On-Demand Video

Understanding Philadelphia Zoning 2023

  • City:
  • Start Date:2023-05-03 20:00:00
  • End Date:2025-05-03 20:00:00
  • Length:
  • Level:Various
  • Topics:Real Property

$249.00 ["ProPass"]

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Moving a project through the Philadelphia zoning process can seem like a daunting task, especially in the new Covid 19 environment.  Whether representing a client who is building an apartment building, starting a new business, or simply looking to renovate or expand a commercial or residential property, learn the ‘nuts & bolts’ of interfacing with the various city departments, agencies, the new Eclipse system, Registered Community Organizations, Zoom meetings, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment to get your client’s project approved. Explore the latest procedures and regulations for Philadelphia and avoid common mistakes.

Topics – 

Recent Developments in Zoning 

Making Your Case Before the Zoning Board

Appellate Review-Recent Commonwealth Court Zoning Cases

  • Significant Recent Cases in Zoning Case Law – Things to Know for Taking an Appeal to Civil Practice Court
  • Things to Know for Practicing Before the Commonwealth Court

All attendees will receive the course book as a digital download.

Recorded in May 2023.


Dawn Tancredi Esq.

Dawn Tancredi is a shareholder in Zarwin Baum’s Business Practice Group and Chair of the Zoning and Land Use Department. Dawn ushers clients through the development process from beginning to end. She represents client through acquisition, financing, and zoning and land use approvals. Dawn’s experience includes preparing transactional documents such as leases and condominiums and litigating matters such as property right disputes and construction defects. Dawn has raised, briefed and argued issues in the appellate courts, including constitutional issues that arise in real estate matters. Dawn is a regular speaker and author on issues involving complex real estate transactions. Her presentations include testifying by invitation of Philadelphia City Council regarding demolition regulations and lecturing at numerous seminars presented by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Dawn has taught a class on real estate in the Construction Management Program of Drexel University’s College of Engineering. Dawn is one of the co-chairs of the Zoning, Land Use and Code Enforcement Committee of the Real Property Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association. She is accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council as a leadership, energy and environmental design green associate. Dawn is a volunteer with Philadelphia VIP, an organization that promotes equal justice for the poor by providing civil legal services not otherwise available. Dawn is a board member of the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks, an organization founded to maintain and preserve four historic house museums in the Philadelphia region.

Cheryl Gaston Esq.

Ms. Gaston has 25+ years of zoning experience in both the public and private sectors concentrating her practice in the areas of zoning and zoning litigation. Prior to private practice at Spruce Law Group LLC, she served as the Senior Attorney responsible for all Zoning Code matters in Philadelphia and as Counsel to the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Philadelphia from 1992-2008. In that capacity, she was responsible for virtually all zoning litigation involving the City of Philadelphia including extensive appellate court litigation and Constitutional challenges to provisions of the Zoning Code. She was recognized in May 2011 by The Philadelphia Tribune and Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia as a “Top Attorney” (Real Estate) in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Ms. Gaston has Chaired or Co-Chaired the Zoning, Land Use and Code Enforcement Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Real Property Section for over 20 years and served as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Chair and Chair of the Real Property Section in 2011. As such, she was heavily involved in the deliberations on reforming the City’s “New” Zoning Code, suggesting numerous changes ultimately incorporated into the proposed code. Ms. Gaston is the 2012 Recipient of the Real Property Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Harris Ominsky “Good Deed” Award in recognition of her leadership contribution in the adoption of the 2012 Philadelphia Zoning Code. Ms. Gaston also co-authored the article “Entering a New Zone – Philadelphia Zoning Code Revised for the First Time in More Than 50 Years”. The Philadelphia Lawyer, Vol. 75 No. 3 Fall 2012. In 2016, Ms. Gaston was appointed by Mayor Kenney to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, a Departmental Commission that reviews and approves the City Comprehensive Plan, proposed zoning ordinances, maps and amendments; capital programs and budgets; and streets and subdivisions. Ms. Gaston is the 2019 Recipient of the Real Property Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Harris Ominsky Award in recognition of her many contributions to the practice of Real Estate, Zoning and Land Use Law in the Public and Private Sectors. Ms. Gaston is the 2022 Recipient of the Rhoda & Permar Richards Award for exemplary service to the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.Ms. Gaston is a frequent speaker, teacher and course planner of accredited programs for the bench, bar, general public and other public agencies on zoning and land use including: “Recent Developments/Legislation in Land Use and Zoning in Philadelphia” (2022); “Understanding Philadelphia Zoning (2021); “Understanding Philadelphia Zoning” (2019); Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (“PIDC”) small business owner training entitled “Zoning Process Made Easy” (2018); “A Discussion of Zoning ABC’s” Private Conversations for the First Judicial District’s Common Pleas Court Judges (2017); “Understanding Philadelphia Zoning: An Overview of the Zoning Code in an Ever-Changing Philadelphia” (2015); ”New Developments In Zoning In Philadelphia” (2012); “Overview Of The New Philadelphia Zoning Code” (2012); “The ABC’s of the ZBA” (2009); “Navigating Through The Maze: Helping Real Estate Clients Steer Through The City of Philadelphia’s Approval Process” (2007); and, “Winning Zoning Cases in Philadelphia” (2006).

Darwin Beauvais Esq.

