Chapter 22 - Part 2 - Definitions





Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following shall for the purpose of this Chapter, have the meaning herein indicated.  The present tense shall include the future; the singular number shall include the plural of the singular; words used in the masculine gender shall include the feminine and the neuter; the word "shall" is always mandatory; and the word "may" is always permissive. 

(Ord. 95-1, 2/2/1995, §201]



ALLEY ? A minor way, whether or not legally dedicated, intended and used primarily for vehicular service access to the rear of properties which abut on a street and not intended for the purpose of through vehicular traffic. 

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS – a professional engineer licensed as such in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, duly appointed as the engineer for a municipality, planning agency or joint planning commission.  [Ord. 11-05]

BICYCLE PATH (BIKE PATH) ? a bikeway physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier and either within the highway right?of?way or within an independent right?of?way.

BICYCLE ROUTE (BIKE ROUTE) ? a segment of a system of bikeways designated by the jurisdiction having authority with appropriate directional and informational markers, with or without a specific bicycle route number.

BIKEWAY ? any road, path, or way which in some manner is specifically designated as being open to bicycle travel, regardless of whether such facilities are designated for the exclusive use of bicycles or are to be shared with other transportation modes.

BLOCK ? an area, divided into lots, and usually bounded by streets. 

BUILDING ? a combination of materials to form a permanent structure having walls and a roof including, but not limited to, all mobile homes and trailers. 

CARTWAY or ROADWAY ? the portion of a street or alley improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the sidewalk, berm or shoulder. 

CLEAR SIGHT TRIANGLE ? an area of unobstructed vision at street intersections defined by lines of sight between points at a given distance from the intersection of street center lines. 

CONDOMINIUM ? ownership in common with others of a parcel of land and certain parts of a building thereon which would normally be used by all the occupants, together with individual ownership in fee of a particular unit or apartment in such building or on such parcel of land and may include dwellings, offices and other types of space in commercial and industrial buildings or on real property. 

COUNTY ? the County of Cumberland, Pennsylvania.

COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION ? the Planning Commission of the County of Cumberland. 

CUL?DE?SAC ? a minor street intersecting another street at one end and terminated at the other by a vehicular turnaround. 

CUT ? an excavation.  The difference between a point on the original ground and designated point of lower elevation on the final grade.  Also, the material removed in excavation. 

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION (DEP) ? the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, its bureaus, divisions, departments and/or agencies, as may from time to time be established, or such Department or Departments as may in the future succeed it.  [Ord. 98-7]

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (PA DOT) ? the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, its bureaus, divisions, depart­ments and/or agencies, as may from time to time be established, or such department or departments as may in the future succeed it. 

DESIGNATED FLOODPLAIN AREAS ? a relatively flat or low land area adjoining a river, stream or watercourse which is subject to partial or complete inundation in a 100?year flood as designated in the Hampden Township Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27], as amended.

DETENTION POND ? an area in which surface water runoff is temporarily stored pending its release at a controlled rate. 

DEVELOPER ? any landowner, agent or tenant with permission of such landowner who makes or causes any development of tract or parcel of land or a lot.

DEVELOPER'S AGREEMENT ?  a written agreement between the Township and the developer of the land subject to a subdivision or other land development plan to be approved under this Chapter containing the terms of such developer's performance of the requirements of such final approval.

DEVELOPMENT ? any manmade change to improved or unimproved real estate including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, the placement of mobile homes, streets and other paving, utilities, mining, dredging, filling, grading, excava­tion or drilling operations and the subdivision of land. 

DRAINAGE ? the removal of surface water or groundwater from land by drains, grading or other means and includes control of runoff to minimize erosion and sedimentation during and after construc­tion or development. 

DRAINAGE FACILITY ? any ditch, gutter, culvert, storm sewer or other structure designed, intended or constructed for the purpose of carrying diverting or controlling surface water or groundwater. 

DRAINAGE RIGHT?OF?WAY ? the lands required for the installation of stormwater sewers or drainage ditches or required along a natural stream or watercourse for preserving the channel and providing for the flow of water therein to safeguard the public against flood damage.

DRIVEWAY ? a private vehicular passageway providing access between a street and a private parking area or private garage. 

DWELLING ? any building which is designed for human living quarters but not including hotels, boarding houses, tourist cabins, motels and other accommodations used for transient occupancy. 

EASEMENT ? a grant of limited use of private land for a public or quasi?public purpose. 

ENGINEER ? a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania designated by the Township. 

ENGINEERING SPECIFICATION ? the engineering criteria of the Township regulating the installation of any improvement or facility.  In the absence of such Township engineering criteria, the applicable standards of the Cumberland County Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance shall apply. 

EROSION ? the removal of surface materials by the action of natural elements. 

EXCAVATION ? any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other similar material is dug into, cut, quarried, uncovered, removed, displaced, relocated or bulldozed.  It shall include the conditions resulting therefrom. 

FILL ? any act by which earth, sand, gravel, rock or any other material is placed, pushed, dumped, pulled, transported or moved to a new location above the natural surface of the ground or on top of the stripped surface.  It shall include the conditions resulting therefrom.  The difference in elevation between a point on the original ground and a designated point of higher elevation on the final grade.  The material used to make fill. 

