The Zoning Committee is a professional advisory group comprised primarily of engineers and architects who live in Queen Village. Its job is to coordinate requests for waivers and variances by builders and homeowners in the context of immediate neighbors’ concerns, construction details, historical considerations and zoning law, and to communicate its findings and recommendations to the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment for ruling.
The QVNA Zoning Committee meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month to review cases. All are welcome to attend and learn about development in Queen Village.
Neighborhood Conservation District:
Queen Village is Philadelphia’s first Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD). This designation requires certain construction, modifications or improvements to comply with rules contained in the ordinance and legislation below.
The Zoning Process:
When a development project such as the building of a new home, additions or renovations to a building, or changes in the use of a building, there are often variances of the city’s zoning code required. For example, the city’s zoning code states that houses can be no more than 35 feet in height. To build a home that exceeds 35 feet in height would require an approval to vary from the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA).
Because the ZBA wants to ensure that projects that require variances are acceptable to the neighborhood, any request for a zoning variance within Queen Village is automatically sent to the QVNA Zoning Committee for review and neighborhood input. The ZBA generally follows the QVNA Zoning Committee recommendations, but they are not bound to do so. Individual citizens have the right to appear before the Zoning Board of Adjustment and state their own support or opposition to the cases being heard.
When a zoning case is sent to the QVNA Zoning Committee, the committee will distribute flyers to residents living within a 2 square block of the proposed project, describing the proposed project and notifying them of the public committee meeting to review the case. At the meeting, the architect or developer presents the proposed project and answers questions from the QVNA Zoning Committee and neighbors.
The QVNA Zoning Committee reviews all aspects of the proposal, including input from neighbors, and decides whether to approve, approve with provisos, or deny the proposal.
At the public committee meeting, all Queen Village neighbors are welcome to attend and participate in the review of the scheduled cases. At the public committee meeting, the Committee does not take a vote from the individuals present. The Committee makes its decisions based upon judgment and experience, and on what they perceive is in the neighborhood’s best interest.
The Committee requests that before individuals speak, they state whether they have any bias in this case; whether they are a relative of the applicant; a real estate broker related to the case; an attorney whose office represents the applicant; or any other conflict of interest.