Voters in Philadelphia May Birth a New Planning Department
If voters approve it, an amendment to Philly's Home Rule Charter would result in a new Department of Planning and Development, led by a cabinet-level director in the Mayor's Office. The newly formed department would consolidate oversight of "the City's planning, zoning, development services and housing and community development functions" reports Jared Brey of PlanPhilly.
“For too long, offices that have a role in development were permitted to row in different directions and not communicate with each other, creating a confusing and frustrating environment for those who want to help Philadelphia grow and prosper,” [City Council President Darrell Clarke] wrote in a letter to civic groups earlier this week. “More significantly, this confusion allowed city government to evade accountability. If Ballot Question No. 2 is approved, the buck will stop with one Department head who reports directly to the mayor.”
If approved, Brey reports the newly created cabinet level position will be paid an annual salary of $150,000 and the new department will be split into three divisions, including development services, planning and zoning, and a division of housing and community development.