Downtown Overlay District


An Ordinance of the City of Hazleton, Luzerne County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Amending the
Zoning Ordinance of the City Of Hazleton, Establishing a New Downtown Overlay District, including
Design Standards and a Design Review Process for the New Downtown Overlay District,
Amending the Zoning Map, and Containing an Effective Date

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of finds that creation of the Downtown Overlay District shall serve the following goals:

• Preserve and reinforce the historic commercial architecture and urban character of the core downtown district while allowing
   innovative and creative infill development, site design and architecture that continuously evolves over time;
• Promote a vibrant downtown that supports commercial and cultural activities;
• Enhance the pedestrian safety and orientation of downtown Hazleton and encourage walkability;
• Enhance the City’s attractiveness to residents and visitors alike;
• Promote downtown investment, stimulate business, and attract new business; and
• Communicate the City’s vision for the future downtown district.

BE IT HEREBY ORDAINED AND ENACTED by the Council of the City of Hazleton as follows:

Section 1.  Downtown Overlay District

1.01.  Boundaries

The overlay will be a portion of the CC – Central Commercial Office Zoning District. The boundaries of the Overlay District are as follows: 

• Both sides of Broad Street between Locust and Poplar Streets;
• Both sides of Church Street between Broad and Maple Streets;
• Both sides of Laurel Street between Broad and Maple Streets; and
• Both sides of Wyoming Street between Broad and Holly Streets.

1.02.  Zoning Map

The official zoning map of the City of Hazleton is hereby amended by defining a new Downtown Overlay District, as outlined on Exhibit “A” attached, as such zoning district is defined and regulated by the Code of the City of Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Section 2.  Definitions

Definitions shall be in accordance with those found in the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Hazleton, Article I, Section 4.4, with the following additions:

Awning:  Secondary covering attached to the exterior wall of a building.

Canopy:  An overhead roof or structure that provides shade or other shelter.

Day-Glo Colors:  Paints that may not be colorful under ordinary light. Ink that glows under a black light. A source of light whose wave lengths are primarily in the ultraviolet. Also known as fluorescent paints.

Color Palette:  Listing of acceptable color uses, which is maintained by the Downtown Design Review Board.

Façade:  The front exterior of a building, typically facing the primary street unless otherwise noted as a side or rear facade.

Fiber Optic Signs:  Fibers used instead of metal wires. Light is kept in the “core” of the optical fiber.

Flood Light:  Artificial light providing even illumination across a wide area.

Franchise Architecture:  Building design that is trademarked or identified with a particular franchise chain or corporation, and is generic or standard in nature. Franchises or national chains must follow the standards of this Ordinance to create a building that enhances the urban character to downtown Hazleton.

Historic Building:  A building that is listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Infill Development:  New construction on previously developed land, such as on a parking lot or a vacant lot where a former building has been demolished.

LED Lights (Light Emitting Diode):  Usually a small area light source often with optics added to the chip to shape its radiation pattern and assist in reflection.

Marquee Sign:  A structure placed over the entrance to a hotel or theatre. It has signage on the sides either stating the name of the location, or, in the case of theatres, the movie or artist appearing at that location.

Municipality:  City of Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

Neon Sign:  Luminous tube signs that contain neon or other inert gases at a low pressure.

Overlay District:  A specific geographic area upon which additional land use requirements are applied, on top of the underlying zoning code, in order to promote a specified goal.

Projecting Sign:  A sign attached to a wall, which projects at a 90 degree angle.
Property owner:  The person owning such property as shown on Luzerne County Tax Assessors List.

Sandwich Sign:  An “A” frame type sign that can be moved from place to place and which announces “specials.”

Street:  The entire width of every public way or right-of-way when any part thereof is open to the use of the public.

Strobe Light:  A device used to produce regular flashes of light. Popular in clubs where they are used to give an illusion of slow motion.

Section 3.  Development Standards

Except as otherwise noted, buildings and improvements within the Downtown Overlay District shall comply with the site development regulations and review procedures established in the Subdivision and Land Development Code, Chapter 213, of the City of Hazleton, as adopted and amended by City Council.

Section 4.  Establishment of a Downtown Overlay District Review Committee

4.01 There is hereby established an advisory committee to the City of Hazleton Planning Commission and the Zoning Hearing Board, to be known as the Downtown Overlay District Review Committee (Review Committee), which shall have the powers and duties as are hereinafter set forth in this Ordinance. The Review Committee shall consist of seven (7) members, who shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation from City Council. Review Committee members shall be appointed with due regard for the need to include City residents, who are professionals with expertise in the fields of urban design, architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, engineering, economic development, and other related disciplines.

