Frequently Asked Questions  

When do I need to obtain a Zoning Permit?

Zoning Permits are required within residential districts for new home, additions to homes, porches, additions to attached garages, detached garages, sheds, fences, decks, above-ground swimming pools and below ground swimming pools, home occupations, new apartments or condominiums, commercial/industrial buildings, and signs. This list is not inclusive, but does indicate the most common projects that will require a zoning permit. Zoning Permits are not normally required for remodeling projects such as kitchen or bath, new windows or a new roof.  Anytime you are adding square footage to your home or accessory building a zoning permit is required.

It is recommended that property owners contact the Zoning Inspector prior to starting any new construction projects by emailing zoninginspector@walnuttwp.com or call 740-467-2420 and leave a message.

How long does it take to get a Zoning Permit?
Many Zoning Permits can be issued in a few days provided the application is complete. Commercial, Industrial and Multi-Family projects will require more time due to a requirement for a site plan review. Zoning Permits for these projects can be issued in approximately one to two weeks depending on the complexity of the project.

How do I Obtain a Zoning Permit?
To obtain a Zoning Permit you must complete an Application Form.  Applications are available at the Township Office or on-line at our website at www.walnuttwp.com.  This  form provides the basic information on the proposed project.  In addition to the application form, you must provide a copy of your deed, (1) copies of the site plan, showing your set back from property lines.
(See example of site plan below)
Zoning Diagram

Site Plan: Size and location of structures, existing and proposed; septic system and water well on property for new homes; distance of all structures to property lines. Lot lines must be clearly marked on the site for inspection.  Please note that to expedite the application process, a good to scale site plan and clearly marked site is needed.  All setbacks are measured from the property lines.

See zoning districts for proper setback requirements.

What are the Zoning Districts? 

RR Rural Residential District
•    Minimum 200 ft of road frontage
•    Minimum 2 acres
•    Minimum 1300 sq ft living space
•    Front yard setback 100 ft from property line
•    Side yard setbacks 30 ft, with the total sum of 80 ft from property line
•    Rear yard setback 50 ft from property line
•    Maximum height 35 ft
•    Shed and accessory building shall be 10 ft from house, 10 ft from side, rear and front yard setback is 100 ft
•    Accessory building shall not exceed 3200 sq ft and 26 ft in height

R-2 One and Two Family Residential District
•    Minimum 100 ft of road frontage
•    Minimum lot size 10,00 sq ft
•    Minimum 1300 sq ft living space
•    Front yard setback 25 ft from property line
•    Side yard setbacks 15 ft, both sides from property line
•    Rear yard setback 25 ft from property line
•    Maximum height 35 ft
•    Shed and accessory building shall be 10 ft from house, 5 ft from side, rear and front yard setback is 25 ft
•    Accessory building shall not exceed 1600 sq ft and 22 ft in height
•    If Two Family dwelling each side shall have minimum 650 sq ft living space
•    If road frontage less than 100 ft and greater than 40 ft call zoning inspector for non-conforming setbacks

R1-LF Single Family Lake Front Residential District
•    Road frontage as shown by plat recorded
•    Size of lot as shown by the plat recorded
•    Minimum 1300 sq ft living space
•    Maximum height 35 ft
•    Front yard setback from property line which is lake side
•    Side yard setbacks 5 ft each side from property line
•    Rear yard setback 10 ft from property line
•    Accessory building shall not exceed 1600sq ft and 22 ft in height
•    Shed and accessory building shall be 10 ft from house, 5 ft from side, rear and front yard setback is 25 ft

R2-LF One and Two Family Lake Front Residential District
•    Road frontage as shown by plat recorded
•    Size of lot as shown by the plat recorded
•    Minimum 1300 sq ft living space
•    Maximum height 35 ft
•    Front yard setback 25 ft from property line
•    Side yard setbacks 5 ft from property line
•    Rear yard setback 10 ft from property line
•    Accessory building shall not exceed 1600sq ft and 22 ft in height
•    Shed and accessory building shall be 10 ft from house, 5 ft from side, rear and front yard setback is 25 ft

All other Zoning Districts, please call Zoning Inspector

What is a Variance?
A variance is required whenever a dimension, setback or something does not conform to the Zoning Resolution.  You are required to go before Zoning Board of Appeals.

Who Grants Variances?
The Walnut Township Board of Zoning Appeals is responsible for hearing and acting upon variance requests.  The Board has five members who are appointed by the Township Trustees.  A variance request requires a public hearing before the Board.  All adjoining property owners are notified of the hearing and will have an opportunity to comment on the request. The applicant must appear at the public hearing to justify the request.  See the website calendar for The Board of Zoning Appeals meeting dates, they meet in the Trustees meeting room at 11420 Millersport Road, Millersport, Ohio 43046.

