The Snyder County Planning Commission is responsible for developing strategies and comprehensive plans around land use, community development, economic development, environmental impact, and various social issues. Among this, the commission handles the upkeep of county ordinances & studies and the review & approval of subdivisions and land development efforts.


The subdivision & land development ordinances regulate how land is divided and improved if it is to host uses that are allowed by the zoning ordinances.

  A Guide to Getting Started


Application Process

Applicants and landowners should follow these steps in the subdivision and land development process:

  1. Contact the municipality in which the property is located to find out what land use regulations are in place.
  2. Determine whether the plan will require approval under a municipal SALDO or the Snyder County SALDO.
  3. When applicable, consult the local SEO to complete a soils analysis in order to determine suitability for an on-lot sewage disposal system.
  4. Contact a registered land surveyor, or professional engineer to perform a site survey and prepare a plan in accordance with the SALDO which is in effect.
  5. The applicant must submit an    Application Form  and the required copies of the plan to the municipality and/or the Snyder County Planning Department.
  6. The plan will be reviewed by the municipality, Snyder County Planning Commission, and the Snyder County Planning Department.
  7. Whoever’s regulations are in affect will notify the applicant when the plan is approved, conditionally approved, or disapproved.
  8. When the plan is approved, the applicant must record the plan in the Snyder County Recorder of Deeds Office within 90 days.

Submission Requirements

A preliminary plan is a tentative plan that is submitted as part of a major subdivision or land development showing proposed streets and lot layout as required in the subdivision and land development ordinance. A final plan is a complete plan that meets all ordinance requirements and, upon approval, must be recorded in the Snyder County Office of Register and Recorder. Submission requirements can vary for initial review. The applicant should call the Planning Dept. to verify requirements:
  • One copy of a complete County Review Application signed by the applicant or their agent.
  • Copies of the plans – Contact the Planning Dept. for number of copies.
  • One copy of any supporting documents (highway occupancy permit, sewage planning module, etc.)
  • Applicable review fee payable to “Snyder County.”
Copy of the County Ordinance – $25
Time Extension – $75

Fees for Plans under a Municipal SALDO

  • Add-On Plan – $125
  • Sub-Division
    • 1-3 Lots – $150
    • 4-10 Lots – $300
    • 11-20 Lots – $450
    • 21+ Lots – $750
  • Land Development
    • Residential – $150
    • Non-Residential
      • Up To 4,999 sq. ft. – $150
      • 5,000-25,000 sq. ft. – $450
      • 25,001 sq. ft. – $750 +  $15/ 2,500 sq. ft. over 25,000 sq. ft

Fees for Plans under the County SALDO

  • Add-On Plan – $250
  • Sub-Division
    • 1-3 Lots – Escrow $200; $300
    • 4-10 Lots – Escrow $2,000; $400
    • 11-20 Lots – Escrow $3,000; $550
    • 21+ Lots – Escrow $4,000; $850
  • Land Development
    • Residential – Escrow $500: $250
    • Non-Residential
      • Up To 4,999 sq. ft. – Escrow $2,000; $300
      • 5,000-25,000 sq. ft. – Escrow $3,000; $550
      • 25,001 sq. ft. – Escrow $4,000; $850 +  $15/ 2,500 sq. ft. over 25,000 sq. ft.
Escrow funds will be used to pay review, inspection, and professional fees in accordance with the Pa. MPC.

Zoning ordinances regulate the types of uses permitted on a tract of land such as agriculture, commercial, residential and industrial. They tell you how the land can be used. In Snyder County zoning ordinances are adopted by local townships and boroughs. Get in contact with your local municipality to learn more about acquiring zoning permits if required. Currently Zoning exists in Middleburg, Selinsgrove and Shamokin Dam Boroughs, and Monroe, Penn and Spring Townships.

Contact My Municipality →

The Planning Commission oversees the strategic planning pertaining to growth and development in Snyder County.

