SECTION A-302  PERMITS 70
A-302.1 Action on application: 70.1 The Department shall examine or cause to be examined all applications for permits and amendments thereto. If the application or the construction documents do not conform to the requirements of all pertinent laws, the code official shall reject such application in writing, stating the reasons therefor. If the code official is satisfied that the proposed work conforms to the requirements of this code and the technical codes and all laws and ordinances applicable thereto, the code official shall issue a permit therefor as soon as practicable upon payment of requisite fees.
   A-302.1.1 Time limits for permit application consideration. 71 The code official shall grant or deny a complete permit application in whole or in part or request further information, within the following number of business days after the filing date:
      1.   for commercial construction, 20 days, to the extent capacity permits, but in no event more than 30 days.
      2.   for residential construction, 15 days.
      3.   for affordable housing projects, as defined by the Department of Licenses and Inspections, 10 days, to the extent capacity permits.
      4.   for accelerated review provided under Section A-901.10, 5 days
   A-302.1.2 Application amendments: The code official shall endeavor to grant or deny a complete application for an amendment to a permit within 10 business days of the filing date, provided the amendment is the result of an unforeseen field condition or constraint that necessitates a change in configuration, design, or materials. An applicant may obtain accelerated plan review pursuant to the requirements of Section A-901.10 for any application for an amendment to a permit.
   A-302.1.3 Imminently dangerous structures: If the permit application is for an imminently dangerous structure as determined under the Property Maintenance Code Section PM-110, then the code official shall preliminarily review such application for completeness at the time submitted, and shall grant or deny a complete permit application within 5 business days of receipt. Reasons for a denial shall be in writing and sent to the applicant.
   A-302.1.4 Extension of consideration time limits: When agreed to by the code official and the permit applicant in writing, the deadline for action shall be extended by the number of days specified in the agreement. In connection with any application for accelerated review under Section A-901.10, the Department may determine, in writing provided to the applicant, that resource constraints prohibit compliance with the 5-day time line and may extend the time limit for up to an additional 5 days.
   A-302.1.5 Time limits for historic properties: The deadline for action on permits for structures that have been designated as historic or are located in an historic district is no earlier than the time of decision on the application by the Historical Commission.
   A-302.1.6 Accelerated zoning plan review: Upon payment of the fee, the department shall complete its plan review of any zoning application that is subject to civic design review under subsection 14-304(5) and issue a decision no later than ten business days after submission of a complete application, absent an emergency that would prevent such completion.
   A-302.1.7 Substantially improved or substantially damaged existing buildings in flood hazard areas. 72 For applications for reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement of existing buildings or structures subject to the technical codes and located in a flood hazard area as established by the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the code official shall examine or cause to be examined the construction documents and shall prepare a finding with regard to the value of the proposed work. For buildings that have sustained damage of any origin, the value of the proposed work shall include the cost to repair the building or structure to its pre-damage condition. If the code official finds that the value of proposed work equals or exceeds fifty percent (50%) of the market value of the building or structure before the damage has occurred or the improvement is started, a determination of substantial improvement or substantial damage shall be issued and the applicable requirements of the Building Code or Residential Code shall be applied.
   The term substantial improvement shall not include:
      1.   Improvements of a building or structure required to correct existing health, sanitary or safety code violations identified by the code official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
      2.   Any alteration of an historic building or structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the continued designation as an historic building or structure. For the purposes of this exclusion, an historic building is:
         2.1   Listed or preliminarily determined to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; or
         2.2   Determined by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined to qualify as an historic district; or
         2.3   Designated as historic under Chapter 14-1000 of The Philadelphia Code.
   If the building or structure has sustained substantial damage, all repairs are considered substantial improvement regardless of the actual repair work performed.
A-302.2 Suspension of permit: 73 Any permit issued shall become invalid if the authorized work is not commenced within six months after issuance of the permit, or if the authorized work is suspended or abandoned for a period of six months after the time of commencing the work. The code official is authorized, for reasonable cause, to extend in writing the time for commencing or suspending the work for a period not exceeding six months upon written request of the permittee. No permit shall be extended more than once. In order to proceed with the work authorized by an expired permit, a new permit shall be obtained.
Exception: Those permits regulated by Sections A-302.2.1 through A-302.2.5. 74
   A-302.2.1 Fire permits shall be limited to the time period specified by the permit.
   A-302.2.2 Zoning and use registration permits: 75 See subsection 14-303(10).
   A-302.2.3 Permits related to imminently dangerous and unsafe structures or conditions. 76
      1.   For permits issued in connection with imminently dangerous structures or conditions (see PM-110.1 77 ), the permit shall become invalid if the work does not commence within 10 days after issuance or does not progress continuously until the structure or condition is made safe, unless the permit is otherwise extended by the Department.
      2.   For permits issued in connection with an unsafe structure or condition (see PM-108, PM-109 78 ), the permit shall become invalid if the work does not commence within 30 days after permit issuance or does not progress continuously until the structure or condition is made safe, unless the permit is otherwise extended by the Department.
