Zoning Requirements


One of the first official actions of the newly created Borough of Bear Creek Village was to create a Planning Commission which then developed and recommended a Zoning Ordinance, a Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, and a Comprehensive Plan. An ordinance establishing a 3-person Planning Commission was adopted on April 18, 1994 (just 8 months after the first governing body was elected). The Planning Commission was established under the provisions of  the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code Act of 1968, P.L. 805, and has the powers and duties conferred upon it pursuant to that code. 

The Borough of Bear Creek Village Zoning Ordinance and the Borough of Bear Creek Village Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) were first adopted in 1995/6 and amended in 2010. The full text of these two ordinances may be reviewed by clicking on the Ordinances Link found under the Documents menu above. The purpose of the Zoning Ordinance is to establish comprehensive controls for the development of land in Bear Creek Village in a manner that promotes and protects health, safety, comfort, convenience and the general welfare of the people. The Zoning Ordinance contains detailed descriptions of what may or may not be done in terms of erecting or altering structures, or altering the natural environment.  The purpose of the SALDO Ordinance is to assure that standards of development are carried through to larger tracts of land.

The purpose of the Borough of Bear Creek Village Comprehensive Plan was to guide the growth of the community in a coherent and thoughtful manner with special emphasis placed on the "protection of the Borough's distinctively rustic character: the wooded mountainsides, the pine and hemlock woods, the streams and wetlands, the buildings clad in shingles or rough-cut clapboard."


The property owner or his/her agent must obtain a zoning permit before:

The above list is illustrative rather than exhaustive. If you have questions about a particular activity, please review the Zoning Ordinance, or call or email the Zoning Officer, Mike Harostock, at  570-430-8414, or mharostock@gmail.com.

Click ZONING PERMIT for a printable copy of the Zoning Permit form

Click MAP to view the Zoning District Map 

Click VARIANCE FORM for a printable copy of the Zoning Variance Application form

When completed, the Zoning Permit Application form should be submitted, along with any needed attachments to the Zoning Officer. The Zoning Permit Application fee is $50.00. If the proposed project is in compliance with the requirements specified in the Zoning Ordinance, the Zoning Officer can grant the Zoning Permit. If the project does not fully comply with the Zoning Ordinance requirements, the Zoning Officer must deny the permit. When a Zoning Permit is denied, the propery owner may appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board for a zoning variance. The fee for an appeal is $500.00, which covers costs to advertise and hold a public hearing and hire stenographic help. Checks for the payment of fees should be made payable to Borough of Bear Creek Village.


Please click on the Building Requirements, Sewage Requirements and Stormwater Management links found under the Borough Services and Requirements menu above for more information. 


A Subdivision Permit Application is required whenever a property owner wants to divide a large parcel into several smaller parcels for development, to alter lot lines or to combine parcels. The SALDO ordinance describes two types of Subdivisions--Major and Minor. Major subdivisions involve dividing a larger parcel into four or more smaller parcels for development and/or creating parcels that will require changes to Borough infrastructure such as roads. Minor Subdivisions include changing lot lines, combining several parcels into one, or splitting a larger parcel into two or three parcels without requiring changes to Borough infrastructure.  All Subdivision Permits are submitted to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation and are then heard by the Council for a decision to approve or deny. 

There is no permit form for requesting approval of a subdivision project.  The Major Subdivision application procedure is very complex and will not be discussed here. The Minor Subdivision application procedure is relatively simple and is outlined below: