[Added 10-14-1999 by Ord. No. 1999-11]
In order to more effectively evaluate major subdivision and/or land development proposals, the applicant shall be required to disclose the environmental consequences or effects of such proposals through the submission of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) report. The EIA report is intended to provide the Township with the information to objectively evaluate potential adverse impacts of a project and, most importantly, to require a mitigation of adverse impacts. The EIA report shall be a means of ensuring that the overall objectives of the Zoning Ordinance are met and that existing features and conditions are not destroyed or degraded. The EIA report is also intended to better address the environmental protection objectives set forth in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and Article I, Section 27, of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
An EIA report shall be submitted for the following:
Any preliminary plan application for a residential subdivision and/or land development which involves 15 lots or more or 15 dwelling units or more.
Any application for preliminary and final plan approval in the C-2 Commercial District; C-3 Regional Commercial District; and I-1 Industrial District.
[Amended 6-8-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-01]
Any proposed development governed by the conditional use provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, involving any nonresidential use, and residential use with 15 or more lots and/or dwelling units.
Any proposed development involving a special exception or a variance, for any nonresidential use, and residential use with 15 or more lots and/or dwelling units.
An updated EIA report shall accompany and form a part of the final plan for any of the above.
The EIA report shall contain text, tables, maps and analyses which document the probable impact resulting from the proposed subdivision and/or land development and the mitigation proposed to offset the impacts, in accordance with the format and content outline specified below.
Sixteen copies of the EIA report shall be submitted. Within the EIA report, specific emphasis shall be directed toward the proposed effects of the project on and relationship to applicable site, neighborhood (including areas in adjacent Townships where applicable) and Township-wide resources, conditions or characteristics. In conjunction with the requirements of §§ 137-15 and 137-16, the EIA report shall include text, tables, maps and analyses for the purpose of describing the project site, proposed use(s), environmental characteristics and the environmental effects of the proposal and mitigation measures as follows:
An identification of the site location and area through the use of a location map drawn at a scale of not more than 2,000 feet to the inch. The location map shall depict all streets, adjoining properties, zoning district boundaries and municipal boundaries within 1,000 feet of any part of the lot. In the case of development of a section of the entire lot, the location map shall also show the relationship of the section to the entire lot.
An identification of the site character and appearance through the presentation of color photographs or copies thereof. Such photographs shall provide a representation of what the site currently looks like from the ground. Photographs should be properly identified or captioned and shall be keyed to a map of the site.
An identification of the nature of the proposal through the presentation of the following:
A site development plan, including notes pertaining to the number and type of lots or units, the square footage and/or acreage of the lot and a depiction of the features which are proposed such as streets, driveways, parking areas, buildings and other structures, and all impervious surfaces. The plan shall be drawn at a scale of not more than 100 feet to the inch and may be submitted as an attachment to the report. The plan shall reflect all the information required under the plan requirements of §§ 137-15 and 137-16.
Floor plans and elevations depicting the proposed size, square footage, height and number of rooms (where applicable) of buildings and/or other structures.
A statement indicating the existing and proposed ownership of the lot and, where applicable, the type of ownership, operation and maintenance proposed for areas devoted to open space or otherwise not under the control of a single lot owner.
A statement indicating the proposed staging or phasing of the project and a map depicting the boundaries of each stage or phase of the project. Such boundaries shall be superimposed on a version of the site development plan.
An identification of physical resources associated with the natural environment of the lot, including such features as topography, soils, hydrology and the like. The identification of physical resources shall include a narrative description of the resources mentioned above. In addition, these resources shall be mapped at a scale of not more than 100 feet to the inch as specified below and may be either incorporated into the EIA report or submitted as attachments to the report.
A map depicting the geological characteristics of the lot. Such map shall define the location and boundaries of the rock formations at or influencing the tract and features such as faults and/or fractures, sinkholes and other underground voids.
A map depicting the topographical characteristics of the lot. Such map shall contain contours with at least two-foot intervals and shall depict slopes ranging from: 0% to 15%, 15% to 20% and greater than 20%.
