Due to extremely hot weather, the City is implementing a Heat Health Emergency. You can find Cooling Centers, pools, spraygrounds, recreation centers, libraries with extended hours, and older adult centers on our interactive map. For help call the heatline at (215) 765-9040.
In effect: noon on Wednesday, July 17 to 11:00 p.m. on Monday, July 22

Ethics & transparency

Report possible fraud, waste or other issues on contracts

PHLpreK offers free, quality pre-K to children ages 3–4 across Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Beverage Tax funds this program.

Who

Families with children who are 34 may apply for PHLpreK. There are no income requirements.

Requirements

If your child will be 3 or 4 years old on September 1, 2019 and lives in Philadelphia, they are eligible to enroll in PHLpreK in the 2019–2020 school year.

Where and when

PHLpreK is adding over 1,000 new seats in the 2019–2020 school year at existing and new locations. When enrollment opens in June, we will announce the new centers participating in PHLpreK.

Learn more about our current providers by visiting PHLpreK.org/programs or calling 1-844-PHL-PREK.

Cost

PHLpreK is free.

How

To enroll in PHLpreK, bring the following materials to the provider where you want to enroll your child:

  • One document proving your child’s age
  • One document proving your residency in Philadelphia
  • A completed PHLpreK application (or, you can fill this out at the provider’s location)

Proof of age documents include your child’s:

  • Birth certificate.
  • Valid U.S. passport.
  • Social Security card.
  • Medical or school records.

Proof of residency documents include your:

  • State issued ID or driver’s license.
  • Voter ID.
  • Current lease or rental agreement.
  • Social Security award letter.

Forms & instructions

Information about properties on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.
Some projects require approval by the Philadelphia Art Commission.
The City Planning Commission is part of the permit process for many types of development, and some permits require PCPC review and approval.

The Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) supports the Energy Coordinating Agency’s Neighborhood Energy Centers (NECs).

At a NEC, residents can:

  • Apply for help paying utility bills.
  • Learn how to conserve water, gas, and electricity.
  • Get energy counseling.

Requirements

You must meet these income guidelines to qualify. Income is for all members of the household.

Household size Maximum annual household income (1)
1 $30,600
2 $35,000
3 $39,350
4 $43,700
5 $47,200
6 $50,700
7 $54,200
8 $57,700

(1) Represents 50% of Area Median Income under HUD Section 8 annual income limits, effective April 1, 2018.

For households larger than 8, add approximately $3,500 per person. Income guidelines are subject to change.

How

To find your local NEC, visit the ECA’s website.

Service overview

Neighborhood conservation overlays (NCOs) and neighborhood commercial areas (NCAs) are sets of design standards. These standards help maintain an area’s look and feel. In neighborhoods with an NCO or NCA, building alterations or new construction trigger a review. The review considers details such as:

  • Building setbacks.
  • Cornice lines.
  • Landscape features.
  • Vehicle access.
  • Retail visibility.

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) staff performs reviews for building projects in all of the City’s NCOs. They also review projects within the Ridge Avenue NCA. All other NCA overlays are reviewed by the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I).

You can request a conceptual review in the planning stages of your project. You might also need an NCO/NCA review when you apply for a building permit.

When you apply for a building permit, L&I will tell you if your project needs an NCO/NCA review. To see the requirements of a specific overlay, please refer to the zoning code Section 14-503 for NCAs and Section 14-504 for NCOs.

Who

Applicants include:

  • Homeowners.
  • Developers.
  • Architects.

Community groups, including Registered Community Organizations (RCOs), help write the NCO guidelines. They often ask PCPC staff to inform them of decisions made on specific properties.

Where and when

The PCPC office is located at:

1515 Arch St.
13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost

There is no charge for a conceptual NCO/NCA review. When you apply for a building permit, the cost of an NCO/NCA review is included in its fee.

How

Submission materials may vary, depending on the NCO or NCA location and kind of construction intended.

NCO/NCA reviews can be conducted over the counter, without an appointment, with PCPC staff. For your review, you should bring:

  • Six printed copies of drawings that illustrate the proposed work. These drawings should include facade elevations. They should also include building wall sections, if applicable. These drawings should show significant dimensions and labels for materials, finishes, and colors.
  • A site plan that shows the structure in relationship to adjacent structures and the street, and curb cuts.
  • Plan and sectional drawings of all roof decks and building setbacks above the second floor.
  • Photographs of the existing building or site.
  • Photographs of the adjoining buildings on either side.
  • A sheet that describes material details. You should include photographs, along with the names of the manufacturers and products. Or, you might bring physical material samples.
  • Your building permit application.

After PCPC staff issues an approval, you can take the approved drawings and stamped building permit application to L&I.

Service overview

Building projects located on CMX-4 and CMX-5 lots have bulk and mass requirements. These rules safeguard the balance between open space and development in Center City.

Sky plane controls are one option for complying with the requirements. By limiting how much visible sky a building can block, this method protects light and viewsheds within dense street corridors. The sky plane requirements vary by street.

You can show your project’s compliance by undergoing a sky plane review. Alternatively, you can demonstrate compliance with bulk and height requirements by using open area controls, which limit the lot coverage of a building at various height intervals.

