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§ 265-603        Open Space and Public Areas

  1. Where a TND involves construction of 20,000 square feet or more of space, calculated by the sum of the gross floor area of all commercial establishments and 1,200 square feet per dwelling unit proposed, open space shall be required as follows:
    1. A minimum of 25% of the site area shall be preserved as open space. Where the base zoning of the respective district is R-1, 40% of the site shall be preserved as open space.  Where the site is proposed to be under the control of one property owner and no subdivision or condominium is proposed, required open space may be designated on the plat.  Otherwise, open space shall be shown by easement or parcel with applicable covenants.
    2. Environmentally sensitive areas such as jurisdictional wetlands, steep slopes, floodplains, and riparian buffers shall be preserved as passive open space and may incorporate trails where feasible.
    3. Unless the TND acts as infill within an area of existing development, passive open space shall be distributed around the perimeter of the site.
    4. A minimum of five percent of the site area shall be dedicated as centralized active open space or spaces that meet the following design objectives:
      1. Provide active open space suitable for use by residents and/or patrons or members of establishments or institutions within the TND or the public at large.
      2. Facilitate interaction of pedestrians and focused social activity for the mutual benefit, support, and security of neighborhoods and establishments within the TND through installation of sidewalks, trails, street furniture such as park benches, gazebos, and uniform styles of lighting and landscaping.
      3. Centralized active open space shall be bounded by street rights of way on at least two sides.
  2. Common Open Space shall be maintained, through covenants, by an association comprised of landowners including condominium associations and homeowners associations which shall perpetually maintain the open space which may not be conveyed to a private third party.
  3. In the event that the organization established to own and maintain common open space, or any successor organization, shall at any time after establishment of the TND fail to maintain the common open space in reasonable order and condition in accordance with the development plan, the Borough may serve written notice upon such organization or upon the residents of the TND setting forth the manner in which the organization has failed to maintain the common open space in reasonable condition, and said notice shall include a demand that such deficiencies of maintenance be corrected within 30 days thereof, and shall state the date and place of a hearing thereon which shall be held within 14 days of the notice. At such hearing the Borough may modify the terms of the original notice as to the deficiencies and may give an extension of time within which they shall be corrected.
  4. If the deficiencies set forth in the original notice or in the modifications thereof shall not be corrected within said 30 days or any extension thereof, the Borough, in order to preserve the taxable values of the properties within the TND and to prevent the common open space from becoming a public nuisance, may enter upon said common open space and maintain the same for a period of one year. Said maintenance by the Borough shall not constitute a taking of said common open space, nor vest in the public any rights to use the same.
  5. Before the expiration of said year, the Borough shall, upon its initiative or upon the request of the organization theretofore responsible for the maintenance of the common open space, call a public hearing upon notice to such organization, or to the residents or owner(s) of the TND, to be held by the Borough Council, at which hearing such organization or the residents of the TND shall show cause why such maintenance by the Borough shall not, at the option of the Borough, continue for a succeeding year. If the Borough Council shall determine that such organization is ready and able to maintain said common open space in reasonable condition, the Borough shall cease to maintain said common open space at the end of said year. If the Borough Council shall determine that such organization is not ready and able to maintain said common open space in a reasonable condition, the Borough may, in its discretion, continue to maintain said common open space during the next succeeding year and, subject to a similar hearing and determination, in each year thereafter.
  6. The decision of the Borough Council shall be subject to appeal to court in the same manner, and within the same time limitation, as is provided for zoning appeals by this act.
  7. The cost of such maintenance by the Borough shall be assessed ratably against the properties within the TND that have a right of enjoyment of the common open space, and shall become a lien on said properties. The Borough at the time of entering upon said common open space for the purpose of maintenance shall file a notice of lien in the office of the Prothonotary of Allegheny County, upon the properties affected by the lien within the TND. 
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