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Land Use & Zoning Archives

Pennsylvania project receives zoning green light to move forward

In order to proceed with a building project or development, certain and necessary approvals must be made. Zoning laws are important to understand because they can have a tremendous impact on a proposed, planned or existing real estate or commercial real estate projects. It is essential for developers and individuals engaged in real estate or commercial real estate transactions to be well versed in local zoning laws and may also need to understand how to seek a variance from zoning laws or other ways to tackle zoning concerns.

Re-zoning comes to north Philadelphia

This blog recently discussed the importance of the zoning process when developing in Philadelphia, and how to obtain a zoning permit in Philadelphia. Revitalization in certain Philadelphia neighborhoods has been making an impact on the city. Both commercial developers and private residential developers have been developing North Philly. The revitalization has been met with mixed reactions from residents and businesses alike.

Obtaining a zoning permit in Philadelphia

Zoning laws and regulations and the familiarity with these laws are important to businesses in Philadelphia and elsewhere. Zoning laws can have a significant impact on how a company does business and how it grows and expands. Understanding these laws and how to navigate them can be an important element of the success of a business.

What are zoning laws?

Law for zoning are important for many businesses and real estate transactions. As a result, parties to real estate transactions and business owners may wonder what zoning laws are. Zoning ordinances regulate the use of property which is why they are important for businesses and parties contemplating a real estate transaction to consider. Zoning ordinances can have an impact on a real estate transaction or the operation or expansion of a business.

Medical marijuana forces zoning code changes

One year ago, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation that made the growing and sale of marijuana for medical purposes legal in the commonwealth. Now, county boards and zoning boards in the Philadelphia suburbs and elsewhere are beginning to consider how their zoning ordinances must be changed to accommodate the limited legalization of marijuana.

Issuance of zoning permit angers Society Hill residents.

Society Hill is one of many historic districts in Philadelphia, and the grant of a zoning permit can invoke review by the city's Historical Commission and design review board. In some circumstances, the grant of a permit can also stir up the neighbors. The recent grant of a conditional use permit to replace a grocery super market with an apartment building has caused resentment among residents of Society Hill, even though the new use is permitted by the zoning code.

Neighbors sue to overturn zoning approval for cancer center

A long-brewing land use dispute in the Philadelphia suburb of Swarthmore is now headed for state court. The case centers on a proposal to use a large house on Chester Road for temporary housing for cancer patients and their caregivers. In late December 2016, the Swarthmore Borough Council granted the care center's sponsor, a non-profit organization known as HEADstrong, an accommodation that permitted operation of the center in an RB Residential Zoning District.

Understanding the role of RCOs in Philadelphia's zoning process

This blog has written about many conflicts between commercial real estate developers and neighborhood organizations regarding preservation of environmental amenities or sites with historical or cultural significance. Many neighborhood organizations in Philadelphia are merely informal groups of people who share a common attitude toward a particular development. These groups often do not realize that they can obtain special status under the Philadelphia Zoning Code by becoming a Registered Community Organization. RCOs are entitled to receive special notice of certain matters before the Zoning Board and to participate in these proceedings.

Understanding special exceptions in Philadelphia zoning code

The Philadelphia Zoning Code contains many specialized terms - variance, special exception and rezoning, to name just three - that can seem confusing or opaque. An understanding of these terms is necessary to evaluate the types of permits that may be required for any residential or commercial real estate development. This post will address the concept of special exceptions.

Historical Preservation in Philadelphia

Philadelphia contains many buildings that were built over 100 years ago; some even date back to the early part of the 18th century. In 1955, the city created the Philadelphia Historical Commission (PHC) and charged it with preserving historically significant buildings. The PHC has two basic functions: identifying historically significant structures or parts of structures and reviewing projects that involve the modification or demolition of structures that have been or may be designated as historically significant.

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