Philadelphia Zoning Concerns Highlight Need For Revision

Many citizens have voiced concerns over approved developments in Philadelphia. As zoning issues take center stage in public hearings and disputes, the city readies itself for a May vote to create a zoning commission that will revise the process.

"As the city welcomes back badly needed development - at a scale and intensity that has not been seen in decades - discontent, dispiritedness and accusations of political impropriety are everywhere. Yet the development community - those who must regularly deal with zoning - are equally dissatisfied. A recent report by the Building Industry Associuation of Philadelphia says that the city's zoning is 'cumbersome and difficult to use.' It claims the 47-year-old code has driven up the cost of development and that it is nearly impossible to build modern housing in the city without a variance."

"Last week, City Council took concrete steps to address this situation. It unanimously approved a measure sponsored by Councilman Frank DiCicco that will place a referendum on the May ballot on whether to create a Philadelphia Zoning Commission. If approved, the commission would be charged with rewriting the 600-plus-page code and redrawing all the maps that go with it."

Full Story: Zoned Out

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