When is a Permit Required

Any time one of these activities occurs a permit must be obtained:

  1. Construct or alter a structure
  2. Construct an addition to an existing structure (this includes decks)
  3. Demolish or move a structure
  4. Make a change in the occupancy of a structure
  5. Install or alter any equipment which is regulated by the building code

Examples include:

  1. Heating equipment
  2. Air conditioning
  3. Plumbing
  4. Electrical service

6) Move a lot line, which affects an existing structure

Ordinary Repairs do not require a permit. Some examples of such would be new gutters, painting, and replacement of windows where the existing opening in the structure isn't altered.

Not included in ordinary repairs are:

  1. Cutting away of any wall, partition, or portion thereof
  2. The removal, replacement, re-enforcement, or cutting of any structural beam or loadbearing support
  3. The removal or change of any required means of egress
  4. The rearrangement of parts of a structure affects the means of egress
  5. Addition to, alteration of, or replacement or relocation of any water supply, sewer, drainage, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping
  6. Addition to, alteration of, or replacement or relocation of any electrical wiring
  7. Addition to, alteration of, or replacement or relocation of any mechanical equipment

The simple acid test to apply to a question about whether or not work requires a permit is this:

Does common sense dictate that the proposed work could affect public health, safety, and welfare by compromising structural strength, means of egress, sanitary equipment, light and ventilation, and fire safety of the building?

The permit process is designed to ensure that the erection, repair, removal, demolition, or change of occupancy of a building be accomplished in compliance with the building code.

Building Permit

  1. Applicant is registered with e-Collect Plus, LLC
  2. A certificate of insurance is provided in the name of Media Borough (can be faxed)

Cost of Permit

  • $500 and less = $15 (See Note)
  • First $1,000 of value = $30 (See Note)
  • Over $1,000=$30 (See Note) plus $15 for each $1,000 of valuation or part thereof over the first $1000

Note: The Borough shall assess an additional fee of $4.50 on each construction or building permit issued in accordance with Ordinance 990.

Note: We have no cap on our permit fees.

Plumbing Permit

  • Includes water, sewer, and mechanical systems (ex. heaters, air conditioning)
  • Plumbers must be licensed for the current year in the borough, complete the registration form and submit a $50 annual registration fee. This is a different license than a business privilege through e-Collect Plus, LLC. It ensures that the plumber is competent to do the proposed work.
  • The contractor must be registered with e-Collect Plus, LLC for the current year.
  • Must complete "application for building permit". Same fee structure as a building permit
  • Must arrange for work to be inspected before it gets buried underground or closed up in walls-we require a minimum of 24 hours' notice for such work.

Electrical Permit

  • Electricians must show licensure from the community in which licensed. Electrician exams are given (ex. Upper or Lower Merion, Upper Darby, City of Chester).
  • The electrician must be registered with e-Collect Plus, LLC for the current year. Must complete "electrical permit application".
  • Electrical permit fees are dependent on the level of work, construction, and gross square footage. Contact Code Enforcement for more information.

Progress Inspections During a Building Construction Project

Individuals who have a building permit for new construction or a major renovation are required to contact us to arrange an inspection of specific portions of their work. They should be calling a minimum of 24 hours in advance; however, changing weather conditions may result in their calling and asking for a "hurry-up" inspection (ex. they have holes dug for footings and it's going to rain the next day). If their "hurry-up" reason sounds valid, it is valid to have the Code Enforcement Officer paged.

The following is a copy of a page, that we give to those taking out building permits for significant work:

Borough of Media Code Enforcement Department Mandatory Inspections

(Necessary to Maintain Validity of Building Permit)

The following intermediate inspections must be conducted by our office to maintain the validity of your building permit. Inspections may be scheduled by calling 566-5210 at least 24 hours in advance of the anticipated need for a particular inspection. Work performed without the required inspection(s) will be required to be demolished to the extent necessary for the code enforcement office to perform the required inspection(s). Trenches and excavations backfilled without the required inspections will be required to be re-excavated so that the necessary inspection(s) can be performed.

  • Footings
  • Foundation/Slab
  • Masonry
  • Rough Frame
  • Rough Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical
  • Insulation
  • Sheetrock
  • Final

If during the course of construction, activities not specifically mentioned above would cause a feature to be closed up such that it was no longer visible for inspection, then that feature must be inspected prior to its being closed up. Such inspection may be scheduled by calling 566-5210 at least 24 hours in advance.

When in doubt, call. We'd rather decide beforehand whether or not we need to inspect rather than come out after the fact and have you tear out/down something you've constructed.

We look forward to your cooperation in constructing a quality, code-compliant project.


Just about any sign requires a permit. The sign permit application process is described in the packet of information appended to this memo.

Zoning Hearings

A zoning hearing occurs for one of these reasons:

  1. An appeal of a decision of the code enforcement officer.
  2. A request for a variance for the provisions of the zoning code, usually alleging that the provisions of the zoning ordinance inflict unnecessary hardship upon the applicant.
  3. A request for a special exception; a special exception is a use that is permitted by the zoning code but requires review by the zoning hearing board prior to its inception. 

If someone knows what they're doing, they will simply come in and ask for this application. When they come back, we must mark the application date and time received as there is a 60-day time clock that begins to run on the day upon which the application is returned.