Prior to making formal application, the subdivider is urged to appear before the Planning Commission at any regular or special meeting to discuss the general nature of his/her proposed development. If desired, a sketch plan may be prepared and presented for review and discussion at this time. The sketch plan should generally include those items listed in Section 1246.01.
The Planning Commission shall advise the subdivider whether the plans and data as submitted do or do not meet the objectives of these Subdivision Regulations. When the Planning Commission finds that the plans and data do not meet the objectives of these Subdivision Regulations, it shall express its reasons therefor. The subdivider may also submit his/her proposed development to the County Planning Department, and, when on-lot septic systems are contemplated, the subdivider should confer with the County Health Department.
Such discussions and/or sketch plan review will be considered confidential. Submission of a sketch plan shall not constitute formal filing of a subdivision plan.
If a subdivision is deemed a minor subdivision, the subdivider shall then submit a final plan and is not required to have conditional approval of a preliminary plan. A subdivision shall be considered a minor subdivision if:
(a) No new street, alley or crosswalk right of way is involved;
(b) The extension of sewers, water lines or storm sewers does not involve any new drainage or utility easements; and
(c) The number of new lots involved does not exceed five.
1244.02 CONDITIONAL APPROVAL OF PRELIMINARY PLAN
On reaching conclusions informally, as recommended in Section 1244.01, regarding his/her general program and objectives, the subdivider shall cause to be prepared a preliminary plan, together with improvement plans and other supplementary material as specified in Section 1246.02.
The preliminary plan and other exhibits required for approval, and at least two copies of the plan, shall be submitted to the County Planning Department for its review, which Department shall retain one copy of the preliminary plan.
Upon completion of the County Planning Department’s review or after thirty days, whichever comes first, the preliminary plan and other exhibits required for approval, and at least one copy of the plan, shall be submitted to the Planning Commission for review and conditional approval at its next meeting.
Following the review of the preliminary plan and other exhibits required for approval, and negotiations with the subdivider on any changes deemed advisable and the kind and extent of improvements to be made by him/her, the Planning Commission shall submit the preliminary plan and supplementary material specified, and at least one copy of the plan and a report of its recommendations, to the Board of Commissioners within ten days.
The Board of Commissioners shall take action at a meeting within ninety days after the first regular meeting of the Planning Commission following the filing of the application, but not more than 120 days after the date of filing. The Board of Commissioners may grant conditional approval subject to such conditions as it may require to carry out these Subdivision Regulations. If conditional approval is refused, the Board of Commissioners shall state its reasons to the subdivider. The decision of the Board of Commissioners shall be in writing and shall be communicated to the subdivider personally, or mailed to his/her last known address, not later than fifteen days following the decision.
Before acting on the preliminary plan, the Board of Commissioners may arrange for a public hearing thereon. Adequate public notice shall be given.
Any modification of the preliminary plan required by the Board of Commissioners as a prerequisite to approval shall be noted on the preliminary plan and at least one copy of the plan.
The conditionally approved preliminary plan shall be returned to the subdivider and one copy of the plan shall be retained by the Board of Commissioners.
Conditional approval of a preliminary plan shall not constitute approval of the final plan. Rather, it shall be deemed an expression of approval of the layout submitted on the preliminary plan as a guide to the preparation of the final plan.
1244.03 APPROVAL OF FINAL PLAN
If the proposed subdivision is a major subdivision, the final plan shall conform substantially to the preliminary plan as conditionally approved, and, if desired by the subdivider, it may constitute only that portion of the approved preliminary plan which he/she proposes to record and develop at that time. The final plan shall be submitted within five years of the conditional approval of the preliminary plan by the Board of Commissioners; otherwise such conditional approval shall become null and void.
If the proposed subdivision is a minor subdivision, the subdivider shall cause to be prepared a final plan, together with improvement plans and supplementary material as specified in Section 1246.03.
The final plan and other exhibits required for approval, and at least five copies of the plan, shall be submitted to the County Planning Department for its review, which Department shall retain one copy of the final plan.
Upon completion of the County Planning Department’s review or after thirty days, whichever comes first, the final plan and other exhibits required for approval, and at least four copies of the plan, shall be submitted to the Planning Commission for review and approval at its next regular meeting.
If the Planning Commission finds that the final plan is in conformance with these Subdivision Regulations, it shall sign the plan and submit it to the Board of Commissioners.
If the Planning Commission finds that the final plan is not in conformance with these Subdivision Regulations, it shall not sign the plan and shall notify the subdivider as to the section(s) of these Subdivision Regulations that are not being complied with. The Planning Commission shall offer assistance and advice to the subdivider on how best to comply with the section(s). If, after negotiations with the subdivider, the subdivider wishes to seek a waiver from the section(s), the Planning Commission shall submit a report of its recommendation of approval or disapproval and the reasons for such recommendation to the Board of Commissioners within ten days. At its next regular meeting, the Board of Commissioners shall approve or disapprove the waiver, after consideration of the Planning Commission report, by resolution. If the waiver is approved, the Planning Commission shall sign the plan at its next regular meeting and submit it to the Board of Commissioners.
The Board of Commissioners shall take action at a regular meeting, by resolution. The decision of the Board of Commissioners shall be in writing and shall be communicated to the subdivider personally, or mailed to his/her last known address not later than fifteen days following the decision and within ninety days after the first regular meeting of the Planning Commission following the filing of the application, but not more than 120 days after the date of filing.
Before acting on the final plan, the Board of Commissioners may arrange for a public hearing thereon. Adequate public notice shall be given. If a public hearing has been held upon a preliminary plan, a public hearing shall not be required upon the final plan, unless the final plan departs substantially from the preliminary plan.
If the Board of Commissioners approves the final plan, it shall sign the final plan and the four copies. The approved final plan and three copies of the plan shall be returned to the subdivider for recording, and one copy of the approved plan shall be retained by the Board of Commissioners.
If the Board of Commissioners disapproves the final plan, it shall not sign the plan, but shall notify the subdivider as to the reasons for disapproval. The disapproved final plan and three copies of the plan shall be returned to the subdivider and one copy of the disapproved plan shall be retained by the Board of Commissioners.
No plan shall receive final plan approval by the Board of Commissioners unless the subdivider shall have filed with the Board of Commissioners a performance bond in favor of the Township or other assurance acceptable to the Board of Commissioners, or shall have completed all required improvements listed in Chapter 1250, or as the Board of Commissioners may require, in the public interest.
Upon completion of the improvements in accordance with the specifications of the Township, the subdivider shall take steps to dedicate the improvements and have the same accepted by the Board of Commissioners.
The approved final plan shall be filed with the Erie County Recorder of Deeds before proceeding with the sale of any lots or the construction of any buildings.
In accordance with Section 513 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, the approved final plan shall be presented by the subdivider for recording to the Office of the Recorder of Deeds for Erie County, Pennsylvania, within ninety days after the final approval by the Board of Commissioners, or such approval shall be considered null and void. Reapproval thereafter may be granted by the Board of Commissioners, provided that no changes have been made to the Final Plan.
Recording the final plan after approval by the Board of Commissioners shall have the effect of an irrevocable offer to dedicate all street rights of way and other public ways to public use, and to dedicate or reserve all park reservations and other public areas to public use, unless reserved by the subdivider as hereinafter provided.
The Board of Commissioners may require the subdivider to place a notation on the final plan to the effect that there is no acceptance of dedication to the public of a certain designated public area, or in unusual circumstances, a street or alley, in which event the title to such area shall remain with the owner as a lot of record and the Township shall assume no responsibility for improvement or maintenance thereof, which fact shall also be noted on the final plan.
1244.05 COMPLETION OF IMPROVEMENTS OR GUARANTEE
No plat shall be finally approved unless the streets shown have been improved to a mud-free or otherwise permanently passable condition, or improved as may be required by these Subdivision Regulations and any walkways, curbs, gutters, street lights, fire hydrants, shade trees, water mains, sanitary sewers, storm sewers and other improvements as may be required by these Subdivision Regulations have been installed in accordance with these Subdivision Regulations.
