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Zoning, planning & development

Get a conceptual plan review

If you’re planning a lot adjustment, building addition, or development project, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) recommends that you meet with staff for a conceptual plan review. This review takes place before you file a zoning permit application.

Conceptual plan reviews are intended for projects that propose more than 5,000 square feet of new building footprint. PCPC suggests a review regardless of whether your project is by-right or needs a zoning appeal.

Benefits of getting a review

A conceptual plan review is optional and doesn’t guarantee that staff will provide a favorable recommendation for necessary zoning appeals or other approvals. However, it may help your project avoid delays during the zoning review and approval process.

At the meeting, staff can provide guidance on:

  • Zoning code requirements.
  • Zoning approval and appeal processes.
  • Planning principles that will help your project contribute to the greater good of your block, neighborhood, and city.

Where and when

You can use our online appointment system to schedule a virtual meeting through Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Meetings will be 30 or 60 minutes depending on the size and complexity of your project.

Staff is available at the following times (excluding City holidays):

  • Tuesday, 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

If you anticipate that your project will require a civic design review (CDR), you can choose to combine a conceptual plan review and pre-CDR meeting. Tuesday time slots are prioritized for pre-CDR meetings.

Submission materials

At least three business days before the meeting, send the following electronic materials to Aaron Holly at

  • Applicant name, address, and contact information
  • Project description
  • Existing conditions plan
  • Topographic survey and limit of earth disturbance (if located within the steep slope protection area)
  • Proposed impervious area (if located within the Wissahickon watershed overlay)
  • Proposed lot adjustment plan or subdivision plat (if applicable)
  • Proposed site plan (if applicable)
  • Proposed building elevations (if applicable)

What happens next

After the meeting, PCPC will give you a summary of comments for your project.

Next, you should file a zoning permit application. Your application will be reviewed by the City and may require a number of reviews or hearings. These may include: