Community Development Frequently Asked Questions


 What does a permit cost? Are permit fees waived for certain work?

Permit fees are established by the Board of Supervisors and found on the adopted Fee Schedule.

 Can I place a shed on my property?

A shed measuring 10 by 15 [150 sq. ft.] or smaller, may be located on any residential property as long as it is placed to the rear of the dwelling. The shed must be setback a minimum of 3 ft. from the side and rear property lines, and cannot be more than 8 ft. in height.
A Residential Permit Application must be submitted with a complete site plan to obtain the appropriate approval. The review time is 10 to 15 days.

Sheds larger than 150 sq. ft. or more than 8ft. in height are considered to be accessory buildings and must meet different criteria. The rear setback for accessory buildings is 10 ft. The required side yard setback is established by the zoning district in which the property is located. Additionally, installation of a seepage pit could be required.
A Residential Permit Application must be submitted with a complete site plan to obtain the appropriate approval. The review time is 10 to 15 days.

 Can I put a fence on my property?

Generally, a fence of up to 6 ft. in height is permitted along the rear and/or side property line of most residential parcels. A Permit is required and a Residential Permit Application must be submitted.

No fence will be permitted that might cause danger to traffic or a street or public road by obscuring the view. No fencing over two feet in height shall be permitted in any sight triangle as required under the Springettsbury Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance. No fence, wall or other structure shall be erected or maintained within the right-of-way of any street, drainage, or sewer right-of-way or any other public easement

Fences located on a corner property, between units in a duplex, or next to a highway must meet special criteria. A Permit is required and a complete Site Plan must be submitted with the Residential Permit Application. The review time is 10 to 15 days.

 Does the Township regulate yard/garage sales?

Conducting a yard/garage, moving or estate sale on a single residential property requires a permit. To obtain a permit, the appropriate Garage and Yard Sale Permit Application must be submitted along with a $5.00 fee. The application is only available at the Township Office. There is NO review time necessary and the permit can be issued immediately.

Additionally, these type of sales must comply with the following:
(1) The sale shall not exceed 2 consecutive days
(2) The sale shall begin no earlier than 9:00 A.M. & end no later than 9:00 P.M.
(3) Only goods & property of the applicant/property owner shall be sold
(4) Maximum of 2 sales at any one address per calendar year
(5) Signs are permitted on the property of the sale only & must be removed within 24 hours after the sale ends [signs on major street corners, attached to utility poles & street signs, or signs in any other locations are strictly prohibited]

A “Community Yard Sale” including: Flea Markets, Rummage Sales, May Fairs, or similar events that involve multiple sellers on one or more properties, requires a different permit and has separate criteria.

(1)These types of sales may be conducted by Churches, Schools, Fraternal/Service Organizations, Condo Associations, etc. Proper documentation must be submitted with the Application demonstrating an affiliation with a non-profit organization. This should be submitted on letterhead of the non-profit organization.
(2) A Temporary Certificate of Use & Occupancy is required to be obtained. The fee is $50.00
(3) A drawing depicting the location of any tents, stands, booths, grills, tables, etc. must be included with the Application. In addition, an inspection of all tents must be conducted prior to the sale.

 How do I know what uses are permitted on a property?

Permitted uses on each property are dependent on the zoning district in which the parcel is located.  A list of permitted uses for each district is found in the Township’s adopted Zoning Ordinance. To determine what zoning applies to the property, review the Zoning Map.

 How much time after snowfall do I have to clear the sidewalks?

You have 24 hours from the time the snow stops to clear your sidewalks. Snow or ice shall be completely cleared from the sidewalk exposing the wearing surface of the same to a width of not less than 24 inches.

No person removing snow or ice from a public sidewalk or removing snow or ice from any portion of the property shall deposit such snow or ice in or upon any public street between the curb lines of such street.

 Is outdoor burning permitted in the Township?

ALL burning, other than the recreational options listed below is prohibited in the Township.

When burning outdoors, please consider the following general code and safety points:

Gas Grills:

o ALWAYS follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

o PRIOR to each use, check for leaks by applying soap and water to all connections and looking for bubbles. Tighten connections to eliminate leaks. Have a professional repair the product is necessary.

o The grill should ONLY be used outdoors and away from anything that could burn. Gas grills SHOULD NOT be used in a garage or on an apartment balcony.

o Make sure the lid is open PRIOR to igniting the grill.

o When storing, TURN OFF the grill and gas tank.

o If storing a gas grill indoors, ALWAYS leave the gas tank outdoors.

