Welcome


Law should be interactive.

Rabbit Crowd Library is an experiment in enabling people to interact with the law directly without bias.

Give law accountability. Use - , and to comment and respond to text you agree and disagree with.

2
1
0
§ 14-704. Open Space And Natural Resources.

The open space and natural resource standards of this section are intended to promote safe and compatible development throughout the City of Philadelphia that avoids adverse impacts and degradation of the environment through open space preservation, protection of steep slopes, erosion control, and water quality protection.

(a) Applicability.

(.1) These steep slope protection standards shall apply in all zoning districts to slopes of 15% or greater on any lot or portion(s) thereof located within the "Steep Slope Protection Area", as shown on the City of Philadelphia Steep Slopes Map maintained by the Commission. The steep slopes map shown below is for illustrative purposes only and is not to be used for detailed planning of proposed development.

(.2) When an application for a permit or approval under this Zoning Code includes any land that is located within the "Steep Slope Protection Area" of the City of Philadelphia Steep Slopes Map, the City may require that the applicant submit a topographic survey confirming the locations of slopes of 15% or greater.

{For printable PDF version of image, click HERE}

{For printable PDF version of image, click HERE}

{For printable PDF version of image, click HERE}

(b) Restrictions on Disturbance.

(.1) On those portions of the lot where the slope of the land is more than 15% and less than 25%, site clearing or earth moving activities shall be permitted only in conformance with an earth moving plan described in § 14-704(2)(c) below. No earth moving plan shall be required if (a) the lot contains no more than one-half acre of gross land area, or (b) the proposed earth moving will affect 500 sq. ft. of land or less and the proposed activity will increase impervious surface on the lot by no more than 500 sq. ft.

(.2) On those portions of the lot where the slope of land is 25% or greater, no site clearing or earth moving activity is permitted.

(c) Earth Moving Plans.

Where an earth moving plan is required pursuant to § 14-704(2)(b) above, that plan must be prepared by a licensed professional engineer in accordance with regulations approved by the Commission and must set forth the measures by which erosion and sedimentation are to be controlled during the earth moving and construction process. Such plans shall be filed with and approved by the Commission before L&I may issue a zoning permit. A professionally-sealed earth moving plan must be maintained on site for the duration of earth moving and construction, and must be available for inspection by the City during normal business hours.

(a) Applicability and Exceptions.

(.1) These standards apply in all zoning districts to earth disturbances that create a significant risk of water pollution from stormwater runoff, erosion, or sedimentation. The Water Department shall establish, by regulation, the threshold of earth disturbance that constitutes a sufficient risk of water pollution requiring Water Department review.

(.2) The standards of this section do not apply to development activities on individual lots that are part of a larger subdivision that has a stormwater management system previously approved by the Water Department, provided that the construction conforms to all of the requirements of the approved system.

(.3) In addition, any development located in the /WWO Overlay district described in § 14-510 must comply with the stormwater management provisions of that overlay district.

(b) Permit Required.

(.1) No zoning or building permits shall be issued unless the Water Department confirms that the proposed activity and related stormwater management plan complies with the regulations of the Water Department designed to reduce the risk of water pollution.

(.2) The proposed stormwater management plan will be deemed to comply if the Water Department fails to approve or disapprove the plan within 45 days after it receives a copy of the application.

(c) Stormwater Management Plan.

A stormwater management plan submitted with a permit application shall comply with the regulations of the Water Department.

(a) Applicability.

These special restrictions and regulations shall apply to the Special Flood Hazard Areas along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, Poquessing Creek, Byberry Creek, Walton Run, Pennypack Creek, Wooden Bridge Run, Tacony-Frankford Creek, Wissahickon Creek, Darby Creek, Cobbs Creek, and Indian Creek, more fully defined by the Flood Insurance Study and Flood Insurance Rate Maps of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Commission shall make the maps available for public inspection upon request.

(b) Disclaimer of Liability.

The degree of flood protection sought by the provisions of this Zoning Code is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on accepted engineering methods of study. Larger floods may occur or flood heights may be increased by man-made or natural causes, such as bridge and sewer openings restricted by debris. This Zoning Code does not imply that areas outside any identified floodplain areas, or that land uses permitted within such areas will be free from flooding or flood damages.

(c) Special Regulations.

The following special regulations are imposed to regulate setbacks, construction, and earth-moving activity along watercourses subject to flooding. These regulations are in addition to the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The Commission may authorize such waivers or partial waivers from the terms of this section as will not be contrary to the public interest if the applicant provides to the Commission a National Flood Insurance Program Elevation Certificate prepared by a licensed land surveyor, professional engineer, or architect authorized by law to certify that the proposed development is not within the floodway or the Special Flood Hazard Area.

(.1) Within the Floodway.

(.a) No encroachment (including fill, new construction, or any development) is permitted; except that docks, public utilities, trails, roadways, and bridges are permitted as long as they cause no increase in the Base Flood Elevation.

