Do I Need a Zoning Permit?
A zoning permit is required for:
- (1) A change in use of land or structure;
- (2) The placement, erection, construction, improvement, or alteration of a structure, or portion thereof, including a fence, that has a fair market value exceeding $500, except that a zoning permit shall be required prior to all construction or development located in the Floodplain Overlay and the Airport Hazard Overlay, regardless of cost;
- (3) The alteration or improvement of any existing structure, where such improvement or alteration thereof increases the amount of space enclosed by the structure;
- (4) The alteration or development of any improved or unimproved real estate; and
- (5) The erection or alteration of any signs specified in Article 8, except for those specifically exempted from permit.
Common projects needing a zoning permit include:
- Building a deck.
- Building a patio.
- Constructing a pergola or trellis.
- Building a shed, or having a prefab shed installed on your property.
- Enclosing an existing screened-in porch.
- Building a roof over an existing deck.
- Building/installing a fence.
- Finishing an unfinished basement.
- Finishing an unfinished attic.
- Starting a business at your residence.
- Construction/installation of above-ground and in-ground swimming pools.
b. No zoning permit shall be required for the following: (although a building permit may be required)
- (1) The placement, erection, construction, improvement, or alteration of a structure, or portion thereof, including a fence, that has a fair market value of less than $500, except that a zoning permit shall be required prior to all construction or development located in the Floodplain Overlay and the Airport Hazard Overlay, regardless of cost;
- (2) Ordinary repair to existing structures, except signs;
- (3) Light fixtures for single-family and two-family dwellings complying with the provisions of Section 5.10;
- (4) Sidewalks or walkways on grade;
- (5) Sidewalk or walkway steps, when not connected to a building, porch, deck, or other part of a building or structure;
- (6) Handrails along sidewalk or walkway steps;
- (7) Flagpoles of the display of official government flags of the United States and its political subdivisions placed on lots containing single-family and two-family dwellings, provided that such flagpoles do not exceed the maximum height limitations for the underlying zoning district;
- (8) Vegetation, including trees, landscaping, and vegetative buffering;
- (9) Landscaping materials, excluding patios, decks, and porches;
- (10) Decorative lawn ornaments and walls not exceeding 32 inches in height;
- (11) Children’s play yards, trampolines, treehouses, and swing sets placed in the rear or side of a lot containing a dwelling;
- (12) Stormwater management facilities;
- (13) Traffic control devices located within a public right-of-way or governmental easement;
- (14) Utility structures not exceeding seven (7) feet in height, including emergency call stations, except that wireless communication facilities and lighting poles for recreational uses shall require permitting;
- (15) Railroad sidings;
- (16) Public transit stops involving surface improvements only;
- (17) Signs specifically exempted from permit; and
- (18) Temporary construction buildings or trailers as permitted in Section 5.19, Subsection A.
c. A zoning permit shall only be issued when it is deemed that the proposed use or improvement is in conformity with:
- (1) All applicable regulations of this Ordinance;
- (2) Any conditions imposed upon the site by the City of Scranton Zoning Hearing Board or the Scranton City Council; and
- (3) Any recorded subdivision or land development plan, when specifically required by the adopted subdivision and land development regulations of the City of Scranton.