Decatur Township - Clearfield County

Permits Needed Before Starting Any Home Maintenance or Improvements

Click on the link below to access Decatur Township's Building Permit Application: 

Building Permit Application


Decatur Township reminds township residents that before undertaking any type of home improvements, repairs, driveway resurfacing or maintenance work, you need to contact the township office to see what permits are required.

Under the Pennsylvania Uniformed Construction Code (UCC), permits are required for numerous types of work.  There are also many other items that do not require a permit under the UCC, but do require a permit from the township.  That is why residents should contact the code office to see what is, or what is not required.

Private driveways that enter or exit a township, borough or state road, require a highway occupancy permit from either the township, the borough, or the state Department of Transporation before one can be installed or surfaced.  The site distance or visibility to vehicles either approaching or exiting a driveway must be addressed, in order to prevent mishaps from occurring.

Another issue of concern when installing or surfacing driveways is drainage management.  Water runoff from a private driveway can cause serious problems to road surfaces and/or rights of ways.  Water runoff may also cause a vehicle accident or damage.  If a private driveway connects to any public street, the driveway must be installed to prevent large amounts of runoff from entering the traveling portion of the roadway.

When installing a driveway, you must also prevent soil erosion from being deposited on the roadway surface.  Any driveway that is surfaced with pavement or concrete and connects to any roadway must be sealed at the the egress area to prevent water from secreting under the road surface and causing damage to the roadway and the rights of ways.

If any piping is needed in driveways prior to entrance of roadway, Decatur Township has specifications pertaining to placement of pipes in correlation to the ditch that may run along the roadway and the right of way.

Any and all wastewater cleanouts and vents on the Decatur Township's wastewater collection system must be capped to prevent groundwater from entering the system.  If the cleanout is below or at ground level, the cleanout must have a rubber-sealed cap installed.  This will prevent the unnecessary treatment of water at the Moshannon Valley Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Property owners need to make sure they get the proper permits for projects, and the contractor must make sure the property owner has those permits.  The Decatur Township Supervisors and Code Enforcement Office thank everyone for their cooperation.

                       Permits Required for Door to Door Sales

All residents of Decatur Township, please be advised that a permit is required for door to door sales.  If a sales representative shows up at your door,  inquire whether or not they have obtained a permit from Decatur Township.  The salesperson should provide you with an identification card issued by the township.  If you encounter any door to door salesperson without a permit, please contact us immediately at (814) 339-6772, or the Police Department at (814) 339-6775.  Thank you for your cooperation.

                   Required Permits within Decatur Township

Phone  (814) 339-6772                Fax  (814) 339-7240 




A sewage  (on lot Sewage System or Privy) permit is required before any building can be placed upon any parcel of land that does not have access to public wastewater services. 


In June 2004, Decatur Township adopted what is known as the Uniform Construction Code (UCC). This building code standardized construction procedures statewide, so that all construction and building must now adhere to specific standards. 

There are certain exemptions that do not require a building permit, but a land use permit is required for any buildings under 1,000 square feet.  For example, a building that is non-residential, such as a garage, 1,000 square feet or under and at least 10 feet away from a residential (single or 2 family) structure, does not require a UCC permit, but will require a land use permit under township ordinances. 

The Uniform Construction Code does not apply to:   (RESIDENTIAL)

1.  New Buildings or renovations to existing buildings for which an application for a permit was made to the Department or a municipality before April 9, 2004 or applicable ordinance date.  

2.  New buildings or renovations to existing buildings on which a contract for design or construction was signed before April 9, 2004 or applicable ordinance date.

3.  The following structures (if the structure has a building area less than 1,000 square feet and is accessory to a detached one-family dwelling):


Detached private garages



4.  An agricultural building, which the definition is as approved in Senate Bill 1139 enacted into law on July 15, 2004 is as follows:  "a structure utilized to store farm implements, hay, feed, grain or other agricultural or horticultural products or to house poultry, livestock or other farm animals and a milk house."  The term includes a carriage house owned and used by members of a recognized religious sect for the purposes of housing horses and storing buggies.  The term shall not include habitable space or spaces in which agricultural products are processed, treated or packaged and shall not be construed to mean a place of occupancy by the general public.

