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FAQs

Development Services

What is a front, side and rear yard?
Front Yard - The area contained between the street right-of-way(s) and the principal building. Corner lots shall have two front yards, one side, and one rear yard.

Rear Yard - A yard extending across the full width of a lot between the principal building and the rear lot line, and measured perpendicular to the building at the closest point to the rear lot line.

Side Yard - A yard extending from the front yard to the rear lot line between the principal building and the side lot line, and measured perpendicular to the building at the closest point to the side lot line; or a yard which is not a front or rear yard. On corner lots, the side yard shall be considered the area between the principal building and the lot lines directly opposite the non-address street.

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Lot Corner Lot
What is a corner lot?
A property that has two street frontages.
What are setbacks?
Setbacks are distances between structures and property lines, and vary depending on the zoning district. Information for setback requirements for each zoning district can be found in Article 3 of the East Hempfield Township Zoning Ordinance linked below

East Hempfield Township Zoning Ordinance
What is an easement or ROW?
A right-of-way granted for limited use of private land for a public or quasi-public or private purpose, and within which the landowner shall not have the right to make use of the land in a manner that violates the right of the grantee.
What is a Use?
The specific purpose for which land or a structure is designed, arranged, intended, occupied or maintained.

Accessory Use - A use customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use or building and located on the same lot with this principal use or building.

Principal use - The main or primary use of property or structures.
What is a non-conforming use?
A use, whether of land or of structure, which does not comply with the applicable use provisions in this chapter or amendment heretofore or hereafter enacted, where such use was lawfully in existence prior to the enactment of this chapter or amendment, or prior to the application of this chapter or amendment to its location by reason of annexation.
What is the difference between a variance and special exception?
A variance is a use not permitted in a specific zone. A special Exception is a use generally compatible with a particular zone once specified criteria have been met.
Do fences require a permit?
Fences do not require a permit however they do have regulation for height and location. Fences may be 6 ft high in the side and rear yard and four ft high in the front yard. Fences may not be located within any drainage easement or street right-of-way.
Do Yard or temporary signs require a permit?
Yes, temporary signs require a temporary sign permit.

Click here to open the permit application
Are chickens allowed in residential zones?
chickens and other animals considered livestock are not allowed in residential zones. Only the Agriculture and Holding Zones.  
Are front porches and patios allowed in front yard?
Front porch and front patio expansions are not permitted as they are considered accessory structures. Accessory structures are not permitted in the front yard.
Can I have a compost pile?
Yes, however it must be at least 5 ft from the rear or side property line and must be confined within a structure.

Economic Development

What is the population of East Hempfield Township?
The approximate population of East Hempfield is 24,001 people.
Does East Hempfield offer public transportation?
No, however Red Rose Transit Authority does and provides several locations for service in the Township. Red Rose Transit Authority

Finance

Where can I obtain a dog license?
The Lancaster County Treasurers office handles the sale of dog licenses.

Co. Treasurers office
Where can I view the Township budget?
The budget is posted on this website or you may visit the office and request a copy.

Audits and Budgets

Fire Department

Which Fire Department covers my area?
Generally there are three volunteer department that cover the Township. Rohrerstown, Hempfield and East Petersburg. We suggest that you contact the department closests to your residence to verify first call areas. Their contact information is available under emergency services.
What can I legally burn and when can I burn it?
Citizens are not allowed to do open burning of leaves or trash. Please review the current burning ordinance adopted in 2015 which can be found under forms/applications section of this website.

Forms page
Are the fire department's volunteer departments?
All departments in our area are volunteer and rely on citizen and Township financial support. Your cash contributions are necessary AND always welcome.

Home and Property Owner Q&A's

Who is responsible for repairs to sidewalks and curbs?
The property owner.
Who do I call for help with a raccoon, squirrels, skunks, and other wildlife?
Wildlife, such as raccoons, squirrels, skunks, and groundhogs sometimes become a nuisance in residential areas. Wildlife management is the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The Pa Game Commission offers some solutions to this problem on their Nuisance Wildlife webpage.

Here are the phone numbers for the Southeast Regional Office of the Pa. Game Commission:

610-926-3136 or 610-926-3137

Another solution is to contact a wildlife pest control agent
How do I find my property lines?
The Township does not maintain this information, a surveyor should be contacted. Your deed will provide you with dimensions. You can obtain a copy of your deed online or through a visit to the County Recorder of Deeds Office (www.lancasterdeeds.com), 717-299-8238
Who do I contact to mark my utility lines before I begin construction?
The PA One Call System's purpose is to prevent damage to underground facilities. To promote safety, they provide an efficient communication network among property owners, designers, contractors, and facility owners. Call 811 before you dig.
Do I need a permit for my newly installed fire/theft alarm system?
Yes, a permit is required and available by contacting the police department (898-3103).
When is yard waste season?
Yard waste season generally begins in early April and runs through October. Check the Township calendar for exact dates.
I accumulate a lot of leaves each season, how do I dispose of them?
Curbside leaf pickup generally begins in mid-October and ends in mid-December (weather permitting). Refer to the Township trash and recycling calendar for exact dates. There is also a dumpster behind the Township Building for drop off during this season.
Who do I contact regarding a property that is unkept?
You must first fill out a Property Maintenance Report Form (available on this site or at the Township Office). After the form is submitted to the Township, the property will be examined and it will be determined if there is a violation. Note: Grass must be at least 10" in height to be in violation.

Forms Page
What can I do about my neighbor's barking dog?
Contact the Police Department (717) 898-3103.
My neighbor's tree is imposing on my property. Any suggestions?
The Township does not get involved in these types of neighbor issues. We suggest you first discuss the concern with your neighbor.

Parks & Recreation

How do I rent the pavilions at Township parks?
The Township maintains several park areas with pavilions however the only pavilion that is rented is the one located at the A. Herr Park on Nissley Road. Forms are available in the forms and application section of the website.

Facility Rentals.

Police Department

How do I obtain a copy of an accident report?
Contact the police department at 717-898-3103. There is a fee associated with copies.
If my keys are locked in my vehicle, can the Police open my vehicle for me?
No, however the Police Department will assist you in obtaining the services necessary, such as a certified locksmith, to unlock your vehicle.
Do I need a permit for my newly installed fire/theft alarm system?
Yes a permit is required and available by contacting the police department (898-3103).
What can I do about my neighbor's barking dog?
Contact the Police Department (717) 898-3103.

Public Works

Who do I contact for Comcast cable / internet problems?
If you are having problems with your cable or internet service, please contact Comcast at 291-3000 (Lancaster office) directly. The Township's phone number is listed on your Comcast billing because we hold the franchise license for the use of our right's of way. The Township does not endorse or support this service.
Is there a way to avoid having my driveway "plowed in" during a snow storm?
Yes! Plow or shovel your snow to the side of your driveway, away from the flow of traffic. Clearing snow for a distance prior to your driveway allows the plow to "unload" before reaching it. By piling snow away from the direction of oncoming snowplows, the bulk of the snow will not be pushed back onto your driveway.
If there is a street light out, who do I report it to?
If possible write down the poll number. Outages can be reported on the PPL website or by calling the Township Office at 898-3100. Repairs can sometime take a week or two.

PPL website

Township Office

Can I request a public record from the Township?
Public records, Board of Supervisor resolutions and ordinances, and other information can be requested by submitting the Records and Information Request Form to the Township. Forms may be obtained from the open records policy page under Government. 

Records and Information Request Form