The purpose of this chapter is to create an airport district overlay that considers safety issues around the Erie International Airport Tom Ridge Field, regulates and restricts the heights of constructed structures and objects of natural growth, creates appropriate zones, establishing the boundaries thereof and providing for changes in the restrictions and boundaries of such zones, creates the permitting process for use within said zones and provides for enforcement, assessment of violation penalties, an appeals process, and judicial review.
1279.02 RELATION TO OTHER ZONE DISTRICTS
The Airport District Overlay shall not modify the boundaries of any underlying zoning district. Where identified, the Airport District Overlay shall impose certain requirements on land use and construction in addition to those contained in the underlying zoning district.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meaning given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
(a) “Airport elevation” means the highest point of an airport’s useable landing area measured in feet above sea level. The airport elevation of the Erie International Airport Tom Ridge Field is 733 feet.
(b) “Airport hazard” means any structure or object, natural or manmade, or use of land which obstructs the airspace required for flight or aircraft in landing or taking off at an airport or is otherwise hazardous as defined in 14 CFR Part 77 and 74 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5102.
(c) “Airport hazard area” means any area of land or water upon which an airport hazard might be established if not prevented as provided for in this chapter and the Act 164 of 1984 (Pennsylvania Laws Relating to Aviation).
(d) “Approach Surface (Zone)” means an imaginary surface longitudinally centered on the extended runway centerline and extending outward and upward from each end of the primary surface. An approach surface is applied to each end of the runway based on the planned approach. The inner edge of the approach surface is the same width as the primary surface and expands uniformly depending on the planned approach. The approach surface zone, as shown on Figure 1, is derived from the approach surface.
(e) “Conical Surface (Zone)” means an imaginary surface extending outward and upward from the periphery of the horizontal surface at a slope of 20 feet horizontally to one foot vertically for a horizontal distance of 4,000 feet. The conical surface zone, as shown on Figure 1, is based on the conical surface.
(f) “Department” means the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
(g) “FAA” means the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States Department of Transportation.
(h) “Height.” For the purpose of determining the height limits in all zones set forth in this chapter and shown on the zoning map, the datum shall be mean sea level elevation unless otherwise specified.
(i) “Horizontal Surface (Zone)” means an imaginary plane 150 feet above the established airport elevation that is constructed by swinging arcs of various radii from the center of the end of the primary surface and then connecting the adjacent arc by tangent lines. The radius of each arc is based on the planned approach. The horizontal surface zone, as shown on Figure 1, is derived from the horizontal surface.
(j) “Larger than utility runway” means a runway that is constructed for and intended to be used by propeller driven aircraft of greater than 12,500 pounds maximum gross weight and jet powered aircraft.
(k) “Non-precision instrument runway” means a runway having an existing instrument approach procedure utilizing air navigation facilities with only horizontal guidance, or area type navigation equipment, for which a straight-in non-precision instrument approach procedure has been approved or planned.
(l) “Obstruction” means any structure, growth, or other object, including a mobile object, which exceeds a limiting height set forth by this chapter.
(m) “Precision instrument runway” means a runway having an existing instrument approach procedure utilizing an Instrument Landing System (ILS) or a Precisions Approach Radar (PAR). It also means a runway for which a precision approach system is planned and is so indicated on an approved airport layout plan or any other planning document.
(n) “Primary Surface (Zone)” means an imaginary surface that extends outward and upward from the edge of the primary surface to the horizontal surface at a slope of seven feet horizontally to one foot vertically (7:1). The transitional surface zone, as shown on Figure 1, is derived from the transitional surface.
(o) “Tree” means any object of natural growth.
(p) “Utility runway” means a runway that is constructed for and intended to be used by propeller driven aircraft of 12,500 pounds maximum gross weight or less.
(q) “Visual runway” means a runway intended solely for the operation of aircraft using visual approach procedures.