How Do I Apply for a Variance?
Applications for a Variance can be obtained at the Township Office of located at 11420 Millersport Road, Millersport, Ohio 43046.  Office Hours are noted on the website at www.walnuttwp.com.  The deadline for submitting a Variance application is the 15th day of the month in order to make the next Board of Zoning Appeals’ meeting agenda.  The applicant must submit the original and six (6) copies of the application and all attachments.

What is a Conditional Use?

The purpose of a conditional use is to permit a use that would not be appropriate generally, but may be allowed with appropriate restrictions upon a finding that (1) the proposed use meets the required conditions as stated in the zoning resolution,(2) the use or development will not have an adverse impact on adjoining properties.

Who Grants the Conditional Use?
The Walnut Township Board of Zoning Appeals is responsible for hearing and acting upon Conditional Use requests.  The Board has five members who are appointed by the Township Trustees.  A variance request requires a public hearing before the Board.  All adjoining property owners are notified of the hearing and will have an opportunity to comment on the request.  The applicant must appear at the public hearing to justify the request.   See the website for meeting dates, they meet in the Trustees meeting room at 11420 Millersport Road, Millersport, Ohio 43046.

How Do I Apply for a Conditional Use?
Applications for a Conditional Use can be obtained at the Township Office of located at 11420 Millersport Road, Millersport, Ohio 43046. Office Hours are noted on the website at www.walnuttwp.com.  The deadline for submitting a Variance application is the 15th day of the month in order to make the next Board of Zoning Appeals’ meeting agenda. The applicant must submit the original and six (6) copies of the application and all attachments.

What is a District Zoning Change?
A District Zoning Change is a change to the zoning district classification of a parcel or parcels of land which is reflected on the official Zoning Map for the Township.

How Do I Apply for a Zoning Change?

Applications for a District Zoning Change are made to Walnut Township.
A pre-application conference is highly recommended.  Such a conference can identify potential issues that could arise during the zoning change process.
The property owner must sign the application and six (6) copies of the application and all attachments must be submitted to the Township

Does a Zoning Change Request Require a Site Plan Review?

All requests for zoning changes must also include a site plan review.  All Zoning Change requests must be for a specific use with a specific plan.

What must the Zoning Change Application Include?

All Applications for a Zoning Change must include the following:
Completed application with justification for the proposed zoning district.
A detailed site plan showing the location of all buildings, streets, drives, parking, landscaping, signs, and other project data; and all adjoining properties
A list of all adjoining property owners is required.

What is the Zoning Change Process or how do I re-zone my property?
A Zoning Change request requires two public hearing.  The process may take 3-6 months to complete depending on the complexity of the request.

The application will be sent before the Fairfield County Regional Planning Commission.  The Planning Commission meets the first Tuesday of each month. The Planning Commission makes a recommendation to Walnut Township Zoning Commission.

The Zoning Commission will schedule a public hearing not less than 20 days and not more than 40 days.  See the website Calendar for Zoning Commission meeting dates, they meet in the Trustees meeting room at 11420 Millersport Road, Millersport, Ohio 43046.  The Zoning Commission has 30 days after the hearing to make a recommendation to the Walnut Township Trustees.

Upon receipt of the Zoning Commission recommendation, the Trustee will schedule a public hearing within 30 days.  The Township Trustees take final action on the zone change request within 20 days after the hearing.

Do I need a permit to replace my roof shingles, siding, windows, or private concrete sidewalks?

No

Do I need a permit to replace my driveway?
No, not to replace; however if you intend to expand the driveway you will need a culvert permit and the setbacks are 5 feet from the side property line.

Do I need a permit for landscaping?
No, however, when planting consider the maturity, so it doesn’t encroach on the neighboring property or road right-of-way. Also, planting in easements is generally prohibited. Check with the Zoning Office before planting.

Do I need a permit to operate a home based business?
Home based business generally requires a Zoning permit.  In some cases it may not be required, please check with the Zoning Inspector first.

Am I allowed to place my fence on the property line?
Yes, and a Zoning Permit is required, but it is recommended that you place your fence at least a lawnmower width from the property line so you have access to maintain the fence. If you place a fence at the property line it is your responsibility to find or set new property pins (by a licensed surveyor) that will insure the fence does not encroach on your neighbor’s property.  If you own a corner lot, you are not permitted to place the fence at the street side property line.  Zoning on corner lots is more restrictive than interior lots. Check ahead of time with the Zoning Inspector for placement of any type of structure prior to beginning a new construction project on a corner lot.