In lieu of the completion of any improvements required as a condition for the final approval of a plat, these Subdivision Regulations provide for the deposit with the Township of financial security in an amount sufficient to cover the costs of any improvements or common amenities including, but not limited to, roads, storm water detention and/or retention basins and other related drainage facilities, recreational facilities, open space improvements, or buffer or screen plantings which may be required. Without limitation as to other types of financial security which the Township may approve, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld, Federal or Commonwealth chartered lending institution irrevocable letters of credit and restrictive or escrow accounts in such lending institutions shall be deemed acceptable financial security for the purposes of this section.
Such financial security shall be posted with a bonding company or Federal or Commonwealth chartered lending institution chosen by the party posting the financial security, provided said bonding company or lending institution is authorized to conduct such business within the Commonwealth. Such bond or other security shall provide for, and secure to the public, the completion of any improvements on or before the date fixed in the formal action of approval or accompanying agreement for completion of the improvements. The amount of financial security shall be equal to 110 percent of the cost of completion, estimated as of ten days following the date scheduled for completion by the developer. Annually, the Township may adjust the amount of the financial security by comparing the actual cost of the improvements which have been completed and the estimated cost for the completion of the remaining improvements as of the expiration of the ninetieth day after either the original date scheduled for completion or a rescheduled date of completion. Subsequent to said adjustment the Township may require the developer to post additional security in order to assure that the financial security equals said 110 percent. Any additional security shall be posted by the developer in accordance with this section. The amount of financial security required shall be based upon an estimate of the cost of completion of the required improvements submitted by an applicant or developer and prepared by a professional engineer licensed as such in this Commonwealth and certified by such engineer to be a fair and reasonable estimate of such cost. The Township, upon the recommendation of the Municipal Engineer, may refuse to accept such estimate for good cause shown. If the applicant or developer and the Township are unable to agree upon an estimate, then the estimate shall be recalculated and recertified by another professional engineer licensed as such in this Commonwealth and chosen mutually by the Township and the applicant or developer. The estimate certified by the third engineer shall be presumed fair and reasonable and shall be the final estimate. In the event that a third engineer is so chosen, fees for the services of said engineer shall be paid equally by the Township and the applicant or developer. The cost of the improvements shall be established by submission to the Board of Commissioners of bona fide bid or bids from the contractor or contractors chosen by the party posting the financial security to complete the improvements or, in the absence of such bona fide bids, the cost shall be established by estimate prepared by the Municipal Engineer.
If the party posting the financial security requires more than one year from this date of positing of the financial security to complete the required improvements, the amount of financial security may be increased by an additional ten percent for each one year period beyond the first anniversary date from posting of financial security or to an amount not exceeding 110 percent of the cost of completing the required improvements as reestablished on or about the expiration of the preceding one year period by using the above bidding procedure. In the case where development is projected over a period of years, the Board of Commissioners may authorize submission of final plats by section or stages of development subject to such requirements or guarantees as to improvements in future sections or stages of development as it finds essential for the protection of any finally approved section of the development.
As the work of installing the required improvements proceeds, the party posting the financial security may request the Board of Commissioners to release or authorize the release, from time to time, such portions of the financial security necessary for payment to the contractor or contractors performing the work. Any such request shall be in writing addressed to the Board of Commissioners, and the Board of Commissioners shall have forty-five days from receipt of such request within which to allow the Municipal Engineer to certify, in writing, to the Board of Commissioners that such portion of the work upon the improvements has been completed in accordance with the approved plat. Upon such certification the Board of Commissioners shall authorize release by the bonding company or lending institution of an amount as estimated by the Municipal Engineer fairly representing the value of the improvements completed or, if the Board of Commissioners fails to act within said forty-five day period, the Board of Commissioners shall be deemed to have approved the release of funds as requested. The Board of Commissioners may, prior to final release at the time of completion and certification by its Engineer require retention of ten percent of the estimated cost of the aforesaid improvements.
