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Zoning - FAQs

What is a zoning permit?
o A zoning permit is required for any accessory structure not attached to your house such as: a shed, driveway and walkway, a patio, a fence, a detached garage, a gazebo, a pergola, a chicken coop, etc. A zoning permit does not include any construction which would fall under the PA Uniform Construction Code. A zoning permit also includes commercial uses, signage and parking lots.

A "Site Plan" is required in my zoning permit application. What is that?
o A zoning permit application requires information such as the type of structure as well as its location and size. Provide the property lines, adjacent street(s), the house, driveway, and other existing structures/applicable landscaping. Include the new structure on the lot and the distances to the nearest property lines. Draw to scale as best you can. The Zoning Officer may require additional information or even a new drawing if the first is insufficient, delaying the issuance of a permit.

Do I need a permit to replace my driveway?
o You do not need a permit if you are resurfacing or if you are removing a driveway and replacing it with the exact same size and shape. All driveways must be cement, decorative pavers or asphalt. If you are expanding the size, changing the shape or adding a parking pad, a permit is required. If the project requires any curb, sidewalk or apron work, you are required to get a permit from the Public Works Department prior to filing an application for a zoning permit.

Do I need a permit to replace my fence?
A fence permit is required in all cases except when replacing the panels with the same material and size while using the same posts.

How many days does it take to get a zoning permit?
The Zoning Officer has ninety (90) days per ยง 275-9A(5)(a), to review an application from the time it is submitted in completion (including the insurance addendum). Likely, the review process will take a week to ten days depending on volume of applications and complexity of review.

When are Zoning Hearing Board meetings and when are the deadlines to submit applications?
Zoning Hearing Board meetings take place the last Wednesday of every month (except when the office is closed; please inquire about those specific instances) and the deadline to submit an application is close of business the Wednesday three (3) weeks before the meeting, usually the first Wednesday of the month but not always. The application fee is $600.


Bethlehem Township
4225 Easton Avenue
Bethlehem, Pa. 18020
Phone: 610-814-6400
Fax: 610-814-6408
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