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New Demolition Standards in Philadelphia

Caterpillar D-10 model tractor on road construction site, low angle viewIn June, 2013, Philadelphia announced new measures governing the demolition of buildings. According to Mayor Michael Nutter, the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections has developed and implemented a number of changes, including:

  • New standards for issuing demolition permits
  • New requirements for demolition site inspection
  • Revised internal audit processes
  • Specific recommendations for city code and regulatory modifications

The revised demolition rules and procedures came after six people died and 14 were injured when a building being demolished caved into a Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Before a demolition permit application will be granted, applicants must now provide:

  • A professional engineer’s report on risks to any adjacent property if the building being demolished is more than three stories high
  • A site-safety plan addressing how adjacent properties, pedestrians and bystanders will be protected from harm
  • Documentation showing the experience and qualifications of the demolition contractor
  • A schedule of all demolition work proposed
  • Documentation of any violations by the demolition contractor

A contractor with any active violations will not be granted a permit.

In addition, before demolition may begin, a city inspector must conduct a site safety review. The contractor must notify the city inspector before any work begins. If the contractor fails to provide that notice, the inspector must visit the site every 15 days. If no work has started within 45 days, the permit will be revoked. An inspector may also impose a Stop Work order if demolition starts without notification.

The new procedures also mandate that the Licensing and Inspections Department confirm that all demolition contractors and subcontractors have appropriate insurance coverage.

Contact Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli

At the law firm of Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli, we have more than 30 years of collective experience successfully protecting the rights of personal injury victims in the greater Philadelphia area. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our office at (215) 458-2222 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged, if necessary.