// CODE SNIPPET
Section A-301 Application for Permit
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An application shall be submitted to the department for the activities listed in Sections A-301.1.1 through A-301.1.6 and these activities shall not commence without a permit being issued in accordance with Section A-302.0. Where the scope of work includes demolition, moving or removal of a structure greater than one story or greater than 500 square feet, a separate application and permit for such work shall be required. Where the scope of work includes more than one lot, a separate permit shall be required for each lot.
Exception: Permits shall not be required for the construction, alteration and use of those buildings, elements and systems not regulated by this code as detailed in Section A-102.1 of this code, including but not limited to the following:
- Pursuant to the UCC, State-owned buildings.
- Pursuant to the UCC, the installation, repair or replacement of a boiler or unfired pressure vessel regulated by the Boiler and Unfired Pressure Law (35 P. S. §§ 1331.1 — 1331.19) and Chapter 3 (relating to boilers and unfired pressure vessels) as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
- Federally owned and operated buildings.
- Pursuant to the UCC, the installation, alteration or repair of generation, transmission, distribution, metering or other related equipment that is, by established right, under the ownership and control of public services agencies.
A building permit is required for the following activities:
- Construction or erection of a structure.
- Construction of an addition to a structure.
- Altering, modifying, repairing, or improving a structure.
- Demolishing, moving or removing a structure.
- Making a change of occupancy as defined in Section A-106.1 of this code.
- Installing, erecting, enlarging, removing, replacing, converting, repairing or altering any equipment which is regulated by the Building Code, Fuel Gas Code, Mechanical Code or Residential Code. This includes the installation of a boiler in a building with less than five (5) dwelling units.
- Installing any trailer, regardless of the method of support, including support on wheels or blocks. The provisions of this Title shall apply to a trailer in the same manner as if the trailer were a site-built structure.
- Clearing, grubbing or earth disturbance of any land in excess of 5,000 square feet. No building permit shall be issued unless an erosion control plan has been approved for the site pursuant to applicable state and local stormwater-management requirements.
- Construction in the right of way as required by Title 11 of the Philadelphia Code. The provisions of this Title 4 shall apply to the issuance of a building permit. No such permit shall be issued without the approval of the Streets Department.
A permit or license is required for those operations, facilities, trades and hazardous materials specified in the Fire Code.
An electrical permit is required for the installation, alteration, replacement or repair of electrical and communication wiring and equipment within or on any structure or premises and for the alteration of any such existing installation.
A plumbing permit is required for the installation, alteration, renewal, replacement and repair of plumbing.
A zoning permit is required for the construction, erection, removal, demolition, or change in exterior dimension of any structure. A use registration permit is required for every new use commenced on any land or in any structure except for use as a single-family dwelling.
Where equipment replacements and repairs of systems and structures that require a permit must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next three business days to the Department. In such cases, the Department shall be notified of the emergency as soon as possible.
Permits shall not be required for the activities listed in Sections A-301.2.1 through A-301.2.5 and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. Exemptions from permit requirements of this code or the technical codes shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of The Philadelphia Code.
Exception: Permits are required in flood protection areas for any construction, reconstruction, modification, extension, expansion, or substantial improvement of structures; filling; dredging; mining; grading; paving; excavation; drilling operations; or storage of equipment or materials; land excavation; land clearing; land improvement; or any construction thereof.
A building permit shall not be required for the following activities. This subsection does not exempt any activity from any other applicable permit requirements under The Philadelphia Code, including Chapter 14-1000 relating to historic designations.
- Ordinary repairs to restore to good or sound condition any part of an existing structure for the purpose of its maintenance. Such repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, gas, or similar piping or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety.
- Recreational trailers, vacant trailers parked on site and trailers used in conjunction with construction for storage and construction management facilities during the construction operations.
- Non-masonry fences that do not exceed six feet high.
- Masonry fence walls that do not exceed two feet high.
- Retaining walls that do not exceed two feet in height measured from the lowest level of grade to the top of the wall where no surcharge is supported and that do not impound Class I, II or III-A liquids.
- Pointing of masonry.
- Water tanks supported directly on grade where the tank capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2-to-1.
- Painting, papering and similar wall and ceiling finishes that do not exceed 0.036 inches (0.9 mm) in thickness.
