PHILADELPHIA – The Streets Department and Police Department announced today a streamlined process for residents applying for block party permits. Applicants will now have one less step in the approval process as they no longer need to visit their local Police District to submit an application in-person or by mail. The Departments will now manage this step of the process internally, saving residents extra time and added process.
“Block parties are an integral part of Philadelphia’s identity and help to build community,” said First Deputy Managing Director Brian Abernathy. “The City will always seek ways to support them and make obtaining block party permits easier for residents. This current change is our latest effort to improve efficiency and streamline the application process.”
The online block party application process remains unchanged for residents, and continues to grow in popularity by applicants. A recent change allowed block party applications submitted through the online process to be sent directly to the local Police Districts for approval. Once approved by Police, the system sends the applicant an email requesting payment and awaits Streets Department approval.
The Streets Department continues to accept paper applications and will now allow submissions with or without the Police pre-approval form that was previously required. Applications without the Police pre-approval form will be entered into the system by the Streets Department and Police will be notified automatically. Applicants will be notified within five days of submitting an application on their application’s outcome and can select to be notified by email or mail.
Residents applying in person or online for a block party must adhere to the same standard protocols. To submit payment and complete the review process, block party applications must have 75 percent of the households on the block sign off on the petition. If a permit is not approved, payment will be returned.
Applicants are reminded a minimum notice of twenty-one (21) calendar days is necessary to obtain the approved permit in time to coordinate the closing of the street. There will be an increased fee of $45 if a block party request is made less than 21 days before an event.
The block party application process has been modified to improve the integrity and efficiency of the program. Applicants are now informed in advance if their block is approved to be closed to traffic before providing payment for the permit and booking ancillary items such as food, music and other party-related activities. Local Police Districts have historically approved the closure of a street to traffic, however, prior to August 1, 2018 this procedure took place after the block party application was processed and the permit was approved by the Streets Department.