  Strategic Comprehensive Plan

The population of Snyder County has grown steadily since it was first created in 1855, except for a period of decline from 1880-1910. The growth since 1930 has been especially strong, averaging 12% per decade. One major factor controlling these population fluctuations is the local economy. At about the turn of the century, the industrial segment of the nation’s economy grew strongly in the Country’s urban areas. This was not true in rural Central Pennsylvania, and especially in Snyder County, where many people were leaving the farms for more urbanized areas in search of work. It has been since 1920 that Snyder County experienced a steady, but modest, economic development of its very own. During this time, the economy, strong in agriculture, has increasingly taken on a growing industrial and commercial character. With this changing economic picture came substantial population growth.

From 1920 to the present, and even during the Great Depression years, the average decennial growth rate was 12%, ranging from 9% from 1920-1940, to 7% from 1940-1950. The population of Snyder County has increased 119% since 1920, representing an additional 20,417 persons. The tables found under the following links,  show the historic population growth of Snyder County.

Additional Population Resources

  Trends from 1860-2000 

  Population by Municipality for 2000 & 2010


Frequently Asked Questions

Generally speaking, it is a division of a tract of land into two or more lots (the total number of  lots includes the lot that remains from the division). For example, if you own five acres and want  to sell or give an acre to someone you would be doing a subdivision to make the one lot into two. 

In general a land development is the improvement of a tract of land involving a non-residential building or a group of two or more residential units on a single lot. For example, the construction of a new convenience store or two or more single-family homes on one lot would be considered  a land development. However, the construction of one single family home on an approved and  vacant lot of record is not considered a land development. 

A lot of record is a parcel or tract of land that was legally created and has a deed and associated  plot plan or map on file in the office of the Snyder County Recorder of Deeds. Be advised that  some lots recorded in the Recorder of Deeds Office were not created by legal means and could  

be problematic when you attempt to purchase, subdivide or develop the particular piece of land.  If you discover a problem with a deed you should contact an attorney or a professional land  surveyor for assistance.

An ordinance can reduce detrimental impacts to the surrounding community. For example, most  ordinances require that new roads be designed and built in a manner that is safe for future users  and will structurally withstand the traffic upon them. 

Secondly an ordinance coordinates the provision of services and infrastructure to support the  new development. For example, development needs to provide an environmentally safe and  healthful method of treating wastewater. 

Finally, an ordinance requires that a plan be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds  within 90 days of final approval. Once recorded, it becomes part of the official county land  records system. A recorded plan shows where property lines are located and becomes a source of  title information, as does the deed.

Zoning ordinances regulate the types of uses permitted on a tract of land such as agriculture, commercial, residential and industrial. They tell you how the land can be used. In Snyder County zoning ordinances are adopted by local townships and boroughs.

A subdivision and land development ordinance regulates how land is divided and improved if it is to host uses that are allowed by the zoning. 

For example, zoning may allow your land to be used for housing and might specify a minimum  size for the lots plus distances that structures must be set back from property lines and roads. The  subdivision and land development regulations determine how stormwater runoff is to be  managed, the safest place to locate driveways, whether or not sidewalks are needed, what water  supply is available, etc. 

There are many things to consider, but one of the most important first steps is to determine if  your municipality has zoning. If they do you should contact your municipal zoning officer to  determine how your land is zoned. The zoning officer is appointed by the borough or township to  administer the zoning ordinance and will help you understand what types of uses are allowed on  your property and what requirements exist under the zoning ordinance. 

At this point you should contact a surveyor, engineer or landscape architect to prepare a plan for  you. Surveyors, engineers and landscape architects are licensed by the Commonwealth of  Pennsylvania to prepare and certify development plans. As licensed professionals, they are  charged with designing, preparing, and submitting plans that conform to the applicable  regulations. 

It is in your best interest to sit down and discuss your plan with your design professional.  Together, decide how you want to subdivide or develop your land. Discuss where you want to  place new lots and where you want to locate buildings, roads, driveways, etc. 

If you or your design professional have any questions you can call or meet with Snyder County  Planning Department staff or the Snyder County Planning Commission at one of their meetings  to discuss your proposal. If you feel confident that you are adequately prepared to proceed, then  have your design professional prepare a formal plan and application. The plan should be  

submitted along with required application fees, forms and other documentation for approval by  the Snyder County Planning Commission.

