The Zoning Department issues all permits for West Manchester Township, except Burning Permits. All property complaints are investigated through this office and all applications for Land Development, Subdivision, Variances, and Special Exceptions begin here before moving on to the respective Boards.
If you have questions about a permit or any of the above, please call us to discuss.
Effective, January 1, 2013, all new impervious area (concrete,blacktop, structures or any non-vegetative area) added is subject to a $1/Square foot stormwater fee.
When do I need a permit, and which permit do I need?
According to Section 150-363 of the West Manchester Township Zoning Ordinance, a Permit shall be required:
- Prior to a change in use of land or structure
- The erection, construction, improvement or alteration of any structure or portion thereof
- The alteration or development of any improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations
- The erection or alteration of any permanent signs and/or temporary signs classified as T-1, T-3, T-4, T-5, T-8, T-9 and T-10 as found in article XXVII of the Chapter
All permanent commercial signs require a Building Permit and inspection by our 3rd party agency. Temporary signs (commercial or residential) only require a Zoning Permit
Permits are also required for the construction or installation of animal waste impoundments lakes, ponds, dams or other water retention basins.
West Manchester Township adopted the Ordinance 04-08 in 2004 – known as the Building Code. All Building Permits are governed by the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code and will require inspections during the work. The Township has hired a third party inspector in order to perform this work, therefore, Building Permits require additional time to process.
- Commonwealth Code Inspection Service is our 3rd party inspection agency
- Commonwealth Code Inspection Service Fees
Some building permit examples include:
- ALL swimming pools which contain or are normally capable of containing 18 inches of water or more
- Any addition onto your house
- Garages, carports or porticos attached to the house (including a porch roof or ‘lean-to’)
- Construction of a deck where the height is greater than 30” from the ground (at any place)
- Installation of doors or windows where the size is changing (greater or smaller)
- Almost ALL electrical work
- Plumbing work where the trap seal is broken
- Commercial signs (attached or freestanding)
Building permits require an application, and all of the following:
- Site plan showing the property lines, existing and proposed structures and the distance of proposed work to property lines.
- Two (2) complete sets of construction plans (for residential work)
- Three (3) complete sets of stamped sealed construction plans (for commercial work)
- Total cost of the project
- All contractors and subcontractors involved with the project.
No payments are accepted at the time of application. Permit fees are assessed and collected at the time of issuance.
The average time to process an application is 15 business days for residential, 30 business days for a commercial permit.
Effective January 1 2013 ALL NEW IMPERVIOUS AREA (paving, concrete, structures or any non-vegetative area) added to a property is subject to a $1/square foot stormwater fee and is required to manage or infiltrate the stormwater on site. There are several ways to do this, and here are a few commonly used:
More information can be found regarding the Stormwater Ordinance and the importance of Infiltration here
Zoning Permits are issued and inspected by the Zoning Department, and are not regulated by outside agencies. Some examples include:
- Carports, garages or sheds (under 1,000 s.f.) that are NOT attached to your house
- Fences, walls, gazebos, arbors and accessory structures
- Uncovered porches, concrete or paver patios, walkways and sidewalks
- Decks no higher than 30” from the ground
- Repaving, resurfacing or replacing an existing driveway
- Widening an existing driveway
- Temporary signs (commercial or residential)
Zoning Permits require an application with a site plans showing:
- the entire lot with overall property dimensions
- existing and proposed structures with dimensions and areas
- total construction cost of the project
- any contractors of sub-contractors involved
Zoning Permits fees is $5 per $1,000 estimated construction cost. If the homeowner is doing the work, include the cost of materials.
The average time to process and issue a Zoning Permit is seven (7) to ten (10) business days.
NO permit is required for:
- Repair and replacement of partial structures, such as the floorboards of a deck
- Replacing or installing siding on the house
- Replacing the shingles on the roof
- Replacing doors and/or windows where the new ones are the same size as the old ones
- Wallpaper, carpet, tile, cabinetry, paneling and most cosmetic work
- Seal coating the driveway
- Finishing a basement WITHOUT adding electrical or plumbing work
Call the Zoning Department at 717-792-3505 if you are unsure which permit you need, or what kind of stormwater management may be best for your lot
New Business Registration
All new businesses, changes of address, business name changes, and contact information updates should file a New Business registration with the Zoning Department.
West Manchester Township does not permit home businesses, except No Impact Home Businesses, as regulated by the Commonwealth of PA.
A no-impact home based business is a business or commercial activity administered or conducted as an accessory use which is clearly secondary to the use as a residential dwelling and which involves no customer, client or patient traffic, whether vehicular or pedestrian, pickup, delivery or removal functions to or from the premises, in excess of those normally associated with residential use. The business or commercial activity must satisfy ALL of the following requirements:
- The business activity shall be compatible with the residential use of the property and surrounding residential uses.
