Prerequisite Permit Reviews
Wait, I have to get approval from what?
Ah, prerequisite approvals! Who doesn’t love that giddy sensation? You know the one: You walk up to the desk at Licenses and Inspections, submit your carefully prepared application, and are told in a dead monotone, “This needs approval from Streets before we’ll look at it.”
There’s no way around it: Prerequisite approvals are rough. In this story, you need approval from the Streets Department. Well, the actual process of getting that approval can be pretty easy: You have to submit a form, give the person at the Streets desk seven copies of your plans, and wait just a little bit for them to stamp all seven plans with a Streets seal. Simple. But: To get to this point, you need to have that form filled out by your architect or engineer, and you need to have those seven plans on you (to scale, of course). And for that to happen, you should probably already know, before you even submit to Licenses and Inspections, that you’re going to have to deal with Streets. How do you do that?
Well, first: Always know when you need plans, what the plans should show, and how many copies you ought to have. You can check out our cheat sheet on that topic right here.
Second: You should have a general idea of what, exactly, will trigger a prerequisite review request. And for that, you could go through the various departments most likely to want a look at your project: Streets, Water, the Planning Commission, the Art Commission, and the Historical Commission.
Of course, reading all of that could take forever: It would be even easier if you could just find a summary of all that information, with links, in one sheet.
And it just so happens we here at Philly Zoning have created one, just for you. You can find our prerequisite review cheat sheet by clicking this link. Feel free to take a look or download it for your reference. And if you’re still not sure that you want to deal with all of this yourself, you can talk to the people who designed it at Philadelphia Zoning. As always, we’re here to save you time, money, and headaches in all things zoning and permitting in our city.