additional planting islands or strips or be planted adjacent to required perimeter planting.
(5) 
Maintenance of sight distance. At all driveway intersections within or adjacent to parking lots, plant materials other than shade trees shall be maintained by the applicant and/or property owner at a maximum height of two feet to ensure adequate sight distances. For intersections with parking access aisles, this height shall be maintained for a minimum of 15 feet. For intersections of major driveways, this height shall be maintained for a minimum of 25 feet.
(6) 
The placement of light standards shall be coordinated with the landscape design to avoid a conflict with the operation of luminaires.
I. 
Stormwater basin landscaping. All stormwater basins in all subdivisions and/or land developments shall comply with these requirements, except for those serving three or fewer residential lots or a total drainage area of less than five acres.
(1) 
Basin floor vegetation. Basin floors shall be planted with an appropriate seed mixture for meadow/wildflower vegetation instead of conventional lawn grasses, and annual mowing shall be required. The Township's landscape consultant shall select or approve appropriate mixtures, including specific seeding rates and soil preparation requirements.
(2) 
Low-flow channel and emergency spillway vegetation. Low-flow channels and emergency spillways shall be planted with erosion-resistant plant materials and/or be protected against erosion by appropriate geotextile materials acceptable to the Township Engineer and Township landscape consultant. The route of low-flow channels from basin inlet to outlet shall be lengthened to the maximum reasonable extent to increase time of flow and potential for infiltration.
(3) 
Side-slope landscaping. The landscaping plan shall delineate basin impoundment slopes and existing and cut slopes to facilitate side-slope landscaping in compliance with the following:
(a) 
Basin impoundment structure. Trees shall not be planted on the impoundment structure, and an appropriate seed mixture for meadow/wildflower vegetation shall be used instead of conventional lawn grasses. Annual mowing shall be required to prevent natural reforestation. The Township's landscape consultant shall select or approve appropriate mixtures, including specific seeding rates and soil preparation requirements.
(b) 
Existing and cut slopes. Existing and cut slopes shall be planted with a combination of naturalized plantings, including trees, shrubs and wildflowers.
[1] 
Wildflower seed mixture, seeding rates, and soil preparation requirements shall be selected or approved by the Township's landscape consultant.
[2] 
Trees and shrubs shall be planted according to one of the following options, with the specified number of trees and shrubs per each 100 linear feet of slope area. Plant materials shall be selected from the list of recommended plant materials in Appendix C, Riparian Corridor Plant List,[4] or as otherwise approved by the Township's landscape consultant:
[a] 
Option 1: three canopy or flowering trees plus five evergreen trees plus 10 shrubs.
[b] 
Option 2: three canopy or flowering trees plus three evergreen trees plus 15 shrubs.
[c] 
Option 3: two canopy or flowering trees plus two evergreen trees plus 25 shrubs.
[d] 
Option 4: 50 shrubs.
[4]
Editor's Note: Appendix C is included in the Appendixes at the end of this chapter.
J. 
Planting specifications.
(1) 
All plant materials shall meet the specifications of and be planted in conformance with the standards of the American Association of Nurserymen. Plants shall be spaced to provide optimum growing conditions.
(2) 
Planting shall be done only when climatic conditions are suitable to sustain newly planted material. As part of plan approval, planting may be delayed to allow planting at a suitable time.
(3) 
All plant materials shall be selected from the List of General Plant Materials in Appendix B.
K. 
Sizes of plant materials at planting.
(1) 
Street trees, shade trees, and canopy trees shall be a minimum of 2 1/2 inches in caliper, measured six inches above the ground for up to and including four-inch caliper size, and 12 inches above the ground for larger sizes.
(2) 
Evergreen trees for screening purposes shall be a minimum of six feet tall.
(3) 
Flowering trees in buffer areas shall be a minimum of eight feet tall.
(4) 
Unless otherwise specified, shrubs shall be a minimum of 18 inches tall.
L. 
Required variety of tree species. For all required tree planting, a variety of tree species is required as follows:
Total Number of Required Trees
Minimum Number of Different Tree Species
Maximum Percentage of Trees of One Species
0 to 5
1
100%
6 to 15
2
50%
16 to 30
3
40%
31 to 50
4
30%
51+
6
20%
M. 
Seeding and sodding.
(1) 
All areas of a subdivision or land development shall be seeded where the slopes are 8% or less, except area of existing woodland, wildlife habitat, wetland, floodplain or other significant natural features. The type and method of seeding shall conform with recommendations in the Montgomery County Conservation District Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook.
(2) 
Sodding is required in a subdivision or land development where slopes are over 8%, in the bottom of swales, on embankments, and as may be deemed necessary for soil erosion control by the Montgomery County Conservation District.

