Public has a chance to comment on zoning change that would sharply increase development

Hearing on Feb. 4 in Milford Township: Legend Properties Inc. says central sewage should permit greater density

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— The Milford Township supervisors will hold a public hearing on Monday to adopt a zoning amendment that will greatly increase the density of development allowed in the township.

A change to the proposed amendment, which deals with parcel size, density, and design criteria, was requested by a developer, Legend Properties Inc. of Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Legend wants to develop a 20-acre parcel on Routes 6 & 209, adjacent to Milford Borough, more intensively than is allowed by current zoning. The zoning change will apply to all future development in the township, not just the Legend site.

Township Supervisor Gary Williams said Legend has a draft site plan that hasn't yet been presented to the board. Milford needs to get its zoning change passed first, he said.

Legend describes itself as "a market share leader in commercial real estate brokerage in the Philadelphia Metropolitan area" that "represents over 20 retail and restaurant chains, providing expert site location services to them."

Current zoning includes a formula to determine parcel size and density. First it subtracts public rights-of-way and easements, water bodies and wetlands, quarries and steep slopes from the total acreage. The remaining acres are then divided by 30,000 square feet per dwelling unit.

The proposed amendment would reduce the divisor number considerably, to 3,000 square feet per unit, if:

The residential units will be connected to a public central sewage system;

The site totals 20 acres or more;

At least two parking spaces are provided for each unit.

The developer's proposal, which was rejected, would have reduced the divisor number to 2,500 square feet per unit under those same conditions.

Multi-family buildingsCurrent zoning limits multi-family buildings to ten residential units. The developer wants to increase the maximum to 36 — if, again, they are to be connected to a central sewage system.

The proposed amendment includes the 36-unit maximum if three criteria are met:

A central sewage connection;

A minimum 20-acre lot size;

A minimum of two parking spaces provided per unit.

Public participation urgedThe hearing will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4, at the Milford Township Building, 560 Routes 6 & 209, Milford. Kevin Stroyan, Ray Willis, Steve Davis, and Steve Owens of the township planning commission urge the public to attend the hearing because the proposed ordinance represents a fundamental change in development intensity, with the potential to bring in as many as 250 new residents.

Below is the full amendment that will be the subject of Monday's hearing:


WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors of Milford Township, Pike County, Pennsylvania, after consideration of proposed zoning amendments do hereby adopt the following amendments to the Milford Township Zoning Ordinance;

I. Section 409.2 (Parcel Size and Density) of the Zoning Ordinance shall be amended to read as follows:

All land proposed for a multi-family dwelling project shall be contiguous.

The total number of dwelling units permitted shall be calculated by taking the total acreage of the development (including all areas to be devoted to open space), deducting the following acreage:

A. Land contained within public rights-of-way.

B. Land contained within the rights-of-way of existing or proposed private streets. Where formal rights-of-way are not involved, the width of the street shall be assumed as fifty (50) feet.

C. Land contained within the boundaries of easements previously granted to public utility corporations providing electric or telephone service, and any petroleum products pipeline rights-of-way.

D. The area of waterbodies including lakes, ponds and streams (measured to the normal high water mark on each side); wetlands; quarried; areas with slopes in excess of twenty-four (24) percent or greater; and areas used for improvements;

and then dividing the remainder by the thirty thousand (30,000) square feet per dwelling unit, or by three thousand (3,000) square feet per dwelling unit provided that: (1)the development is to be serviced by connection to a municipal central sewage disposal system, (2) the gross area of the developed lot is 20 acres or more, and (3) no less than two (2) parking spaces are provided for each dwelling unit.

II. Section 409.4 (Design Criteria) shall be amended as follows:

The following design criteria shall apply to multi-family developments:

A. There shall be no more than ten (10) dwelling units in each multi-family building unless the development is serviced by connection to a municipal central sewage disposal system, the gross area of the developed lot is no less than twenty (20) acres, and no less than two (2) parking spaces are provided for each unit. Where all three of the above criteria are met, there shall be no more than thirty-six (36) dwelling units in each multi-family building.

B. No structure shall be constructed within fifty (50) feet of any access road to or through the development or within ten (10) feet of the edge of any parking area.

C. Access roads through the development shall comply with the street requirements of the Township Subdivision Regulations for minor roads.

D. No multi-family development shall be served by more than one access from any public highway, unless topographic or other physical circumstances dictate the use of more than one access for safety reasons.

E. Parking shall be provided in accord with the requirements of Section 408 hereof.

F. All multi-family structures shall be separated by a distance at least equal to the height of the highest adjoining structure.

G. All multi-family structures, improvements and any effluent disposal areas shall be a minimum of fifty (50) feet from any exterior property lines and any public road right-of-way.

H. Landscaping shall be provided in accord with the requirements of Section 410 hereof.

I. Multi-family developments shall be subject to the stormwater management requirements of the Township Subdivision Regulations.

J. Sidewalks shall be provided from all buildings and/or units to their respective parking area and shall be of a design approved by the Township and shall be a minimum of four (4) feet in width improved to a mud free condition.

K. Exterior storage areas for trash and rubbish shall be screened from public view on three sides and shall be contained in covered, vermin-proof containers. Interior storage areas for trash and rubbish shall at all times be kept in an orderly and sanitary fashion. The Township shall be authorized to require specific placement so as to ensure such storage areas are hidden to the maximum extent practicable.

III. Section 409.6 (Non-Residential Use) shall be amended as follows:

Non-residential uses shall not be permitted in a multi-family development, except where the gross area of the developed lot is twenty (20) acres or more. Such ancillary facilities as laundry areas, service buildings, recreational facilities and the like for the use of the residents of the project shall be permitted. Where a developer proposes to construct multi-family units on property on which there are existing or proposed non-residential uses (other than ancillary facilities and open space uses) there shall be a minimum setback of the multi-family structures from such non-residential structures of two-hundred (200) feet and the parcels shall be clearly segregated.

Non-residential uses shall be a conditional use in the DD zone and shall be subject to review by the Board of Supervisors who shall impose any reasonable conditions upon such residential and non-residential use upon the same parcel.

IV. Kennels [to be added]

V. Multi-Family Dwellings in the LG Zone (to be added)

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