City of Philadelphia: Development Planning Division
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City of Philadelphia

Development Planning Division

The Development Planning Division is responsible for reviewing plans for new development, and examining the implications of such plans with respect to the Zoning Code, Land Subdivision Ordinance, federal and State environmental regulations, and other City and State land use controls.
The Division reviews all Zoning Board of Adjustment applications, attends all Zoning Board hearings, and makes recommendations on the cases being considered. The Division also reviews all legislation concerning Zoning Map changes and Zoning Code amendments.

Environmental Assessment and Development Controls

All site plans and land subdivisions within the City of Philadelphia are reviewed by the Development Planning Division. This includes examining site development plans to determine compliance with the Philadelphia Code regarding street layout, topographic and geotechnical conditions, lot sizes, drainage requirements, vehicular and pedestrian circulation, as well as the final landscaping plan.
In addition, the Division performs functions required by the National Environmental Policy Act, such as conducting environmental analyses of all City projects utilizing federal funding. These environmental reviews include the analysis of actions taken to conserve energy; preserve historic structures and sites; protect water resources; prevent air, water, and noise pollution; monitor hazardous materials, and implement erosion controls for federally-funded development projects in the City.

The Development Division is also responsible for the implementation of the Wissahickon Watershed Ordinance. This ordinance places development controls on environmentally-sensitive sites in the Wissahickon Watershed area of Northwest Philadelphia. Plans for construction within designated flood plain areas must also be submitted to the Division for review. This review process is designed to help developers better understand and comply with federal, State, and local environmental regulations.

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