- Building & Zoning
Building & Zoning
The Building Department oversees all construction and repairs to residential and commercial buildings. Building permits are required by law. Applications for building permits can be obtained online or at the Township Office. Permits are required for all work except: painting, wallpapering, carpeting, and landscape work.
Contractor Licensing Requirements
Effective July 1, 2009, all home improvement contractors must be licensed with the State of Pennsylvania and provide West Norriton Township with a certificate of insurance. This is enforced to protect homeowners from unscrupulous contractors.
All contractors performing commercial work, along with all electrical and plumbing contractors (both residential and commercial), are required to be registered with the township. When these contractors obtain a license from the township, they are required to show proof from another municipality that they hold a license for that trade. They are also required to provide the township with a copy of their liability insurance showing West Norriton Township as a holder.
Learn more about these regulations by visiting the International Code Council website.
Zoning is a method of regulating land use and structures. It is initiated by the adoption of a zoning ordinance that is designed to protect the public's health, safety, and welfare. Zoning maps define different zoning districts.
Zoning is recognized as a positive tool for encouraging certain development and for creating an attractive community. In addition, zoning now frequently attempts to control development in areas subject to flooding, to preserve natural and historic features, and save farmland.
Zoning Districts & Mapping
The West Norriton Township Zoning Ordinance defines requirements for 12 different zoning districts and contains community development objectives and the necessary technical provisions to regulate the use of land and structures. The ordinance establishes bulk, height, area, setback, and other standards. The Zoning Ordinance has been adopted and amended by the West Norriton Township Board of Commissioners and is contained in Section 27 of the West Norriton Township Code.
The zoning map (PDF) may also be adopted and amended by the West Norriton Township Board of Commissioners. The zoning map delineates the boundaries of the specific districts or zones created in the ordinance. An applicant may request that the Board of Supervisors rezone a property by filing a Change of Zoning Application (PDF).
Zoning Hearing Board
The West Norriton Township Zoning Hearing Board is established by the Zoning Ordinance. The Zoning Hearing Board was created to help assure fair and equitable application and administration of the Zoning Ordinance. The Zoning Hearing Board is the local court for zoning matters. The purpose of the Zoning Hearing Board is to hear requests for variances, special exceptions, and other appeals. An applicant may file an application to be heard by the Zoning Hearing Board by completing and submitting a Zoning Hearing Board Application (PDF).
The day-to-day administrative procedures provided for in the ordinance are the responsibility of the zoning officer. His/her duties generally involve receiving, reviewing, and issuing applications for building or zoning permits and certificates of occupancy; maintaining records of applications and permits; making inspections to determine compliance with the ordinance; notifying persons violating the ordinance; keeping zoning ordinance and maps up-to-date; and accepting applications for and presenting facts at hearings before the Zoning Hearing Board.
Land Use Problems
Zoning is not a cure-all for all of the township's land use problems. While the zoning ordinance may state where a type of use is permissible, it does not contain design or construction specifications. It cannot correct the mistakes of the past; rather, it attempts to prevent unwise development and development patterns from occurring in the future. It should be noted that the township has no legal right to prevent a property from being developed as zoned unless the township is prepared to purchase that property at fair market value.