Zoning code overhaul advances in Philadelphia

The first comprehensive overhaul of Philadelphia’s zoning laws in half a century is inching forward. The City Council Tuesday finished the formal public comment period.

City Councilman Jim Kenney says he’s happy with the work of the zoning code commission over the four years it took to rewrite the zoning code.

“I describe it as cleaning out your basement after 50 years so it’s nice and clean so you can put more stuff in it,” Kenney said.

Councilman Curtis Jones said he would like to see some changes to the new code, including the preservation of open space and regulation of nuisance bars.

“Some saloons, you have a shooting every 28 days,” he said

The reform plan now can move forward, said Eva Gladstein, executive director of the commission.

“Council has 30 days to give us their formal recommendations through a resolution and then, within another 30 days, to give back a report,” she said. “That’s actually the legislation they would vote on.”

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