PlanPhilly’s New Searchable “License To Inspect” Application Sates the Nosey Neighbor In All Of Us

Did you ever dream of enjoying the glamorous, non-stop thrill ride that is the life of an employee of the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections? Now, thanks to the good folks at PlanPhilly, Azavea, and L&I themselves, you can venture into arenas Gladys Kravitz could only dream of. No more furtive side-glances between plywood seams. Adios, wasted stoop hours chatting up neighbors to get the skinny. Starting today, you can head on over to the PlanPhilly site, and with a few quick clicks, view any and all of the permits for a particular construction project. And don’t forget that you can find out how much money people make. The Golden Age of privacy this ain’t.

Searches can be filtered by event type, date range, location or even by keyword.

‘License to Inspect’ application enables the public to access Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) data for any address in Philadelphia, [and includes] search, sort, and download functionality that enables users to search building permits; zoning variances; code violations including inspection violations, dangerous conditions and demolitions; fire code violations; cease occupancy orders; stop work orders; and housing inspection licenses among other data provided by an API built by Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology.”

Searches return permits, and dates and sometimes even photos, Users can also sign up for email alerts that will notify them when there is any sort of zoning change in your neighborhood. Being “that guy” has never been easier.

The only loser today would have to be Tom Waits, whose little ditty just became a relic, in Philadelphia anyway, as a few clicks will answer the question, “What’s he building in there?”
So head on over and start poking your schnoz into other people’s bidness.