City of Philadelphia Allows Some Construction to Resume

May 8, 2020Alerts

On May 1, 2020, the City of Philadelphia allowed certain construction projects to resume.

By an Executive Order signed April 29, 2020, the City announced that the following categories of projects were permitted to resume construction activities on May 1.

  • projects that received a building permit on or before March 20, 2020
  • projects that involve work on a health care facility
  • approved critical City infrastructure
  • projects required to address an emergency situation

However, underpinning or demolition of attached buildings and construction on occupied units are prohibited. The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) may consider allowing underpinning on a case-by-case basis.

Projects that received a building permit after March 20, 2020, are not permitted to commence construction activities. Applicants are able to submit permit applications to L&I at this time and L&I is continuing to accept and review applications and issue permits.

On March 18, 2020, the City implemented a new online system through “Eclipse” to submit zoning and building permit applications and plans. In order to submit the applications and plans through Eclipse, the applicant must set up an online account.

For those applicants that submitted a permit application in-person to L&I before the shutdown, L&I will be setting up appointments, starting on May 11, at the Municipal Services Building to pick up the building permit and approved plans. The appointments must be set up online through L&I’s website. The appointments will be scheduled in 10-minute intervals. L&I will provide directions on masking, physical distancing, and other precautions required to minimize the risk of contagion.

You MUST have an appointment and follow safety instructions to be allowed to pick up a building permit and approved plans at the Municipal Services Building.

All hearings scheduled before the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the month of May have been cancelled. Likewise, recognized community organizations are not currently holding meetings to review projects. The City is working on a plan for the Zoning Board of Adjustment to resume hearings. Once a plan is in place, the Zoning Board of Adjustment will will notify everyone about their rescheduled case through email and their website.

If you have any questions regarding how to obtain a zoning or building permit from the City of Philadelphia, or need assistance in doing so, please contact Carrie B. Nase-Poust at [email protected], or Robert W. Gundlach at [email protected]