Thomas Oleski – Director and Building Code Official
Hours: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
The Bureau of Code Enforcement enforces building and property codes to support a healthy, safe, and vibrant community for Scranton residents. The Bureau investigates complaints about possible violations and takes action to mitigate quality of life concerns. This department distributes permits and licenses and conducts health and property inspections for homes, rental properties, and businesses.
For assistance with permits, licenses, or inspections, please call Code Enforcement at 570-348-4193.
For animal control or to report an animal care violation, please call Animal Control at 570-348-4134 ext. 8217.
For any other issues, please call the Scranton Police Department’s non-emergency number at 570-348-4141.
Depending on your project you may need to coordinate with several City Departments and Bureaus.
- Office of Community Development (including Economic Development and Grants)
- Bureau of City Planning and Zoning (including Floodplain Management and Historic Preservation)
- Department of Public Works (including Engineering)
Building Permit and Contractor Requirements:
NO WORK IS TO COMMENCE WITHOUT POSSESSION OF A PERMIT
All construction projects in the City require a permit.
Cost of permits vary based on the size and scope of the project. In addition, all work within the City is to be completed by an insured licensed contractor with experience, knowledge, and a general understanding of the nature of work to be performed.
To find out more click the ‘Permit and Contractor Information’ button below.
The following is the workflow for a building permit submitted to the Code Enforcement Office.
Step 1: Codes Requirements
Contact the Code Enforcement Office to discuss the code requirements for your project. The Permit Clerk team will guide you through the development process and let you know if you need to apply for permits and submit plans. This should be done prior to any permit or plan submittal.
Step 2: Zoning Review
The first major step in the Permitting Process is to determine if you comply with the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. If your project is a permitted use and complies with all requirements of the Zoning Ordinance, you will receive zoning approval. If your project requires a special exception or conditional use, you will need to appear before the Zoning Hearing Board or Scranton City Council, respectively, to receive zoning approval. If your project is not allowed, but you believe it qualifies as a hardship case, you may apply for a variance. In addition, some small projects, like fences, sheds, and pools, may still require zoning approval even if you do not need a building permit. For more information about zoning, please click here.
Step 3: Historic Preservation Review
If your project is located in a Historic District, or if your building is a Historic Landmark, the project will be required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historical Architecture Review Board. This is done to ensure that the historical character of the building is not changed. Any and all work affecting general design, arrangement, texture and material, even if a building permit is not required, but obtain approval from the Historic Preservation staff.
Step 4: Floodplain Review
If your project is located within a Flood Zone, as identified by the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map, then it will be subject to review by the Floodplain Administrator. Any project in a flood zone or floodway that includes a substantial improvement (50% or more of the market value) will be required to be elevated or floodproofed to FEMA standards. If you are building a new structure, completing a substantial improvement, either within a Special Flood Hazard Area, you are required to submit an Elevation Certificate, completed by an Engineer, Surveyor, or other professional authorized to complete the form.
Step 5: Plan Review
The majority of permit applications are for simple projects that do not require extensive plan review. In these instances, permits can be issued immediately. If your project requiring the Code Official and other professional to review your plans, it may take several days to complete the plan review and to receive your permit. Commercial plans must be reviewed by our approved 3rd party plan review agency, NEIC. Please call to schedule an appointment with our Plan Review staff prior to coming to the counter for drop off. If your project involves land development or subdivision, approval from the City Planning Commission will also be required, in addition to Code Enforcement Review.
Step 6: Receive the Permit
After your permit application is approved by the Building Code Official, you will pay for and pick up/print out your permit. The permit is the document granting legal permission to start construction. You must post the permit in an area visible from the street. Please note, if you are erecting an external sign for your business, you must also apply for a Sign Permit for the initial installation.
Step 7: Inspections
An inspector will reach out to request an inspection for the work you have completed. The inspectors will meet on site of the requested building inspection. Upon completion, the inspector will issue an inspection report with violations (if any) noted and a time frame in which the violations shall be remedied. If noted violations are found, you must use licensed Contractors in the City of Scranton to obtain necessary permits to perform the work.
Step 8: Certificate of Occupancy
When you complete your project, and pass the final inspection, the inspector will mail a Certificate of Occupancy to you.
Step 9: Health License
For prospective eating and drinking establishments, in addition to the above listed requirements, you are required to obtain an Eating and Drinking/ Health License. You need to acquire an application for an eating and drinking license. The food/drink establishment must pass a full health inspection. A Health License will not be issued until the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy by the Building Code Official. The health inspector can be reached at 570-348-4193 x 4522 during normal business hours Monday through Friday 8am-4pm.
Step 10: Celebrate!
If you have successfully completed all of the above, you are finished with Scranton’s permit process.
Please note, if your project is a commercial business or organization, you may need annual licenses depending on the type of business, if you operate an external sign, or other factors. Check with our Code Enforcement office if you have any questions.