   A-302.2.4 Rough-in permits. A rough-in permit shall become invalid if the work is not initiated and the associated complete permit is not obtained within 60 days of issuance.
   A-302.2.5 Construction permits. Pursuant to the UCC, a permit issued for construction or demolition under the authority of the UCC may be valid for no more than 5 years from its issue date.
A-302.3 Previous approvals: 79 This code and the technical codes shall not require changes in the construction documents, construction or designated occupancy classification of a building or structure for which a permit has been issued pursuant to the requirements of a previously adopted code(s) and the construction of which has been actively pursued within the time periods specified by Section A-302.2.
A-302.4 Signature to permit: 80 The code official charged with the review of permit applications and related construction documents shall affix a signature or provide electronic approval to each approved application and/or permit in accordance with procedures of the department.
A-302.5 Construction documents: 81 Upon approval, the code official shall stamp or endorse electronic approval on each page of construction documents, unless otherwise specified. Such approved construction documents shall not be changed, modified or altered without authorization from the code official. Work shall be done in accordance with the approved construction documents and required non-design changes marked thereon by the code official.
   A-302.5.1 Distribution: The approved construction documents shall be distributed as follows:
      1.   One set shall be retained in the records of the Department according to the established retention schedule.
      2.   One set shall be available to the appropriate inspection office.
      3.   One set shall be returned to the applicant. A paper copy shall be retained by the applicant at the construction site and shall be available for inspection by the code official.
   A-302.5.2 Responsibility: Construction documents approved by the Department are approved with the intent that such construction documents comply in all respects with this code and the applicable technical codes. Any omissions or errors on the construction documents do not relieve the applicant or other responsible persons of having to comply with all applicable requirements of this code and the technical codes. The issuance of a permit based on construction documents and other data shall not prevent the code official from requiring the correction of errors in the construction documents and other data. The code official is authorized to prevent occupancy or use of a structure where in violation of The Philadelphia Code.
A-302.6 Foundation permit: 82 The code official is authorized to issue a permit for the construction of foundations before the construction documents for the entire structure have been submitted provided the zoning permit for the entire structure has been issued and provided that appropriate construction documents and required statements have been filed. Approval of the Philadelphia Water Department for water and sewer availability and storm water management is required prior to the issuance of a foundation permit.
   A-302.6.1 Related work: Issuance of a foundation permit for a structure shall be the basis for issuance of plumbing and electrical permits for such work below grade.
   A-302.6.2 Owner's risk: The owner of a structure for which a foundation and related permits have been issued shall proceed at the owner's risk without assurance that a permit for the entire structure will be granted. Issuance of a foundation permit shall not be construed to establish vested rights to the building or related permits on the part of any party to the construction project.
A-302.7 Annual permit. 83 In lieu of an individual permit for each repair, replacement, maintenance operation or alteration to an already approved electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing installation, the code official is authorized to issue an annual permit upon application therefor. The work authorized under an annual permit does not include new installations or the extension of existing systems. The applicant shall be a person, firm, institution or corporation regularly employing one or more qualified trade persons in the building, structure, or on the premises owned or operated by the applicant for the permit. A licensed trades person employed by the firm, institution or corporation and responsible for the work regulated by the permit shall be identified prior to the issuance of the annual permit.
   A-302.7.1 Records. The entity to whom an annual permit is issued shall keep a detailed record of all work performed under the annual permit. The work record shall be available for inspection by the code official at all times, or at the code official's discretion, shall be filed with the code official.
A-302.8 Posting of permits and licenses: 84 Permits and licenses shall be kept on the premises designated therein at all times and shall be readily available for inspection by the code official. A true copy of all permits or notice of permits issued by the Department authorizing construction activity shall be posted on the site of the operations, open to public inspection during the entire time of the prosecution of the work for which the permit has been issued. The Department shall be authorized to establish Regulations for additional posting and signage requirements related to construction.
Exceptions:
   1.   Rental license, where there is no on-premises management office.
   2.   The posting of zoning and use registration permits shall be regulated by Title 14.
   A-302.8.1 Insurance certificates: 85 The holder of any permit authorizing construction activity shall maintain a true copy of the developer or contractor's certificate of insurance on the site of the operations, open to public inspection upon request during the entire time that the construction permit or notice of permits issued by the Department is to be posted.
A-302.9 Revocation of permit: The code official is authorized to revoke a permit or approval issued pursuant to the provisions of this code and the technical codes in case of any of the following:
   1.   The permit was issued in error.
   2.   The permit was issued on the basis of incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete information in the application or construction documents.
   3.   The permit was issued on the basis of false statement or misrepresentation of fact in the application or construction documents.
   4.   An ordinance, regulation, or condition of permit has been violated.
   5.   Work is being conducted in an unsafe manner.
   6.   A Stop Work Order or Cease Operations Order has been issued.
   A-302.9.1 Correction: 86 When the department determines that grounds exist for the revocation of a permit, it shall serve written notice upon the permit holder, stating the nature of the violation. The Department is authorized to allow for a reasonable period within which compliance with all the requirements of such permit shall be achieved. The notice may also describe a course of remedial action.
