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§ 14-404. Sp-Ins, Institutional (Special Purpose) District.

The SP-INS, Institutional (Special Purpose) district is intended to encourage the development of institutional uses, commercially-related facilities to service the institutional complex and area, and certain other nonresidential uses in accordance with an approved master plan, subject to certain limitations on the type of use and certain requirements for total area, gross floor area, percentage of land coverage, setbacks, off-street parking, off-street loading spaces, and signs.

Uses are allowed in SP-INS districts in accordance with Table 14-602-4. Multiple principal uses and principal structures are allowed on a single lot in the SP-INS district.

(a) District Area and Boundaries.

An SP-INS district must contain at least five acres of contiguous land area.

(b) Gross Floor Area.

The gross floor area of all buildings may not exceed 400% of the total area of the SP-INS district, exclusive of streets.

(c) Occupied Area.

Not more than 70% of the SP-INS district area, exclusive of streets, may be occupied by buildings.

(d) Yards.

(.1) No front, side, or rear yards are required in this district, except as provided in § 14-404(3)(d)(.2), below.

(.2) If an SP-INS-zoned lot is adjacent to a lot in a Residential district, the minimum required front setback for a building or portion of a building located on the SP-INS lot shall be the minimum front setback required in the most restrictive adjacent Residential district, except in the area bounded by Belmont Avenue, Monument Avenue, Ford Road and Edgley Avenue (extended).

(a) There are no height or massing regulations in this district, except as provided in § 14-404(4)(b) below.

(b) If an SP-INS-zoned lot is adjacent to a lot in a Residential district, the maximum permitted building height for a portion of a building in the SP-INS district located within 50 ft. of that residential lot line shall be 20 ft. greater than the maximum permitted building height in the most restrictive Residential district adjacent to that portion of the lot.

(a) At least one off-street parking space must be provided for each 4,000 sq. ft. of cumulative gross floor area of buildings in the district.

(b) In SP-INS districts with a total contiguous land area of less than 40 acres, required off-street parking areas must be located within 1,000 ft. of the building or buildings that they are proposed to serve. In SP-INS districts with a total contiguous land area of 40 acres or more, required off-street parking areas must be located within 2,000 ft. of the building or buildings that they are proposed to serve.

Off-street loading must be provided, in accordance with the commercial district loading requirements of § 14-806 (Off-Street Loading), for the cumulative gross floor area of the buildings within the SP-INS district area established after March 1, 1978.

(a) Accessory signs in the SP-INS district shall comply with this § 14-404(7) and applicable provisions of Chapter 14-900 (Signs).

(b) Signs accessory to office, retail sales, or commercial services uses in the SP-INS district shall comply with the CMX-2 sign controls set forth in § 14-904(2) (Controls Applicable to Specific Zoning Districts ).

(c) Signs accessory to uses other than office, retail sales, and commercial services shall be permitted in accordance with the following limitations and conditions:

(.1) Only wall, marquee, and freestanding signs are permitted. Signs shall not extend over a public right-of-way.

(.2) Sign area of any sign shall not exceed 64 sq. ft.

(.3) Non-commercial directional signs for pedestrians or automobiles shall be exempt from subsections (.1) and (.2), above, provided each individual sign does not exceed a maximum sign area of 25 sq. ft. and does not exceed a maximum height of six ft. Logos are permitted on directional signs, provided they do not exceed 10% of the total sign area. Static illumination shall be permitted. Animated illumination and digital displays shall be prohibited.

Fences are permitted in this district in accordance with the following limitations and conditions:

(a) If an SP-INS zoned lot is not adjacent to a lot in a Residential district, fences may not exceed six ft. in height, except that fences surrounding athletic fields may be up to 15 ft. in height.

(b) If an SP-INS-zoned lot is adjacent to a lot in a Residential district, fences may not exceed a height equal to 125% of the maximum fence height permitted by the most restrictive adjacent Residential district.