The City of Scranton enforces the 2018 International Code Council (ICC) Series, which includes the following codes:
- 2018 International Property Maintenance Code
- 2018 International Residential Code
- 2018 International Building Code
- 2018 International Existing Building Code
- 2018 International Plumbing Code
- 2018 International Mechanical Code
- 2018 International Fire Code
- 2018 International Energy Code
- 2018 International Fuel Gas Code
- 2014 National Electric Code
- 2017 ANSI 117.1
- 2021 International Building Code Chapter 11 ONLY
The 2018 editions of the International Codes adopted by UCC regulations, as modified by the PA Uniform Construction Code (UCC) Review and Advisory Council, are to be used for construction project design, plan review and inspection purposes.
2017 ANSI 117 (Accessibility) and the 2021 IBC chapter 11 are effective as of January 1, 2022.
To view the current I-Codes, visit the link here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How can I report a code violation or a property complaint? You can click the link here to file an online complaint, email email@example.com, or call 570-348-4101
- Does my dog need a license? As of January 1, 2023, the City of Scranton no longer requires a city-issued Dog License. You will need to license your dog with the State/County. More information can be found at www.padoglicense.com
- What do I need to install solar panels at my home or business? Solar panels are allowed in all zoning districts in Scranton. To install a permit, you will need a contractor, licensed with the City, to apply for an Electrical Permit.
- What steps do I need to take to build a deck? Please refer to this link.
- What work requires a permit? Almost everything. Contact the Code Enforcement office before any work is started.
- What work does NOT require a permit? Painting inside/outside of homes and gutter installation do not require permits. Please note, if your building is a Historical Landmark or in a Historic District, you may still need a Certificate of Appropriateness.
- How much does a permit cost? It depends on the cost of the materials / labor. Please visit Building Permits and Contractor Information – City of Scranton (scrantonpa.gov) for the latest permit fee schedule.
- Does a contractor doing work on my home need to be licensed within the City of Scranton? Yes. Contact this office to verify current license.
- Who should obtain the permit? If the homeowner is doing the work, then the homeowner is allowed to pull the permit. If a contractor is doing the work, then the contractor must pull the permit.
- For a contractor, is a copy of the contract between the contractor and homeowner required? Yes. A copy of the contract must be submitted with the permit application.
- How long does it take to process a permit? One to two business days. Exceptions may occur.
- Do I need a permit to rent a dumpster? Yes. a dumpster permit is required if the dumpster is on the street. The cost is $10.00 per day.
- Which Contractor Licenses require testing? Home improvement, general contracting, plumbing, journeyman and master, electrical, journeyman and master, boiler and mechanical, journeyman and master, require testing. Testing is done twice a year once in April and once in October. Applications are available approximately 2 months prior.
- How much does a Contractor License cost? It depends on the type of license and requirements used during application. Please visit Building Permits and Contractor Information – City of Scranton (scrantonpa.gov) for the latest contractor license fee schedule.
- Is proof of insurance required for a license? Yes. A certificate of insurance is required for all licenses.
- Should I report work being done without a license? Yes. Document the time and work being done along with the exact address. Contacting this office while work is being done will result in more immediate action.
- Is a Certificate of Occupancy required for new business construction? What is the cost? Yes. All construction of new business requires a certificate. The cost is $350.00.
- Is a Certificate of Occupancy required for new home construction? What is the cost? Yes. All new home construction requires a certificate of occupancy. The cost is $250.00.
- Is the application for a Certificate of Occupancy available online? Yes. It is currently available on our OpenGov Citizens Services portal, which you can access by clicking here.
- What type of work requires plan submittals? Any and all commercial and residential extensions or expansions and all new construction require plan submittal.
|Tom Oleski, BCO||Code Enforcement Director||570.348.4193, Ext. 4169|
|Andrew Sunday||Code Enforcement Manager||570.348.4193, Ext.|
|Robin Selemba||Rental Manager||570.348.4193, Ext. 4555|
|—||Permit Clerk/Cashier||570.348.4193, Ext. 4320|
|Abraham Negron||Permit Clerk/Administrative Assistant||570.348.4193, Ext. 4516|
|Stephen Osborne||Administrative Assistant||570.348.4193, Ext. 4517|
|NEIC||Trade Subcode Inspectors/Plan Review||570.348.4193, Ext. 6632|
|Erin Shea||Enforcer of Licenses||570.348.4193, Ext. 4518|
|Todd Cortese||Weights & Measures Inspector||570.348.4193, Ext. 4513|
|Virginia Flynn||Rental Assistant||570.348.4193, Ext. 4523|
|Evan Harbert||Rental Inspector/Housing Inspector – West Side||570.348.4193, Ext. 4525|
|Mary Foley||Health Inspector||570.348.4193, Ext. 4522|
|Kristen Czyzyk||Housing Inspector – South Scranton/East Mountain|
|Joseph Farrell||Housing Inspector – South Scranton/Minooka||570.348.4193, Ext. 4505|
|Jailynn Wright||Housing Inspector – North Scranton/Tripp Park||570.348.4193, Ext. 4175|
|Michael Gowarty||Housing Inspector – Hill Section/Downtown East||570.348.4193, Ext. 4530|
|Diana Gonzalez||Housing Inspector – Greenridge/The Plot||570.348.4193, Ext. 4519|
|Sada Market||Housing Inspector – Pinebrook/Downtown West||570.348.4193, Ext. 4537|