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Philadelphia Zoning Lawyer

Experienced Land Use Counsel FOr Pennsylvania, New Jersey and surrounding Areas

Zoning and land use issues can quickly bring an otherwise viable project to a screeching halt. In too many situations, the perfect site for a project that will foster economic development and community growth will be inappropriately zoned or classified, preventing you from moving forward. Obtaining the appropriate clearances tends to require extensive knowledge of how to efficiently move through red tape as well as an intimate understanding of a local jurisdiction’s policies and procedures. That’s where an experienced Philadelphia zoning attorney can provide valuable assistance

At Pritzker Law Group, our zoning and land use lawyers in Philadelphia have spent almost a decade developing an intimate understanding of the process and procedures to deliver results for our clients. In addition, our accomplished team has accumulated unique experience including serving as counsel to the Zoning Board of Adjustments for Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township. We maintain strong government relations with local officials and agencies and understand how to resolve many types of conflicts involving land use and zoning. 

If you need assistance navigating the complex regulations of land use and zoning, a Philadelphia zoning lawyer from our firm can provide effective legal counsel. Call (215) 515-0882 or contact us online to discuss your situation with our team.

Our Philadelphia zoning and land use Services

Navigating through the intricacies of zoning and land use regulations in Philadelphia can be a complex task. At Pritzker Law Group, we offer comprehensive services to help you tackle these challenges, from securing variances and special exceptions to managing subdivisions, consolidations, and Civic Design Reviews. Our seasoned team of lawyers, backed by a wealth of experience and strong government relations, is ready to guide you through the process and deliver effective results.

More about our zoning and land use services:

  • Variances - A variance is a formal request for an exception to a property’s current zoning or land use requirements. To obtain a variance, you must generally demonstrate that current regulations create a “practical difficulty” in effectively leveraging the property. In other words, you may be able to secure a variance if current zoning restrictions are excessively burdensome. Each jurisdiction’s zoning board will evaluate what constitutes “practical difficulty” differently, but the process typically involves informing adjacent and area property owners and discussing your request in a formal hearing. We can help prepare your variance request, interface with the local zoning board, and represent you in any hearings.
  • Subdivisions and Consolidations - Zoning regulations can potentially limit your ability to subdivide or consolidate land. Many jurisdictions’ zoning ordinances include minimum lot sizes for certain areas that can limit your ability to subdivide a larger piece of land into smaller plots. Zoning authorities will also have to approve any consolidation of adjacent lands into a single, larger parcel. If you are looking to subdivide or consolidate get in touch with us.
  • Special Exceptions - Securing a special exception involves getting permission to use land in a manner that is allowable under a zoning ordinance if certain criteria are met. In practice, this is the process of confirming that your intended use of the property fulfills all requirements to trigger the special exception. We can review local zoning ordinances to confirm you meet all requirements and work to efficiently obtain special exception approvals.
  • Civic Design Reviews - When a building project in Philadelphia is sufficiently large or is in a certain type of location, they may be required to undergo a Civic Design Review. This process evaluates how the public-facing elements of the project will impact the surrounding community. The committee conducting the review will generally assess the project’s height, shape, sidewalks, access points, parking requirements, and more. Our team is ready to represent you throughout the Civic Design Review process.
  • Feasibility Analysis - We provide due diligence services and can create feasibility reports that assess all factors that can impact your project’s prospects, including relevant zoning ordinances and neighborhood metrics. These reports provide evidence that a venture is likely to succeed and benefit the broader community. Consequently, they can convince zoning boards to grant variances and other allowances.

What Are The Different Zoning Classifications in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia's zoning classifications are designed to manage land use throughout the city. They include various categories, each with its own set of standards and use regulations. Key categories include Residential Single Family, Residential Multi-Family, Commercial, and Industrial districts.

  • Residential Single Family is further divided into RSA (Single Family Attached) and RSD (Single-Family Detached), each with additional classifications (RSA-1 through RSA-5 and RSD-1 through RSD-3).
  • Residential Multi-Family includes RM (Residential Multi-Family) with its own set of classifications.
  • Commercial districts are categorized as CMX (Commercial Mixed-Use), with different levels from CMX-1 to CMX-5, each allowing a different degree of commercial activity.
  • Industrial districts are categorized as I (Industrial), including I-1, I-2, and I-3, each permitting different types and intensities of industrial uses.

Want to know more about zoning and land use in Philadelphia? Get in touch with our experienced team at Pritzker Law Group.

Our team at Pritzker Law Group is ready to help you cut through red tape and bring your project to fruition. Schedule a free 15 minute initial consultation with a Philadelphia zoning attorney by contacting us online or calling (215) 515-0882.


  • Comprehensive Understanding of the Industry & Local Markets
  • Seasoned Experienced With Municipal Agencies & Administrative Boards
  • Lawyers with Extensive Careers in Specialized Legal Fields
  • Certified Women-Owned Law Firm

Understanding Zoning Law in Philadelphia

Zoning and land use regulations dictate what types of projects can get built in a given area. They can also influence the physical form and design of building construction. Zoning rules can vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and typically shift over time as priorities and economic conditions change. 

While often well-meaning, overly aggressive zoning can thwart economic growth and prevent community-friendly developments from getting off the ground. Each local jurisdiction will have its own mechanisms for facilitating exceptions. 

Our team is familiar with the systems of jurisdictions throughout the Commonwealth. We can work to help you overcome land use and zoning obstacles.

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