4.02 The Review Committee shall consist of:

• One (1) planning/design professional;
• One (1) member of the Hazleton Historical Society;
• One (1) Downtown Overlay District property owner;
• Two (2) business owners within the Downtown Overlay District;
• One (1) representative from the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce; and
• One (1) ad hoc member. 

4.03 Members shall be residents of the City of Hazleton, or either owners or principals of businesses owning property within the boundaries of the Downtown Overlay District.

4.04 Members shall be appointed to serve three year terms, except the Council member, who shall be appointed to a two year term. For the initial year, two members shall have one year terms, two members shall have two year terms, and three members shall have three year terms. Members shall serve until their successors have been named.

4.05 A majority of the membership of the Review Committee shall constitute a quorum, and any action or decision of the Review Committee shall have the support of such a majority of its appointed members.

4.06 The Review Committee is a non-paid position.

4.07 The Review Committee is subject to the provisions of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act.

Section 5.  Powers and Duties of the Downtown Overlay District Review Committee

5.01 The Downtown Overlay District Review Committee (Review Committee) shall develop rules for consideration by the Planning Commission, consistent with this regulation, governing its procedures and transactions. Upon adoption by the Planning Commission, the Review Committee shall implement the rules and regulations.

5.02 The Review Committee shall meet as required to carry out the review of applications for Certificates of Appropriateness (COA) and such other related work as may be accepted through request of the Planning Commission or Zoning Hearing Board. The Review Committee shall review all plans for new construction and the alteration, repair, or moving of existing structures located within the Downtown Overlay District. Only the Planning Commission is empowered to issue a COA.

5.03 A meeting shall be held at least once each month when there are applications to be considered and not less than once a year. Special meetings may be held at the call of the chairperson of the Review Committee.

5.04 The Review Committee shall annually select one of its members to serve as chairperson and one as vice chairperson. The City Administrator shall provide such staff assistance as is necessary and available.

5.05 The Review Committee may review formal Site Plan Applications submitted in the Downtown Overlay District in an advisory capacity to the Planning Commission.

5.06 The Review Committee may review informal Site Plan Applications submitted in the Downtown Overlay District in an advisory capacity to City staff.

5.07 The Review Committee shall advise the Mayor and its other boards and commissions on matters related to downtown development, and the Downtown Overlay District and regulations.

5.08 The Review Committee will conduct and/or encourage members to attend educational sessions, visit other downtowns with successful downtown revitalization programs, or seek in-depth consultation on matters of historic preservation and/or downtown development guidelines. Such training should pertain to the work and functions of the Review Board.

5.09 The Review Committee may recommend to the Planning Commission the establishment of additional policies, application requirements, rules, and regulations as it deems necessary to administer its duties.

Section 6: Application

6.01 Commencing the date of the adoption of this Ordinance, the Overlay District standards will apply to the following:

6.01.1  All new construction of buildings or structures.
6.01.2  All exterior building improvements requiring a building permit.
6.01.3  All sign changes for which a conditional use permit is not required but which requires a building permit (Overlay District standards are applicable only to the changed element or improvement).
6.01.4  Renovations for which a conditional use permit is required under the provisions of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC), as in effect at the time of the renovation (all applicable standards apply).
6.01.5  All new or reconstructed parking areas with five or more spaces.

6.02 Grandfather

Any building, structure, parking area, or sign that lawfully exists at the time this Ordinance is enacted, which would not otherwise be permitted under this Ordinance, may be continued in the same manner as it existed before the effective date of the Ordinance. Any future construction, additions, reconstruction, renovation, or sign erection shall be subject to the requirements of this Ordinance.

6.03 Compliance

At the time of application for any building permit, the applicant shall demonstrate the proposed building, structure, improvement, renovation, or sign complies with the requirements of this Ordinance. No building permit shall be issued until the requirements of this Ordinance have been met. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide the necessary information to the City staff to determine compliance with this section of the Ordinance.

6.04 Conflict

Where the provisions of the Downtown Overlay District conflict with other requirements of the Zoning and/or Planning Ordinance, the requirements of this article shall be reviewed and acted upon by the Planning Commission of the City of Hazleton.

Section 7.  New Construction

7.01 New infill development shall be designed to be compatible with the historic architecture of the downtown in its massing and external treatment.

