The Philadelphia’s Zoning Code determines the kind of structures allowed throughout the city. Since 2012, developers need to meet with local RCOs about projects seeking variance outside the code. This is where we can be voices for changes in our community.
The Philadelphia’s Zoning Code outlines what types of buildings can be built in certain locations and each zone has rules about building size and height, yard size, density, etc. These rules are what set the boundaries for where our communities are commercial, residential, or mixed-use. It is important for community members to understand how the Code affects changes in their neighborhood.
Zoning permits are granted by Right, by Special Exception, and By Variance. Since 2012, developers who are proposing a project that requires a variance(s) in order to be approved, must meet with local RCOs like Ridge Park to discuss the project with the community. Developers will hear community input and often attempt to revise their plans to meet community wants and expectations. At the end of this process, a vote is taken whether to support the project and then a letter is written to the Zoning Board on the community’s opinion.
While other organizations, like City Planning, give recommendations on if a project is viable in the community, attending RCO meetings and ZBA hearings are the only way the neighborhood can get involved. If you live within a small radius of the proposed project, developers are required to inform you by mail of upcoming hearings. Otherwise, you can join RPCA to keep updated on all the changes happening in the neighborhood.
Upcoming Zoning Meetings & Hearings
The following are up for discussion at our September 8th meeting– to be held virtually on Zoom. (Click here for Zoom instructions)
- 209-211 DELMAR ST
proposes 15 townhomes in RSD-3 zone, with 8+ refusals
RPCA voted against supporting this project on Sep 8th and Dec 1st.
Hearing Date: 12/15/20
- 5001 UMBRIA ST
proposes 178 unit apartment building in industrial zone
Civic Design Review: 10/13/20
RPCA voted in support of this project
Hearing Date: TDB
Zoning Board Hearing are held at 1600 Arch St, 18th Floor.
See all Zoning-related News