The Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code requires every municipality and county in Pennsylvania to adopt a comprehensive plan to guide real estate development and a zoning code to regulate the use of individual parcels of land. Interpreting a municipal zoning ordinance can be both confusing and frustrating. In this post, we will address a common question: what is the difference between a variance and a conditional use permit?
When a developer in Pennsylvania wants to build a condominium or other type of multiple housing unit, it is important when they pick a location that is properly zoned for that type of building. If it is not, they may be able to get around it by applying for conditional use permits. Although this may seem like a straightforward and easy process, that is not always the case.
In 2011 the Market Street East Advertising District was created by the Philadelphia City Council. According to zoning in the district, a property owner can put up a large, digital sign if the owner contributes $10 million in public investments and has approval from the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC). The digital signs are meant to advertise on-site uses and other uses. Essentially, property owners can put up a large sign only in exchange for making improvements to public space.