Philadelphia Amends Its Zoning Code To Implement New Regulations Regarding Recognized Community Organizations

January 2014Articles In the Zone

Under the Philadelphia Zoning Code, zoning applicants proposing a project that requires a special exception or variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment or Civic Design Review are required to give notice to the surrounding neighbors and meet with the Recognized Community Organization (RCO). On March 1, 2014, new regulations will go into effect regarding RCOs. The Philadelphia Zoning Code has been amended to implement new requirements for RCOs and new regulations for zoning applicants to notify neighbors of the proposed development. The amendment changes the qualifying criteria for RCOs and requires existing RCOs to re-register by March 1, 2014. The notice requirements for zoning applicants have also been amended.

Within seven calendar days after the applicant has filed the appeal to the Zoning Board of Adjustment or have been notified that the project requires Civic Design Review, the Philadelphia County Planning Commission will provide the zoning applicant with the contact information for all parties that they must notify. The zoning applicant must send written notice to those parties identified within ten days of receiving the contact information. The Zoning Code sets forth the required contents of the notice. Lastly, the Zoning Code was amended by creating the concept of a “Coordinating RCO” and changes the procedures for RCOs to convene a neighborhood meeting with zoning applicants.

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