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Land Use & Zoning Archives

Pennsylvania conditional use permit application meets resistance

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.

Subway improvements part of signage deal for Lit Bros. building

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.

Bill proposes rezoning for Drexel University development

Two years ago, at Powelton Ave. and 38th St. in Philadelphia, Charles Drew Elementary School was closed, and late last year on the same 14-acre property, University City High School was closed. Now Drexel University, in its continued expansion, could develop the property for mixed use, according to a bill recently introduced by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.

Zoning board approves another coffee shop in Fishtown

A study conducted in 2011 pointed to the importance of coffee shops in gentrifying American neighborhoods. From the art on the walls, to the caffeine-fueled conversations, to the business of selling coffee -- a neighborhood's culture can be strengthened and fueled by coffees shops.

Zoning bill would ban new medical offices in South Philadelphia

Several months ago, we discussed a Philadelphia City Council decision to restrict the number of doctors' offices in Northeast Philadelphia. The city's Planning Commission, which gives advisory reviews of proposed legislation, opposed the amendment to the zoning code, but the measure was passed.

Rezoning land to open space results in sale, citizens concerned

Zoning laws are an important part of city and county development. They exist to ensure that only certain types of structures can be built in designated areas. When officials make the decision to change the purpose of a particular area, it is sometimes met with resistance. Recently, a protest in a Pennsylvania town was caused by the county's plan for rezoning several areas as open space, but citizens are concerned about what will be done with the land in one place in particular.

Philadelphia considers rezoning schools to allow advertising

The idea has been around for decades, and some parts of the country have tried it: rezoning public school property to allow for advertising outside and inside schools. The idea is to sell ad space to raise money for school districts, and in these times of budget cuts and teacher layoffs, using school property to raise revenue may be attractive to some. But parents in Philadelphia have reservations.

City council: No new doctors' offices in Northeast Philadelphia

It's not uncommon for a city zoning code to require certain kinds of businesses to obtain a zoning variance before setting up shop. Business groups can oppose the implementation of such requirements, but when they're in place, a business owner or developer may have to appear before a zoning board to seek rezoning or a variance. It is a good idea, then, to have a real estate attorney on your side.

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