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Successful construction projects comply with zoning regulations

1/13/2016 | Real Estate Blog

In the course of any construction project there are many factors that need to be addressed. In a recent post we wrote about securing financing. While an important piece, it is not the only thing that needs to be addressed. It is imperative the details of the project fit into what the city has designated as appropriate for an area. In the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Zoning Code contains these regulations. The failure to comply with these regulations could result in the demise of a project.

There are a variety of things zoning regulations govern, including:

  • Property uses
  • Character of the development taking place on private property
  • Sign placement
  • Parking requirements
  • Population density
  • Bulk and height of buildings

There are two types of permits that are governed by the zoning codeā€”use registration permits and zoning permits. Registration permits have to do with the way in which the property will be used. A zoning permit focuses specifically on the construction or addition to a structure. It is possible that in the course of completing a project, both types of permits will be necessary.

To secure a permit, an application, along with a filing fee, must be filed. It can take several weeks for these applications to be processed and permits are not automatically granted. In cases where a Notice of Refusal is issued, an appeal may be filed. A variance to the Zoning Code may be sought via a Petition of Appeal to appear before the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

The first step concerning zoning in a project is to determine which approvals and permits are necessary. Once that is determined they can be sought. An attorney is generally helpful throughout the process.