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City of Philadelphia Development Process

A Step-By-Step Guide

Every land development project comes with its own complexities. We understand that trying to prepare for the City of Philadelphia’s planning and development permit review process can feel overwhelming.

That’s why, when a new client asked us to help them with their first project in Philadelphia – we gave them a detailed outline and overview of the process. Anticipating future issues, planning for contingencies, and sharing experiences from other projects, allows us to reduce the chances of surprises and delays in the schedule. It also sets clear expectations moving forward. In fact, it’s one of our Nave Newell Way fundamentals, Be Proactive.

We have condensed this detailed outline into an infographic to share with you! It is a great checklist for anyone considering development in Philly. This new guide covers the lifespan of the project – from engaging a team to securing the building permit for construction.

The outline shows which approvals are required, and in what order, through different departments within the City, including Planning Commission, Streets Department, and Philadelphia Water Department.

Download your copy here!

a civil's perspective on the city of Philadelphia permitting process
Infographic: a civil’s perspective on city of philadelphia permitting process

It is important to note that this is guidance for a typical development project – no variances, no waivers. If the project requires zoning, you’ll need to appeal to and appear before the Zoning Board prior to moving into pre-building permit reviews.

Ready to get started?

If you have questions about timing and schedule, we can help with that too. Let us guide you through the process. Contact one of our City of Philadelphia experts today to get started – or just talk about your project.

If you want to take an even more detailed look at the process, check out the City of Philadelphia Development Checklist.