What are the fence requirements?
All fences require a Zoning Permit; fences can be open or solid and shall not exceed 6 feet.  Canal front lots and lake front lots shall be limited to 50% open fence that does not exceed 4 feet in height.  Solid fences shall not be permitted on canal lots or lake front lots.

Will the Zoning Inspector come out and tell us where our property line is? 

No, the township does not survey properties. This is the responsibility of the property owner.

Do I need a permit for a swimming pool?

A Zoning permit is required for all in-ground pools, above ground pools.
Pool houses shall comply with shed or accessory structure rules.

How close to the property line can I place my swimming pool?
We use the 10-10-10 rule: 10 feet from the side water line to each side property line and 10 feet from the rear water line to the rear of the property.  (This is for above ground and in ground swimming pools) If you are under these measurements, you will need to apply for a variance through the Board of Appeals.  No pool shall be placed in front yards except in RLF districts.

Do I need a fence around my in-ground swimming pool?
Yes.  As soon as there is any water being placed into the pool during the construction, a fence is needed around the pool.

Do I need a locking gate/collapsible steps for my above ground swimming pool?
Yes.

What can be done about a neighbor not cutting his grass/weeds?
A telephone call can be made to the Township Office informing the office personnel where the nuisance property is located. A property check and appropriate action will be taken.

Can you tell me what a certain property is zoned?
Yes.  You can look at the map on the Regional Planning Website at http://www.co.fairfield.oh.us/rpc/pdf/wa_Zoning_sep_13.pdf, call our Zoning Inspector or come into the office and we will locate the property and provide the zoning district classification.

Do you need a zoning permit for applying siding/roofing to your home?
No. Siding/roofing is considered maintenance, as long as the roof pitch remains the same and you are not adding any square footage (addition) to the structure.

What do I need to do regarding a zoning permit if I want to build a new home?
A site plan drawing should be brought into the Zoning Office for the Zoning Inspector’s approval.  The lot and home size will be evaluated to see if the plans are in accordance with the zoning ordinance. Floor plan and elevation drawings are also required.  See web site for forms at www.walnuttwp.com

Can I park my car on my driveway with expired/no license plates?
No.  Unlicensed vehicles or vehicles with expired plates must be parked within the garage or removed from the property.

Can I operate a home-based business from my home and have Employees park on the street in front of my home every day?
Only certain types of home occupations are permitted.  Under no circumstances can the home business have any employees or employees parking, store inventory or sell any type of retail products.  All approved home occupations are service oriented i.e. accountant, hair stylist.

Am I allowed to trim my neighbor’s tree branches that are hanging over into my yard?
Please talk with your neighbor about trimming the tree branches or ask if you can trim them yourself.  If the branches are encroaching onto your property you are able to trim them on your property side.  If a dispute arises between you and the neighbor it then becomes a civil matter.

I am trying to sell my home and the neighbor’s house next door to mine is in dire need of repairs and maintenance.  What can be done to make him spruce up his home like the rest of the neighborhood?
The Zoning Office should be called anytime there is a home in disrepair.  Appropriate inspection and action will be taken if there are any violations.

Is a permit required for a sign?
Yes, all signs require a permit before the erection of the sign except political signs and real estate signs.

How long is my building permit good for?
Once a  Zoning Permit is issued, the applicant has 1-1/2 years to finish the project.  If more time is needed to complete the project, the applicant can apply for an extension.

Do I need a permit for a satellite dish?
No permit is required for small satellite dishes, but large satellite dish antennas shall be considered conditional uses in RR, R-2, R-1LF, R-2LF and RMU.

How many recreational vehicles can I store outside on my property?
No more than two (2) recreational vehicles may be stored on lots within residential districts.  Said vehicles shall have a current license/registration and shall not be stored in front yard.

Which building code is the Township using?
Commercial Construction in Walnut Township will follow Ohio Building Code, but at this time, there is no Residential code for structural, electrical or mechanical.  Plumbing is regulated by the Fairfield County Health Dept at 740-652-2800 and uses the Ohio Plumbing Code.

Who do I call for a well and septic permit?
Fairfield County Health Dept
1587 Granville Pike, Lancaster, Ohio 43130
740- 652-2815

Fairfield Beach sewer is Licking County and water is Fairfield County Health Dept.
Licking County Water & Sewer
65 East Main Street
Newark, Ohio 43055
740-670-5440