301 Arch Street (1st Floor), PO Box 395, Mars, PA 16046

CODE ENFORCEMENT DEPARTMENT

All permit applications must be submitted directly to Mars Borough.

As of January 1, 2024 Code Enforcement Agency provides Mars Borough with their third party inspection and review services. You can view more information about Code Enforcement Agency by going to https://cea-code.com/ or call 1-866-410-4952.

Permit Application Timeline

Permit Applications are addressed on an individual basis. Please make sure you have allotted enough time to have your application approved before scheduling work to begin.

    1. Permit applications are to be submitted directly to Mars Borough. You can drop off applications at the Mars Borough Administration Office located at 301 Arch Street, Mars, PA — or — mail applications to Mars Borough, PO Box 395, Mars, PA 16046.
    2. The Code Enforcement Officer will review the application to ensure it complies with Mars Borough Zoning Code. This may take up to ten (10) days.
    3. If Zoning approval is all that is required, the applicant will be notified of the approval or denial of their application. If approved, the appropriate fees will be assessed and an invoice issued to the permit applicant. The fee must be paid prior to the permit being issued to the applicant and prior to the start of any work.
    4. If the application requires plan review by the third-party plan reviewer/inspector, it will be sent to them. Their review may take up to thirty (30) days.
    5. Once the Borough receives the reviewed plans and permit application back from the third-party reviewer/inspector, the appropriate fees will be assessed and an invoice issued to the permit applicant. The fee must be paid prior to the permit being issued to the applicant and prior to the start of any work.
    6. After a permit has been issued, all work and appropriate inspections must be completed within one year of the date it was issued unless an extension is approved by the Code Enforcement Officer or third-party reviewer/inspector.

Mars Borough Zoning & UCC Permits

Mars Borough Zoning Code and the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) requires permits to ensure work performed on your property is in the best interest of public safety. Please expand the tabs, below, to determine if the project you are planning to undertake requires a permit.

Sometimes, a permit is not necessary.

It’s always best to check with the Code Enforcement department, however — as a general rule — you do not need a permit for the following items:

      • Replacing Roofing/Shingles if NO structural change occurs.
      • Replacing Windows and/or Doors if NO structural change occurs.
      • Installation of a deck that is less than 30-inches above grade.
      • Installation of a fence with a maximum height of 6-feet, and a length of less than 30-feet or more.
      • Adding a sidewalk or driveway that sits less than 30-inches adjacent grade.
      • Swimming pools under 12-feet in diameter and less than 24-inches in depth.
      • Swings and playground equipment.
      • Interior renovations if NO structural change is taking place.

A Residential Building Permit is required for:

      • Replacing Roofing/Shingles if a structural change occurs.
      • Replacing Windows and/or Doors if a structural change occurs.
      • Installation of a deck that is 30-inches above grade.
      • Installation of a fence with a maximum height of 6-feet, and a length of 30-feet or more.
      • Installing a retaining wall.
      • Adding a sidewalk or driveway that sits 30-inches above adjacent grade.
      • Adding Swimming pools over 12-feet in diameter and more than 24-inches in depth.
      • Interior renovations if a structural change occurs.
      • Addition of accessory structures (sheds, storage houses, greenhouses, private recreation structures other than pre-manufactured swing sets).
      • New structures (homes, home additions, attached and unattached garages, attached and unattached car ports, attached sunrooms/three-season-rooms, etc.).
      • Demolition of structures.
      • Signs up to 2 square feet.
      • Occupancy for new structures or new uses.

A Commercial Building Permit is required for:

      • Replacing Roofing/Shingles if a structural change occurs.
      • Replacing Windows and/or Doors if a structural change occurs.
      • Installation of a deck that is 30-inches above grade.
      • Installation of a fence with a maximum height of 6-feet, and a length of 30-feet or more.
      • Installing a retaining wall.
      • Adding a sidewalk or driveway that sits 30-inches above adjacent grade.
      • Interior renovations if a structural change occurs.
      • Addition of accessory structures (sheds, storage houses, greenhouses, private recreation structures other than pre-manufactured swing sets).
      • New structures.
      • Demolition of structures.
      • Signs up to 100 square feet.
      • Occupancy for new structures or new uses.

