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Public Notices - Proposed Ordinances

TOWNSHIP OF UPPER SAUCON
LEHIGH COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

ORDINANCE NO. 79-QQ

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE UPPER SAUCON TOWNSHIP ZONING ORDINANCE TO CREATE AN OVERLAY DISTRICT ENTITLED “AQCOD – AGE QUALIFIED COMMUNITY OVERLAY DISTRICT”; AND BY AMENDING ARTICLE 2, DEFINITIONS, SPECIFIC DEFINITIONS TO INCLUDE DWELLING RELATED TERMS; ARTICLE 3, CLASSIFICATION OF DISTRICTS AND ESTABLISHMENT OF DISTRICTS TO INCLUDE AQCOD – AGE QUALIFIED COMMUNITY OVERLAY DISTRICT; AND ARTICLE 15, GENERAL REGULATIONS TO CREATE REGULATIONS FOR AN AQCOD AND ESTABLISH GUIDELINES FOR FUTURE AMENDMENTS TO THE ZONING MAP TO PERMIT THE DEVELOPMENT OF AGE QUALIFIED COMMUNITIES WITHIN THE TOWNSHIP.

SECTION 1: STATEMENT OF LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors acknowledge and concur with opportunities afforded through the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, as amended, as the means and methodology to promote and allow smart growth policies of the Township; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors want to encourage innovation in residential development which makes use of mixed forms of development so that the growing demand for housing and other forms of residential development may be met by greater variety in type, design and layout of dwellings and other buildings and structures; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors want to encourage a more efficient use of land and public services to reflect changes in the technology of land development so that economies secured may be a benefit to all; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors want to minimize traffic congestion, infrastructure costs and environmental degradation; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors wish to promote the implementation of the objectives of the Comprehensive Plan for guiding the location for growth; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors wish to foster a sense of place and community by providing a setting that encourages the natural intermingling of everyday activities within a recognizable neighborhood; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors acknowledge that experts recognize that the general population is aging and as such, there exists a demand for living arrangements which address the physical and social needs of older persons in the community; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors want to provide housing opportunities for older persons consistent with applicable federal and state laws and regulations; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors wish to promote communities for older persons which are pedestrian-oriented with open space and facilities for social activity, recreation, and community functions consistent with the physical and social needs of older persons; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors intend that the development of residential communities for older persons be governed by declarations, covenants running with the land, homeowner associations and similar groups in order that Township officials shall not become involved in the enforcement of conditions relating to living arrangements within such communities, but rather that such obligations be enforced by the residents and governing organizations themselves; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors believe that housing opportunities for older persons is consistent with federal and state laws and regulations which prohibit discrimination with respect to housing; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors believe that the creation of an overlay district to permit housing for older persons in accordance with stringent criteria adds flexibility and options with respect to development without mandating particular living arrangements; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors find that the expansion of the overlay district should be guided by criteria and applied on a parcel-by-parcel and discretionary basis; except that expansion into the R-1 Rural Residential, R-4 Open Space Residential, Agricultural Preservation and South Mountain Conservation Zoning Districts should be precluded as inconsistent with the Township’s Comprehensive Plan by reason of density, and/or the existence of unique environmental features in said Districts, regardless of the existence of municipal water and/or municipal sewer,

NOW, THEREFORE, the Board of Supervisors of Upper Saucon Township does hereby enact and ordain as follows:

SECTION 2: ORDINANCE TEXT

Article 2, Definitions

Article 2, Definitions, is amended as follows:

Section 202, Specific Definitions, is amended by deleting existing 202.X Dwelling; 202.PP.1 Mobile Home; 202.PP.2 Mobile Home Lot; and 202.PP.3 Mobile Home Park; and adding a new 202.X as follows:

“202.X. Dwelling Related Terms:

1. Dwelling. A building containing one (1) or more dwelling units. Such buildings as hospitals, hotels, motels, bed and breakfast, boarding house, nursing homes, and institutional residences are not included in the definition of dwelling.

2. Dwelling Unit. Any room or group of rooms located within a dwelling with facilities which are used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating by one (1) family and which forms a single housekeeping unit.

3. Mobile Home. A transportable, single family dwelling intended for permanent occupancy contained in one (1) unit, or in two (2) or more units designed to be joined into one (1) integral unit capable of again being separated for repeated towing, which arrives at a site complete and ready for occupancy except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations, and constructed to that if may be used without a permanent foundation.

4. Mobile Home Lot. A parcel of land in a mobile home park, improved with the necessary utility connections and other appurtenances necessary for the erection thereon of a single mobile home.

