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Every landlord or entity that rents-out a residential housing unit in Philadelphia is required to obtain a rental license (formerly known as a housing inspection license).     The rental license itself is one piece of the compliance puzzle. There are prerequisites to being able to get the rental license, and then there are other things you must do or fulfill after you get the actual license.   The...

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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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One of Philadelphia Zoning's very first clients hired an accountant to do the zoning for his tattoo shop. As you can imagine, that didn’t turn out too well for our client — or for the accountant (which is why the tattoo artist became a Philly Zoning client).   Zoning is a highly misconstrued world here in Philly. There can be many complications, misunderstandings and miscommunications; so much...

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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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The City of Philadelphia recently combined its review boards into the new Department of Planning and Development.   The Department now houses the Art Commission, Historical Commission, City Planning Commission, and — of particular note to us at Philadelphia Zoning — the Zoning Board of Adjustment.   This seems like a smart reorganization on paper, and there are other departments and personnel involved beyond those boards our company usually...

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    Say you want to open a coffee shop.  You’ve found a place, in a quiet block, and the building is perfect: homey, but a little more spacious than you might expect.  It’s on a corner, too.  But it’s zoned RSA-5 (as you might already know if you’re reading this: Residential Single-Family, Attached; Category 5 of 5).  So you aren’t allowed, under Philadelphia law, to open...

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