When a developer plans to redevelop a parcel in Philadelphia’s central core, a change to the zoning district that contains the parcel is often required. Even if the zoning classification remains the same, a conditional use permit or other modification of the terms of the Zoning Ordinance may be required. A new hotel project near Rittenhouse Square has proven that a parcel can be rezoned to accommodate a worthwhile project.
The City Council is planning to consider and presumably approve an application to change the zoning classification for the parcel where the hotel is planned. The parcel is currently zoned CMX-4. CMX denotes “commercial mixed use”, the second most-dense zoning classification in the city. The developer, however, wants permission to build a taller building than can be accommodated in a CMX-4 district. The developer is asking the City to change the zoning to CMX-5, the classification allowing the greatest density. If the maximum allowable density for the site is increased, the developer will be able to build the 13-story hotel shown in current plans for the project.
As Philadelphia becomes more of a destination city, it is generating an increasing number of proposals for boutique hotels. For example, a 152-room hotel is planned for South Broad Street. The project will also include 90 condominium units. The land is in the last stages of being cleared and construction is expected to start in early 2016.
The advice of a lawyer who specializes in land development and land use regulation can offer significant assistance to a commercial developer who wants to build a project that requires either a re-zoning or a conditional use permit. Such an attorney can provide an evaluation of applicable regulations and suggestions for applying for and obtaining all necessary permits for the project.
Source: Philly.com, “City Council’s rules committee to consider zoning change for Hudson Hotel,” Jacob Adelman, Sep. 21, 2015