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Zoning

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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Here at Philadelphia Zoning, we get a lot of requests from developers and homeowners for permits allowing construction.  Every developer — and most homeowners — know that they need some kind of paperwork from the City of Philadelphia to begin construction, but not everybody is sure what kind.  At some point we usually get the question, “What exactly do I need to give the City?”   The...

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One thing that the Philadelphia Zoning team loves more than anything is getting to witness and be apart of the blooming of a small business. This is one of the may reasons why we absolutely loved handling the zoning process for our client's; Ben and Hector.   Ben and Hector found us at a fragile time in their business and lives. The long-time friends had just recently moved...

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