7.02 New infill development shall attempt to maintain the horizontal rhythm of primary street facades by using a similar alignment of windows, floor spacing, cornices, awnings, and other architectural elements.

Section 8.  Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings

8.01 The following buildings within the Overlay District have been listed or considered eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), and can be considered historic buildings:

8.01.1 Hazleton Industrial Supply (formerly Wagner Brothers Hardware), ca. 1915, 1928; 354 West Broad Street, eligible.
8.01.2  American Legion Post #76, ca. 1928; 328 West Broad Street, eligible.
8.01.3  First Presbyterian Church, ca. 1869; 201 West Broad Street, eligible.
8.01.4  The Altamont, ca. 1924; corner of Broad and Church Streets, eligible.
8.01.5  Hazleton National Bank Building, ca. 1924; 101 West Broad Street, eligible.
8.01.6  American Bank & Trust Company, ca. 1924; 2-8 East Broad Street, eligible.
8.01.7  Former U.S. Post Office, 145 East Broad Street (now Lackawanna Community College), ca. 1908, 1933, eligible.
8.01.8  The Markle Bank & Trust Building, ca. 1910, 1923; 8 West Broad Street, listed.
8.01.9  Hazleton City Hall, 40 North Church Street, eligible.
8.01.10 Pioneer Fire Company, 55 North Wyoming Street, eligible.

8.02 Distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craftsmanship that characterize these historic buildings shall, whenever possible, be preserved. Removal or alteration of any historic material or distinctive architectural features shall be avoided. Deteriorated architectural features are recommended to be repaired or replaced in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. In the event that replacement is necessary, the new material shall match the material being replaced in arrangement, design, color, texture, and other visual qualities.

8.03 The original finish of masonry facades must be maintained. No unpainted masonry shall be painted, unless the painting shall be approved by the Planning Commission, upon recommendation of the Downtown Overlay District Review Committee.

Section 9.  Area and Bulk Requirements

9.01 Setbacks

No minimum front or side yard setbacks are required within the Overlay District.

9.02 Build-to Line

The primary facade of each building shall maintain the established build-to line of the block(s) on which it is located. Where there is no established build-to line, the primary facade of each building shall be set back not less than 12 feet from the face of the curb on a primary street, and 8 feet from the face of the curb on a side street. For the purposes of providing a plaza, square, courtyard, recessed entrance, or outdoor dining area, the front facade of a building may be set back up to 15 feet from the front lot line.

9.03 Height

9.03.1 Minimum two (2) stories; and
9.03.2 Maximum forty-five (45) feet.

Section 10.  Building Orientation and Entrances

10.01 In the case of properties located along Broad Street, the front facade of buildings shall be oriented towards Broad Street with the main public pedestrian entrance on this front facade. On corner properties, a secondary entrance along the side street is encouraged but not required. However, facade treatments, such as those listed in Section 12, shall be required for both facades.

10.02 In the case of properties located along Church, Laurel, or Wyoming Streets within the Overlay District, the front facade of buildings shall be oriented towards these streets.

10.03 When buildings are located on corners, the entrance may be located on the corner with an appropriate building articulation, such as a chamfered corner, turret, canopy, or other similar architectural feature to distinguish the entry.

10.04 All primary building entrances shall be accentuated through architectural treatments that enhance pedestrian orientation, such as recessed entrances, protruding entrances, canopies, porticos, overhangs, etc.

Section 11.  Windows

11.01 It is recommended that at least 40 percent of the length of the ground floor front facade between an elevation of three feet and seven feet above grade shall consist of windows, glass doors, or other transparent building surfaces providing for an visual connection from the outside to the inside of the building.

11.02 It is recommended that upper story windows of front facades shall not be boarded or covered, and shall comprise a minimum of 30 percent of the facade above the ground floor.

11.03 Reflective, black glass and glass tinted more than 40% in windows and doors is prohibited on the ground floor facade.

Section 12.  Facades

12.01 Blank facades shall not be permitted along any exterior wall facing Broad, Church, Laurel, or Wyoming Streets within the Overlay District, where such wall abuts a public sidewalk.

12.02 Any portion of a building facade along Broad, Church, Laurel, or Wyoming Streets within the Overlay District that exceeds 25 feet in length shall incorporate windows or architectural design elements to break up the expanse of wall and add visual diversity for pedestrian interest at ground level. Example elements include, but are not limited to   windows, doors, lighting, material changes, articulated or sculptured wall surfaces or shadow lines, vertical accents, texture changes or color changes, commissioned murals by professional artists, or other architectural features approved by the Planning Commission upon recommendation of the Downtown Overlay District Review Committee.

Section 13.  Building Materials/Colors

13.01 The following materials are not allowed on the building’s facade or sides adjacent to public right of ways:

13.1.1 Painted concrete block;
13.1.2 Aluminum, vinyl, or fiberglass siding; and
13.1.3 Asphalt shingles.

13.02 Exterior building colors are recommended to be compatible with the colors on adjacent buildings, subject to review by the Downtown Overlay District Review Committee and approval by the Planning Commission.

13.03 Recommended color palettes for signs, facades, and awnings maintained by the Downtown Overlay District Review Committee shall be reviewed by each applicant prior to beginning work.

13.04 Proposed colors shall be specified for any building exterior treatment prior to the painting of any structure, windows, awnings, or other facade feature.  

Section 14.  Franchise Architecture

14.01 To maintain and reinforce a unique urban character, buildings within the Overlay District will not be constructed or renovated using franchise architecture.

14.02 Franchise architecture is defined as building design that is trademarked or identified with a particular franchise chain or corporation and is generic or standard in nature. Franchises or national chains must follow the standards of this ordinance to create a building that enhances the urban character to downtown Hazleton.

Section 15.  Off-street Surface Parking

15.01  There shall be no minimum off-street parking requirement in the Downtown Overlay District.

15.02  No parking area or access drive shall be located between the curb of Broad Street and the property’s front set back line. In conformance with the City’s Comprehensive Plan, no vacant lots will be approved for parking. All fronts of lots will be buildings.

15.03  Service and loading areas must be located to the side or rear of the building.

15.04  Vehicular access to surface parking shall be from the alley or side street. Entry/egress along Broad Street is prohibited.

15.05  Safe provisions for pedestrian access to and through a parking lot shall be provided, to include night lighting, in accordance with Section 17.

Section 16.  Parking Structures

16.01 Parking structures shall meet all other applicable building and site design standards of this ordinance.

16.02 Non-Public Parking structures that are located along Broad, Church, Laurel, or Wyoming Streets within the Overlay District shall be designed with active commercial or retail uses on the ground floor.

16.03 Ground floor parking located along intersecting streets shall be screened through any combination of walls, decorative grilles, or trellis work with landscaping.

16.04 Entrances and exits shall be located and grouped to minimize curb cuts and other interruptions of pedestrian movement on sidewalks.

16.05 Where possible, entrances and exits shall not open directly onto Broad Street but shall be accessed via intersecting streets and alleys.

16.06 The exterior facade should maintain a horizontal line along the primary street. The sloping nature of the interior structure, necessary in the design of parking structures, should not be visible along the primary building facade.

Section 17.  Lighting

17.01 Lighting within the Overlay District should serve to illuminate facade entrances and signage to provide an adequate level of pedestrian safety while enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the buildings.

17.02 Building and signage lighting must be indirect with the light sources hidden from direct pedestrian and motorist view.

17.03 All exterior lighting shall be designed to prevent glare onto adjacent properties and shall be designed so that the illumination is a minimum of 0.6 foot candles and a maximum of 1.0 foot candles.

17.04 The maximum height of lighting fixtures shall be a maximum of 30 feet for parking area illumination and 15 feet for pedestrian walkways.

17.05 New lighting added to parking areas or along pedestrian walkways shall compliment the early 20th century period style of teardrop lighting installed along Broad Street. Luminaries shall be mounted on cast metal fluted poles painted black to match.

Section 18.  Streetscape/Pedestrian Amenities

18.01 The streetscape shall be uniform so that it acts to provide continuity throughout the downtown.

18.02 When a redevelopment project disturbs existing streetscape elements (street lighting, sidewalks, street trees, parking meters, electrical utilities, etc.), those items must be replaced in-kind with streetscape elements that match the character and design details of existing features.

18.03 The Hazleton Shade Tree Commission shall be contacted and approve any tree replacement within the Overlay District.

18.04 Tree pits may be planted with flowers and bulbs and maintained by adjacent or local businesses. Recommended species for tree pit plantings include annuals that are drought tolerant with shallow roots and will not overly compete with the tree for water and nutrients. The tree pit shall be re-mulched after planting to retain soil moisture.

