An overview of how to develop a shade tree ordinance
Information on how to budget for a community tree program, including a budget worksheet.
Ordinances enacted by this small, PA township are an effort to encourage smart growth and provide for resource protection
A comprehensive review of Lancaster County’s Designated Growth Areas, this 248 page report covers topics including development trends and projections, growth management framework, and urban and rural growth area strategies.
Zoning map for Bethel Township, which is located along the Kittatinny Ridge in Berks County.
Simple fact sheet about developing tree ordinances with a link to a sample ordinance
Recognizing the essential relationship between land use, urban form, and transportation decisions, in 2006 the Town of Mooresville, NC initiated three major planning projects: Comprehensive Land Use Plan, a Comprehensive Transportation Plan, and an update of its Zoning Ordinance. Following a suggestion by the Federal Highway Administration, the Town decided to incorporate scenario planning to better link the three planning processes.
Comprehensive examination of the Design concept, complete with up-to date references, examples, model ordinances, case studies and more.
Funded by the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) undertook this project in order to promote and enable the use of Conservation Subdivision Design (or CSD), arguably the best reform made to traditional cluster-type zoning to date. This project is intended to elevate the use of this alternative land development technique to one that is commonly accepted and utilized, by serving as an educational tool particularly for Town Planners, Planning Boards and developers.
Zoning ordinances for East Vincent Township, Chester County, PA, Chapter 27, which include steep slope ordinances. The township excludes steep slopes, floodplains, and jurisdictional wetlands from its definition of “net tract area,” which is used to establish the maximum number of dwelling units permitted on a tract of land.
Brief background of Conservation Subdivision Design (CSD) and list of resources and case studies.
This is a comprehensive guide to assessing the tree resource needs of your community and developing and implementing an effective tree ordinance. This 181 page detailed guide provides valuable tools and examples for writing a tree ordinance, from the planning stages, through drafting an ordinance to evaluating the ordinance performance..
Two models of tree management ordinances are contained in this 21 page paper, a model for a small community and a model for a large community. The models can be used as a starting point to draft a local ordinance.
A comprehensive review of the urban growth boundary tool, including evaluations of different urban containment techniques, a study of their prevalence in the United States, and case studies.
This website contains information on how to control, reduce, and regulate light pollution and conserve energy usage, including lighting ordinance information.
This booklet summarizes how municipalities can use the development process to their advantage to protect interconnected networks of open space: natural areas, greenways, trails and recreational lands. Communities can take control of their destinies so that their conservation goals are achieved in a manner fair to all parties concerned. All that is needed are some relatively straightforward amendments to municipal comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances and subdivision ordinances.
Commonwealth Court case affirming a zoning hearing board’s decision to limit the size of off-site signs to the same size as on-site signs. The court stated the, “regulation…must not be arbitrary or discriminatory, and must bear a reasonable relationship to public health, safety, welfare and morals."
This report examines urban growth boundaries as a technique for concentrating growth in development areas and discouraging it elsewhere. It explains how boundaries are used in Maryland and in other states, outlines the elements that must be present for a growth boundary to be successful, and presents a step-by-step procedure for creating and enacting a boundary.
This article discusses the impact the resource land assessment (a development threat analysis) had on preservation efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Maryland's Green Infrastructure Assessment is a tool developed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to help identify and rank areas of greatest statewide ecological importance as well as those at greatest risk of loss to development. The methods developed are being applied at the multi-state, state, regional and local government levels to guide conservation efforts.
Two programs explore how to create effective and defensible sign regulations. Keep your community beautiful and safe from legal challenges to your sign ordinance. The CD-ROM Includes program #1 "Issues in Sign Regulation" and program #2, "Context-Sensitive Signs". The CD-ROM can be found in the American Planning Association, Pennsylvania Chapter, lending library.
Two zoning tools for municipalities to consider integrating into existing zoning ordinances: Natural Resource Protection Standards and a Model Conservation District.
Examples of state model sign ordinances:
Included on this website is a general sign ordinance, and billboard prohibition. Please note that special consideration will have to be made to mold these models to conform to Pennsylvania’s statutes and case law.
An excellent model ordinance prepared by the 10 Towns Great Swamp Watershed Committee as a prototype for adoption by its municipal government members in the Passaic River Basin.
This model ordinance was written to promote consistency between the county comprehensive plan and local comprehensive plans and to help municipalities to manage and direct growth in a sustainable manner. The model ordinance has different provisions for urban areas, rural areas, and redevelopment areas within Lancaster County.
Fact sheet on how to form a tree commission as one tool a community can use to create and maintain an urban forestry program.
This website provides links and ordering information for multiple publications (some free) on forestry programs and tree care under the "Publications & Resources" menu.
This website provides information on proposed legislation, state statutes, and land use case law rulings.
This reference provides municipalities with the opportunity to access, via the internet, the PowerPoint presentation from the Municipalities Planning Code Made Easy workshop. The PowerPoint slides are linked to MPC Quick Guide, which then directs users to actual sections within the MPC, relating to a specific topic that the user has identified. To work through this program, simply follow the navigational tools provided.
POLC maintains a set of model lighting ordinances on its website that have evolved over time to incorporate the most recent and most effective ordinance language. The site also contains enacted lighting ordinances from across the Commonwealth as well as helpful information on initiating an ordinance and links to other relevant resources.
This publication provides guidance for the process involved in installing traffic calming measures along state roadways and details traffic calming options and design guidelines.