Ask questions! Basically, you should choose a design professional the same way you would  choose any professional like an attorney, accountant or doctor. Does the individual or firm have a  lot of experience with the Snyder County Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance? Are  they experienced in the design and development of one- lot subdivisions or large residential and  commercial land developments? Will they provide you with a list of references to check out? Do  they have good communication skills? Can you expect them to keep you informed throughout  the entire process? How soon can they get started and how long will it take them to get a  completed plan that meets the ordinance prepared and submitted?

We recommend you take the time to check out design professionals before making a final  decision. For ethical reasons the Snyder County Planning Commission and Planning Department  staff cannot recommend a design professional. 

The cost of your plan will vary depending on many factors such as the type of project, site  conditions, complexity of issues, amount of time needed by your design professional, etc. Your  design professional should be able to provide you with an estimate of the cost of their services.  The fees for review by the Planning Commission vary, but typically range from $50.00 to  $400.00 depending on the complexity of your proposed project, the first hour of review is  included with your submission fee. Please refer to the current Fee Schedule available from the  Snyder County Planning Department Office. In addition you will be required to reimburse the  Planning Commission for any costs associated with its consultants reviewing the plan. When  engineering detail is involved these fees can easily reach $500.00 to $1,000.00 and in some cases  more. This can vary and is largely dependent upon how well your design professional has  addressed and met the requirements of the ordinance. As with most things it is far more  economical to be patient and have your design professional submit plans that conform to the  ordinance requirements the first time the plan is submitted. Again, a meeting with the Planning  Commission or its staff and consultants prior to designing and officially submitting your plan can  be well worth the extra time and effort.

The Planning Commission staff checks to see if the application is complete. All required sets of  plans, documentation, and fees must accompany your application. If the application is accepted,  the Planning Commission schedules your plan for action. The Planning Commission has a  maximum of 90-days to act on your plan under state law; however, the Planning Commission  and staff will generally attempt to facilitate a shorter review and approval period. In many cases  plans can be approved within 45-60 days; however, timing depends on the complexity of your  project and on how well your design professional has prepared the plan in accordance with the  ordinance requirements. If your plan lacks sufficient detail, does not address design requirements  of the ordinance, or is deficient in any respect, this will delay your approval. In some cases the  Planning Commission may be willing to negotiate a time extension to the approval period, or in  more severe circumstances may need to disapprove your plan. 

Once the plan is reviewed the Planning Commission will approve the plan, approve the plan with  conditions, or disapprove the plan. An approval means your plan meets all requirements of the  subdivision and land development ordinance and it can be recorded. A conditional approval means that your plan is not fully in compliance with the ordinance, but it “can be brought into  compliance” if it is revised to meet the specified conditions. Before your plan can be recorded,  the deficiencies must be corrected and approved by the Planning Commission and staff. NO building or sale of lots may take place until those corrections are made and the plan has been  recorded. A conditional approval will delay your project until the time all the pending conditions  are met. In some cases this can be a few days or a week or as long as several months when other 

local or state permitting issues need to be resolved. The majority of plans acted on by the  Planning Commission receive a conditional approval. Disapproval means that your plan cannot  be approved as submitted because it departs from the ordinance requirements. A disapproved  plan cannot be recorded and NO building or sale of lots may take place. A new plan must be  submitted with appropriate fees if the intention is to proceed with the development. 

Contact your design professional to discuss how you can meet the conditions and how soon the  compliance items can be submitted to the Planning Commission for review and approval. 

The plan you have received has been finally approved by the Planning Commission and recorded  with the Snyder County Recorder of Deeds; it is recommended that you keep the plan for your  personal records.

According to state law and the county ordinance no new lots can be sold until the subdivision  plan is recorded in the office of the Snyder County Recorder of Deeds. Recording the plan places  the lot or lots “ON RECORD”, meaning that they can legally be divided from the larger tract of  land. Once recorded the plan, lots, and associated deeds become part of the county’s permanent  land record system.


Lincoln Kaufman

Planning Director

Trish Treaster

Administrative Assistant - Recycling Coordinator

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