Zoning & Ordinance Office
Lindsay Fraser, Supervisor
Doug Gallagher, Deputy
Floyd “Bucky” Taraszewski, Deputy
Jody Lamison, Department Coordinator
Recently a TribLIVE online article on blight spotlighted the below video piece featuring Harrison Township Zoning Ordinance officer, Lindsay Fraser. Harrison Township’s Property Management Database is an important tool for improving property conditions and inspecting and licensing Township rental units. View Full Article.
The Zoning and Ordinance Office facilitates processing of zoning questions and proposals with the Harrison Township Zoning Hearing Board. The Zoning and Ordinance Officers also are responsible for the enforcement of the Township’s Code of Ordinances.
- Required Registration and Inspection of Rental Properties: Harrison Township requires registration and inspection of rental properties PRIOR to occupancy. Ordinance summary and necessary forms can be accessed below. Contact for details, at 724-224-9540.
- Zoning Certificates & Building Permits: Zoning Certificates and Building Permits can be applied for from the Township Zoning and Ordinance office for many changes to property, including but not limited to the following:
- Porches (Zoning Certificate and possibly Building Permit)
- Decks (Zoning Certificate for ground and low level deck; Building Permit for higher decks)
- Sheds (Zoning Certificate)
- Fences (Zoning Certificate and Property Survey)
- Car Ports (Zoning Certificate)
- Garages (Zoning Certificate and Building Permit)
- Demolition of structures (Zoning Certificate and other responsibilities)
- Additions/changes in house & commercial exterior structure (Zoning Certificate and Building Permit)
- Weeds and Vegetation: Grass and weeds cannot exceed 6 inches, and “sight obstructions” such as hedges, shrubs, trees, and underbrush cannot unreasonably interfere with the vision of pedestrians or motorists so as to create danger to those using streets and sidewalks.
- Refuse, Rubbish, Junk Cars and Tires: No occupant of any property shall accumulate refuse, rubbish or junk, including cans, food cartons and containers, yard clippings, discarded furniture, news papers, non-operable automobiles without current inspection stickers, broken down or dismantled automobile parts, or old tires.
- Exterior Structure Required Maintenance: The exterior of a structure shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and sanitary so as not to pose a threat to the public health, safety or welfare.
- Fence Requirements:
- A permit for erection of fencing shall be obtained from the Zoning and Ordinance office.
- A Property Survey is required for fence permit applications.
- The maximum height of a fence or wall in the rear or side yard shall be six feet.
- The only fences permitted in the front yard in the residential districts are ornamental, limited to four feet in height. Chain-link type fences are not permitted in front yards.
- The finished side of the fence structure is to face the neighboring property.
- No fence is permitted if it blocks clear view or vision for vehicular traffic.
- Yard Sales: Three yard sales are permitted per calendar year and cannot exceed three consecutive days. No signs advertising the yard sale may be posted on public property such as utility poles and traffic signs.
- Dogs: Dogs are not permitted to run at large. All dogs must be licensed through Allegheny County. Dogs cannot bark repetitively or excessively for a period of 10 consecutive minutes during any one-hour period. Pets are prohibited from defecating on streets, alleys, public property, or private property.
- Door-to-Door Solicitation: On March 1, 2017 the Board of Commissioners accepted an amendment to the Chapter 13 Ordinance regarding door-to-door solicitation. The amendment permits residents to bar solicitors from their property by posing “No Solicitors” signs or by joining the Townships “No Solicitors List”.
- For full amendment details see Ordinance No. 1993 (PDF).
- To join the Township’s “No Solicitors List” please call the Township Office at 724-226-1393 ext. 10 or ext 12 or submit your request via our online contact form. Please include your full name, address, contact information and clearly state that you would like to be added to the “No Solicitors List” when using the online contact form to submit your request.
- View “No Solicitors List”
- Seasonal Reminders:
- Spring through Fall: high grass and weeds (six inches or higher) MUST be cut; grass clippings are NOT to be put in the street and are NOT to be put out for Township compost collection; glass clippings MUST be bagged for the weekly garbage pickup.
- Fall: leaves MUST be collected; leaves are NOT to be put in the street and NOT put out for garbage pickup
- Winter: Snow MUST be removed from sidewalks; snow is NOT to be placed in the street
- Spring: the Township’s contracted garbage collector schedules a “spring cleanup” day
- Dumpster and Storage Units: Bulk storage containers and dumpsters must have a Harrison Township Permit and cannot be placed on Township property, street, or right-of-way. Bulk storage containers and dumpsters cannot be placed for more than 30 days, subject to extensions. All dumpsters must be removed when they are full.
- Garbage: All households and apartments are required to pay for and maintain garbage service. Uncontrolled accumulation or disposal of garbage, rubbish, or trash creates a hazard and danger to the health, safety and welfare of the people of the Township of Harrison and is subject to fines of up to $300 per day for each violation. All households and apartments are required to recycle aluminum and tin cans, glass, and papers in the Township-provided recycle containers to be collected every other week by the contracted garbage service. Leaves are not to be put in with the weekly garbage collection, but put in commercial paper leaf bags for Township Public Works pickup. Grass clippings are to be bagged and put in for the weekly garbage collection.
- Accessory Uses (swimming pools,exterior storage structures, satellite dish antennas): Every swimming pool, fishing pond and other water storage facility shall be enclosed by a fence or wall not less than four feet high to prevent uncontrolled access by small children. A Township permit is required for accessory utility sheds, storage sheds, and carports and the structures must meet certain building codes. Satellite dish antennas in a residential zoned district cannot be higher than 17 feet above the ground, except that antennas installed on a roof of a dwelling may go up to 35 feet above the ground.
- Signs: A Township permit shall be obtained for the erection of all signs, with the applicant submitting a sketch with size, lettering, and location. The Township ordinance for “signs” specifies requirements and limitations for all signs. Political signs are permitted in the public right-of-way portion of landowner’s property, provided they do not interfere with motorist or pedestrian visibility or safety. Signs pertaining to election candidates or issues shall be removed within five days immediately following the election for which they were displayed.
- Open Burning: The regulations related to open burning in Harrison Township are the same as the regulations approved by Allegheny County.
- Disruptive Behavior & Nuisance Calls: Any activity, conduct, or condition occurring upon private property within the Township which unreasonably annoys, injures or endangers the safety, health, morals, comfort or repose of any member of the public may be deemed as a public nuisance. The Township may impose a repeat nuisance service call fine upon the owner or occupant of private property if the Township has rendered a nuisance call to response to the property on three or more occasions within a period of 60 days.
Every rental landlord shall be responsible for regulating the conduct and activities of the occupants of every rental dwelling he or she owns in the Township. If tenants or occupants of the rental dwelling are engaged in disorderly practices and a Township Ordinance Officer notifies the property owner that an occupant of a rental dwelling unit has violated a provision of the Township ordinance, the owner shall take immediate steps to remedy the violation and take steps to assure that there is no reoccurrence of the violation. In the event that a second violation occurs within a license year involving the same occupant or occupants, the Township Ordinance Officer may direct the owner to evict the occupants who violated the ordinance.