A little over a year after zoning overhaul, Philly tweaks community input

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Philadelphia’s year-old zoning code demands that certain Registered Community Organizations be consulted on new developments.

A City Council committee has voted to change the rules governing RCO’s.

The bill ends citywide RCO’s that focus on a specific issue rather than a neighborhood. It also says developers only have to hold one meeting for all interested RCO’s instead of one gathering for each group.

Sponsor Councilman Bobby Henon says the revised bill is designed to take input from everyone without overloading the process.

“I think this final product has changed for he better and I think on a citywide policy level from a zoning perspective it’s a good product,” Henon said.

The changes also include limiting community notification only to property owners within about a half block of proposed construction. Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell doesn’t like that.

“This legislation that was created by administration, they created RCO’s passed them and decided then they didn’t want it,” Blackwell said. “We think we could make it work, but people have to be open and willing to work certain things out.”

Blackwell says she’s thankful the bill can’t get passed until the new year, which could give her time to amend it some more.

 

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