Zoning code reform doesn’t sound very sexy. But all that esoteric talk of “allowed uses” and “C2 districts” can determine how bike-friendly a city is, whether a gun shop can open in your neighborhood, or how urban farms operate. Philadelphia’s Zoning Code Commission is currently finalizing a whole new draft of the city’s zoning code, which will go to City Council next year. In this short series, PlanPhilly will analyze how the new code affects neighborhoods in the Northwest, including Mt. Airy, East Falls, Germantown, West Oak Lane, Manayunk, Roxborough and Chestnut Hill, including reaction to the changes by residents.
Since 1997, restaurants and cafes on Manayunk’s Main Street have not been able to expand their operations.
Meanwhile, tattoo parlors, auto repair stores, courthouses, penal institutions, drive-thrus, piercing shops, private clubs, movie theaters and dance halls — how awesomely anachronistic is the phrase “dance halls”? — haven’t been able to operate on the street, period.
The new zoning code wipes away those restrictions, which are part of the “Manayunk and Venice Island Special District Controls” in the present code. READ MORE