Did You Know? Installment #3 – Do I Need a Building or Zoning Permit?

Westmoreland County Land Use provides an excellent resource regarding what construction projects need a building and/or zoning permit.  The complete document can be downloaded at: https://www.westmoreland-county.org/sites/default/files/2023-11/Permit%20Guidance.pdf

Two important sections of that document are presented below with additional information.

Camper, Boat/Horse Trailer, RV:

  • These are allowed to be stored within residential districts. If the equipment is 6 feet or greater in height, it must be placed within the required setbacks and must be at least 3 feet from any building.  No permit is required for the storage of such equipment on the property.
  • No habitation, temporary or permanent, of such equipment is permitted except in official campgrounds/RV parks.
  • Camping in tents is only allowed as a temporary use accessory to a single-family home.

Additional information:

  • Required setbacks can be confirmed by Land Use but are basically:
    • 35’ from the front property line or 60’ from the center of the roadway.
    • 5’ from side and rear property lines
    • Outside the 100’ Resource Protection Area (RPA) for waterfront lots
  • The requirement for a minimum 3’ separation from a building is to ensure there is access in case of an emergency such as a fire.
  • Habitation of trailers is not permitted in the community.

Detached Residential Accessory Structure (of 256 square feet or less) – Sheds:

  1. Zoning permit, with a plot plan, required
  2. Electrical, plumbing, and mechanical permits (if applicable).
    1. Buffer requirements: Detached accessory structure may not be located within the 100’ buffer without a Chesapeake Bay Act Exception granted by the Planning Commission.

Additional information:

  • Required lot line setbacks are the same as mentioned above.
  • No shed is allowed without a primary structure present.
  • Only two accessory structures/sheds are allowed per lot.
  • Hand-drawn position of the proposed shed, demonstrating proper setbacks, on a plat copy is adequate if not within the RPA.
  • No habitation of accessory structures without proper permitting.
  • For multiple sheds, each requires a permit.



posted 12.15.23