Rezoning Northern Germantown

After a pause, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) is resuming work with community groups to update zoning rules in Germantown. We want your input on these updates.



What is Zoning?

Zoning is a set of rules for new buildings and major changes to existing buildings. Zoning rules control the size and shape of buildings and what they can be used for.


Watch a short introduction to zoning.


Where are Changes Proposed?

The City Planning Commission proposes changes to the zoning rules


Why are Changes Proposed?

PCPC is working to update zoning in neighborhoods throughout the city. Zoning has not changed in most of northern Germantown for over forty years. The proposed changes meet community goals for how the neighborhoods should grow. Your neighbors helped define these goals in the Upper Northwest District Plan.


What are the Proposed Changes?

View and download maps at the Germantown North Zoning Remapping page.

The proposal replaces some zoning districts with new ones. These changes will:

  • Support Germantown Avenue with new jobs and homes;

  • Correct the zoning residential areas to match existing buildings;

  • Limit housing in areas that flood along Belfield Avenue;

Overlay Zoning Districts create special zoning rules for a specific area. PCPC is also proposing an Overlay Zoning District for buildings that face Germantown Avenue. The proposed Overlay will:

  • Allow the City Planning Commission to review and approve the appearance of new buildings;

  • Require new buildings with 10 or more apartments or condos to have a parking lot or a garage;

  • Remove the requirement for a commercial use on the first floor for historic buildings;

  • Prevent some new car-oriented businesses from opening


How Can I Participate and Learn More?

Many buildings and sites on Germantown Avenue are listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. These buildings cannot be demolished or changed without the approval of the Philadelphia Historical Commission.


View a map of protected properties


Who is Involved in the Rezoning Process?

Please visit the Remapping Web Site to participate, or contact Ian Hegarty: 215-683-4672 ian.hegarty@phila.gov.

PCPC will share information and collect input. We will reach people a variety of ways during a four-week Virtual Open House.

  • We will record videos and create printable maps to explain the proposed changes and the reasons behind them

  • We will distribute fact sheets to neighborhood organizations

  • We will make an online interactive map

During our Virtual Open House, we are committed to listening to residents, businesses, and other stakeholders. PCPC will revise the proposal to meet community needs and propose compromises to resolve disagreement.

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