City Council passes resolution sending recommendations back to Zoning Code Commission

By Jared Brey
Plan Philly, October 21, 2011

The Zoning Code Commission's final report on reforming the zoning code in Philadelphia must be before City Council within 30 days. Council passed a resolution Thursday officially sending recommendations to the ZCC, the third-to-last step on the charter-mandated timeline for zoning reform.

The resolution was passed along with an appendix carrying 40 proposed amendments to the Commission's preliminary report, which was issued in May. A handful of those amendments touch on issues discussed in a ZCC meeting last week. For example, the resolution recommends:

     - Eliminating mandatory submission requirements for Community Benefits Agreements

     - Eliminating mandatory adherence to Sky Plane controls, and giving builders an option of using either those controls or the   Bulk and Massing regulations of the current code

     - Allowing a district councilperson to act as a Registered Community Organization for any project in his or her district in which no RCO has jurisdiction

     - Incorporating the burden-of-proof standards laid out in Bray v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of Philadelphia into the new zoning code.

ZCC Executive Director Eva Gladstein told PlanPhilly that some of the amendments were "newish," but none was particularly surprising. The Commission is not required to incorporate Council's recommendations into its final report--but Council is not required to adopt the Commission's draft of a new code either. These amendments will certainly be discussed at  the next meeting of the ZCC, on Wednesday, October 26th, at 8 a.m. All ZCC meetings are open to the public.

Contact the reporter at jaredbrey@gmail.com