Permit Philly manages the permitting process from your first call to the day we pick up your permits, all while keeping you up to date on your applications. We coordinate your contractors, architects, engineers, and lawyers to create clear application packages for any scope of construction or licensing. We even flag incomplete plans or missing documents.
Owner + Expediter
Brett founded Permit Philly after working as the operations coordinator for a zoning law office. When he started there, he was brand new to Philly, had never worked in real estate before, and hadn’t ever seen a zoning or building permit. But as a curious person up for a challenge — he once moved to China without visiting first — he studied the zoning process in Philadelphia, then the regulations surrounding construction permits. Then the rules for food licenses. Then signs. Now a licensed expediter with years of experience in City of Philadelphia permits, he’s ready to put his expertise to work on your project.
When he’s not navigating Licenses and Inspections or thumbing through the Zoning Code, he can probably be found obsessing over Liverpool FC, watching terrible movies, or grabbing takeout from Loco Pez.
Senior Permit Coordinator
Never one to take the easy way out, Meaad moved from Saudi Arabia to Philadelphia to pursue a master’s degree in law. Upon completion, she became interested in zoning and land use law, which led her to apprentice for a land use firm in Center City. When she wanted a new challenge, she came to Permit Philly in 2021, and quickly took over permit coordination duties for the team.
Meaad is the office engine: she personally handles complex projects (especially thorny zoning matters), directs the other coordinators, and devises ways to improve Permit Philly’s paperwork assembly line. No matter where your permit is stuck, under however much red tape, she’ll dig it out.
Meaad is all business, but has a habit of casually dropping interesting facts about her life into conversation, like that she does MMA training to relax. She is very proud of her adopted city, and dedicated to the improvement and growth of Philadelphia.
Jess is the voice of Permit Philly: the first person you hear when you call our office, and the one who notifies you when permit deadlines are approaching. She walks our new clients through the permit process, creates proposals, and manages the meeting schedule for the rest of the staff. She also personally handles most of our clients’ license applications, whether they’re contractors renewing paperwork or homeowners renting spare units. If you prefer to discuss your projects in Spanish, she has you covered!
Jess was Permit Philly’s first employee, back when Brett gave her the job description: “I am so busy I don’t know what’s happening. Can you help with that?” She came to Permit Philly from the administrative office of a bilingual preschool, so the answer was a clear “Yes.”
When she’s not fielding calls and running the calendar, Jess can often be found lifting weights or battling on the rugby pitch.
MPA Candidate (2023)
Ellie is one of our permit coordinators: she takes specific cases from the planning phase through application all the way to permit issuance. If she’s your coordinator, expect very cheerful calls and very detailed emails.
Ellie comes to us, most recently, from Worcester, Massachusetts, where she served on the City of Worcester’s Planning Board. She was a community organizer with Common Ground as well, which is a Community Development Corporation dedicated to creating affordable housing options in the area. She is very happy to tell you what your town can do to improve housing availability, but be careful: she might corner you to discuss the high cost of free parking.
Because a full-time role isn’t enough work for her, Ellie is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree at Villanova. She wants to eventually work back in the government side, though we at Permit Philly are going to try to keep her around as long as we can.