The zoning map divides the borough into zoning districts. In each district, different uses are allowed or prohibited. There are three different ways that a use can be allowed:
- as a permitted by right use, with the zoning approved by the Zoning Officer,
- as a special exception use, with the zoning approved by the Zoning Hearing Board, and
- as a conditional use, with the zoning approved by the Borough Council (this is not used in Myerstown).
Zoning Districts in Myerstown
LDR - Low Density Residential District
OT - Old Town Residential District
TMN - Traditional Mixed Neighborhood
TC - Town Center District
GB - General Business District
LI - Light Industrial District
GI - General Industrial District
CF - Community Facilities District
CN - Conservation District
LDR - Low Density Residential District. This is the lowest density residential district. It allows for single family detached houses, and semi-detached (side-by-side) dwellings. In addition, townhouses are allowed with Zoning Hearing Board approval, provided the lot includes at least one-half acre. The one-half acre requirement is intended to avoid the demolition of a single family home to build townhouses in the middle of a single family detached block. A maximum of 4 townhouses can be attached in a row in this district. Apartments on large lots are not allowed in these areas.
New churches and other places of worship would need a ½ acre lot in a residential district. This is to make sure that an individual house on a small lot in the middle of a residential block cannot become a new place of worship.
OT - Old Town Residential District. This district includes most of the existing residential neighborhoods in the Borough. A variety of housing types are allowed, with a maximum density of 10 to 14 dwelling units per acre.
A one family house cannot be allowed to be converted into two or more apartments unless it is an unusually large house (over 3,000 square feet). There is a minimum tract size of 1/3 acre for new apartments, so that they cannot be built on a small lot in the middle of single detached houses.
The Zoning Ordinance provides the Zoning Hearing Board with authority to approve alternative uses in former industrial buildings or schools, churches, rectories, convents and similar non-residential buildings, without needing proof of a hardship. Those alternative uses could include conversions to apartments, offices, funeral homes and selected other uses.
TMN - Traditional Mixed Neighborhood. The TMN district applies along the length of Main Avenue (except in the center of the downtown) and most of the length of College Street. It allows a mix of housing types at 12 to 20 housing units per acre. In addition, these areas are intended to allow low intensity businesses, such as retail sales, office and personal service uses, day care, and bed and breakfast inns. There could be a storefront business with apartments above.
“Live Work Units” allow a flexible use of business and residential space, provided that the operator of the business lives within the same building area. A Live Work Unit functions like a homebased business, but without limits on the amount of floor area used for the business.
The goal is to only allow types of commercial uses that would be good neighbors for nearby residents. Late night hours of operation are limited for uses that are not already open during late night hours. Any new late night hours (11 pm to 6 am) would need Zoning Hearing Board approval.
TC - Town Center District. This district applies to the Downtown segment of Main Avenue and some adjacent segments of College Avenue. This district allows apartments (except along the first floor street frontage), retail stores, offices, theaters, hotels, recreation uses, restaurants without drive-through service, personal services, funeral homes, day care, and similar uses.
Auto sales, auto repair, boat sales, car washes, and warehouses are not allowed, except for accessory warehousing. In any case, existing lawful uses can continue to operate.
New buildings are required to be placed close to the street, with parking located to the side or rear of the building. The maximum height was raised in 2017 to 5 stories or 70 feet, whichever is more restrictive.
GB - General Business District. This district includes commercial areas along the Route 422 corridor. It allows the same uses as Town Center, plus gas stations, vehicle repair, vehicle sales and drive-through restaurants.
This district includes the former shirt factory complex east of Cherry Street and north of Main Avenue, which is being sold for business uses.
LI - Light Industrial District. This district mainly includes current industrial lands in the southern part of Myerstown, including the Bayer complex. It allows offices, warehouses, and almost all types of industrial uses. However, the heaviest and most intensive industrial are limited to the General Industrial District.
GI - General Industrial District. The GI District includes lands east of S. Cherry St. and south of E. Richland Ave. The GI District allows all of the same uses as the LI district, plus the heaviest and most intensive industrial uses. Zoning Hearing Board approval is needed for the most intensive uses.
CF - Community Facilities District. This district includes cemeteries, some of the larger churches, and some of the retirement communities. It mainly allows for institutional uses. Housing is allowed under the same standards as the Old Town Residential district, except with a higher density and taller height for age-restricted housing. This district allows for colleges, seminaries, personal care centers, nursing homes and hospices.
CN - Conservation District. This district includes most of the public parks, plus areas along the Tulpehocken Creek that are within the “100 year floodway.” The 100 year floodway is the area that is projected to carry the majority of the floodwaters during the worst storm in an average 100 year period. There also are regulations to control the adjacent “100 year flood-fringe,” which is subject to less frequent and more shallow flooding. New buildings are prohibited in the floodway