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You can view the official zoning map (PDF). If you have any questions, please call the Zoning Office at 412-364-0616, ext. 129.
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In July 2021, Town Council passed a series of ordinance amendments to permit responsible ownership of backyard chickens on single-family properties.
The keeping of chickens is permitted as an Accessory Use by Permit in the R-VL and R-L Zoning Districts. Participants in the backyard chicken program must obtain a building/zoning permit from the Town and display a Town-issued Certificate of Approval directly on the coop.
Guidelines and requirements for keeping chickens on properties are available in our Backyard Chicken Permit Guidelines (PDF) document.
All lots in a subdivision must front a public road. All subdivision applications must be submitted for review by the Town Planning Commission and approved by the Town Council. If Town Council approves, then the Town engineer, Town Council, and Town manager must sign the plan. After the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development reviews the plan, it is recorded at the Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds Office.
There are floodways and floodplains. These are areas determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to be in an area prone to flooding.
Rivers and streams where FEMA has prepared detailed engineering studies may have designated floodways. For most waterways, the floodway is where the water is likely to be deepest and fastest. It is the area of the floodplain that should be reserved (kept free of obstructions) to allow floodwaters to move downstream. Placing fill or buildings in a floodway may block the flow of water and increase flood heights. Because of this, your community will require that you submit engineering analyses before it approves permits for development in the floodway.
If your home is already in the floodway, you may want to consider what you will do if it is damaged. If it is substantially damaged in a flood or by any other means (the costs to repair is equal to or exceed 50% of the market value of the building), your community, in accordance with National Flood Insurance Program regulations, will require that you bring it into compliance. In most cases, this means you will have to elevate the structure above the base flood elevation. Because placing fill dirt in the floodway can make flooding worse, you'll probably have to elevate your structure on columns, pilings, or raised foundation walls. If your land is large enough to have a site outside of the floodway, or even out of the floodplain, you may want to think about moving your home to a safer location.
Floodplain area means the area of a stream and its banks that are covered by water during a 100-year flood. A 100-year flood is the greatest flood that is likely to occur every 100 years; for example, that has a one percent chance of occurring each year, although the floodway occurred in any year and more often than once in any given year.
The Town maintains current FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps. To determine if you are in a floodplain or floodway, view the FEMA Flood Map website. If you have any questions, please contact the Zoning Office.
The Town also has strict guidelines for construction and grading in a floodplain. These strict guidelines help provide those who require it reduced flood insurance rates.
Please do not dump anything in a stream. These items may get washed downstream during a storm and accumulate, which may cause flooding.
Setbacks are distances of a structure to a lot line or right-of-way. In the Town of McCandless, these are known as yard requirements. Each building has a required front yard, rear yard, and side yard. Please refer to the permit requirement pages for the specific structure you are proposing. If you have any questions, please call the zoning officer at 412-364-0616, ext. 129.
A Conditional Use is a use of property which is permitted as long as the applicant can meet the explicit criteria contained in the Zoning Ordinance for that particular use.
A Conditional Use requires a public hearing before Town Council. In most circumstances, Town Council acts in a legislative capacity. However, in the case of a Conditional Use, Town Council acts in a quasi-judicial capacity in order to determine if the Conditional Use criteria are met.
Where the applicant can establish through evidence and testimony that the criteria have been met, Council is required to approve the Conditional Use application. A decision must be based solely on the evidence presented at the public hearing and the applicable law - no presuppositions, preferences, biases or public opinion may be taken into account.
Council is required to carefully consider the evidence put forth by the applicant, any interested party-objectors and the public in general at the public hearing. This evidence may include testimony and other documentary evidence such as plans, reports and drawings. Council is permitted to ask questions during the public hearing but should not give its opinions or take a position either for or against the application.
Town Council will review the evidence presented at the public hearing and is required to issue a written decision either approving or denying the Conditional Use application. If Council approves the application, Council may attached reasonable conditions which are consistent with the Town's Zoning Ordinance and state law.
The standard right-of-way (ROW) in the Town of McCandless is generally 50 feet The right-of-way extends 25 feet to each side from the center of the paved road, assuming the road is in the center of the right-of-way. Older roads may not have the same width and therefore the ROW would be calculated differently. The only way to be absolutely sure of the location of the right-of-way is to have your property surveyed and staked.
Please view the town code for the most accurate information regarding objects in the ROW such as temporary signs, shrubs, and foliage.
A variance is relief granted from the Town Zoning Code by the Town of McCandless Zoning Hearing Board. To initiate a variance, an application (Zoning Hearing Board Procedure (PDF)) must be completed and submitted to the Zoning Office with a check in the amount of $200 for R-1 and R-2 zoned districts, $250 for all other zoning districts. The applicant must present evidence that the criteria specified in the application are met in order for the Zoning Hearing Board to grant a variance. Meetings take place on the 4th Wednesday of every month.
The Town must receive all required information and fees thirty days prior to the date of the hearing. The Town will advertise the hearing and give the applicant a placard, which is to be conspicuously placed on the property in question at least fifteen days prior to and up to the date of the hearing. The hearing will be held at the McCandless Town Hall, 9955 Grubbs Road, and all relevant testimony will be taken. If a decision is not rendered immediately following the conclusion of testimony, a future date of the decision will be announced. The decision of the Zoning Hearing Board may be appealed to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas within thirty days of the date of the decision. For more information, please visit the Zoning Hearing Board page.
Easements are grants by a property owner to an entity to use its property for specified purposes. There are many types of easements. The easements, which are the subject of this article, are easements granted to the Town either specifically by the property owner or during the recording of the subdivision plan. Grants by the property owner are recorded by deed. Most easements are perpetual. Once granted by a property owner, the recipient of the easements retains their granted rights.
Plans are laid out by the developer. Plan recordings are reviewed by the Town engineer, Planning Commission, and Town Council. After Town Council approves, the plan is recorded by the developer. When lots are sold, the easements are required to be shown on the survey. Easements dedicated to the Town of McCandless cannot have any structures placed on them. The easements can be used as part of the required setback from property lines but cannot be built upon.
If you have any questions about easements, please call the Public Works Department at 412-364-0616, ext. 184, or the Zoning Office at ext. 129.
A building permit is required for the following: Shed over 100 square feet, inground pool, above-ground pool, hot tub (see above-ground pool requirements), covered patio/deck, enclosed/covered porch, open deck, covered deck, fence, shed/barn, retaining wall between 4 feet and 6 feet, detached garage, addition/renovations, new residential single-family dwelling, temporary structures, and new driveway.
Permits are also required for multi-family dwellings, additions/renovations, satellite dishes over 37 inches, towers, signs, commercial building, commercial additions/renovations, demolition residential/commercial. Please call the building department at 412-364-0616, ext. 128, for permit requirements.
For more information, please review the various building form applications and permit requirements for your project on our Building Permits, Applications and Forms page.
Signage (including political signs) may not be placed closer than 5 feet to the edge of the pavement on private property along McCandless roadways. They are prohibited on public property. Signage in violation of these regulations may be subject to removal. This keeps sight distance safe. View the Regulations on Signs in Right of Way (PDF) for more information.