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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 1-800-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.

Service overview

The City of Philadelphia does not discriminate on the basis of disability and is committed to making City operated programs, services and activities accessible to people with disabilities. The City provides effective communication and reasonable modifications for qualified persons with disabilities to ensure equality in City programs, services, and activities.

Individuals can request communication in alternative formats and case-by-case changes to programs, services, or activities when needed to gain equal access to programs, services, and activities offered by the City of Philadelphia. Effective communication and reasonable modifications are provided free of charge.

Learn more about the reasonable modification policy.

Who

Reasonable modification requests can be made by:

  • Individuals with disabilities who require aids or services to facilitate communication.
  • Individuals with disabilities who need a change in a program, service or activity.

How

To request a reasonable modification from the City of Philadelphia, complete and submit the online form below.

If needed, you may contact the Director of ADA Compliance using the following contact information.

Director of ADA Compliance, City of Philadelphia

1400 John F Kennedy Blvd.

City Hall, Room 114

Philadelphia, PA 19107

ADA.Request@phila.gov

Service overview

When the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) considers whether to grant a variance or special exception, members of the public can tell ZBA what they think should be done. To give input on a ZBA decision, you can:

  • Appear in person at the ZBA hearing.
  • Submit comments in writing.

Note that you are considered a party to the case only if you attend the ZBA hearing in person and fill out an appearance statement. As a party to the case, you will be notified of any decision or additional hearings. If you submit written comments but do not attend and sign in to a hearing, you are not considered a party to the case, and you will not be notified of any decision or additional hearings.

Who

Any member of the public or any community group can attend a ZBA hearing and provide comments. In addition to the right to appear at a ZBA hearing, Registered Community Organizations (RCOs) may have the responsibility of hosting a community meeting about a project before ZBA. The RCO must communicate the outcome of that meeting to ZBA.

Requirements

You do not need to sign in if you want to:

  • Attend a ZBA hearing.
  • Submit written comments.

However, you must attend in person and sign in if you want to:

  • Be considered a party to the case.
  • Receive notification of any decision or additional hearings.

Where and when

Projects before the ZBA are listed on the ZBA calendar. All hearings are held at:

One Parkway Building
1515 Arch St., Room 18-002
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Work Phone:

How

If you want to attend a ZBA hearing and comment on a case, check the ZBA calendar to see when the case will be heard. You only need to tell the hearing officer that you would like to comment on the project you are interested in. If you want to comment in writing, send your comments to:

Zoning Board of Adjustment
One Parkway Building
1515 Arch St., 18th Floor, Room 18-006
Philadelphia, PA 19102
email: rcozba@phila.gov

Include the case number and the property address.

The City of Philadelphia is committed to making City programs, services and activities accessible for people with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities who feel that they have been discriminated against, based on disability, in City operated programs, services, and activities may submit a grievance.

Learn more about the grievance policy.

Who

ADA Grievances against the City can be filed by:

  • Private citizens with disabilities who feel that they have been discriminated against, based on disability, in City operated programs, services, and activities.

How

To file an ADA grievance against the City of Philadelphia, complete and submit the online form below:

If needed, you may contact the Director of ADA Compliance using the following contact information.

 

Director of ADA Compliance, City of Philadelphia

1400 John F Kennedy Blvd.
City Hall, Room 114
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Work Phone:

If your property appears on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, you need approval from the Philadelphia Historical Commission to make changes to it. This process is called a project or design review.

The commission’s goal is to protect public views of historic properties. Most of its reviews concern changes to facades, roofs, and other exterior features. The commission only has jurisdiction over building interiors that appear on the register.

Who

People request a project review from the Historical Commission as part of getting a building permit. Applicants often include:

  • Property owners.
  • Business owners.
  • Developers.
  • Architects.
  • Contractors.
  • Attorneys.

Cost

There’s no charge for a project review by the Historical Commission or its staff.

