Philadelphia Zoning Concerns Highlight Need For Revision

<p>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.</p>
February 18, 2007, 1pm PST | Nate Berg
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"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."

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Published on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 in Philadelphia City Paper
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