By Matt Blanchard
The first appointments to Philadelphia’s Zoning Reform Commission were announced on Thursday. Among them are architects, urban planners, developers, politicians and community activists.
Voted into existence by a citywide referendum, the Z.R.C. will have the historic task of rewriting the city’s 1962 zoning code. The old code, hundreds of pages long and heaped with amendments, is seen as a hindrance to intelligent design and planning.
Janice Woodcock, head of the City Planning Commission, is required by the original legislation to serve as the chair of the ZRC. Woodcock said Thursday that the committee seems to be attracting worthy nominees.
“The names that I’ve seen are great people. I’m very excited,” Woodcock said.
Indeed, Councilman Frank DiCicco’s office reports receiving a “ton” of volunteers, from planning experts, to zoning attorneys, real estate developers and even a child advocacy group eager to ensure fair zoning for day care centers. All were vying to fill the one nomination allowed DiCicco as a district councilman.
The remaining 16 members should be in place before August 3rd, when the board is required by law to begin deliberations. Woodcock said she’s looking forward to that day: “We can all see the impact of not having a plan, and not having sound regulations,” she said.
Chair: Janice Woodcock, Head of City Planning Department
David Auspitz, Chair of City Zoning Board of Adjustment
Robert Solvibile, Head of City Department of Licenses and Inspections
City Councilman Darrell Clarke
City Councilman Frank DiCicco
City Councilman Brian J. O’Neill
John Westrum, CEO Westrum Development Co., builder of Brewerytown and Packer Park homes. (selected by Verna)
Emmanuel Kelly AIA, of Kelly/Maiello Architects (Verna)
Eleanore Sharpe, Urban planner and associate director of UPenn’s Center for Community Partnerships. (Verna)
Greg Pastore, Bellavista Town Watch (Frank DiCicco)
Guy Pigliacelli, Local 1050 Carpenters & Joiners Union (Verna)
Ann Hoskins-Brown, South of South Neighborhood Association (Verna)
Richard DeMarco, zoning attorney, Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers LLP (Verna)
MeLinda DeNofa, Molly Construction Co. (not known)
Wendella Fox, U.S. Dept.of Education, Office for Civil Rights (Donna Reed Miller)
The commission must include:
The Commissioner of Licenses & Inspections
Chairman of the Zoning Board of Adjustment
Three city council members
One representative each from these chambers of commerce: Greater Philadelphia;Greater
Northeast; Philadelphia African-American; Philadelphia Asian-American; Philadelphia Hispanic
Five members appointed by the mayor
Five members appointed by council president
One member appointed by each city council members