A map depicting the soil characteristics of the lot. Such map shall depict all soil types and shall include a table identifying soil characteristics pertinent to the proposed subdivision and/or land development including depth of bedrock, depth of water table, flood hazard potential, limitations for septic tank absorption fields and hydric soils.
A map depicting the hydrological characteristics of the lot. Such map shall depict surface water resources, their drainage characteristics, watersheds and floodplains and groundwater resources. Surface water resources include features such as creeks, runs and other streams, wetlands, ponds, lakes and other natural bodies of water, springs and any man-made impoundments. Groundwater resources shall include features such as aquifers and aquifer recharge areas.
An identification of biological resources associated with the natural environment of the lot, including such features as vegetation and wildlife. The identification of biological resources shall include a narrative description of each of the resources mentioned above. In addition, these resources shall be mapped at a scale of not more than 100 feet to the inch, as specified below, and may be either incorporated into the EIA report or submitted as attachments to the report.
A map depicting the vegetation characteristics of the lot. Such map shall define the locations and boundaries of woodland and forest areas, riparian forest buffers of the tract and shall note the types of vegetation associations which exist in terms of their species, types and sizes. In addition, all trees 12 inches in caliper or greater shall be accurately located on the map either as freestanding trees or as tree masses.
A map depicting characteristics associated with wildlife habitats. Such map may draw upon vegetation, hydrology and soil maps in order to express habitat characteristics associated with terrestrial and aquatic wildlife on the tract and the relationship of the overall habitat(s).
An identification of the land use conditions and characteristics associated with the lot and within 200 feet of any part of the property; such as current and past use, land cover and encumbrances, and the relationship of these to adjacent lots. The identification of land use conditions and characteristics shall include a narrative description of the above. In addition, the following maps drawn at a scale of not more than 100 feet to the inch shall be incorporated into the EIA report or submitted as attachments to it:
A map depicting the land cover characteristics of the lot. Such map shall define existing features, including paved or other impervious surfaces, woodland and forest areas, cultivated areas, pasture, old fields, lawns and landscaped areas and the like.
A map depicting any encumbrances to the lot. Such map shall define easements, rights-of-way and other areas where certain use privileges exist.
A map depicting the land uses adjacent to the proposed lot. Such map may be at the same scale as the location map.
An identification of the historic resources associated with the lot such as areas, structures and/or routes and trails which are significant. Areas, structures and/or routes and trails included on the National Register of Historic Places, the Pennsylvania Inventory of Historic Places and the Historic American Building Survey and any which may be identified in the Open Space, Recreation and Environmental Resources Plan shall be identified. The identification of historic resources shall include a narrative description of the above. In addition, a map drawn at a scale of not more than 100 feet to the inch depicting historic resources shall be incorporated into the EIA report or submitted as an attachment to the report.
An identification of the visual resources associated with the lot such as areas which have a particular amenity value and areas which offer interest in viewing the tract. The identification of visual resources shall include a narrative description of the above. In addition, a map drawn at a scale of not more than 100 feet to the inch depicting visual resources shall be incorporated into the EIA report or submitted as an attachment to the report.
An identification of the community facility needs associated with the users and/or residents of the proposed project. The community facility needs assessment shall indicate in narrative form the type of services which will be in demand. Where applicable, community facilities (such as schools, park and recreation areas, libraries, hospitals and other health care facilities, fire protection, police protection, ambulance and rescue service and postal services) shall be discussed in terms of the ability of existing facilities and services to accommodate the demands of future users and/or residents of the lot(s) and the need for additional or expanded community facilities.
An identification of the utility needs associated with the users and/or residents of the proposed project. The utility needs assessment shall indicate in narrative form the type of installations which will be in demand. Utilities (such as those used for water supply, sewage disposal, refuse disposal, storm drainage, communications and electrical transmission) shall be discussed in terms of the ability of existing utility installations to accommodate the demands of the future users and/or residents of the lot(s); the need for additional or expanded utility installations; the ability to achieve a safe, reliable and adequate system quantity of potable water whenever individual wells are proposed; the ability to achieve an adequate system for on-lot sewage disposal whenever such a system is proposed; and the ability to achieve an adequate system for storm drainage and stormwater management.
An identification of the relationship of the transportation and circulation system needs of the proposed project to the existing street or highway network. A discussion of this relationship shall be in the form of a traffic impact study and shall indicate factors such as methods to be used for traffic control within the tract and at points of ingress to and egress from it and expected traffic volumes generated from the project, including their relationship to existing traffic volumes on existing streets for both peak hour and non-peak-hour-traffic conditions. All intersections within 2,500 feet of the tract shall have a level of service C or better. In addition, there shall be a discussion of the physical condition of existing streets which will service the proposed project and what improvements are proposed to remedy any physical deficiencies.
An identification of the social and demographic characteristics related to the proposed project. The characteristics which shall be presented in narrative form shall include a profile of the future users and/or residents of the lot(s), including information such as the number of people expected to work or live.
An identification of the economic and fiscal characteristics related to the proposed project. The characteristics which shall be presented in narrative form shall include a profile of the Township, county and school district revenues which the proposal may generate and the Township, county and school district costs it may create. Such information shall be related to initial and completed project conditions. Relative to costs, the report shall include an objective disclosure of the negative cost impacts that may occur to Township services for the operation and maintenance of:
An identification of characteristics and conditions associated with existing, construction-related and future air and water quality and noise levels, vibration, toxic materials, electrical interference, odor, glare and heat, fire and explosion, smoke, dust, fumes, vapors and gases and/or radioactive materials. All performance standards of § 155-130 of the Zoning Ordinance shall be met.
An assessment of the implications of the proposed project in terms of the type of beneficial or adverse effects which may result from it; the duration of these effects in terms of their short-term or long-term nature; and whether the effects are primary or secondary in nature. To indicate such effects, there shall be a discussion of the implications of the proposed project to the resources, conditions and characteristics described in Subsection E(4) through (14) above. In addition to a narrative presentation of implications, the applicant shall display where the subdivision and/or land development adversely affects the tract's resources, conditions or characteristics through the use of a map drawn at a scale of not more than 100 feet to the inch, wherein the areas adversely affected from proposed project are highlighted. Such map may be either incorporated into the EIA report or submitted as an attachment to the report. Further, the applicant must demonstrate and specify in the EIA report how and where the findings in the EIA report and its attachments are reflected the plan for the project.
Alternatives to the proposed subdivision and/or land development. To indicate such alternatives, the applicant shall submit exhibits or diagrams which will depict the type of alternatives described in narrative form. The applicant shall comment on how alternatives such as revised location, redesign, layout or siting of buildings, roads and other structures, alternate methods for sewage disposal and water supply, reduction in the size of proposed structures or the density and number of buildings and the like would preclude, reduce or lessen potential adverse impact or procedure beneficial effects.
Probable adverse effects which cannot be precluded. In indicating such effects a discussion shall be presented regarding whether they will have primary or secondary implications; that is, whether the adverse effects will have direct or indirect influence on a particular resource.
Measures to mitigate adverse effects. To indicate such measures, the applicant shall submit exhibits or diagrams which will depict the type of remedial, protective and mitigative measures described in narrative form. These measures shall include those required through existing procedures and standards and those unique to a specific project, as follows:
Mitigation measures which pertain to existing procedures and standards are those related to current requirements of the state, county and/or Township for remedial or protective action, such as sedimentation and soil erosion control, stormwater runoff control, water quality control, air quality control and the like.
Mitigation measures related to impacts which may be unique to a specific project are those related to efforts such as revegetation, screening, buffering, fencing and berming; emission control, traffic control, fire protection and noise control, relocation or reduction of the number of lots, buildings, roads or other structures; reduction in the size of proposed lots or structures; alternate methods for sewage disposal and water supply, and the like.