When you apply for a zoning permit, the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) will identify projects that may choose to use sky plane controls. Please note that sky plane is just one method to assemble bulk and mass of a tall building.

Who

Applicants include:

  • Developers.
  • Architects.
  • Engineers.
  • Expediters.

Where and when

The PCPC office is located at:

1515 Arch St.
13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost

When you apply for a zoning permit, the cost of a sky plane review is included in its fee.

How

Sky plane reviews can be conducted over the counter, without an appointment, with Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) staff.

At your review, you’ll need to present plans and other materials to prove that your project is in compliance. The major components include:

  • A zoning plan. This plan should include a table that shows compliance with blockage percentages at the regulated building height intervals.
  • Plotting sky plane diagrams for all relevant streets.
  • Your zoning permit application.

Refer to the PCPC regulations for complete submission requirements.

After PCPC staff issues an approval, you can take the approved drawings and stamped zoning permit application to L&I.

Service overview

Affordable housing zoning bonuses are for those who add affordable dwellings to their projects or pay money into a fund that supports affordable housing.

Developers apply for affordable housing zoning bonuses with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC). PCPC must approve the application. PCPC may also need to review building permit plans for compliance.

Who

Only developments in certain zoning districts are eligible for the affordable housing zoning bonus. See the application instructions for more details.

Requirements

You must have determined if you want to build the affordable units or pay the fee in lieu of building affordable units. You will also need to know the level of affordability you will be using.

To get building permits for the project, you will need to enter into legal agreements with the City.

A review of your affordable unit plan may be required before you get building permits.

Cost

There is no cost for the review of the application.

How

To apply for an affordable housing zoning bonus, you must complete the application form. Submit it via email to developmentservices@phila.gov. Include contact information for the person who is making the application. Someone will contact you directly.

Note that you may be asked to change information on your site plans to match that of the application.

Service overview

When developments include public open spaces, they contribute to a lively urban environment. These spaces are often:

  • Parks.
  • Plazas.
  • Public lobbies.

The public open space review considers a proposed development’s benefit to the public. It assesses the site’s design, amenities, and pedestrian access. If a project qualifies, it may get a development bonus such as a floor area or height bonus.

You can request a conceptual public open space review in the planning stages of your project. If you decide to claim a bonus as part of your zoning permit application, your project will undergo another public open space review when you apply for a building permit. This will confirm its eligibility.

When you apply for a building permit, the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) will tell you if your project needs a public space review.

Who

Applicants include:

  • Developers.
  • Architects.
  • Engineers.
  • Expediters.

Where and when

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) office is located at:

1515 Arch St.
13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost

There is no charge for a conceptual public open space review. When you apply for a building permit, the cost of a public open space review is included in its fee.

How

For a public open space review, you must schedule an appointment with PCPC staff. You can contact them at (215) 683-4615.

At your appointment, you’ll need to present plans and other materials that illustrate your proposed public open space. The major components include:

  • A site plan detailing all the components of the public open space. This may include grading, landscaping, water features, lighting, and other features.
  • A detailed description of materials, including lists of plant species and prefabricated components. These components may include seating, tables, trash receptacles, light fixtures, and more.
  • A plan that shows compliance with Complete Streets Handbook Checklist and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • A plan that shows the ratio between public open space to site area. It should also show the square footage amount of contiguous public space.
  • Sectional drawings showing compliance with ground level changes and daylight requirements.
  • Your building permit application.

Refer to the PCPC regulations for complete submission requirements. To qualify for a development bonus, the applicant must demonstrate a long term commitment to the public open space and a restrictive covenant must be recorded.

Service overview

Large parking garages can make the street seem less lively and less attractive to people on foot. For this reason, proposed garages of certain sizes and locations are subject to a garage facade review. The review considers many aspects of the proposed garage, including its:

  • Facade.
  • Size and volume.
  • Entrances and exits.
  • Building materials.
  • Lighting.
  • Overall effect on the block.

Reviews are required for proposed garages in RMX-3, CMX-3, CMX-4, and CMX-5 zoning districts. They’re also necessary for proposed garages of 250 spaces or more that are adjacent to residential or commercial districts. Learn more about this by reading the Philadelphia Zoning Code Quick Guide.

You can request a conceptual review in the planning stages of your project.

When you apply for a building permit, the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) will tell you if your project needs a parking garage facade review.

Who

Applicants include:

  • Developers.
  • Architects.
  • Engineers.
  • Expediters.

Where and when

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) office is located at:

1515 Arch St.
13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost

There is no charge for a conceptual garage facade review. When you apply for a building permit, the cost of a garage facade review is included in its fee.

How

For a garage facade review, you must schedule an appointment with the PCPC staff. You can contact them at (215) 683-4615.

At your appointment, you’ll need to present:

  • Six printed copies of elevation drawings. These drawings should show significant dimensions and labels for materials, finishes, and colors.
  • A sheet which describes your construction materials. You should include photographs, along with the names of the manufacturers and products. Or, bring physical material samples.
  • Photographs of the existing site conditions.
  • Photographs of the adjoining buildings, if applicable.
  • Your building permit application.

