Saturday, December 04, 2021

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Planning & Community Development

48 West Third Street
Williamsport, PA 17701

330 Pine St
Williamsport, PA 17701

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Subdivision and Land Development

Subdivision and Land Development


To facilitate and promote the coordinated and harmonious management and/or development and protection of resources within Lycoming County for present and future needs. Intervene through proactive strategic planning initiatives on problems or opportunities and timely response to needs and issues identified by the County, municipalities, local agencies or community organizations and private citizens.

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What is Subdivision and Land Development?

The Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) of 1968 (Act 247) allows municipalities to regulate subdivision and land development within a municipality by enacting a Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SLDO). This allows municipalities to review subdivision or land development plans to ensure that they have provided the infrastructure and legal rights necessary for the development/subdivision to succeed with minimal impact on their neighboring properties.


Subdivision is defined by the Lycoming County SLDO as: “the division or redivision of a lot, tract, or parcel of land by any means into two or more lots, tracts, parcels, or other divisions of land.”

Essentially, any changes in the lot lines of a parcel; whether they are being added, deleted or moved; would qualify as a subdivision under the County SLDO.

Please be aware that municipalities who are not within county jurisdiction may have a different definition of the term “subdivision.” Please contact your municipality to verify if a subdivision plan is required.

Land Development

Land Development is defined by the Lycoming County SLDO as: “The improvement of one lot or two or more contiguous lots, tracts, or parcels of land for any purpose involving a group of two or more residential or nonresidential buildings or a single nonresidential building.”

Accessory buildings and the first single family residence on one lot are exempted from land development.

Essentially, improvements involving a new or existing primary non-residential building would be considered land development under the County SLDO. The first single family residence on one lot is exempted from land development. Additional single family homes would be considered land development though.

Please be aware that municipalities who are not within county jurisdiction may have a different definition of the term “land development.” Please contact your municipality to see if a land development plan is required.

County vs Municipal Jurisdiction

Many municipalities within Lycoming County have opted to administer their own Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SLDO). This map indicates the municipalities who either enforce their own ordinances or who have elected to join the Lycoming County SLDO and/or Zoning Partnerships. Municipalities shown in yellow or green are under the County SLDO. Municipalities shown in white or blue administer their own SLDO. The County has a very limited role in the review of subdivisions and land developments in municipal jurisdiction. The MPC requires a copy of a subdivision or land development plan be forwarded to the County for their comment whenever an application is received by the township. Please contact your municipality for details on any additional requirements for subdivisions and land developments within a municipality with local jurisdiction. If your municipality is located within the County SLDO Partnership please continue reading or contact the Lycoming County Department of Planning and Community Development for more information.

Lycoming County Subdivision and Land Development Process

The following is a general outline of the Subdivision and Land Development process. Along with the general process, it also identifies optional steps for developers which are not required but are recommended. It should also be noted that some items may be required for some projects but are not required for all projects.

  1. Pre-Application Discussion (optional) – Our office recommends that subdividers and/or developers contact the Lycoming County Planning Commission (LCPC) staff prior to submitting for subdivision or land development approval (and even before final plans have been drafted). This meeting allows the LCPC staff to identify potential issues so that they may be resolved prior to subdivision in order to facilitate a timely turnaround. If you wish to do a pre-application meeting, then please contact the LCPC to schedule a meeting with the land use staff. We recommend that subdividers and/or developers bring a sketch plan with them which shows a general project proposal. Applicants may also send a copy of the sketch plan to the LCPC staff via email to review prior to submission. Sketch plans submitted via email may be sent to
  2. Submission – In order to formally begin the subdivision or land development process the applicant must submit six copies of the subdivision or land development plan, two copies of any required documentation, a completed Subdivision and Land Development Application Form, and the applicable fee. Our Application Form and Fee Schedule are available for download at the top of this page. Please make sure that the Application Form has been signed by all deeded land owners. If the land owners wish to appoint an agent to manage the subdivision or land development process then that person should be identified on this form in addition to the current land owners. Please provide our office with contact information for the subdivider(s) including a phone number which you may be reasonably reachable at and an email address if you wish to have important documentation sent to your email. Your contact information will only be used for the purposes of your subdivision or land development application.
  3. Completeness Review – Upon receipt of a subdivision or land development application our office has 14 days to review the plans and determine if the application is complete. If an application is determined to be incomplete, our office will send an Incomplete Submission Notice to notify the subdivder/developer that their application is incomplete and to identify the items that are still needed and how these requirements can be met.
  4. Plan Review – This process is usually done simultaneously with the Completeness Review. During this stage of the process the Subdivision and Land Development Administrator will be responsible for performing a site visit, reviewing the plans, and coordinating with the subdivider/developer and their chosen surveyor/engineer to identify the requirements that must be met. While this does not need to be met within 14 days of submission, our office tries to have plan review comments sent to the surveyor/engineer at the same time as the comments are sent to the surveyor/engineer.
  5. Other Agency Coordination – This process is usually done simultaneously with the Completeness Review and the Plan Review. During this stage of the process the Subdivision and Land Development Administrator will forward a copy of the plans to the municipality for their review and comment (required for all applications). Additional copies of the plans may be forwarded to DEP, PennDOT, the Lycoming County Conservation District, the county engineer, the County Zoning Administrator, and/or other agencies which may be impacted by the proposed subdivision or land development. Comments received by these agencies may need to be incorporated into the plan prior to approval.
  6. LCPC Decision – Once a submission is considered complete and the plans have been revised to meet the ordinance requirements, the plans may be presented to the Lycoming County Planning Commission (LCPC) for their review. Some plans may need to be sent to an actual planning commission meeting while others may be signed by the chairman of the planning commission. (For more information on this please read the “Minor vs Major” topic below.) After a plan has been presented the LCPC will render a decision of either approval, denial, or approval with conditions.
  7. Notification of LCPC Decision – After a decision has been rendered by the LCPC, the Subdivision and Land Development Administrator will send the applicant a letter to notify them of the LCPC’s decision. If the plan was approved with conditions, two copies of the approval letter will be sent to the applicant. These letters will include signature blocks for all deeded land owners to sign to indicate that they agree with the conditions of approval.
  8. Meet Conditions of Approval (may be required) – If a plan was granted conditional approval, the conditions of approval must be met prior to the plans being signed by the chairman of the LCPC.
  9. Record Plans – Once a plan has been signed by the LCPC chairman, our office will release a copy of the plans and approval letter to the applicant to record. Please contact the Register and Recorders Office for recording fees and hours.
  10. New Deed/Construction – In the case of subdivisions, the recording of a new deed is what finalizes the subdivision and transfers the land. Please coordinate with your attorney in order to record a new deed. With land developments, once the plan is recorded construction may begin.
  11. Post Construction Inspection – If the approved plan required infrastructure improvements, the developer/land owner may need to coordinate with our office to schedule a Post Construction Inspection to ensure that all required infrastructure improvements were installed as shown on the approved plan.

