What Is A Subdivision and Land Develoment Ordinance?

A Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) is a local law passed by either a municipality or county to regulate the subdividing and development of land. This ordinance protects against unwise, poorly planned growth. It also protects the property values of all land owners, as well as the interests of the developers.

To access Lower Moreland Township's Chapter 180: Subdivision of Land Ordinance, please visit http://ecode360.com/5097609. In March 2014, the Lower Moreland Township Board of Commissioners amended Chapter 180 by revising five sections of the ordinance. The revised sections of the ordinance can be found here.


The Stages of Review

There are three stages in the procedure for approval of subdivision and land development plans. These stages are necessary to enable the Planning Commission and the Board of Commissioners to have an adequate opportunity to review the submissions and to ensure that their formal recommendations are reflected in the final plans. The separate states of approval include the submission of:
1.    Sketch Plan (Optional)
2.    Preliminary Plan
3.    Final Plan

Sketch Plan

The purpose of the optional sketch plan is to afford the applicant the opportunity to consult early and informally with the Planning Commission, the Montgomery County Planning Commission, and Board of Commissioners before the preparation of the preliminary or final plan and formal application for approval. During the sketch plan process, the applicant can advantageously make use of the services of both Planning Commissions, the Board of Commissioners, and appointed consultants to help analyze the proposed development and to offer feedback for coordinating the project with the community. The sketch plan process also affords the opportunity to give informal guidance to the applicant at a stage when potential points of difference can be more easily resolved. It can also simplify official action and save unnecessary expense and delay. Plans are neither approved nor denied at this stage.

Preliminary Plan

The purpose of the preliminary plan is to obtain formal conditional approval in order to minimize revisions before final plans are submitted. Depending on the size and characteristics of the proposed development, a preliminary plan may include the following information, among other requirements:
•    Site plan (zoning requirements, proposed standards such as density and open space, proposed layout)
•    Maps and plans detailing the property’s natural features (vegetation, water, soil, landscaping)
•    Stormwater management plan in accordance with the Township’s Stormwater Management and Grading Ordinance
•    Sewer plan
•    Transportation impact study

The preliminary plan begins the formal review process, with the Township’s Engineer, Planner, and Zoning Officer issuing their recommendations within thirty days of the plan’s receipt. The plan is then reviewed by both Planning Commissions to make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners. Based on these reviews, as well as feedback received from Township residents, the Board of Commissioners will vote for the plan’s conditional approval.  If approved, the applicant must then begin to address all of the conditional provisions required for final plan approval. If denied, the applicant does have the ability to submit revisions.

Final Plan

The purpose of the final plan is to require formal approval by the Board of Commissioners before plans for all subdivisions and land developments are recorded. A final plan will show the fully engineered plan from the preliminary phase, meeting all of the conditions required by the preliminary plan approval.

The review process follows similar guidelines to the preliminary plan, adding a layer of review from the Township solicitor. The final plan will be reviewed by both Planning Commissioners, considering the recommendations made by the Township’s appointed consultants. The Board of Commissioners will then consider the final approval.