5.   Alterations to residential buildings which do not make structural changes or changes to means of egress, except as might be required by ordinances in effect pursuant to section 303(B)(1) or adopted pursuant to section 503.  For purposed of this paragraph, a structural change does not include a minor framing change needed to replace existing windows or doors.

6.  Repairs to residential buildings, except as might be required by ordinances in effect pursuant to section 303 (B)(1) or adopted pursuant to section 503.  Definition of repair as approved in S.B. 1139 and signed into law by the Governor on July 15, 2004 is:  The reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing building for the purpose of its maintenance.

7.  Any recreational cabin if:

a.  The cabin is equipped with at least one smoke detector, one fire extinguisher and once carbon monoxide detector in both the kitchen and sleeping quarters; and 

b.  The owner of the cabin files with the municipality either;

1. An affidavit on a form prescribed by the department attesting to the fact that the cabin meets the definition of a "recreational cabin" in section 401.1; or

2.  A valid proof of insurance for the recreational cabin, written and issued by an insurer authorized to do business in this Commonwealth, station that the structure meets the definition of a "recreational cabin" as defined as a sturcture which is: 

a) Utilized principally for recreational activity;

b) Not utilized as a domicile or residence for any individual for any time period;

c) Not utilized for commercial purposes:

d) Not greater than two stories in height, excluding basement;

e) Not utilized by the owner or any other person as a place of employment;

f) Not a mailing address for bills and correspondence; and

g) Not listed as an individual's place of residence on a tax return, driver's license, car registration or voter registration. 

Application fees for land use permits are thirty-five ($35.00) dollars.

8.  Manufactured of industrialized housing shipped from the factory under section 901(a) of the act (35 P.S. § 7210.901 (a)) as provided in § 403.25 (relating to manufactured and industrialized housing).

9.  Installation of tubing, piping, propane gas burning appliances, equipment or fixtures related to liquefied petroleum gas under the Propane and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act (35 P.S.   §§ 1329.1-1329.19).

10.  Installation of aluminum or vinyl siding onto an existing residential building, except as might be required by ordinances in effect under section 301 (b)(1) or 503 of the act. (35 P.S.   §§ 7210.303(b)(1), 7210.503)

Building Construction, Replacement or Repairs:

1. Fences that are no more than six feet high. 

2. Retaining walls that are not over four feet in height measured from the lowest level of the grade to the top of the wall, unless the wall supports a surcharge. 

3. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1. 

4. Sidewalks/driveways that are 30 inches or less above adjacent grade and not placed over a basement or story below it. 

5. Exterior or interior painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, flooring, cabinets, counter tops and similar finishing work. 

6. Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches deep.

7. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to a one or two family dwelling.

8. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.

9. Replacement of glass in any window or door.  The replacement glass shall comply with the minimum requirements of the International Residential Code.

10. Installation and replacement of a window, door, garage door, storm window and storm door in the same opening if the dimensions or framing of the original opening are not altered. The installation of means of egress and emergency escape windows may be made in the same opening, without altering the dimensions or framing of the original opening if the required height, width or net clear opening of the previous window or door assembly is not reduced.

11.  Replacement of existing roof material. (not structural)

12. Replacement of existing siding.

13. Repair or replacement of any part  or a porch or stoop which does not structurally support a roof located above the porch or stoop.

14. Installation of additional roll or batt insulation.

15. Replacement of exterior rain water gutters and leaders.

16. Installation of an uncovered deck where the floor of the deck is no more than 30 inches above grade. 

The Uniform Construction Code does not apply to:   (COMMERCIAL)

Building Construction for the Following:

1. Fences that are no more than six feet high.  

2. Oil derricks.

3. Retaining walls, which are not over four feet in high measured from the lowest level of grade to the top of the wall, unless it is supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or III-A liquids.

4. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.

5. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and that are not located over a basement or story below it, and which are nto part of an accessible route.

6. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finishing work.

7. Temporary motion picture, television, and theater stage sets and scenery.

8. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy which are less than 24 inches deep, do not exceed 5,000 gallons and are installed entirely aboveground.

9. Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes that do not include service systems.

10. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to one or two-family dwellings.

11. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Group R-3 as applicable in the "International Building Code", and Group U occupancy.

12. Movable cases, counters, and partitions that are not over 5 feet 9 inches in height.

13. Window replacement without structural change.

Electrical Work for the Following:

1.  Minor repair and maintenance work that includes the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approve permanently installed receptacles.

2. Electrical equipment used for radio and television transmissions.  The provisions of the UCC apply to equipment and wiring for power supply and the installation of towers and antennas. 

3. The installation of a temporary system for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus. 

Gas Work for the Following: 

1. A portable heating appliance.

2. Replacement of a minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make the equipment unsafe. 

Mechanical Work or Equipment for the Following:

1. Portable heating appliance.

2. Portable ventilation equipment.

3. Portable cooling unit.

4. Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment governed under the UCC.

5. Replacement of any part that does not alter its approval or make it unsafe.

6. A portable evaporative cooler.

7. A self-contained refrigeration system containing 10 pounds or less of refigerant and placed into action by motors that are not more than one horsepower. 

Plumbing Repairs for the Following: 

1. Stopping leaks in a drain and a water, soil, waste or vent pipe.  The UCC applies if a concealed trap, drainpipe, water soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and is removed and replaced with new material.

2. Clearing stoppages or repairing leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, and the removal and installation of water closets, faucets and lavatories if the valves or pipes are not replaced or rearranged.

An ordinary repair does not require a permit.  The following are not ordinary repairs: 

Cutting away a wall, partition or portion of a wall.

The removal of or the cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support.

The removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements. 

The addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocations of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical.   


Permits are required for any structure that is to be torn down and removed from the property. This requirement was put into place in order to ensure that building and waste from any structure, (i.e.; shingles, insulation, vinyl siding) are properly disposed of.  A receipt is required to show that waste was properly removed and disposed of.


A Highway Occupancy Permit is required for placements of private driveways that exit and enter any township or state road. Driveway egresses have certain requirement issues that need to be addressed before being installed.

Site distances to and from driveways are very important, since the location of a driveway can affect visibility to both, oncoming vehicles and vehcles exiting or entering the driveway. Something else to consider when installing or surfacing driveways is drainage management. Water runoff from a private driveway can cause serious problems and damage to road surfaces and right of ways and may also contribute to vehicle accidents. The township has specifications pertaining to driveway placements and drainage issues to assist property owners. 


Any person and /or business that wishes to sell, display or take orders, by sample or otherwise, of goods, wares or merchandise and such activities commonly known as “huckstering,” “peddling,” “vending,” “soliciting,” and “canvassing,” must have a permit to do so. The permit fee for a solicitation permit is twenty-five ($25.00) dollars for a consecutive six (6) week duration.  For and additional fee of five ($5.00) dollars, a one time consecutive six (6) week extension may be granted. Identification cards are also issued to each individual listed under the original permit. There is a two dollar and fifty cent ($2.50) fee for each ID card. There are certain exclusions from this requirement. It is best to contact the Decatur Township to see if the applicant qualifies for an exclusion. 



The filing fee is part of the application package and shall be submitted by the developer, or his/her agent, at the time the plan is delivered to the Decatur Township Planning Commission office.  The Planning Commission will accept no application packages without the appropriate fee attached. 

The following fees will be required as part of the submission package beginning on the effective date of the Decatur Township Land and Subdivision Regulations:




1 – 10 LOTS                                                                                      $150.00 + $25.00 PER LOT


10 + LOTS                                                                                         $250.00 + $25.00 PER LOT


1 – 5 LOTS                                                                                          $200.00 + $25.00 PER LOT

     6 + LOTS                                                                                        $300.00 + $40.00 PER LOT


0 – 5 ACRES                                                                                     $200.00 + $25.00 PER ACRE

     6 + ACRES                                                                                   $300.00 + $40.00 PER ACRE


CONDITIONAL USE                                                                                     $250.00

Special or unusual costs associated with a plan review will be the responsibility of the developer or shall be otherwise provided for by the developer.