(.b) Public utility companies shall not place mobile homes or offices within the floodway.

(.c) Construction or substantial improvement of any structure used for the following is prohibited:

(.i) the production or storage of: acetone; ammonia; benzene; calcium carbide; carbon disulfide; celluloid; chlorine; hydrochloric acid; hydrocyanic acid; magnesium; nitric acid and oxides of nitrogen; petroleum products (gasoline, fuel oil, and the like); phosphorus; potassium; sodium; sulphur and sulphur products; pesticides (including insecticides, fungicides, and rodenticides);

(.ii) any activity requiring the maintenance of a supply of any of the materials listed in § 14-704(4)(c)(.1)(.c)(.i) in excess of 550 gallons or an equivalent volume; or

(.iii) any purpose involving the production, storage, or use of any amount of radioactive substance.

(.2) Within the Special Flood Hazard Area.

(.a) For residential structures, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor elevation (including basement or cellar) elevated up to, or above, the regulatory flood elevation.

(.b) For non-residential structures, any new construction or substantial improvement shall have the lowest floor elevation (including basement or cellar) elevated up to, or above, the regulatory flood elevation of 18 inches above the Base Flood Elevation, or be designed and constructed so that the space enclosed below the regulatory flood elevation:

(.i) Is floodproofed so that the structure is watertight with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water;

(.ii) Has structural components with the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy; and

(.iii) All buildings and structures shall be firmly anchored in accordance with accepted engineering practices to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement. Additionally, all air ducts, air conditioning systems, utilities, large pipes, storage tanks, and other similar objects or components located below the regulatory flood elevation shall be raised to the Regulatory Flood Elevation and shall be securely anchored or affixed to prevent flotation.

(.c) Fully enclosed space that is below the lowest floor of the building and that is used solely for the parking of a vehicle, building access, or incidental storage shall be designed and constructed to allow for the automatic entry and exit of flood waters for the purpose of equalizing hydrostatic forces on exterior walls. The term "fully enclosed space" shall include crawl spaces. For these spaces, a minimum of two openings having a total area of not less than one square inch for every square foot of enclosed space shall be included and shall be no higher than one foot above grade to provide that they permit the automatic entry and exit of flood waters.

{For printable PDF version of image, click HERE}

(.d) If fill is used to raise the elevation of the site for residential construction, the fill area shall extend out laterally at a maximum slope of 1% for the minimum required rear yard dimension but in no case less than 15 ft. beyond the proposed structure. The grade from the edge of the rear yard to the floodway line shall not exceed 20% unless a retaining wall is constructed.

(.e) Construction or substantial improvement of any structure used for the following is prohibited unless it is elevated or floodproofed to remain completely dry to the Regulatory Flood Elevation:

(.i) the production or storage of: acetone; ammonia; benzene; calcium carbide; carbon disulfide; celluloid; chlorine; hydrochloric acid; hydrocyanic acid; magnesium; nitric acid and oxides of nitrogen; petroleum products (gasoline, fuel oil, and the like); phosphorus; potassium; sodium; sulphur and sulphur products; pesticides (including insecticides, fungicides, and rodenticides);

(.ii) any activity requiring the maintenance of a supply of any of the materials listed in § 14-704(4)(c)(.2)(.e)(.i) in excess of 550 gallons or an equivalent volume; or

(.iii) any purpose involving the production, storage, or use of any amount of radioactive substance.

(.f) The following uses are prohibited within a Special Flood Hazard Area:

(.i) Hospitals.

(.ii) Group Living uses housing elderly or disabled persons or persons with limited mobility.

(.iii) Detention or correctional facilities.

(.iv) A new manufactured home park or manufactured home subdivision, or substantial improvement to an existing manufactured home park or manufactured home subdivision.

(.3) Within the Special Flood Hazard Area, Approximate Zone A.

(.a) Within the Approximate Zone A, development shall be permitted on the same conditions applicable to the Special Flood Hazard Area in subsection (.2) above, except as noted in this subsection (.3).

(.b) For Approximate Zone A areas, elevation and floodway information from other Federal, State, or other acceptable sources shall be used when available. Where other acceptable information is not available, the base flood elevation shall be determined by using the elevation of a point on the boundary of the identified floodplain area which is nearest the construction site. In lieu of the above, the Commission may require the applicant to determine the elevation with hydrologic and hydraulic engineering techniques. Hydrologic and hydraulic analyses shall be undertaken only by professional engineers or others of demonstrated qualifications, who shall certify that the technical methods used correctly reflect currently accepted technical concepts. Studies, analyses, computations, etc., shall be submitted in sufficient detail to allow a thorough technical review by the Commission.

(.4) Special Requirements for Manufactured Homes.

Manufactured homes are prohibited in identified floodplain areas.

(d) Designation of the Floodplain Administrator.

