MapLink™ | Procedures | Land Dedication and Common Areas

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Land Dedication and Common Areas
This article shall apply to any development which involves the ownership and maintenance of conservation open space, open land, recreation land, and common facilities (referred to as "common area" in this article) as required by this chapter and Chapter 187: Subdivision and Land Development.

The requirements of this article are intended to assure in perpetuity the ownership, use and maintenance of common areas. The general principle shall be to assign ownership and maintenance responsibility to that entity which is best suited for the same and which will allocate any associated costs to the individuals which directly benefit from the use of the common area.

Plan and legal documents.
The developer shall submit a plan and proposed legal documents for the purpose of dedicating, in perpetuity, the use, ownership and maintenance of the approved common area. The plan shall be approved by the Council with the advice of the Borough's Solicitor. The provisions of the approved plan shall be incorporated into a development agreement with the Borough with deed covenants and restrictions or other legal document which will effect the plan and which can be enforced by the Borough.

Use restriction.
The use of any common area shall be limited to those uses which are specifically permitted or required by the applicable sections of this chapter and Chapter 187: Subdivision and Land Development.

Development plan designations.
The subdivision/land development plan which will be recorded following final approval of the development shall clearly show all common areas and specifically note the use, ownership and maintenance responsibility of the same. Reference to the legal document(s) governing the use, ownership and maintenance of common areas shall be noted on the plan. The plan shall also contain the following statement: "Open land, recreation land, and common facilities shall not be sold separately or be further subdivided or developed, nor shall such land be used for density for any other development."

Methods for use dedication and common area ownership and maintenance. See § 215-76: Methods for use dedication and common area ownership and maintenance.

Failure to preserve dedication of use and operation and maintenance of common area.
If the method established for the dedication of use and operation and maintenance of common areas fails to do so in reasonable order and condition in accord with the approved development plan, the Borough Council shall have the right and authority to take all necessary legal action to effect such use dedication, operation and maintenance. The action of the Council shall be in accord with the following:
A. Notice. The Council shall serve written notice on the assigned entity or the property owners in the development, setting forth the details of the failure of the entity with regard to use dedication and operation and maintenance of common areas.
B. Correction of deficiencies. The notice shall include a demand that the deficiencies be corrected in a reasonable period of time, which shall be stated in the notice.
C. Public hearing. A public hearing shall be conducted subsequent to the notice and shall be advertised in accord with the definition of "public notice" contained in this chapter. At such hearing, the Council may modify the terms of the original notice as to the deficiencies and may extend the time for correction of the deficiencies.
D. Failure to correct. In the event the deficiencies in the notice, as may have been modified at the public hearing, are not corrected in accord with the established time period, the Council may enter upon the common area and maintain the same and/or correct the deficiencies. The Council shall continue such action for such time as may be necessary to correct the deficiencies. Said action shall not constitute a taking or dedication of any common areas, nor vest in the public the right to use any common area.
E. Reinstatement of responsibility. The responsibility of operation and maintenance shall not be reinstated to the assigned entity until such time as the entity has demonstrated to the Council that the proper steps have been effected to modify the terms of use dedication, operation and maintenance and/or to reorganize or replace the responsible entity so that use dedication and operation and maintenance established by the approved development plan will be assured.
F. Appeal. Any party to the action of the Council may appeal such action to court as provided for such appeals in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
G. Public costs. The costs of the preservation of use dedication and the cost of maintenance and operation of any open land conducted by the Borough in accord with this article, including any administrative and legal costs, shall be assessed ratably against the properties in the subject development which have a right of enjoyment and/or use of the common areas. The assessment shall be made a lien on the properties, and the Council shall, at the time of the notice in Section A above, file the required notice of lien against the properties.