This Guide gives general information on the types of activities for which you may need a Permit from the Borough. Remember, zoning ALWAYS needs to be approved first before a UCC Building Permit or a Zoning Certificate is issued.
Here are the activities where you WILL Need a Building Permit:
- All new buildings of any kind.
- Renovations of all buildings in the WOO Waterfront Development District and C-1 Commercial Districts, regardless of use, including roofs, mechanicals, etc.
- Any addition to your house, including conversion of a porch to a room.
- Decks where any portion is 30 inches or more above ground, or replacement of an existing deck
- A new roof being constructed over a front, side or rear landing, porch, or deck.
- In-ground swimming pools, above-ground swimming pools, and hot tubs.
- Decks being added to an above-ground swimming pool.
- New garage.
- Retaining walls four (4) feet or more in height, new or replacement.
- Demolition of any building.
- Solar panels on roofs.
- Renovations of residential structures in the R-1, R-1T Zoning Districts. If the following items are involved:
- Electrical modifications
- Plumbing modifications
- Structural changes
- Interior wall replacement
- Unfinished basement to living space
- Conversion of residential structures into a multi-unit rental housing.
Here are activities where you WILL NEED AN ELECTRICAL INSPECTION:
- Electrical work is included in a permit for any pool or hot tub, additions, interior renovations.
- New electrical service. A homeowner having electrical work done by himself or an electrician must have the service approved by the Borough Electrical Inspector (through BIU).
Things where you DON’T Need a Building Permit: This is residential only.
- Replacing windows and doors in your home (if the window or door openings are not reduced or expanded in size).
- Replacing roofing materials in residential only.
- Installation or replacement of soffit and facia and roof gutters.
- Replacement of HVAC components and water heaters.
- Plumbing repairs (however, you may need a permit through your plumber from the Allegheny County Health Department).
Classification of Activities Requiring a Zoning Certificate:
Remember: A zoning certificate is required for ANY work being done.
The following are activities required for a Zoning Certificate:
- Fences, new or replacement
- Accessory Sheds, new or replacement.
- Retaining walls, new or replacement.
- Driveways: new, replacement or expansion of existing driveways. Parking pads are prohibited and require a variance for approval.
- Sidewalks: new or replacement.
- On-grade patio slabs, new or replacement.
- Decks where no portion is 30 inches or more above ground level, new or replacement
- Carports: carports are not allowed in the front of any yard in Calhoun Manor Village.
- Replacing, reconstructing, or opening sidewalks along streets.
- Grading, excavations, and fills.
Note: The property owner AND Contractor will be responsible for any damage to Borough streets. Even if work is being done on private property, and a permit OR zoning certificate is not required. Borough streets may not be used for material storage.
Application Requirements – Building Permits
- All applications will use the forms found on the Borough website.
- New residential construction and significant building changes (i.e., additions) require Planning Commission approval for neighborhood context and compatibility.
- Applications are due 3 weeks prior to any applicable meeting for adequate review time.
- New construction requires a stormwater management plan be submitted.
- All submissions must be clear and legible.
- A site plan showing the proposed addition, the outside dimensions of the structure, the distances in feet, to the front, sides, and rear property lines.
Survey Requirements – Residential Permits / Zoning Certificates
The Borough recognizes that many properties were last surveyed many years ago. In the intervening time, property monuments may have been added or removed and encroachments on or off property may have occurred. The placement of fences and accessory sheds must be done in conformance with the requirements of the West Homestead Zoning Ordinance and, to protect your interests, must not be positioned to encroach upon an adjoining property.
All applications must include a survey showing existing property monuments and clearly identify location of proposed improvements.
ALL EXCAVATIONS IN THE BOROUGH REQUIRE A PA ONE CAIi (811).