Planning & Zoning

The building is open to the public, and people are encouraged to drop off applications in person.  However, building, zoning, subdivision & land development, and other permit applications will still be accepted by mail, accompanied by a check payable to "Cheltenham Township", to:

Planning & Zoning Department
Cheltenham Township
8230 Old York Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027

Members of the Department can be also reached by phone, (215) 887-1000, or by email:

Henry Sekawungu, Director of Planning & Zoning, ext. 219
Robert Habgood, Assistant Director of Planning & Zoning, ext. 216
Julia Detwiler, Planner 1, ext. 225
Tom Cinaglia, Building Inspector, ext. 222
Celeste Tompkins, Permits Clerk, ext. 212

Construction Activities Requiring Building Permits



  • Any Construction Type Work
  • Alterations
  • Blasting
  • Repairs
  • Equipment
  • Removal
  • Demolitions
  • Plumbing
Permits Required (Additional $4.50 UCC charge on every permit) - Examples
  • Additions
  • Awnings
  • Bathroom Renovations
  • Billboards
  • Decks
  • Electrical Work 
  • Fencing
  • Fire Systems (Residential & Commercial)
  • HVAC Installation
  • Interior House Renovations
  • Kitchen Renovations - cabinets, walls
  • New Construction - Residential, Commercial, Office or Industrial 
  • Roofing
  • Sheds (garden, storage, etc.) 
  • Siding
  • Signs
  • Swimming Pools (in and above ground)
  • Tanks Above or Below Ground - Installation or Removal
  • Walls - 2' high or more 
  • Walls - Freestanding
Permits Not Required - Examples
  • Drain Gutters - installation and/or replacements
  • Flooring
  • Painting
  • Patios at Ground Level
  • Retaining walls less than 3' high 
  • Rotted lumber replacement in kind
  • Roofing Repairs/Replacement less than 100 S.F.
  • Sidewalks on Private Property
  • Storm Windows
  • Wall Papering
  • Window replacements with no increase in rough size opening
  1. Building Permits required whether structure built on-site or prefabricated.

  2. Plans and calculations must be submitted on retaining walls with a reveal of 2' or greater. The plans/calculations must be sealed by a Professional Engineer.

  3. Electrical work must be done by an Electrician registered by the Township; electrical work must be inspected by recognized third-party inspection agency.

  4. Estimated cost rounded up to nearest thousand dollars.

  5. Estimated cost based on Fair Market Value of work, which must include cost of labor and materials. Fair Market Value of work may be estimated from a bona fide proposal or bid, sealed Architect's/Engineer's estimate, or an estimate developed using the current Means Square Foot Costs Manual.

  6. Square footage rounded up to nearest thousand square feet.

  7. Square feet computed at 10 for every story.

  8. Gallonage rounded up to nearest thousand gallons.

  9. Administered by Department of Public Works.

  10. Square Yards rounded up to next square yard.

  11. Linear footage rounded to nearest ten linear feet.

  12. If the construction of a retaining wall disturbs an area within the Steep Slope Conservation District (Gradient 15% or greater), Zoning Relief may be required before a Building Permit can be issued.

  13. Administered by Fire Marshal.

  14. Pursuant to Chapter 147, Fire Insurance Claims, the Code of the Township of Cheltenham, the following fee is hereby established for the issuance by the Director of Fiscal Affairs of a certificate indicating whether there are any delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties or user charges against real property damaged by fire.  This fee is authorized by Pennsylvania State Act 98 of 1992.