The Upper Darby Zoning Code  provides for a variety of land uses in a manner which is compatible with surrounding uses and at a density deemed appropriate for the specific area concerned. The zoning code seeks to promote the development of properly regulated commercial and industrial uses, avoid a mixture of incompatible uses within zones, and promote residential neighborhoods that are safe, attractive, and conducive to the protection of property values.


The Upper Darby Zoning Map specifies zoning districts, each with their own regulations and requirements, as defined in the Upper Darby Zoning Code.

The Upper Darby Zoning Hearing Board is an independent, quasi-judicial body which hears challenges and appeals to the Zoning Code, and considers variances from, and exceptions to, the requirements established and enforced under the Department of Licenses & Inspections.

Delaware County Interactive Zoning Map.


The Zoning Officer is appointed by the Mayor with the approval of Council. It is the officer’s responsibility to enforce the regulations of the zoning code, including:

  • Reviewing land developments as well as building, sign, business, and home business permits. 
  • Approving or denying permits. 
    • If a permit is approved, it is sent to a Permit Officer for processing and construction code review. 
    • If a permit is denied, a letter will be sent to the applicant explaining the denial.
  • Responding to zoning violations
  • Serving as the liaison for the Upper Darby Zoning Hearing Board
  • Preparing postings and advertisements for the monthly meeting
  • Maintaining records of past zoning hearing board decisions
  • Producing zoning verification letters

Zoning Permit Denials

If your application for a permit is denied, you may resubmit a plan that complies or submit a petition to the Zoning Hearing Board, citing one of three options:


Option 1: Request a Variance from the Zoning Code. This means that you accept that the Zoning Officer’s decision was correct and would like to petition the Zoning Hearing Board to allow either a use and/or a structure not permitted in that zoning district. 


Option 2. Ask for a Special Exception. Your permit denial will note if you need a Special Exception from the Zoning Hearing Board. Special Exceptions mean that the use will be allowed in the zoning district as long as it complies with a list of requirements. Special exceptions can only be granted by the Zoning Hearing Board.


Option 3. Appeal the decision of the Zoning Officer. In this case, you are rejecting the decision of the Zoning Officer and appealing the decision to the Zoning Hearing Board.




Preparing for a Zoning Hearing Board Hearing

  • Fill out the Zoning Hearing Board Application and submit by the deadline.
  • Make sure the application is complete and includes a check. The price of the variance is determined by the Fee Schedule. The check must be made payable to “Upper Darby Township”.
  • Two (2) weeks prior to the hearing, pick up your poster from the Department of Licenses & Inspections. This poster contains a notice stating your petition to the Zoning Hearing Board. The poster must be posted on the property two weeks prior to the hearing.
  • Gather deeds, leases and any other documents applicable to your case.
  • All corporations are required to have an attorney present.

At the Zoning Hearing Board Meeting

  • At the Zoning Hearing Board meeting be prepared to be sworn in and present your case to the board.
  • The board will ask questions pertaining to your case.
  • The public will be allowed to make comments regarding your petition.
  • The board will then take the presentation and public comment into consideration and make a motion to approve, deny, or continue.
  • The board reserves the right to add conditions to any Variance or Special Exception approval.

After the Zoning Hearing Board Hearing

  • The applicant will receive a notice of decision 1-2 business days after the hearing.
  • The applicant will receive the full written decision within 45 days of the hearing.
  • If you want to appeal the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board, you must do so the to the County Court of Common Pleas within thirty (30days of receiving the opinion.

For more information regarding the Zoning process please contact 

Joshua Chast, Asst. Director of L&I for Planning and Zoning

Email: jchast@upperdarby.org