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Restaurant’s appeal to zoning board successful

4/7/2016 | Real Estate Blog

For many Philadelphia communities, zoning laws help to preserve the character of neighborhoods located throughout the city. For developers, these laws—which are created by zoning boards and planning agencies—can make it difficult to accomplish their goals. Fortunately, the existence of these laws does not always mark the end of a real estate development. In some cases developers may be able to secure approvals for their projects.

Zoning laws can affect both residential as well as nonresidential property. Recently, an eatery serving poutine, that is seeking to open a restaurant in Fishtown, succeeded in an appeal with Philadelphia’s Zoning Board of Adjustment. Though the piece of commercial real estate was previously home to another restaurant, the appeal sought permission to make the location a takeout restaurant.

Before the decision, those who reside near the location and opposed the appeal held a meeting to discuss the matter. They were concerned that the takeout model of the restaurant would result in more loitering, trash and traffic, than a restaurant and bar where patrons sit down. The issue is on the mind of some who reside in the neighborhood and are currently facing this issue with the presence of food truck located in the area.

When not handled appropriately, zoning issues can dramatically impact the viability of the redevelopment of a property. When a project goes off track, it can lead to a financial loss. Working with an attorney who is knowledgeable about the land use laws in place at both the local, as well as state level, and understands how to craft creative resolutions, can help to keep a project moving forward.