The Zoning Ordinance regulates land use and structure placement to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the City's residents and businesses. The zoning ordinance prevents overcrowding and unhealthy conditions by regulating lot sizes and setback requirements, and establishing density, building height, and buffering standards, and sets requirements for signage and parking. The following are some frequently asked questions about Zoning:
A zoning permit is required for any new buildings, additions, decks or porches exceeding 3 feet in height, and accessory structures such as swimming pools, sheds, and garages. Permits are also required for signs, billboards, temporary banners or reader boards, parking lots, and any interior alterations within a building which create additional dwelling units, changes of use, or expansions of existing uses.
How do I find out what I can do with my property?
You should contact the Zoning Office weekdays at 610-437-7630 between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:30 p.m.
What if I cannot meet all of the requirements of the ordinance?
A zoning variance may be requested from the Zoning Hearing Board. This three member citizen board meets on an as needed basis on Monday evenings in City Hall. The purpose of the Board is to hear requests for relief by property owners or tenants from any section of the Zoning Ordinance. An appeal to the board may be filed in the zoning office.
What happens if someone violates the zoning ordinance?
When a complaint is filed with the zoning office, a zoning officer will inspect the property to verify the complaint. If any of the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance are being violated, the officer will send a certified letter to the property owner and/or lessee indicting the nature of the violation and ordering the action necessary to correct it. If a violation continues, the matter is filed with the district magistrate's office for a hearing.
Who do I call with a zoning complaint or question?
Call the Zoning Office at 610-437-7630, weekdays between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:30 pm. When calling with a complaint, it is helpful to be able to provide the office with the address of the property, specifics as to what you observed and when the alleged violation occurs.
Where can I get a copy of the zoning ordinance and map?
The Ordinance can be viewed online, or a copy may be purchased at the Zoning Office on the 4th floor of City Hall.
City of Allentown - 435 Hamilton Street - 610-439-5999