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Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Sidewalk / Shelter Platform Permit

Service overview

You need a Sidewalk / Shelter Platform Permit to put up a temporary shelter platform near a construction site. The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this permit.


Property owners or their authorized agents can apply for this permit. Authorized agents may include:

  • Design professionals.
  • Licensed expediters.
  • Contractors.
  • Property owners having construction performed on their building.

Homeowners usually don’t apply for this permit themselves. A contractor doing work near or above a public sidewalk will likely apply for this permit.


Permit application

The permit application must include the complete scope of work and current owner information.


A licensed contractor must perform all work. The contractor must:

  • Have an active license.
  • Be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.
  • Have current insurance on file with L&I.


If your application requires plans, they must follow plan requirements.

  • Plans must be drawn to scale on a sheet that is at least 18 in. by 24 in.
  • Include three copies of plans.
  • Plans must be sealed by a PA licensed engineer.
  • Plans must include:
    • Project address.
    • Size and location of shelter platform.
    • Street names and sidewalk widths.
    • Construction details and specifications for shelter platform.


Covered Walkways and Barriers Standards Form

Required pre-approvals

For a temporary platform on a public sidewalk or street

More +

Where and when


You can apply online using eCLIPSE.

If you need help filing your application online, you can schedule a virtual appointment.

In person

You need an appointment to visit the Permit and License Center in person.

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Offices close at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.


Fee types that may apply

Filing fee

If the building permit you’re applying for requires plans, you must pay a filing fee. This fee is nonrefundable and is applied towards the final permit fee.

  • For sites containing one-and-two-family dwellings: $25
  • For all other sites: $100

Permit fee

  • Per shelter platform: $145
  • Flat fee for shelter platforms at one-and-two-family dwellings only: $63

Surcharge fees

  • City Surcharge: $3 per permit
  • State surcharge: $4.50 per permit

Record retention fee

Accelerated Plan Review fee (optional)

Applications for shelter platforms that include plans are eligible for expedited review. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5 business days.

  • Fee: $2000
    • $350 is due when you apply. You must pay the remainder once approved.

To apply, fill out an Accelerated Plan Review Request form and submit with your permit application. Accelerated review fees will not be credited toward your final permit fee.

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application

(There is a $500,000 limit for online payments.)

  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.10% surcharge. The minimum fee is $1.50.)
  • Debit card (+$3.45 fee)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.10% surcharge. The minimum fee is $1.50.)
  • Debit card (+$3.45 fee)
In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building

(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
  • Cash

Credit and debit card payments

Surcharges and fees are applied automatically to all credit and debit card transactions.

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
  • The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
  • Personal checks are accepted.
  • Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected

L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Post-dated.
  • Starter checks without account info.

Returned payment policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:

  1. You will be charged a $20 fee for collection.
  2. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect this fee directly.
  3. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
  4. If the City is unable to obtain payment, the license, permit, or appeal application will be void.
  5. You cannot take any additional action under a permit until you have paid all fees.
  6. The permit or license will be revoked if the outstanding fees are not paid within 30 days.
  7. You cannot file or obtain additional permits until you resolve the outstanding debt.

Late license payment

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.


You can apply for this permit in person at the Permit and License Center or online using eCLIPSE.

In person

Obtain any required pre-approvals before submitting your application to L&I.
Bring your completed application, application materials, and payment to the Permit and License Center.

The application must be made by a licensed contractor or include a signed statement on the contractor’s letterhead verifying involvement with the project.

L&I can review most cases while you wait.

L&I will either issue your permit or request more information.

Once approved, schedule your inspections.

Contact your local inspection office when the contractor is ready to start work. The contact information and required inspections will be noted on your permit.

A Certificate of Approval will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.


Log in to your eCLIPSE account and apply for a permit. Upload all required documents and pay the filing fee.

If applying as a licensed professional or contractor, you must first associate your license or registration with your online account.

The application will go to L&I and other City departments for review and approval.
  • Before a permit can be issued, the contractor must be identified and confirm association with the project.
  • Applications are reviewed within 5 business days
If approved, the applicant will receive notice to pay the balance.

If not approved, the applicant will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

Once you are approved, schedule an inspection.

When the contractor is ready to start work, request an inspection through eCLIPSE or by calling (215) 255-4040.

Approval documents will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.