Minor vs Major

In order to administer the SLDO in a timely manner, plans for minor subdivisions and land developments may be signed by the Lycoming County Planning Commission (LCPC) Chairman for final approval. This means that minor plans do not have to go in front of the planning commission and can be signed outside of a meeting as soon as they are ready to be approved. All major subdivisions and land developments must go to a regular LCPC meeting for final approval. The distinction between minor and major is only related to the way in which a plan may be approved and in no way affects the ordinance requirements.

For major subdivisions or land developments, please be aware that our office must have a complete submission (including township comments) at least 3 weeks prior to the LCPC meeting in order to have the plan added to the LCPC meeting agenda.

A minor subdivision is any subdivision that does not involve public infrastructure improvements and involves only one new parcel and/or any number of lot-additions or lot-consolidations.

A minor land development is any development involving no more than 2,500 sq. ft. of proposed building footprint or the construction of one additional single-family home provided it does not involve public infrastructure improvements.

Submission Procedures

The purpose of this section is to cover typical Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SLDO) requirements for common subdivisions and land developments. Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list. Please contact the LCPC staff for a specific list of requirements for your project.

Subdivision Types


These subdivisions are the simplest form of subdivision. A Lot-Addition subdivision involves the transfer of one or more pieces of land from one deed to another deed. A Lot-Consolidation subdivision involves combining two or more parcels into one deed description. In order to receive approval of your Lot-Addition/ Lot-Consolidation our office will need to receive a plan which meets the requirements of the SLDO. Our office must also receive comments from the municipality prior to approval.

Quick Reference Guide for Lot-Addition and Lot-Consolidation

Single-Lot Subdivision

These are subdivisions which create no more than one new lot. Single-Lot subdivisions are reviewed to ensure that the proposed lot and the residual lot will have adequate vehicular access, sewage management, and access to drinking water. All Single-Lot subdivisions are considered Minor Subdivisions.

Quick Reference Guide for Single-Lot Subdivisions

Multi-Lot Subdivision

These are subdivisions which create more than one new lot. The review process of a Multi-Lot subdivision is similar to the review process of a Single-Lot subdivision. Vehicular access, sewage management, and access to drinking water will all be examined as part of this process. Stormwater and NPDES approval are examples of other documentation which may be required prior to Multi-Lot subdivision approval. All Multi-Lot subdivisions are considered major subdivisions.

Land Development Types

(Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list of development types which may require land development approval)

Agricultural Land Development

Since accessory farm buildings are exempt from land development, most agricultural land developments are mostly limited to large scale animal barns. The review process will examine access and ensure that the proper manure management, stormwater, and NPDES approvals have been obtained by the applicant in order to protect our drinking water. Please contact the Lycoming County Conservation District for more information about manure management requirements.

Commercial/ Industrial Land Development

Commercial and Industrial land developments include new primary commercial and industrial structures as well as building additions to existing primary commercial and industrial structures. The main items reviewed in these instances would be access, sewage management, water, and stormwater.

Natural Gas Land Development

This would typically include developments such as compressor stations, meter stations, and staging facilities among other natural gas related land developments. This process is mainly examining access to the site and stormwater.

