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Zoning, planning & development

Get a master plan review

Service overview

You must get a master plan review if you are proposing:

  • A new master plan district.
  • Amendments to a master plan within a master plan district.

A master plan is a land-use development plan that includes maps, text, and graphics for a master plan district.

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission reviews proposed major amendments to master plans at public meetings. Planning Commission staff review proposed minor amendments.

Once the amendment to the master plan is approved, the applicant can apply for a zoning permit.

Submission types

There are three types of submissions: new master plan districts, major amendments, and minor amendments.

Minor amendments include:

  • Changes to the parking, loading, and landscaping plan that do not reduce the required parking, loading, and landscape area.
  • A temporary facility or structure that is consistent with the intent of the master plan district.
  • Additions of less than 2,500 sq. ft. to the gross floor area of the buildings.
  • Increasing the impervious surface area by less than 2,500 sq. ft. or 5% of the master plan district.

Major amendments include:

  • Additions of more than 2,500 sq. ft. to the gross floor area of the building or buildings.
  • Increasing the impervious surface area by more than 2,500 sq. ft. or 5% of the master plan district.

Who

Applicants include:

  • Developers.
  • Property owners.
  • Attorneys.
  • 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.

Cost

There is no charge for a master plan amendment review at the Planning Commission.

How

Your master plan submission must include the information detailed in the regulations of the Planning Commission.

Minor amendments

Submit the required materials to PCPC. Planning Commission staff will review and approve plans for minor amendments. The submission should have the proposed changes indicated on the approved master plan.

New master plans and major amendments to master plans

New master plan districts and major amendments to master plans require the approval of both an ordinance and the master plan by City Council.

1
Contact PCPC by calling (215) 683-4615 or emailing planning@phila.gov to start the process.
2
PCPC will arrange a meeting with you to discuss the process and requirements.
3
Submit the required materials to PCPC.
4
PCPC will help you draft an ordinance to submit to City Council.
5
City Council will introduce the ordinance.
6
The Planning Commission will review and make a recommendation to City Council.
7
City Council will approve both the ordinance and master plan.
8
Once the master plan is approved, the applicant can apply for a zoning permit by submitting plans to the commission first, then to the Department of Licenses & Inspections.

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