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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.


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

Authorized agents may include:

  • Contractor
  • PA design professional
  • Attorney
  • Licensed expediter


Permit application

The permit application must include the complete scope of the 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.

  • 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.


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 sites that contain or will contain a one-or-two-family dwelling only: $55
  • For areas up to 15,000 sq. ft., plus $5 per each additional 1,000 sq. ft.: $100

Maximum fee: $5,000

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 5–10 business days.

  • Fee: $540
  • If your plans require more than four hours to review, you will be charged an additional fee of $135 per hour.

To apply, fill out an Accelerated Plan Review application and submit with your permit application. Amount must be paid when you submit your application and will not be credited toward your final permit fee.


You can apply for this permit in person at the Permit and License Center. 

In person

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

L&I processes applications within 20 business days.

You can accelerate an application for an additional fee. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5-10 business days.

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.

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.