welcome, and thank you for joining me on my farm and studio in southern lancaster county, pennsylvania

Monday, September 28, 2009

zoning regulations and procedures

Finally just about ready to move forward with the greenhouse project and so called the zoning officer to see exactly what I need to do to get the ball rolling. Here's what I found out...

Download seven forms from their website:

1. Fee Schedule
Presumably so I know what the township will be charging me for all this red tape.

2. Cost Estimate for Storm Water Management Improvements
This form has to be filled out by the excavator who will dig the trenches which will be filled with gravel and into which all rainwater will run from the greenhouse roof.

3. Leach Trench Construction Instructions
Also given to the excavator so he knows what the township expects and so can estimate the job accordingly.

4. Minor Stormwater Permit Application
This must be filled out and accompanied with a check for $165.00 (according to the fee schedule).

5. Plot Plan Instructions
I need to show the outlines of the property, existing structures, driveway, and the proposed structure; the dimensions of the proposed structure; the distances of the proposed structure from property lines and center of the road; the location of erosion control measures; the location of the trenches and any grading that will be done; and indicate the "limits of earth disturbance" of the property during construction.
Before we go on, let me just say, that if I didn't have to dig these trenches, there would be no earth disturbance whatsoever.

6. Stormwater Escrow Agreement
Here's a goodie. Probably my favorite of them all. Whatever the cost will be for all of the excavation needed for stormwater runoff control, I must give the township 110% of that amount to be held in escrow until all storm water facilities have been installed, inspected, and approved by the township. That's in addition to what I pay the excavator. Oh, sure, I'll get it back, but I sure won't get any interest on it.

7. Zoning Permit Application
Pretty basic, just stating once again what it is I'm planning to construct, who will be building it, when the project will be started and approximately when it will be completed. This is to be accompanied by another $40-50, depending on the final cost of the project.

Once I have these forms and estimates all ready, I take everything to the zoning officer, and she then comes and checks the site out for herself. After that, it will probably be another 2-3 weeks before I'm granted the permit. Then the excavator can do his job and after that, the greenhouse folks can finally do their's. Oh, I have a feeling this is going to be down to the proverbial wire in terms of completion before my goal of mid-November.

On a positive note schedule-wise, the excavator came out to check things out today and he'll be back tomorrow with a laser so he can measure everything. He also volunteered to contact the zoning office himself to help things keep moving along. He seems like a real good guy and easy to work with.

So tomorrow, I contact the greenhouse company and do some final number-crunching and scheduling. I've got to keep pushing this thing along pretty hard at this point.


Jennifer and Steve said...

eek! what a process. good luck!

Jody M said...

Granted, same state different township, but we didn't have to jump through most of these hoops for ours, and ours is a fairly permanent structure with a concrete pad and decking around it. I think, at most, we got a building permit and a pseudo-inspection when it was all said and done.