Where do I secure permits for various projects and home improvements?
Contact the Building and Planning Department at 610-645-6200.
What is the zoning classification of my property?
It varies since there are approximately 19 different districts. To find out your district, please contact us at 610-645-6200. You can also use the zoning search form, but remember that the definitive answer on zoning classifications are the Zoning Maps in the Building Department.
May I, as the property owner, perform my own plumbing and electrical work?
Generally, no, but an owner may perform minor repairs to an electrical or plumbing system if they can demonstrate that they have some knowledge of the trade. For more information, please contact us at 610-645-6200 or e-mail us.
What are the requirements for building an addition or expanding my residential property?
We have most plans from houses built from 1927 to present. Call first to confirm.
Can I get copies of my house plans?
On July 19, 2000 the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners authorized the disposal of residential architectural plans for properties that have received occupancy approval prior to July 1995. The approved method of disposal is the distribution of these plans to the property owner. This approval includes the architectural plans but does not include the site plan.
I have an abandoned underground fuel oil tank on my property. Does it have to be removed and who can remove it?
All abandoned tanks must be removed. All work on underground tanks in Lower Merion Township shall be performed by individuals certified by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). A Lower Merion Township building permit is required.
How long is the process to receive a resale certificate?
It takes thirty to sixty days for a property owner to receive a certificate verifying that sidewalks and curbs are in good condition, house numbers are displayed visible from the street and smoke detectors are installed. The fee is $80.00 if application is received 20 or more days prior to settlement. The fee is $145.00 if application is received 20 or fewer days prior to settlement. Property owners must complete a Property Resale Certification Application that can be obtained from the Building Department or may be downloaded here.
No, because of the potential conflict of interest and liability problems associated with recommending contractors.
Do you maintain a file for contractors?
Any information provided by a resident, positive or negative, is placed in the contractor's file. This is for information purposes and is available for review by the general public. We do not attempt to verify the accuracy of the information provided.
What are the requirements for the installation of a fence?
The finish side of all fences must face your neighbor's property.
Fences in the required side and rear yard:
The maximum height of a solid fence is 6 feet above grade.
If a fence is higher than 6 feet in the side or rear yard setback, the entire fence must be a minimum of 75% open.
The maximum height of a 75% open fence in the required side and rear setback is 8 feet.
Fences in the required front yard setback:
The maximum height of a solid fence is 4 feet above grade.
If a fence is higher than 4 feet in the front yard setback, the entire fence must be a maximum of 75% open and a building permit must be obtained.
The maximum height of a 75% open fence in the front yard is 6 feet.
A gate must be installed along every street frontage to provide access to the yard between the fence and the street for maintenance purposes.
A front yard exists on all street frontages.
Fences are not permitted in the floodplain. If there is a stream or drainage swale in the vicinity, Township floodplain maps must be checked for the location of the floodplain.
If a fence is to be installed near the property line, the property should be surveyed prior to the fence installation.
Existing fences which were legal when built do not meet these requirements maybe repaired. If the entire fence is replaced, the new fence must meet the provisions in effect at the time of installation.
Swimming pool fences:
Pools must be totaling enclosed be a fence a minimum of 4 feet in height above the proposed graded.
The maximum size of any opening in the fence is 4 inches.
All gates must be self-closing and self-latching.
The gate latches must also be 4 feet above the proposed grade.
All contractors and subcontractors must hold a current Lower Merion Township Contractor's License prior to installing a fence.
Is a permit required for the installation of a fence?
A permit is required when one proposes to erect a fence that is higher than four feet within the front yard setback and when one replaces an existing fence.
What codes do you enforce?
Code Standard as of October 1, 2018
Lower Merion Township Zoning
Lower Merion Township Stormwater Management
Lower Merion Fire Code
International Fire Code
International Building Code
Chapters 2-29 & 31-35 including Appendices C, E, G, H & I
International Residential Code
including Appendices A, B, C, D, F & sections AE501 thru AE503 & AE601-AE605 of Appendix E