ZCC to hash out public concerns over new variance guidelines

By Thomas J. Walsh
For PlanPhilly

The Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission will be discussing in detail the “as-of-right” concept of building design and development at this week’s monthly meeting, according to the commission’s publicly posted agenda.

The issue is at the center of the code’s revision and is a main point among those who are advocating for, or concerned about, the City Planning Commission’s proposal for a new Design Review Committee. The committee would largely take the place of “ad hoc” review from community groups, which have traditionally taken their concerns before the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustment if they could not reach a compromise with developers.

From the agenda: “Should we develop a code that creates a dramatic reduction in the need for variances? If so, what measures can we take to ensure that community concerns are addressed?”

The meeting is at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 1515 Arch Street (One Parkway), 18th floor.

Also on the agenda:
• The executive director’s report from Eva Gladstein
• Work Plan Committee report from chair Peter Kelsen
• Civic Engagement report, from Commissioner and chair Natalia Olson de Savyckyj and Beverly Harper of Portfolio Associates

Public comment will be taken before adjournment.

The next scheduled ZCC monthly meeting is March 11, 2009.

Contact the reporter at thomaswalsh1@gmail.com.

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