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Registered Community Organizations (RCOs)

Ensuring that community members have a chance to learn about and give feedback on nearby developments that affect them.

Remote RCO meetings: On June 16, 2020, the Planning Commission passed emergency regulations regarding the RCO process during COVID-19. If you need help with or have questions about remote RCO meetings in advance of CDR meetings or ZBA hearings, review our resources, reach out to the RCO Help Desk, or call (267) 225-7559.
Registration deadlines: If you are a current RCO, your registration will not expire until June 30, 2021. The registration period for new RCOs has also been extended until August 14, 2020. For more information, read the directive on extended registration deadlines (PDF).

About

Registered Community Organizations (RCOs) are community groups that are concerned with the physical development of their community. To learn more about existing RCOs, see Resources, below. RCOs:

  • Get advance notice of projects that will be reviewed by the Zoning Board of Adjustment or the Civic Design Review Committee.
  • Organize and conduct public meetings where community members can comment on planned developments in their neighborhood.
  • Get notified by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) whenever a:
    • Zoning variance or special exception is requested.
    • Development requiring Civic Design Review (CDR) is proposed.

PCPC holds training sessions each year for RCOs and potential RCOs. The training covers the application process and explains the requirements and obligations of RCOs.

Connect

Address
1515 Arch St.
13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Email rco@phila.gov
Social

Process

New applications for RCOs will be accepted from June 1 to August 14, 2020. Applications can be submitted online or by mail. Once the application is received, PCPC staff will review for completeness and will let you know if they require additional materials.

Submitting your registration

Groups can register online for RCO status. You can also download an application and submit it by mail.

When you apply, you will need to attach the required documentation, including:

  • An adopted statement of purpose for the organization concerning land use, zoning, preservation, or development.
  • The organization's governing rules or by-laws. These must include a description of boundaries, a definition of the membership, and a description of the leadership selection process.
  • A copy of a meeting announcement distributed publicly through hard copy or electronic notices.
  • Proof that your organization is eligible. (See the "Eligibility" section below).

Eligibility

To qualify as an RCO, your organization must:

  • Hold regularly scheduled, open meetings.
  • Have leadership chosen by the organization members-at-large at regularly scheduled elections.
  • Serve a geographic area that has no more than 20,000 parcels.

Some groups qualify as RCOs when they submit a complete application to PCPC. They are:

  • Neighborhood Improvement Districts.
  • Special Services Districts.
  • Ward Committees.

The full RCO program rules and responsibilities are outlined in the Philadelphia Zoning Code.

Get involved


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