When WICA is designated as the coordinating Registered Community Organization (RCO) by City Council in matters related to zoning variance requests, our Zoning Committee facilitates public zoning meetings in which applicants seeking zoning variances present their plans and gather public feedback in advance of presenting their project before the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA). The WICA Zoning Committee also assists in neighborhood land-use planning functions, such as the zoning remapping of Wissahickon proper that was completed in 2016, the Ridge Avenue corridor in Wissahickon, and the development of a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay completed in 2018 to define design criteria for new developments. These planning functions are performed in concert with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and our district Councilmember Curtis Jones, Jr.
If you are intending to undertake a development in Wissahickon, we encourage you to contact our Zoning Committee Chair through our Contact Us Form.
Zoning Review Process
Developers must apply to Licenses & Inspections (L&I) for a zoning permit that authorizes construction. L&I reviews the construction plans for compliance with Philadelphia zoning regulations. If the plans are not in compliance, L&I issues a refusal. Zoning refusals may be appealed to the ZBA for a variance or special exception. Before a developer can present their appeal before the ZBA, they are required to present their plans at a public meeting before an RCO, such as WICA.
ZBA Hearings are open to the public. RCOs may choose to send a letter of support, opposition, or non-opposition to the ZBA and may or may not testify at the hearing to present their position. Any member of the public is also free to send letters expressing their position as well as attend and testify at the ZBA hearings.
Letters to the ZBA should be addressed as follows:
Zoning Board of Adjustment
One Parkway Building
1515 Arch St., 18th Floor, Room 18-006
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Include the case number and the property address.
All ZBA meetings are currently being held via Zoom. Click here to learn more.