Philadelphia Office
1835 Market Street - Suite 1400
PA 19103
215.569.4585 phone215.568.6603

Download PDF

Ronald J. Patterson

Partner | Real Estate and Finance | Environmental | Litigation


Ronald J. Patterson is the Co-Chair of the Firm's Zoning and Land Use Practice Group. His practice concentrates on zoning and land use matters, as well as on other land use and environmental regulatory, permitting and counseling issues.

Ron directly deals with obtaining all of the necessary zoning, use, building and other development-related permits and approvals from the relevant City agencies that enable a person to build or renovate a building, and operate a business. He meets with and obtains comments and approvals from various City agencies, including Licenses & Inspections, the Planning Commission, Streets Department, Water Department, Redevelopment Authority, PIDC, Historical Commission, Art Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment and other City departments. He also interacts directly with local community groups and elected officials to gain their support or to eliminate opposition to a proposed project. Once zoning approvals are obtained, he assists in filing for and obtaining other necessary building-related permits, operational licenses, and available 10-year real estate tax abatements. Ron has an engineering degree and worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, better enabling him to work closely with architects, engineers and construction professionals in order to understand, tailor and modify the necessary plans that comprise the applications, permits and approvals. He is also experienced in reviewing and coordinating preliminary environmental investigations and remediation programs.

Ron is a member of the Packer Park Civic Association, Executive Board, a founding member of the Penrose Area Civic Association that covers most of southwest Philadelphia, and a former member of the Zoning and Business Development Subcommittee of the former Eastwick PAC that oversaw development in the Eastwick/Southwest Philadelphia Area pursuant to the federal Eastwick Urban Renewal Plan of 1956.  In addition, he is counsel to two Democratic Wards in Southwest Philadelphia.  He also served on Mayor Michael Nutter's Administration's Subcommittee on Zoning Board Policy.



Widener University School of Law, J.D., cum laude (1989)

Drexel University, B.S. Chem. Eng., with honors (1983)



New Jersey


Chairman & Founding Member,  Drexel Real Estate Alumni Network

Executive Board Member,  Packer Park Civic Association

Executive Board Member and Founding Member,  Penrose Area Civic Association

Ward Attorney,  Democratic Wards 40A and 40B

Member, Board of Directors,  ALS Hope Foundation

Trustee, Board of Trustees,  West Philadelphia Catholic High School

Past President,  Reserve at Packer Park Homeowners' Association

Member,  Building Industry Association of Philadelphia


Awards and Honors

Named to "The Best Lawyers in America©” list for Land Use and Zoning Law in Pennsylvania by Best Lawyers (2018-2020)

Representative Matters:

  • Strategizing to obtain by-right Zoning Permits
  • Presenting cases for variance relief at the ZBA.
  • Representing developers in obtaining permits and approvals necessary for construction of office buildings, parking garages, residential, commercial and mixed use projects in all sections of Philadelphia;
  • Representing large and small developers of vacant non-residential property for residential uses, the conversion of non-residential buildings to residential and the construction of new houses in Philadelphia;
  • Orchestrating and navigating developers through the Philadelphia City Council legislative process to obtain zoning ordinances for the by-right zoning of large-scale development projects;
  • Counseling and drafting of City Council Zoning Ordinances;
  • Preparing Equal Opportunities Plans;
  • Obtained and continues to secure, all development approvals regarding the Schmidt's/Piazza site area;
  • Securing approvals for residential/commercial Delaware River Waterfront projects;
  • Obtaining zoning, building and other development and licensing approvals for high-profile restaurant, nightclub and entertainment clients;
  • Reviewing and preparing due diligence reviews;
  • Preparing Land Use Opinion Letters for Lender's Counsel; and
  • Urban Redevelopment issues.