Applications for a permit may be made at the Borough's Planning Department, State College Municipal Building, 243 South Allen Street, State College, Pennsylvania, 16801. For other information regarding signs, call the Zoning Officer at (814) 234-7109.

Types of Permits
Conditional Use
Conditional use is a use that may be suitable in certain locations within a zoning district when prescribed conditions are met. Conditional uses are applied to motor-vehicle-oriented-businesses, adult businesses, public service facilities and elderly housing developments. Permission for a conditional use involves the Planning Department, the Planning Commission, Borough Engineer, Borough Council, Design Review Board and, perhaps, the Historic Resources Commission. Approval of a conditional use permit could take four months or longer, depending on the number of revisions necessary to make the plan acceptable. Anyone interested in submitting an application for a conditional use should contact the Planning Department at (814) 234-7109 to schedule a pre-submission conference to review plan requirements and procedures.

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Driveways and Curb Cuts Permits
A driveway permit is required prior to construction of any new driveway or prior to the expansion of an existing driveway. Driveway construction, access, width and location as well as curb cuts are regulated.  Permits for a new driveway or to alter an existing driveway may be obtained from the Zoning Office in the State College Municipal Building. To obtain an on line permit, click here.  A street excavation/occupancy permit is required if the curb is to be cut.  This permit can be obtained in the Public Works office of the State College Municipal Building, 243 South Allen Street, State College, PA.

Parking areas larger than four parking spaces may be built or expanded but they, too, require a zoning permit and must conform with design standards and lot coverage restrictions.

To resurface, seal or repair an existing driveway, a permit is not required.

Questions related to these regulations may be directed to the Zoning Officer at (814) 234-7109.

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Garages and Carports Permits
Private garages and carports for 1-family homes may not exceed storage capacity for three vehicles. For 2-family homes or duplexes, these areas may not exceed the storage capacity for four vehicles. Garage and carport openings may not exceed eight feet in height and, when attached to the home, must comply with the same setback requirements applicable for the house.

Detached garages and carports are permitted but may not include any living quarters. In addition, two or more abutting property owners may erect a common detached garage or carport across or abutting a common lot line in side- or rear-yard setback areas provided the owners supply a written Agreement, duly recorded with the County Recorder of Deeds for the erection and use of such structure.

Neither garages nor carports are permitted in front yards. Both a zoning and building permit are required prior to construction.

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Signs: Regulations And Permits For...
Residential Districts...
All advertising signs are prohibited in residential districts except for signs denoting the name of apartment buildings, churches and professionals. Sign permits are required prior to the erection of any advertising sign. Real estate signs advertising the sale, rental or lease of a premise are permitted without a permit in a residential district provided the sign does not exceed five square feet in area. Signs containing the name and address of a resident which are not larger than two square feet are also allowed without a permit.

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Commercial Districts...
The size and number of signs are restricted in commercial districts. Flashing signs and signs with moving parts are prohibited. Signs advertising businesses not located at the premise are also prohibited.

The maximum number of signs that may be displayed is five, unless the premise is located on a corner lot and has public entrances on two or more public ways or where the building has both a front and rear public entrance. In these cases, one additional sign is permitted.

Total sign area for any business in commercial districts is based on the ratio of two square feet per lineal front foot of the building or premises. Regardless of the size of the business, no more than 200 square feet of sign area is permitted. Basement businesses are limited to a total sign area of 20 square feet. Ground pole signs are restricted to 25 square feet of area per sign face. And projecting signs may not exceed 15 square feet per sign face. No sign may be erected higher than 25 feet above grade.

A sign permit is required prior to erecting any advertising sign. Changing a sign face or the information contained on a sign board requires a new permit. Illuminated signs also require an electrical permit.  To obtain an on line permit, click here.

All proposals for signs in the business district must be reviewed by the Design Review Board before a permit can be issued. Application for sign permits which require the Board's review must be received by the Zoning Officer no later than the last working day of the month.

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Storage or Garden Sheds Permits
Storage or garden sheds are considered to be accessory buildings. They are permitted in all residential districts but can be no more than 144 square feet in ground floor area and 10 feet in height. Their placement on the lot is also regulated, and a zoning permit is required (including prefabricated structures). A building permit is also required whenever electrical service or plumbing is involved.  To obtain an online application, click here.

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Zoning Permits
Zoning permits are required prior to the erection, alteration, demolition or construction of any structure requiring a building permit.  A zoning permit is also required prior to any change in use of a building or land; the construction of an off-street parking area; a change of a permitted nonconforming use; or whenever a site plan or development plan is required.  To obtain an online application, click here.

Permits are not required to erect fences 6.5 feet or less in height.

Check with the Zoning Office (814) 234-7109 before beginning any structural changes on your property.

For more information, contact the Planning Department between 8:00 am. and 5:00 pm.

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