Planning & Permits

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Penn Township Planning & Permit Process

  1. For New Construction or Land Development follow Steps A-E
  2. To Pave or Resurface an existing Driveway see step C
  3. For Accessory Structures to existing lot development see step E (Garages, Sheds, Porches, Decks, Fences, Pools, etc.)
  4. Solicitation Permit – see bottom of page

Click Here to view Penn Township Zoning Map


A. Sewage Approval

  1. Apply by contacting the township office at (717) 486-3104. The cost of the sewage application is $330 per lot, payable to ‘Penn Township’. This fee covers the work of Sewage Enforcement Officer (SEO) Vincent Elbel. His field work (study of the perc and deep probe) is necessary to receive a permit for a septic system. (An additional fee of $250 is required for issuance of the septic permit and is payable upon request for the septic permit.)
  2. The applicant will be responsible to dig the perc holes and arrange for a backhoe to dig the deep probe.
  3. After Mr. Elbel has recommended approval to have the sewage system designed, he will supply the locations of the probe and perc holes for the system designer and/or the surveyor. The completed design is then returned to Mr. Elbel for approval and inclusion in the “Sewage Planning Module”.
  4. All Sewage Planning Modules (proposed new septic systems with the exception of 10-Acre Exemptions) must be reviewed by the Cumberland County Planning Department, the Penn Township Planning Commission, the Penn Township Board of Supervisors and PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
  5. The DEP approval process normally takes 60 – 90 days from the date of submittal to DEP. In these cases, the Board of Supervisors may approve the subdivision plan contingent upon DEP approval and then sign the plan upon written receipt of DEP approval.
  6. Upon receipt of DEP approval and payment of the $250 permit fee, the applicant may request the SEO to issue the sewage permit.
  7. For more information and fees please click the Septic Permit button below.

B. Subdivision or Land Development  

  1. Obtain a surveyor who should draw up a subdivision or land development plan. If the surveyor has not submitted plans to Penn Township in the past, they may obtain a copy of the 2021-04 Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance from the township office or on the website under the Code & Ordinance Tab. The surveyor will submit the plan to the township along with the appropriate fee (see fee schedule).
  2. The plan is to be submitted to the Cumberland County Planning Commission nine days prior to their meeting date, which is the third Thursday of each month and to the township 21 days prior to the Township Planning Commission meeting date (third Monday of each month).
  3. If an Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan is required, the Cumberland County Conservation District will also need to receive a copy of the plan.
  4. It is the policy of the Township Planning Commission to refer plans to the Township Engineer for professional commentary on the plan. The expense incurred by the township in the professional review of the plan is the responsibility of the developer and will be payable to the township prior to the release of the approved plan.
  5. After approval by the County, Township, and DEP, the Board of Supervisors will review and sign the plan. The Township Supervisors meet on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Call the township office for the exact dates for Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors meetings. It is a requirement to have a representative attend meetings in order to present the plans and answer any questions.
  6. Within 90 days, the Township will make an appointment and record the plan at the Cumberland County Recorder of Deeds Office, Carlisle.
  7. For more information, an application & fee schedule please click the Subdivision & Land Development button below.

C. Driveway Permit – $40.00

  1. A township Driveway Application is required if the driveway will access the lot from a township road. Along with the $40 application fee, include a sketch plan of the property showing the proposed driveway location, dimensions, intersecting roads, any improvements proposed (culverts/drains), and anticipated work dates.
  2. If the driveway is to access a state road, call PENNDOT at (717) 243-5414 for an application.
  3. The Township Roadmaster will review the application and return it with regulations for installation. A permit will be issued upon inspection of the finished work.
  4. The township requires driveways of new subdivisions/land developments to be surfaced with the same material as that of the road they access. Driveways for non-residential and agricultural uses are to be surfaced to a minimum of 24 feet and a maximum of 35 feet in width between the street and the dedicated right-of-way line.
  5. For permit application please click the Driveway Permit button below.

D. Building/Land Use Permits for Commercial or Industrial Structures – $250.00

  1. Construction plans must be drafted by a Pennsylvania licensed engineer or architect and contain their seal and signature and comply with the Fire and Panic Act and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Three copies and one CD or pdf of the construction plan must be submitted upon application for a building/land use permit.
  2. All information in Section E also applies to securing a building/land use permit for commercial or industrial structures.

E. Building/Land Use Permit – $60.00

  1. After subdivision or land development plans are approved, sewage permit is obtained, and driveway application is approved, a building/land use permit must be secured.
  2. On-lot accumulated earth disturbance of over 1,000 SQFT from January 1, 2020 will require a Stormwater Management Plan. (For further requirements, information and applications for #1 & #2, click the Zoning/Building Permit button below)    
  3. Once the building/land use application has been obtained from the township, you’ll be directed to West Pennsboro Township to drop off your application for the building inspection agency (MDIA) review. Once the review has been performed and the building plans approved, you will be called by the staff at West Pennsboro Township with the cost of the inspections. You will be able to pick up your permit and pay for the inspection at that time.
  4. You may then begin to build and call the building inspector for each inspection as required.

Please direct any questions concerning this process to the township office at (717) 486-3104.


SOLICITATION PERMIT – $25.00/Solicitor

It is to be understood that permits are only to be issued for a thirty (30) day time period.  Each Solicitor/Person shall at all times while soliciting in the Township carry upon his person the Permit and the same shall be exhibited by the Solicitor whenever he is required to do so by any Township Official or person being solicited.

Hours of Solicitation: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (no Soliciting on Weekends or Holidays)

What is required by the Township:

  1. Fully completed & signed Solicitation Permit Application annotating solicitor information, name of employer, name of products or services being solicited, product manufacturer information or organization being represented, and the proposed method of operation to be conducted in the township.
  2. $25.00 (per Solicitor) application fee paid to Penn Township (Cash/Check)
  3. Applicant Photo ID to be copied for files
  4. Vehicle Information

The Permit may be revoked by the Board of Supervisors because of any violation of the Ordinance or any other Township Ordinances or of any state or federal law.  Any person found to be soliciting without registering with the Township or to be in violation of any of the provisions of the Ordinance shall, upon conviction by a Magisterial District Judge, be subject to a fine of not more than $500.00, plus costs of prosecution.