Zoning.Can i convert SFH house on large lot into apts in metro

3 Replies

Hi BP, 

Second post of the daily.Happy Valentines to all.....

Is anyone familair with zoning in philly and what are the hurdles one has to endure if I decided to rezone a piece of property? 

Idk if this is possible but I am about to purchase a killer SFH ( in contract) in 19147 near Geno Steakhouse and its on a large lot on a corner. Can i rezone this into a building???

Even if i dont and i rehab it I can make a killing as a flip but a building would be even better. If i can do this, I plan on selling it to someone who builds apt buildings. 

How can I find this out? 

Hi @April Molina , happy V day to you as well.  

As a commercial guy, I will say best thing to do is go to the planning department for the city.  Speak with a planner and ask them the same question.  I do not know the specifics of Philly but I will say speaking on behalf of big cities that I have worked with, it can be a hassle and take time.  You will probably need to provide architectural plans and file a application to why you want to alter the zoning. Go in front of council to argue your point and they may make you do studies like traffic or environmental.  

Another option would be to see if the lot you have under its current zoning can get a CUP (conditional use permit) to maybe have a different use.  This is usually still a pain but easier than changing the actual zoning.  A CUP would allow for different uses and lets say you can get a CUP for multiple residences, you then can use that as a marketing plan to developers/builders.

@Jonathan Orr I didn't even know CUP was an option. Thank you so much, I will look into this ASAP. 

You are right about this costing more than I plan to bargain. I will need to assess the situation to the T before I go down that road.

@April Molina CUPs generally go with commercial zoning but in a large city like Philly...you never know until you ask.  There may be a older loop hole or something the city did 40 years ago that no one ever changes. Before you go into the planning department to ask.  You may be able to find out via the city ordinance.  I am pretty sure a big city like philly will have all of that online.  You can search your zoning for your property and dig into from there.  If you are still unsure then I would go to the planning department.

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