Darwin is a partner in Obermayer’s Business & Finance Department where his practice focuses on zoning and land use as well as local government affairs. Darwin represents real estate owners, developers, and investors in a wide variety of development and construction projects including residential, commercial, corporate, and alternative energy. He is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED® AP). This designation gives him an industry-leading understanding of green building practices and principles. In his practice, Darwin works closely with elected officials and municipal agencies for the benefit of his clients. Throughout his career, Darwin has been recognized by his peers and the legal community for his exceptional work. His acknowledgments include: City & State’s 2022 “Pennsylvania Power 100”, The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Real Estate Law; Land Use and Zoning Law, 2022-2024; City & State PA Fifty Over 50; “Lifetime Achievement Award”, 2021; Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2016–2020; Philadelphia Business Journal “Best of the Bar”, 2017; Philadelphia Business Journal “Minority Business Leader Award”, 2014; National Diversity Council’s Multicultural Leadership Award, 2012. Darwin is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association Real Property Section, the Urban Land Institute, and the Philadelphia Real Estate Alliance. He is a founding board member of the African American Real Estate Professionals in Philadelphia and serves on the board of Visit Philadelphia, as well as on the Government Affairs Committee of NAIOP (Commercial Real Estate Development Association).

Matthew McClure Esq.

Mr. McClure is a partner at Ballard Spahr LLP in the Real Estate Department and is the firm’s team leader of the Zoning and Land Use Team. He counsels developers, nonprofits, health systems and universities in connection with a full range of real estate matters. His practice includes heavy emphasis on development, land use, zoning, and historic preservation matters. Before joining the firm, he handled media relations for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and worked in the Office of then-Mayor Edward G. Rendell. Mr. McClure is a board member and chair of the Philadelphia Chapter of Lambda Alpha International and a board member of the Central Philadelphia Development Corporation. Mr. McClure is a former board member of the East Falls Development Corporation, the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center, Green Woods Charter School, Need in Deed and Young America PAC. He has also been honored by the Philadelphia Business Journal as a 2017 receipient of the publication’s “Best of the Bar” award and as a 2006 recipient of the publication’s “40 Under 40” award. Mr. McClure is recognized in the 2009 through 2019 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading lawyer in real estate and zoning and land use law. Since 2018, Mr. McClure served as the co-chair of the Regulatory Committee of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s Historic Preservation Task Force. Mr. McClure is a member of the American Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, and Philadelphia Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania (1999) and New Jersey (1999). Mr. McClure is a graduate of Loyola College (B.A., magna cum laude, 1994) and Villanova University School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1999), where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. While attending law school, he served as a staff writer for the Villanova Law Review, where he authored “Working Through the Static: Is There Anything Left to Local Control in the Siting of Cellular and PCS Towers After the Telecommunication Act of 1996?” 44 Vill. L. Rev. 781 (1999), reprinted in Deborah Mans, 2000 Zoning and Planning Law Handbook 797-829 (2000).

Elizabeth Baldwin PE

Ms. Baldwin is the Chief Code Official for the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections and has served with the Department for thirteen years. Most of this time was spent with the Permit Services Division, with a primary focus on engineering services, plan review, and process management. Ms. Baldwin began her career with Licenses & Inspections as a Plans Examiner and, most recently, served as the Director of Permit Services. Ms. Baldwin holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Drexel University. She is a Pennsylvania registered professional engineer and certified building code official.

Anne Fadullon

Anne Fadullon is
Deputy Mayor of the City of Philadelphia and director of the City Department
of Planning and Development (DPD). DPD works with communities to promote,
plan, preserve, and develop successful neighborhoods for all. As director,
Anne has overseen the completion of Philadelphia’s first Comprehensive Plan
since 1960. Her department produced and is implementing a Housing Action Plan
to create or preserve 100,000 homes over ten years. Anne worked with the
Office of the Mayor, City Council, and advocates to identify $186 million in
new funding for affordable housing. She has led the consolidation of three
quasi-public agencies to create a full-service community development
organization. Anne chairs the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and the
Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority board. Anne has 30 years of development
experience in both the private and public sectors. She has developed
affordable, mixed-income, market-rate, and mixed-use projects. Anne has a
bachelor’s degree in urban studies and economics from Lehigh University. She
has a master’s degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
Anne spends her off hours looking for new places to kayak, or wandering
through the woods.

Hilary Emerson Esq.

Hilary Emerson is a Senior Attorney in the City of Philadelphia Law Department, Property Assessment Unit.  In this role, she provides counsel to multiple municipal administrative boards and commissions, including the Zoning Board of Adjustment.  Prior to joining the Law Department, Hilary served as Chief Legal, Housing & Zoning Counsel for Philadelphia Councilwoman and Majority Leader Cherelle Parker, managing zoning and land use issues in the 9th Council District.  She previously served as the Councilwoman’s Chief Legislative Aide, handling budget and legislative matters, when State Representative Parker was a member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.  Hilary is a proud graduate of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, where she was a member of the moot court team and participated in a variety of public service internships.  She began her career as a Human Resource Assistant at the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General following her graduation from Messiah College (now Messiah University) with a degree in communications. 

Sarah Adamo

Sarah Adamo serves as the Legislative Affairs Manager and Zoning Administrator with the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I). In that role, she works closely with City Council, various city departments, and external stakeholders to ensure legislation that impacts the department can be effectively administered and enforced. She regularly testifies at City Council hearings on behalf of L&I. Sarah also provides guidance to L&I staff and external stakeholders regarding the Philadelphia Zoning Code. Sarah has been employed by L&I for ten years. The first six years of her career were spent working as a Building Plans Examination Engineer. She has served in her present role since January 2019. Sarah earned a B.S and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Temple University.

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