Where the Board of Commissioners accepts dedication of all or some of the required improvements following completion, the Board of Commissioners may require the posting of financial security to secure the structural integrity of said improvements as well as the functioning of said improvements in accordance with the design and specifications as depicted on the final plat for a term not to exceed eighteen months from the date of acceptance and dedication. Said financial security shall be of the same type as otherwise required in this section with regard to installation of such improvements, and the amount of the financial security shall not exceed fifteen percent of the actual cost of installation of said improvements.
If water mains or sanitary sewer lines or both, along with apparatus or facilities related thereto, are to be installed under the jurisdiction and pursuant to the rules and regulations of a municipal authority separate and distinct from the Township, financial security to assure proper completion and maintenance thereof shall be posted in accordance with the regulations of the controlling municipal authority and shall not be included within the financial security as otherwise required by this section.
If financial security has been provided in lieu of the completion of improvements required as a condition for the final approval of a plat as set forth in this section, the Township shall not condition the issuance of building or other permits relating to the erection or placement of improvements, including buildings, upon the lots or land as depicted upon the final plat upon actual completion of the improvements depicted upon the approved final plat. Moreover, if said financial security has been provided, occupancy permits for any building or buildings to be erected shall not be withheld following the improvement of the streets providing access to and from existing public roads to such building or buildings to a mud-free or otherwise permanently passable condition, as well as the completion of all other improvements as depicted upon the approved plat, either upon the lot or lots or beyond the lot or lots in question if such improvements are necessary for the reasonable use of or occupancy of the building or buildings.
1244.06 RELEASE FROM IMPROVEMENT BOND
When the developer has completed all of the necessary and appropriate improvements, the developer shall notify the Municipal Engineer in writing, by certified or registered mail, of the completion of the aforesaid improvements and shall send a copy thereof to the Municipal Engineer. The Board of Commissioners shall, within ten days after receipt of such notice, direct and authorize the Municipal Engineer to inspect all of the aforesaid improvements. The Municipal Engineer shall, thereupon, file a report, in writing with the Board of Commissioners, and shall promptly mail a copy of the same to the developer by certified or registered mail. The report shall be made and mailed within thirty days after receipt by the Municipal Engineer of the aforesaid authorization from the Board of Commissioners. Such report shall be detailed and shall indicate approval or rejection of said improvements, either in whole or in part, and if said improvements, or any portion thereof, shall not be approved or shall be rejected by the Municipal Engineer, said report shall contain a statement of reasons for such nonapproval or rejection.
The Board of Commissioners shall notify the developer, in writing, by certified or registered mail, of the action taken within fifteen days of receipt of the Engineer’s report.
If the Board of Commissioners or the Municipal Engineer fails to comply with the time limitation provisions contained herein, all improvements will be deemed to have been approved and the developer shall be released from all liability, pursuant to its performance guaranty bond or other security agreement.
If any portion of the said improvements shall not be approved or shall be rejected by the Board of Commissioners, the developer shall proceed to complete the same and, upon completion, the same procedure of notification, as outlined herein, shall be followed.
1244.07 REMEDIES TO EFFECT COMPLETION OF IMPROVEMENTS
In the event that any improvements which may be required have not been installed as provided in these Subdivision Regulations, or in accord with the approved final plat, the Board of Commissioners is hereby granted the power to enforce any corporate bond or other security by appropriate legal and equitable remedies. If the proceeds of such bond or other security are insufficient to pay the cost of installing or making repairs or corrections to all the improvements covered by said security, the Board of Commissioners may, at its option, install part of such improvements in all or part of the subdivision or land development and may institute appropriate legal or equitable action to recover the moneys necessary to complete the remainder of the improvements. All of the proceeds, whether resulting from the security or from any legal or equitable action brought against the developer, or both, shall be used solely for the installation of the improvements covered by such security, and not for any other Municipal purpose.