Middle Paxton TWP BuildingIn the year 1999 the Governor of Pennsylvania signed into law the Universal Construction Code (Act 45) formerly adopted as the Pennsylvania Construction Codes. The purpose of this code is to provide minimum requirements to safeguard the public safety, health and general welfare to life and property from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment.

The code was enacted July 8th, 2004 and amended in December 2006 and 2009 for all municipalities across Pennsylvania to adhere to the minimum requirements set forth in the International Residential Code for One and Two Family Dwellings and the International Building Code for all Commercial and Multi-Family Units.

Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system (the installation of which is regulated by this code), or to cause any such work to be done shall first make application to the building official and to obtain the required permit. The International Residential Codes are the minimum requirements, which gives the municipalities the option to make the codes more restrictive.

There are exemptions to the UCC permit requirements.

However, there are instances where a project may be exempt from UCC permits but still require a Township Zoning permit. Zoning and Building permits are to be obtained prior to commencing any project. The following is a few of the exemptions from the UCC permit requirements but still require a Township Zoning Permit:

1. One-story detached accessory structures, provided the floor area does not exceed 1,000 square feet. (Township Zoning Permits are required for all structures over 50 square feet). (Example 10 ft. x 5 ft.).
2. Fences not exceeding 6 ft. in height and Retaining Walls not exceeding 4 ft in height.
3. Prefabricated swimming pools that by manufactured specifications hold less than 24 inches of water.
4. Swings and other playground equipment.
5. Replacement of windows and doors, only if the replacement items do not require a larger header size for structural purposes.
6. Replacement of siding and roofing shingles.

The above are a few of the exempted areas of the UCC Code requirements but may require a Township Zoning permit. Please call the Township Office to verify that any proposed project that you may be contemplating will meet the current requirements of the UCC regulations (PA Construction Codes) and the Zoning Ordinance of Middle Paxton Township.

For a more information on any of the permitting requirements and process, please call the Township Office during normal business hours at 717-921-8128.