Good morning, Streeters. Here’s your Wednesday morning Buzz:
PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports on City Council’s continuing efforts to alter the city’s newly minted zoning code:
- Councilman O’Neill’s effort to make commercial corridor zoning more restrictive was hotly debated in Council’s Committee on Rules Tuesday, but did not reach agreement on the bill. O’Neill is seeking to reduce the types of commercial uses that are permitted by right, thereby increasing the volume of variances and special exceptions and ZBA cases. As PlanPhilly previously reported, O’Neill’s proposed changes would affect his district least of all.
- The Rules Committee approved a bill introduced by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell’s that will change the community input processes established by the new zoning code. Among the changes: increased public notice requirements for developers; developers may hold community meetings with different groups (instead of just one); and the composition of the Civic Design Review Committee was expanded to allow Councilmembers would be able to appoint a representative and for there to be more than one RCO representative. The Planning Commission recommended that the bill not be approved, but Deputy Commissioner Eva Gladstein said the revised version debated in committee represented a less unpalatable set of compromises.
In Frankford a group of street artists opened Store, with an unconventional approach for youth engagement through graffiti, reports Flying Kite. Among the goals for this upstart space is to keep graffiti contained to certain places and enlist volunteer crews to paint over tags where they’re unauthorized. Emer, one man behind the Store said: “We would bring our own crew to take care of these buildings. How much is the city paying for graffiti upkeep? Blighted properties would be open season. If it’s not being torn down and is a hazard on the city’s part, that property is going to get written on until the end of days, until the city deals with it.”
Councilman Mark Squilla wants to make it harder for blocks to restrict parking with residential permits, reports the Daily News. Right now blocks only need 51% of residents to sign a petition in favor of permit parking, but Squilla has introduced a bill to increase that requirement to 70%.
West Philly’s Neighborhood Foods is one of five finalists for this year’s TEDxManhattan Challenge, to present their model for community food production and distribution at the talks in February, Flying Kite reports. This year’s TEDxManhattan is organized around the theme of “Changing the Way We Eat” and the folks behind Neighborhood Foods say that if they win they’d get great exposure to groups from across the country. You can still vote for Neighborhood Foods online.
The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.