Grading & Land Disturbance

The enactment of Act 167 in Pennsylvania passes the responsibly to manage stormwater runoff to local municipalities. The result is an obligation on a landowner to manage even the most minor of construction projects through proper design of stormwater management facilities. This application defines specific thresholds for permit requirements.

The first threshold is for projects that either disturb more than 5,000 sq. ft. of existing vegetative cover or plan to increase impervious cover by more than 1,000 sq. ft. These activities are defined as "regulated construction." The act goes further to add any project that alters "the natural hydraulic regime" as also requiring to meet these stringent permit obligations. The Township engineer is empowered to make this determination.

In general, minor building additions, patio construction and changes to the land would not rise to this threshold level. These minor projects will not be required to provide detailed design plans. However, any project that concentrates stormwater runoff to adjacent property or changes the rate of runoff to adjacent property will need to meet the standards identified in the Township's Act 167 ordinances.

Download the Regulated & Non-Regulated Grading Permit

*Please note that the Township will be keeping records of a property's cumulative impervious surface coverage. When the 1,000 sq.ft. impervious surface threshold is met, a regulated grading permit will be required.

Important Information
Sidewalks, driveways, patios, decks & detached garages are all considered impervious surfaces and must be included when calculating existing and new impervious coverage ratios. Impervious surfaces do not absorb rain and the impervious surface ratio is a measure of the intensity of use of a piece of land, dividing the total area of impervious surfaces within the site by the base site area.

Lower Moreland is located within three distinct watersheds: Pennypack Creek, Neshaminy Creek, and Poquessing Creek. Per Act 167, the Township has adopted new ordinances to meet the stormwater requirements set forth by DEP. To view these ordinances, please visit the Township's stormwater page.