1240.01   SHORT TITLE

This Title Four of Part Twelve, the Planning and Zoning Code, shall be known and may be cited as the “Lawrence Park Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance” and shall be referred to herein as “these Subdivision Regulations” or just “these Regulations.”

1240.02   PURPOSES

These Subdivision Regulations are adopted for the following purposes:

(a)        To assist the orderly and efficient development of Lawrence Park Township.

(b)       To promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of Lawrence Park Township.

(c)        To secure equitable handling of all subdivision plans by providing uniform procedures and standards.

(d)       To implement the Lawrence Park Township Comprehensive Plan Update.


No subdivision or land development or any lot, tract, or parcel of land shall be effected, and no street, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water main or other facilities in connection therewith shall be laid out, constructed, opened or dedicated for public use and travel, or for the common use of occupants of buildings abutting thereon, except in accordance with the provisions of these Subdivision Regulations.  No lot in a subdivision may be sold, and no permit to erect, alter or repair any building in a subdivision may be issued, unless and until a plan of such subdivision shall have been approved and properly recorded, and until the improvements required by the Board of Commissioners in connection therewith shall have either been constructed or guaranteed as herein provided.


Where, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of these Subdivision Regulations would result in unnecessary hardship, the Board of Commissioners may make such reasonable exceptions thereto as will not be contrary to the public interest, and may permit the sale of a lot, issuance of a permit or erection of a building subject to conditions necessary to assure adequate streets and other public improvements.

1240.05   AMENDMENTS

These Subdivision Regulations may be amended, altered, or revised by the Board of Commissioners from time to time after a public hearing is held pursuant to public notice.  In case of an amendment other than that prepared by the Planning Committee, the Board of Commissioners shall submit each such amendment to the Planning Committee and the County Department of Planning for recommendation, at least thirty days prior to date of the public hearing.


Whenever there is a difference between the minimum standards or dimensions specified herein and those contained in other regulations, resolutions or ordinances of Lawrence Park Township, the highest standards shall govern.


Should any provision of these Subdivision Regulations be declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of these Subdivision Regulations as a whole or of any other provision hereof.


Plans of subdivisions shall be submitted for review by the County Planning Department.  Before the approval of a plan by Lawrence Park Township, the Township shall submit the plan and one copy of the plan to the County Planning Department for review, comments, and recommendations.  Pending the receipt and consideration of such comments and recommendations, the Township shall defer action thereon, but if such report is not received by the Township within thirty days from the submission of the plan to the County Planning Department, or within such further time as may be agreed upon by the Board of Commissioners, the Township may proceed to final action thereon.


Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall, for the purpose of these Subdivision Regulations, have the meaning indicated.

(1)        Words in the singular include the plural, and words in the plural include the singular.  The word “person” includes a corporation, unincorporated association and a partnership, as well as an individual.  The word “building” includes the word “structure” and shall be construed as if followed by the words “or part thereof.”  The word “street” includes the words “road,” “highway” and “land.”  The word “watercourse” includes the words “drain,” “ditch” and “stream.”  The words “shall” and “will” are mandatory; the words “may” and “should” are permissive.

(2)        “Applicant” means a landowner or developer, as hereinafter defined, who has filed an application for development, including his/her heirs, successors, and assigns.

(3)        “Application for development” means every application, whether preliminary or final, required to be filed and approved prior to the start of construction or development, including, but not limited to, an application for a building permit, for the approval of a subdivision plat or plan or for the approval of a land development plan.

(4)        “Block” means an area bounded by streets.

(5)        “Board of Commissioners” means the duly elected governing body of Lawrence Park Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania.

(6)        “Building (setback) line” means an imaginary line fixed by the required yard depth, measured from the property line to the nearest point that a building may be constructed to the front, side, and rear yards.

(7)        “Clear sight triangle” means an area of unobstructed vision at street intersections, defined by lines of sight between points at a given distance from the intersection of street lines and the sight lines.

(8)        “Common open space” means a parcel or parcels of land or an area of water, or a combination of land and water within a development site, and designed and intended for the use or enjoyment of residents of a planned residential development, not including streets, off-street parking areas and areas set aside for public facilities.

(9)        “County Planning Department” means the Erie County Department of Planning, Erie County, Pennsylvania.

(10)      “Development plan” means the provisions for development of a planned residential development, including a plat of subdivision, all covenants relating to use, location and bulk of buildings and other structures, intensity of use or density of development, streets, ways and parking facilities, common open space and public facilities.  The phrase “provisions of the development plan” shall mean the written and graphic materials referred to in this definition.

(11)      “Developer” means any landowner, agent of such landowner or tenant with the permission of such landowner, who makes or causes to be made a subdivision of land or a land development.

(12)      “Easement” means a right granted to use certain private land for a utility or physical access, which is not inconsistent with the general property rights of the owner.

(13)      “Engineer” means a professional engineer licensed as such in Pennsylvania, duly appointed as the Municipal Engineer of Lawrence Park Township.

(14)      “Improvements” means those physical additions and changes to the land that may be necessary to produce usable and desirable lots.  (Grading, water mains, sanitary sewers, storm sewers and drains, street shade trees, street signs and monuments, street paving and lights, and curbs and sidewalks).

(15)      “Land development” means:

(A)       The improvement of one lot or two or more contiguous lots, tracts, or parcels of land for any purpose involving:

(1)        A group of two or more buildings; or

(2)        The division or allocation of land or space between or among two or more existing or prospective occupants by means of, or for the purpose of streets, common areas, leaseholds, condominiums, building groups, or other features; or

(B)       A subdivision of land.

