Ordinance Summaries

Below are summaries of the most commonly used Ordinances regarding property maintenance and Zoning Code violations. The full versions of the Ordinance are available at the Township Building for further review or under Township Codes Online.

When a violation is discovered, a notice of violation is sent to the property owner and/or agent. Continued violation is subject to the issuance of Citations and/or civil legal procedures. Our ordinances treat each day a violation continues as a separate offense, subject to citations each day.

*NOTE: Violations/Violators of any of the following Ordinances may be penalized up to $1,000.00 per day, upon a determination of quilt by any competent Court having jurisdiction in said matters.

Dog Controls (Ordinance 2012-2)
Dogs, when off the owner’s property, must be on a leash. Dog owners shall keep all yards, kennels, and pounds in a sanitary condition. The dog owner is responsible to clean up immediately after a dog on property other than his own.

High Grass or Weeds (Ordinance 2010-12)
Property owners are responsible to keep lawn areas cut regularly in order to maintain a vegetation height of less than 6" inches. At no time are noxious weeds or plants to be permitted to grow which cause a nuisance. (poison ivy, poison oak etc.)

Debris and Junk Vehicles (Ordinance 2010-12)
Township regulations prohibit the accumulation or storage of debris, including "junk" vehicles or parts. Junk vehicles have been defined as those that are unlicensed/ unregistered or inoperable. At no time are such vehicles permitted in the public streets or Right Of Way.

Posting of Addresses (Ordinance 2010-12)
Each commercial building or home in Horsham is assigned an address in accordance with a system established by Township Ordinance. Addresses are required to be posted on or around a front door for identification of the residence. Freestanding signs are required to have the address posted to assist in identifying commercial buildings. Such numbering shall be a minimum of 4" inches in height and a stroke of ½" inch minimum. Said numbers shall be in contrast to the background they are attached to.

*NOTE: These requirements are for your protection in an emergency. Police, Fire and Ambulance responders rely on you numbering your home so they can find YOU in an emergency!*

Vacant or Abandoned Structures (Ordinance 2010-12)
The Township Code requires that any vacant or abandoned structure must be maintained, and secured against entry. Windows and doors must be secured or boarded shut. Structures not so maintained may be required to be demolished and removed from the site.

Home Occupations - (Zoning Code)
The Zoning Code requires that all no-impact home-based business or home occupations acquire a Zoning Use permit. Those businesses proposed must meet the criteria established in the code. Operation of a business from the home without the proper permit is a violation of the Zoning Code.

Zoning Use Permits- (Zoning Code)
The Zoning Code requires all new or relocating businesses within Horsham Township to acquire a "Zoning Use" permit prior to commencing operations. This permit is required to verify that the proposed business complies with the zoning for the chosen site. A brief description of the business, floor plans drawn to scale, number of employees and hours of operation are the types of information required.

Posting of Signs - (Zoning Code)
All signs posted within Horsham Township are required to receive a Zoning and/or Building Permit prior to placement. The Zoning Code prohibits the posting of any signs on telephone poles or traffic sign posts or any other location in the Right of Way of any street. Typically the Zoning Code prohibits the posting of advertising signs off the specific premises involved. Special public events (elections, fairs, etc.) are permitted temporary signs, pending a monetary deposit for the removal of the sign(s).

Planting in the Right of Way
There are State and Local Law(s)/Ordinance(s) that prohibit the planting of bushes or trees, decorative structures or anything else that will impair sight distances at intersections or in the right of way (R.O.W.) of any street, lane, road, and cul-de-sac or at private roads intersecting public roads. The right of way usually extends approximately 7 feet or more behind the curb or edge of pavement depending on the classification of the road in question. You may contact the Township to determine the R.O.W. width at your location.

Road Opening Permits
The Township requires that all persons or companies acquire a road opening permit prior to any work (other than emergency repairs) in a Township street or right of way. This helps to ensure proper compliance with construction codes, and documents which party is responsible for settlement or damage which may be caused by a project in the street.

*NOTE: Emergency repair work is permitted at any time; however, a permit must be applied for within 72 hours of such emergency repair, by the person(s) or Company doing such repair(s).

Snow Removal
Township Ordinance that requires that all public sidewalks, and those general use sidewalks in apartment complexes, be cleared within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall. Snow or ice which is too hardened to remove must be treated with a traction enhancing abrasive material. Snow removed from the walks is not permitted to be thrown into the streets. It is unlawful for any vehicle to be parked in the public street until such time as the snow or ice has been cleared from the street by the Township. Violators are subject to citations and/or being towed at their own expense.

Driveway Openings into Streets
New driveway cuts, or widening / repaving of driveway cuts onto streets require Township approval. This is necessary to ensure that work within the right-of-way meets standards and that no obstructions have been created to existing drainage.

*NOTE: Please be advised that any road opening as noted above for any property that abuts a County or State Road shall be required to obtain a Highway Occupancy Permit (H.O.P.) from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Cluster Subdivisions
Some sub-divisions were built under a Zoning Code option that has since been deleted from the Code. Chestnut Creek, Horsham Chase, Squires Knoll, Kingswood Estates, and Walden Woods were constructed under provisions that allowed reduced lot sizes and greater lot coverage for a dedication of open space. Lots were permitted to be as small as 15,000 SF with a coverage limit of 25%, where today's code requires 43,560 SF and a 20% coverage limit. Many of those lots are now non-conforming in that they do not meet today's Zoning Code requirements. If you are considering construction projects in those developments please be sure to contact the Zoning Office to review the situation in more detail.

Flag Lots
Flag Lots in the R-1 & R-2 districts require 5 acre minimum lot area (exclusive of the flag "leg"). Unless specified otherwise all other Residential districts are required to be a minimum of 2 acres. Flag lots may not abut another flag lot, nor can lots be "stacked" flag lots, i.e. one lot behind a proposed or current (existing) flag lot whether they share or have separate "flag leg(s)", and may only be used for a single family dwelling. Setback dimensions are also changed refer to Zoning Code for specifics.

Accessory Structures
Residential accessory structure requirements are not the same for all districts. Accessory structures may not be placed within front yard setbacks, note that corner lots have front yards abutting each street, followed by a rear yard and any other yard being a side yard. Restricted areas such as wetlands or easements may further limit where an accessory structure may be placed.

Height and setback requirements in all residential districts for accessory structures:
  • The maximum permitted height shall be 21'6" for accessory building and structures located entirely within the building envelope established for each lot in each zoning district.
  • Accessory building or structures may be erected within one side yard, provided that it is located no further forward than the rear line of the principal building (house) also shall not be less than 7' from the side and rear yard lot line. Maximum permitted height of 14'.
  • Accessory building or structures are not permitted within minimum front yard or within required buffer yard.