Code Enforcement Q&A

  • Q: Where can I view the Mars Borough Code?
  • Q: How can I find out how my property is zoned?
  • Q: How can I find out if my property is in a floodplain?
  • Q: What is the difference between the Borough’s Occupancy Permit and a Certificate of Occupancy?
      • A: Given the names, it’s easy to see how this could be a little confusing to some people. Both are enforced under Section 270-81 (https://ecode360.com/11889594). The Borough’s Occupancy Permit also requires an updated tenant list for rental properties as outlined in Section 193 Rental Property (https://ecode360.com/11888596). A Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the Borough’s UCC Inspector, Code Enforcement Agency, and is enforced under the Uniform Construction Code (https://www.dli.pa.gov/ucc/Pages/default.aspx). The simplest way of differentiating them is the Borough’s Occupancy Permit lets the Borough know who occupies a building and the UCC Certificate of Occupancy lets everyone know the building is safe to inhabit.
  • Q: What is Change of Use? (What is Building Code Use?)
      • A: Change of Use is a term associated with the International Building Code, Chapter 3 Occupancy Classification and Use (https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/IBC2018P6/chapter-3-occupancy-classification-and-use). “Occupancy classification is the formal designation of the primary purpose of the building, structure, or thereof.” There are many definitions of Use according to the Building code. Please click on the link above to see the various Uses as described in Chapter 3 of the 2018 International Building Code.
  • Q: What is a Zoning Use?
      • A: Section 270-22 through 270-35 (https://ecode360.com/11889216) defines Use Regulations in the Mars Borough Code. These are the approved uses of properties within Mars Borough, based on the location of a property within the Borough and within a specific Zoning District.
  • Q: What’s the difference between Building Code Use and a Zoning Code Use?
      • A: The difference between the Building Code Use and Zoning Use are: (1) Building Code Use is defined under the Uniform Construction Code, and regulated and enforced by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, primarily under the Department of Labor & Industry and Certified Building Inspectors; (2) Zoning Use is defined in the Mars Borough Code, and regulated by the Boroughs Code Enforcement Officer and, when necessary, the Building Inspector.
  • Q: What’s the difference between Building Code and a Zoning Code?
      • A: The Building Code is a State level series of laws while the Mars Borough Zoning Code is a collection of Borough Ordinances.
  • Q: What type of permit do I need to fill out?
      • A: The answer to this question depends on the zoning and use of your property. If your property is used primarily as a residence (regardless of how the property is zoned), then you will need to complete a Residential Permit Application. If your property is used primarily for commercial purposes (only allowed in Commercial and Industrial zoned districts), then you will need to complete a Commercial Permit Application.

 

Permit Fee Schedule

(Please note, these are Borough Code Enforcement/Zoning Fees. They are not included in the UCC Building Inspector Fees listed above.

Commercial Permit Applications Determined based on Square Footage and Scope of Work.
Residential Permit Applications Determined based on Square Footage and Scope of Work.
Uncovered Deck, less than 30-inches above grade and less than 64 square feet. $25.00
Uncovered Deck, less than 30-inches above grade and greater than 64 square feet. $50.00
Uncovered Deck, more than 30-inches above grade. Determined based on Square Footage and Scope of Work.
Installation of Fences, up to 6-feet high and less than 30-feet in combined length of all fences on property. Contact Code Enforcement Department
Installation of Fences, up to 6-feet high and more than 30-feet in combined length. $25.00
Retaining Wall, less than 4-feet in height. $25.00
Retaining Wall, more than 4-feet in height. $50.00
Sidewalks and Driveways over 30 inches above adjacent grade, placed over a basement or story below, or as a new entrance from street. Contact Code Enforcement Department
Private Swimming Pools (temporary/seasonal) more than 12 feet in diameter, with a depth of 24 inches at the point of greatest possible depth. $25.00
Private Swimming Pools (permanent/above ground/in ground) more than 12 feet in diameter, with a depth of 24 inches at the point of greatest possible depth $50.00+ (Contact Code Enforcement Department for additional requirements.)
Interior Remodeling that includes the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support (ie. wall, partition, or portion of wall), the removal or change of any required means of egress or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting egress requirements. Contact Code Enforcement Department
Accessory Structures (such as sheds, storage houses, greenhouses, private recreation structures (other than pre-manufactured swing sets), up to 64 square feet. $25.00
Accessory Structures (such as sheds, storage houses, greenhouses, private recreation structures (other than pre-manufactured swing sets), 64  to 1,000 square feet. $50.00
Accessory Structures (such as sheds, storage houses, greenhouses, private recreation structures (other than pre-manufactured swing sets), over 1,000 square feet. Determined based on Square Footage and Scope of Work.
New Structures, including but not limited to: homes and unattached garages, as well as home additions, attached garages, attached carports, sunrooms/three-season rooms. Determined based on Square Footage and Scope of Work.
Demolition Permit, under 1,000 square feet. $35.00
Demolition Permit, over 1,000 square feet. Determined based on Square Footage and Scope of Work.
Signs (Residential) up to 2 square feet (contact the Contact Code Enforcement Department for further details). $25.00
Signs (Commercial) up to 100 square feet. $50.00+ (Contact Code Enforcement Department to determine if additional fees apply.)
Property Use Certificate (former the Mars Borough Occupancy Permit which is not the same as a UCC Occupancy Permit), to be filed when a property changes hands or when new tenants move into a space. Note: the Property Owner is required to update the Borough, in writing, with a tenant list every six months. (No additional fee is required if the Owner is simply updating the tenant list.) $20.00
New Construction (UCC) Occupancy Permit (in all Residential Districts). Determined based on Square Footage and Scope of Work.
New Construction (UCC) Occupancy Permit (in Commercial, heavy Industrial, Light Industrial Districts). Determined based on Square Footage and Scope of Work.
Zoning Hearing Board (ie. Variance requests). $600.00
Grading or Excavation $35.00 (Contact Code Enforcement Department to determine if additional fees apply based on the cubic feet of dirt being moved.)
Street Opening Permit, required to open any street or alley in the Borough. **NOTE: as of March 8, 2023 Mars Borough has a new Paving Ordinance with requirements for re-paving the disturbed roadway. $300.00 Bond, plus the cost of the permit (determined by the length and width of street opening).
Storm System Contact Code Enforcement Department.