Any irreversible environmental changes which would occur due to the proposed subdivision and/or land development should it be implemented. To indicate such changes, the use of nonrenewable resources during the initial and continued phases of the subdivision and/or land development shall be discussed. Further, the loss of environmental resources shall be indicated through a presentation of the quantity of loss and related qualitative effects.
In making its evaluation, the Board of Commissioners and/or the Planning Commission may request any additional information it deems necessary to adequately assess potential environmental impacts. Further, whenever any information required in § 137-66E above is not applicable to the proposed project, the applicant shall indicate such inapplicability in the narrative of the EIA report and state why such information is considered to be inapplicable in the case of the particular project in question.
The EIA report shall be prepared by a professional engineer, registered architect, registered landscape architect or certified land planner. The applicant shall request approval from the Township for the author(s) of the EIA report, and the Township shall determine if the author(s) proposed by the applicant is not qualified to address the report requirements, in whole or in part, then the Township may hire qualified design professionals to prepare all or parts of the report, and the applicant shall reimburse the Township for all reasonable fees and expenses for such design professionals.
The EIA report shall be forwarded to the Township Engineer and/or to other Township consultants for review and comment within the time frames for reviews of various applications.
[Added 12-12-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-25]
When a proposed subdivision or land development generates 100 or more trips per day, the applicant shall submit a traffic impact study (TIS) to the Township for review and comment with the preliminary plan application. The applicant shall utilize the transportation data and criteria that are specified within the "Trip Generation Manual" (latest edition), published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE).
The TIS will enable the Township to assess the impact of a proposed development on the transportation system. The purpose of the TIS is to ensure that proposed development does not adversely affect the transportation system and to identify any problems associated with access from the site onto the exiting roads. The TIS shall also identify solutions to potential traffic problems and present improvements that are to be incorporated into the proposed development.
The TIS shall contain a complete description of the proposed internal and external transportation system. The TIS shall describe the external roadway system within 3,000 feet of the development, along the adjacent roadway in both directions from all access points or to major intersections along these roadways. Major intersections in the TIS area shall be identified and delineated after consulting with the Caln Township Engineer. All future transportation improvements, which are part of proposed roadway improvements and are part of proposed surrounding developments, shall be identified and included in the calculations.
Calculations for existing traffic conditions shall be measured and documented for all roadways and intersections within the TIS area. Existing traffic volumes for average daily traffic, peak highway hour(s) traffic, and peak development-generated hour(s) traffic shall be recorded. Traffic counts at major intersections in the TIS area shall be conducted, encompassing the peak highway and development-generated hour(s), said documentation shall be included within the TIS report. These development-generated traffic volumes shall be provided for the inbound and outbound traffic movements. These generated volumes shall be distributed to the TIS area and assigned to the existing roadways and intersections throughout the TIS area. A volume-capacity and delay analysis based upon existing volumes shall be performed during the peak highway hour(s) and the peak development-generated hour(s) for all roadways and major intersections within the TIS area. Levels of service shall be determined for each location.
Access to the site shall be on roadways, which have adequate capacity to accommodate the additional traffic generated by the development. The Planning Commission may require mitigation when the proposed development is anticipated to result in a decline in service, below level of service "C," of nearby roadways or intersections. "Levels of service" are defined by the "Highway Capacity Manual, Special Report 209," published by the Research Board, National Research Council, Washington D.C., latest edition. If an existing intersection is functioning at a level of service of "D" or lower prior to the development, the project shall not reduce the current level of service. A copy of the application shall be provided to the appropriate municipal authority(ies), and to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation if on a state-maintained road, for timely review and comment. The Planning Commission may recommend approval of a development not meeting this requirement if the applicant demonstrates that:
A public agency has committed funds to construct the improvements necessary to bring the level of access to this standard; or
The applicant will assume financial responsibility for the improvements necessary to bring the level of service to this standard and will guarantee the completion of the improvements within one year of project approval.
