Resources
To assist potential developers / businesses we have provided you with this essential information.

Amy Bridger, Senior Director of Corporate Strategy & External Engagement
 (814) 898-6756
aeb20@psu.edu
Harborcreek Engagement Team
Pam Brink, HC Tax Collector
5601 Buffalo Road
Harborcreek PA 16421
(814) 899-0818
Berkheimer
3608 West 26th Street
Erie PA 16506
 (610) 588-0965
www.hab-inc.com
Harborcreek Sewer Authority
5601 Buffalo Road
Harborcreek PA 16421
(814) 899-3131
sewer@htsa.us
Erie County Health Department
606 West 2nd Street
Erie PA 16507
 (610) 451-6700
ecdhinfo@eriecountypa.gov
Erie Water Works
240 West 12th Street
Erie PA 16501
 (814) 860-8000
rcostantini@eri…works.org
Penelec (First Energy)
5404 Evans Street
Erie PA 16509
 (814) 545-7741
www.firstenergycorp.com
National Fuel
1100 State Street
Erie PA 16501
 (814) 871-8200
www.nationalfuelgas.com
RE/MAX Real Estate Services
4939 Buffalo Road
Erie PA 16510
 (814) 898-3558
www.eriehomefinder.com
Howard Hanna Erie
4905 Buffalo Road
Erie PA 16510
 (814) 860-1287
www.howardhanna.com
Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services
 (814) 899-1316
 (814) 866-8840
Development Activity
Stay informed on what’s going UP in the community
Projects in process of township approval
Projects approved and construction is under way or will begin soon
Projects that are approved, constructed, and open for business

Zoning FAQ

Listed below are answers to the most common asked questions. If you don’t find an answer to your question, please .

Projects that require a zoning permit are:

  • New Structures
  • Additions
  • Garages (attached and detached)
  • Pole Barn
  • Decks/Porches
  • Swimming Pools (permanent)
  • Storage Sheds (over 120 sq. ft. or a 2nd shed on property)
  • Accessory Structures (over 120 sq. ft.)
  • Pre-fabricated structures
  • Mobile Homes
  • Structure Relocations
  • Structural Changes
  • Non-Residential Renovations
  • Signs
  • Demolitions

Non-Residential Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing

Projects that require a zoning permit are:

  • New Structures
  • Additions
  • Garages (attached and detached)
  • Pole Barn
  • Decks/Porches
  • Swimming Pools (permanent)
  • Storage Sheds (over 120 sq. ft. or a 2nd shed on property)
  • Accessory Structures (over 120 sq. ft.)
  • Pre-fabricated structures
  • Mobile Homes
  • Structure Relocations
  • Structural Changes
  • Non-Residential Renovations
  • Signs
  • Demolitions

Non-Residential Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing

Most projects require both a building and zoning permit.  Building permits are required for the same projects that are required for zoning permits and are listed in “Do I need a zoning permit for my project.  The exception to this are the projects are listed here.  The projects that are NOT required to secure a building permit are:

  • Decks/Porches that are 29” or less in height (measure at ground to the landing) AND does not have a supporting roof OR it is not over a basement area.
  • Detached Garages or pole barns that are less than 1,000 sq. ft.

Accessory Structures under 1,000 sq. ft. (includes sheds)

  • Fences *
  • Storage sheds (under 120 sq. ft. and only 1 shed without a permit.) A 2nd shed (any size) requires a zoning permit.
  • Residential roofing (any structural changes requires a zoning and building permit)
  • Driveways (new driveways on a state highway, contact Penn DOT)
  • Residential siding
  • Temporary Swimming pools (all pools shall not be placed in front yard)
  • Replacement Windows and Doors (without structural changes, change in egress, or fire rating requirements)
  • Replacement of electrical switch, receptacle, or light fixture (rated 20 amps + 120 volts or less, except GFCI protected devices)
  • Retaining Walls (4 ft. or less in height)
  • Portable Appliances
  • Residential Kitchen Appliance Replacement
*
Fence Regulations are 6 ft. or less in height, 1 ft. inside the property line, and shall not be placed / installed in an easement or right of ways. The ordinance does not regulate what side fence faces adjacent properties.

A zoning permit ensures compliance with the Zoning Ordinance such as setbacks (location of structure), height of structure, use of the structure.

A building permit ensure the structure is built to the PA UCC Code (how it is built).