5. Mobile Home Park. A parcel or contiguous parcels of land which has been designated and improved that it contains two (2) or more mobile home lots for the placement thereon of mobile homes.

6. Modular Home. Any structure designed primarily for residential occupancy which is wholly or in substantial part made, fabricated, formed or assembled in manufacturing facilities for installation or assembly and installation, on the building site. Housing units defined as mobile homes are excluded from this definition. Modular homes are placed permanently upon permanent foundations.

7. Multi-Family Dwelling (Apartment). A building containing three (3) or more dwelling units and designed to be occupied by three (3) or more families living independently of one another in separate dwelling units that may be separated either horizontally or vertically. Access to the individual dwelling units is provided by one (1) or more common interior hallways.

8. Accessory Living Quarters. Living quarters ancillary to the principal dwelling unit and contained within the principal dwelling unit which do not constitute an independent housekeeping unit and which meets the specific requirements of this Ordinance.

9. Quadraplex. A building consisting of four (4) dwelling units attached as a group wherein each dwelling unit has individual outside access and extends from ground to roof.

10. Single Family Attached Dwelling Unit (Townhouse). A building designed for and occupied exclusively as a residence for only one (1) family and having (i) only one (1) dwelling unit from ground to roof; (ii) independent outside access; and (iii) any portion of one (1) or two (2) vertical walls in common with an adjoining single family attached dwelling. A townhouse shall not have interior access between dwelling units.

11. Single Family Detached Dwelling Unit. A building, commonly known as a single family house, designed for and occupied exclusively as a residence for one (1) family and having; (i) only one (1) dwelling unit from ground to roof; (ii) independent outside access; and (iii) open space on all sides. Where a private garage is structurally attached to such a dwelling, it shall be considered as a part thereof.

12. Two-Family Detached Dwelling (Duplex). A building intended and designed to be occupied as a residence by two (2) families living independently of each other as separate dwelling units. Each dwelling unit within the two family detached dwelling is separated by a horizontal floor.

13. Two-Family Semi-detached Dwelling (Twin). A building intended and designed for residence by two (2) families living independently of each other as separate dwelling units. A semi-detached dwelling unit has independent outside access and is separated by a common vertical wall from the other semi-detached dwelling unit.”


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Section 202, Specific Definitions, is amended by adding new Section 202.VVVV as follows:

“202.VVVV. Age Qualified Community. A master planned residential development in which residency is qualified by age and other related characteristics as defined by the developer in accordance with this Ordinance and all applicable laws and regulations.”

Section 202, Specific Definitions, is amended by adding new Section 202.WWWW as follows:

“202.WWWW. Recreational Use. Leisure time activities which may or may not be of a formal, organized nature, but which entail some physical exertion and may require a specially designed area, field, arena, structure or facility which is owned and operated by the public sector, private sector, or by a not-for-profit organization. Such facilities are typically available to the general public, except as provided by a condominium association, homeowners association, or management corporation. Recreational use includes but is not limited to parks, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, athletic courts, athletic fields, pedestrian trails, golf/putting/chipping areas, and other similar uses. Amusement parks, arenas, motor sports parks, race tracks, stadiums, and waterparks shall be considered entertainment venues of regional significance and shall not be considered a recreational use for purposes of this Ordinance. Adult oriented businesses and sexually oriented businesses and services shall not be considered as a recreational use for purposes of this Ordinance.”

Article 3, Classification of Districts.

Article 3, Classification of Districts, is amended by deleting Section 301, Establishment of Districts, in its entirety; and adding new Section 301 Establishment of Districts as follows:

“301. Establishment of Districts.

Pursuant to the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance as identified in Section 103.A. in accordance with the community development objectives, resource protection policies, and future land use plan of the Upper Saucon Township Comprehensive Plan, and in compliance with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, as amended, all land area within Upper Saucon Township has been assigned a zoning district designation and incorporated within defined zoning districts as the means to implement the provisions stated therein. In addition to zoning district designations, specific land areas within the Township may be subject to a zoning overlay district or overlay districts.

A zoning overlay district is a special purpose zoning district that is superimposed over existing zoning jurisdictions, and except for Article 14, Environmentally Sensitive Overlay District, development in accordance with the overlay district regulations is an option to development in accordance with the base zoning district regulations. An overlay district is designated to provide additional land use options, standards and regulations for specific areas of the Township based on specific conditions as more particularly described with respect to each overlay district. An overlay district may encompass more than one (1) zoning district or may encompass only portions of a zoning district. Zoning overlay districts are delineated on the Zoning Map.”

