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Appeals

Overview

The Department of Licenses and Inspections accepts applications for appeals of various violations, refusals, revocations, and denials to the following Boards:

  • Board of Building Standards 
  • Licenses and Inspections (L&I) Review Board
  • Zoning Board of Adjustments 

Appeal applications are accepted by Boards Administration at Room 1130 of the Municipal Services Building, 1401 John F Kennedy Boulevard. The Boards are led by either four or five members, who are appointed by the Mayor. Appeals are heard on regularly scheduled dates every month.

While the L&I Review Board appeal process does not require a fee, appeals brought before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) and the Board of Building Standards require payment based upon the matter of the appeal. In some cases, appeals to the ZBA and Board of Building Standards can be accelerated for an additional fee.

Board of Building Standards


The Board of Building Standards is an advisory board that reviews appeals related to building safety and the application of Philadelphia’s Building Code, makes recommendations on regulations and standards to the Commissioner of Licenses and Inspections, and reviews new building products for compliance with City safety standards.

Permit appeals must be filed within 30 days of a permit application refusal.

The Board of Building Standards also hears appeals related to structures cited by the Department as being unsafe or imminently dangerous. Appeals related to unsafe or imminently dangerous designations must be filed within five (5) days of the notice. A fee will be required. The fee amount will be determined after filing. 


L&I Review Board


The L&I Review Board hears appeals of property violations issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections and, in some instances, other city agencies, such as the Water Department and the Art and Historical Commissions. Property owners must appeal within 30 days the initial notice of violation, with no possibility for appeal after a final notice is issued. The L&I Review Board affirms, modifies or reverses the Department's or other agency's decisions on property violations. An attorney is not required for this process. Hearings are heard every other Tuesday at 1:15 on the 18th floor of 1515 Arch St.

The L&I Review Board also hears appeals for firearm permit denials and revocations. Appellants must file an appeal within 30 days of their notice of denial or revocation. An attorney is not required for this process. Firearm permit appeal hearings are held every other Tuesday at 12:00 pm at the Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert St. Room 408. 

Zoning Board of Adjustment


The Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) hears and decides appeals in zoning matters, considers special exceptions, and grants variances. The ZBA meets twice weekly, on Tuesdays at 9:30 AM and Wednesdays at 2, 4, and 5 PM, to hear cases pertaining to special exceptions, use variances, and zoning variances. Any appeals must be brought to the Board within 30 days of a permit refusal or permit issuance.
Appellants to the ZBA are required to:
  • Meet with the local Registered Community Organization (RCO) or City Council representatives to review the proposed project and its potential impact on the neighborhood. If there is no Registered Community Organization for the subject property, appellants must meet with a City Council Representative. 
  • Post notice of the hearing on the property 21 days prior to a hearing. 
  • Prove to be tax-compliant before a favorable decision is issued.
  • Appear before the Board with all proper documents, including building plans, photos, and deed or lease agreements.
  • Businesses and organizations (including religious organizations) are required to have an attorney present at hearings. Individuals, however, are not required to have an attorney.
On September 5, 2012, the Zoning Board of Adjustment has approved Regulations related to their rules of procedure.

Hearing Locations

Board of Building Standards
1401 JFK Blvd., 16th Floor
215.686.2419
L&I Review Board
Code Violations
1515 Arch St, 18th Floor

Gun Permits
1301 Filbert St.
Rm 408
215.686.2427 or 215.686.2428
Zoning Board of Adjustment
1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor
215.686.2429 or 215.686.2430

Property History

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