Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Site Work and Site Utility Permit

Service overview

You need a Site Work Permit for:

  • Projects where the only site work is 5,000 sq. ft. or more of earth disturbance, such as parking lots.
  • Site preparation for future development. This work may also be included on the Building Permit.

Site work may include:

  • Site clearing.
  • Removal of vegetation.
  • Earth movement.
  • Grading.

You may also include plumbing, fire suppression, and electrical work on this application. You must provide specific details and trade contractor information.

If you have already applied for a Building Permit for the affected portion of the site, you do not need a separate Site Work Permit.

Disturbing steep slopes may require a Zoning Permit. For information, see L&I’s code solution on Cutting Trees on Steep Slopes (PDF).

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this permit.

If the property is in the floodplain

Properties in the floodplain may require special documents or a review meeting.

Who

Property owners or their authorized agents can apply for this permit.

Authorized agents may include:

  • Contractor
  • PA design professional
  • Attorney
  • Licensed expediter

Requirements

Permit application

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

Contractor

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.

Plans

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

  • Drawn to scale on a sheet that is at least 18 in. by 24 in.
  • Include three copies of plans.
  • The design professional must sign and seal plans if project cost over $25,000
  • The construction plans must include:
    • Project Address.
    • Existing conditions
    • Current and proposed grading
    • Trees and vegetation (extent of grubbing or removal)

Forms and other documents

  • Application for accelerated review (optional)
  • Zoning Permit and Approved Zoning Site Plan (if applicable): Stamped by Licenses and Inspections for respective permit numbers
  • Special Inspections documentation
    • Duties & Responsibilities Agreement signed by all parties
    • Statement of Special Inspections Schedule with categories and frequency selected
    • Name of licensed Special Inspection Agency qualified for all inspection categories

Required pre-approvals

For all historic properties

More +

For earth disturbance of 5,000 square feet or more

More +

For utility plan approval if the application includes new connections to the City sewer or water main

More +

For driveways

More +

Where and when

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.

Online

You can apply online using eCLIPSE.

Cost

Fee types that may apply

Filing fee

  • Sites of one-or-two-family dwellings: $25
  • All other sites: $100

This fee is nonrefundable and is applied toward the final permit fee.

Permit fee

The fee for your Site Work Permit depends on the size of the area affected.

  • For areas up to 15,000 sq. ft.: $103
  • For areas in excess of 15,000 sq.ft., plus $5.10 per each additional 1,000 sq. ft.: $103

Maximum fee: $5,175

Surcharge fees

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

Record retention fee

  • Per page larger than 8.5 in. by 14 in.: $4

Accelerated Plan Review fee (optional)

Applications for new construction 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 application and submit with your permit application. Accelerated review fees will not be credited toward your final permit fee.

How

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

In person

1
Get any required pre-approvals before you apply.
2
Bring your completed application, application materials, and payment to the Permit and License Center.

Applications for one-or-two-family uses are reviewed within 15 business days. Applications for all other uses are reviewed within 20 business days.

You can accelerate an application for an additional fee. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5 business days.

 

3
If approved, the applicant will receive notice to pay the balance.

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

Before a permit can be issued, the contractor must be identified and confirm association with the project.

4
Once approved, schedule your inspection.

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.

Online

1
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.

2
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 for one-or-two-family uses are reviewed within 15 business days. Applications for all other uses are reviewed within 20 business days.
    • The applicant can accelerate the application for an additional fee. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5 business days.
3
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.

4
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.


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