Frequently Asked Questions
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Can I burn trash?
No, Washington Township has a burning ordinance which prohibits the burning of almost anything that would be considered trash. For a full list of burning restrictions, refer to the Burn Ordinance No. 2018-03.
Can I burn brush or leaves?
No, the burning of all vegetative matter is prohibited, including the burning of leaves and brush on residential lots.
Washington Township does provide for the drop off of yard waste, including grass, leaves and brush at the Township yard located behind the Township office. The township also has a curbside leaf pick up program in the fall. The township is now allowing for the burning of leaves only in the month of November.
Can I have a camp fire?
Yes, if a burn ban is not in effect. The fire must burn untreated wood or wood products and be for warmth or food preparation. Camp fires shall not exceed 4 feet in diameter or 2 feet in depth.
Do I need a permit to build or place a shed on my property?
Yes, all sheds and accessory buildings require a permit. If the shed (or any accessory structure) is under 1000 square feet it requires a zoning permit. The zoning permit applications are available at the Township office. Along with the application form, two copies of a plot plan must be submitted for review. The plot plan should contain the existing property lines, the existing and proposed structures, and the distance between the proposed structure and all property lines.
Do I need a permit to build a garage or pole building on my property?
Yes, all garages and pole buildings require a permit. If the building is less than 1000 square feet, then a zoning permit is required, follow the steps listed for a shed. (See above) If the building is over 1000 square feet, then a UCC building permit is required. Building permit applications are available at the Township office. The UCC building permits require 3 copies of the building plans and two copies of the plot plans. All pole buildings require engineered plans with seals and signatures.
How large can I build my detached garage, shed or pole building?
In all zoning districts, the maximum size for a single accessory structure is 1,200 square feet. The maximum total square footage for all accessory structures on the lot is 1,600 square feet.
However, if your property is located within the Rural zoning district and is two (2) acres or larger, the maximum size for a single accessory structure is 2,400 square feet. The maximum total square footage for all accessory structures on the lot is 3,200 square feet.
If a garage is attached to the house then there is no maximum size limit, other than the limits of lot coverage and setbacks.
What are the private pool requirements and do I need a permit for a temporary pool?
Any pool that contains a water depth of 24” or more does require a building permit, no matter how long it will remain erected.
All pools are required to meet the accessory structure setbacks for the zoning district and must be located within the rear yard only. Here is a list of the Above ground pool building requirements.
Where can I put up a fence or wall on my property?
The zoning ordinance does not limit where a fence may be constructed. However, the ordinance does limit the height of a fence or wall. A fence or wall may not exceed four (4) feet in height within the front yard and may not exceed six (6) feet in height within the side or rear yard. Corner lots may also need to meet the clear sight triangle regulations (section 419) of the zoning ordinance. A $15 zoning permit is required before construction of a fence or wall is allowed.
Where do I go to find out about public water and public sewer?
Public water and sewer service is managed by the Lehigh County Authority (LCA). Questions regarding connection, billing or service should be directed to the LCA. https://lehighcountyauthority.org/
What do I need to do to build a new home in Washington Township?
If you plan to build a new home in Washington Township you will need:
Can I park or store my camper, travel trailer, boat or RV on my property?
Currently licensed campers, and the like, may be parked or stored on the side or rear yard of your property (within the setbacks specified for your zoning district). You may also park a camper, and the like, on surfaced driveway within the front yard as long as it is only stored there for less than 30 days.
Can I have farm animals on my property for personal use?
In the Rural (R) zoning district or the Rural Village (RV) zoning district you need at least a 3 acre lot for the keeping of farm animals for domestic purposes. The keeping of farm animals for personal use is not permitted in any other zoning district other than the two listed above. The keeping of poultry for personal use is regulated by Ordinance 2018-03.