Even before Philadelphia’s new Zoning Code has gone into effect, it has been amended by the City Council. On June 21, 2012, the City Council passed Bill No. 120431, which includes a multitude of technical changes and corrections to the Zoning Code, as well as several important substantive revisions.

Highlights of the changes are:

  • Modified aspects of Civic Design Review process. Instead of a presumption that a project is recommended for approval if the Civic Design Review Committee fails to act within 45 days, now the applicant shall be deemed to have completed Civic Design Review within 150 days of written notification from the Department of Licenses and Inspections that such review is required. In addition, the establishment of more than one Civic Design Review Committee has been authorized.
  • Restored current pending ordinance doctrine. A zoning bill is deemed pending upon being reported out of a Committee of Council.
  • Limited binding effect of interpretations. Zoning code interpretations issued by the City Planning Commission or the Department of Licenses and Inspections are non-binding unless approved by ordinance.
  • Removed maximum parking limitation.
  • Continued Central Delaware Overlay District. The Overlay District regulations shall remain in effect until the Council's adoption of an ordinance enacting land use and zoning controls for the District.
  • Delayed applicability of stream buffer requirement. The stream buffer requirement will be applicable only after the Council approves a hydrology map.

The new Zoning Code will go into effect as amended on August 22, 2012.

If you have questions about the new Zoning Code or recent amendments, please contact any of the members of the Zoning and Land Use Group: Tina R. Makoulian at 215.864.8713 or makoulian@ballardspahr.com, Matthew N. McClure at 215.864.8771 or mcclure@ballardspahr.com, Joanne Phillips at 215.864.8702 or phillipsj@ballardspahr.com, Eileen B. Quigley at 215.864.8720 or quigleye@ballardspahr.com, or Michael Sklaroff at 215.864.8700 or sklaroff@ballardspahr.com


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