Building & Zoning
Both commercial and residential building permits are required in Richland Township to erect, modify, and/or repair structures. This includes, but is not limited to: new homes, new commercial buildings, structural changes to existing buildings, additions, accessory structures 1,000 square feet or greater, decks, and swimming pools.
How to Apply for Building/Zoning Permits
All permit applications are located on the permitting portal . Applicants can register, if not already registered, to apply for, pay for, and receive permits through the permitting portal.
A building permit requires the building permit application and the completion of a zoning certification. All permit applications must be approved prior to beginning construction.
Both Commercial and Residential Building and Zoning Permits are required in Richland Township to erect, modify, and/or repair structures.
Building and Zoning Permits are required for, but not limited to:
- New Homes and Mobile Homes
- New Commercial Buildings
- Structural Changes to Existing Building (Interior & Exterior)
- Accessory Structures > 1,000 square feet (i.e. detached garage, shed, etc.)
- Deck (over 30 inches from grade level)
- Roof (changes to existing)
- New Electrical Service
- Swimming Pool
A zoning permit is required for new construction projects including, but not limited to: fences, sheds, accessory structures less than 1,000 square feet, and decks (less than 30 inches from grade level. For more information regarding fences, please click this link: to view Section 27-506, Accessory Uses Part C: Fences, Walls, and Hedges
Stormwater Management Best Management Practice (SWM BMP)
The installation of a SWM BMP is required for any building project that increases the building footprint on the property by 800 square feet or more. This includes but is not limited to new homes, additions to an existing structure, large sheds, detached garages and new roof over existing decks. This does not include decks that have no roof or swimming pools.
- Apply for Sign Permit Online on the Permitting Portal
- Please refer to: Richland Township Sign Ordinance (Part 10 of Zoning)
- Sign Inspection Checklist (PDF)
Residential demolitions require the Township's demolition permit application.
Commercial demolitions require the Township's demolition permit application and a permit from the Allegheny County Health Department.
All new driveways require a driveway permit. Any driveway from State or County roads require approvals from those agencies.
Grading operations in excess of 1,000 square feet or over a certain height may require a permit. Please contact the Building and Zoning Office for guidance.
Operations where timber harvesting exceeds the revenue of $5,000, a logging permit is required
Occupancy Permits (Businesses)
- Occupancy Permit Application (Online)
- Commercial Recycling Program Participation/Survey (Required) (PDF)
Must be approved prior to operating any business in Richland Township. Please read through the entire application and fill out and submit all applicable forms in the above attachments.
Solicitor's permits can be obtained from the Northern Regional Police Department 724-625-3156.
Commercial Plan Reviews
Planning Commission (Land Developments and Subdivisions)
(Note: All applicants must submit both completed and signed Township and County Application Packages to Richland Township. Please use all four links below. All fees can be paid online on the Township website.)
- 2022 Land Dev Subdivision Application and Fees (PDF)
- Land Development and Subdivision Checklist and Requirements (PDF)
- Allegheny County Subdivision and Land Development Review Application (PDF)
- Allegheny County Plan Review Checklist (PDF)
Zoning Hearing Board (Variances, Special Exceptions, Interpretation Rulings)
Temporary Use Permits
Please refer to Chapter 27-507 in the Zoning Ordinance: Temporary Use Permits are required for activities includes, but not limited to those listed in the Zoning Ordinance.
Open Burning Regulations
Richland Township residents fall under the Allegheny County Health Department's Open Burning Regulations. Wood burning is legal in Allegheny County, however, all open burning must be done in compliance with the ACHD regulations.
Summary of the ACHD regulations:
Information regarding the pollutants found in wood smoke:
ACHD Complaint Line: 412-687-2243
The ACHD operates a 24-hour complaint line. Complaints will be investigated by ACHD staff and violations can be issued when necessary.
Violators of ACHD's Open Burning regulation can be fined for noncompliance. Fines can begin around $250 and can increase with repeated non-compliance.
Visit Know When (and What) to Burn information for more information.
Use of Coal-Tar Sealants: Richland Adopts Resolution Discouraging the Use of Coal-Tar Sealants
The Richland Board of Supervisors has adopted a resolution discouraging the use of coal-tar sealants within the Township. Coal-Tar is a black, liquid sealant which is used to protect and enhance the appearance of underlying asphalt in many driveways, playgrounds, and parking lots. Coal-tar is a potent source of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) and is a potential concern for humans and aquatic life. (Resolution Number 4 of 2021 (PDF))
Coal-tar and coal-tar pitch, both used in sealant products, have an extremely high concentration of PAHs and are classified as known human carcinogens. There are alternatives to this material, such as asphalt-based sealing products which have much lower concentrations of PAHs. Residents are encouraged to find out what is being used on their property before sealing driveways, playgrounds, and parking lots.
The figure below shows how it can be introduced into the environment. For more information of the use and dangers of coal tar please go to Coal-Tar-Based Pavement Sealcoat, PAHs, and Environmental Health.