In order to meet the year-end deadline, the city has published some key dates for developers:
With the October 1, 2021 deadline for building permit submission, the timing for prerequisite approvals is crucial. Zoning permits must be obtained prior to the issuance of a building permit. Additionally, PWD, Streets and Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) approvals must all be obtained. L&I review periods for each submission and resubmission are as follows:
The PWD review process can take up to eight months to complete the Post-Construction Stormwater Management Plan (PCSMP). This includes five days for conceptual PWD review and fifteen days for PCSMP review. Utility plans should be submitted to PWD at least two months in advance of submitting the building permit application. Sewage Facilities Planning (Act 537) normally has a ten-business-day review period.
Similarly, PCPC has advised to allow for the following review periods:
Streets reviews, on the other hand, can take up to three months to complete. For prerequisite zoning permit review, Streets has advised that simple reviews can be completed in one to five business days whereas complex project reviews can take up to fourteen days to complete. With respect to prerequisite building permit review, Streets has advised that simple reviews can be completed in one to five business days, standard reviews take five business days and the timeline for complex reviews depend on the complexity of the plans and whether partner departments or agencies need to provide approval.
Both the Philadelphia Art Commission (Art Commission) and the Philadelphia Historic Commission (PHC) may also have jurisdiction to review and approve an application before a building permit can be issued. In cases where Art Commission approval is required, the typical review period is sixty days. With respect to projects that necessitate PHC review and approval, staff-level review is a maximum of five days and full commission review is thirty days.
With a full pipeline of projects already in queue to meet the December 31, 2021 OPA deadline to file an abatement application under the current abatements, it is imperative that developers consider the review periods described above when planning for zoning and building permit submission. Our team is available to assist in making submissions and to shepherd applications through this process.
Author Katherine Missimer is Of Counsel in the zoning and land use practice group at Klehr Harrison.
 The current abatements for new construction residential and commercial/industrial properties provide tax abatement for 100% of the value of improvements for a period of ten years. Beginning January 1, 2022, for new construction residential properties, 100% of the value of improvements will be abated in the first year and that percentage will decrease by 10% each year thereafter for the ten (10) year period. With respect to commercial/industrial properties, beginning January 1, 2022, 90% of the value of improvements will be abated for a ten year period.