Philadelphia Needs Predictable Zoning And Development Process

In Philadelphia, politics, not planning, determines what gets built, according to UPenn Fellow Mark Alan Hughes. A project that can be built as-of-right under the current zoning has riled elected officials and neighbors.

The article calls for a new comprehesive plan and modern zoning code. A City Councilman was upset when a developer did not contact him prior to getting permits for a project that was allowable under the existing zoning. Rather than needing local elected officials to sign off on every project, clear zoning and planning rules should guide development.

"Too little deference toward City Council is not the problem -- and a fat fee for a friendly law firm is not the solution. In fact, our goal should be to make these kinds of counterpunchers irrelevant to life in the city."

"...the most reliable way to deal with issues like parking, height, curb cuts, shadows and everything else is with enforceable rules that govern all development -- not with deals reached on individual cases."

Thanks to Marisa Waxman

Full Story: Twilight Zoning

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