Zoning FAQs

Have a question related to planning and zoning? Check the list of frequently asked questions below! Not seeing the answer to your question? Feel free to contact the Zoning Administrator at 814-333-3351 or the City Planner at 814-333-3820 to discuss your question.
Zoning FAQs for Residents & Businesses
When do I need a zoning permit?
Whenever you plan to build, alter or install accessory structures such as sheds, fences, driveways, patios and other such structures not required under the Building Code. To check on a specific project, please contact the Zoning Administrator at 814-333-3351.
Do building permits require zoning approval?
All building permits require zoning approval, including those for interior renovations, mainly to determine if any zoning provisions such as change of use, parking, etc. would apply. Not all will require a site plan. Contact the Zoning Administrator at 333-3351 to find out more.
How do I request a change in zoning?
Zoning map changes require approval by City Council. It begins with a discussion with the Zoning Administrator. Call 333-3351.
How can I resolve a dispute about a property line?
As this is a private, civil matter, the City cannot do anything in these issues. You should contact a licensed surveyor or an attorney for guidance.
What are the restrictions on putting up a fence?
Maximum height is 4’ in front yard areas and 8’ in side and rear yards. Note that any side of a property facing a street is considered a front yard. Additionally, front yards are generally considered to include the first 20’ to 25’ from a street. Fences may be placed up to, but not over the property line. You can find a Fence Permit application here.
Do I need special approval to run my business out of my home?
Not always, but we do encourage residents to discuss their plans with the Zoning Administrator. We refer to this as a home business. There are specific limits, including but not limited to a restriction that no business may take place outside of the residence; the business must be secondary to the use as a residence; that the business involves no customer, client or patient traffic in excess of those normally associated with residential use; no outside employees; no retail sales; and adequate parking is provided. You can contact the Zoning Administrator at 814-333-3351.
Who do I contact about a subdivision  or consolidation of a property?
A consolidation is when more than one lot is joined together legally to create a new single lot. A subdivision is when a lot is legally separated into more than one lot.  Planning Commission approval is required to complete a consolidation or subdivision. Hearings on consolidations and subdivisions are held by the Planning Commission. To begin the process, please contact the Zoning Administrator at 333-3351 or the City Planner 814-333-3820.
Can I obtain a copy of the zoning code and/or maps?
The Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Maps are available in print at the Zoning Office, located in the City Building at 894 Diamond Park, Meadville.  Cost is $25. A digital version of the City's zoning map can be found here.  Contact the Zoning Office at 814-333-3351 with any questions concerning the zoning code.
Who do I contact regarding floodplain information?
Contact the Zoning Administrator at 333-3351.
How can I obtain a handicapped parking space on the street, have yellow lines painted, etc.?
Contact the City Manager’s Office at 724-6000.
How can I find out if there is an occupancy permit for a property?
Contact the Zoning Administrator at 333-3351.
What are the building setbacks on my property?
A building setback is the minimum distance that a building can be from your property line. Building setbacks can vary by land use, building type, and zoning district. Building setback information may be found in the Zoning Code section of our Municipal Code or by calling the Zoning Administrator at 814-333-3351.
Can I request information for another property or a specific file?
Yes, once an application has been filed it is considered a public record and can be requested by filing a Right-to-Know request. To find out how to make this request, please visit the Right-to-Know/Open Records Request page or email right-to-know@cityofmeadville.org.
How can I determine the zoning district for a particular property?

You may view a map of the City of Meadville zoning districts online by clicking here. Please contact the Zoning Administrator at (814) 333-3351 for a paper copy of the zoning map or any further questions. There is a reproduction cost for hard copies.

Is a Certificate of Occupancy and/or a home inspection required for the re-sale of an existing home?
No, the City does not require either.
How do I file a zoning complaint?
Please contact the Zoning Administrator at 814-333-3351. 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.
What is the difference between a building permit & a zoning permit?
A zoning permit is required to ensure that structures are built and placed in conformance with the local zoning ordinance. A building permit is required to ensure its structure or repair is built in a safe manner in accordance with building codes (ICC 2018). 
Who is responsible for applying for a permit?
The property owner is responsible for obtaining a building and/or zoning permit. The property owner may appoint an authorized agent to apply for the permit, such as a contractor.
What happens if someone violates the Zoning Ordinance?
 When a complaint is filed with the City Planning and Zoning office, the Zoning Administrator will inspect the property to verify the complaint. If any of the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance are being violated, the Zoning Administrator 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.
Do I need a permit for a deck?
Decks are regulated by the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code if the deck floor will be more than 30 inches
above grade at any point or if there is a roof on the structure. If your project meets either of those parameters,
please use this application. If your project does not meet either of those parameters, please use this application
Do I need a permit for a satellite dish, solar panels, or similar structures?
Yes, you find the application here. Please note,  satellite dishes, solar panels or similar structures are not permitted in front yard areas. Additionally, satellite dishes, solar panels or similar structures must be 3 feet from side and rear property lines, and cannot interfere with the line of sight for vehicular traffic on adjoining streets or alleys. For further questions, please contact the Zoning Administrator at 814-333-3351.
Do I need a permit to install a swimming pool and/or hot tub?
Placement of swimming pools, hot tubs, and associated decks are permitted in rear yards only. The pool must be at least 10 feet from any side yard line and 10 feet from any rear yard line. Pumps, filtration devices and similar apparatus required by the pool are permitted in side or rear yard areas. If the property fronts on two streets, such as a corner lot or one with streets in the front  and rear, special accommodations can be made.  A safety barrier is required to be installed around any pools, etc. Please contact the Zoning Administrator for more information at 814-333-3351. An application can be found here.
Do I need a permit or a driveway?
Yes, any creation or expansion of a driveway requires a permit. A lawful service drive must meet several parameters, including width, surfacing materials and curb cut access (apron). It must be inspected to ensure compliance with the city’s regulations. A complete list of requirements can be found on the second page of the Driveway Permit application. For questions, please contact the Zoning Administrator at 814-333-3351.
Do I need a permit to install a sidewalk?
Yes. You can find the required permit application here. Sidewalk Schedule A can be found here. For questions, contact the Zoning Administrator at 814-333-3351.
Do I need a permit for a dumpster?
If the dumpster is located in the street or right-of-way, then a permit is required. The application can be found here.