A summary of regulations that impact agriculture in Pennsylvania and an explanation of tools that municipalities can use to grow and protect agriculture within their boundaries.
Proposed amendments to the existing township ordinances regarding steep slope development. Use a Keyword Search function on this page to locate the steep slope section.
In an effort to update both its Regional Growth Management Plan and Regional Transportation Plan, the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission implemented scenario build-outs throughout its entire service region, which includes 103 municipalities in the counties of Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry.
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission completed a survey of municipal natural resource protection tools in its service area in 2002, which was systematically updated in 2006. Outstanding examples of ordinances related to natural resources, including steep slopes, are posted on this website and are saved as part of this library item.
Bloomsburg's Shade Tree Ordinance and information on their Shade Tree Commission.
Carlisle's shade tree ordinance and information on their Shade Tree commission.
Greensburg's shade tree ordinance and information on their Shade Tree Commission.
Radnor Township's shade tree ordinance and information on their Shade Tree commission.
Susquehanna Township's shade tree ordinance.
Sample ordinance from the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs for the creation of a shade tree commission and the adoption of rules and standards for the planting, maintenance and removal of shade trees within the public right-of-way.
The Montgomery County Planning Commission conducted a build out study which measured and described all future development permitted in the central and western municipalities of Montgomery County under current zoning ordinances.
This provides good examples of the documents you will need in creating a sign ordinance. Included is the application for sign placement, guidelines for approval of different sign types, requirements for electrical signs, and an insurance requirement form.
Perhaps the best example of a municipal sign ordinance and one that has achieved the desired results. This ordinance is extremely thorough and includes definitions to help identify permitted and non-permitted sign usage.
Developed by the county and the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, this model sign ordinance is proposed for adoption by all municipalities in Monroe County. The ordinance is based on a number of local municipality sign ordinances and includes other significant refinements gleaned from other counties’ ordinances. The goal of this effort is to have all county municipalities adopt an effective, standardized, sign ordinance.
This model permit application is designed to address small-scale photovoltaic systems (producing 13.44kW or less). It accompanies the Municipal Guidebook for Solar Zoning and Permitting, also published in 2012. 3 pp.
Commonwealth Court case, ruling in favor of the landowner, that natural features on the parcel created a “hardship” to the landowner. The court approved the variances sought by the landowner and the Zoning Hearing Board, even though the landowner knew these conditions existed and variances would have to be obtained prior to their purchase of the property.
A concise example of a steep slope ordinance, this ordinance includes standards and criteria for reviewing special exceptions.
The Munipalities Planning Code allows the use of steep slopes to be regulated through a zoning overlay district, which enables their uniform regulation regardless of each municipality’s base zoning district provisions. Upper Salford Township, Montgomery County, employs this approach, typical of many municipalities across the Commonwealth, and its Overlay District comprises all areas of the Township with slopes greater than 15%. Four categories of slopes are differentially restricted, and a combination of disturbance (i.e., grading and vegetation removal) and lot size and design standards take precedence over the regulations of underlying districts.
This website contains easy to use spreadsheet templates for for completing a street or park tree inventory. The templates can be downloaded in Excel or Access. The templates are easily adaptable and can be modified for the specific variables that may be found in individual towns or cities.
The subdivision and land development ordinance is the most commonly used development control mechanism in Pennsylvania. It is the most basic of land use regulations. This 54 page manual provides additional information on process and procedures, conservation subdivision planning, fees and inspections, and enforcement.
To participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a municipality must enact a code or ordinance, which at a minimum, meets the floodplain management requirements established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This publication provides additional information.
The New England Light Pollution Advisory Group educates the public on the virtues of efficient, glare-free outdoor night lighting -- and the tremendous benefits of low-lumen (low-light-output) lighting for many (if not most) outdoor applications.
A 23 page preliminary guidebook designed for communities developing new, or revising older, existing urban tree ordinances. It includes a tree ordinance questionnaire, which is designed to help individuals better understand the relevant issues and questions that need to be answered when undertaking the process of tree ordinance creation.
Any municipality enacting a zoning ordinance must also create a zoning hearing board. The primary purpose of such a board is to help assure fair and equitable application and administration of the zoning ordinance by hearing appeals on the zoning officer’s determinations and by granting relief from the literal enforcement of the ordinance in certain hardship situations.
The Cranberry Township TND Ordinance features the following innovations of the Form-Based Code: context-sensitive design standards, street sections for five street types, streetscape design & detailing standards, building type design & detailing standards; and green infrastructure design standards.
Examples of township ordinances for conservation overlay districts, special overlay districts, zoning district regulations and zoning map and districts for Upper Bern Township, which is located along the Kittatinny Ridge in Berks County. Includes Blue Mountain and Appalachian Trail overlays.
A review of community landscape ordinances and their impact on the design and planning professions that work with this type of legislation.
Commonwealth Court ruling upholding the steep slope ordinances of a municipality. Appellant wanted to disturb nearly 6 acres of land for development, but the township’s steep slope ordinances only permitted the disturbance of just over two on this parcel.
The Pennsylvania Appalachian Trail Act requires Pennsylvania municipalities along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail to adequately protect it as a public natural resource. Planning and architecture firm Wallace, Roberts, and Todd was hired by a steering committee of municipalities subject to the Act to develop strategies and guidelines for trail corridor protection. This website describes various zoning tools for landscape protection and includes examples of steep slope and ridge regulations.