Zoning overhaul crosses finish line in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter officially has approved a complete overhaul of the city zoning code.  

The half-century old code needed a top to bottom makeover.  The new version was more than four years in the making.  Mayor Michael Nutter says the goal is to make it easier develop new buildings or renovate old ones.

“You just shouldn’t have to have a Ph.D. to read the zoning code for this city you should actually be able to move a development through the process in your own lifetime,” said Nutter.

Eva Gladstein, Executive Director of the Zoning Code Commission, says the changes will make things easier, but there are some things the code does not do.

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“People want zoning to do everything and fix every ill in their community,” said Gladstein.  “We learned that zoning doesn’t control behavior. We learned that it will not cure the recession and bring the market back tomorrow and it’s not going to cure the common cold.”

The code won’t be implemented until August.  Next zoning maps need to be drawn.

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