Building and Zoning
The Building and Zoning Office is responsible for the review of applications, issuance of permits, and inspection of properties for compliance with the Borough’s Zoning Ordinance and adopted building codes.
The Borough began enforcing the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) July 1, 2004. Please visit Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s website for more information on the UCC.
Effective October 1, 2018 the UCC adopted the 2015 ICC Codes and reference standards.
Permits are required for most types of construction, site improvements and grading activities in Fox Chapel. A Notice of Proposed Environmental Disturbance Application including a Stormwater Management Report in compliance with Ordinance No. 707 must be submitted for review by the Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) and approved by Borough Council prior to making application for most construction and grading permits. After approval has been granted by the EAC and Borough Council, the application for a building permit must be accompanied by two copies of a plot plan and two copies of the construction plans for residential projects and three sets of construction plans for commercial projects. All plan sets must bear the seal of the professional responsible for the design. Requirements for your specific project may be obtained by contacting the Code Services Director.
The permit applications and regulations were prepared to help homeowners, contractors and design professionals meet the requirements of the Borough’s Building Code and Zoning Ordinance. Permits are required for most types of construction and earth moving activities. Some of the specific activities which require a permit include: new structures, additions, structural alterations or repairs, demolitions, fences, decks, sheds, swimming pools, sports courts and grading activities. Please contact the Code Services Director prior to undertaking any of these activities or any similar activity to obtain the requirements for your specific project. Links to the individual documents contained in the applicable permit are provided below. This information will help you to successfully complete the permit application and better understand the inspection process.
Building and Zoning Inspections
All building and zoning inspections will be conducted during the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. All inspections will be BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. The appointment for inspections must be made at least 48 hours prior to the desired inspection date and time. There will be a fee for any reinspection. Site or office consultation appointments must be made seven days in advance of the desired consultation date.
Environmental Advisory Council – Building/Grading Permits
The Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) is comprised of seven (7) Borough residents who are appointed by Borough Council to oversee environmental disturbance projects. Among other duties, the EAC reviews Notice of Proposed Environmental Disturbance Application and makes recommendations to Borough Council for their approval or denial. Any property owner wanting to obtain a building or grading permit to build a structure or perform any site grading activities must first make an appointment with the Code Services Director for a site consultation. Following the site consultation, the Notice of Proposed Environmental Disturbance Application will need to be submitted prior to the deadline of the scheduled EAC meeting. Meeting dates and application deadlines are published on the Calendar of Events.
EAC meets monthly on the second Monday at 7:00 p.m. A Notice of Proposed Disturbance Application must be submitted to the EAC 28 days prior to the second Monday of the month for consideration. An Application can be picked up at the Borough Office or obtained below:
The following activities require approval of Borough Council and the EAC before beginning any work:
- Subdivision of property – Link to Subdivision Application
- Any activity requiring a building or grading permit
- Excavation, landfill or similar activities (landscaping activities that involve the moving of less than ten (10) cubic yards are exempt)
- In connection with the use of land, the making of any material changes to existing ambient noise levels, lighting levels, thermal conditions, access to solar skyscapes and the like
- The alteration of a wetland or a shore, bank or flood plain of a creek, run, stream, lake, pond, etc.
- Any change to surface runoff characteristics
- The removal of more than 10 trees six inches (6”) or greater in diameter measured at 4.5 feet above the ground. (Tree Removal Requests (10 trees and less) must be submitted to the Borough’s Tree Committee (sub-committee of the EAC) for approval.)
Many of these activities require the submittal of a detailed application, often with an accompanying survey, site plan, etc., and can take several weeks to process. If you are uncertain whether a planned activity requires Borough approval, please contact the Borough’s Code Services Director beforehand to review the scope of the work.
GIS Maps detailing slopes, landslide risk and geology for properties can be obtained for a fee by submitting a Request for GIS Maps to the Borough Office.