For immediate release
Russ Braun, phone: 814- 929-5138
Property Owners Reminded Of Permit Requirements
With the arrival of warmer weather, Jones Township Building Code Official
Russ Braun wishes to remind local residents and camp owners of the building and
sewage permitting requirements. A
few years ago the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted a state-wide Uniform
Construction Code (the UCC), which affected all types of construction throughout
Pennsylvania. According to Braun
when this law took effect in 2004 several municipalities in Elk (Jones,
Benezette, Spring Creek, Highland) and all of Cameron County joined together and
entered into inter-municipal agreements with Jones Township, in Elk County, to
administer and enforce the UCC.
As far as residential construction is concerned, a Building Permit is
required whenever a new dwelling, including mobile homes, camps and summer
homes, are constructed, altered or demolished.
Permits are also required when any size addition is added to an existing
home or camp, such as garages and bedrooms, or when the proposed work changes
load bearing structural walls or the means of entering or exiting the home.
Detached residential accessory structures, such as garages and small
sheds, only require a Permit when the size of the footprint of the building is
greater than 1000 square feet. According
to Braun, some buildings, both new and existing, may also be exempt from the UCC
if they are considered as agricultural buildings.
building can be defined as a recreational cabin and is occupied only seasonally,
the building does not need to comply with the construction requirements of the
UCC. However all other regulatory
and permitting provisions of the UCC must be followed for these types of cabins.
Although some residential structures may be exempt from the UCC, almost
all new dwelling construction still requires some type of a sewer permit.
This applies to both full time residences and recreational cabins.
“Even when a new building is replacing an old structure, some type of
inspection or testing of the site is usually required” Braun said.
A Sewage Permit is also required whenever any type of a repair is done to
any existing on-lot septic system.
Braun indicated that there are very few exemptions for non-residential
construction. A Building Permit would be required when someone intends to
construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of any
commercial or industrial building, structure or facility.
In addition a Permit is required for any commercial, industrial, or
institutional work that involves erecting, installing, enlarging, altering,
repairing, converting or replacing any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing
The paperwork and cost of obtaining a Permit may at first seem like a
needless intrusion by the government into your private life. But requiring adherence to accepted and uniform building
codes protects your investment and your health and safety. These codes cover structural issues such as the types and
size of lumber, span, and spacing of floor, ceiling, roof joists, the types and
thickness of floors, walls and roof sheathing, plumbing and electrical
installations, and even insulation as well as other energy saving and personal
The paperwork that it takes to pull a building permit includes filling
out an Application and submitting a plot survey, several sets of blueprints of
the proposed project and a check for the building permit fee.
Braun indicated that most small residential projects he reviews are
simply well drawn prints done by the homeowner or by the contractor hired to do
the work. Most commercial work on
the other hand usually requires the services of a professional engineer or
Don’t want to bother doing the paperwork?
Well think again. Failing to
pull the proper permits may end up being very expensive.
The UCC gives the Building Code Official the authority to force you to
stop work on the project, tear out what has been done without a permit and pay a
fine. Banks and insurance companies
will often refuse payments until the proper permits are in place.
Persons considering any construction or improvements to their properties
should call 929-5138 for additional information.
Permit application’s and other information on the building and sewage
requirements is now available on-line at www.jonestownship.com
under UCC Permit INFO. The Jones
Township Business Office is located in Wilcox.