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Township of Unity, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The minimum lot area, minimum width of lot, minimum depth of front and rear yards and minimum width of each side yard shall be as shown on the Use Tables and Yard Space, Area and Bulk Requirements table attached hereto.[1]
A. 
Lots fronting on two streets. Lots which abut on more than one street shall provide the required front yard along each and every street.
B. 
One principal structure per lot. One and only one principal structure, together with permitted accessory structures, may be located on any lot, except that two or more principal structures may be permitted as part of a PRD or PGU following the procedures required by this chapter or Chapter 104, Subdivision and Land Development, of the Code of the Township of Unity.
C. 
No projection into required yards. No structure, whether attached to the principal structure or not and whether open or enclosed, including porches, carports, balconies and platforms above basic grade level, shall project into any minimum front, side or rear yard except as may be permitted pursuant to this chapter hereafter.
D. 
Trailers. Trailers, including utility, commercial or travel trailers and motorized recreational vehicles, may not be stored in any required front yard.
E. 
Nonresidential structures. Nonresidential structures or uses in any district shall not be located or conducted closer to any lot line of any lot in any R, C or A District than the distance specified in the following schedule:
Minimum Side or Rear Yard Abutting any Lot in Any R, C or A District
(feet)
Nonresidential Structures or Uses
20
Off-street parking spaces, signs and access drives for nonresidential uses
30
Churches, schools, public or semipublic structures
60
Recreation facilities, amusement facilities, motels, all business uses and all industrial uses
100
Any industrial use in an Institutional Airpark (I-AP) District
F. 
Projections authorized by Zoning Officer. The Zoning Officer may authorize the projection of a principal structure into a required front yard on a lot located between two structures which are nonconforming with respect to the front yard, provided that the resulting front yard shall not be less than the median front yard of the two adjacent structures.
G. 
Calculation of lot area. Any portion of a lot, once counted as a yard or as lot area for a structure in compliance with the area requirements of this chapter, shall not be taken into consideration or used again in the calculation of any required yard or lot area for another structure.
H. 
Driveways and vehicle parking in required yards. No required yard in any district shall be used for parking vehicles except on a driveway. For single-family dwellings, not more than 25% of the front yard may be devoted to driveway access. For single-family attached dwellings (i.e., a duplex) not more than 50% of the front yard may be devoted to driveway access. For multiple-family dwellings, not more than 50% of the front yard may be devoted to driveway access. In nonresidential districts, driveway access shall be as permitted by site plan approval.
I. 
Dwelling units in separate ownership.
(1) 
Where a property line divides a structure along a common wall, as in a townhouse or two-family dwelling, a side yard is not required as to the property line dividing the structure.
(2) 
Two-family dwelling units or townhomes situate in residential zones may be subdivided along party walls provided there is no alteration of any existing side, front or rear yards and such subdivision can be submitted as a simple subdivision under Chapter 104, Subdivision and Land Development, of the Code of the Township of Unity.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said tables are included as attachments to this chapter.
A. 
The minimum lot area for each single-family residential dwelling and the maximum coverage ratios for single-family residential dwellings shall be in conformance with the following schedules:
(1) 
The minimum lot area per single-family dwelling (in square feet) shall follow the yard, space, area and bulk requirements set forth in Appendix A[1] in the C, A, R-1, R-2 and R-3 Districts.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said appendix is included as an attachment to this chapter.
(2) 
Single-family dwellings in the B-1, B-2, B-3, I or I-AP Zoning Districts, shall follow and comply with the yard, space, area and bulk requirements for single-family dwellings set forth in Appendix A[2] for the zoning district in which the single-family dwelling is located.
[2]
Editor's Note: Said appendix is included as an attachment to this chapter.
B. 
In calculating lot area for density purposes, any areas having a slope greater than 25% shall be subtracted from the lot area. For such calculations, the slope shall be measured between contours having vertical intervals no greater than 20 feet.
C. 
In the R-1 Suburban Residential District, the minimum lot area shall be 40,000 square feet for lots where no public water or sewage is provided; 30,000 square feet where either public water or public sewage is provided; and 20,000 square feet where both public water and public sewage is provided.
D. 
The foregoing applies to single-family residential uses only. Other uses permitted in each zoning district must follow the yard, area and bulk requirements set forth in Appendix A.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Said appendix is included as an attachment to this chapter.
A. 
No structure shall exceed the maximum height above basic grade specified in the yard, space, area and bulk requirements contained in Appendix A[1] hereto, provided that:
(1) 
No accessory structure shall exceed a height of 15 feet. The height regulations of this chapter shall not apply to television and radio towers. Except within the Airport Overlay District, an applicant may request a special exception from the Zoning Hearing Board to construct church spires, belfries, monuments, tanks, water or fire towers, ornamental towers, spires, chimneys, elevator bulkheads and smokestacks in excess of the maximum height requirements of a district. The Zoning Hearing Board shall only grant such special exception if it finds the proposed construction will not adversely impact or devalue surrounding properties, or otherwise be detrimental to the public health, safety and well-being.
(2) 
In determining the height of a structure in stories, a basement shall be counted as a story when more than 60% of its aggregate wall surface, measured between the floor and top of the wall, is or will be above grade as shown on construction plans.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said appendix is included as an attachment to this chapter.
B. 
The height exceptions set forth herein shall not apply to any communications antennas or communications towers.
C. 
Cell towers in the Institutional Airpark (I-AP) District shall be permitted to have the same height limitation and other controlling conditions as provided in industrial districts or institutional districts, whichever is more restrictive.
The minimum lot, yard and height requirements set forth in Appendix A[1] to this chapter shall be controlling in all zoning districts, except as follows:
A. 
Front yard exception. When an unimproved lot is located between two improved lots, each having a principal building within 25 feet of the side lot line of the unimproved lot, the front yard of the unimproved lot may be reduced to a depth not less than the median front yard of the two adjacent structures; provided, however, that it may not be reduced to less than 15 feet in residential districts.
B. 
Projections into yards. The following projections into required yards shall be permitted, provided that no such projection shall be located closer than three feet to any side or rear lot line or 10 feet to any front lot line:
(1) 
Fire escapes, uncovered stairs and landings, canopies, eaves, or other architectural features not required for structural support may project into the required side, front or rear yard not more than a total of three feet.
(2) 
Accessory structures may project into yards as set forth herein.
(3) 
Patios may be located in the required yard area not closer than the following to any property line:
(a) 
Side and rear property lines: five feet;
(b) 
Front property line: 10 feet;
(c) 
Except where a nonconforming structure is closer than five feet to a side lot line, the patio may extend into the side lot to the existing width of the nonconforming structure.
(4) 
Notwithstanding any of the above provisions, handicapped access ramps shall be permitted to project into required yards to an extent necessary to make such handicapped access ramps safe and accessible, in compliance with the standards established by the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code.
(5) 
Projections which are incidental or accessory to preexisting nonconforming structures as set forth hereafter.
C. 
Changes to conforming uses and buildings. Any repair, maintenance, restoration, reconstruction or enlargement of a structure of any conforming use on the same lot, must comply in all respects with the regulations of this chapter.
D. 
Legally encroaching nonconforming structures. Except as may be otherwise governed or prohibited by the terms of this chapter, any legally encroaching nonconforming structure, including an accessory structure, as defined herein, may be expanded, enlarged, restored or reconstructed as provided below:
(1) 
Where the existing encroachment is into the required front yard, the building or structure may be expanded, enlarged, restored or reconstructed vertically and laterally even though part of the expansion, enlargement, restoration or reconstruction is located in the required front yard, so long as the expanded, enlarged, restored and/or reconstructed existing structure does not encroach further into the required front yard than the existing legally encroaching structure. Provided, however, that no such expansion, enlargement or reconstruction shall take place within 15 feet of the paved surface of any roadway.
(2) 
Where the existing encroachment is into the required side yard, the building or structure may be expanded, enlarged, restored or reconstructed vertically and laterally even though part of the expansion, enlargement, restoration or reconstruction is located in the required side yard, so long as the expanded, enlarged, restored and/or reconstructed existing structure does not encroach further into the required side yard than the existing legally encroaching structure.
(3) 
Where the existing encroachment is into the required rear yard, the building or structure may be expanded, enlarged, restored or reconstructed vertically and laterally even though part of the expansion, enlargement, restoration or reconstruction is located in the rear yard, so long as the expanded, enlarged, restored and/or reconstructed existing structure does not encroach further into the required rear yard than the existing legally encroaching structure.
(4) 
Where the existing encroachment is in excess of the height limitations, the building or structure may be expanded, enlarged, restored or reconstructed horizontally at the same height as the existing structure, so long as the expanded, enlarged, restored and/or reconstructed structure does not exceed the height of the existing encroaching structure.
(5) 
Where the existing encroachment is a combination of the required yard and height requirements, the building or structure may be expanded, enlarged, restored or reconstructed to the extent permitted by Subsections D(1) through (4) herein.
(6) 
For purposes of determining the extent of any permitted encroachment, the point of encroachment of an "existing legally encroaching structure" shall be the point at which any expanded, enlarged, restored or reconstructed building attaches to the existing legally encroaching structure. It is the intent of this section to permit enlargement, expansion, restoration and reconstruction of a nonconforming building along the common line of the area of the existing building to which it is attached.
(7) 
An encroachment into any required rear, front or side yard, or an encroachment in excess of any height limitation, created by or through the grant of a variance, special exception, or conditional use, may be restored or reconstructed to the extent of such grant, but not expanded or enlarged beyond same without the approval of the Zoning Hearing Board or Board of Supervisors, as the case may be.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said appendix is included as an attachment to this chapter.