Planning & Municipal Development

Generally, all zoning and planning activities within the municipality are guided by three critical planning documents:  The Comprehensive Plan, The Zoning Ordinance, and the Subdivision/Land Development Ordinance (SALDO).  The Comprehensive Plan sets forth the "vision" for the community as adopted by the Municipal Council, and the Zoning Ordinance and the SALDO implement that vision through regulations.  You can access each document below by selecting the links provided below.

Norristown is looking toward the future without forgetting its past. While the future cannot be predicted, it can be prepared for not only by planners, but by the community as well. Norristown encourages civic engagement in the planning process to ensure residents have a say in planning decisions. In order to make zoning and planning issues more accessible to residents, interactive maps have been added to this webpage.  

Request For Proposals: Historical Façade Improvement Program

The Municipality of Norristown’s Department of Planning and Municipal Development is seeking a qualified and licensed architectural firm or individual that can provide architectural design services to the Municipality as part of its Historic Façade Improvement Program. The program is federally funded program through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), and therefore all applicable federal guidelines, policies, and procedures must be complied with in administering the program.

The Municipality of Norristown has allocated $174,000 in CDBG and American Rescue Plan Act funds for the Historical Façade Improvement Program. The services proposed by the consultant are to be provided on an hourly basis, for a fee not to exceed $54,000.

The program anticipates completing twelve (12) properties for a total of $120,000. Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Basic grants will be available for eligible properties located within the target area of the Municipality.  The grant must be matched equally by the property owner.  For each grant dollar committed, the owner must invest one dollar.   

The primary target area for the program is bound by Markley Street in the west, Walnut Street in the east, Marshall Street in the north and the Schuylkill River on the south and/or be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The 1980 Milner Report will be used to determine eligibility, or the property owner may present historical documentation.

Proposals are due no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 1, 2024. 

Detailed RFP - Historical Façade Improvement Program

Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan explains the goals Norristown has set for itself to create a better community; one that is ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. These goals include:

  • Attracting and recruiting new businesses, offices and restaurants that will bring life to the municipality along with jobs
  • Upgrade facades, storefronts and streetscapes in high volume areas
  • Beautify the downtown area to attract new residents and business
  • Encourage new development that improves Norristown’s role as a cultural destination
  • Maintain existing walkable neighborhoods and preserve their historic character
  • Make use of vacant or underutilized buildings to attract new development
  • Improve transportation centers within the municipality to attract more businesses around these areas

For more information on Norristown’s Comprehensive Plan and the goals outlined within it, visit the Comprehensive Plan  (PDF).

Riverfront Feasibility StudyRiverfront Feasibility Study photo in green and orange

Please read the following document to see about possible development opportunities along the Norristown riverfront. Riverfront Feasibility Study- Final, 2019.

Zoning Ordinance

Norristown is broken up into different use areas called "zoning districts." The zoning district your property is located in determines what your property can be used for. The purpose of the Zoning Ordinance is to guide development that is in accordance with our Comprehensive Plan, as well as guide development that is convenient and beneficial to all members of the community. According to Article VI of the Municipal Planning Code, zoning ordinances should reflect the policy goals of the statement of community development objectives, and they should give consideration to the character of the municipality, the needs of the citizens and the suitability and special nature of particular parts of the municipality. Zoning is also necessary to facilitate coordinated and practical community development and proper density of population. For more information on zoning in Norristown, visit Norristown’s Zoning Ordinance.

Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO)

Norristown’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) contains regulations that include:

  • Provisions for the filing, processing, review, and approval of all subdivision and land development plans
  • Design standards and guidelines for the layout and configuration of lots, roads, open space, parks, public facilities and other physical improvements on property to promote development that is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan
  • Engineering and technical standards that determine the manner by which infrastructural improvements are constructed.

For more information on Subdivision and Land Development, visit the Norristown SALDO.