After PCPC staff issues an approval, you can take the approved drawings and stamped building permit application to L&I.

Service overview

Along certain streets in Center City, changes to the facades and new construction trigger a facade review. This process ensures that the development suits its surroundings and adds to the pedestrian experience.

The reviewer assesses the proposal’s architectural materials, finishes, and colors. They also assess the size and placement of windows and the visibility of building entrances. The Philadelphia Code identifies portions of streets that require facade reviews. They include:

  • Broad Street.
  • Market Street.
  • Chestnut Street.
  • Walnut Street.

You can request a conceptual review in the planning stages of your project. Building permit applications may also trigger a facade review.

This process is different from the garage facade review.

When you apply for a building permit, the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) will tell you if your project needs a facade review.

Who

Applicants include:

  • Developers.
  • Architects.
  • Engineers.
  • Expediters.

Historic preservation advocates and community groups are also concerned with facade reviews.

Where and when

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) office is located at:

1515 Arch St.
13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost

There is no charge for a conceptual facade review. When you apply for a building permit, the cost of a facade review is included in its fee.

How

Facade reviews with PCPC staff can be conducted as an over-the-counter consultation without an appointment. For your review, please bring:

  • Six printed copies of facade drawings. These drawings should show significant dimensions and labels for materials, finishes, and colors. For renovations, distinguish between existing materials and new materials.
  • A sheet or board that describes your construction materials. Photographs of the materials, along with the names of the manufacturers and products should be included. Or, you may bring physical material samples.
  • Photographs of the existing building or site.
  • Photographs of the adjoining buildings on either side.
  • Your building permit application.

After PCPC staff issues an approval, you can take the approved drawings and stamped building permit application to the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I).

Service overview

Certain zoning applications need a review by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC). These types of reviews include:

  • Lot line changes.
  • Parking lots and landscaping.
  • Wissahickon Watershed reviews.
  • Street front determination for corner properties.

Who

People who need approvals from PCPC as part of their zoning permit applications.

Requirements

Most site plans must show the information from the Developers Checklist. Depending on the type of review you need, you may have to provide more details.

For lot line changes

If you want to change your lot lines or create new parcels, the plans must be reviewed by PCPC before you submit your application to L&I. You will also need to have:

  • A survey plan drawn by a licensed surveyor or engineer.
  • A stamp by the local City Survey District, if they didn’t draw the plan.
  • Existing and proposed changes.
  • New legal descriptions of the properties for the new deeds.

Note that if the new properties do not front on a city street, an in-person review at the counter (“counter review”) may not be possible. Call (215) 683-4615 for information.

For parking lots and landscaping

Bring in eight copies of your site plans, which should include:

  • A landscape plan or list of plants.
  • Calculations for the percentage of landscaping in the interior of a parking lot, if needed.
  • Street trees.
  • New or existing curb cuts.
  • Drive aisle widths.
  • The size of the parking spaces.
  • The location of the parking levels, above or below ground.
  • The circulation and exits.

For Wissahickon Watershed reviews

Bring in eight copies of your site plans, which should include:

  • Impervious coverage, existing and proposed (only for watershed reviews).
  • Distances to any nearby streams or swales (only for watershed reviews).
  • Areas with a 15% or greater slope.
  • Areas with a 25% or greater slope.
  • Distance to the nearest intersection, if the property is not on a corner.

You may also need a plan review from the Philadelphia Water Department.

For street front determination for corner properties

Bring in eight copies of your site plans, which should include the names and widths of the streets that the lot touches.

Where and when

Site plan reviews are conducted with PCPC staff. Walk-ins are accepted, but you may need to arrange an appointment if:

  • Your plans are too complicated for a counter review.
  • Your plans require a formal review.
  • Your project is very large and still in the conceptual stage.

For more information or to set up an appointment, call (215) 683-4615.

Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The PCPC office is located at:

1515 Arch St.
13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Cost

There are no separate costs for this review.

Service overview

If you’re applying for funding for a development project, you may need proof that it conforms to the City’s comprehensive plans. Your project might involve:

  • Housing.
  • Community development.
  • Transportation.
  • Open space.
  • Recreation.

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) staff can review your project to determine if it aligns with the City’s plans. Staff can provide a plan consistency letter or completed form for projects determined to be consistent with City plans. .

Who

Applicants include:

  • Community organizations.
  • Civic organizations.
  • Businesses.
  • Government agencies.

Where and when

If your project relates to housing or community development, direct your request to the PCPC community planners.

If your project relates to transportation, open space, or recreation, direct your request to David Kanthor at david.kanthor@phila.gov.

Cost

There is no cost for this service.

How

The PCPC staff must receive your request via email at least 10 business days before you need the letter. In your email:

  • Summarize your project’s history, purpose, and partners.
  • Attach relevant plans, renderings, or images.
  • Provide contact information for two people who can discuss the project. If we can’t reach your first contact, then we’ll reach out to your second for more information.

Also tell us in your email:

  • Who we should address the letter to.
  • What program you are applying for.
  • When the deadline is for receiving the letter.

Note: Your email and its attachments must be less than 10MB in size.


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