- The business shall employ no employees other than family members residing in the dwelling.
- There shall be no display or sale of retail goods and no stockpiling or inventory of a substantial nature.
- There shall be no outside appearance of a business use, including, but not limited to, parking, signs or lights.
- The business activity may not use any equipment or process which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors or electrical or electronic interference, including interference with radio or television reception, which is detectable in the neighborhood.
- The business activity may not generate any solid waste or sewage discharge, in volume or type, which is not normally associated with residential use in the neighborhood.
- The business activity shall be conducted only within the dwelling and may not occupy more than 25% of the habitable floor area.
- The business may not involve any illegal activity.
All businesses operating in the Township must register. There is a one-time fee of $15 for No Impact Home Businesses.
Businesses closing must notify the Township of the date they intend to close. Name changes, changes of mailing address, and changes in emergency contact should all be updated to the Zoning Department, who in turn notifies the Police and Fire Departments.
Retail businesses closing are required by PA Commonwealth law to acquire a Going Out of Business permit if there are to be any Going Out of Business Sales.
In 1974, West Manchester Township Adopted Ordinance 74-2, which requires all Plumbers working within the Township to be registered under the requirements of the code (Chapter 95)
Additionally, a permit is required for plumbing work performed in the Township, and may only be issued to a plumber registered within the Township, or to the Owner of the property.
Plumbers must register with the Township annually.
Special Events and Temporary Uses:
Special Events and Temporary Uses are permitted within the Township (generally in Parking Lots) upon the issuance of a Permit by the Zoning Officer. (Chapter 150-262)
- Carnivals, circuses, fairs, exhibits or similar events, for no longer than seven (7) days
- Sales and display of seasonal items (Christmas trees, lawn & garden items, etc.) in areas where permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, and may not continue longer than 45 days per calendar year.
- Special events and Temporary Events not held in a parking lot are subject to the requirements of the Zones in which they are located.
Any person, partnership, firm or corporation wishing to engage in a Transient Retail Business in West Manchester Township must first apply to the Zoning Department for a license. These businesses are on a single property, for a finite amount of time, and include (but are not limited to) Food trucks, Flower or fireworks sales, or other similar uses, or vendors at a Special Event as noted above. (Chapter 133)
Fees for Transient sales are:
- $25 for 1 day (minimum) up to 1 month; plus a $10 administrative fee
- $50 for sales lasting from 1 month to 2 months; plus a $10 administrative fee
- $75 for sales lasting 3 months (maximum) plus a $10 administrative fee
Transient Sales MAY NOT occupy the public street, sidewalk park or street right-of-way within the Township.
A Letter of approval from the owner of the property is required to be provided, and must include the length of time for sales and contact information of the owner.
Please note that food vendors are required to provide a copy of their PA Dept. of Agriculture license.
This Application is NOT for door to door sales within the Township. Solicitation Permits are issued by West Manchester Township Police Department.
Common Property Complaints:
The following items are regular complaints registered with the Zoning Department:
- Property Maintenance: high grass, weeds, (Chapter 55) trash issues, (Chapter 100) junk & debris (150-230)
- Abandoned Vehicles: wrecked, or flat tires, vehicles without current state inspection (Refer to Chapter 143)
- Recreational Vehicles, boats, campers and/or trailers: May not be stored in any residential zone within the front yard (150-230)
- Failure to maintain a swimming pool All swimming pools normally capable of holding 18 inches of water are required to be connected to an operable filtration system and permits are required for their installation.
- Snow & Ice: Public sidewalks are required to be cleared of snow and ice within eight (8) hours after the precipitation has stopped, for a minimum 24 “ wide (Chapter 117-1)
- Yard Sales: Each property within the Township is permitted to have two (2) sales within a calendar year. Each sale may be two (2) days long. Signs may be placed on private property with the permission of the owner (or they may be removed) and may NOT be placed on street signs or utility poles. (Chapter 79) All signs must be removed within 24 hours of the end of the sale.
It is always the best policy to talk with your neighbor first if there is a problem. Most residents prefer to have a neighbor approach then personally, rather than receive an official Notice of Violation from the Township.
Complaints are processed through the Zoning Department by telephone, in person, or below. Please include the exact address of the property at issue:
All complaints are investigated, however, when a complaint is founded, the Township office must follow the legal procedures set forth in our Zoning Ordinance and the Municipalities Planning Code in order to resolve the matter. At times, these procedures can be quite lengthy. The Township will do its best to keep the lines of communication open and resolve the matter as soon as possible, however, it is not our policy to call complainants with updates.
The Township will not release any information regarding the identity of the person reporting a complaint, although this information may be shared with other Township personnel, such as the Police Department, in order to further investigate the situation.
Additional Information & Resources
- The International Code Council
- York County Conservation District
- York County Planning Commission
- York County website