Zoning Regulations for areas experiencing transition

§ 220-18.1. Transition District. [Added 11-16-1992 by Ord. No. 334-92]

A. Purpose. The purpose of the Transition District is to provide for the location of small retail and office uses within residential areas as well as to direct the development of properties located between commercially developed and residentially developed properties. The objective is to encourage the convenient placement of such uses for the benefit of the residents in locations compatible with the type and impact of the use. The intent is to maintain a residential character for properties in the Transition District so that the impact of use is minimal to nearby properties used residentially. Since this is the case, the combination of lots and the use of common accesses and parking areas is encouraged and anticipated.

B. Review procedures. In order to assure the satisfactory and proper development of the Transition District, all uses shall be reviewed as follows:

(1) Land development plans shall be required for all commercial use applications that will be developed under the Transition District guidelines for the first time and for any expansion/addition of five hundred (500) square feet or more onto a commercially used property. Such plans shall be submitted and processed according to the procedures and requirements established in Chapter 210, Subdivision and Land Development.

(2) In addition to other requirements stated in § 220-24 of this chapter and in Chapter 210, Subdivision and Land Development, development proposals must include the following information: the overall development scheme, including location, proposed site layout, existing zoning, parking facilities, all adjacent highways and streets and alleys with traffic flow patterns; a list of the kind of establishments to be located on the site and their floor areas; architectural sketches; landscaping plans; lighting plans; and engineering plans showing proposed methods of water runoff control with a stormwater management plan, an erosion and sedimentation control plan and architectural elevations of the structure, including the design of the exterior wall surfaces and the types of materials to be used. The land development plan must include a current survey for the property. Submitted plans must bear the certification of a registered professional engineer, architect or land surveyor.

C. Permitted uses. Subject to review procedures, a lot or parcel may be used and a building or structure may be used or erected for either of the following uses:

(1) Single-family residential, not including individual mobile homes; or

(2) Accessory uses to the above.

D. Lot and area requirements. The following dimensions, unless specified otherwise, are the minimums required for the approval of uses within the district. All uses shall be governed by the appropriate parking regulations and other additional applicable requirements specified elsewhere in this chapter.

(1) Minimum lot area with public sanitary sewage and public water supply shall be seven thousand (7,000) square feet. The minimum lot area with on-site sewage disposal and/or on-site water shall be one (1) acre.

(2) Minimum lot width shall be fifty (50) feet, which shall be maintained at the minimum front setback.

(3) Minimum front setback shall be twenty-five (25) feet, except that the minimum front setback from U.S. Route 22 shall be fifty (50) feet.

(a) Lots having frontage on more than one (1) street shall provide the required front yards along every street, with the exception of alleys or prior recorded rights-of-way that are not constructed.

(b) No accessory buildings shall be permitted in any front yard.

(4) Minimum side yards shall be ten (10) feet on either side.

(5) Minimum rear yard shall be twenty (20) feet.

(a) Accessory uses shall be to the rear of the principal structure only.

(b) Accessory uses shall be located no nearer than five (5) feet to the lot line.

E. Conditional uses. The following uses may be permitted under the general criteria and procedures listed in this chapter for conditional uses and specifically the criteria of this section. Approval shall be granted or denied by the Council after obtaining the recommendations of the Planning Commission. In approving applications for conditional uses, the Council may attach such additional requirements and stipulations as are considered necessary for the proper placement of the use on the site.

(1) Commercial retail.

(a) Antique retail.

(b) Artist supplies.

(c) Card and stationery stores.

(d) Camera shops.

(e) Candy, nut and confectionery stores.

(f) Cigar stores.

(g) Custom tailor.

(h) Florist shops.

(i) Furrier and fur shops.

(j) Gift shops.

(k) Hobby shops.

(l) Household appliance, radio and television repair.

(m) Jewelry shops.

(n) Luggage and leather goods.

(o) Optical shops.

(p) Religious goods shops.

(q) Other establishments that will have a similar impact on the neighborhood in terms of hours of operation, number of employees, traffic, etc.

(2) Commercial services.

(a) Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services.

(b) Beauty and barber shops.

(c) Duplicating, addressing, blueprinting, photocopying, mailing, mailing list and stenographic services.

(d) Engineering and architectural services.

(e) Holding and investing companies.

(f) Insurance offices.

(g) Legal services.

(h) Medical, dental and other health offices.

(i) Offices of a general business nature.

(j) Parking areas or parking garages, public and commercial.

(k) Photographic studios, including commercial photography.

(l) Real estate operators, agents, brokers and managers.

(m) Shoe repair shops.

(n) Other establishments that will have a similar impact on the neighborhood in terms of hours of operation, number of employees, traffic, etc.

(3) Public and quasi-public.

(a) Nursery school/day care.

(4) Recreational/cultural.

(a) Parks or playgrounds.

(b) Health or fitness studios.

