Building Permits

Time is Money   When you are planning to renovate a home or start a new business, many times, the most important thing to consider is timing. So if your project involves obtaining permits or licenses from the City, it is important that you know what the different timetables are.   But before we discuss specific timetables of different permits, the first thing to know is that you will...

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Expediting Versus Accelerating   Last week we debunked many of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the art of expediting. This week we decided to follow up that conversation with a post specifically dedicated to the differences between expediting and accelerating.   Expeditors, as previously explained, can increase the speed and efficiency of obtaining permits by filing paperwork correctly and mitigating setbacks along the way. However, another way to...

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What is Expediting?   An expeditor is a person who is licensed with the City to file permits and licenses on behalf of another individual. An expeditor can also create tax accounts with the city, file deeds, and register a change of address with the Office of Property Assessment.   Expeditors cannot, however, request special favors. We cannot circumvent the process or evade any rules or procedures.   It is our...

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The Water Department   Many projects don’t need special approval from the Water Department in order to be approved by the City. However, there are two kinds of projects that do require Water Department approval form this, oh so special, entity. The first is a demolition permit. Before you can obtain a demo permit you must discontinue water service to your property. Can you imagine tearing down...

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An additional information request is sent by Licenses and Inspections whenever one of their plans examiners wants to know more about your project.  Getting this letter is not an indication of failure, it is actually considered a standard response as requirements for permits can be as unpredictable as the weather. However, in the off chance you do not receive a request for additional information, you deserve...

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Getting Signed Up   Putting up a sign is one of the most fundamental forms of advertising. If you own a business, you want people to be able to find you, to know who you are, etc. This is what a good sign conveys. However, in order to post a sign over your business in the City of Philadelphia, you must first get permission.   Most signs require...

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Do It Yourself   The City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I)  has an online platform called Eclipse which allows users to do a number of things online. This tool is great for license renewals including trade license and housing rental licenses. Once you set-up an account you can apply for new licenses, renew old licenses, and schedule inspections for existing permit applications all without every stepping...

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By Right Development   Projects which are allowed by the zoning code are known as by-right developments. Every parcel and property in the city of Philadelphia falls into a distinct category of the zoning code which can be found by searching the address in the City Atlas. This tool allows users to see the zoning classification, relevant overlays, registered neighborhood associations, past appeals, and more. The value...

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soil-and-water

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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Things You Should Know   When it comes to building something in the city of Philadelphia there are a few essential things you will need. Many of these essentials come from L&I, the Department of Licenses and Inspections. The key here is understanding what you will need, and how to get it. In addition to any Building or Zoning Permits you may need for your project, you may...

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