PERMIT INFORMATION

MOST CONSTRUCTION WORK, AND ALL ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING AND MECHANICAL WORK PERFORMED IN NORTHAMPTON BOROUGH REQUIRES THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS PRIOR TO COMMENCING ANY WORK.

EVERY BUILDING PERMIT APPLICATION MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A ZONING PERMIT APPLICATION NO MATTER WHAT THE PROJECT ENTAILS.

ZONING REGULATES HOW PROPERTY CAN BE USED AND WHAT CAN BE PLACED ON THE PROPERTY. PLOT PLANS MUST ACCOMPANY ALL ZONING PERMIT APPLICATIONS.

BELOW IS INFORMATION FOR A FEW RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS

ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CONTACT THE ZONING OFFICE AT 610-262-1433.

BETWEEN 8:30 A.M. AND 4:30 P.M. - MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

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PRIVATE OUTDOOR SWIMMING POOL SPECIFICATIONS

- ATTENTION - 

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL POOLS CAPABLE OF HOLDING 24 INCHES OR MORE

OF WATER ARE REGULATED JUST THE SAME AS AN IN-GROUND POOL

THIS INCLUDES TEMPORARY, INFLATABLE POOLS TOO!

PLEASE CHECK OUR REQUIREMENTS PRIOR TO ERECTING ANY POOL

A single private outdoor swimming pool per dwelling unit is permitted as an accessory use to a residential structure provided that such swimming pool is for the private use of the residents of the dwelling unit or their guests.

A) Pool Location - A private outdoor pool may be located within the required rear or side yards for the district in which the pool is to be located except that no portion of the body of water in the pool shall be located closer than ten feet from any alley or street or six feet from the property line. No portion of any walks or accessory pool appurtenances surrounding the body of water shall be closer than four feet to any property line.

B) Required Fence - All pools shall be surrounded and enclosed by a fence four feet high and structurally suitable to deter direct access to the body of water in the pool. Such a fence shall not have openings, holes, or gaps larger than 4 inches, except on doors or gates. If a picket fence is maintained, the horizontal dimension of the opening between the pickets shall not exceed 4 inches.

All gates or doors opening through such enclosure shall be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device designed to keep the door or gate securely closed at all times when not in actual use.

Fences shall be constructed of weather resistive materials and shall be assembled or fabricated with sufficient rigidity to prevent any substantial alteration or deformation to the lawful openings, holes or gaps.

The sides of the pool constructed above ground level shall be considered to meet the requirements for a fence, provided that the sides of the pool are at least four feet high and any stairs, steps, or ladders used to reach the water be removable or capable of being folded up or secured to prevent their use when the pool is not in operation by the residents of the property or their guest.

C) Required Permits - A building permit, a zoning permit and an electrical permit shall be required for new, enlarged, or altered inground, on ground or above-ground pools capable of holding two or more feet of water.

Plans shall be required as part of the permit application process. Plans shall accurately show dimensions and construction of pool and appurtenances and properly established distances to lot lines, buildings walks and fences; details of water supply system, drainage and water disposal systems, and all appurtenances pertaining to the swimming pool. Ground-fault circuit interrupters are required. Cords connecting the filter cannot exceed three feet in length.

D) Surface Cleaning - All swimming pools shall be provided with a recirculating skimming device to remove scum and foreign matter from the surface of the water. Where skimmers are used there shall be at least one skimming device for each 1,000 square feet of surface area or fraction thereof.

E) Inspection - No swimming pool constructed pursuant to the issuance of a permit provided for herein shall be used until its construction, facilities, enclosures, gates, and electrical devices have been inspected and approved by the Building Inspector and Electrical Inspector.

F) Nuisance - No person shall make any noise at a swimming pool if the noise unreasonably annoys the occupants of any adjoining property.

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DECK AND/OR PATIO SPECIFICATIONS

Permits Required: A building and a zoning permit are required for the installation of all decks OVER 30 INCHES ABOVE GRADE and ALL decks and patios that will have a ROOF structure.  Building permit applications must include structural information/drawings as to how the deck is to be constructed. 

 

Uncovered decks and patios where the floor of the deck/patio is no more than 30 inches above grade are exempt from the building permit requirement.  ONLY A ZONING PERMIT IS REQUIRED.

 

If the floor is formed with bricks/pavers and sand - then NO PERMITS are required.  Pavers are considered a non-permanent installation.  

 

Location: Patios and decks may be located no closer than *three (3) feet to any side yard property line and eight (8) feet to any rear yard property line.

Exception - patios/decks constructed on existing non-conforming lots may line up with and be as wide as the principal structure on the lot.

*four feet if it is an accessory structure for a swimming pool

Inspections: A 48 hour notice is required to schedule all inspections.

An inspection is required before pouring any concrete. An inspection is necessary before covering any structural wood.

A) For a concrete floor, the footer must be 36" deep.**

B) For post holes, the holes must be 36" deep.

C) Structural drawings for deck construction must accompany the permit application.

D) Plot plans are required for all projects.

**Patio slab requirements are: 4 inches of concrete with a base of 5 inches of tamped 2-A modified or 2-B stone. Patio slabs may never be roofed, built upon or enclosed.

