MapLink™ | Procedures | Steep Slope Regulations

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Steep Slope Regulations
A. General regulations.
(1) Modification of lot area.
In every zoning district except the Rural-Conservation District, every lot which contains land in the steep slope classification shall exclude all such land from lot area computations for the purpose of application of the minimum lot area and maximum building and impervious coverage regulations of the applicable zoning district classification.
(2) Construction on steep and very steep slopes.
There shall be no excavation, filling, or erection or construction of buildings, roads, driveways, parking areas or other similar structures or impervious surfaces on steep or very steep slopes unless all of the following conditions are met:
(a) Area of slopes proposed for grading or modification may not exceed 10% of the total natural steep slopes on the property. This percentage limitation shall not apply to man-made steep slopes. When claiming that steep slopes are man-made, the applicant shall have the burden of proof to demonstrate that the steep slopes are man-made and shall provide all related documentation and site testing to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer.
(b) With respect to grading to remove or fill against existing manmade slopes formed by ditching, roadway construction or other construction activity and/or filling between existing man-made slopes in cut areas:
[1] The slope so affected shall not be a significant or unique natural feature.
[2] The area of the steep slopes to be regraded shall not be counted as non-steep slope area for buildable area computations.
[3] The grading shall not result in any increase in steep slope area except that the area of steep slopes between 15% and 25% may be increased to the extent that the area of very steep slopes (greater than 25%) is reduced.
[4] Plans and engineering reports shall be submitted documenting the stability of the steep slopes created, methods proposed to handle surface runoff concentrations and landscaping and/or other means to be employed to maintain slope surface stability against soil erosion.
(c) Areas of slopes which are regraded as permitted above to a slope less than 25% slope may be improved and constructed upon as provided herein.
(d) Any area of steep or very steep slopes which does not exceed, in area, the greater of 500 square feet or 1% of the area of the lot on which it is located and which is to be regraded without creating any new area of steep slope may be regraded and/or have the vegetative cover thereon disturbed. Artificial bands of steep slopes located along highway frontages may also be regraded and/or have the vegetative cover thereon disturbed in order to allow for access onto a lot(s), upon approval of the Township Engineer.
(e) On any lot which does not qualify for an exemption under Subsection A(2)(d) above, no more than 30% of the area with natural slopes of between 15% and 25% shall be regraded and/or shall have vegetative cover thereon disturbed. The Zoning Officer may allow a modification from this restriction for a proposed lot if the Township Engineer determines that such modification would not have any injurious effect on the proposed development site or any adjacent site or if such modification allows the furtherance of the goals for protection of other environmentally sensitive areas.
(f) Areas with restrictions due to slopes must be left undisturbed to the extent specified herein and not occupied by structures, driveways, on-lot septic systems, detention basins or other improvements.
(g) Areas with natural slopes over 25% shall be protected such that no more than 10% of the area with such slopes shall be regraded and/or shall have the vegetative cover disturbed.
(3) Nothing contained herein shall be construed as precluding the possibility of relief from literal compliance with the terms of this section, provided that application for relief is filed pursuant to § 208-145: Appeals to the Zoning Hearing Board of this chapter.
B. Liability.
Neither the approval or granting of any construction permit or proposed subdivision or site development plan involving any land governed by the provisions of this section by an officer, employee or agency of the Township shall constitute a representation, guaranty or warranty of any kind by the Township or its employees, officials or agencies of the practicality or safety of any structure, use or subdivision and shall create no liability upon, or a cause of action against such public body, official or employee for any damage that may result pursuant thereto.
See § 208-118: Steep slope regulations for more information.
See Permits and Inspections for more information.