Building / Zoning Code Enforcement
ANY BUILDING, EXCAVATION AND/OR EARTH DISTURBANCE REQUIRES A BUILDING, ZONING AND/OR STORMWATER PERMIT. FOR QUESTIONS, PLEASE CONTACT THE TOWNSHIP OFFICE.
Uniform Construction Code
The Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC) is in effect in Rapho Township. The Uniform Construction Code is administered by Dave Eggert, Zoning/Code Enforcement Officer and Building Code Official.
The Uniform Construction Code references a standardized set of codes and appendices that are known as the International Construction Code. This is further broken down into a building code, residential code, mechanical code, plumbing code, electrical code, fuel gas code, fire code, energy conservation code, existing building code and urban-wildland-interface code.
There are limited instances where there are exclusions from following the UCC. Agricultural buildings are excluded; historic buildings have certain exclusions, repairs or alterations that do not have any structural changes are excluded. However, a "Change of Use" or "Change of Occupancy" for any building must meet safety and other designated criteria in order for the building to be approved for the new intended use or change of occupancy. Please contact Dave Eggert at (717) 665-3827 for more information before proceeding.,
Also excluded are fences that are not more than 6 feet high, retaining walls less than 4 feet high, exterior or interior painting, papering, carpeting, flooring etc. Replacement of existing roof material, replacement of existing siding, interior insulation, replacement of rain gutters, installation of an uncovered deck no more than 30 inches above grade are all additional areas of exclusion.
Building Permit ApplicationsUnder the new regulations, you will need to get a Building Permit application from the township. You will then be required to select an inspection company from a list of township approved companies. If your project is required to submit plans, (such as a new house or an addition), these plans will have to be approved by the inspection company prior to issuance of a Building Permit by the township.
*The township residential building permit fee is $75 plus $3 per $1,000 cost of construction plus a fee of $4 per permit, used to fund state inspector training programs. Commercial building permit fee is $100 plus $3 per $1,000 cost of construction plus a fee of $4 per permit, used to fund state inspector training programs.
During the construction process, you or your builder will notify the inspector to check on construction at certain times during the process. Plan review and inspection company fees must be paid when your building permit is issued. When the project is finished, the inspection company must do a final inspection and then notify the township that the job is complete and approved. The Township Building Code Official will then issue the Certificate of Occupancy.
The Rapho Township Board of Supervisors adopted a new Stormwater Management Ordinance on May 1, 2014 to implement the Lancaster County Stormwater Management Plan and meet the requirements of Act 167 of 1978. The new ordinance is designed to manage stormwater runoff to minimize flooding and improve water quality.
Permits are required for any regulated activities defined in the ordinance, including, but not limited to, removal of ground cover, grading, filling, excavation, construction of new or additional impervious or semi-impervious surfaces, construction of new buildings, or additions to existing buildings. The ordinance includes an exemption from the management criteria for projects which create 1,000 square feet or less of new impervious surface, but an applicant is required to complete an application to be eligible for such an exemption. The exemption is cumulative per property.
Agricultural, Commercial, and/or Industrial projects less than 1,000 square feet of new impervious area are eligible for a Recorded Storm Water Exemption (application and details of earth disturbance activity are required). Please refer to the table as amended in Rapho Township Ordinance No. 2016-2 for detailed information.
Residential projects which add between 1,000 and 5,000 square feet of new impervious surface are eligible to use the Small Project design criteria, which requires managing the volume of increased runoff, but allows the use of standard management facilities such as an infiltration trench, rain garden, rain water cistern, or stormwater swale (8 feet wide with check dam and a six inch ponding depth). Residential projects which add more than 5,000 square feet of impervious surface must complete a fully-engineered stormwater site plan.
Please see our Stormwater Ordinance on the provided on the Quick Link
Rapho Township still requires a zoning permit be issued by the township for structures that do not fall under the new building code. Construction of or changes to agricultural buildings need a zoning permit. Sheds, detached garages less than 1,000 square feet, decks less than 30 inches above ground, and retaining walls higher than 4 feet, and patios require a zoning permit. Fences (other than agricultural pasture fencing) also require a zoning permit.
*The fee for a residential zoning permit is $25 plus $3 per $1,000 cost of construction. The fee for an agricultural zoning permit is $25 plus $2 per $1,000 cost of construction. Please note that all permit fees are rounded up to the next $1,000.
If you are planning a new project or if you have any questions about the Uniform Construction Code, call the township office to speak with our Zoning Officer for guidance as to whether you are required to obtain either a building permit, a zoning permit or do not need any permit.
Some uses may not be granted by Special Exception by the Zoning Hearing Board, but may instead be approved as a Conditional Use. Conditional Use approval is given by the Board of Supervisors through a hearing process.
Please refer to the Rapho Township Zoning Ordinance, Article 3 – Base Zones. Information may be found in the Tables located within this section with regard to possible uses of property located within the various zoning districts of Rapho Township. The letters "CU" denote Conditional Use approval, which may be given by the Board of Supervisors only.
For further information contact Manager, Sara Gibson at 717-665-3827.