The analysis will determine the adequacy of the existing roadway system to serve the current and projected traffic demand. Roadways and/or intersections experiencing levels of service D, E or F, as described in "Highway Capacity Manual, Special Report 209," as amended, shall be noted as congested locations.
All anticipated turning movements shall be calculated. Documentation of all assumptions and methodology used in the distribution and assignment phase shall be provided. Traffic volumes shall be assigned to individual access points. Any characteristics of the site that will cause particular trip generation problems shall be noted.
The total future traffic demand shall be calculated and included within the TIS. The total traffic demand shall consist of the combination of existing traffic expanded to the completion year, which is estimated to be 1.6% per year, the proposed use or development generated traffic, and the traffic generated by other proposed developments in the TIS area. A second volume/capacity and delay analysis shall be conducted using the total future demand and the future roadway capacity. If staging of the proposed development is anticipated, calculation for each stage of completion shall be made. This analysis shall be performed during the peak highway hour(s) and peak development-generated hour(s) for all roadways and major intersections within the TIS area. Volume-capacity and delay calculations shall be completed for all major intersections. The procedures described in the "Highway Capacity Manual, Special Report 209," as amended, and as outlined in the Penn DOT Design Manual, Volume 2, or as amended shall be followed.
The levels of service for all roadways and intersections shall be listed. All roadways and/or intersections showing a level of service D, E or F and volume/capacity ratios equal to or greater than 1.0 shall be considered deficient. The TIS shall conclude with a list of specific recommendations for the elimination of these traffic problems. This listing of recommended improvements shall include, but not be limited to, internal circulation design, site access location and design, external roadway and intersection design and improvements, traffic signal installation and operation (including timing), and transit design improvements. All physical roadway improvements shall be depicted within the TIS. Signal timing should be evaluated for any intersection with a level of service D, E or F but a volume capacity ratio of greater than 1.0. Warrants for signalization shall be examined for any unsignalized intersections with levels of service D, E or F.
The TIS should provide an overall assessment of existing and proposed pedestrian traffic within the interior road system of the development, along existing roads adjacent to the development, and all modes of transportation within 1,000 feet of the proposed development. The assessment should evaluate the infrastructure (sidewalks and bicycle lanes) that is existing and proposed to accommodate nonmotorized modes of transportation. Recommendations shall be provided to provide safe and convenient pedestrian modes of transportation.
On-site traffic improvements may be required by the Township in order to control traffic patterns, to lessen traffic congestion, to facilitate the adequate provision for future community or transportation improvements, and/or when clearly in the interest of the public health, safety, or general welfare. On-site traffic improvements may include, but are not limited to, cartway widening, right-of-way dedication, shoulder stabilization, vertical or horizontal curve realignment, grading and/or traffic control devices. The TIS shall include a list of recommendations for on-site traffic improvements and shall assure safe interior circulation patterns by separating vehicular and pedestrian traffic within the site whenever possible.
On-site pedestrian improvements may be required by the Township in order to improve nonmotorized modes of transportation, and/or when clearly in the interest of the public health, safety, or general welfare. On-site traffic improvements may include, but are not limited to, sidewalks, crosswalks, bicycle lanes, walking trails and handicapped ramps. The TIS shall include a list of recommendations for pedestrian improvements.
The applicant shall consult with the Township Engineer regarding on-site traffic and pedestrian improvements, which may be required as a result of the proposed subdivision or land development.
The applicant shall incur the cost of all required traffic studies and/or on-site traffic and pedestrian improvements.
Where, in the opinion of the Board of Commissioners, a proposed subdivision or land development will generate such additional traffic on abutting and nearby state or Township roads of substandard specifications as to pose a hazard to public safety, the Board may require improvements (including widening and improvement to horizontal or vertical alignment, new traffic signal installation, etc.) to be made by the applicant, including off-site improvements within existing public rights-of-way, such as will alleviate such hazards to public safety, provided that the extent of required off-site improvements shall be economically feasible in relation to the size and scope of the proposed subdivision or land development.
[Added 1-14-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-01]