Land Use Ordinances


In order to help put into action the goals and objectives established by the Comprehensive Plan, especially those pertaining to growth and community stability, a new Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance were created and adopted in 2011.

These are important documents that strongly influence the form of new development, as well as help to conserve the cultural and natural resources that are highly important to the community.
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How the Code Works

Zoning is one of the most influential codes that a community can create since it affects every piece of property in the township. Standards are established for a variety of land uses to help ensure compatibility with surrounding properties and with the township as a whole. But the foundation of zoning since the first American versions were adopted in the early 20th century lies in the separation of the municipality into distinct zoning districts.

Zoning Ordinance

Penn Township’s Zoning Ordinance has moved away from the strict segregation of residential, commercial, and industrial uses by using a form-based code approach, see Part 8 of the Zoning Ordinance. The mixing of uses in a compatible manner is encouraged in such a way that it encourages walk-ability and connectivity, attractive design, community amenities, and private investment that efficiently builds off of public infrastructure. Details about the 10 base zoning districts can be found below.

Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance

The SLDO also carries the form-based code principles through, see Part 10 of the SLDO, in its standards for development. One of the most important purposes of the SLDO is to establish uniform procedures and standards for development so that all applicants are treated equitably and fairly.

It contains the design specifications for streets, sidewalks, utilities, and other infrastructure, as well as conservation of important natural and cultural resources. Additionally, this ordinance is set up to promote excellence in developments’ appearance, amenities, and interaction with the public realm.

Property Maintenance Code

The Property Maintenance Code of 2009 was adopted to allow the township to require the abatement of issues that arise when properties are maintained as to constitute a health hazard or public nuisance.

Zoning Districts

All of Penn Township’s 29.4 square miles are divided into one of 11 base zoning districts. The official Zoning Map, which is adopted as part of the Zoning Ordinance, is available.