F. Conditional use approvals. Every conditional use permit shall be conditioned upon the proposed development fully complying with all requirements of this chapter and, where applicable, Chapter 210, Subdivision and Land Development. The violation of any condition contained in a conditional use permit shall be a violation of this chapter.

(1) Conditional use standards. No application for a conditional use permit shall be approved unless the Murrysville Council shall specifically find the proposed conditional use appropriate in the location for which it is proposed. This finding shall be based on the following criteria:

(a) The proposed use shall be in harmony with the general purposes, goals, objectives and standards of the Murrysville Comprehensive Plan, this chapter or any other plan, program, map or ordinance adopted, or under consideration pursuant to official notice, by the Municipality of Murrysville.

(b) The proposed use at the proposed location shall not result in a substantial or undue adverse effect on adjacent property, the character of the neighborhood, traffic conditions, parking, public improvements, public sites or rights-of-way or other matters affecting the public health, safety and general welfare, either as they now exist or as they may in the future be developed as a result of the implementation of provisions and policies of the Comprehensive Plan, this chapter or any other plan, program, map or ordinance adopted, or under consideration pursuant to official notice, by the Municipality of Murrysville or other governmental agency having jurisdiction to guide growth and development.

G. Performance standards and criteria for approval of conditional uses.

(1) Lot and area regulations. The following dimensions, unless specified otherwise, are the minimums required for approval of conditional uses within the district. All uses shall be governed by the applicable requirements specified elsewhere in this chapter.

(2) No application for issuance of a conditional use permit shall be approved unless the Municipal Council shall find that, in addition to complying with each of the general standards enumerated above, each of the specific standards applicable to the particular uses enumerated in Article VII of Chapter 220 is met.

(a) Required front yard.

[1] Parking shall be discouraged in the front yard area where feasible, unless adequate landscaping and plantings are provided for a depth of ten (10) feet along the right-of-way. Landscaping design shall contain a mixture of ground cover or grass, trees and shrubs and shall be reviewed by the Planning Commission. A recommendation on the same shall be forwarded to the Municipal Council.

[2] Access drives and handicapped access parking spaces may be located in the front yard area.

[3] Outdoor storage or display of materials or products is prohibited.

(b) Minimum rear yard shall be fifteen (15) feet

[1] Accessory buildings with a gross floor area up to and including two hundred (200) square feet may be located within five (5) feet of an interior lot line and fifteen (15) feet of the rear lot line.

[2] Accessory buildings with a gross floor area between two hundred one (201) and five hundred (500) square feet shall maintain the side and rear yard setbacks of this district.

[3] Accessory buildings larger than five hundred (500) square feet are not permitted.

[4] Outdoor storage or display of materials or products is prohibited.

(c) Floor area ratio. The floor area ratio shall not exceed twenty-five hundredths (.25). (To calculate the floor area ratio, divide the gross area of all floors by the gross site area.)

(d) Maximum building height shall be thirty-five (35) feet. Buildings in excess of twenty (20) feet in height shall provide one (l) additional foot of front, rear and side yard setbacks for each one (l) foot of building height over twenty (20) feet, except for existing structures.

(e) Landscaping and plantings.

[1] A landscaped periphery shall be provided and maintained for a depth of four (4) feet along the side and rear property lines, except where natural or physical barriers exist which are determined by the Municipal Council to fulfill the landscaping requirement.

[2] The landscaping shall be composed of plants and trees arranged to form both a low-level and a high-level landscaping arrangement. The high-level screen shall consist of trees planted with specimens of no less than six (6) feet in height for evergreens and one-and-one-half-inch caliper for ornamental trees. The same shall be planted at intervals of not more than ten (10) feet. The low-level screen shall consist of shrubs or hedges planted at an initial height of not less than two (2) feet.

[3] A landscaped area adjacent to the main building(s) shall also be provided for a minimum of ten (10) feet in width from the building. A mixture of grass or ground cover, shrubs and trees of specimen quality shall be located in the landscaped area. Shade trees may be planted up to twenty (20) feet apart, ornamental trees up to ten (10) feet apart and shrubs up to five (5) feet apart. These are minimum standards. Trees and shrubs shall be interspersed, unless otherwise recommended/approved.

[4] All areas not covered with impervious surface or buildings shall be landscaped.

[5] Artificial plants are prohibited.

[6] Adequate consideration shall be given to sight distance during review of both plant material and its location.

(f) Off-street parking and loading.

[1] The supplemental regulations of § 220-27, dealing with off-street parking and loading, Subsection A(1), (3) and (7), are applicable, although, in the event of conflicting provisions, the more strict regulation shall apply. All off-street parking and loading areas shall be screened from any abutting property zoned residential or used for residential purposes. Screening shall be accomplished by the placement of adequate earth berms or solid fences, constructed of wood or masonry (plain concrete block or cinder block are prohibited) and plantings or the provision and maintenance of solid plantings in the form of contiguous trees and shrubs.

