Zoning code versus Northeast politics

By Ian Romano and Megan Paolini
For Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Councilman Brian O’Neill, who sits on the Zoning Code Commission, said he thinks the zoning code is a disaster for regions outside of Old City and Center City, which are under pressure for development.

“[The revised zoning draft] was supposed to be focused on areas where the zoning code didn’t match. Where people weren’t happy with the zoning code,” O’Neill said. “The areas that are stable, we were not supposed to be hurt. This code not only hurts us, but everything in here is a remapping. It’s a backdoor remapping. When this code is approved in its current form your whole neighborhood will change as to what is allowed next door to you, down the block, around the corner and it’s a downgrade. It is not an upgrade.”

O’Neill said he only voted for the preliminary code in February so that people could have something to actually look at. But he said he can’t accept it in its current form.

Future hard looks are most likely to happen with City Council’s involvement—on May 11, the ZCC is scheduled to vote on whether to send its preliminary report along for Council hearings and feedbacks. Judgment day!

The next full meeting of the ZCC is on Wednesday, May 11 at 8:00 a.m. 1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor. FULL STORY AND VIDEO

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