Recommended Spring Bulbs:

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)
Snow Drops (Galanthus nivalis)
Spanish Bluebells
Lily of-the-Valley (Convallaria magilis)
Grape Hyacinth (Muscari)

Recommended Annuals for Sun (Appropriate for North Side of Broad Street):

Sweet Alyssum
Moss Rose
Blue Marguerite Daisy

Recommended Annuals for Shade (Appropriate for South Side of Broad Street):


Section 19.  Screening

19.01 Any outdoor refuse area shall be located to the rear of the building, and be entirely screened from views along Broad Street by an opaque fence or enclosure.

19.02 All mechanical, electrical, communication, and service equipment, including satellite dishes, air conditioning units, large vents and vent pipes, heat pumps and mechanical equipment, and other appurtenances shall be concealed by or integrated within the roof form or screened from view at ground level of nearby streets by parapets, walls, fences, landscaping, or other approved means.

Section 20.  Awnings

20.01 Awnings are encouraged to provide sun protection for display windows, shelter for pedestrians, visual interest, and an exterior sign panel for businesses.

20.02 All awnings shall support the development of a unified urban character within the Overlay District.

20.03 Awnings must be constructed of durable, protective, and water repellant materials, such as canvas or vinyl or architectural materials that are intended to complement the design of the building. Plastic or fiberglass awnings are not allowed.

20.04 Awnings must project a minimum of 36 inches from the building.

20.05 Recommended color palettes for awnings that are maintained by the Planning Commission upon recommendation of the Downtown Overlay District Review Committee should be reviewed prior to beginning work.

20.06 Awnings may display only the name of the business conducted or products or services sold therein, which may appear on the vertical face only.

20.07 Awnings existing at the time of passage of this Ordinance, which do not conform to the requirements of the Ordinance, shall be considered nonconforming awnings. Nonconforming awnings shall not be rebuilt, enlarged, changed, or altered in size, location, text or appearance.  Nonconforming awnings may be replaced only with awnings that conform to provisions of this Ordinance.

Section 21.  Signage

21.01 Sign dimensions and projections shall be in accordance with Hazleton Zoning Ordinance Article V, Section 1, as applicable to the Commercial Center (CC) District. In the case of a conflict between the Hazleton Zoning Ordinance and the Downtown Overlay District Ordinance, the requirements of this article shall prevail.

21.02 Signs shall be architecturally compatible with the style, materials, colors, and details of the building to which they are affixed and with other nearby signs and buildings while providing for adequate identification of the business.

21.03 Neon signs shall be permitted with the following exceptions:

21.03.1 No exterior neon lighting shall be permitted.
21.03.2 No neon lighting shall be permitted that outlines windows or architectural features, such as doors, roof, cornices, and the like.
21.03.3 Neon signs shall be permitted only in a window display.
21.03.4 No neon sign shall be permitted above the first floor.
21.03.5 All neon signs shall comply with all standards established by the National Electrical Safety Code.

21.04 No exterior signs shall block windows or door openings. Where windows and doors are trimmed in decorative moldings, the moldings shall not be covered.

21.05 Actual produce and merchandise displayed for sale in store windows are not considered to be signs.

21.06 Signs may be illuminated by direct lighting but shall have such lighting shielded so no direct light will shine on abutting properties or in the normal line of vision of the pubic using the streets or sidewalks. For exterior sign illumination, shaded gooseneck lamps are encouraged. No flood or spot lights shall be mounted higher than five feet above the sign that it is illuminating.

21.07 No sign shall be so located or arranged that it interferes with traffic through glare; through blocking of reasonable sight lines or streets, sidewalks, or drive-ways; through confusion with a traffic control device (by reason of color, location, shape, or other characteristic); or through any other means.

21.08 All signs, except temporary signs, shall be constructed of durable material and kept in good condition and repair. Electrical signs shall be subject to the performance criteria of Underwriters Laboratory, Inc. and to periodic inspection by the City’s Code Inspection Officer.

21.09 Temporary poster advertisements shall be displayed on the inside of business storefronts rather than on the outside.

21.10 Signs existing at the time of passage of this Ordinance that do not confirm to the requirements of the Ordinance shall be considered nonconforming signs. No nonconforming signs shall be rebuilt; enlarged; changed; or altered in size, location, text, or appearance. Nonconforming signs may be replaced only with signs that conform to provisions of this Ordinance.

21.11 Signs pertaining to businesses or occupants, which are no longer using the building or property to which the sign relates, shall be removed from the premises within 30 days after the business or occupant has vacated the premises. The property owner is responsible for removing outdated signage.

21.12 A temporary sign stating that a business has relocated will be permitted for no more than 30 days after the business or occupancy has been vacated. Such signs shall be no larger than 12 square feet.