- Paneling or gypsum wallboard installed over existing wall surfaces and ceiling material applied directly to existing ceilings in one- and two-family and Group U occupancies.
- Insulation installed in one- and two-family and Group U occupancies without removal of wall or ceiling surfaces.
- Traditional floor coverings such as wood, vinyl, linoleum, terrazzo and resilient floor coverings that are not comprised of fibers.
- Carpeting and similar floor coverings that are not installed in exit access corridors, exit passageways or vertical exits.
- Cabinets, counter tops and similar finishing work.
- Movable cases, counters and partitions that are not over 5 feet 9 inches in height.
- Temporary motion picture, television, and theater stage sets and scenery.
- One-story detached structures accessory to one- and two-family occupancies, provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet (18.58 m2).
- Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to one- and two-family occupancies where the pool is less than 24 inches deep, does not exceed 5,000 gallons and is installed entirely above ground.
- Window awnings that are supported solely by, and do not project more than 54 inches from, the exterior wall of buildings containing one- and two-family or Group U occupancies.
- Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes that do not include service systems.
- Swings, playground equipment and structures limited to the use of a household pet, accessory to one- and two-family occupancies.
- Sidewalks, driveways, patios, and similar concrete or other hard surface materials constructed on grade where they are not part of an accessible route. This exception includes decks of any material, accessory to one- and two-family occupancies where the deck is located not more than 12 inches above the ground surface below and is not over a story or basement.
- Replacement of non-fire-resistance rated windows and doors in one- and two-family occupancies without structural change (no change in shape or size of existing openings).
- Portable units including: ventilation equipment, heating appliances, cooling units, evaporative coolers, clothes drying appliances, fuel cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.
- Steam, hot or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by the Building Construction and Occupancy Code.
- Replacement of any component part or assembly of an appliance or equipment that does not alter its original approval and does not render the appliance or equipment unsafe.
- Self-contained refrigeration systems that contain 10 pounds (4.5 kg) or less of refrigerant, or that are actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (0.75 kW) or less.
- Bridge structures for rail, vehicular and/or footway traffic only, that are within street or rail rights-of-way.
- Replacement of exterior stairs, ramps, platform lifts, steps and landings accessory to one- and two-family occupancies provided that they do not exceed 6 feet in vertical height; do not encroach upon the public right-of-way; and the landing does not have a surface area greater than 36 square feet with no individual dimension greater than 6 feet. This exclusion does not provide for vertical enclosure of the covered element(s) except guards required by the Building Code.
- Buildings and structures subject to the Pennsylvania Industrialized Housing Act, Act 70 of 1972, P.L. 286, or the Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Authorization Act, Act 192 of 1982, P.L. 676. This permit exception is limited in accordance with the provisions of Section A-102.12 of this code.
- The installation of tubing, piping, propane gas burning appliances, equipment or fixtures related to liquefied petroleum gas pursuant to the Propane and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act, Act 61 of 2002, P.L. 421 (35 P.S. §§ 1329.1 — 1329.19), as regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
A permit or license shall not be required for the following operations:
- Storage of those quantities of materials or conditions exempted by the applicable provisions of the Fire Code.
- Cutting and welding performed as part of a permitted construction activity.
An electrical permit shall not be required for the following activities:
- Minor repair and maintenance work including, the replacement of lamps, circuit breakers and fuses; repairing or replacement of switches, lamp sockets, ballasts, drop cords, receptacles, bulbs; taping bare joints; and replacing lighting fixtures to existing connections.
- The connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
- The installation, alteration or repair of electrical equipment of a regulated public utility for its use in the generation, transmission, distribution or metering of electricity.
- The installation of a temporary system required for the testing or servicing of electrical equipment or apparatus.
- Removal of electrical wiring in the total demolition of a structure.
- The installation of electrical componentry used in connection with the installation or reinstallation of partition systems listed in published reports of inspected electrical equipment by the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL).
- The installation of low voltage wiring in one- and two-family and Group U occupancies.
- Installations in railway cars or automotive equipment.
- The installation of conductors or equipment for or by public utilities, common carriers or commercial radio or television stations that are under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or a federal regulatory body. This exemption applies only to conductors and equipment used directly in the conduct of the entity's business as a utility, common carrier or commercial radio or television station and that are located either outdoors or in a building or portion thereof used exclusively for the business function of such entity.