City Council to hold public hearing on ZCC’s Final Report

The Zoning Code Commission’s Final Report—representing half a decade of work and innumerable adjustments, rearrangements, additions and deletions—will be subject to a public hearing in City Council chambers Wednesday morning before going up for a vote next week.

The report has been introduced by Councilman Frank DiCicco through Bill No. 110845, which would repeal the current code and replace it with the ZCC’s report. 

The Final Report, as PlanPhilly has previously reported, contains a number of provisions different from those in the Preliminary Report, issued in May.

Some overlays were put back in, some use regulations were amended, and all of City Council’s forty recommended amendments were added to the final text.

The tedious work of a few dozen Commissioners is ended, and the report is in Council’s hands. 

Many stakeholders, including ZCC Commissioners, have stressed the importance of passing a new zoning code this calendar year, before six new Council members take their seats. Some have feared that a new Council would be unlikely to pass the zoning code quickly, which may jeopardize its passage altogether.

The reform process has extended to the last minute, but it appears likely that City Council will vote to enact a new zoning code this month.

Per the Charter amendment which created the ZCC, Council can vote to pass, reject, or table the report at next week’s vote. It may not amend the final report prior to its passage. However, at least one amending bill, No. 110835, sponsored by Councilwoman Marian Tasco, has been introduced alongside the bill that would enact the new code.

Tasco’s bill makes a one-word change to a provision of the zoning code affecting conditional zoning approvals. While it does not change the text of the Final Report itself prior to passage, it has the same effect, changing the report as soon as it becomes law. If the new code passes next week, it will be effective in August 2012.

Contact the reporter at jaredbrey@gmail.com

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