Most permits typically take about 15 minutes.  However, if your project is over the minimum sq. ft. of new impervious area, you may be required to submit a Small Project Stormwater Management Application.  You may be eligible for a Single Family Residential Exemption.  The Township Engineer would approve or deny any stormwater plans. In that case, the approval of your application may take up to 2 days.
It depends.  Storage sheds less than 120 sq. ft. (i.e. 10’ X 12’) do not require a zoning or building permit.  The placement of the shed is a minimum of 5 ft. from rear and side property lines.  Sheds larger than 120 sq. ft. or if this is a 2nd shed on the property, a zoning permit IS required and the setbacks will be different depending on your zoning district.
No, there are no permits required for a fence.  The regulations are that the fence must be 1 foot in from your property line and the height shall not exceed 6 ft.  There is no regulation for what side the fence is facing.  If your property is on a corner lot, the height of the fence shall not exceed 3 ft. in the clear triangle sight area.

Storage container, mini storage pods, and even dumpsters are for a temporary use only.  The timeframe for a temporary use is not more than 2 consecutive months per calendar year or an open active zoning and/or building permit).  Dumpster shall not be placed in the road or right of way.

It depends on your zoning district.  Residential zoning districts – structures must be a minimum of 35 ft. from front and rear property line and 10 ft. from side property line.  Corner lots (lots that abut 2 roads) must have a minimum of 20 ft. from the side property line. Agricultural zoning district for residential must be a minimum of 50 ft. from front property line, 35 ft. from rear property line, and 30 ft. from side property lines.  Rural Residential zoning district must be a minimum of 50 ft. from front property line, 35 ft. from rear property line, and 15 from side property lines.  Commercial zoning districts and mixed zoning districts have different setback regulations.  You can refer to zoning ordinance or contact the zoning office.

You will need to get a survey done on your property.  The zoning office uses a program from Erie County Tax Maps for reference points of your property when issuing a zoning permit for setback purposes, as well as the landowner’s input.  This is not considered a survey and is only for reference purposes.

You can view the Zoning Map and find your property or contact the zoning office.

In some cases you may be able to have your property re-zoned. The first determination to make, is if your property abuts a different zoning district. If not or it’s not the zoning classification you would like, the township supervisors would not consider “spot zoning” because it is illegal.  Secondly is it consistent with the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map and would it negatively effect the adjacent properties.  Contact the Zoning Administrator to determine your case of rezoning and if applicable, receive the petition form.
No permit is required if it is located on a township road and the only regulation is that the driveway must be on the owner’s property. If you need a driveway pipe across a ditch to access property, you will need to contact the Road Secretary to have the driveway pipe installed by Harborcreek Township.  A fee for the cost of the pipe must be paid prior to the pipe installation.  If the proposed driveway is on a State road, you may be required to get a Penn DOT permit.  Contact Penn DOT office at or visit https://www.penndot.gov/Doing-Business/Permits/HighwayOccupancyPermits/Pages/default.aspx

A right of way is a strip of land that a public road was built, including utilities, and the right of traffic to take precedence.  Most right of ways are 50 ft.  wide, which includes the improved (paved) road and a portion on each side of road for utilities, etc.  In the example, you will notice the right of way is off of the paved road.  The actual paved portion of the road is approximately 30 ft.

A paper street/road is an “unopened” road (not developed).  The paper streets appear on maps because it was depicted in the recorded subdivision plan but was not built into a road.  Some paper streets are not recognizable, only on maps.  Paper streets occurred prior to the township’s current subdivision regulations.  A developer must build any roads that are being proposed on the subdivision plan.

The township has no rights to the paper streets.  Individual property owners who abuts a paper street/road have the legal right to utilize / gain access to their property.  Paper streets may not be blocked off for this very reason.

It depends on what type of business.  There are two types’ home businesses; no-impact home based business and a home based business.  Please review the criteria for each of the types at and .  If you comply with the no impact home based business, sign the form and submit to the township (free).  If you comply with a Home Business, complete the application and submit the application and fee of $400.  There is a review process with the application at a Planning Commission Meeting and a Public Hearing with the Board of Supervisors.

The keeping of hens for personal use is permitted in the Residential Districts (R-1, R2-A, R2-B, and R-3), Village and Lakefront Districts provided that the lot contains a minimum of 2 acres and no more than 10 hens per premise.  The hens must be secure on owner’s property.  Any structures such as hen coup must be a minimum of 75 feet from rear and front property line, and 50 feet from side property lines or 50 feet from occupied structure with a minimum of 25 feet from side property line, whichever is greater.

The zoning ordinance does not permit two (2) single family dwelling units on one parcel in a residential zoning district.  However, an addition can be constructed on the existing house and the use can be used for an in-law apartment (a family member).  Our zoning ordinance does not recognize “in-law apartment”. The addition can include a kitchen, bedroom, etc. but it must be part of the single family dwelling.

