Obtaining Philadelphia’s Zoning Special Exception for Federal Donuts



Soon after the original Federal Donuts in South Philadelphia opened up for business and began having a cult following, we were retained by the operators of CookNSolo, the owners of Federal Donuts, to obtain special governmental approval for them to open up a Federal Donuts in the center city section of Philadelphia.

In general, a special exception is a type of use that is allowed only after the applicant has demonstrated that the intended use does not have any detrimental impact on the surrounding neighborhood.

After we received a Notice of Referral from the city of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I), we filed a governmental application with the City of Philadelphia’s Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) requesting that the issuance of a special exception under the circumstances.

Working together with their architecture team as well as our client, we put together a presentation for the community which received overwhelming support.

In addition to illustrating how the restaurant establishment would be configured, we highlighted the experience and exemplary reputation of our client as a restaurant operator.

We then presented the merits of the application for the special exception to the ZBA and it unanimously granted the application for the special exception.

Federal Donuts now has eight (8) current locations throughout Philadelphia (including at Citizens Bank Park and Wells Fargo Bank) and we have handled all of their special governmental approvals they have had to obtain from the ZBA (including their soon-to-be location on Fishtown).

We have worked with Nochumson P.C. since 2012. During this time, they have helped us obtain city approval to open up several restaurants in Philly. With an entrepreneurial mindset, they know how to get things done. Most of all, they are very responsive and proactive. You can always pick up the phone and get to Alan and his team right away.

- Steve Cook, CookNSolo Restaurants

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