If you want to build a structure that extends into or over a public space (such as a street, park, or river), you need approval from the Art Commission. The commission will review the design and location of your proposed encroachment.
Common types of encroachments include:
- Bus shelters.
- Electric vehicle chargers.
The commission also reviews proposed streeteries with structures. This review takes place as part of the streetery prerequisite approval process.
To begin, find out about the approvals that L&I may require for your project. This will vary depending on the permit or license you need.
In addition to the Art Commission, you may need approval from:
- The Department of Streets.
- The City Planning Commission.
- Other agencies.
If you require approvals from other groups, get them before contacting the Art Commission.
Alternatively, you can submit them to:
Philadelphia Art Commission
1515 Arch St., 13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Appointments are required for in-person plan reviews. To schedule, use our online appointment system. Once you’ve entered your contact information, select “Art Commission” and choose “Art Commission plan review.”
Art Commission staff will review your application and determine next steps. If necessary, they will forward your application to a subcommittee or the Art Commission.
The review and appeal processes vary depending on the project type.
What happens next
The review and appeal processes are different depending on the kind of application you submit.
Newsstands and minor encroachments
Commission staff will review applications for:
- Encroachments with minor visual impact.
- Encroachments that are temporary.
Staff may approve or reject these kinds of applications independently. If your application is rejected by the staff, you can appeal by presenting to a subcommittee.
The Art Commission will review applications for:
- Complex encroachments that require building permits.
- Encroachments with significant visual impact.