Seal of North Whitehall Township

Permits - FAQs


When are Residential Building Permits required?

  • New Homes
  • Additions to one- and two-family dwellings
  • Additions to accessory structures (only where the new total square footage will exceed 1,000 square feet). Property has to be more than 2 acres for addition.
  • Detached Garages over 1,000 square feet. Property has to be more than 2 acres for a detached garage of this size.
  • Decks / Porches over 30-inches above grade
  • Patio with footers
  • Roof over Deck or Concrete Deck or Slab
  • Chimneys, when repair is structural
  • In-ground Swimming Pools (All pools need to be 15 feet from property line)
  • Spas/Hot Tubs (indoor or outdoor)
  • Above-ground pools that are capable of holding 24-inches of water or more (All pools need to be 15 feet from property line)
  • Ingress/Egress changes to one- and two-family dwellings
  • Manufactured Homes
  • Electrical Services (new service and/or upgrade to service)
  • Generator with a transfer switch requires Electrical/ Mechanical/ Plumbing Permit
  • Electrical/ Mechanical/ Plumbing installations in new homes or additions (often included with building permit, but plans must indicate installation of these systems.)
  • Renovations/Alterations to existing dwellings that are structural in nature, (i.e. adding or enlarging window(s) and/or doorway(s), removing structural walls.), you will need a permit.
  • Razing/Demolition/Removal requires a Building Permit if you raze or remove dwelling and then continue and rebuild new structure on same location.

When are Residential Zoning Permits required?

  • New/Change of Use
  • Fences not more than 6 feet in height in the rear and side yard and 4 feet in height in the front yard and retaining walls not more than 4 feet in height.
  • Concrete patio without footers
  • Uncovered deck where the floor of the deck is less than 30-inches above grade
  • Sheds, carports, detached garages, pergolas, or gazebos under 1,000 square feet. (Sheds less than 200 square feet, 5 feet from property line; over 200 square feet, 15 feet from property line.)
  • Grading or earthmoving
  • Home Occupations (Light)
  • Home Occupations (General)
  • Installation of underground fuel storage tanks
  • Blasting
  • Razing/Demolition/Removal requires a Zoning Permit if you raze or remove dwelling and you do not rebuild on same location.
  • Signs
  • Seepage Pit/Stormwater Infiltration

Is a permit required for sidewalks?

No. A permit is not required for sidewalks.

Is a permit required for residential reroofing?

No, as long as there is no structural work being done on the roof.

Is a permit required for siding?

No. A permit is not required for siding.

Is a permit required for driveways?

Yes, whether it is a new driveway or a repave, a permit is needed. Please call the Township to check if your driveway enters on a Township or State road.

Do I need a permit to seal my driveway?

No, only for paving a driveway or repaving a driveway.

Is a permit required for a finished basement?

No, as long as the remodeling does not include any structural work or a new electrical service.

Is a permit required for replacement windows?

No, as long the windows being replaced are the same size as the current windows or smaller, but if you are enlarging the windows, a permit would be needed due to the header being installed.

Do I need to apply for a fence permit when applying for an inground pool permit?

No, an inground pool permit includes the fence permit as long as all the information is included in the submission of the permit application.

How far must my pool be from my property line?

The water edge of all pools must be 15 feet from all property lines.

How far must my pool be from my septic system?

Your pool structure must be 10 feet from your septic system.

How far must a new septic system be from an existing well?

A new septic system needs to be 100 feet from an existing well, including wells on adjoining properties.

Do I apply for the permit as the home owner or if I have a contractor, does he apply for the permit?

The Township has no preference as to who applies or acquires the permit(s) for your project; however, you as the owner of the property must sign the permit application. The contractor must submit a current Worker's Compensation Insurance listed as holder on the policy or a waiver form which is signed and notarized.

Do I need a permit for a yard sale?

No, but you may not have more than 4 yard sales in any three consecutive months.

How long will it take to process my permit after submission?

Your permit and attachments/plans are reviewed by the inspection agency you chose from our inspection agency list. If this is a Zoning permit, your submission will be reviewed by the Zoning Officer and a permit will be issued or denied, fairly quickly unless your submission requires additional information. If your permit is a building, electrical, plumbing or mechanical permit, this process shall take no more than 15 business days for residential and 30 business days for commercial, unless the Township Zoning Officer or inspection agency requires additional information, then the clock will restart when this information is received.

Do you have an inspector in-house?

No, we have 3, third party inspection agencies:

  1. Barry Isett and Associates, 85 South, Route 100, Allentown, PA 18106 - 610-398-0904
  2. Keycode Inspection Agency, 1307 West Lehigh Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018 - 610-866-9663
  3. Lehigh Valley Inspection Service, 559 Main Street, Suite 253, Bethlehem, PA 18018 - 610-395-3827

How much will a permit cost?

Please refer to our Fee Schedule for current pricing.



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