(c) Any portion of a retaining wall that exists above the higher level grade shall comply with the requirements for fences. Where a fence is located on top of a retaining wall, the combined height of the retaining wall that exists above the higher level grade and fence shall not exceed the maximum height permitted for a fence. This paragraph shall not apply to any retaining wall required to meet alternative standards by any provision of The Philadelphia Code, any provision of state or federal law, or any regulations adopted to implement the code or those laws.

Applications within the SP-INS district may propose development that crosses over lot lines between individual abutting lots and without regard to individual lot setbacks, provided that (a) all of the lots on which the development is to occur are in common ownership, and (b) the proposed development is consistent with the approved master plan for the district.

The following additional regulations are applicable to SP-INS-zoned lots located adjacent to an RSD-1 zoning district and with street frontage on Germantown Avenue between Northwestern Avenue and Bells Mills Road. When the regulations of this § 14-404(10) (Regulations Applicable to Germantown Avenue) conflict with any other subsection of § 14-404 (SP-INS, Institutional (Special Purpose) District) or § 14-510 (Wissahickon Watershed Overlay District), the requirements of this § 14-404(10) (Regulations Applicable to Germantown Avenue) shall control.

(a) The following uses shall be prohibited:

(.1) Pool or billiards rooms;

(.2) Bowling alleys;

(.3) Fraternity and sorority houses;

(.4) Hospitals;

(.5) Post offices;

(.6) Repair of household appliances and fixtures;

(.7) Personal vehicle sales and rentals;

(.8) Retail sales of department store merchandise, electric appliances and fixtures, floor coverings, furniture, household appliances, meat, packaged paints, seafood, or variety store merchandise;

(.9) Animal services; and

(.10) Basic utilities and services, limited to telephone exchange buildings.

(b) The minimum area of the SP-INS district shall be 30 acres of contiguous land area.

(c) Solely within the buildable area of the approved Master Plan and the internal road system, construction and earth moving activity on previously disturbed slopes in excess of 25% may be permitted when such construction is in accordance with applicable regulations of and plans approved by the Water Department, the Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and any other agencies having jurisdiction.

(d) Portions of the SP-INS district located on the north side of Germantown Avenue between Northwestern Avenue and Hillcrest Avenue shall comply with the following:

(.1) The gross floor area of all buildings shall not exceed 48.5% of the total area of the SP-INS district nor 925,000 sq. ft., exclusive of streets.

(.2) Solely within the buildable area of the approved Master Plan and the internal road system, new impervious ground cover may be constructed as part of the relocation and widening of existing internal roads when the internal road improvements result in a net decrease in impervious surface within the floodplain and floodway and when such construction is in accordance with applicable regulations of and plans approved by the Water Department, the Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and any other agencies having jurisdiction.

(e) Portions of the SP-INS district located on the south side of Germantown Avenue between Northwestern Avenue and Bells Mills Road shall comply with the following:

(.1) The gross floor area of all buildings shall not exceed 38% of the total area of the SP-INS district nor 500,000 sq. ft., exclusive of streets.

(.2) Solely within the buildable area of the approved Master Plan and the internal road system, ground coverage may not exceed 20% in Category 1 areas of the /WWO Wissahickon Watershed overlay district when accompanied by mitigation measures such as green roofs, stormwater cisterns and bioswales, or other engineering countermeasures which reduce the volume and rate of stormwater runoff to the Wissahickon Creek in accordance with applicable regulations of and plans approved by the Water Department, the Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and any other agencies having jurisdiction.

(f) The exceptions authorized by the provisions of § 14-404(10)(c), § 14-404(10)(d)(.2), and § 14-404(10)(e)(.2), above shall be applicable only to those improvements authorized through the enactment of SP-INS district rezoning legislation and the accompanying approved Master Plan for the Chestnut Hill College campuses and which are consistent with the allowances provided in § 14-404(10)(d)(.1) and § 14-404(10)(e)(.1), above.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of § 14-404(10)(c), § 14-404(10)(d)(.2), and § 14-404(10)(e)(.2), above, all rights of appeal under § 14-303(15)(a) (Appeals to Zoning Board of Adjustment) from any decision of L&I, including, without limitation the issuance of any zoning permit under § 14-303(6) (Zoning Permits), shall be preserved.

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