If you've got something to say about the new zoning code--either the one that was enacted last August or the one that remains after City Council has adopted a series of amendments since then--now's the time.
For the next three weeks, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission will be hosting public events to gather feedback on how well the city's new zoning code, enacted last August, has been working. The first session, on June 5th, will be specific to the Registered Community Organization process; the rest will be more general. The Planning Commission will also provide an online form for feedback from those who can't attend a session.
A press release with full detail and a schedule is copied below:
HOW IS THE NEW ZONING CODE WORKING?
PLANNING COMMISSION TO HOST PUBLIC FEEDBACK SESSIONS TO FIND OUT
Six public feedback meetings will allow those who have used the new code to share pros/cons of during its first year of implementation. Informs one-year zoning code report for City Council.
WHAT: Public feedback sessions to solicit input on experiences with the new zoning code that was enacted in August 2012. The new code, which marked the first comprehensive zoning code in more than 50 years, was the result of a thorough civic engagement process led by the City’s appointed Zoning Code Commission. This process is part of the larger Philadelphia 2035 Vision.
Designed to preserve the best of neighborhood character, the new zoning code updates and codifies the City’s regulations for development and sets expectations regarding land use. By streamlining antiquated regulations that dated back to the Kennedy administration, the new code also transforms the way developers and community groups work together.
The feedback sessions are designed to elicit opinions from anyone who has used the zoning code in the last year. What is working better? What still needs to be revised and improved? Each group is limited to 30 participants per session and designed to be interactive.
WHEN: All of the sessions are similar except for June 5. Participants should select one session date:
Wednesday, June 5, 5:30-6:30 p.m. (special topic session on registered community organizations RCOs)
Friday, June 7, 8- 9 a.m.
Monday, June 10, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, June 19, Noon-1 p.m.
Friday, June 21, 8-9 a.m.
Those who are unable to attend the sessions, may provide feedback via an online survey available from June 12-24 at www.phila.gov/cityplanning
WHERE: One Parkway Building, 1515 Arch St, 18th Floor, Room 18029
WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Community members, developers, design professionals, attorneys, and anyone who has used the zoning code in the last year.
WHY: The Planning Commission has made it a priority to solicit public input at all stages. The goal is to continue to refine and improve the code to make it a usable, helpful and respected process. The former code was out-of-date and burdensome. The new code is designed to improve the process and allow development to move at a faster pace and with fewer barriers. The one-year review will show the public that the City values the input of the code’s users.
Jared Brey is a freelance reporter based in Philadelphia. His work has been featured in Philadelphia magazine, Hidden City, The Philadelphia Inquirer, City & State, and other publications. He covered development, zoning policy, historic preservation, and city government for PlanPhilly from 2011-2016.