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Investing and Starting >> Zoning Overlay

The East Falls Riverfront Business District Zoning

Within their zoning ordinances, communities may use an overlay to protect particular features that are valued in the neighborhood. These features may include historic districts, waterfronts, scenic views, agricultural areas, wetlands, watersheds, downtown residential enclaves, and a number of other treasured aspects germane to the community. Special commerical district zoning takes the existing zoning and develop supplementary rules that more specific in order to shield the community’s valued 'Main Street' characteristics.

A zoning overlay was adopted in East Falls in 1998. The main goal of this overlay was to establish a “main street” feel for the Riverfront business district. When the new Zoning Code was enacted for Philadelphia in 2012, districts such as East Falls were incorporated into a new zoning category called CMX 2.5.  A few additional rule apply to East Falls, particularly for Kelly Drive and for parking requirements.   

Business and property owners are encouraged to look at our Design Guidelines for the area.  These are the best practices that would make your business attractive and successful here.  Depnding on the timing, businesses can sometimes get matching funding for your storefront imrpovements from the City's Commerce Department.  Here are the Program Guidelines and the Application.  Please contact us for more information.   

The actual language in the Philadelphia Zoning Code, including the specific area covered, can be found by clicking on this link Philadelphia Zoning Code and search for CMX 2.5 where you will find a table of uses.  Also look at the the East Falls Special District Controls.   In addition, the Zoning Code covers rules for signs. 

The East Falls Development Corporation helps businesses navigate the zoning process, including working with local organizations and elected officials.  Please contact us for information or if you would like assistance.  We are here to help.