§ 425-501 Riparian Corridor District management.

A. 
Corridor management plan. Within any riparian corridor area, no construction, development, use, activity or encroachment shall be permitted unless a corridor management plan is submitted and approved by the Board of Supervisors and the effects of such development are mitigated by the implementation of the corridor management plan. The corridor management plan shall meet the following requirements:
(1) 
Plan contents. The corridor management plan shall contain the following information:
(a) 
Existing conditions, including the corridor boundaries, steep slopes, swales, wetlands, streams, ponds, floodplains, woodlands, other vegetation, and existing structures. A written description of unusual or significant conditions shall also be included.
(b) 
Management goals for the entire tract and long-range goals for the riparian corridor. All goals shall be compatible with the objectives listed in the legislative intent of Article XXIX, RCCO Riparian Corridor Conservation Overlay District, of Chapter 500, Zoning.
(c) 
Proposed activities, including a plan drawn to scale that shows all proposed activities within and adjacent to the corridor. The plan shall differentiate areas that will be disturbed from those that will be protected and preserved.
(d) 
Proposed management, including an explanation of how the goals will be met given the proposed activities. The plan shall specify when the construction, planting or other activities are to begin and end and shall address long- and short-term maintenance, mitigation, and improvement activities necessary for preservation of the corridor, including application of herbicides, removal of invasive plants, spacing and types of newly planted trees and shrubs, mowing schedules, farming practices, and other related functions.
(2) 
Management, mitigation and restoration measures. The proposed management plan shall comply with the following management, mitigation and restoration measures.
(a) 
Management practices. The following management practices shall be integrated into the management plan:
[1] 
Existing woody and other vegetation shall be preserved to the greatest extent possible;
[2] 
Fallen branches and other organic material shall be allowed to remain where they have fallen, provided that they do not create a hazard;
[3] 
Fencing shall be used to keep livestock away from streams;
[4] 
Stream crossings shall be done at a 90° angle to the stream;
[5] 
An undisturbed vegetative strip shall be kept between agricultural uses and stream corridors;
[6] 
Agricultural uses shall follow accepted conservation practices, as promulgated by the Natural Resource Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture;
[7] 
Streambanks shall be stabilized in accordance with "A Streambank Stabilization and Management Guide for Pennsylvania Landowners," by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection;
[8] 
Degraded landscapes should be restored or converted to a more effective landscape, as per § 425-501A(2)(b)[2].
(b) 
Mitigation measures. Permitted uses that involve disturbance of vegetation within the riparian corridor shall be mitigated by at least one of the following measures, with a total amount of mitigated area measured horizontally that is equal to or greater than the total amount of disturbed area measured horizontally:
[1] 
Increasing the width of the corridor. The width of the riparian corridor, measured from the defined edge of a watercourse, is increased to at least 150 feet.
[2] 
Converting to a more effective landscape. The existing landscape is converted to a more effective landscape. The following landscapes are listed in order of effectiveness, from most effective to least effective: woodland, meadow, shrub, old field, lawn, pasture.
[3] 
Increasing the effectiveness of the corridor. In existing degraded wooded areas or proposed new wooded areas, the riparian corridor is planted with three distinct layers of vegetation:
[a] 
Canopy trees, such as oak, hickory, maple, gum, beech, sycamore, spruce, hemlock, pine and fir;
[b] 
Shrubs that provide an understory, such as elderberry, viburnum, azalea, rhododendron, holly, laurel and alders; and
[c] 
Herbaceous plants that serve as ground cover, including ferns, sorrel, trillium, violet, Virginia creeper, nettle, phlox, aster and worts. All three layers shall be planted at a density sufficient to create a fully functioning, naturalized riparian corridor.
(c) 
Restoration and conversion of landscapes.
[1] 
Landscapes shall be restored by removing invasive vines, removing invasive trees, cleaning out trash, correcting soil erosion problems, planting appropriate plants, and properly maintaining all new plantings.
[2] 
Landscapes shall be converted to a more effective landscape by removing existing incompatible vegetation, planting plants that are appropriate for the proposed landscape type and the site, and maintaining and protecting the plantings from invasive plants, deer, and other long-term problems.
B. 
Vegetation selection. To function properly, vegetation in the corridor management plan shall be selected from the Riparian Corridor Plant List in Appendix C.[1] Plants not included on the list may be permitted by the Board of Supervisors when evidence satisfactory to the Board is provided from qualified sources certifying their suitability. The Township may require species' suitability to be verified by qualified experts in the Montgomery County Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or state and federal forest agencies.
(1) 
Adjacent to the watercourse, dominant vegetation shall be composed of a variety of native riparian tree and shrub species and appropriate plantings necessary for streambank stabilization.
(2) 
Away from the watercourse, dominant vegetation shall be composed of riparian trees and shrubs, with an emphasis on native species and appropriate plantings necessary to stabilize the soil.
(3) 
Disturbed areas shall be revegetated with riparian corridor plants, in compliance with an approved corridor management plan.
(4) 
Areas that cannot be revegetated shall be restored in conformance with the objectives listed in the legislative intent of Article XXIX, RCCO Riparian Corridor Conservation Overlay District, of Chapter 500, Zoning, using management practices accepted by experts qualified in riparian corridor management.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix C is included in the Appendixes at the end of this chapter.

§ 425-502 Regulations for floodplain areas.

[Amended 2-9-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-02]
Any lot or tract of land that is proposed for subdivision or land development which contains or is adjacent to a watercourse may contain areas of identified floodplain which is defined, and boundaries established, as set forth in the Chapter 240, Floodplain Management. Areas of identified floodplain are subject to all the regulations of Chapter 240 as well as to all the regulations of the FPC Floodplain Conservation Overlay District as set forth in Chapter 500, Zoning.

§ 425-503 Open space design and specifications and installation of recreation facilities.

[Amended 12-13-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-13; 2-13-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-01]
In accordance with the Upper Perkiomen Valley Regional Comprehensive Plan, and the Upper Hanover Township Open Space and Environmental Resource Protection Plan Update (2006), or any successor plan thereto, applicants shall provide open space as required by the Upper Hanover Township Zoning Ordinance. Compliance with this section shall be a condition precedent to final plan approval and shall be a provision of the development agreement.
A. 
Open space characteristics. The preservation of open space shall be guided by and be in accordance with the Open Space and Environmental Resource Protection Plan of Upper Hanover Township, or any successor plan thereto and be characterized by one or more of the following:
(1) 
Active and passive recreation areas.
(2) 
Environmentally sensitive and attractive areas, such as:
(a) 
Woodlands.
(b) 
Lakes, ponds, streams.
(c) 
Floodplain, as defined in this chapter and Article XX, Floodplain Conservation Overlay District, of Chapter 500, Zoning.
(d) 
Steep slopes as defined in Chapter 500, Zoning.
(e) 
Farmland which is to be continued in agricultural use.
(f) 
Wetlands.
(g) 
Riparian buffers.
(h) 
Historic sites which are registered or are capable of becoming registered on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Register or the National Historic Register.
B. 
Common open space design requirements.
(1) 
In all instances where permanently preserved open space is required, it shall:
(a) 
Provide a continuous system of usable areas among groupings of residential dwelling units wherever practicable, and be conveniently located for access by potential users.
(b) 
Interconnect with common open space areas on abutting parcels wherever possible.
(c) 
Provide appropriately improved, safe and convenient access via public road frontage or other rights-of-way or easements for pedestrian, bicycle and/or maintenance vehicle traffic, etc.
(d) 
Provide sufficient parking when necessary, as in recreation areas.
(e) 
Provide no less than 25% of the open space as buffers between development and existing roads.
(f) 
Provide no more than 50% of the open space as floodplain, steep slopes, riparian corridor or any other restricted-use areas.
(g) 
Be crossed by public or private roads only where necessary for proper traffic circulation, upon recommendation of the Township Engineer.
(h) 
Contain areas no less than 50 feet in width and no less than 11,000 square feet of contiguous area, except that individual tot-lots shall be included in the total required open space area.
(i) 
Provide at least one designated common area within the development containing no less than 30% of the required open space.
(j) 
Provide recreation facilities as required herein.
(k) 
Not include areas devoted to stormwater management facilities and/or utility easements or rights-of-way (including, but not limited to, sanitary sewer, water, stormwater, telephone, gas, electric and cable).
(2) 
Where common open space is required by the Zoning Ordinance under the R-2 District's design alternative for open space preservation and age-qualified housing standards, the open space shall comply with the design requirements of § 425-503B(1) as well as the following. Where conflicts occur, the standards of this section shall prevail. Open space shall:
(a) 
Be located and designed to preserve the Macoby Creek Greenway, where applicable, in compliance with the recommendation of the Open Space and Environmental Resource Protection Plan. The applicant shall be required to construct the Greenway Trail and access to it from the development.
(b) 
Preserve other natural features, including one-hundred-year floodplains, wetlands, riparian corridors, slopes more than 25% in grade, and woodlands, where feasible. The criteria of § 425-503B(1)(f) shall not necessarily apply.
(c) 
Be primarily for the purpose of trails or other passive forms of recreation.
(d) 
Where natural features exist, generally maintain their natural condition, but may be modified, when approved by the Board of Supervisors with the recommendation of the Planning Commission, to improve their appearance, functioning or overall condition, as recommended by experts in the particular area being modified. Permitted modification may include:
[1] 
Reforestation.
[2] 
Woodland management.
[3] 
Meadow management.
[4] 
Buffer area landscaping.
[5] 
Streambank protection and/or restoration.
[6] 
Wetlands management.
(3) 
Further, open space in age-qualified development:
(a) 
Shall provide internal open space as a focal point for recreation and visual purposes, designed with a village green character that complies with the following standards:
[1] 
Central locations with convenient visual and pedestrian access from the surrounding neighborhood, provided at the rate of one per 50 dwelling units.
[2] 
Minimum area of 10,000 square feet, configured so that a circle with a diameter of 100 feet can fit within its confines.
[3] 
Slope of 3% or less, extending uniformly throughout its area, with the majority of its area as lawn suitable for passive or informal active recreation.
[4] 
A seating area with a gazebo, pavilion, fountain and/or paved plaza to serve as a central gathering place for the neighborhood.
[5] 
Perimeter and internal landscaping that includes street trees and a variety of additional ornamental landscaping.
(b) 
May include landscaped visual breaks interspersed between buildings along internal streets when the break provides a minimum width of 75 feet between buildings. Driveways may be located within these spaces, provided that the width of the space is increased to maintain the seventy-five-foot-wide landscaped space.
(c) 
May include landscaped islands within the internal road system when the islands are a minimum of 10 feet wide and 500 square feet in area.
(d) 
May include 10% of the area within the required minimum perimeter buffer toward the open space requirement when the buffer areas satisfy the following criteria:
[1] 
Minimum width of 50 feet from all tract boundaries.
[2] 
When used for conveniently accessible seating areas at intervals of no more than 500 feet, especially along walking and/or fitness trails.
[3] 
When used to provide intense buffering and a variety of landscaped spaces along public roads and areas abutting existing single-family detached residences, with planting at a rate 1.5 times the number of plants required for a standard landscape buffer by this chapter.
(4) 
Where common open space is required, as by the Zoning Ordinance under the R-3 District, the open space shall comply with design requirements of § 425-503B(1) as well as those following. Where conflicts occur, the standards of this section shall prevail. Open space shall:
(a) 
Count the entire area of the buffer toward the open space requirement when it abuts open space preserved by the applicant.
(b) 
Count the entire area of the buffer toward the open space requirement when it abuts residential development including parking areas proposed by the applicant only when the buffer is widened to a minimum of 100 feet.
(5) 
Further, open space in traditional neighborhood development:
(a) 
May include stormwater basins and all utility easements, including but not limited to storm, sanitary and power line easements.
(b) 
May include areas of 10 feet of width or greater, provided the narrow areas are defined by fences or walls and constitute less then 5% of the total open space.
(c) 
Shall include village green areas with the following characteristics:
[1] 
Minimum area of one acre.
[2] 
Central location with convenient access from the surrounding neighborhood(s).
[3] 
Majority of its area as lawn suitable for informal active recreation.
[4] 
A gazebo, pavilions, fountain and/or paved plaza as a central gathering place, located to not interfere with lawn recreation activities.
[5] 
Perimeter and internal landscaping that includes street trees and a variety of additional ornamental landscaping.
C. 
Open space compliance table. To facilitate review of compliance with these open space standards, the applicant's plans shall clearly identify each open space area and provide a table listing the spaces by type and area, including the site total.
D. 
Required active recreation facilities.
(1) 
Applicability and general requirements:
(a) 
These requirements apply to all proposals for subdivision and/or land development located in the R-1, R-2 and R-3 Zoning Districts, and to all proposals using flexible lotting, open space/cluster, or design alternative standards.
(b) 
Facilities shall comply with the definitions and requirements of this chapter.
(c) 
The following table lists the facilities required by this section:
[Amended 2-13-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-01]
Total Number of Lots/Dwelling Units
Number of Play Fields
Number of Tot-Lots
Number of Basketball or Tennis Courts
10 to 49
1
1
0
50 to 99
2
2
0
100 to 149
3
3
1
150 to 199
4
4
2
200 to 249
5
5
2
250 to 299
6
6
3
300 to 349
7
7
3
350 to 400
8
8
4
Developments with more than 400 lots/dwelling units shall provide one play field and one tot-lot for each additional 50 lots/units or fraction thereof, and one basketball or tennis court for each additional 150 lots/units, or fraction thereof.
(d) 
In addition, for more than 300 lots or dwelling units, the applicant shall install one swimming pool.
(2) 
Tot-lot requirements.
(a) 
Use of tot-lots shall be limited to daylight hours only; no lighting shall be installed.
(b) 
Low-maintenance play equipment and structures shall be included and confined by a gated fence a minimum of three feet high. The gate shall be self-closing and self-latching.
(c) 
Sitting areas, including benches, shall be provided for the convenience of persons supervising the children.
(d) 
Shade trees shall be provided for sitting and play areas; gazebo or picnic-type shelters may be used in addition to shade trees.
(e) 
When a tot-lot is placed adjacent to the play field, practical measures, such as fencing and orientation of facilities, shall be used to reduce hazards, especially from balls, Frisbees, or other flying objects.
(f) 
Minimum dimensional standards shall be as follows.
[1] 
Minimum area: 2,500 square feet within the fenced areas. Applicants shall provide a landscaped buffer area around the fenced area a minimum of 10 feet in depth.
[2] 
Minimum horizontal dimension: 35 feet.
[3] 
Minimum setbacks.
[a] 
From lot lines: 10 feet.
[b] 
From the ultimate right-of-way of streets:
[i] 
Local access streets: 25 feet.
[ii] 
Collector or arterial streets: 100 feet.
(g) 
Locations: at convenient, centralized intervals, requiring not longer than a one-thousand-foot walk from any dwelling unit.
(3) 
Play field requirements.
(a) 
Play fields shall be used only during daylight hours; no lighting shall be installed.
(b) 
Play fields are intended for informal, neighborhood use. Play fields shall not be used for formalized programs such as Little League Baseball or Midget Football that should be conducted on larger, more appropriate fields that are located, designed and intended for use by the extended community.
(c) 
Play fields shall consist of a lawn area, unobstructed by trees, shrubs, benches and other playground equipment. Applicants are encouraged to locate trees and shrubs along the perimeter of a play field, however, to define its limits, enhance its appearance, and filter noise generated by activities.
(d) 
Play fields shall be gently sloped, not less than one-percent nor more than three-percent grade, and shall be well-drained so that they are suitable for use in good weather.
(e) 
Play fields may be fenced if desired by the applicant.
(f) 
Sitting areas may be provided along the perimeter if desired by the applicant.
(g) 
Minimum dimensional standards shall be as follows.
[1] 
Minimum area: 25,000 square feet.
[2] 
Minimum horizontal dimension: 150 feet.
[3] 
Minimum setbacks to the edge of a play field:
[a] 
From any dwelling unit: 100 feet.
[b] 
From the ultimate right-of-way of streets:
[i] 
Local access streets: 25 feet.
[ii] 
Collector or arterial streets: 50 feet.
(h) 
Locations: at convenient, centralized intervals.
(4) 
Basketball and tennis court requirements.
(a) 
These courts shall be constructed in accordance with specifications approved by the Township Engineer and shall be oriented in a north-south direction.
(b) 
Minimum dimensional standards shall be as follows:
[1] 
Court areas shall be of standard size.
[2] 
Tennis courts shall be a minimum of 60 feet by 120 feet.
[3] 
Basketball courts shall be a minimum of 70 feet by 104 feet.
[4] 
Minimum setbacks to the edge of paving:
[a] 
From any dwelling unit: 125 feet.
[b] 
From the ultimate right-of-way of streets:
[i] 
Local access streets: 25 feet.
[ii] 
Collector or arterial streets: 50 feet.
[5] 
From any lot line: 15 feet.
(c) 
Tennis courts shall be fenced around the entire perimeter with minimum ten-foot-high fencing.
(d) 
Basketball courts shall be fenced with minimum six-foot-high fencing under the following conditions:
[1] 
When the edge of pavement is less than 30 feet from a lot line, that edge shall be fenced.
[2] 
When the edge of pavement is less than 30 feet from an area sloping steeply downward from the court, the edge shall be fenced.
(e) 
Lighting may be provided for nighttime use of courts, so arranged that no glare affects abutting residences or streets, on a demand-activated basis, until not later than 10:00 p.m.
(f) 
Locations: at convenient, centralized intervals.
(5) 
Swimming pool requirements.
(a) 
Minimum pool surface area shall be 3,000 square feet (e.g., 40 feet by 75 feet).
(b) 
In addition, a toddlers' pool shall be provided with a minimum surface area of 750 square feet.
(c) 
The pools shall be surrounded by a paved, nonslip surface, a minimum of eight feet wide.
(d) 
Lawn area shall be provided adjacent to and around the pool a minimum of 4,000 square feet at a slope not exceeding 8%.
(e) 
A permanent building shall be provided for bathrooms and a lifeguard/supervisor room.
(f) 
The entire facility shall be surrounded by a fence, a minimum of six feet high, with a lockable gate and shall satisfy all other safety requirements of the Township Building Code.
(g) 
Minimum setbacks shall be as follows:
[1] 
The edge of paving around the pool and the pool building shall not be less than 125 feet from any residence.
[2] 
Edge of paving, pool building, and perimeter fencing shall be set back from the ultimate right-of-way of streets as follows.
[a] 
Local access streets: 50 feet.
[b] 
Collector or arterial streets: 100 feet.
(h) 
Lighting may be provided for nighttime use, so arranged that no glare affects abutting residences or streets.
(6) 
Consolidation of facilities. Applicants are required to provide the numbers and types of facilities, as required in this section, spaced for convenient access by the residents. However, applicants are encouraged to consolidate several facilities in fewer locations to better serve the residents' needs in the following possible ways:
(a) 
By locating all required tennis or basketball courts in one area, thereby restricting noise and light to one area, and precluding the need to search the neighborhood for a free court.
(b) 
By combining two or more twenty-five-thousand-square-foot play fields into one larger area to permit larger fields for nonleague softball, football, soccer, or other field sports, while maintaining the neighborhood-use character.
(c) 
By creating one or more parklike facilities rather than several sets of scattered facilities.
(d) 
By locating some tot-lots in combined areas while retaining others on individual sites to minimize walking distances to tot-lots.
(7) 
Definitions. The following definitions apply to the recreation facilities required by § 425-503 of this chapter:
BASKETBALL COURT
A complete basketball facility, including paved, standard-sized court area (minimum 70 feet by 104 feet), with posts, backboards, and baskets at both ends of the court.
PLAY FIELD
A common area within a subdivision or land development for neighborhood residents to use for informal, active recreation purposes, such as ball games and other activities requiring a large lawn area, away from homes or other buildings for their proper conduct.
SWIMMING POOL
A complete swimming facility, including the pool, surrounding paved deck, lawn area, lifeguard and bathroom facilities, and appropriate mechanical equipment.
TENNIS COURT
A complete tennis facility, including paved, standard-sized court area (minimum 60 feet by 120 feet), posts, net and fencing around its perimeter.
TOT-LOT
A confined, developed, neighborhood play area primarily for use by preschool children under the supervision of parents or guardian.
E. 
Fee in lieu of common open space and improvements. Where the Board of Supervisors agrees that, because of the size, shape, location, access, topography or other physical features of the land, it is impractical to dedicate land to the Township or set aside open space area(s) or construct certain recreation facilities, the Board of Supervisors shall require a payment of a fee in lieu of dedication of such land and recreational facilities.
(1) 
The amount of the fee shall reflect the fair undeveloped market value of the required common open space land plus the estimated design and construction costs of the required recreational facilities.
(2) 
The land acquisition portion of the fee shall be equal to the average fair market value per acre of the land being developed, determined at the time of filing of the application for subdivision approval, multiplied by the acreage of land that would have been required for dedication or reservation. The design and construction cost of the required recreational facilities shall be based on the design and estimated construction costs of all of the required recreational facilities, both active and passive, as set forth in this chapter, and shall include all associated equipment, landscaping, parking and access needs.
(3) 
Determination of the total fair market value of the land shall be the responsibility of the applicant or applicant's agent and shall result in a reasonable value acceptable to the Township. Determination of the estimated design and construction cost of the recreational facilities shall be the responsibility of the applicant or applicant's agent and shall be acceptable to the Township.
(4) 
In the event the applicant or applicant's agent, upon agreement of the Township, selects a combination of payment of fee in lieu and the dedication of common open space, the amount of the fee in lieu shall be prorated with the value of land and improvements provided. The applicant or applicant's agent shall not, however, be permitted to dedicate or reserve land for common open space that does not meet the criteria set forth in § 425-503A and B.
(5) 
Any such fees received by the Township in lieu of common open space land shall be deposited in a special account to be maintained by the Township and to be used for obtaining future open space lands. All interest earned on this account shall become funds of the account. Fees deposited to this account shall be administered as required by Section 503(11) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10503(11).

§ 425-504 Natural or historic feature preservation and protection.

Subdivisions and land developments shall be designed in a manner that preserves desirable natural and/or historic features of a site wherever reasonably possible. These features shall be protected during all phases of construction by fencing or other means from the effects of construction equipment operation, grading, and any other activity that could endanger the preserved features. Features to be protected include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. 
Scenic areas or views.
B. 
Historic structures or sites.
C. 
Trees six inches or more in diameter at breast height (DBH).
D. 
Woodlands, tree masses, hedgerows, or other significant plant materials.

§ 425-505 Topsoil preservation and erosion control.

A. 
Applicant shall be required to stockpile the top six inches of soil that existed naturally on the site prior to subdivision or land development.
B. 
The stockpile of soil shall be redistributed uniformly on the site following construction, to a minimum depth of six inches.
C. 
All disturbed areas of the site and topsoil stockpiles shall be stabilized and protected against erosion in compliance with the standards in the Township Stormwater and Erosion and Sedimentation Pollution Control Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 415, Stormwater and Erosion and Sedimentation Pollution Control.
D. 
Any topsoil in excess of the six-inch depth that existed prior to subdivision or land development may be stockpiled separately for other uses by the applicant. To ensure that sufficient topsoil will remain on the site, topsoil may be removed only upon issuance of a permit by the Township.
E. 
Stockpiled topsoil shall be protected during all phases of construction by fencing or other means from the effects of construction equipment operation, grading, and any other activity that could endanger the preserved items.

§ 425-506 Water supply.

Applicants shall provide a reliable, safe and adequate water supply to support the intended uses approved as part of a development plan.
A. 
If water is to be provided by means other than private wells owned and maintained by the individual owners of lots within the subdivision or development, applicants shall present evidence to the Board of Supervisors that the subdivision or development is to be supplied by a certificated public utility, a bona fide cooperative association of lot owners, or by a municipal corporation, authority or utility. A copy of a certificate of public convenience from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission or an application for such certificate, or a cooperative agreement, or a commitment or agreement to serve the area in question, whichever is appropriate, in a form and manner acceptable to the Township Solicitor, shall be acceptable evidence.
B. 
If private wells owned and maintained by the individual owners of lots within the subdivision or development will be used, applicants shall certify their adequacy, in writing, to the Board of Supervisors, prior to obtaining building permits.

§ 425-507 Ownership and maintenance of common elements.

[Added 12-13-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-13]
A. 
Options for ownership and maintenance. The developer shall have the following options for ownership, management and maintenance of common elements, including, but not limited to, common open space, recreation facilities, sewer, water, easements and stormwater management facilities:
(1) 
Dedicate the land to the Township. The Township shall have the first right to accept or refuse the land offered for dedication.
(2) 
Provide for private ownership. If the Township chooses not to accept the land offered for dedication, the developer may, with Township approval:
(a) 
Retain ownership and responsibility for the management and maintenance.
(b) 
Dedicate the land to a homeowners' association that includes all of the residents of the development.
(c) 
Convey the land to a land trust or similar nonprofit organization whose purpose is to hold property in perpetuity for preservation purposes. Endowments for ongoing maintenance and other ownership expenses, if required, shall be the sole responsibility of the developer.
(d) 
Convey the land to another owner for such use(s) that is compatible with preserving the open space characteristics of the site, including, but not limited to, agricultural uses.
(e) 
Pursue any other reasonable ownership possibility, including a combination of options.
B. 
Criteria governing private ownership and maintenance of common elements. Common elements, including, but not limited to, open space, recreation facilities, sewer, water, easements and stormwater management facilities that will not be publicly owned, shall be subject to a form of ownership established in private agreements acceptable to the Board of Supervisors, upon recommendation of the Township Solicitor. Such private ownership, including, but not limited to, corporate, individual, condominium, landlord, or fee-simple home or landowners' association, shall be governed by the following:
(1) 
Access to and use of these common elements may be restricted to the property owners or tenants within the development and their guests, unless the Township accepts public dedication of all or any part of any open space.
(2) 
Perpetual maintenance (including, but not limited to, snow removal, correcting hazardous conditions, upkeep of stormwater control facilities) shall be guaranteed by trust indenture or similar instrument or by deeding the open space to a land trust or conservancy or similar organization, as approved by the Board of Supervisors, upon the recommendation of the Township Solicitor, which instrument or deed shall be referenced on the final plan and:
(a) 
Shall be recorded with the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds simultaneously with the final plan.
(b) 
Shall restrict the common elements from development by deed restriction, granting the Township the right to enforce the restrictions.
(c) 
Shall include provisions for:
[1] 
Bonds posted by the developer to cover expenses incurred before formation of a homeowners' association.
[2] 
Adjustment of association fees to account for inflation and increased costs.
[3] 
A reserve fund to cover capital improvements and/or unforeseen major maintenance requirements.
[4] 
Funding of professional management, expert consultants, and supplies.
[5] 
Township review and approval of revisions to any part at anytime.
(d) 
Shall authorize the Township to maintain the common elements and assess the private ownership 100% of such maintenance or foreclose on said bonds or funds to cover said maintenance if private ownership fails to function as required in the private agreement.
[1] 
The Township may, at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors, decide to relieve the private ownership organization of some or all of its maintenance responsibilities in the event of a functional failure that has or threatens to have undesirable impacts on surrounding property owners or the general public.
[2] 
The necessity for continued Township maintenance shall be reviewed at a public hearing within one year of the Township having assumed the responsibility, and if the private ownership is demonstrated to have resumed the capability of maintenance, the responsibility shall revert to the private ownership. If the private ownership cannot demonstrate capability, a public hearing shall be held on an annual basis until maintenance can be resumed by the private ownership or until dedication of the common elements is accepted by the Township.
[3] 
Any administrative, capital, labor or operating costs incurred by the Township in assuming the maintenance responsibilities of the private ownership organization shall be recoverable from the owners of property, individually or collectively, in the subject development.
(3) 
Review of maintenance budget. At the time a preliminary plan for subdivision or land development is submitted, the developer shall submit to the Township a budget for the maintenance of open space and reimburse the Township for the cost of a professional to assess the budget for future adequacy.
(4) 
Specific regulations for homeowners' or condominium associations. Common elements may be held by a homeowners' association, formed and operated in accordance with the following provisions, or a condominium association in compliance with the provisions of the Pennsylvania Uniform Condominium Act:
(a) 
Membership in the association is required for all homeowners and their successors. Membership shares shall be clearly defined in the association bylaws.
(b) 
The developer shall provide a description of the association, including its bylaws; declaration of covenants, easements, and restrictions; and articles of incorporation.
(c) 
Access to the common elements shall be granted to all association members.
(d) 
The homeowners' association declaration of covenants, easements, and restrictions shall specifically define the rights of the association to execute the following assessments. The assessment process should ensure sufficient funds to permit the association to meet all of its maintenance obligations. The process should also be sufficient to raise funds to pay taxes.
[1] 
Common expenses assessments (day-to-day operating costs associated with common areas). The declaration should specify the starting date and the developer's responsibility for payment of common expense assessments.
[2] 
Special assessments (unanticipated expenses).
[3] 
Capital improvement assessments (planned major expenditures for maintenance, repair, replacement or construction of capital improvements to the common elements).
(e) 
No lots or units may be sold within the development until the developer has organized and financially subsidized operation of the association and received approval of the association from the Board of Supervisors.
(f) 
The conditions, timing and mechanism for transferring control of the association from the developer to the shareholders of the association must be defined by the developer, subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors.
(g) 
The association shall be responsible for maintenance, insurance and taxes on undivided open space, enforceable by liens placed by the Township.
(h) 
Members of the association shall share equitably the costs of maintaining and developing all common elements. The association bylaws must authorize the association to place liens on property of members failing to meet their share of the financial obligation. If the association fails to maintain the common elements, the Township has the right to maintain the property and assess the association to cover expenses. The Township's right to maintain common elements shall commence during project construction.
(i) 
In the event of a proposed transfer of common elements (to the municipality, private conservation organization, or private landowner) within the ownership methods permitted herein or in the event of the assumption of maintenance of common elements by the Township, notice of such action shall be given to all property owners within the development.
(j) 
The association shall provide adequate staff to manage the common elements and properly and continually maintain them.
(k) 
The association shall be responsible for all common elements, including, but not limited to, recreational, stormwater management, and fire protection facilities, landscaping, private roads, community sewage disposal systems, and community wells.
(l) 
The developer shall provide homeowners with a clear description of the rights and responsibilities of the association. A descriptive brochure of this information shall be provided to all homeowners at closing, subject to approval by the Township.
(5) 
Transfer of title to a private conservation organization. When approved by the Board of Supervisors, the developer or association may transfer title of all or part of the common elements to a private, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to conserve open space and/or natural resources, provided that:
(a) 
The organization is acceptable to the Township and is a bona fide conservation organization with the capability of owning and maintaining the common facilities in compliance with this chapter; and
(b) 
The conveyance contains assurance for disposition of the common elements in the event that the organization becomes unwilling or unable to continue carrying out its functions. Such disposition may include reversion to the association, dedication to the Township, or transfer to another conservation organization in compliance with Subsection B(5)(a) above.
(6) 
Conservation of open land:
(a) 
All undedicated common open space shall be permanently deed restricted from further subdivision and development. The deed restriction shall be reviewed and approved as part of the subdivision and land development process.
(b) 
In addition, all undedicated common open space shall be further restricted by the use of conservation easements, subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors. Conservation easements shall include at least two parties, consisting of the owner of the land and one or more of the following:
[1] 
The Township, county, or state.
[2] 
The homeowners' association (if one exists).
[3] 
A conservation or open-space-oriented organization, including, but not limited to, the Conservancy of Montgomery County, Montgomery County Lands Trust, Heritage Conservancy, Perkiomen Valley Watershed Association, Natural Lands Trust, and Brandywine Conservancy.