§14-231. Residential District Rules and Exceptions. [68.1]


(1) Courts in "R-18," "R-19" and "R-20" Residential Districts. The minimum width of an open court between wings of a building shall be twelve (12) feet. The least dimension of an inner court shall be eight (8) feet. Minimum area for such court shall be one hundred (100) square feet. Such courts of less area than three hundred (300) square feet shall not be permitted for any building used for dwelling purposes, except when used as vent shafts.[69]

(2) Ornamental Towers and Belfries except in "RC-4" Residential.[25]

(a) Monuments, belfries, cupolas, minarets, pinnacles, church gables, spires, or ornamental towers not for human occupancy shall not be considered part of the "height of a building" or "gross floor area" as used in the regulations for residential districts.

(b) Towers of mechanical or structural necessity shall not be considered a part of the "height of the building" or "gross floor area" as used in the regulations for residential districts except where the area of such towers exceed 20% of the ground floor level of the building of which they are a part, in which case they shall be considered a part of the "height of the building" and the "gross floor area" in the same manner as any other part.

(3) Fire Escape. Open work fire escapes are permitted when required by law and shall not be considered as reducing the open area required.
(4) Fences. Fences shall be permitted in residential districts to the extent herein provided:

(a) Intermediate Lots.

(.1) Front. Any fence located nearer to the lot line than the required building set-back, or the actual distance of the building from the lot line (whichever is greater), shall be no more than three and one-half feet in height;

(.2) Side and Rear. Fences in the rear, or at the side (located further from the front lot line than the required building set-back or the actual distance to the building from the front lot line) may be no more than six feet in height.

(b) Corner Lots.

(.1) Any side of a building facing a street shall be considered in the same fashion as a front of an intermediate lot for purposes of permitting fences. Other sides of said building shall be considered in the same fashion as the side and rear of an intermediate lot for purposes of permitting fences.

(c) Retaining Walls. Retaining walls shall be considered as fences and controlled under this paragraph to the extent that such walls protrude above the actual ground level at the highest point of such walls. This paragraph shall not be applicable to any retaining wall required by the provisions of any section of The Philadelphia Code, or regulations promulgated thereunder.

(5) Street Frontage Requirements.

(a) Single Family and Duplex Dwellings. Any lot upon which a single family or duplex dwelling is erected after the effective date of this ordinance shall have a street frontage not less than two-thirds of the minimum lot width required for the district.

(b) Multiple Dwellings and Buildings Other than Dwellings. Any lot upon which a multiple dwelling or building other than a dwelling is erected after the effective date of this ordinance shall have a street frontage not less than two-thirds of the width of the lot at its widest point.

(6) Separate Buildings. See § 14-102(46).

(7) Decks and Patios.[26] Decks and Patios shall be permitted only in accordance with the following requirements:

(a) A deck or patio may not be enclosed by a fence more than forty-two (42) inches in height;

(b) Front yard: Any deck or patio shall be prohibited between the street line and the front wall of any building;

(c) Side yard: Any deck or patio shall be prohibited;

(d) Rear yard: Any deck or patio may be permitted between the rear wall and the rear property line of any building and shall not be considered as occupied area, provided the following conditions are met;

(.1) Roof, walls, stairs. No deck may be enclosed by walls and/or a roof above the usable surface of the deck, nor enclosed by walls below the usable surface. Stairs from the ground level to the deck shall not be permitted;

(.2) Access to garage. No patio or deck shall be constructed and/or located so as to prevent vehicular access to any existing garage whether or not the garage is providing required off street parking for use of the lot;

(.3) Minimum distance from the driveway and/or rear property line. Any deck or patio shall be constructed so that it is no closer at any point than three (3) feet from the edge of any driveway and/or rear property line serving two or more lots;

(.4) Minimum distance from lot lines. Any deck or patio shall be constructed so that all vertical support elements are located a minimum distance of one (1) foot, six (6) inches from all lot lines.

(8) Wireless Telecommunications.[27]

(a) In "R-2," "R-3," "R-4," "R-5," "R-5A," "R-6," "R-7," "R-8," "R-9," "R-9A," "R-10," "R-10A," "R-10B," "R-14," "R-15," "R-16," "RC-2," "RC-3," and "RC-4," Wireless Service Facilities (Facilities) shall be prohibited except with the granting of a Zoning Board of Adjustment Special Use Permit, provided that all of the following conditions have been met, further provided that antennas to be placed on an existing structure which is not located on a lot containing a one or two family dwelling shall be permitted:

(.1) Distance from Residential Dwelling Units. Newly erected Facilities shall not be located within 500 feet of a lot line of any residential dwelling unit, provided that where a fall zone of greater than 500 feet is required the greater full zone distance shall apply;

(.2) Minimum Lot Size. The minimum lot size for a newly erected Facility shall be 2000 square feet;

(.3) Yard Requirements. Buildings and structures which are part of a newly erected facility shall conform to the minimum yard, set-back, and height (excluding antennas and antenna towers or support structures) requirements of the individual district in which they are located;

(.4) Screening.

(.a) Around any newly erected Facility, a continuous evergreen screen shall be required. The screen can be either a hedge or a row of evergreen trees. The evergreen screen shall be a minimum of 6 feet in width with a minimum height of 6 feet at plating, and shall have the potential to grow to a minimum of 15 feet at maturity;

(.b) Any auxiliary structure, building or equipment accessory to antennas placed on an existing structure which is not located within the existing structure shall be screened with materials compatible with the existing structures, buildings or equipment at the time of planting;

(.c) The specimen of vegetation to be planted shall be selected from a list of trees recommended by the Fairmount Park Commission and the City Planning Commission. Provided, that if the Planning Commission determines that existing structures,[28] buildings, vegetation, topography, or other natural features achieves the same level of screening as required above and informs the Department of Licenses and Inspections in writing of this finding, the requirements of this paragraph may be modified or not applied;

(.5) Height Limit. In districts with a maximum height limit of 35 feet service towers whether built on the ground or on the roof of an existing building may not exceed 60 feet in height above the average ground level at the base of the tower or building, provided, in all other districts the maximum height limit of service towers whether built on the ground or on the roof on an existing building shall be the height limit of the district in which they are located;

(.6) Fall Zone. Within the lot where the facility is located there shall be a fall zone around the entire tower whose radius is equal to the height of the tower above average ground level at its highest point;

(.7) Fencing. Unless the tower is located on an existing building, the Facility shall be completely enclosed by a six (6) foot high chain link or similar fence, provided, the entire fence shall be located behind the required landscape screen and the required set-back;

(.8) Guy Wires. All guy wires and all guyed towers shall be clearly marked so as to be visible at all times and all guy wires shall be a minimum 10 feet from a property line of the facility, and;

(.9) Lighting. All lighting, other than required by the FAA,[29] shall be shielded and reflected from adjoining properties.