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Zoning Matters! 

Land use and zoning regulations are key levers in the development and preservation of our city’s communities. NSCAN facilitates the involvement of residents via the city's RCO Zoning Committee model, but always prioritizing grass-roots activism.


We believe that residents themselves can become their best advocates and that communities thrive when neighbors assume leadership and insert themselves in key discussions and decisions. Without their input on issues related to land use, market-rate development and investments in public infrastructure, public policies will continue to exacerbate inequality, fuel displacement and forever alter the socio-economic and political landscape of the Norris Square neighborhood.  

Land Use, Zoning, Housing and Construction Committee 

In general, this committee informs, mobilizes and engages community residents to participate in public meetings where zoning variance applications, legislative changes to the zoning laws and new housing developments are presented. 


As a registered RCO and in accordance to regulations of the City's Zoning Board of Adjustments (ZBA), NSCAN collaborates with the area's managing RCO (Norris Square Community Alliance-NSCA) when they formally meet with developers to review zoning variance applications.


NSCAN's Zoning Committee convenes only as needed since it is not the managing RCO-. Members are assigned to attend the Zoning Meetings hosted by the managing RCO.  NSCAN's Zoning Committee members also participate in hearings of the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) and the Philadelphia Civic Design Review Board where they can present their independent position on a particular project before these public entities. NSCAN is also allowed to meet individually with developers proposing projects.


NSCA's Zoning Committee also monitors demolitions, excavations, and construction activity in its area to ensure that developers, general contractors, and their subcontractors comply with building and health codes, and implement safety measures to protect adjacent properties and the public. 

Meeting Notices

Our zoning committee convenes when the entire organization needs to review an issue related to land use, zoning, housing, and/or problems at a construction site, to formulate a position and take action.


At these meetings, a segment is reserved to hear comments and suggestions from the residents, and for questions and answers. Public notices of Community Zoning meetings sponsored by NSCAN are disseminated through various mediums: door-to-door; email blasts, and postings in our social media platforms. Some meetings (as needed) are also available via Zoom link.


Internal actions of this committee can only be authorized by a majority vote of the members of the Steering Committee, as stipulated in the NSCAN By-laws. However, when this committee convenes a public meeting to discuss a particular project, majority consensus rules. Rules and procedures to be followed during NSCAN's zoning committee meetings are being revised at the moment and will be published in the last quarter of 2023.


A decision to endorse or reject a zoning variance application required to be reported to the City's Zoning Board of Adjustments (ZBA), is not the responsibility of NSCAN. However, NSCAN can send its independent report-supporting or dissenting a decision.  NSCAN takes a position only after a complete package of information on the project (requiring the variance) is received from the managing RCO for the area. The official decision of the residents is made by their vote at an official Community Zoning meeting hosted by the managing RCO-Norris Square Community Alliance.

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