The Commissioner of Licenses and Inspections is hereby appointed to administer and enforce this § 14-704(4) and is referred to herein as the Floodplain Administrator. The Floodplain Administrator may: (a) fulfill the duties and responsibilities set forth in these regulations, (b) delegate duties and responsibilities set forth in these regulations to qualified technical personnel, plan examiners, inspectors, and other employees, or (c) enter into a written agreement or written contract with another agency or private sector entity to administer specific provisions of these regulations. Administration of any part of these regulations by another entity shall not relieve the City of Philadelphia of its responsibilities pursuant to the participation requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations at 44 C.F.R. § 59.22.

(e) Identification of Area.

Base elevation and floodway information shall be identified from the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), except as follows:

(.1) For AE zones where no floodway has been identified in the FIS, floodway information from other Federal, State or other acceptable sources shall be used when available.

(.2) For Approximate A zones, elevation and floodway information from other Federal, State or other acceptable sources shall be used when available. Where other acceptable information is not available, the base flood elevation shall be determined by using the elevation of a point on the boundary of the identified floodplain area which is nearest the construction site.

(f) Changes in Identification of Area.

The identified floodplain area may be revised or modified by the Floodplain Administrator where studies or information prepared by a qualified agency or person and provided by an applicant documents the need for such revision. However, prior to any such change to the Special Flood Hazard Area, approval must be obtained from FEMA. Additionally, as soon as practicable, but not later than six months after the date such information becomes available, the applicant shall notify the Floodplain Administrator and FEMA of the changes to the Special Flood Hazard Area by submitting technical or scientific data.

(g) Alteration or Relocation of a Watercourse.

Prior to altering, relocating, or encroaching into a watercourse, all applicants shall obtain a permit for such action from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Southeast Regional Office, shall notify by certified mail all adjacent municipalities which may be affected by such action, and shall submit copies of such notification to FEMA and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

(h) No permit for construction within the Special Flood Hazard Area shall be issued unless the applicant has provided written confirmation that all other necessary government permits required by state and federal laws have been obtained, including but not limited to those required by the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act 1966-537, as amended); the Pennsylvania Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (Act 1978-325, as amended); the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Act (Act 1937-394, as amended); and the U.S. Clean Water Act, Section 404, 33 U.S.C. § 1344.

(a) Applicability.

The waterfront setback requirement shall apply to all lots sharing a boundary with any watercourse designated for protection, on the Hydrology Maps established by the Water Department and approved by the Ordinance amending this subsection (5)(a), for purposes that may include, but are not limited to, restoring and maintaining the City's water resources, restoring and maintaining drinking water sources; restoring and maintaining the base flow of streams; reducing and controlling erosion and sedimentation; reducing and controlling storm water runoff; stabilizing stream banks; and restoring and maintaining riparian habitats.

(b) General Standards.

(.1) All development shall provide a waterfront setback at least 50 ft. wide measured perpendicular to and horizontally from the top-of-bank for all watercourses identified on the Hydrology Maps established by the Water Department and approved by ordinance pursuant to § 14-704(5)(a).

{For printable PDF version of image, click HERE}

(.2) The following activities and uses are prohibited within the waterfront setback:

(.a) Permanent or temporary structures, except for docks, piers, and structures accessory to public parks and open space.

(.b) Outdoor storage of materials.

(.c) Roads and driveways.

(.d) Parking lots.

(.e) Any other directly connected impervious surface (see § 14-203(95) (Directly Connected Impervious Surface), except for recreational trails, which must conform to any design regulations adopted by the Commission.

(.3) Portions of the lot within the waterfront setback area may be counted towards any required open space on the lot.

(.4) Plantings within the waterfront setback may count toward the minimum landscape requirements required by § 14-705 (Landscape and Trees). Any new landscape within the waterfront setback shall use the plantings included on the native and non-invasive planting list in the Philadelphia Stormwater Management Guidance Manual.

(.5) Stormwater management functions, approved by the Water Department, are permitted in the waterfront setback.

(c) Special Controls for the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers.

(.1) Additional Permitted Uses.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b)(.2), above, the following additional activities and uses shall be permitted within the waterfront setbacks along the Delaware River and Schuylkill River provided they are permitted by the underlying zoning:

(.a) Marine-Related Industrial;

(.b) Marinas;

(.c) Airport Related Facilities;

(.d) Basic and Major Utilities and Services;

(.e) City-owned facilities of any type.

(d) Transition.

Permits and approvals that are valid on the date this subsection becomes effective shall remain valid until their expiration date. Projects with valid approvals or permits may be carried out in accordance with the development standards in effect at the time of approval, provided that the permit or approval is valid and has not lapsed. No provision of this subsection shall require any change in the plans, construction, or designated use of any structure for which a building permit has been issued prior to the effective date of this subsection. Any re-application for an expired permit or approval, including special exception and regulated use approvals, shall meet the standards in effect at the time of re-application.

Share this law:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Reddit
Keywords
flood
water
area
plan
regulations
elevation
permit
man
applicant
earth