SECTION A-301  APPLICATION FOR PERMIT 44
A-301.1 Permits required: An application shall be submitted to the department for the activities listed in Sections A-301.1.1 through A-301.1.6 and these activities shall not commence without a permit being issued in accordance with Section A-302.0. Where the scope of work includes demolition, moving or removal of a structure greater than one story or greater than 500 square feet, a separate application and permit for such work shall be required. Where the scope of work includes more than one lot, a separate permit shall be required for each lot. 45
Exception: Permits shall not be required for the construction, alteration and use of those buildings, elements and systems not regulated by this code as detailed in Section A-102.1 of this code, including but not limited to the following: 46
   1.   Pursuant to the UCC, State-owned buildings.
   2.   Pursuant to the UCC, the installation, repair or replacement of a boiler or unfired pressure vessel regulated by the Boiler and Unfired Pressure Law (35 P. S. §§ 1331.1 – 1331.19) and Chapter 3 (relating to boilers and unfired pressure vessels) as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
   3.   Federally owned and operated buildings.
   4.   Pursuant to the UCC, the installation, alteration or repair of generation, transmission, distribution, metering or other related equipment that is, by established right, under the ownership and control of public services agencies.
   A-301.1.1 Building permits: 47 A building permit is required for the following activities:
      1.   Construction or erection of a structure.
      2.   Construction of an addition to a structure.
      3.   Altering, modifying, repairing, or improving a structure.
      4.   Demolishing, moving or removing a structure.
      5.   Making a change of occupancy as defined in Section A-106.1 of this code.
      6.   Installing, erecting, enlarging, removing, replacing, converting, repairing or altering any equipment which is regulated by the Building Code, Fuel Gas Code, Mechanical Code or Residential Code. This includes the installation of a boiler in a building with less than five (5) dwelling units.
      7.   Installing any trailer, regardless of the method of support, including support on wheels or blocks. The provisions of this Title shall apply to a trailer in the same manner as if the trailer were a site-built structure.
      8.   Site clearing, grubbing or earth disturbance of any land in excess of 5,000 square feet. No building permit shall be issued unless an erosion control plan has been approved for the site pursuant to applicable state and local stormwater-management requirements. 48
      9.   Construction in the right of way as required by Title 11 of The Philadelphia Code. The provisions of this Title 4 shall apply to the issuance of a building permit. No such permit shall be issued without the approval of the Streets Department.
   A-301.1.2 Fire permits: 49 A permit or license is required for those operations, facilities, trades and hazardous materials specified in the Fire Code.
   A-301.1.3 Electrical permits: An electrical permit is required for the installation, alteration, replacement or repair of electrical and communication wiring and equipment within or on any structure or premises and for the alteration of any such existing installation.
   A-301.1.4 Plumbing permits: A plumbing permit is required for the installation, alteration, renewal, replacement and repair of plumbing.
   A-301.1.5 Zoning and use registration permits: 50 A zoning permit is required for the construction, erection, removal, demolition, or change in exterior dimension of any structure. A use registration permit is required for every new use commenced on any land or in any structure except for use as a single-family dwelling.
   A-301.1.6 Emergency repairs: 51 Where equipment replacements and repairs of systems and structures that require a permit must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next three business days to the Department. In such cases, the Department shall be notified of the emergency as soon as possible.
A-301.2 Permits not required: Permits shall not be required for the activities listed in Sections A-301.2.1 through A-301.2.5 and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. Exemptions from permit requirements of this code or the technical codes shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of The Philadelphia Code.
Exception: Permits are required in flood protection areas for any construction, reconstruction, modification, extension, expansion, or substantial improvement of structures; filling; dredging; mining; grading; paving; excavation; drilling operations; or storage of equipment or materials; land excavation; land clearing; land improvement; or any construction thereof. 52
   A-301.2.1 Building permits: 53 A building permit shall not be required for the following activities. This subsection does not exempt any activity from any other applicable permit requirements under The Philadelphia Code, including Chapter 14-1000 relating to historic designations.
      1.   Ordinary repairs to restore to good or sound condition any part of an existing structure for the purpose of its maintenance. Such repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or loadbearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, gas, or similar piping or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.
      2.   Recreational trailers, vacant trailers parked on site and trailers used in conjunction with construction for storage and construction management facilities during the construction operations.