FLOODPLAIN ? the area along a natural watercourse which may from time to time be overflowed by water therefrom. 

FLOODWAY ? the channel of a river or other watercourses and the adjacent land areas required to carry and discharge a flood of the 100 year magnitude. 

GRADING AND DRAINAGE PLAN ? a plan showing all existing round features and proposed grading including existing and proposed surface and subsurface drainage facilities, described by grades, contours and topography. 

IMPROVEMENTS ? those physical additions, installations and changes required to render land suitable for the use intended including, but not limited to, grading, paving, curbing, street lights and signs, fire hydrants, water mains, electric service, gas service, telephone and communication cables, sanitary sewers, storm drains, sidewalks, crosswalks, driveways, culverts and street shade trees. 

INTERIOR WALK ? a right?of?way or easement for pedestrian use extending from a street into a block or across a block to another street. 

LAND DEVELOPMENT ? any of the following activities:

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 residential or nonresiden­tial buildings, whether proposed initially or cumulatively, or a single nonresidential building on a lot or lots regardless of the number of occu­pants or tenure; or,

(2)      The division or allocation of land or space whether initially or cumulative­ly, 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.

B.       A subdivision of land.

C.       The expansion of any commercial or industrial facility in excess of 20% of the existing operation.

LOT ? a designated parcel, tract or area of land established by a plat or otherwise as permitted by law and to be used, developed or built upon as a unit.

LOT, CORNER ? a lot abutting upon two or more streets at their intersection.

LOT, DOUBLE FRONTAGE ? an interior lot which abuts streets in both the front and rear. 

LOT, INTERIOR ? a lot having side lot lines which do not abut on a street. 

LOT, NONCONFORMING ? a lot of record at the time of the adoption of this Chapter which by reason of area or dimension does not conform to the requirements of this Chapter. 

LOT OF RECORD ? a lot described in a deed or shown on a plan of lots which has been recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. 

LOT, REVERSE FRONTAGE ? a lot extending between and having frontage on an arterial street and a local access street and with vehicular access solely from the latter. 

MAINTENANCE GUARANTEE ? any security, other than cash, which may be accepted by the Township for the maintenance of any improve­ments required by this Chapter. 

MAJOR SUBDIVISION ? any subdivision not classified as a minor subdivision. 

MARKER ? a metal stake placed to designate the boundary and corners of lots in the subdivision of land for the purpose of reference in land and property survey and to facilitate the sale of lots. 

MINOR SUBDIVISION ? the subdivision of land located on an existing improved street that does not involve installation of improvements as required by this Chapter; extension of utili­ties; frontage on an arterial or collector street; adverse effect to the development of the remaining parcel; adverse effect to adjoining properties; or conflict with the Township's Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance [Chapter 27], any portion of this Chapter or other State, County or Township ordinances, laws or regulations. 

MONUMENT ? a concrete, stone or other permanent object placed to designate boundary lines, corners of property and rights?of?way of streets and utilities for the purpose of reference in land and property survey. 

MUNICIPALITIES PLANNING CODE ? Act of Assembly of July 31, 1968, P.L. 805, No. 247, as amended and reenacted by the Act of Assembly of December 22, 1988, No. 170.

ONE HUNDRED YEAR FLOOD ? a flood that, on the average, is likely to occur once every 100 years. 

OWNER ? 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 is authorized under the lease to exercise the rights of the owner, or other persons having a proprietary interest in the land shall be deemed to be an owner for the purpose of this Chapter. 

PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE ? any security which may be in lieu of a requirement that certain improvements be made before the Township Commissioners approve a final land development plan including performance bonds, escrow agreements and other similar collateral or surety agreements. 

PERSON ? an individual, partnership, corporation or other legally recognized entity. 

PLAN, FINAL ? a complete and exact subdivision plan or land development plan, prepared for official recording as required by statute, to define property rights and proposed streets and other improvements. 

PLAN, PRELIMINARY ? a tentative land development plan, in lesser detail than a final plan, showing approximate proposed streets and lot layout as a basis for consideration prior to preparation of a final plan. 

PLAN, SKETCH ? an informal land development plan, not necessari­ly to scale, indicating salient existing features of a tract and its surroundings and the general layout of the proposed subdivi­sion. 

PLAN, SOIL EROSION and SEDIMENTATION CONTROL ? a plan for controlling erosion and sediment during construction which shall provide all steps, including scheduling, to assure erosion and sediment control during all phases of construction including final stabilization. 

PLANNING COMMISSION ? the Planning Commission of Hampden Township. 

PLAT ? a map or plan of a subdivision or use indicating the location and boundaries of individual properties. 


A.      Parks, playgrounds and other public areas; and

B.       Sites for schools, sewage treatment, refuse disposal and other publicly?owned or operated facilities.

PUBLIC NOTICE ? Notice published once each week for 2 successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Township.  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 30 days or less than 7 days from the date of the hearing. 

REGULATORY FLOOD ELEVATION ? the 100 year flood elevation plus a freeboard safety factor of 1 1/2 feet. 

