Council introduces end-of-session zoning code changes

Last week, City Council members introduced a slate of ordinances that make various changes to the zoning code and the zoning maps, some of which clarify regulations citywide, and others that are aimed at helping specific projects move forward. The bills will be considered at a Rules Committee hearing on June 9th.

The bills:

  • Require the Commerce Director to be notified when industrial sites are being rezoned, or when their owners seek zoning variances. Eric Horvath, a spokesman for Councilman Bobby Henon, who introduced the bill, confirmed that the bill is intended to ensure that the city’s Office of Manufacturing and Industry is looped in when owners want to use industrially zoned properties for non-industrial purposes.

  • Give the city an easement for a pedestrian street at the site of the East Market project, at 11th and Market streets. The easement will follow Ludlow Street between 11th and 12th, and also connect Ludlow to Market through the middle of the project. PlanPhilly wrote about the pedestrian amenities planned there last year.

  • Allow for balconies and limit the area of pilot houses. The zoning code already limited the height of pilot houses, which allow access to rooftop decks, but it hadn’t limited their square footage, which led some owners to seek pilot houses which looked more like extra floors.

  • Create a zoning overlay for East Callowhill, in the area bounded by 2nd and 6th, Spring Garden and Callowhill streets. The overlay provides height bonuses for projects that provide stormwater open space and through-block connections. The bill would give bonuses specifically for projects that would extend Noble Street westwardly from 2nd to 6th. It also rezones every property in the area from I-2, an industrial zoning district, to CMX-3, a mid-density commercial classification seen on the Central Delaware waterfront. Councilman Mark Squilla’s office, which represents the area and introduced the bill, said it had been workshopped with the Planning Commission and neighborhood groups, and is aimed at bringing more density to the area.

Council members also introduced half a dozen zoning remappings. The bills would rezone properties in the following areas:

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal