Township of Upper Hanover, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
In expansion of the declaration of legislative intent and statement of community development objectives in §§ 500-101 and 500-102 of Article I of this chapter, it is the intent of this article to benefit the public health, safety and welfare by regulating and restricting the height of man-made and natural objects in the vicinity of any airport located in Upper Hanover Township in conformance with the following objectives.
A. 
Create appropriate overlay zones and establish boundaries thereof.
B. 
Provide for changes in the restrictions and boundaries of such zones in accord with particular types of airports, runways, aircraft and instrumentation involved.
C. 
Define certain terms used herein (other terms are defined in Article II, Definitions, under "airport-zoning-related terms").
D. 
Provide a map of the overlay zones for each airport.
E. 
Provide rules for enforcement of these regulations.
F. 
Prevent the establishment of hazards to air navigation.
G. 
Conform with the goals of the Comprehensive Plan and Open Space and Environmental Resource Protection Plan.
[Amended 2-13-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-01]
In order to carry out the provisions of this chapter, there are hereby created and established certain zones which include all of the land lying beneath the approach surfaces, transitional surfaces, horizontal surfaces, and conical surfaces as they apply to Upper Hanover Township. Such zones are shown on the Upper Hanover Airport Zoning Map which is incorporated into this chapter and made a part hereof.[1] An area located in more than one of the following zones is considered to be only in the zone with the more restrictive height limitation. The various zones are hereby established and defined as follows:
A. 
Utility Runway Visual Approach Zone. The inner edge of this approach zone coincides with the width of the primary surface and is 250 feet wide. The approach zone expands outward uniformly to a width of 1,250 feet at a horizontal distance of 5,000 feet from the primary surface. Its center line is the continuation of the center line of the runway.
B. 
Utility Runway Nonprecision Instrument Approach Zone. The inner edge of this approach zone coincides with the width of the primary surface and is 500 feet wide. The approach zone expands outward uniformly to the width of 2,000 feet at a horizontal distance of 5,000 feet from the primary surface. Its center line is the continuation of the center line of the runway.
C. 
Runway Larger than Utility with a Visibility Minimum as Low as 3/4 Mile Nonprecision Instrument Approach Zone. The inner edge of this approach zone coincides with the width of the primary surface and is 1,000 feet wide. The approach zone expands outward uniformly to a width of 4,000 feet at a horizontal distance of 10,000 feet from the primary surface. Its center line is the continuation of the center line of the runway.
D. 
Precision Instrument Runway Approach Zone. The inner edge of this approach zone coincides with the width of the primary surface and is 1,000 feet wide. The approach zone expands outward uniformly to a width of 16,000 feet at a horizontal distance of 50,000 feet from the primary surface. Its center line is the continuation of the center line of the runway.
E. 
Heliport Approach Zone. The inner edge of this approach zone coincides with the width of the primary surface and is 250 feet wide. The approach zone expands outward uniformly to a width of 500 feet at a horizontal distance of 4,000 feet from the primary surface.
F. 
Transitional Zones. The transitional zones are the areas beneath the transitional surfaces.
G. 
Heliport Transitional Zones. These zones extend outward from the side of the primary surface and the heliport approach zones a horizontal distance of 250 feet from the primary surface center line and the heliport approach zone center line.
H. 
Horizontal Zone. The horizontal zone is established by swinging arcs of 5,000 feet radii from the center of each end of the primary surface of each runway and connecting the adjacent arcs by drawing lines tangent to those arcs. The horizontal zone does not include the approach and transitional zones.
I. 
Conical Zone. The conical zone is established as the area that commences at the periphery of the horizontal zone and extends outward therefrom a horizontal distance of 4,000 feet.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said map is on file in the Township offices.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no structure shall be erected, altered or maintained, and no tree shall be allowed to grow in any zone created by this chapter to a height in excess of the applicable height limit herein established for such zone. Such applicable height limitations are hereby established for each of the zones in question as follows:
A. 
Utility Runway Visual Approach Zone. Slopes 20 feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the end of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and extending to a horizontal distance of 5,000 feet along the extended runway center line.
B. 
Utility Runway Nonprecision Instrument Approach Zone. Slopes 20 feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the end of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and extending to a horizontal distance of 5,000 feet along the extended runway center line.
C. 
Runway Larger Than Utility with a Visibility Minimum as Low as 3/4 Mile Nonprecision Instrument Approach Zone. Slopes 34 feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the end of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and extending to a horizontal distance of 10,000 feet along the extended runway center line.
D. 
Precision Instrument Runway Approach Zone. Slopes 50 feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the end of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and extending to a horizontal distance of 10,000 feet along the extended runway center line; thence slopes upward 40 feet horizontally for each foot vertically to an additional horizontal distance of 40,000 feet along the extended runway center line.
E. 
Heliport Approach Zone. Slopes eight feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the end of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and extending to a distance of 4,000 feet along the heliport approach zone center line.
F. 
Transitional Zones. Slopes seven feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the side of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and the approach surface, and extending to a height of 150 feet above the airport elevation. In addition to the foregoing, there are established height limits sloping seven feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the sides of and at the same elevation as the approach surface and extending to where they intersect the conical surface. Where the precision instrument runway approach zone projects beyond the conical zone, there are established height limits sloping seven feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the sides of and at the same elevation as the approach surface and extending a horizontal distance of 5,000 feet measured at 90° angles to the extended runway center line.
G. 
