SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING
The first step in the subdivision/land development review process is to determine if your project should be submitted for review and approval by the appropriate boards and agencies. The following land development projects are not required to obtain land development approval:
All other plans for subdivisions or land developments should be submitted for review to the Township, or County and State agencies as required.
- The erection of an accessory residential building or structure on an existing lot containing a residential dwelling, or in conjuntion with the erection of a residential building.
- The conversion of an existing single-family detached or single-family semi-detached dwelling into not more than three (3) residential dwelling units.
- The erection of an accessory building for agricultural purposes on an existing farm. A farm dwelling shall not be considered an accessory building. This exemption would not apply if the West Earl Township Zoning Hearing Board, as a condition of granting a variance or special exception, requires an applicant to obtain land development approval.
After determining that your project should be submitted for review, you should then decide if your project meets the zoning guidelines for your area. A zoning map and the zoning ordinance can be viewed online, or purchased at the municipal office (zoning map is $6 and the zoning ordinance is $35).
If you believe that a zoning condition, or conditions, would create an unnecessary hardship, you may apply to the Zoning Hearing Board for a variance. An application for a variance is seperate from the plan review process and should be completed prior to submitting a land development plan.
PHASES OF REVIEW
Subdivision/land development plans are usually seperated and reviewed in two phases - preliminary plan and final plan. This is done to ensure that multi-phase or complex projects are thoroughly reviewed.
An application form, obtainable here or at the Township office, and an application fee must accompany the submission of either a preliminary or a final subdivision/land development plan. Upon submission of the application, the Planning Commission will review the plan and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for approvals.
All recommendations and approvals take place at the public meetings of each respective Board. It is to your benefit to attend all public meetings which concern your plan. Lack of representation for your plan could result in the plan review process being delayed.
Depending upon the nature of your project, you may believe that certain requirements of the subdivision/land development ordinance may be difficult, or impossible to implement. If this is the case, you may request a waiver or waivers from those requirements.
All requests for waivers must be in writing and must accompany your application form. Your request must state why the implementation of a requirement or requirements would be a hardship for your project. Your waiver request must also include the related section or sections of the subdivision/land development ordinance.
All plan approvals are granted by the Board of Supervisors. Depending upon the size and nature of your project, the following items may be applied as conditions for approval:
- Payment of all review fees associated with your project.
- Execution of any agreements pertaining to your project such as developer's agreements, storm water mangement agreements, etc.
- Submission of a performance guaranty such as a letter of credit.
- If applicable, written notification of approval from utilities or other agencies such as PennDot
Approved plans will be signed by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors in "mylar" form at a public meeting. Mylars are stable, plastic-base film reproductions of the final plan. Two mylars of your plan will be needed for signatures.
After obtaining Township signatures you must obtain signatures from the County Planning Commission before recording the plan. The approved final plan must be recorded with the County Recorder of Deeds at the Lancaster County Courthouse within ninety days of the date of the final approval by the Board of Supervisors.
If you have any questions, Township staff is available to assist you with the subdivision/land development plan review process.