[2] Outside refuse areas shall be screened with solid fences constructed of wood or masonry (plain concrete block or cinder block are prohibited) at a height sufficient to obstruct sight, but not to exceed eight (8) feet in height. Refuse areas may not be located in setback areas.

[3] Each parking space shall consist of not less than an average of one hundred sixty-two (162) square feet of usable area for each motor vehicle, excluding interior driveways and driveways connecting the garage, or parking space, with a street or alley. Notwithstanding the above, all parking spaces shall be ample in size for the vehicles for which use is intended. The net parking space per vehicle shall be not less than nine (9) feet wide and eighteen (18) feet long. Such outdoor parking space shall not be used to satisfy any open space requirements of the lot on which it is located.

[4] Parking spaces may be located on a lot other than that containing the principal use with recommendation of the Planning Commission and the approval of the Council, provided that a written agreement approved by the Municipal Solicitor and accepted by the Council shall be filed with the application for a land development plan.

[5] Surfacing. Any off-street parking area shall be graded for proper drainage and shall be surfaced so as to provide a durable and dustless surface, such as concrete or bituminous concrete surface, and shall be so arranged as to provide for orderly and safe parking and storage of vehicles. Additionally, all requirements of the Land Operations OrdinanceEN shall be met.

[6] For other uses which do not fit into one (1) of the categories listed in § 220-18.1E, determination of the appropriate parking space requirements shall be made by the Planning Commission.

[7] Noncontiguous parking spaces may be located on a noncontiguous lot other than that containing the principal use with the recommendation of the Planning Commission and approval of Council, provided that a written agreement to which the Council is a party and binding the parking area by covenants shall be filed with the application for land development approval and shall include appropriate prior approval of the Council as to design under the procedures and standards of Chapter 210, Subdivision and Land Development.

(g) Loading and unloading space. In addition to the off-street parking space required above, any building erected, converted or enlarged for any nonresidential use shall provide adequate off-street areas for loading and unloading of vehicles. Uses that require pickup and/or delivery service by tractor-trailers shall provide a minimum size loading space fifty (50) feet in depth and twelve (12) feet in width. All other uses shall provide a minimum size loading space twenty-five (25) feet in depth and ten (10) feet in width. Minimum overhead clearance shall be fourteen (14) feet.

H. Architectural standards.

(1) Development character. The Transition District includes existing residential neighborhoods. The architectural character of projects developed within this corridor should preserve this residential quality and respect the residential scale through the appropriate massing and scale of proposed buildings, materials use, landscaping and lighting. A residential character is the goal for developments within this district which will blend with the existing residential neighborhoods and preserve qualities of them. This character will be achieved by using basic guidelines defining height restrictions, materials use, roof treatment, landscaping, site lighting and signage requirements. Those basic guidelines will permit individual flexibility in design and treatment of proposed projects by specifying critical parameters.

(2) Design guidelines. To ensure that office/commercial projects within the district reflect a desirable image of this district of Murrysville, the following architectural guidelines shall be incorporated into the district standards:

(a) Material use. All principal and accessory structures shall be constructed primarily of a brick, stone, stucco, fireproof precut stucco or clay tile material and architectural wood siding. Colors and materials shall be compatible with the adjacent residential areas in design and appearance, and additions to structure shall be architecturally compatible with the structure itself.

(b) Glazing. Glazing areas shall not exceed forty percent (40%) of the exterior skin of the structure. Mirrored glazing is not permitted within the district; solar absorption/reflective glazing is an acceptable material.

(c) Screening. All mechanical equipment (H.V.A.C.) shall be screened from public view and constructed using materials consistent with the primary building.

(d) Accessory structures. All accessory structures shall be constructed using materials consistent with the primary building.

I. Exterior light standards.

(1) Purpose. To allow for the safety and security of a site without disturbance to adjacent property owners or the motoring public, lighting regulations are provided. A lighting plan with fixture type and manufacturer’s data shall be provided.

(2) Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

CUTOFF — The point at which all light rays emitted by a lamp, light source or luminaire are completely eliminated (cut off) at a specific angle above the ground.

FOOTCANDLE — A unit of illumination produced on a surface, all points of which are one (1) foot from a uniform source of one (1) candle.

(3) Standards.

(a) All parking areas, driveways and loading areas, entryways and pedestrian paths shall be provided with a light system which shall furnish a minimum of zero and five-tenths (0.5) footcandles within any part of such areas. Vertical cutoff lighting is preferred, although alternative lighting systems may be proposed that do not cause a spillover of lighting onto traffic on any public right-of-way or onto residential property of more than zero and two-tenths (0.2) footcandles.

(b) Mounting heights of lighting fixtures may not exceed sixteen (16) feet. Where raised islands are used to separate parking stalls, the poles may be placed on the island.

(c) At the time any exterior lighting is installed or substantially modified and whenever a site plan approval is sought, an exterior lighting plan shall be submitted to the Community Development Office in order to determine whether the requirements of this section have been met.

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