Zoning and Development

BVNA Zoning Protocols

Zoning Committee Co-Chairs:

  • Lara Rhame
  • Larry Weintraub AIA

The Zoning Committee looks for volunteers who are able to bring impartiality and a commitment to work on behalf of all sectors of Bella Vista. Committee tasks include leafleting for upcoming meetings, meeting participation, letter writing, and attendance at zoning board and liquor board hearings.

Neighbors interested in helping out with Bella Vista development issues can contact the Zoning Committee at zoning@nullbellavistaneighbors.org or 215-627-0057 and attend the upcoming monthly meetings to observe the process and meet Committee members.

Zoning Committee meetings are posted on the events calendar that can be found on all our pages in the right column.

Many agencies and groups track and influence Philadelphia’s zoning and development issues. Below are some of the important city planning and development websites.

The City of Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections’ website provides easily accessible information on zoning, construction, codes and regulations, and the appeals process. You can even search by Council district or by Registered Community Organization (RCO) to see all zoning cases.  The Zoning Appeals page, accessible through the main L&I site, also shows the decision and court history for each case along with the hearing date and time.

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission is responsible for guiding the orderly growth and development of the City of Philadelphia. Its website has information on zoning throughout the city, regulations, plans and initiatives, a list of Registered Community Organizations (RCOs), and other resources.

PlanPhilly covers design, planning and development in Philadelphia. PlanPhilly was created in 2006 as a project of PennPraxis, and was incubated and supported by PennDesign and PennPraxis until March 2015. PlanPhilly is now a project of WHYY/NewsWorks, expanding its reach to a whole new audience by taking advantage of WHYY’s multiple news platforms like radio and podcasts. PlanPhilly will also, for the first time, develop a revenue generation strategy that will enable it to raise funds from diverse sources to continue its watchdog coverage.

Serving the Greater Philadelphia, Camden, Trenton, Chester area for more than 40 years, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is an interstate, inter-county and intercity agency that provides continuing, comprehensive and coordinated planning to shape a vision for the future growth of the Delaware Valley region. The region includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties, as well as the City of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties in New Jersey.

BVNA & “As-of-Right” Development
BVNA’s Zoning Committee generally does not host neighborhood meetings on new buildings or businesses that completely conform to the current zoning code. So if you see a restaurant or boutique open, or a new addition being built, and BVNA hasn’t already held a meeting on it, there is a good chance that the project is legal and good to go.

We do hold meetings on new liquor licenses moving into Bella Vista. Sometimes that happens when a restaurant is first proposed, and sometimes later on. Always feel free to drop us an email at zoning@nullbellavistaneighbors.org about any concerns you have about a project, and we’ll try to fill you in. We receive notice of pending zoning variance and liquor license applications from several sources, but your eyes and ears are a great benefit to the community.