Nearing the end of the twentieth century, Jackson Township started work on the Township’s first Comprehensive Development Plan. Under increasing development pressures from the south, the Township recognized the need to prepare sound development regulations that are centered on an organized plan for managed growth. This Comprehensive Plan, which was finally adopted in November 2000, serves as this hub. The Plan provides the vision and guidelines for all development controls for the twenty-first century.
With the Comprehensive Plan in place, the Township then completed an overhaul of the regulations needed to enforce the guidelines established by the Comprehensive Plan. These regulations, which govern all development in the Township, are adopted within the Township’s Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, and Storm Water Management Ordinance.
The Zoning Ordinance regulates the types of uses or development in the Township. Zoning establishes defined areas, or zones, for each type of land use. The locations of these areas and the types of uses permitted in each zone conform to the outline established by the Comprehensive Plan. The locations of the zones were selected primarily based on the infrastructure needs of each type of use. For example, industrial use zones are located along major roadways, railroads, areas with public utilities, and where possible in areas away from residential uses. All new developments must meet the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.Additionally, existing uses that are modified, expanded, or replaced must also conform to the current zoning regulations. Requests for deviations from the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance, or Variances, are presided over by the Township Zoning Hearing Board.
The Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance also regulates development. It contains the engineering standards for improvements within a development, such as streets. Development includes projects typically envisioned, such as a new plan of homes with new streets. It also includes many activities not typically envisioned. All subdivision of property is regulated as development. This includes large scale subdivisions as well as the subdivision of a single lot or portions of a single lot, and any changes to a property description within an established deed. Development also includes the construction or expansion of non-residential uses on previously established lots. Subdivision and Land Development plans are required to be prepared by a licensed engineer or surveyor. Once completed applications are submitted, the plans are reviewed by the Township Staff and Township Engineer. Their reports along with the application are forwarded to the Township Planning Commission for review. The Planning Commission serves as an advisory board for developments to the Board of Supervisors. Their recommendations are then forwarded to the Township Supervisors for final action on the application. After approval by the Supervisors all Subdivision and Land Development plans are recorded at the Butler County Courthouse.
Storm Water Management
The Storm Water Management Ordinance regulates all earth moving activities, including those associated with development. All grading, paving, filling or excavation of land; with the exception of gardening and approved agricultural activities, require a permit issued under this Ordinance. Permits for general grading projects usually involve the submittal of grading and erosion control plans. More involved projects, including those that involve placement of impervious surfaces such as buildings and parking areas, are required to include facilities that limit and control storm water runoff from the improved site. These facilities are required to be designed by a licensed engineer or surveyor, and must meet the engineering standards of the Ordinance. The regulations were designed to implement the Comprehensive Plan’s goals to prevent damage from accelerated runoff, control erosion and sedimentation of soils and preserve stream channels and water quality. They provide the design criteria for construction and maintenance of these storm drainage facilities to control storm water, erosion, and sedimentation and maintain the quality of the watersheds within the Township.