Uses & Zoning

What Is Zoning?

The Township uses the Zoning Ordinance and the Zoning Map to implement the Comprehensive Plan and Official Map for the Township of South Whitehall for the following purposes:

• To promote, protect and facilitate any or all of the following: the public health, safety, morals, general welfare; coordinated and practical community development and proper Density of population; emergency management preparedness and operations, airports and national defense facilities; the provision of adequate light and air, access to incident solar energy, police protection, vehicle parking and loading space, transportation, water, sewer, schools, recreational facilities and trails, public grounds, the provision of a safe, reliable and adequate water supply for domestic commercial, agricultural or industrial Use, and other public requirements, as well as preservation of the natural, scenic and historic values in the environment and preservation of forests, wetlands, aquifers and Floodplains;
• To prevent overcrowding of land, blight, danger and congestion in travel and transportation, loss of health, life or property from fire, flood, panic or other dangers;
• To preserve prime agricultural and farmland considering topography, soil type and classification, and present Use;
• To provide for the Use of land within the municipality for residential housing of various Dwelling types encompassing all basic forms of housing, including single detached unit and
• Two-unit Dwellings, and a reasonable range of Multi-unit Dwellings in various arrangements, Mobile Homes and Mobile Home Parks, provided, however, that no zoning ordinance shall be deemed invalid for the failure to provide for any other specific Dwelling types;
• To accommodate reasonable overall community growth, including population and employment growth, and opportunities for development of a variety of residential Dwelling types and nonresidential uses.

The Purpose of Zoning Review

To assure the appropriate use of land insofar as a variety of subjects are concerned, including but not limited to:

• To keep proposed land uses consistent with those permitted by the Zoning Ordinance and Map.
• Limiting the intensity of building by assuring the setback of buildings, parking lots, etc., from property lines.
• Checking the amount of impervious surface created by building, parking lots, etc., that may affect storm water runoff.
• Registering and controlling the expansion of “grandfathered” (called non-conforming) features and activities that do not conform to current regulations.
• Temporary events.

The Process of Zoning Relief

Those wishing to conduct a new activity or install a new physical feature on a given property within the Township, apply for a zoning permit with a standard application (available at the Township) with all pertinent plans and information. Zoning permits are issued if the activity or structure proposed conforms to the Zoning Ordinance. Otherwise, a letter is sent to the applicant explaining the deficiency(ies). The applicant whose permit is denied has the option of appealing to the Zoning Hearing Board by completing an application available at the Township. Zoning Hearing Board meetings are usually held the fourth Wednesday of each month. Appeals – with all pertinent information – must be received at the Township approximately four weeks prior to the hearing, in order to meet State advertising requirements. For a detailed schedule of meeting dates and submission deadline dates, check the Township Calendar webpage or the Zoning Hearing Board webpage.