21.13 Any vehicle to which a sign is affixed in such a manner that the carrying of such sign or signs no longer is incidental to the vehicle’s primary purpose, but becomes a primary purpose in itself, shall be considered a free standing sign; and, as such, will be subject to the provisions regarding free standing signs in the districts in which such vehicle is located.

21.14 Twirling flags, balloons or other air or gas-filled devices and special promotional devices shall only be permitted for a new business for a period of not more than 15 days before or 30 days after the opening of such a new business. 

21.15 Where an overall sign plan has been approved by the Planning Commission or Zoning Hearing Board for any structure, or as part of any site plan, any subsequent sign for the structure or site shall take into consideration the previously approved plan in terms of location, letter style, lighting, color, construction and material, height, and dimension.

21.16 Signs shall be of professional quality and, at all times, be legible and in good repair.

21.17 A sandwich board is a temporary “A” frame sign, which may be readily moved from place to place. Sandwich board sign design and display requirements are as follows:

21.17.1 Number of signs

One sign per establishment shall be permitted.

21.17.2 Area and height

The maximum area shall be eight square feet per side of sign. The width of the sign shall not exceed two linear feet. The maximum height shall be four feet.

21.17.3 Location

Signs may be placed on a sidewalk directly in front of the applicant’s business establishment and may only advertise as to the applicant’s business. No off-premises advertising shall be permitted. The sign shall be placed on that part of the sidewalk closest to the associated use. The sign must be placed so as not to interfere with or obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Signs may not be anchored to the sidewalk or attached or chained to poles, newspaper vending boxes, or other structures or appurtenances.

21.17.4 Design

The sign frame shall be painted or stained wood or anodized aluminum or metal. Spray-painted signs are prohibited. 

21.17.5 Maintenance

The owner of the property and the proprietor of the business premises shall be jointly and severally responsible for keeping the area surrounding ground signs neat, clean, and well maintained.

21.18 The following signs are prohibited, unless the Planning Commission agrees with the opinion of the Downtown Overlay District Review Committee that such signs complement the intended use and architectural character of the building upon which it will be displayed:

21.18.1 Permanent banners, streamers, inflatable objects, twirlers, and like objects.
21.18.2 Signs painted directly on structures, except signs painted directly on unpainted brick, where the Planning Commission agrees with the opinion of the Downtown Overlay District Review Committee that such signs have historical value or where such signs successfully evoke the Downtown Business District era. A sign painted directly on a structure cannot be the primary sign for any business located within. The bottom of any sign painted directly on a structure must be located at least 10 feet above ground level.
21.18.3 Flashing, intermittent, or changing color light, including LED, fiber optic signs, strobe light, or highway flashers.

21.19 Temporary signs:  Temporary signs for special events and sales shall be permitted (subject to approval by the Planning Commission) upon recommendation from the Downtown Overlay District Review Committee, as set forth in this Section and in accordance with the City Zoning Ordinance, Article V, Section 1.4.

21.20 Window lettering and window signs

21.20.1 All permitted window lettering and window signs shall be of professional quality and applied to the interior of the window.
21.20.2 Window lettering or signs shall pertain only to the establishment occupying that portion of the premises in which the window is located.

21.21 Sign, size, number, height, location and area requirements

Signs may be erected only in accordance with the following requirements:

21.21.1 No commercial establishment shall be permitted a total of more than two signs.
21.21.2 Where there is a business or office floor above the first floor in a 2-story building that is not the same business as is located on the first floor, each such business shall be permitted one sign not more than 18 inches high or more than three 3 feet wide, such sign to be placed or painted on the window of the business or office or projected on suitable ornamental bracket from the building facade.

21.22 Projecting signs

Projecting signs shall be permitted provided that:

21.22.1 Projecting signs must be attached to the building by an ornamental bracket.
21.22.2 No projecting sign, including brackets, may project more than 42 inches from the building to which it is attached.
21.22.3 A projecting sign shall not be larger than 5% of the area of the facade to which it is attached. Ornamental brackets to which a projecting sign may be attached are not included in such five percent calculation.
21.22.4 No more than one projecting sign is permitted for each entrance door.
21.22.5 The bottom of any projecting sign must be at least 7.5 feet above ground level, and its top may not extend higher than whichever of the following is lowest:  25 feet above grade or the top of the sills of the first level of windows above the ground floor.

21.22.6 Window displays.

21.23 The storage of materials, stock, or inventory shall not be permitted in any window display area ordinarily exposed to public view is discouraged.

