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Zoning, planning & development

Get a garage facade review

Service overview

Large parking garages can make the street seem less lively and less attractive to people on foot. For this reason, proposed garages of certain sizes and locations are subject to a garage facade review. The review considers many aspects of the proposed garage, including its:

  • Facade.
  • Size and volume.
  • Entrances and exits.
  • Building materials.
  • Lighting.
  • Overall effect on the block.

Reviews are required for proposed garages in RMX-3, CMX-3, CMX-4, and CMX-5 zoning districts. They’re also necessary for proposed garages of 250 spaces or more that are adjacent to residential or commercial districts. Learn more about this by reading the Philadelphia Zoning Code Quick Guide.

You can request a conceptual review in the planning stages of your project.

When you apply for a building permit, the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) will tell you if your project needs a parking garage facade review.

Who

Applicants include:

  • Developers.
  • Architects.
  • Engineers.
  • Expediters.

Where and when

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) office is located at:

1515 Arch St.
13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are required.

Cost

There is no charge for a conceptual garage facade review. When you apply for a building permit, the cost of a garage facade review is included in its fee.

How

Reviews can be conducted electronically through eCLIPSE or as an over-the-counter consultation with PCPC staff.

To schedule an in-person plan review, use our online appointment system. Once you’ve entered your contact information, select “Planning Commission” and choose “Urban design plan review.”

PCPC staff may require a meeting for large or complex proposals. You must bring the following materials to your review or submit them in eCLIPSE:

  • Elevations drawings showing significant dimensions and labels for materials, finishes, and colors. For renovations, distinguish between existing materials and new materials. Bring multiple paper copies for over-the-counter reviews.
  • A sheet which describes your construction materials. You should include photographs, along with the names of the manufacturers and products. Or, bring physical material samples.
  • Photographs of the existing site conditions.
  • Photographs of the adjoining buildings, if applicable.
  • Your building permit application.

After PCPC staff issues an approval, the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) will continue with the permitting process.


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