Charcoal Grills:

o ALWAYS follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

o The grill should ONLY be used outdoors and away from anything that could burn. Charcoal grills SHOULD NOT be used in a garage or on an apartment balcony.

o ONLY use charcoal briquettes. Do not burn wood, trash, newspapers, or other materials in a charcoal grill.

o ONLY use lighter fluids approved for use with charcoal grills.

o NEVER add lighter fluid after igniting a barbeque.

o ONLY use charcoal grills away from things that can burn.

o NEVER leave a flaming grill unattended.

o Charcoal briquettes remain very hot after use. ALWAYS make sure the briquettes are completely cooled prior to disposing of them. Use water to completely extinguish them.

Firebowls and Chimneas:

o ALWAYS follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

o NEVER use a firebowl or chimnea on a wood deck.

o ALWAYS place firebowls and chimneas as far from combustibles as possible. In general, a minimum of 15 feet from combustibles should be maintained, however, consult the instruction manual for information specific to the product being used.

o NEVER leave a firebowl or chimnea unattended.

o ALWAYS have a fire extinguisher or water in close proximity in order to extinguish the fire if a problem arises.

o ONLY burn approved fuel. Burning of trash is not permitted.

o If the product comes with a grate to place the fuel on – ALWAYS use it.

o If the product comes with a screen or cover to place over it – ALWAYS use it.

Turkey Fryers:

o ALWAYS follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

o Turkey fryers can be EXTREMELY dangerous if not used properly.

o NEVER leave a turkey fryer unattended while in use.

o ALWAYS use well insulated potholders and safety glasses when operating a turkey fryer.

o ALWAYS completely thaw your turkey prior to using a turkey fryer. Water and oil do not mix, thus a frozen turkey placed in hot oil can cause fire or explosion.

o NEVER use a turkey fryer on a wood deck, in a garage, or in close proximity to anything that could burn.

o NEVER allow children near turkey fryers while in use or after use.

o DO NOT overfill the fryer. When the turkey is inserted, the oil will overflow causing fire or an explosion hazard.

o ALWAYS have an all-purpose fire extinguisher in close proximity to the turkey fryer. DO NOT use water to extinguish a grease fire.

 What are the permit requirements for site work or construction on Residential Single Family Properties?

Permits are required for most work in Springettsbury Township, and must be secured prior to the start of such work. A Residential Permit Application must be submitted and may take between ten (10) and fifteen (15) days to be reviewed/approved. Permits expire 1 year after issued. A Permit may be renewed every 6 months for a period not to exceed an additional 1-year. The renewal fee is 50% of the original fee for the first 6 months and 25% for the second 6 months. Permit fees are established by the Board of Supervisors and found on the adopted Fee Schedule

Permits are NOT required for any of the following: Interior renovations or alterations to existing residential one and two family structures that do not involve a structural change or changes to means of egress, installation of carpet, painting or wallpapering, or landscaping that involves the installation or removal of plant material.

Permits are required for all plumbing work. A Master Plumber licensed by Springettsbury Township must secure all Plumbing Permits. All plumbing work must be performed by a plumber licensed by Springettsbury Township. Any plumbing questions, please call at (717) 757-3521.

Complete Site Plans showing the following information must be submitted with any Residential Permit Application

(1) Dimensions of the lot and all structures on the lot [what is currently there & what you propose to add], including the driveway width & length to row line

(2) Distance of all structures from front, side & rear property lines

(3) Location & dimensions of any easements or ROW’s

 What building inspections are required?

FOOTINGS – Forms and/or grade stakes must be set and inspected prior to pouring concrete.

FOUNDATIONS – Inspected when foundation is complete (pargeting, damp proofing, and drain tile must be in place when required) and prior to backfilling.

PLUMBING, MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL (rough) – After installation of these systems but prior to concealment.

FRAMING – Inspected after plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems are roughed in and before insulating.

INSULATION - After all insulation is installed prior to covering

WALLBOARD - After the wallboard is hung and prior to applying joint compound or the finish material. 

PLUMBING, MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL (final) – After completion of these systems and these systems are operational.

CURB, SIDEWALKS & APRONS – Inspected after forms and stone base are in place and before pouring concrete.

FINAL – Inspected after final plumbing, mechanical and electrical inspections have been approved and before any use or occupancy of the building.

 Where can I get a copy of the entire zoning ordinance?

Click HERE to connect to a digital version of this document. If you wish to purchase a paper version, copies can be obtained at the Township Office. A reproduction fee of $0.25/page is applicable.

 Where do I get a permit application?

A permit application, along with many other commonly requested forms and applications can be found in Documents & Forms >Community Development Forms and Applications. A link to this page is also found at the bottom of the each webpage, under Quick Connect > Forms/Permits.