1279.04 ESTABLISHMENT OF AIRPORT ZONES
There are hereby created and established certain zones within the Airport District Overlay, defined in Section 1279.03 and depicted on Figure 1 and illustrated on Erie International Airport Tom Ridge Field Hazard Area map, hereby adopted as part of this chapter, which include:
(a) Approach Surface Zone
(b) Conical Surface Zone
(c) Horizontal Surface Zone
(d) Primary Surface Zone
(e) Transitional Surface Zone
1279.05 PERMIT APPLICATIONS
(a) As regulated by Act 164 and defined by 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 77.13(a) (as amended or replaced), any person who plans to erect a new structure, to add to an existing structure, or to erect and maintain any object (natural or manmade) greater than 900 feet in height, in the vicinity of the airport, shall first notify the Department’s Bureau of Aviation (BOA) by submitting PENNDOT Form AV-57 to obtain an obstruction review of the proposal at least 30 days prior to commencement thereof. The Department’s BOA response must be included with this permit application for it to be considered complete. If the Department’s BOA returns a determination of no penetration of airspace, the permit request should be considered in compliance with the intent of this chapter. If the Department’s BOA returns a determination of a penetration of airspace, the permit shall be denied, and the project sponsor may seek a variance from such regulations as outlined in Section 1279.06.
(b) No permit is required to make maintenance repairs to or to replace parts of existing structures which do not enlarge or increase the height of an existing structure.
(a) Any request for a variance shall include documentation in compliance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 7 Subpart B (FAA Form 7460-1 as amended or replaced). Determinations of whether to grant a variance will depend on the determinations made by the FAA and the Department’s BOA as to the effect of the proposal on the operation of air navigation facilities and the safe, efficient use of navigable air space. In particular, the request for a variance shall consider which of the following categories the FAA has placed the proposed construction in:
(1) No objection. The subject construction is determined not to exceed obstruction standards and marking/lighting is not required to mitigate potential hazard. Under this determination, a variance shall be granted.
(2) Conditional Determination. The proposed construction/alteration is determined to create some level of encroachment into an airport hazard area which can be effectively mitigated. Under this determination, a variance shall be granted contingent upon implementation of mitigating measures as described in Section 1279.09 – Obstruction Marking and Lighting.
(3) Objectionable. The proposed construction/alteration is determined to be a hazard and is thus objectionable. A variance shall be denied and the reasons for this determination shall be outlined to the applicant.
(b) Such requests for variances shall be granted where it is duly found that a literal application or enforcement of the regulations will result in unnecessary hardship and that relief granted will not be contrary to the public interest, will not create a hazard to air navigations, will do substantial justice, and will be in accordance with the intent of this chapter.
1279.07 USE RESTRICTIONS
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, no use shall be made of land or water within the Airport District Overlay in such a manner as to create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communications between the airport and aircraft, make it difficult for pilots to distinguish between airport lights and others, impair visibility in the vicinity of the airport, create bird strike hazards or otherwise endanger or interfere with the landing, takeoff, or maneuvering of aircraft utilizing the Erie International Airport Tom Ridge Field.
1279.08 PRE-EXISTING NON-CONFORMING USES
The regulations prescribed by this chapter shall not be construed to require the removal, lowering, or other change or alteration of any structure or tree not conforming to the regulations as of the effective date of this chapter, or otherwise interfere with the continuance of a non-conforming use. No non-conforming use shall be structurally altered or permitted to grow higher, so as to increase the non-conformity, and a non-conforming use, once substantially abated (subject to the underlying zoning ordinance), may only be reestablished consistent with the provisions herein.
1279.09 OBSTRUCTION MARKING AND LIGHTING
Any permit or variance granted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may be conditioned according to the process described in Section 1279.06 to require the owner of the structure or object of natural growth in question to permit the municipality, at its own expense, or require the person requesting the permit or variance, to install, operate, and maintain such marking or lighting as deemed necessary to assure both ground and air safety.
Subject to the process in the underlying Zoning Ordinance.
1279.11 CONFLICTING REGULATIONS
Where there exists a conflict between any of the regulations or limitations prescribed in this chapter and any other regulation applicable to the same area, the more stringent limitation or requirement shall govern and prevail.
If any of the provisions of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance are held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end, the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable.
1279.13 VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
Subject to that in the underlying Zoning Ordinance.