Other Agency Coordination

The subdivision and land development process frequently involves approvals, permits, and/or coordination with other regulatory agencies. In order to ensure a timely processing of the land development application we recommend that applicants contact the applicable agency as soon as possible. Below is a list of frequent approvals, permits, and/or coordination required by other agencies. Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list. For a detailed list of what will be required please contact the Lycoming County Planning Commission (LCPC) staff to determine a full list of required permits, approvals, and/or coordination.

Zoning Coordination

The Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance typically work very closely together. For subdivisions, the proposed changes to the existing lot lines must conform to the lot requirements of the applicable zoning ordinance. For land developments, the applicant may need to demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the zoning ordinance on the land development including aspects such as lighting, landscaping, and other zoning related requirements.

In Lycoming County some municipalities prefer to administer their own zoning ordinances while other municipalities have chosen to join the Lycoming County Zoning Partnership which is administered by the county. Please refer to the map near the top of the page to determine who is responsible for zoning in your municipality. If your municipality is shown in blue or green you may contact the Lycoming County Zoning Administrator at 570-320-2144. If your municipality is shown in yellow or white please contact your municipality for more information regarding zoning requirements.

For more information about the Lycoming County Zoning Ordinance please click here.

Sewage and Water Planning

The State of Pennsylvania requires sewage planning for all subdivisions. Some land developments may also require some degree of sewage planning.

Projects proposing on-lot sewage disposal systems are required to receive approval from DEP for the applicable sewage planning module prior to subdivision or land development approval. This process will require the applicant to coordinate with the municipal Sewage Enforcement Officer (SEO). If your project is proposing an on-lot sewage disposal system, please contact DEP and the municipal SEO as soon as possible to discuss your project and any permitting requirements.

Click here for more information about DEP requirements for sewage disposal permitting.

Wells must not be located within 100 ft. of a sewage disposal area. There are currently no other permitting requirements for wells.

Projects proposing to connect to a public or private sewer line must include a “will-serve” letter from the applicable sewer authority in order to indicate that the sewer authority can receive additional sewage flow from the proposed development. A similar letter is required when connecting to a public or private water line. Please contact the applicable sewer or water authority as soon as possible to ensure that your project can be provided with water and sewer service. Additional permitting may be required from DEP on some projects connecting to public or private sewer lines.

Access Permitting

If the subdivision or land development being proposed will access a state road, the LCPC will forward a copy of the plan to PennDOT to determine if a Highway Occupancy Permit (HOP) will be necessary for the project and to make sure that there are no known access issues at this time. PennDOT requires owners and/or developers to obtain an HOP prior to constructing any driveways to access a state owned roadway. A similar permit may be required by the township as well for access to a local road. Please coordinate with PennDOT or your municipality to determine what requirements must be met prior to constructing a driveway to access a public road.

In addition to an HOP, some large scale projects may require traffic studies to minimize the impact on the local transportation network. Please contact our office as soon as possible to discuss any large scale projects which may require a traffic study.

Stormwater Approval

Pennsylvania Act 167 mandated that municipalities throughout the State of Pennsylvania to enact local Stormwater Management Ordinances which require the submission of a Stormwater Management Plan (SMP) any project that will create more than 1,000 sq.ft. of new impervious area or disturb more than 5,000 sq.ft. of earth. In order to provide a more timely and cost effective review of SMPs, some townships have opted to have the county’s engineer review stormwater plans related to subdivision or land development applications. Please contact our office to determine if a SMP is required for your project and if the plan will be reviewed by the county review engineer. Please be aware that any review fees incurred as part of the SMP review will be billed to the applicant.

Click here for more information regarding stormwater management in Lycoming County. This link includes a link to the Lycoming County Stormwater Plan and the Model Stormwater Ordinance.

Lycoming County Conservation District

The Lycoming County Conservation District (LCCD) has two major roles that are relatively common in the subdivision and land development process.

The first role is to review National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. The LCCD reviews Erosion and Sedimentation (E&S) Plans to ensure that they meet the NPDES requirements. NPDES approval is required for any project which disturbs over one acre of land.

The second role is to review Nutrient Management Plans (NMP) to ensure that they meet the state requirements. The purpose of the NMP process is to ensure the protection of ground and surface waters from excessive manure run-off. NMPs are required when a large scale animal barn exceeds a set number of “animal units”/acre.

Additionally, other services administered by the LCCD such as the CREP program and agricultural and conservation easements may impact subdivisions or land developments.

Click here for more information about the LCCD and their services.

Pending Ordinance Amendments

Spring 2021 Amendment Package

Lycoming County Planning Department staff have worked with the Lycoming County Planning Commission over the past eight months to develop a package of amendments to address various issues in the Lycoming County Zoning Ordinance and the Lycoming County Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance including the addition of Event Venues, Personal Storage, Mobile Compressors, and Accessory Solar Energy.  Additionally a number of minor changes will be made to clarify the ordinance.  The amendments were presented in a public meeting in November for feedback from our municipal partners.  The amendments were recommended for approval at the January 21, 2021 Lycoming County Planning Commission meeting and sent to our municipal partners for comment.  Comments on the proposed amendment may be forwarded to Tiffany Krajewski at or by calling 570-320-2146.

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