A-302.10 Conditions of permit: Permits issued pursuant to this code and the technical codes are subject to the conditions stated in Sections A-302.10.1 through A-302.10.5 87 as applicable.
   A-302.10.1 Payment of fees: A permit shall not be issued until the fees prescribed in Chapter 9 have been paid.
   A-302.10.2 Compliance with code: The permit shall be a license to proceed with the work and shall not be construed as authority to violate, cancel or set aside any of the provisions of this code or the technical codes, except as specifically stipulated by legally granted variance.
   A-302.10.3 Compliance with permit: 88 All work shall conform to the approved application and the approved construction documents for which the permit has been issued and any approved amendments to the approved application or the approved construction documents. Permits are not transferable except by approval of the department.
   A-302.10.4 Compliance with site plan: All new work shall be located strictly in accordance with the approved site plan.
   A-302.10.5 Asbestos inspection report: 89 A permit for any demolition or alteration in excess of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) shall not be issued until an asbestos inspection report including all laboratory sample reports and analyses, furnished by an independent certified asbestos investigator as defined in Section 6-601 of the Philadelphia Health Code, has been submitted. Submission of an asbestos inspection report is not required for buildings erected pursuant to a building permit issued after December 31, 1980, or any residence with three dwelling units or less. The Department is responsible for forwarding the submitted asbestos inspection report to the Department of Public Health for review and appropriate action. Notwithstanding this requirement, where asbestos is found, all regulations of the Department of Public Health shall be followed.
A-302.11 Temporary structures and uses. 90 Subject to the exclusions established by the UCC in Section A-102.1 of this code, the code official is authorized to issue a building permit for temporary structures and temporary uses. Such permits shall be limited as to time of service, but shall not be permitted for more than 180 days. The code official is authorized to grant extensions for demonstrated cause.
   A-302.11.1 Conformance. Temporary structures and uses shall comply with the relevant requirements of Chapter 31 of the Building Code.
   A-302.11.2 Termination of approval. The code official is authorized to terminate such permit for a temporary structure or use and to order the temporary structure or use to be discontinued.

 

Notes

70
   Amended, Bill No. 030780 (approved December 31, 2003).
Section A-302 - Delayed Amendment
This section has been amended by Bill No. 200417 (became law November 12, 2020), effective January 1, 2022.
70.1
   A mended, Bill No. 190767 (approved November 12, 2019), effective July 1, 2020.
71
   Amended, Bill No. 130691-A (approved February 19, 2014) and Bill No. 130698-A (approved February 19, 2014), each with similar, but different, language. Bill No. 130698-A controls, as it has the higher bill number. See 1 Pa. C.S. § 1935. See note 84 for effective date provisions of Bill No. 130691-A. Amended, Bill No. 140856 (approved December 19, 2014), effective July 1, 2015. Enrolled bill incorrectly referenced "PM-311"; revised to "PM-110" by Code editor. Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
72
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018). Bill No. 190767 added Section A-301.1.2 through A-302.1.6 but failed to renumber this existing Section A-302.1.2; renumbered by Code editor.
73
   Amended, Bill No. 130698-A (approved February 19, 2014); amended, Bill No. 160469 (approved June 28, 2016); amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
74
   Amended, Bill No. 070821 (approved November 15, 2007).
75
   Added, Bill No. 090127 (approved June 3, 2009); amended, Bill No. 110844 (approved December 21, 2011), effective August 22, 2012.
76
   Added, Bill No. 070821 (approved November 15, 2007); amended, Bill No. 140856 (approved December 19, 2014), effective July 1, 2015.
77
   Enrolled bill incorrectly referenced "PM-311.1"; revised to "PM-110.1" by Code editor.
78
   Enrolled bill incorrectly referenced "PM-310"; revised to "PM-109" by Code editor.
79
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
80
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
81
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
82
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
83
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
84
   Amended, Bill No. 020758 (approved January 31, 2003), effective January 1, 2003; amended, Bill No. 130691-A (approved February 19, 2014). Section 6 of Bill No. 130691-A provides: "The provisions of this Ordinance that are subject to review under the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act (Act 45 of 1999, P.L. 491, as amended) shall not become effective until the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry certifies approval of this Ordinance or the City Solicitor certifies to the Chief Clerk of Council that the requirements of Section 503 of Act 45 of 1999, as amended (35 P.S. sec. 7210.503), have otherwise been satisfied so as to permit the Ordinance to go into law. The remainder of this Ordinance shall take effect immediately." The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry provided the necessary approval on January 15, 2014. Pursuant to 35 P.S. § 7210.503(j), the provisions are effective 35 days after enactment, i.e., March 27, 2014. Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
85
   Added, Bill No. 060346 (approved September 14, 2006).
86
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
87
   Enrolled Bill No. 030780 read "A-302.9.1 through A-302.9.5".
88
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
89
   Amended, Bill No. 130685 (approved February 19, 2014), effective within 18 months (August 19, 2015); amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).
90
   Amended, Bill No. 180175 (approved June 6, 2018).