(16)      “Landowner” means the legal or beneficial owner or owners of land, including the holder of an option or contract to purchase (whether or not such option or contract is subject to any condition), a lessee, if he or she is authorized under the lease to exercise the rights of the landowner, or other persons having a proprietary interest in land.

(17)      “Lot” means a parcel of land occupied or capable of being occupied by one or more structures or dwelling units in a structure, provided the requirements of these Subdivision Regulations are met.

(18)      “Lot, double frontage” means a lot having at least two sides fronting on separate streets which do not intersect while adjoining the lot.

(19)      “Lot, minimum area of” means the area of a lot computed exclusive of any portion of the right of way of any public thoroughfare.

(20)      “Master plan” means the Lawrence Park Township Comprehensive Plan Update, which is the comprehensive general plan, or any of its parts, for the future growth, protection and development of Lawrence Park Township.

(21)      “Pennsylvania Planning Code” means the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, being Act 247 of July 31, 1968, and amendments to same as may be adopted from time to time.

(22)      “Plan, sketch” means a free-hand sketch showing the contemplated development of the subdivision and its relationship to adjacent land.

(23)      “Plan, preliminary subdivision” means a tentative subdivision plan showing existing features of land and proposed street and lot layout within and adjacent to a subdivision as required in Chapter 1246.

(24)      “Plan, final subdivision” means a complete and exact subdivision plan prepared for official recording as required by Chapter 1246.

(25)      “Planned residential development” means an area of land, controlled by a landowner, to be developed as a single entity for a number of dwelling units, the development plan for which does not correspond in lot size, bulk or type of dwelling, density, lot coverage and required open space to the regulations established in any one residential district created, from time to time, under the provisions of the Zoning Code.

(26)      “Planning Committee” means the duly appointed Planning Committee of Lawrence Park Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania.

(27)      “Plat” means the map or plan of a subdivision or land development, whether preliminary or final.

(28)      “Public notice” means the notice published once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper or general circulation in the Municipality.  Such notice shall state the time and place of the hearing and the particular nature of the matter to be considered at the hearing.  The first publication shall be not more than thirty days or less than fourteen days from the date of the hearing.

(29)      “Right of way” means land dedicated for use as a public street, alley, or crosswalk, which may also be used by sewer, water, storm sewer, electric, gas, telephone, and cable systems.

(30)      “Solicitor” means a professional attorney licensed as such in Pennsylvania, duly appointed as the Municipal Solicitor of Lawrence Park Township.

(31)      “Street” means a general term used to describe a right of way, Municipally or privately owned, serving as a means of vehicular and pedestrian movement and access to adjacent properties, furnishing space for sewers, public utilities and shade trees.  The streets are classified by function as follows:

(A)       Local Street.  A street used as the principal means of access to adjacent properties serving only a comparatively small number of dwellings.

(B)       Collector Street.  A street or road connecting local streets to each other, to community facilities and to primary or major thoroughfares, serving only the neighborhood traffic.

(C)       Primary or Major Thoroughfares.  A street connecting district centers, servicing large volumes of through, fast traffic, preferably located outside or bounding the residential neighborhoods.

(D)       Others.

(1)        Alley (or Service Drive).  A strip of land over which there is a right of way, Municipally or privately owned, serving as a secondary means of access to two or more properties.

(2)        Cul-de-Sac.  A residential street with one end open for public vehicles and pedestrian access and the other end terminating in a vehicular turnaround.

(3)        Crosswalk.  A right of way which cuts across a block to furnish access for pedestrians to adjacent streets or properties.

(4)        Marginal Access Street.  A street parallel and adjacent to primary or major thoroughfares providing access to abutting properties and control of intersections with major thoroughfares.

(32)      “Structure” means any man-made object having an ascertainable stationary location on or in land or water, whether or not affixed to the land.

(33)      “Subdivider” means a person who is the registered owner, or authorized agent of the registered owner, or land to be subdivided.

(34)      “Subdivision” means the division or redivision of a lot, tract, or parcel of land by any means into two or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land, including changes in existing lot lines for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of lease, transfer of ownership or building or lot development; provided, however, that the subdivision by lease of land for agricultural purposes into parcels of more than ten acres, not involving any new street or easement of access or residential dwellings shall be exempted.  The term “subdivision” includes any development of a parcel of land, for example, as a shopping center, an industrial park or a planned residential development, which involves installation of streets and/or alleys, even thought the streets and alleys may not be dedicated immediately to public use and the parcel may not be divided immediately for purposes of conveyance, transfer, or sale.

(35)      “Subdivision, major” means a subdivision containing more than five lots, requiring the submission by the subdivider and approval by the Board of Commissioners (either conditional or final) of preliminary and final subdivision plans, and any subdivision involving a new street, alley or crosswalk right of way or a new easement.

(36)      “Subdivision, minor” means a subdivision containing five lots or less, served by an existing public street, wherein the Board of Commissioners may waive the requirements of submitting a preliminary subdivision plan provided the final subdivision plan meets all the requirements of these Subdivision Regulations.

(37)      “Subdivision Regulations” means Ordinance 295-84, passed September 25, 1984, as amended, codified herein as Title Four of Part Twelve – The Planning and Zoning Code.

(38)      “Substantially completed” means, the completion, in the judgment of the Engineer, in accordance with the approved plan, of at least ninety percent (based on the cost of the required improvements for which financial security was posted) of those improvements required as a condition for final approval, so that the project will be able to be used, occupied or operated for its intended use.

(39)      “Township” means Lawrence Park Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania.