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Zoning permits

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues zoning and change of use approvals in accordance with the Philadelphia Zoning Code.

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Zoning code

The Philadelphia Zoning Code regulates development and change of use within the city. The current Zoning Code was implemented on August 22, 2012.

Zoning regulations govern:

  • Land use
  • The height and bulk of buildings
  • Population density
  • Parking requirements
  • Placement of signs
  • Character of development on private property
  • Development in protected areas and on steep slopes

Zoning permits authorize a particular use of the building or ground. More than one zoning permit may be required before a building permit can be issued by L&I for construction or demolition, or before a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued to occupy a building.


Know your zoning district

Knowing your zoning district is the first step in the zoning permit or zoning appeal process.

Below, you’ll find zoning permits available through L&I.

Permit Navigator Pilot

The City is piloting a permit navigator tool to help residents determine what permits they’ll need for certain projects. The tool also includes information on the cost and application process for select permits. Learn more about the pilot’s mission and project scope.

A pilot project

Permit Navigator

For selected project types, the tool gathers information and provides a summary of the required permits, their cost, and links to related content.

Try the Navigator