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Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Zoning Permit for complete demolition

Service overview

You need zoning approval to demolish an entire building or structure. Zoning approval is required to file for a Complete Demolition Permit.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues demolition and zoning permits.

If the property is in the floodplain

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

Who

Property owners and their authorized agents can apply for this permit. An authorized agent may include:

  • Design professional.
  • Attorney.
  • Contractor.
  • Licensed expediter.

Requirements

Permit application

  • The permit application must include the scope of work and current owner information.
  • All permits must be applied for under the legal address established by the Office of Property Assessment (OPA).
  • If the property was recently sold, a copy of the settlement sheet or deed must be submitted with the application.

Plans

In most cases, plans are not required.

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

Required pre-approvals

For all historic properties or lots with street frontage on Christian Street between Broad and 20th Streets.

More +

For earth disturbance of 5,000 sq. ft. or more.

More +

For:

  • Demolition on lots in Wissahickon Watershed
  • Demolition on lots in Steep Slopes Protection Areas
More +

Where and when

Online

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.

Cost

Filing fee

  • $25

This fee is non-refundable and is applied towards the final permit fee.

Permit fee

  • $51

Record retention fee

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

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application

(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)

  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
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

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.

How

In person

1
Get any prerequisite approvals before submitting your application to L&I.
2
Bring your completed application, application materials, and payment to the Permit and License Center.
  • Applications are reviewed while you wait. Many can be issued during your visit.
    • If the application is denied or requires further review, it will be processed 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.

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.

Applications are reviewed by L&I within 5 business days.

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

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

Renewal requirements

Expiration

Zoning Permits will expire in three years if you do not receive a complete demolition permit and begin work at the site.

Extending a zoning permit

You can apply for a permit extension starting three months before the permit expires. Extended permits are valid for one year from the expiration date of the original permit, regardless of when the extension is issued.

You can apply for an extension online using eCLIPSE or in person. To apply for an extension in person:

  1. Fill out a Zoning Permit Application. In the project summary, state that you’re applying for a permit extension and include the permit number.
  2. Attach a letter detailing why you need an extension and the planned construction schedule.
  3. File the application in person at the L&I Permit and License Center and pay the permit extension fee of $50.

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