On November 17, 2010, the Commission released a revised version of the ordinance in response to public concerns and commentary. (Click here to read revised draft.) The Commission on Parks and Recreation will vote on the final ordinance at their January 19, 2011 meeting at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Central Branch, 6:00 p.m. Once the proposed bill is accepted by the Commission, it will be introduced at City Council, which as part of its legislative review will hold a public hearing for additional comment.
The revised ordinance includes a number of new provisions that clearly emphasize that the purpose of the ordinance is to protect parkland, and that the transfer or conversion of open space is to be the exception rather than the rule. The revised ordinance also strengthens the public participation provisions ensuring that the public has a meaningful opportunity to be heard on any proposed transfer or conversion of parkland.
The Parks Alliance is pleased to support the passage of the revised ordinance, which reflects many of the comments received by the Commission. PPA’s backing comes after months of review, research and conversation with constituents and the Commission, along with 100 hours of pro-bono legal counsel generously donated by our partner PennFuture, who made their Senior Attorney Brian Glass available to work with us as needed. PPA supports this ordinance with the understanding that the Commission will create guidance materials to address acquisition and provide direction on how to apply the ordinance.
The Parks Alliance thanks the members of the Commission for their dedication to protecting and improving Philadelphia’s parks and recreation; for their considerable work in drafting and revising the ordinance; and for their responsiveness to addressing feedback and concerns from the public and the parks and recreation community.