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Outgoing City Councilmember Suggests Zoning Overhaul in Philadelphia

Land use was a deciding factor in May when long-time Philadelphia City Councilmember Jannie Blackwell lost in a May primary election. Now, in a final month in office, Blackwell proposes the changes that some community members were waiting for.
November 18, 2019, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Philadelphia City Councilmember Jannie Blackwell introduced eight bills to reconfigure zoning in West Philadelphia, with just a month left in office, reports Jake Blumgart.

"Given Council’s tradition of councilmanic prerogative, where district representatives get preference over land use legislation in their territory, the bills are virtually guaranteed passage," according to Blumgart.

Councilmember Blackwell lost in the primary of the May election, to Jamie Gauthier, who has a planning degree.

As for the zoning changes proposed by Councilmember Blackwell, Blumgart explains this: "Blackwell’s measures largely include the kind of corrective remapping — changing underlying zoning to match what is already there — that many neighborhood groups have long requested to no avail. They mostly cover Kingsessing and Cobbs Creek, with a few smaller areas of Powelton Village and Belmont."

According to Blumgart, Blackwell mostly utilized spot zoning in a 25-year City Council craeer.

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Published on Friday, November 15, 2019 in WHYY
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