Cheryl L. Gaston, Esq.

Cheryl L. Gaston, Esq.


1622 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Direct: (267) 546-0614
E-Fax: (267) 546-0570

Cheryl Gaston has 25+ years of zoning experience in both the public and private sectors and concentrates her practice in the areas of zoning and zoning litigation. Prior to private practice, she served as the Senior Attorney responsible for all Zoning Code matters in Philadelphia and as Counsel to the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Philadelphia from 1992-2008. In that capacity, she was responsible for virtually all zoning litigation involving the City of Philadelphia including extensive appellate court litigation and Constitutional challenges to provisions of the Zoning Code. She was recognized in May 2011 by The Philadelphia Tribune and Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia as a “Top Attorney” (Real Estate) in Southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2016, Ms. Gaston was appointed by Mayor Kenney to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, a Departmental Commission that reviews and approves the City Comprehensive Plan, proposed zoning ordinances, maps and amendments; capital programs and budgets; and streets and subdivisions.

Ms. Gaston finished serving a third 3-year term on the Executive Committee of the Real Property Section in 2017, has Chaired or Co-Chaired its Zoning, Land Use and Code Enforcement Committee for over 20 years and served as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Chair and Chair of the Real Property Section in 2011. As such, she was heavily involved in the deliberations on reforming the City’s “New” Zoning Code, suggesting numerous changes ultimately incorporated into the proposed code. Ms. Gaston is the 2012 Recipient of the Real Property Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Harris Ominsky “Good Deed” Award in recognition of her leadership contribution in the adoption of the 2012 Philadelphia Zoning Code. Ms. Gaston also co-authored the article “Entering a New Zone – Philadelphia Zoning Code Revised for the First Time in More Than 50 Years”. The Philadelphia Lawyer, Vol. 75 No. 3 Fall 2012.

Ms. Gaston is a frequent speaker, teacher and course planner of accredited programs for the bench, bar, general public and other public agencies on zoning and land use including: 2018 Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (“PIDC”) small business owner training entitled “Zoning Process Made Easy”; “A Discussion of Zoning ABC’s” 2017 Private Conversations for the First Judicial District’s Common Pleas Court Judges; “Understanding Philadelphia Zoning: An Overview of the Zoning Code in an Ever-Changing Philadelphia” (2015); ”New Developments In Zoning In Philadelphia” (2012); “Overview Of The New Philadelphia Zoning Code” (2012); “The ABC’s of the ZBA” (2009); “Navigating Through The Maze: Helping Real Estate Clients Steer Through The City of Philadelphia’s Approval Process” (2007); “Winning Zoning Cases in Philadelphia” (2006).

Representative Transactions

Successfully obtained zoning approval for numerous projects, such as : (1) conversion of a former warehouse structure into multiple residential and commercial units, (2) a recycling facility, (3) cell tower facilities with public amenities located in residential zoning districts; (4) approval of first Good Will intake facility in Pennsylvania; (5) rooftop antenna for Chestnut Hill College; (6) obtained permanent variances for Dock Street Micro Brewery and its new canning line; (7) approval of first winery in the City of Philadelphia; and (8) approval of multi-family adaptive re-use of adjacent properties, one of which being Historically Certified.

Successfully defended against an Order issued to a City block to rebuild a private retaining wall at a cost of $500,000 before the Board of License and Inspections Review (“BLIR”) by proving that the City failed to follow State law and its own laws in issuing the Order and providing expert testimony to support an alternate theory of cause of collapse of the wall.

Successfully litigated a matter of first impression that only the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and not the Zoning Board of Adjustment, has jurisdiction to hear appeals concerning decisions involving residential districts rendered by the City Planning Commission and City Council.

Successfully litigated a matter of first impression that challenged the validity of a provision of the Zoning Code terminating nonconforming use status when a structure or use becomes the subject of a variance granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment or by a Court.

Back to Team

Cheryl L. Gaston, Esq.

1622 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Direct: (267) 546-0614
E-Fax: (267) 546-0570

Practice Specialties
  • Real Estate
  • Zoning
  • Zoning Litigation
Professional Associations
  • Past Chair, Real Property Section, Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Chair/Co-Chair, Zoning, Land Use & Code Enforcement Committee, Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Board of Governors, Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Past President, The Lawyers’ Club of Philadelphia
  • Board of Directors, Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia; Chair, Easement Committee
Previous Experience
  • City of Philadelphia, Counsel, Zoning Board of Adjustment
  • Law Department for the City of Philadelphia, Senior Attorney for Zoning and Code Enforcement
  • Law Department for the City of Philadelphia, Chief Deputy City Solicitor, Code Enforcement Unit
  • Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, Associate – Philadelphia, PA
  • Judicial Law Clerk, U.S. District Court, Honorable Clifford Scott Green
  • J.D., Widener University Delaware Law School
  • B.S., Engineering, Widener University
Bar Admissions
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court