It’s a busy week for planning issues at City Council this week, so here’s a roundup of this week’s action: from eminent domain in Point Breeze to zoning changes to Complete Streets legislation.
On the zoning front: City Council is reconsidering significant portions of the city’s new zoning code, amid a chorus of protest from planners, design advocates and some developers, reports PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey. Among the big changes afoot: shifting the size of riparian buffers, setting new parking minimums, and the requirements for Registered Community Organizations.
- Waterfront Setbacks, Bill No. 120654: Wednesday, November 14, 10am. City Council Committee on Rules, City Hall Room 400. How much space needs to remain unbuilt along city waterways in order to absorb stormwater and ensure better water quality? Waterfront and environmental advocates support legislation that would set a 50-foot wide riparian buffer – which also could be a boon for recreational trail development along waterways. But as PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates reports, advocates are now concerned about an amendment to the 50-foot buffer that would permit owners to expand existing buildings that are already within the buffer zone, but no closer than they already are.
- Minimum Parking Requirements, Bill No. 120656: Thursday, November 15, 10am. City Council, City Hall Room 400. New developments in certain mixed-use and residential districts currently don’t have to provide on-site parking. City Council wants to change that, citing neighborhood complaints about a lack of parking.
- Registered Community Organizations, Bill No. 120638: Friday, November 16, 10am. City Council Committee on Rules, City Hall Room 400. Are the requirements for Registered Community Organizations too strict? Are there too few community meetings? And should the District Council Member be in the mix?
Other big, planning items before Council this week include:
- Eminent Domain in Point Breeze Bill No. 120755: Tuesday, November 13, 10am. City Council Committee on Rules, City Hall Room 400. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson is advancing legislation that would enable the Redevelopment Authority’s to take 43 properties by eminent domain “for residential, recreational and related reuses.” This bill is what some folks have called the “Point Breeze land grab,” which has led to a 900+ signature petition in protest. This item is last on this morning’s hearing agenda.
- Complete Streets, Bill No. 120532: Thursday, November 15, 2pm. City Council’s Streets and Services Committee, City Hall Room 400. This bill will change the rules and fines for cyclists in the city’s traffic code, and establish clear “complete streets” design requirements for transportation and development projects.