21.24 Obstructing ground floor windows from the interior of a building with shelving, display cases, signs, or other objects is discouraged.

21.25 All commercial window treatments, including blinds, shades, or curtains, shall be maintained in a clean and attractive manner.

21.26 Window display areas of vacant store fronts shall be maintained in good condition and in accordance with the regulations in this Ordinance. 

Section 22: Certificate of Appropriateness Required

22.01 Alterations and new construction

No alteration or site improvement of any property located in the Downtown Overlay District, as defined in Section 1.01 of this Ordinance, shall be undertaken prior to obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness  from the Planning Commission, nor shall a Building Permit be issued by the City for the construction, reconstruction, relocation, alteration, or demolition of any area, place, site, building, structure, object, or work of art within the designated Downtown Overlay District unless the application for such permit is approved by the Planning Commission through the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness in the manner prescribed herein.

22.02 Repairs, informal approval

In order to expedite and encourage timely maintenance and repair work in the designated Downtown Overlay District, the City’s Building Code Officer (BCO) shall review and approve repair and maintenance work that does not change the design, materials, or general appearance of a structure within the Overlay District. The BCO may solicit comments and recommendations from the Review Committee in order to make a determination if the proposed repair does not change the design, materials, or general appearance of the structure. Staff may forward the application to the Review Committee for recommendation of Certificate of Appropriateness approval to the Planning Commission when a determination regarding the proposed repair cannot be made. Examples of repair/maintenance work that does not change the design, materials, or general appearance of the structure are as follows:

22.02.1 Replacement of missing bricks, repointing with same color and type of mortar, and reconstruction with brick matching in color, size, and shape.

22.02.2 Replacement of conforming siding, moldings, fascia boards, gutters, railing units, shutters, awnings, canopies, shingles, and other exterior surfaces when there is no change in design, materials, or general appearance. Any replacement or alteration of non-conforming siding, moldings, fascia boards, awnings, canopies, signs, or other exterior surfaces is required to be reviewed by the Review Committee.

22.02.3 Replacement of windows when they are of like material, in size, shape, and appearance. A change from wooden to metal or vinyl storm windows (particularly on historic structures) is required to be reviewed by the Review Committee.

Section 23.  Certificate of Appropriateness Application Procedures

A Certificate of Appropriateness Application shall be submitted, in writing, and accompanied by the following data, where applicable:

23.01 Sketch plan information, as required by Section 213-11 of the Subdivision and Land Development Code, Chapter 213, of the City of Hazleton, as adopted and amended by City Council, with the following exceptions and additions:

23.01.1 Sketch plan requirements

The sketch plan shall be drawn at a scale of not more than 20 feet to the inch and include representation of adjacent lots, existing buildings, and adjacent streets.

23.01.2 Elevation

An architectural rendering or line drawing, to scale, of all building elevations showing all proposed improvements, to include the location of proposed signs and awnings. The elevation shall be drawn at the same scale of the sketch plan and include the following: The natural color of materials to be applied, including the colors of any paint or manufactured product on the
     exterior buildings, walls, or addition. The type and finish of all materials to be applied to the exterior surface of the building, walls or addition, sign
     placement, and awning placement. Current photographs of the subject building and adjacent buildings. Separate renderings of any and all proposed signs and/or awnings, including:

 The location and dimensions of the sign and/or awning.
 The size and style of all lettering.
 Colors with paint chips and/or color charts attached.
 Fabric with fabric sample attached.
 Construction materials.
 Height above grade and below roofline. Exterior lighting details proposed to be used for walkways, drives, and parking lot, including signs and light cast
     from the building’s interior, which is or will be visible from surrounding properties. Existing or proposed streetscape amenities, such as art work, sculptures, lighting, benches, fountains, and other
     ornamental or decorative features.

Section 24.  Certificate of Appropriateness Review Procedures

24.01 Pre-application meeting

The developer is encouraged to meet with the Downtown Overlay District Review Committee members prior to submission of a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) Application. The intent of this meeting is to discuss early and informally the purpose and effect of the Ordinance and the criteria and standards contained herein. It will also give the applicant the opportunity to become familiar with zoning regulations and procedures as well as the benefit of any comments on the specific proposal by City staff.

24.02 When the owner of a property within a Downtown Overlay District proposes new construction or alteration to any portion of a structure within the District, he/she shall first apply for and secure a COA from the Planning Commission. The application for a COA shall be forwarded to the Design Review Committee Chairman, together with such plans, specifications, renderings, fees, and other material as required for recommendation of action to the Planning Commission.