Requirements

For properties on the register, project reviews are required for:

  • Construction, alteration, and demolition of buildings. This includes additions to buildings.
  • Construction, installation, alteration, repair, removal, replacement, or covering of:
    • Windows, storm windows, dormers, doors, storm doors, security doors, garage doors, and shutters.
    • Exterior light fixtures, window boxes, railings, grilles, grates, and star bolts.
    • Porches, steps, stoops, ramps, decks, balconies, and patios.
    • Fences, walls, gates, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots.
    • Facades, facade elements, and trim, including cornices and doorways.
    • Roofing and flashing.
    • Storefront features, signage including window film, awnings, and lighting.
    • Mechanical equipment and associated vents, pipes, conduits, and wires. This excludes seasonal window air conditioners that don’t alter the windows.
    • Wiring, conduit, pipes, and satellite dishes on exterior facades and roofs.
  • Masonry cleaning, painting, pointing, repair, replacement, alteration, or removal.
  • Painting, coating, staining, or sealing surfaces except wood and metal trim.
  • Site work such as driveway or parking lot installation or sidewalk replacement.
  • Any alterations to the exterior appearance of the building, site, or permanent site features.

Project reviews are not required for:

  • Standard maintenance such as scraping and painting wood trim, cleaning gutters, and replacing clear window glass.
  • Gardening, landscaping, tree trimming, or temporary holiday decorations, provided that no historic features are altered or removed.
  • Interior alterations, unless the interior is designated on the register.

Review by commission staff

1
To begin, contact the Historical Commission staff.

It’s important to get in touch during the planning stages of your project. That way, the staff can explain the review process and suggest preservation techniques.

You may be asked to provide:

  • Your completed building permit application.
  • Any drawings or documentation required by the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I).
  • Other documentation, such as photographs, as required by the commission staff.
2
Often, the staff reviews and approves applications without referral to the Historical Commission.

Sometimes, commission staff cannot approve an application. They may then refer you to the Architectural Committee and Historical Commission for approval.

This process will involve the submission of additional documents and a public hearing.

Review by the Architectural Committee and Historical Commission

A small number of projects are referred to the Architectural Committee and Historical Commission. The committee and commission hold public meetings where they review major construction and rehabilitation projects.

If your project is referred to these committees, you’ll have to submit additional materials.


Submission materials

Submission requirements vary depending on the scope of the work. The commission staff will tell you exactly what you need to submit. This will likely include:

  • A completed building permit application. It must state whether you’re requesting final or in-concept approval.

You also need to submit eight sets of the following:

  • A cover letter introducing the project. It should list the property’s owners and equitable owners.
  • Photographs of the property. These photographs must be labeled with the address and date. They must also show:
    • All primary facades and areas within the scope of work.
    • The visibility of the work area from any public rights-of-way.
    • The context of the work, especially for new construction.
  • Copies of any historic documentation justifying the project, if applicable. This could include historic maps, photographs, or insurance surveys.
  • Architectural drawings and other documentation detailing the proposal. These drawings should follow the Commission’s rules and regulations. They should:
    • Reflect both existing and proposed conditions.
    • Be legible, dimensioned, accurately scaled, and annotated.
    • Be printed on 8.5” x 11” or 11” x 17” paper. Rolled or full-size drawings will not be accepted.

You should also submit PDF files of all submission documents on compact disc, thumb drive, or via email.

The commission will accept completed applications in its office until 4 p.m. on the submission deadline. You can view the dates and deadlines for upcoming public meetings.


Review process

Once you’ve submitted your materials, the staff will confirm the meeting dates when your application will be considered.

1
The Architectural Committee will review your application at a public meeting.

You’re encouraged to attend this meeting to support your application. Based on its findings, the committee will make a recommendation to the Historical Commission.

2
The Historical Commission will review your application at a public meeting.

It will also consider the recommendation of the Architectural Committee. Again, you should attend this meeting to answer questions and address concerns about your project.

3
The commission will make a decision.

It may choose to:

  • Approve your application.
  • Approve your application with conditions.
  • Deny your application.

Where and when

You can contact the Historical Commission staff at (215) 686-7660 or at preservation@phila.gov. The Historical Commission 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.

If your property is on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places and is in restored condition, you can apply to purchase a specially-made metal plaque for it.

These plaques are authorized by the Philadelphia Historical Commission.

Who

Owners of restored, historically designated properties may apply.

Cost

Plaques currently cost about $70. Once your application is approved, you’ll pay the amount directly to the plaque manufacturer.

How

To apply, you must submit:

The Historical Commission staff will review your application. If it’s approved, the staff will send you a letter with directions for purchasing a plaque directly from the manufacturer.

If your property is not historically designated and restored, the staff will direct you on how to qualify it for a plaque.

Where and when

You can submit the completed form and photographs by email to preservation@phila.gov. You can also submit it by mail or in person.

Philadelphia Historical Commission
1515 Arch St., 13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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

Forms & instructions

The Philadelphia Register of Historic Places is an inventory of places, areas, and objects that have been designated as historic by the Philadelphia Historical Commission. The register includes:

  • Buildings.
  • Structures, such as bridges.
  • Public interiors.
  • Districts.
  • Sites, such as Penn Treaty Park.
  • Objects, such as memorials and fountains.

The Philadelphia Historical Commission maintains the register and considers new nominations.

Who

Anyone can nominate a place to the register at no charge.

Criteria for designation

To be considered for the register, the property must meet at least one of the following criteria. It should:

A. Have significant character, interest, or value as part of the development, heritage, or cultural characteristics of the City, Commonwealth, or Nation or be associated with the life of a person significant in the past; or

B. Be associated with an event of importance to the history of the City, Commonwealth, or Nation; or

C. Reflect the environment in an era characterized by a distinctive architectural style; or

D. Embody distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style or engineering specimen; or

E. Be the work of a designer, architect, landscape architect or designer, or engineer whose work has significantly influenced the historical, architectural, economic, social, or cultural development of the City, Commonwealth, or Nation; or

F. Contain elements of design, detail, materials, or craftsmanship which represent a significant innovation; or

G. Be part of or related to a square, park, or other distinctive area which should be preserved according to a historic, cultural, or architectural motif; or

H. Owing to its unique location or singular physical characteristic, represent an established and familiar visual feature of the neighborhood, community, or City; or

I. Have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in pre-history or history; or

J. Exemplify the cultural, political, economic, social, or historical heritage of the community.

How

First, check the register to see if the property has already been designated. If it’s not on the register and you think it meets at least one of the criteria, you can begin the nomination process.

1
Discuss your nomination with the staff of the Historical Commission.

Before preparing your submission materials, discuss the property with the commission staff. They can give you advice and tell you if there’s information on the property in the commission’s files.

2
Prepare and submit your nomination.

Gather your submission materials, including the nomination form, your essays, and photographs. Once you turn in your nomination, it will go through three levels of review.

3
Review by commission staff.

The commission staff will review your nomination for correctness and completeness. They may ask for more information or revisions. Or, they might make the changes on their own.

The staff will then notify the property’s owner and inform them when the Committee on Historic Designation will consider the nomination. This notification will take place at least 30 days in advance of the meeting.

Beginning on the notification date, the commission will have authority to review any building permit applications for the property.

4
Review by the Committee on Historic Designation.

At a public meeting, the committee will consider the nomination and decide if it meets at least one criteria for designation. The committee will also hear testimony from you, the commission staff, the property owner, and the general public. You may be asked for more information or revisions.

The committee then makes a recommendation to the Historical Commission.

5
Review and action by the Historical Commission.

Usually, the Committee on Historic Designation’s recommendation is presented at the Historical Commission’s next monthly meeting. The commission will review the nomination and hear public testimony.

The commission will then vote on the nomination. If approved, the property will be listed on the register.

Submission materials

Your submission materials will vary depending on the type of property you’re nominating. For a complete list, review the nomination submission requirements in the commission’s rules and regulations.

The key parts of your nomination include:

  • An official nomination form. This form will include basic information like the location, type, use, and condition of the property. You’ll use the:
    • Individual nomination form for buildings, structures, sites, or objects.
    • District nomination form for historic districts.
    • Interior nomination form for public interiors.
  • A physical description of the property. This narrative should help the reader picture the property and its setting.
  • A description of the property’s historical significance. This narrative, also known as a statement of significance, should explain how the property meets one or more of the register’s criteria.
  • Photographs of the property.

Where and when

You can contact the Historical Commission staff at (215) 686-7660 or preservation@phila.gov. The Historical Commission 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.

Before you start

The Philadelphia Register of Historic Places uses official addresses issued by the Office of Property Assessment (OPA). These addresses may be different from property mailing addresses.

Before researching a property, use the OPA website to find its official address. You may need to search by the block or by the property owner’s name to determine the right address.


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