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Preliminary Plan Review Process

A preliminary plan review may be requested to identify potential code issues, attain code interpretations or seek a variance during the initial design phase of a project. The preliminary plan review and any associated variances are only applicable to the code edition under which the review was conducted. To obtain a Preliminary Plan Review, gather the materials listed below and submit a completed permit application in-person at the Municipal Services Building (MSB) Concourse.

Application Requirements

  • Building Permit Application Building Permit Application
  • Preliminary Plan Review Application identifying any code topics of interest. Preliminary Review Application
  • Two Copies of Preliminary Drawings
    • Plans must be of professional quality and drawn to scale (e.g. 1/4″ = 1′ – 0″).
    • The minimum sheet size is 18” x 24”.
    • The plans must include adequate code data and detail necessary for a productive review.
  • $350 non-refundable filing fee. Check must be made payable to the City of Philadelphia.


  • Application must be made in person at the Permit Services Counter on the Concourse Level of the Municipal Services Building, 1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia, PA.
  • Application will be reviewed within 20 business days.
    • Plans will be reviewed based only on the information reflected in on plans and documented in application.
    • The plans examiner will provide results in writing. Upon receipt of results, the applicant may request one consultation session with the plans examiner.

See Building Permits for complete building permit information, including processing time and fees.

Payment Information

RETURNED CHECKS: If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds, (1) you authorize The City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20; and (2) The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.