Author: Philly Zoning Team

Right-of-Way-Streets

Previously in this blog, we've mentioned the City of Philadelphia's requests for additional information.  Since we see a lot of these, we are going to create a catalogue of the requests as a reference guide.  We hope that this will help our clients, design partners, and contractors better understand what information is most commonly missing from an application.  (If you haven't seen it before, it's...

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I cannot tell you how many of our clients run into issues with their General Contractor (or whatever party is in charge of applying-for and obtaining things on behalf of their client). Oftentimes, tracking down a physical building permit is more difficult than Nicholas cage's voyage in all of the National Treasure movies combined.   I am not saying that general contractors are bad people. I am...

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Reference Guide

Happy holidays from Philadelphia Zoning!   We've had quite a year here, thanks to our clients, legal partners, and design partners.  To thank everyone, we're offering this present:  A handy reference guide for our most common permitting projects.  Enjoy!     General Zoning and Permitting Information   The source:  The Philadelphia Zoning Code The Philadelphia Code can be found here.  Title 14 (what those of us not in the legal profession would simply...

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We here at Philadelphia Zoning like to poke some fun at our City's bureaucracy.  Licenses and Inspections can be a mystery to homeowners and developers: documents go in; only sometimes do they come out.  When they do come out, it's often because they are rejected for arcane reasons.  It can be pretty frustrating and eat your time (and it's why Philadelphia Zoning exists: to save...

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One of the most sensible and also counter-intuitive parts of the zoning process in Philly is the community review.   Any time you want to use your property for something that the zoning code doesn't allow, you must seek a variance from the City of Philadelphia (as we've discussed).  When you seek a variance, a community organization in Philadelphia gets to review the proposal before the City...

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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...

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Our Plans Requirements Cheat Code   We here at Philadelphia Zoning told you a while back about how important plans are to most zoning, building, and sign permitting projects.  (You can find that post right here.)  But that advice was general; we know a lot of you are probably wondering specifically what kind of plans you need for which project.   We've decided to make a cheat sheet for...

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We here at Philadelphia Zoning like to think we have answers for you.  We tell you we can saw through forests of red tape, and we mean it.  But sometimes, we get a question that has about a hundred different answers.  "How much does a permit cost?" is one of those questions.   There are a few reasons why such a simple question has so many different answers.   First,...

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You’ve just decided to apply for a Zoning Permit for a new house.  This Zoning Permit is not by right; meaning that you’re asking to create a building that doesn’t conform to the Philadelphia Code.  This means you’ll be issued a form called a Refusal.  (If this is too confusing already, check out our primer on zoning in Philly.)   You know all of that, and you’re...

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Philadelphia Zoning - Developing Your Dreams

Zoning in Philadelphia is a strange enterprise.  The ideas behind it are simple, and the people working the desks downtown are generally helpful and clear.  But in practice, it can be quite confusing.  This little overview probably won’t make the strange details of zoning any less confusing, but it may give you a clearer picture of the overall structure of zoning complaints, requests, and applications...

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