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Land use and zoning appeals follow a strict timeline

11/9/2014 | Real Estate Blog

Even an experienced developer can become frustrated with the numerous rules and regulations surrounding Philadelphia’s complex zoning laws. It is not uncommon for developers or contractors to be involved in various stages of completion on a number of different projects at any given time. Even with scheduling technology and a staff of dedicated professionals, it can be easy to lose track of a timeline and find yourself facing a variety of unnecessary delays.

Appealing violations, refusals, revocations and denials must be completed in a timely fashion and to the correct department. A law firm with detailed knowledge of land use and zoning laws can guide you through the process.

In Philadelphia, numerous city agencies can issue property violations. Whether issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections, the Water Department or another city agency, the violation must be appealed within 30 days of the initial notice of violation. If a final notice has been issued, there is no possibility for an appeal.

Depending on the issue, eligible appeals are heard by the L&I Review Boardor the Zoning Board of Adjustment. While it is not required for an attorney to be involved in these processes, it is usually wise to seek counsel from a professional who has experience with these types of matters. Based on the specific facts of your situation, the L&I Review Board can affirm, modify or reverse your property violation. In addition to appeals, the ZBA also grants variances and considers special exceptions.

Because of the impact the boards’ decisions can have on your project, it is important to present your appeal in the best possible light with supporting documentation and well-reasoned arguments. A lawyer can help ensure that all deadlines are met, and the necessary paperwork is completed and filed.