RESERVE STRIP ? a narrow parcel of ground having inadequate area for building purposes separating a street or a proposed street from other adjacent properties. 

RESIDENT PROPERTY OWNER ? any individual maintaining a voting address in the Township within 1,000 feet of the proposed subdivision owning real estate in his own or joint names. 

RETENTION POND ? an area in which surface water runoff is stored with no direct discharge.  Discharge is through infiltration or evaporation.

RIGHT?OF?WAY ? land legally dedicated for public purposes including, but not limited to, a street, alley or interior walk. 

RUNOFF ? the surface water discharge or rate of discharge of a given watershed after a fall of rain or snow that does not enter the soil but runs off the surface of the land. 

SEDIMENTATION ? the process by which mineral or organic matter is accumulated or deposited by moving wind, water or gravity.  Once this matter is deposited or remains suspended in water, it is usually referred to as "sediment." 

SEPTIC TANK ? a watertight tank in which raw sewage is broken down into solid, liquid and gaseous phases to facilitate further treatment and final disposal. 

SETBACK (BUILDING SETBACK LINE) ? the line within a property defining the required minimum distance between any structure and the ultimate adjacent right?of?way and the line defining side and rear yards where required. 

SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM, ONSITE ? a system of piping tanks or other facilities serving a lot and collecting and disposing of sewage in whole or in part into the soil. 

SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM, PUBLIC ? a sanitary sewage collection method in which sewage is carried from the site by a system of pipes to a central treatment and disposal plant. 

SHOULDER ? the portion of a roadway (cartway) between the curb or gutter and the travelway intended for emergency and parking use. 

SIGHT DISTANCE ? the extent of unobstructed vision at an intersection of streets in a horizontal and vertical plane along a street, as defined in §504 of this Chapter. 

SLOPE ? the face of an embankment of cut section; any ground whose surface makes an angle with the plane of the horizon.  Slopes are usually expressed in a percentage based upon vertical difference in feet per 100 feet of horizontal distance. 

SOIL PERCOLATION TEST ? a field test conducted to determine the absorption capacity of soil to a specified depth in a given location for the purpose of determining suitability of soil for onsite sewage disposal. 

STREET ? an existing or platted way dedicated for the use of the general public, graded and paved or to be graded and paved, in order that the general public has the right to pass and to use it at all times for all purposes of travel, transportation or parking to which it is adapted, devoted and not otherwise restricted. 

A.      Local access streets are those used primarily to provide access to abutting properties, and as further defined in §504(1).

B.       Collector streets are those which, in addition to giving access to abutting properties, intercept local access streets and provide routes to arterial streets, and as further defined in §504(1). 

C.       Arterial streets are those serving large volumes of comparatively high?speed and long distance traffic and include facilities classified as main and secondary highways by the Pennsylvania Department of Transporta­tion, and as further defined in §504(1).

D.      Marginal access streets are minor streets, parallel and adjacent to arterial streets, providing access to abutting properties and control of intersections with the arterial street. 

E.       Half or partial street is a street generally parallel and adjacent to a property line having a lesser right?o­f?way width than normally required for satisfactory improvements and use of the street. 

STRUCTURE ? any manmade object having an ascertainable station­ary location on or in land or water, whether or not affixed to the land. 

SUBDIVISION ? the division or redivision of a lot, tract or parcel of land by any other 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, partition by the court for distribution to heirs or devisees, 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 10 acres, not involving any new street or easement of access or any residen­tial dwelling shall be exempted.

SUBDIVISION PLAN ? a land development plan which depicts a subdivision.

SURVEYOR ? a licensed surveyor registered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

SWALE ? a low?lying stretch of land characterized as a depres­sion used to carry surface water runoff. 

TOPSOIL ? surface soils and subsurface soils which normally are fertile soils and soil material ordinarily rich in organic matter of humus debris.  Topsoil is usually found in the uppermost soil layer called the A Horizon. 

TOWNSHIP ? the Township of Hampden, Cumberland County, Pennsyl­vania. 

TOWNSHIP COMMISSIONERS ? the Board of Township Commissioners of Hampden Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. 

TOWNSHIP ENGINEER – Deleted [Ord11-05]

UNDEVELOPED LAND ? any lot, tract or parcel of land which has not been graded or in any other manner prepared for the con­struction of a building or other improvement. 

UNIT ? a part of the property, structure or building designed or intended for any type of independent use which has direct exit to a public street or way or to an easement or right?of?way leading to a public street or way and includes a proportionate undivided interest in the common elements which is assigned to the property, structure or building. 

WATER FACILITY ? any water works, water supply works, water distribution system or part thereof designed, intended or constructed to provide or distribute potable water. 

WATERCOURSE ? a stream of water, river, brook, creek or a channel or ditch for water whether natural or manmade.

WETLANDS ? those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, including swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. The term shall be deemed to include the definition of a wetland area as controlled by any governmental agency having jurisdiction. 

[Ord. 95-1, 2/2/1995, §202; as amended by Ord. 98-7, 8/27/1998 and by Ord. 2017-02, 03/02/2017)