The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues zoning and change of use approvals in accordance with the Philadelphia 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.
- If you’re not sure how your property is zoned, use Atlas to look it up.
- Use the Zoning Quick Reference Guide or Zoning Summary Generator to learn more about the zoning regulations for your property.
- Read the Philadelphia Zoning Code for more information about zoning.
- You can appeal a zoning decision through the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
- A Property Sales Certification provides documentation of the zoning classification, last established use in the zoning record, and uncorrected violations.
Below, you’ll find zoning permits available through L&I.
Get a Zoning Permit to change the use of a property How to get a zoning permit to change the use of a property.
Get a Zoning Permit for new construction or additions How to get a zoning permit for new construction and additions.
Get a Zoning Permit for parking How to create, change, or remove off-street parking spaces on a lot or in a garage.
Get a Zoning Permit to adjust property lot lines How to get zoning approval to adjust property lines.
Get a Zoning Permit for complete demolition How to get zoning approval to completely demolish a property.
Zoning appeals information
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.