Code Enforcement Links
Code Enforcement FAQ
- Do I need a permit for a fence?
Yes, a Fence Zoning Permit is required. A permit is required in order to ensure the proper placement in accordance with the Township Zoning Ordinance. Please fill out the Fence Zoning Application and be sure to complete the required drawing. Fences located in a rear yard shall have a maximum height of 6 feet for residential properties and a minimum setback requirement of 6 inches to the rear and side property lines. Fences are permitted to be placed on the property line provided you obtain written permission from the adjacent property owner and you submit that permission along with the fence application. Fences are not permitted within easements. Fences in the front yard are limited to a height of 4 feet and must be an open style fence such as a split rail, chain link, picket or other open style fence with opacity of at least 50%. Fences in the front yard shall be setback a minimum of 3 feet from the road right-of-way line. The setback distance from the edge of the road varies per street and or subdivision. Corner properties that abut two public roads are considered to have two front yards. Fence Permit Application.
- Do I need a permit for a shed?
Yes, a Utility Building Zoning Permit is required for the placement of a shed to ensure Zoning compliance and to keep structures from being improperly placed within drainage and utility easements and floodplains. Please complete the Utility Building Zoning application. Please be sure to complete the bird’s eye view drawing of your property. The drawing shall include the location of property lines, the house and other structures, roads, alleys and easements and the proposed location of the shed. Please label the setback distances to the property lines and other structures. Sheds are not permitted within a required front or side yard. Sheds placed next to a house must be setback the minimum side yard requirement from the side property line. This distance varies depending on the Zoning District in which your property is located. Sheds located in the rear yard behind the house are given a setback exemption. Sheds that are 150 sqft in size and smaller are permitted to be setback only two feet from the side and two feet from the rear property line. Sheds over 150sqft in size must be setback the minimum side yard requirement from the side and rear property line.
- I want to finish my basement what do I need to do?
Please fill in the highlighted areas of the Basement Renovation Application and submit two copies of the Basement layout plans. Please also complete the electrical, mechanical and plumbing applications that apply to your project. Please be advised that basements now require a form of emergency egress that communicates directly to the outdoors. If the basement is not equipped with a walkout door, a bilco door, or a window well, an egress will have to be installed.
- I need to replace my curb and sidewalk, what do I need to do?
Please complete the Minor Repairs / Renovation Permit Application. Describe in detail the work to be performed including side walk and curb dimensions. A copy of the Township specs for curb and sidewalks will be returned along with the permit.
- I want to plant a tree on my property, are there any restrictions?
Trees and shrubs are not permitted to be located within the Road Right-of-way of any public street. The setback distance from the edge of the road varies between 8 and 15 feet depending on what road your property fronts upon and the subdivision in which your property may be located within. Trees and shrubs are not permitted within Sight triangles of road intersections. Trees and large shrubs are also not permitted within Sanitary Sewer, Storm Sewer and some other utility easements. It is important to keep trees trimmed along public streets. Township Ordinance requires trees to have a minimum clearance of 7ft above sidewalks and 12feet above the paved portion of the street. It is also not a good idea to plant trees near the sewer lateral to your home because the roots could work their way down into the lateral and cause a sewer backup.
- My neighbor's grass if 2 ft. tall, what can be done?
We ask that you please fill out the Property Maintenance Complaint form listing the location of the property in question. The Township has and enforces a Grass and Weeds Ordinance. Grass and weeds on a residential property shall not exceed 8 inches in height and grass and weeds on a commercial property shall not exceed 18 inches in height. Upon receipt of the complaint form and verification of the violation, the Township will send out a Grass and Weeds Notice of Violation requesting the property be cut within 7 days of receiving the notice. After the 7th day if the property has not been cut, the Township will contract for the property to be cut. The resulting bill will be sent to the property owner for payment. If un-paid, the amount will result in a lien upon the real-estate. (Link to Property maintenance complaint form).
- My kids want a pool, what do I need to know before I buy one?
Pools with the ability to hold more than 24 inches of water require Building and Zoning approval. Pools are not permitted within front yards and easements. Pools are required to be setback a minimum of 15 feet from the side and rear property lines. Pools cannot be placed within 10feet horizontally of any overhead conductors. Pools are considered to be an attractive nuisance and are required to have proper barrier protection. Pools require a 4ft barrier measured from grade level to the top of the barrier. The walls of an above ground pools can count as the barrier provided the wall of the pool is 48” or more above grade level and the pool is protected by a lockable or removable ladder or protected platform. Above ground pools built into the side of a hill or grade require additional protection. In-ground swimming pools require fencing that is at least 4ft in height surrounding the yard or pool area. Doors from the house that open into the pool area must be protected by an audible alarm that sounds when the door is opened. Fences must be equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward away from the pool. Fences protecting a pool cannot be climbable. Along with setback and barrier requirements, pools have electrical requirements as well. Swimming pools require a dedicated out to supply power to the pool pump equipment. Extension cords are not permitted. If you plan to construct a deck around an above ground pool, please complete a separate deck permit application and submit it for review along with the required drawings. A deck around a pool is required to meet certain Zoning Setbacks, Building Code Requirements and Pool barrier requirements. Before buying a pool, please take into consideration pool placement and other expenses for proper barrier protection and electrical wiring.
- I’m going to replace the windows on my house; do I need a permit for that?
If you are simply taking out the olds windows and replacing them with windows of the same exact size and location, than no, a permit is not required. If you plan on taking out a 3 foot wide window and replacing that with a 6 foot wide double window, then yes a permit would be required because you are making structural changes. The new wider opening has to be properly framed out with the correct size header in order to support the loads of the larger opening. Please complete the Minor Repairs / renovation application describing in detail the work to be done be sure to include window and header dimensions.
- Do I need a permit for a paver patio?
Yes, a Porch/Deck/Patio Zoning Permit is required for patios. The Township Zoning Ordinance states that terraces, patios, decks or porches whether roofed or not, but not otherwise enclosed by one or more doors, windows screens walls or siding of any kind, size or dimension provided that such terraces, patios, decks or porches shall not project into the required side yard or yards nor shall the same project more than 5 feet into the required front yard or yards, nor shall the same project more than 1/3 into the required rear yard. The yard requirements vary per Zoning District. Please refer to the Township Zoning Map and Zoning Ordinance.
Township of Spring
Sinking Spring, PA 19608
Code Enforcement Staff
- Aaron Wozniak
- Jennifer Bensinger
- Randy Rubright 2850 Windmill Road
Sinking Spring, PA 19608
Zoning & Codes News & Active Links
- Berks County Parcel Search
- Recorder of Deeds Website
- Berks County Home Page
- Census Bureau Website
- PA One Call Website
- Attorney General Home
- Improvement Consumer Information
- Pennsylvania Code
- International Code Council
- Pennsylvania Construction Codes Academy
- PA Dept of Environmental Protection
- PA Dept of Labor & Industry