Attention Philly Builders: Including Green Roofs Might Get You More Density

Certain requirements would have to be met, however.

Might this be the push builders need to get their green on when it comes to residential projects? Last week, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced the “Residential Green Roof Zoning Bonus,” a bill aiming to encourage the inclusion of green roofs in Philadelphia by allowing residential developers to build more on a smaller plot of land.

This bill, a spokesperson from the Councilwoman’s office tells us, “would drop the minimum lot size requirement to 800 square feet in two zoning districts, RM-1 and RSA-5, where an approved green roof is constructed” if passed.

Earlier this year, Councilwoman Brown introduced a separate, but similar, bill that would double the Green Roofs Tax Credit for businesses. Applicants who had formerly received 25 percent off their Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT) liability would now get their credit increased to 50 percent with a cap of $100,000.

According to a press release of that bill’s approval, this would mean that a business spending $40,000 on a green roof could now get $20,000 credit off their BIRT liability, an amount which prior to the legislation passing would have just been $10,000. This bill passed in March and will go into effect July 1st.