24.03 After a COA Application is received, the Design Review Committee Chairman shall determine whether the application is complete. If incomplete, the Design Review Board Chairman shall advise the applicant within 10 business days of any additional information that is necessary or required. The applicant shall have 5 business days to submit the missing information. Failure to submit the missing information will result in the application not being placed on the Review Committee's meeting agenda.

24.04 After determining that the COA application is complete, the Design Review Committee Chairman or an assigned agent shall forward the COA application to the Board three days before the next Committee meeting.

24.05 The applicant shall receive notification of the time and place set for review of the COA application by the Review Committee and shall appear at such stated time and place and shall bring with him/her such other information or witnesses as are requested by the Review Committee or which the applicant deems to be helpful to a speedy and thorough review. The applicant, his/her agents, or any witnesses called by him/her may be heard at such review.

24.06 The Review Committee shall review the application and evaluate whether or not the buildings and structures to be constructed, altered, repaired or relocated, comply with the requirements of the Downtown Overlay District Ordinance. The Review Committee will make a determination based on this review and forward the results to the Planning Commission for action on the COA. The recommendations by the Review Committee are as follows:

     24.06.1 Approval

     If the proposed alteration or new construction is determined to have no adverse effect by the Review Board on the Overlay
     District and does not violate the spirit and purpose of the Ordinance, then the Review Board Secretary shall recommend to
     the Planning Commission that it issue the Certificate of Appropriateness.

     24.06.2 Approval subject to conditions

     Upon determination that a COA is in compliance, except for minor modifications, the conditions for approval shall be
     identified and the applicant shall be given the opportunity to correct minor deficiencies. The applicant may resubmit the COA
     to the Review Committee for final review after conditions have been met. The Review Committee may waive its right to
     review the revised COA Application; and instead, authorize the Design Review Committee Chairman or assigned agent to
     review and recommend approval of the resubmitted application materials to the Planning Commission, if all required
     conditions have been addressed.

     24.06.3 Denial

     Upon determination that a COA Application does not comply with the standards and regulations set forth in this Ordinance,
     or that the proposed alteration will have an adverse effect on the Downtown Overlay District, or the COA Application
     requires extensive revision in order to comply with said standards and regulations, the Design Review Committee shall
     recommend that the Planning Commission deny the requested COA.

     24.06.4 The determination made being an approval, approval subject to conditions, or disapproval of a COA, respectively,
     shall be endorsed on the plans, including the date of such action and all contingencies and findings of fact supporting the
     Review Committee's decision. A copy of the Review Committee's decision and findings of fact shall be forwarded to the

24.07 Upon denying a Certificate of Appropriateness, the Planning Commission may impose a waiting period of at least 30 days, but not to exceed six months from the date of disapproval, during which time the Planning Commission shall authorize the Review Committee to negotiate with the owner of the property in order to develop a compromise proposal acceptable to both. The first meeting between the Review Committee and applicant shall be held within 60 days from the date of disapproval. If a compromise proposal is accepted by both parties, the Review Committee may henceforth recommend to the Planning Commission to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness. 

24.08 The Planning Commission shall grant or deny approval of the application within 45 days of the date of submission of such application by the Review Board or within such further time as may be consented to by the applicant. If the Planning Commission shall not have granted or denied said application within 45 days, the application shall be deemed to have been approved. 

24.09 Approval of the Certificate of Appropriateness shall expire five years after the date of approval by the Planning Commission or the approval of the final site development plan by the Planning Commission, whichever is later, if the applicant fails to obtain a building permit, use and occupancy permit, or other applicable permit, unless the Planning Commission has agreed, in writing or on the record, to an extension of time.

24.10 Appeals

The appeals process shall be in accordance with Article 213-67 of the Subdivision and Land Development Code, Chapter 213, of the City of Hazleton, as adopted and amended by City Council.

Section 25.  Notification of Violation

If the City of Hazleton’s Zoning Officer, staff member, or any member of the Design Review Committee shall find that any of the provisions of this Ordinance are being violated, the Chairman of the Design Review Committee shall notify the Zoning Officer, in writing, about such violation, indicating the nature of the violation and the action necessary to correct it. The Zoning Officer shall notify the person responsible for such violation in accordance with Article IX, Section, of the Zoning Ordinance.

Enforcement of the provisions of this Ordinance shall be in accordance with Article IX, Section 1.2, of the Zoning Ordinance.

ORDAINED AND ENACTED BY COUNCIL this 20th day of July, 2011.



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