Article 15, General Regulations

Article 15, General Regulations, is amended by adding new Section 1533 Age Qualified Community Overlay District as follows:

“1533. Age Qualified Community Overlay District (AQCOD)

1533.A. Purpose and Intent.

1. The Age Qualified Community Overlay District (hereinafter referred to as “AQCOD”) shall be an overlay to permit development of age qualified communities within the areas designated on the Township Zoning Map. Age qualified communities as set forth within this Section shall be permitted by right solely within the AQCOD, in accordance with the following minimum requirements. In the absence of a specific standard for age qualified communities, the provisions of the base zoning district shall apply.

2. Nothing in this Ordinance shall be construed to preclude the development of age qualified communities in any other area of the Township where residential land uses are permitted. However, development of age qualified communities outside of the AQCOD shall meet the requirements of the base zoning district in which they are located.

3. Pursuant to Article 22 of this Zoning Ordinance, relating to proposed zoning amendments, the Board of Supervisors may consider an amendment to the Zoning Map to include a particular parcel or parcels of land within the AQCOD, thus enabling development of such parcel(s) in accordance with this Section. In determining the propriety of a zoning map amendment under this Section, the Township shall comply with all requirements of the Municipalities Planning Code, as amended, relating to zoning map amendments and in addition to the specific requirements of this Section, consider the following criteria:

(a) consistency with the Township’s Comprehensive Plan and other development objectives as embodied in Township Ordinances, documents and records;

(b) consistency with the Comprehensive Plan for Lehigh and Northampton Counties;

(c) conduciveness of development to, and impact of development on, all relevant environmental factors;

(d) compatibility with the character of the neighborhood in which the subject parcel or parcels is/are located;

(e) impact of the development on traffic and vehicular circulation both within and outside the development; and

(f) whether such amendment, if enacted, would violate established legal principles.

4. Notwithstanding the requirements of Sub-section 3, above, and regardless of the availability of municipal water and/or municipal sewer, parcels of land located in whole or in part within the R-1 Rural Residential, R-4 Open Space Residential, Agricultural Preservation and South Mountain Conservation Zoning Districts shall not be eligible for consideration for inclusion within the AQCOD.

5. Regardless of the applicant’s ability to meet the criteria set forth in Sub-section 3, above, any decision to amend the Zoning Map pursuant to this Section shall be fully discretionary with the Board of Supervisors.

1533.B Use Regulations.

In this Overlay District, a building may be erected, used, and/or renovated to change, alter, or expand usage and a lot may be used or occupied for any of the following land uses, subject to the applicable regulations of Article 15, General Regulations, and administrative, procedural, design, engineering, and review and approval requirements contained within this Ordinance, the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, and any other applicable Township Ordinance.

1. Age Qualified Community. An age qualified community shall consist of any one or more of the following types of residential dwelling units:

a. Single family detached dwelling.

b. Single family attached dwelling (townhouse).

c. Two-family detached dwelling (duplex).

d. Two-family semi-detached dwelling (twin).

e. Quadraplex.

2. Accessory uses consisting of:

a. Uses customarily incidental to any of the above listed permitted uses.

b. Recreational uses, as defined in Article 2 Section 202.WWWW for the exclusive use of members of the age qualified community and invited guests.

c. Community center or clubhouse consisting of, inter alia, activity rooms, kitchen areas, meeting rooms, craft rooms, fitness rooms, lounges or similar facilities for the exclusive use of members of the age qualified community and invited guests.

d. Administrative and sales facilities exclusively for the management of the age qualified community and located within the community center, except that model units may contain sales facilities until build-out of the development.

e. Service facilities exclusively for the operation of the age qualified community.

f. Gate houses, entrance facilities and other similar structures.

1533.C Bulk and Design Requirements.

1. No minimum tract size shall apply.

2. Maximum Impervious Coverage. Maximum impervious coverage for the tract shall be fifty percent (50%).

3. Maximum Gross Density. Maximum gross density shall be six (6) dwelling units per acre.

4. Buffer Yard. A thirty (30) foot wide buffer yard shall be provided along all front, side, and rear boundaries of the overall development tract in accord with regulations of Article 15 Section 1534 of this Ordinance.

5. Building Setbacks. Buildings shall be set back a minimum distance of ten (10) feet from the street right-of-way line of all interior streets, and garage entrance façade shall be set back a minimum distance of twenty (20) feet from the edge of the street right-of-way line. Where no right-of-way is provided, buildings shall be set back a minimum of twenty (20) feet from the paved edge of the cartway of all interior streets, and garage entrance façades shall be set back a minimum distance of thirty (30) feet from the paved edge of the cartway of all interior streets.

