Amusement Park Ride Height Exception | Derry Township Zoning Ordinance

Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania is the municipality in which Hersheypark resides. (There are three other Derry Townships in Pennsylvania as well: in Mifflin County, in Montour County, and in Westmoreland County.)

The township passed its first Zoning Ordinance in 1967 and and updated second Zoning Ordinance in 1978. Text for the 1978 version is not currently available, but is most likely when the first Amusement Park Ride Height Exception was implemented – in the wake of the park installing Kissing Tower in 1975.

The reason this would have been implemented is from concern of the people living in Derry Township. There was concern from township citizens that Hersheypark might construct larger amusement rides that wouldn’t fit the feel of the Hershey area. This height exception gave a reasonable restriction given Hersheypark constructing Tower Plaza which included the Kissing Tower, which is a 330 foot tall observation tower.

The Exception has remained in Derry Township’s Zoning Ordinance and the earliest text currently available is from 1993.

Here is the text of this provision in the 1993 Zoning Ordinance [Revised 2003].

1993 Zoning Ordinance [Revised 2003] (p122)

This effectively limited rides to a maximum height of 350 feet. Any rides of a height between 200 and 350 feet were required to receive a special exception from the township zoning hearing board.

This provision was updated in 2017. Here is the text of the current provision, which went into effect on April 3, 2017.

2017 Zoning Ordinance (p118)

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