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SOSNA: The South of South Neighborhood Association
1711 South Street, Philadelphia PA 19146 (215) 732-8446 phone (215) 732-2016 (fax)
sosna@southofsouth.org -- Serving Southwest Center City

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Zoning Committee

SOSNA's Zoning Committee presents zoning issues to the community every third Wednesday of the month to allow the community direct input into the zoning process. This zoning process is administered and enforced by the Department of Licenses and Inspections according to the "City's code requirements for the enhancement of public safety, including building, fire, housing, business, and zoning regulations" (quoted from: http://www.phila.gov./li/index.html). See this zoning primer written by a neighborhood resident for additional details.

In those cases where a homeowner's and/or developer's permit application is not granted because the project does not conform to the Philadelphia Zoning Code, a "Notice of Refusal" is issued. In this case, the home owner/developer may opt to

  1. "Accept the decision and make no changes in the structure or use of the property,
  2. Revise the plans, if possible, to meet Zoning Code requirements and re-submit for a permit,
  3. File a "Petition of Appeal" to appear before the Zoning Board of Adjustments (ZBA) and request a variance, (i.e. exception) to the Zoning Code. If the ZBA approves the variance, the owner/developer may then acquire a permit and proceed with constructions plans"
    (quoted from: http://www.phila.gov/li/faq/zoning/nopermit.html

The homeowner/developer may elect to obtain community support for variance approval from the ZBA. SOSNA’s Zoning protocol describes this process in detail.

The following documents are available in Adobe Acrobat format.

  • A Zoning Primer: a useful guide to the zoning process prepared by a community resident.
  • Protocols (download to obtain information on how to apply to be on the monthly agenda)




SOSNA is the Neighborhood Advisory Committee for the area from South Street to Washington Avenue, Broad Street West to the Schuylkill River, funded by the Office of Housing and Community Development to provide citizen input into their redevelopment process in our community. SOSNA is a registered nonprofit corporation exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Site contents copyright SOSNA except where indicated.