Will Changes to Philly's New Zoning Code Hurt Development?

Only five months after the city passed the long-overdue update to its 1962 zoning code, City Council members are once again tinkering with the ground rules. Two months after moving to revise parking requirements, they're now focused on outreach.

Jan Ransom reports on the bill sponsored by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell that was approved by the council last week, overriding Mayor Nutter's veto. Critics say that the bill, which is intended to ensure "inclusion across the board," "could significantly slow building projects throughout the city," writes Ransom.

Blackwell's bill expands outreach by requiring "community organizations and zoning applicants to provide notice to each resident within one block of a project, as well as adjacent blocks." The bill, "also allows for multiple mandatory meetings with these 'registered community groups,' or RCOs, instead of just one. In addition, it relaxes the requirements necessary for a group to be considered an RCO and expands the civic design-review committee - created to weigh in on major development projects - to include a designee by a Council member, and a seat for an additional RCO member."

Critics argue that the changes "will stall development when the new code was supposed to help streamline it."

"The bill does not go into effect for 60 days and Nutter said he is hopeful that new legislation will be introduced to further address the administration's concerns," adds Ransom.

Full Story: Does Blackwell's bill hurt city development?

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