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FENCE SPECIFICATIONS

ZONING PERMITS ARE REQUIRED PRIOR TO ANY FENCE INSTALLATION

1.  Maximum height:

  a.  Six (6) feet from the average grade of the lot in the vicinity of the fence

for all zoning districts except C-2, I-1 and I-2 for rear & side yard fences.

  b.  Four (4) feet from the average grade of the lot in the vicinity of the fence

for all zoning districts except C-2, I-1 and I-2 for front yard fences. Front yard fences on corner properties cannot obstruct vision of oncoming traffic as defined by Subsection 250-17 E. of the Zoning Ordinance.

2.  Distance from side lot line:

  a.  Where properties abut another property, not a street or alley, a side yard fence may be constructed along or up to the side property provided that poles and all fence parts and vegetative growth will not encroach on adjacent properties.

3.  Distance from rear lot line:

  a.  Not less than six (6) feet from the rear lot line where properties abut a street or alley. Where abutting another property, the fence may be

installed according to the requirement for a side yard fence.

4.  Corner lot fences cannot be located closer than ten (10) feet to the curb line and cannot obstruct vision at the corner as defined by Subsection 250-17 E. of the Zoning Ordinance.

​250-17 E. - Corner obstruction to vision.  No obstruction to vision (other than an existing building, post, column, public utility pole or tower or tree between thirty (30) inches and eight (8) feet in height shall be erected or maintained on any lot within the triangle formed by the street intersection, created by the right-of-way of each street extended to a point and a line drawn between two points each located 30 feet from the street intersection.

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UNATTACHED RESIDENTIAL ACCESSORY STRUCTURE SPECIFICATIONS

Unattached structures accessory to residential buildings may be erected within the required side and rear yards of a principal structure provided that they conform with the following:

1.  Permits required - Zoning - All unattached residential accessory structures require a zoning permit prior to installation, (Building* - *if over 1,000 square feet), Electrical and Plumbing - if applicable).                                             

2.  Maximum height - 1 1/2 stories or 15 feet.

3.  Distance from side lot line - not less than four feet, except in the case corner lots where the full side yard as specified in Section 250-17E shall be maintained and except that a common or joint garage which is not part of the principal building may be erected on or along the common boundary line of the adjoining lots. However, each garage must have at least one side yard.

4.  Distance from rear lot line - not less than eight feet.

5.  Distance from principal structure - not less than ten feet from the principal structure, except for small shed structures (120 square feet or less), which shall be no less than two (2) feet from a principal structure or other accessory building.

6.  Structures UNDER 200 square feet should be placed on the following base:

  a.  6 inches of 2A modified stone and pressure treated lumber OR

  b.  A 4 inch thick prepoured concrete slab with no gaps anywhere -- no blocks

Inspections: Please call 48 hours in advance to schedule all inspections. 610-866-9663.

Footer, foundation, and framing inspections are necessary if a building permit is issued. Otherwise, one inspection is required - after the structure is in place.

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CURB & SIDEWALK SPECIFICATIONS

By issuance of this permit, it is agreed to and understood that the Borough of Northampton and any of its elected or appointed officials shall be held harmless from any damages or legal costs involving actions against the Borough as a result of the construction of said curbing and/or sidewalks.

INSPECTIONS BY BOROUGH PERSONNEL REQUIRED PRIOR TO POURING

All materials used in curb and sidewalk construction must be in strict accordance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Form 408 Specifications (3,000 psi test 1-2-3 mix).

In addition, Ordinance No. 1139 requires and specifies that all sidewalks and curbing shall be constructed as follows:

A. Curbing Specifications

1. Standard curbing shall be a minimum of eighteen (18) inches in depth, seven (7) inches in width at the top, eight (8) inches in width at the bottom, and in normal lengths of ten (10) feet with expansion joints in between sections and placed on suitable, unfrozen native ground. If unsuitable, curb shall be placed on compacted 2-A stone, replacing the excavated unsuitable material.

2. All curbing must be backfilled and tamped with either 2-A Modified or 2-B stone to a depth of fourteen (14) inches.

3. All curbing shall have voids and holes filled in with cement.

4. Repair of curbs is permitted with limits.

5. All street and road cuts necessary for the installation of curbing must be restored to the original condition by the property owner or their agent, unless otherwise directed.

6. Removal of forms on curbing shall be in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Form 408 specifications.

7. All newly installed curbing shall be cured in conformance with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Form 408 specifications.

8. Form or saw contraction joints at 10-foot intervals. Place 3/4 inch pre-molded expansion joint material conforming to the cross-sections area of the curb where indicated and at the end of the workday.

B. Sidewalk Specifications

1. All sidewalks shall be of no less than four (4) inches in depth of concrete and shall be no less than ten (10) feet in length with construction joints every five (5) feet with expansion joints in between ten (10) feet sections. All sidewalks shall have no less than five (5) inches of tamped 2-A Modified or 2-B stone underneath the sidewalk.

2. Sidewalk width shall be five (5) feet.

3. Expansion joints shall be installed between curbs and sidewalks, where sidewalks abut curbing, opposite expansion joints in adjacent curbing, and between the sidewalk and rigid structures.

MONOLITHIC POUR OF HANDICAP CURB AND SIDEWALK COMBINATION IS PERMIT