Recently the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted the Development Permit Extension Act.  This Act will extend the life of development approvals throughout the Commonwealth to July 2, 2013.

 Types of Approvals Covered:

  • Generally any government agency approval, agreement, permit including building or construction permit relating to construction or development of a property.
  • In Philadelphia, the Act specifically covers building permits, zoning use registration permits and any administrative approvals, as well as any approval from a board or commission whose approval is a condition precedent to issuing a building permit (i.e. the Philadelphia Historical Commission).  
  • Also, in the case of a condominium and planned community, extended is the right to convert convertible real estate or withdraw withdrawable real estate as well as create additional common elements.

 Extension Period:

  • Development approvals in effect on January 1, 2009 or granted thereafter shall be extended to July 1, 2013.
  • Nothing in the Act is meant to shorten the life of a permit set to expire after July 1, 2013.

Procedure for Securing Permit Extension:

  • In municipalities outside of the City of Philadelphia, the extension shall be automatic.  Further, the holder or recipient of any approval covered under the Act may seek written verification from the issuing agency seeking the existence of a valid permit and the expiration date of the approval.  The agency shall have 30 days to respond in writing, affirming or denying, the existence of the approval.  Failure to respond within 30 days shall result in a deemed affirmation of the approval.
  • In the City of Philadelphia, the permit holder must complete a permit application with the Department of Licenses & Inspections indicating its intent to extend the permit under the Act. Further, the approval holder must pay a fee which shall be the lesser of 50% of the original permit fee or $5,000.


For more information on the Permit Extension Act contact Hercules Grigos; at 215-665-3088 or

The information contained in this publication should not be construed as legal advice, is not a substitute for legal counsel, and should not be relied on as such. For legal advice or answers to specific questions, please contact one of our attorneys.