Heliport Transitional Zones. Slopes two feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the sides of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and the heliport approach zones and extending a distance of 250 feet measured horizontally from and at 90° angles to the primary surface center line and heliport approach zone center line.
H. 
Horizontal Zone. Established at 150 feet above the airport elevation.
I. 
Conical Zone. Slopes 20 feet outward for each foot upward beginning at the periphery of the horizontal zone and at 150 feet above the airport elevation and extending to a height of 350 feet above the airport elevation.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, no use may be made on land or water within any zone established by this chapter in such as manner as to create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communication between the airport and aircraft; make it difficult for pilots to distinguish between airport lights and others; result in glare in the eyes of pilots using the airport; impair visibility in the vicinity of the airport; create bird strike hazards; or otherwise in any way endanger or interfere with the landing, takeoff or maneuvering of aircraft intending to use the airport.
A. 
Regulations not retroactive. The regulations prescribed by this chapter 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 chapter or otherwise interfere with the continuance of nonconforming use. Nothing contained herein shall require any change in the construction, alteration or intended use of any structure, the construction or alteration of which was begun prior to the effective date of this chapter and is diligently executed.
B. 
Marking and lighting. Notwithstanding the preceding provision of this section, the owner of any existing nonconforming structure or tree is hereby required to permit the installation, operation and maintenance thereon of such markers and lights as shall be deemed necessary by the FAA to indicate to the operators of aircraft obstruction. Such markers and lights shall be installed, operated and maintained at the expense of the owner of said airport.
A. 
Future uses. Except as specifically provided in A, B and C hereunder, no material change shall be made in the use of land, no structure shall be erected or otherwise established, and no tree shall be planted in any zone hereby created unless a permit therefor shall have been applied for and granted. Each application for a permit shall indicate the purpose for which the permit is desired with sufficient particularity to permit it to be determined whether the resulting use, structure or tree would conform to the regulations herein prescribed. If such determination is in the affirmative, the permit shall be granted. No permit for a use inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter shall be granted unless a variance has been approved in accordance with § 500-2205D.
(1) 
In the area lying within the limits of the horizontal zone and conical zone, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 75 feet of vertical height above the ground, except when, because of terrain, land contour, or topographic features, such tree or structure would extend above the height limits prescribed for such zones.
(2) 
In areas lying within the limits of the approach zones but at a horizontal distance of not less than 4,200 feet from each end of the runway, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 75 feet of vertical height above the ground, except when such tree or structure would extend above the height limit prescribed for such approach zones.
(3) 
In the areas lying within the limits of the transition zones beyond the perimeter of the horizontal zone, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 75 feet of vertical height above the ground, except where such tree or structure, because of terrain, land contour, or topographic features, would extend above the height limit prescribed for such transition zones.
(4) 
Nothing contained in any of the foregoing exceptions shall be construed as permitting or intending to permit any construction, or alteration of any structure, or growth of any tree in excess of any of the height limits established by this chapter, except that, 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.
[Amended 7-13-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-08]
B. 
Existing uses. Before any nonconforming structure may be replaced, substantially altered or rebuilt or a tree allowed to grow higher or replanted, a permit must be secured from the Township authorizing the replacement or change. No permit shall be granted that would allow the establishment or creation of any obstruction or permit a nonconforming use or structure or tree to become a greater hazard to air navigation than it was on the effective date of this chapter or any amendments thereto or than it is when the application for a permit is made. Except as indicated, all applications for such a permit shall be granted.
[Amended 7-13-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-08]
C. 
Nonconforming uses abandoned or destroyed. Whenever the Zoning Officer determines that a nonconforming tree or structure has been abandoned or more than 80% torn down, physically deteriorated or decayed, no permit shall be granted that would allow such structure or tree to exceed the applicable height limit or otherwise deviate from the zoning regulations.
D. 
Variances. Any person desiring to erect or increase the height of any structure, or permit the growth of any tree, or use property not in accordance with the regulations in this chapter may apply to the Zoning Hearing Board for a variance for such regulation. The application for variance shall be accompanied by a determination from the Federal Aviation Administration as to the effect of the proposal on the operation of air navigation facilities and the safe, efficient use of navigable airspace. Such variance shall be allowed where it is duly found that a literal application or enforcement of the regulations will result in unnecessary hardship and relief granted will not be contrary to the public interest and justice and will be in accordance with the spirit of this chapter.
E. 
Obstructions, markings and lighting. Any permit or variance granted may, if such action is deemed advisable to effectuate the purpose of this chapter and be reasonable in the circumstance, be so conditioned as to require the owner of the structure or tree in question to install, operate and maintain, at the owner's expense, such markings and lights as may be necessary. If deemed proper by the Zoning Hearing Board, this condition may be modified to require the owner to permit the airport owner, at its own expense, to install, operate and maintain the necessary markings and lights.
A. 
The Zoning Officer shall administer and enforce the regulations contained herein. Applications for permits and variances shall be made to the Zoning Officer upon a form published for that purpose.
B. 
Applications required by this chapter to be submitted to the Zoning Officer shall be considered in a timely manner and be approved or denied. Appeal shall be to the Zoning Hearing Board, in compliance with Article VI, Zoning Hearing Board; Applications and Appeals, of this chapter.
Where there exists a conflict between any of the regulations or limitations in this article and any other regulations applicable to the same area, whether the conflict be with respect to the height of structures or trees and the use of the land, or any other matter, the more stringent limitation or requirement shall govern and prevail.