The zoning administrator also serves as the Floodplain Administrator for Harborcreek.  The administrator receives training from FEMA and ensures Harborcreek stays eligible for any disaster relief funding.  Harborcreek adopted a Floodplain Ordinance in 1985 which was amended in 2014 when the maps were revised by FEMA.  Contact the Zoning Administrator at 814-899-3171 or visit FEMA’s website at https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search.

Contact the zoning administrator on our contact page or by phone 814-899-3171.  You can also contact the Erie County Conservation District at 814-825-6403.

Yes a demolition permit is required through the zoning office and building permit office.  The fee for residential is $25 and non-residential is $50.  Securing a demolition permit will get the structure off of your property taxes.

It depends on the size of the project.  If the project is under 1,000 square feet of new impervious area, no stormwater plan is required.  If the project is 1,001-2,500 sq. ft. of new impervious area, a small project application needs to be submitted for approval, 2,501-5,000 sq. ft. of new impervious area, a small project application and volume controls needs to be submitted for approval.  Projects over 5,000 sq. ft. of new impervious must submit an engineered complete stormwater management plan for approval.  The fee for stormwater review with a project over 2,5000 sq. ft. is $200.  Stormwater plans are approved by township engineer.

If your project does not strictly comply with the zoning regulations and is not considered detrimental to the public or to neighboring properties, you may be granted a variance, allowing you to deviate from the zoning regulations. A variance may be submitted to the Zoning Hearing Board.   In general, variances are granted when the shape or size of the lot interferes with the owner’s “reasonable use” of the land, and the problem has not been created by the landowner.  There are 5 criteria that the Zoning Hearing Board bases their decision on.  Please refer to the ZHB Criteria.  The fee for residential is $400 and non-residential is $750.

Yes, a single family home can be a rental property; however, it can only be rented for occupancy by a family and 1 unrelated individual in a residential zoning district.  In the R-4 College Related Residential and Public University zoning districts the number of unrelated individuals differ.  Refer to Zoning Ordinance, Section 2023 Boarders.

This is a civil matter which cannot be enforced by the township.  The township suggests to talk to your neighbor to see if they will trim the tree or shrub or gives you permission to trim them back.  Working together with your neighbor is always recommended.

This is a civil matter which cannot be enforced by the township.  The township suggests to every resident to manage their runoff water so that it disperses on their own property.  .  The township suggests to talk to your neighbor to see if they will re-direct their water on their own property.  Working together with your neighbor is always recommended.

Stormwater runoff is water from rainfall and gutter and drains that flows over ground and does not percolate into the ground.  Stormwater runoff may flow directly into natural tributaries, streams, creeks, lakes, or other waterways within the township or it is intercepted and collected by a stormwater management facility.

As stormwater runoff flows over lawns, roadways, parking lots, or land disturbed by construction activities, it accumulates chemicals, oils and grease, debris and litter, heat or other pollutants that contaminate and adversely affect the water quality of our natural waterways.  It can lead to deterioration of the quality of water which are used for fishing, swimming, boating, as well as sources of our potable water supply.  Increases in stormwater volume can lead to accelerated stream bank erosion and more frequent stream channel flooding which can result in damage to and loss of property as well as premature failure of roadway culverts and bridges.

Harborcreek Township has 4 different zip codes; Harborcreek 16421, Erie 16510 and 16511, and North East 16428.  Zip codes are used by the US Postal Service and  designates delivery points.  Since           Harborcreek has an eastern boundary line with North East and a western boundary line with Erie (Lawrence Park), the mailing addresses were designated years ago from the US Postal Service..  For example Nagle Road (between Iroquois Avenue & East Lake Road), the east side  homes are in Harborcreek but the west side homes are in Lawrence Park but both sides have an Erie 16511 mailing address.

 

Contact Us

Hours: 8am – 4:30pm

Superintendent of Zoning
Zoning Administrator, President of the Erie County Zoning and Code Enforcement Officials Association
Zoning Assistant / Code Enforcement Officer
Zoning Assistant
Development Activity
Stay informed on what’s going UP in the community
Projects in process of township approval
Projects approved and construction is under way or will begin soon
Projects that are approved, constructed, and open for business
Boards & Commissions
Visit the meetings page
to see more details.
Zoning Hearing Board
Meets on: 3rd Tuesday of each month, 7:00 p.m., if necessary.
Next Meetings Agenda
Meeting Minutes
Planning Commission
Meets on: 1st Thursday of each month, 6:00 p.m.
Next Meetings Agenda
Meeting Minutes
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