Land Disturbance permits involve substantial property improvements and often result in significant property disturbance, including mature tree removal. The Township Engineer's office reviews grading permits and inspects sites that are under construction to ensure that potential off-site externalities like runoff and dust are minimized. The Township Engineer's office also checks to make sure that existing trees are well-protected during construction and also ensure that any conditions of approval that may have been included in a land development application have been met.
A comprehensive inventory and detailed analysis of land development and building permits which have resulted in changes to the Township’s built environment between 2003 and 2008 is contained in the Comprehensive Plan’s Issues Report (Planning Commission Section, Page 72).
Minor Grading Permits
Minor Grading Permits are required when earth disturbance associated with construction is greater than 1,000 square feet but less than 1,500 square feet of new impervious surface is added. Projects that typically require a Minor Grading Permit include the construction of pools, driveways and patios. Temporary stormwater management controls are required, including silt fencing and tree protection. The Township may also require water quality controls associated with a Minor Grading Permit.
Runoff and Erosion Control Permits
Runoff and Erosion Control Permits are required when more than 1,500 square feet of impervious surface is added, resulting in the requirement for the installation of permanent stormwater management controls on the site. Runoff and Erosion Control Permits are generally associated with the construction of new buildings, additions to existing buildings and parking areas. In addition to the permanent stormwater management controls, temporary or during construction stormwater management is also required, including silt fencing and tree protection.
It is unlawful for the owner of any land to stop, fill up, confine, pave or otherwise interfere with or change the course of any drain, ditch, stream or watercourse in the Township of Lower Merion without first obtaining a permit authorizing such work to be performed; and no drain, ditch, stream or watercourse shall be stopped, filled up, confined, paved or otherwise interfered with or the course changed except in strict accordance with the terms and conditions of the Township regulations.
Improvement Construction Permit
An improvement construction plan is required whenever an improvement (not including buildings), such as a sewer extension, is shown on an approved land development or subdivision plan to be constructed or installed.
Lower Merion Township, acting under the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), requires that a guarantee for improvements be posted with the Township prior to the recording of an approved Subdivision/ Land Development Plan or the issuance of various permits. The Township Engineer determines the amount of guarantee required based on the proposed construction project. The Township has standard forms for all types of guarantee and that must accompany the submitted guarantee. Please contact Susan Taylor for the standard forms.
Many of the application forms are available online at the Township Forms page