6. Garage Façades. Garage façades on residential buildings shall not protrude beyond the façade of the dwelling unit by more than four (4) feet.

7. Building-to-Building Setbacks. Minimum building-to-building setback for single family detached dwellings shall be twenty (20) feet; otherwise, minimum building-to-building setbacks shall be twenty-five (25) feet.

8. Individual Lot Sizes. Except as provided in this Section, no individual minimum lot sizes or building setback requirements shall apply.

9. Open Space. A minimum of fifty percent (50%) of the total tract area of the age qualified community shall be set aside as open space, in accordance with Section 1533.D.7 below.

1533.D General Requirements.

1. Form of Ownership. Fee simple or condominium form of ownership may be utilized.

2. Declaration of Age Qualification. Prior to the recording of the plan, the Developer shall record a declaration against the property being developed, in a form acceptable to the Township Solicitor, binding the property and owners to the minimum age qualification and such other regulations as may be established by the Developer. Such qualifications and regulations shall be in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws and the regulations promulgated thereunder. The recorded declaration shall relieve the Township from any obligation to enforce the qualifications and regulations set forth therein, and shall place the primary obligation of enforcement on the residents and/or governing association, if any, of the development.

3. Utilities.

a. The proposed development shall be served by both municipal water supply and municipal sanitary sewage disposal systems.

b. All fire services shall be designed and constructed in accordance with ISO standards. The Upper Saucon Township Fire Chief shall review and approve all fire hydrant locations and access ways to the development.

c. All utilities shall be installed underground. Design and installation of utilities shall be in accord with applicable requirements of the Township, Authority, or provider as applicable.

4. Pedestrian Circulation System. A pedestrian circulation system shall be provided as an integral part of any age qualified community, as follows:

a. Pedestrian sidewalks a minimum of five (5) feet in width shall be provided on one (1) side of all interior access streets, public or private, and along off-street parking areas where pedestrian usage is anticipated. All pedestrian sidewalks shall be concrete.

b. Pedestrian sidewalks shall be set back a minimum of five (5) feet from the curb line of all interior streets where street trees are placed between the sidewalk and the curb. Where street trees are placed between the sidewalk and building façade the distance between the curb and sidewalk may be reduced to four (4) feet.

c. Pedestrian sidewalks may adjoin off-street parking, however off-street parking shall not encroach upon the pedestrian sidewalk. Provision shall be made to prevent vehicles from overhanging pedestrian sidewalks.

d. Pedestrian trails a minimum of five (5) feet in width shall be provided throughout the age qualified community to interconnect pedestrian sidewalks with common open space, recreational space, amenities and facilities. The pedestrian trail system shall meander throughout the common open space. Pedestrian trails may be concrete or bituminous paving unless otherwise specifically regulated.

e. Pedestrian sidewalks and trails shall be ADA compliant.

5. Vehicular Circulation System.

a. Interior streets within an age qualified community shall be private, and owned and maintained by a governing association or management corporation, or other entity found acceptable by the Township.

b. Interior streets within the age qualified community shall be designed and constructed to Township standards for public residential streets. Street right-of-way and cartway widths shall be per the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.

c. The developer shall cause to be performed at its sole cost and expense a traffic impact study if the proposed development is outside the traffic improvement district, otherwise the developer shall comply with Township’s traffic impact fee ordinance. This study shall be made in accordance with all applicable industry and professional standards and certified by a professional traffic engineer. The study shall, at a minimum, detail traffic flow within the land development and/or subdivision, identify points of ingress and egress, detail the effects of the land development/subdivision upon local traffic movements, identify appropriate, mitigating measures and address any other specific or unique, traffic issues which may be created by the proposed development/subdivision. The study shall be submitted to the Township for review and approval, and all recommendations contained in the approved traffic impact study shall be implemented by the developer in accordance with this Ordinance and other applicable laws, rules, regulations, ordinances and standards. All improvements recommended by the approved traffic impact study shall be constructed in conjunction with the land development and/or subdivision. All on site improvements shall be the responsibility of the developer.

6. Off-Street Parking.

a. A minimum of three (3) off-street parking spaces shall be provided for each dwelling unit. Garage spaces may count toward this requirement provided that the developer include in its declarations and restrictions an enforceable covenant that each counted space be used for parking and not converted to another use; however, at least one (1) of the required off-street parking spaces must be an exterior space (outside the garage), and for residential buildings other than single family detached dwellings one (1) of the required parking spaces may consist of an on-street parking space. Alternatively, the developer may construct separate parking facilities in accordance with regulations contained in this Zoning Ordinance to meet the requirements of this Section.

b. Off-street parking areas for the community center or other community amenities shall be set back a minimum of twenty (20) feet from all buildings and a minimum of thirty (30) feet from the overall development tract boundaries. For the community center, a minimum of seven and one-half (7.5) off-street parking spaces shall be provided for every 1,000 square feet of gross floor area.

c. Except as provided herein, off-street parking facilities shall comply with Article 16 of the Zoning Ordinance.

