Permit Guide - Jones Township

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Building Code Dept. > UCC/Permit Instructions

Guide to Obtaining Building Permits





This guide is intended to assist in the proper flow of the various permitting paperwork required to construct, install, replace or relocate a new dwelling, any size addition to a dwelling,   accessory structures, or other buildings including camps, cottages, industrial and commercial buildings in which a Building Permit is required.



Before You Apply

                We suggest that you sit down with your contractor or architect and discuss just exactly what your building plans are.   You or your contractor or architect must prepare a set of plans or drawings indicating exactly what you are planning to build.  It is very important that these plans contain all the required details when submitting them to Jones Township for review.  Incomplete plans can add weeks or even months to getting your Permit Application approved.


In most all circumstances, several separate types of permits will be required for new construction.  These permits are E&S, sewage, zoning and/or assessment, stormwater, and building and must be obtained in this order.  In other words, a sewage, or sewer, permit is required prior to receiving zoning approval, and zoning approval is required before a UCC building permit is issued.  In some instances, a State Highway Occupancy Permit must be obtained from Penn DOT prior to constructing a new driveway entrance to a state maintained road.


The following is a list of permit approvals that will most likely be required for the majority of construction projects:




·         In areas not served by a municipal public sewer, you should contact the municipal office and obtain an Application for an On-lot Sewage Disposal System if the work involves any new dwellings (including replacing a dwelling with a different dwelling), other facilities generating wastewater,  or other types of modifications or repairs to an on-lot septic system.  Once an Application is obtained, contact the Sewage Enforcement Officer, Mr. Russ Braun, at (814) 781-3663 to schedule any necessary soils testing or inspections. 


Since the required soils testing and/or site investigation may result in a denial of the proposed project, it is highly recommended that the sewage approvals be secured first.  When your plans include a new dwelling or commercial building certain sewage and subdivision planning requirements will come into play.  The Sewage Enforcement Officer will discuss these issues with you at the time of Application.   An official survey and subdivision approval is required for all newly proposed building lots.




·         In areas served by public sewers, local Municipal Sewer Authority must be contacted if the project involves a new connection to a municipal sewer.  Any tap and connection fees must be paid prior to approval to utilize the public sewer system.




·         All earth disturbance activities, including those that disturb less than 5000 sq. ft., must implement and maintain E&S controls.


·         A written E&S Control Plan is required to be on site if the total disturbance is greater than 5000 sq. ft. or if the project site is has the potential to discharge to stream designated as High Quality (HQ) or Exceptional Value (EV) regardless of the amount of earth disturbance.


·         An NPDES Permit is required if one (1) acre or more of earth will be disturbed.


You must contact the County Conservation District to determine these requirements and obtain these E&S Permit approvals before other municipal permits being can be approved.


ü  Elk County Conservation District:  814-776-5373

ü  Cameron County Conservation District: 814-486-9302

ü  McKean County Conservation District:  814-887-3234


It is the responsibility of both the property owner and contractor to ensure compliance with these E&S requirements.  Additional state or federal permits maybe required if any construction occurs  near or along streams, ditches, storm sewers, ponds, wetlands and other surface water.  Contact the appropriate Conservation District for more information.





·         Cameron County Projects:

o   Once a valid sewage or sewer permit is obtained, you may apply to the Cameron County Zoning Officer for zoning and floodplain approvals.  The Zoning Official  may be contacted at the Cameron County Courthouse at (814) 486-0723, ext 6.

o   Projects located in the Borough of Emporium must obtain zoning approval from the Borough, not the County.  Please contact the Borough Office at 814-486-3617


·         McKean County Projects:

o   The local Township will require an Assessment Permit.  Contact the local Township office for an Application and details.  There are no zoning approvals required.


·         Elk County  Projects

o   There are no zoning or assessment requirements. 




                In Elk and McKean Counties, Stormwater Management Permits will be required for certain construction activities involving land development or earth disturbance activity that may affect stormwater runoff.  The extent of any required stormwater plan is dependent upon the area of impervious area created as indicated by the following chart:


New Impervious Area*

Applicant Submission Requirements

0 SQ FT  < 1000 SQ FT

No Plan Required

> 1001 SQ FT  but < 2500 SQ FT

Small Project  Application Required

> 2501  SQ FT but < 5000 SQ FT

Volume Control and Small Project  Application Required

>5001 SQ FT

Peak Rate Control, Volume Control, and Stormwater Management Site Plan


Note: New Single Family residential Dwellings situated on a single lot are exempt from the above requirements when:

Ø  All buildings are setback a minimum of 75-feet from all downslope property lines

Ø  Driveway stormwater runoff is discharged onto a pervious surface with a gravel strip or other spreading device

Ø  No more than 1000 SQ FT of paved or concrete surface discharges stormwater to any single point.








·         Once the above permit approvals have been secured, you may then submit an application construction drawings for a Building Permit or apply for a “recreational cabin” exclusion under the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (Pa. UCC) through Jones Township. The Building Official, Mr. Russ Braun can be contacted by calling (814) 781-3663 or (814) 929 5138.


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