Zoning, planning & development

Get a Zoning Permit for parking

Service overview

You need a Zoning Permit to create new off-street parking. If parking is part of your development project, such as new construction or an addition, you may request it on the same zoning application.

The Zoning Code applies to parking spaces located on private property. The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues these approvals.

The Zoning Code does not control parking within the public right-of-way. For information about street parking, visit the Department of Streets.

If your proposal meets code requirements, you are granted permits as a matter of right. If your proposal does not meet code requirements, you’ll need a special exception or variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Who

Any property owner or their authorized agent can apply for this permit. Authorized agents may include:

  • Design professionals.
  • Attorneys.
  • Contractors.
  • Licensed expediters.

Requirements

Permit application

The permit application must include the complete listing of addresses and current owner information.

Plans

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

Required pre-approvals

For any zoning application that includes parking

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For:

  • Landscaping and screening at parking lots.
  • Parking at corner properties
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For parking garages.

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

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Where and when

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

Fee types that may apply

Filing fee

There is a non-refundable filing fee, which is applied to the permit fee. The balance of the permit fee is due upon approval.

  • For parking serving one-or-two-family dwellings: $25
  • For all other parking: $100

Permit fee

  • Per property: $150

The permit fee to change use may cover this fee if parking is accessory to a proposed use.

If multiple parking areas are provided on a property, they are typically not charged separate fees.

Record retention fee

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

Accelerated Plan Review fee (optional)

Applications for new construction that include plans are eligible for expedited review. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5–10 business days.

  • Fee: $540
  • If your plans require more than four hours to review, you will be charged an additional fee of $135 per hour.

To apply, fill out an Accelerated Plan Review application and submit with your permit application. Amount must be paid when you submit your application and will not be credited toward your final permit fee.

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% 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% 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 authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20.
  2. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.

How

You can apply for this approval in person at the Permit and License Center. 

In person

1
Get any required pre-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 processed within 20 business days.

  • You can accelerate the application for an additional fee. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5-10 business days.
3
If approved, you will receive notice to pay the balance.

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


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