      3.   Non-masonry fences that do not exceed six feet high.
      4.   Masonry fence walls that do not exceed two feet high.
      5.   Retaining walls that do not exceed two feet in height measured from the lowest level of grade to the top of the wall where no surcharge is supported and that do not impound Class I, II or III-A liquids.
      6.   Pointing of masonry.
      7.   Water tanks supported directly on grade where the tank capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2-to-1.
      8.   Painting, papering and similar wall and ceiling finishes that do not exceed 0.036 inches (0.9 mm) in thickness.
      9.   Paneling or gypsum wallboard installed over existing wall surfaces and ceiling material applied directly to existing ceilings in one- and two-family and Group U occupancies.
      10.   Insulation installed in one- and two-family and Group U occupancies without removal of wall or ceiling surfaces.
      11.   Traditional floor coverings such as wood, vinyl, linoleum, terrazzo and resilient floor coverings that are not comprised of fibers.
      12.   Carpeting and similar floor coverings that are not installed in exit access corridors, exit passageways or vertical exits.
      13.   Cabinets, counter tops and similar finishing work.
      14.   Movable cases, counters and partitions that are not over 5 feet 9 inches in height.
      15.   Temporary motion picture, television, and theater stage sets and scenery.
      16.   One-story detached structures accessory to one- and two-family occupancies, provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet (18.58 m2).
      17.   Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to one- and two-family occupancies where the pool is less than 24 inches deep, does not exceed 5,000 gallons and is installed entirely above ground.
      18.   Window awnings that are supported solely by, and do not project more than 54 inches from, the exterior wall of buildings containing one- and two-family or Group U occupancies.
      19.   Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes that do not include service systems.
      20.   Swings, playground equipment and structures limited to the use of a household pet, accessory to one- and two-family occupancies.
      21.   Sidewalks, driveways, patios, and similar concrete or other hard surface materials constructed on grade where they are not part of an accessible route. This exception includes decks of any material, accessory to one- and two-family occupancies where the deck is located not more than 12 inches above the ground surface below and is not over a story or basement.
      22.   Replacement of non-fire-resistance rated windows and doors in one- and two-family occupancies without structural change (no change in shape or size of existing openings). 54
      23.   Portable units including: ventilation equipment, heating appliances, cooling units, evaporative coolers, clothes drying appliances, fuel cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.
      24.   Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by the Building Construction and Occupancy Code.
      25.   Replacement of any component part or assembly of an appliance or equipment that does not alter its original approval and does not render the appliance or equipment unsafe.
      26.   Self-contained refrigeration systems that contain 10 pounds (4.5 kg) or less of refrigerant, or that are actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (0.75 kW) or less.
      27.   Bridge structures for rail, vehicular and/or footway traffic only, that are within street or rail rights-of- way.
      28.   Replacement of exterior stairs, ramps, platform lifts, steps and landings accessory to one- and two- family occupancies provided that they do not exceed 6 feet in vertical height; do not encroach upon the public right- of-way; and the landing does not have a surface area greater than 36 square feet with no individual dimension greater than 6 feet. This exclusion does not provide for vertical enclosure of the covered element(s) except guards required by the Building Code.
      29.   Buildings and structures subject to the Pennsylvania Industrialized Housing Act, Act 70 of 1972, P.L. 286, or the Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Authorization Act, Act 192 of 1982, P.L. 676. This permit exception is limited in accordance with the provisions of Section A-102.12 of this code.
      30.   The installation of tubing, piping, propane gas burning appliances, equipment or fixtures related to liquefied petroleum gas pursuant to the Propane and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act, Act 61 of 2002, P.L. 421 (35 P.S. §§ 1329.1 – 1329.19), as regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
   A-301.2.2 Fire permits and licenses: 55 A permit or license shall not be required for the following operations:
      1.   Storage of those quantities of materials or conditions exempted by the applicable provisions of the Fire Code.
      2.   Cutting and welding performed as part of a permitted construction activity.
   A-301.2.3 Electrical permits: An electrical permit shall not be required for the following activities:
      1.   Minor repair and maintenance work including, the replacement of lamps, circuit breakers and fuses; repairing or replacement of switches, lamp sockets, ballasts, drop cords, receptacles, bulbs; taping bare joints; and replacing lighting fixtures to existing connections.
      2.   The connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
      3.   The installation, alteration or repair of electrical equipment of a regulated public utility for its use in the generation, transmission, distribution or metering of electricity.
      4.   The installation of a temporary system required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus.
      5.   Removal of electrical wiring in the total demolition of a structure.
      6.   The installation of electrical componentry used in connection with the installation or reinstallation of partition systems listed in published reports of inspected electrical equipment by the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL).
      7.   The installation of low voltage wiring in one- and two-family and Group U occupancies. 56
      8.   Installations in railway cars or automotive equipment.
      9.   The installation of conductors or equipment for or by public utilities, common carriers or commercial radio or television stations that are under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or a federal regulatory body. This exemption applies only to conductors and equipment used directly in the conduct of the entity's business as a utility, common carrier or commercial radio or television station and that are located either outdoors or in a building or portion thereof used exclusively for the business function of such entity. 57
   A-301.2.4 Plumbing permits: A plumbing permit shall not be required for the following activities:
      1.   Minor repairs including the replacement of faucets or valves or parts thereof with like material or material serving the same purpose; or the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided the work does not include the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.
      2.   The sealing of sewer laterals for building demolitions contracted by the Department.
      3.   Stopping leaks in a drain, water, soil, waste, or vent pipe provided that no piping is replaced with new material.
      4.   Clearing stoppages or repairing leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, provided that valves, pipes or fixtures are not replaced or rearranged.
   A-301.2.5 Zoning and use registration permits: 58 A zoning or use registration permit shall not be required for the following activities:
      1.   Construction and use of structures totally outside of lot lines.
      2.   A use registration permit is not required for single-family dwellings.
      3.   Alterations to an existing structure which do not change the area, height, floor area or bulk of the structure and the existing use is legal and unchanged.
      4.   Temporary uses, structures and signs for special events of a limited time period, typically open to the public and of a non-commercial nature, as approved by the Code Official after consideration of the impact on the immediate area.
      5.   Mobile Food Vendors, licensed under Section 9-203 of this Code and operating on privately-owned property, provided that such vendors comply with all of the requirements of subsection 9-203(10). 59
      6.   Demolitions performed under contract with the Department and in compliance with current Procurement Department Specifications.
      7.   Fences at or below the height allowable by the Zoning Code (Title 14).
      8.   Swimming pools accessory to one- and two-family dwellings.
      9.   Canopies or awnings accessory to a one- or two-family dwelling, provided the canopy or awning does not exceed 120 square feet.
      10.   Sheds, playhouses, pergolas and similar structures accessory to one- or two-family dwellings, provided the structure is located in the rear yard and does not exceed 120 square feet.
      11.   Temporary motion picture, television and theater sets and scenery.
      12.   Concrete or other hard surface materials on grade, such as driveways, walkways and patios not used for parking.
      13.   Decks within building lines, not more than 12 inches above the ground surface below and not over any basement or story below.
      14.   Decks located in the rear yard and accessory to one-family dwellings allowable by the Zoning Code (Title 14).
      15.   Building service equipment, such as mechanical, electrical or plumbing equipment, including necessary mounting systems, required to operate and maintain facilities located on the same lot. To qualify for this exemption, the equipment may not be located within a required setback from the street nor conflict with any dimensional restriction of the Zoning Code.
A-301.3 Form of application: 60 The application for a permit shall be submitted in such form as this Code requires and as the department prescribes and shall be accompanied by the required fee as prescribed in Chapter 9.
A-301.4 By whom application is made: 61 Application for a permit shall be made by the owner or lessee of the building or structure, or agent of either, by the registered design professional employed in connection with the proposed work; by any person or entity with written documentation of equitable ownership of that real property; by a conservator of the property; or other licensed person authorized to apply by the codes. If the application is made by a person other than the owner in fee, it shall be accompanied by a signed statement or electronic confirmation of the qualified applicant to the effect that the proposed work is authorized by the owner in fee and that the applicant is authorized to make such application. The full names and addresses of the owner, lessee, applicant and the responsible officers, if the owner or lessee is a corporate body, shall be stated in the application.
A-301.5 Contents of application: 62 Every permit application shall, to the extent applicable:
   1.   Contain a general description of the proposed work.
   2.   Provide the specific street address of the proposed work.
   3.   Further identify the location of the proposed work if in a portion of a structure.
   4.   State the occupancy of the structure and for which the proposed work is intended.
   5.   State the total valuation of the work for which application is made.
   6.   Be signed by the applicant or when required, by the licensed holders.
   7.   State the name, address and license number of licensed contractor(s) who will perform work under the permit.
   8.   Provide the Commercial Activity License numbers of contractors, design professionals, agents, owners, lessors, etc. as appropriate to the application. 63
   9.   Give such additional information as required by the department.
A-301.6 Construction documents: 64 Applications for permits shall be accompanied by construction documents that include the information required by Section A-305.0, the technical codes, regulations, plan submission standards, and any other information that the code official determines is necessary to issue the permit. As used in this Chapter, construction documents shall include demolition plans as described in Section A-305.2.2.1. 65 When paper copies of any construction documents are submitted, three sets shall be required, and the applicant shall be required to pay an electronic imaging fee as established by regulation. The code official may waive the requirement for the submission of construction documents in accordance with Section A-305.1.1.
A-301.7 Amendments to application: Subject to the limitations of Section A-301.8, amendments to a plan, application or other records accompanying the same shall be filed at any time before completion of the work for which the permit is sought or issued. Such amendments shall be deemed part of the original application and shall be filed therewith and requisite fees paid.
   A-301.7.1 Zoning and use registration permit amendments: 66 Amendments to zoning and use registration permits shall be subject to the Code provisions in effect on the date the amendment application is filed.
A-301.8 Time limitation of application: 67 An application for a permit for any proposed work shall be deemed to have been abandoned 60 days after the date of any request by the Department for information from the applicant or 60 days after notification by the Department that the application is approved and available for pick-up, unless the applicant provides any requested information to the Department and has taken the necessary steps to pick up the permit from the Department. The code official may grant one or more extensions of time for additional periods not exceeding 90 days each if there is reasonable cause.
   A-301.8.1 Court order: 68 The Department is authorized to deem abandoned any permit application where a Court of proper jurisdiction has authorized the Department to act upon its police powers to abate an unsafe condition.
A-301.9 Waste collection plan: 69 The applicant for any building or demolition permit that requires the submission of plans must list on the building permit application the names of all waste haulers. Copies of all tipping receipts and evidence of proper disposal must be retained for audit upon request for three (3) years after the building permit is finalized. Failure to properly dispose of construction, demolition, or alteration debris on a project on any size, regardless of the need for a permit, shall result in the suspension or revocation of the Contractor License in addition to any criminal penalties that may be imposed.

 

Notes

44
   Amended, Bill No. 030780 (approved December 31, 2003).
Section A-301 - Delayed Amendment
This section has been amended by Bill No. 200417 (became law November 12, 2020), effective January 1, 2022.
45
   Amended, Bill No. 110844 (approved December 21, 2011), effective August 22, 2012; amended, Bill No. 130698-A (approved February 19, 2014), effective within 18 months (August 19, 2015); amended, Bill No. 170091-A (approved April 17, 2017), effective May 22, 2017.
46
   Added, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
47
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
48
   Added, Bill No. 070821 (approved November 15, 2007); amended, Bill No. 200160 (approved October 15, 2020).
49
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
50
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
51
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
52
   Added, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
53
   Amended, Bill No. 120774-A (approved January 14, 2013); amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
54
   Amended, Bill No. 070821 (approved November 15, 2007).
55
   Amended, Bill No. 110844 (approved December 21, 2011), effective August 22, 2012 ; amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
56
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
57
   Added, Bill No. 090842 (approved January 13, 2010).
58
   Amended, Bill No. 110844 (approved December 21, 2011), effective August 22, 2012; amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
59
   Added, Bill No. 150056-A (approved May 5, 2015).
60
   Amended, Bill No. 130698-A (approved February 19, 2014), effective within 18 months (August 19, 2015); amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
61
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
62
   Amended, Bill No. 130698-A (approved February 19, 2014), effective within 18 months (August 19, 2015); amended, Bill No. 170898 (approved December 20, 2017); subsection 10 deleted, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
63
   Amended, Bill No. 110758 (approved December 21, 2011), effective May 1, 2012.
64
   Amended, Bill No. 130698-A (approved February 19, 2014), effective within 18 months (August 19, 2015); amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
65
   Enrolled bill referenced A-301.5(10)(c), which was renumbered to A-305.2.2.1 and amended by Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
66
   Added, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018); amended, Bill No. 200260 (approved October 15, 2020).
67
   Amended, Bill No. 070821 (approved November 15, 2007).
68
   Added, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
69
   Amended, Bill No. 160768 (approved January 3, 2018), effective January 1, 2019.