7. Open Space

a. A minimum of fifty percent (50%) of the gross tract area of the age qualified community shall be set aside as open space. Open space for the purpose of this Section shall be defined as land areas that are not occupied by buildings, structures, parking areas, streets, alleys, pedestrian sidewalks or other impervious surfaces, or storm water management facilities (except as noted in Subsection 7.b below). Open space may be devoted to landscaping, preservation of natural features, common recreation areas (as described in Subsection 8.e below), and pedestrian trails.

b. With Township approval, land area containing storm water management facilities designed and constructed as wet ponds or shallow basins and which incorporate natural features, landscaping, recreational uses or other, similar qualities may be attributable to the open space requirement of this Section.

c. Significant natural features such as woodland areas, large trees, natural watercourses, bodies of water, rock outcroppings, and scenic views shall be incorporated into open space areas.

8. Common recreation areas.

a. A minimum of ten percent (10%) of the gross tract area of the age qualified community shall be set aside as common recreation areas. This requirement may be satisfied through provision of one (1) or more individual common recreation areas.

b. At least fifty percent (50%) of the total required common recreation area acreage shall be provided in one (1) or more areas that each have a minimum dimension of not less than one hundred (100) feet by one hundred (100) feet, a maximum slope of six percent (6%), and being at least twenty (20) feet from all buildings, streets, parking areas, alleys and stormwater management facilities (except those stormwater management facilities described in Subsection 7b above).

c. Areas associated with environmentally sensitive features that would otherwise prohibit or restrict development, such wetlands, floodplains and steep slopes in excess of ten percent (10%) shall not be utilized as or attributable to the required common recreation areas.

d. Common recreation areas may be open space areas or recreational buildings or facilities.

e. Common recreation areas otherwise meeting the requirements for open space within the meaning of Subsection 7 of this Ordinance may be counted toward the developer’s obligation to provide open space pursuant to that Subsection.

9. The developer shall comply with Section 283 of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, which compliance shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, compliance with the open space and common recreation area requirements of this Section.

10. The developer shall include on the record plan for the development and within the governing association document or management corporation document a depiction of all open space and common recreation areas necessary to satisfy the requirements of this Ordinance. In addition, the developer shall include on the record plan and within the governing association document or management corporation document a statement that no buildings, structures or other impervious surfaces shall be permitted to be built in the required open space.

11. Other Requirements:

a. Unless the Township, in its sole discretion, determines that it is in the Township’s interest to accept all or a portion of any infrastructure within an age qualified community, infrastructure within an age qualified community including but not limited to streets, utilities, recreational areas, and community facilities and amenities shall be constructed, owned, and operated by a governing association or management corporation.

b. Ownership, maintenance, and use provisions associated with all infrastructure and common amenities and facilities within the age qualified community shall be identified within a governing association document or management corporation document. The document shall be submitted to the municipality for review prior to final plan approval by the Township.”

SECTION 3: EFFECTIVE DATE

This ordinance shall be effective upon advertisement in accordance with the pending ordinance doctrine. Otherwise, this ordinance shall become effective five (5) days after enactment by the Board of Supervisors of Upper Saucon Township.

SECTION 4: PROTANTO REPEAL

Unless otherwise specifically stated in this ordinance, all ordinances in conflict with the provisions of this ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict.

SECTION 5: SAVINGS CLAUSE

To the extent that any word, portion or provision of the text hereof is found by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or void on constitutional or other grounds, such word, phrase, portion or provision shall, if possible, be deemed to be repealed and those remaining valid portions of the text shall remain in full force and effect if same can be accomplished without the structure of the ordinance having been destroyed by the elimination of that word, phrase, portion or provision found to be invalid or void.

DULY ENACTED AND ORDAINED this ________ day of ______, 2005, by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Upper Saucon of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in lawful session duly assembled.

TOWNSHIP OF UPPER SAUCON
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

___________________________________________
CHAIRMAN

___________________________________________
VICE CHAIRMAN


___________________________________________
SUPERVISOR

___________________________________________
SUPERVISOR

___________________________________________
SUPERVISOR

Attest:

____________________________________
Secretary


Disclaimers and Legal Information