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    • Drew Nugent and his band play while the Peek-A-Book Revue gets ready to start dancing the Charleston at a realtor's open house in East Kensington.

As Philadelphia’s housing market booms, economists warn the city may be in a bubble—or something worse

Stephanie Somers knows how to throw a party. At an open house for a set of townhouses built out the shell of an 105-year-old rectory, the realtor picked a Prohibition theme.…

    • The Zoning Code Commission sent its final report to City Council last fall

Five years into remapping process, City Council has yet to rezone half of the city

The remapping of Philadelphia’s neighborhood zoning is unfolding at a halting pace, although the process picked up speed in the last year, according to data presented at a Planning Commission meeting…

    • 2016 rendering of K4 development 'Liberty on the River' | Barton Partners

Cry me a River: Central Delaware advocates debate changes to waterfront zoning, height limits

Thursday night, the Central Delaware Advocacy Group (CDAG) gathered to hear Mark Squilla explain his  proposal to allow the construction of  significantly taller buildings along the waterfront. In the Independence Seaport…

    • Darrell Clarke

Clarke Park: Council President wants builders to make more space for cars

In the last City Council session before summer recess, City Council President Darrell Clarke introduced a bill that might reopen the battle over parking in Philadelphia. The proposed legislation would double…

    • 1911 Walnut - Sansom Street rendering | Southern Land Company, June 2017

1911 Walnut tower plans updated as project nears final legislative approval

The Southern Land Company’s final plan for the development at 1911 Walnut Street came into clear focus at Tuesday’s meeting of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. The project will fill in…

    • 2016 rendering of K4 development 'Liberty on the River' | Barton Partners

Waterfront advocates push back on Squilla's plan to increase height limit for Central Delaware development

The Delaware Waterfront has seen more than its share of beautifully rendered glassy towers with sweeping waterfront views, and heard many promises of thousands of new residents. Back in 2007 PlanPhilly…

    • Portable feather signs hanging at an auto lot in Northeast Philadelphia | Google Street View, 2014

Henon bill aims to rid sidewalks of inflatable tube men, portable signs

Sidewalk advertisements are everywhere, blooming from the pavement and parking lots in colorful bursts. Fluttering flags in Center City hawk cell phones, while inflatable men of disquieting size billow on the…

    • 2016 rendering of K4 development 'Liberty on the River' | Barton Partners

Squilla calls increased Delaware waterfront height limit ‘progressive’ – waterfront advocates say it would undercut plan

Harris Steinberg fears that Philadelphia’s Delaware waterfront may be returning to the bad old days. Almost 10 years ago, when Steinberg ran PennPraxis, he presented a civic vision for seven miles…

    • PPA lot at 1339 South 12th Street| Dena Driscoll

Parking Authority plan to put billboards on neighborhood parking lots contested

The Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) wants to make a little extra cash by selling advertising space in a handful of its parking lots and garages. Community activists, who don’t want billboards…

    • RCO Map detail

Council still reworking rules for community orgs in development process

Friday’s Rules Committee hearing centered on two bills related to Registered Community Organizations (RCOs), neighborhood groups that are deeply embedded in Philadelphia’s development process. RCOs are geographically-specific organizations, created as part…

    • Frank DiCicco, 2017 | Emma Lee / WHYY

Q&A with Frank DiCicco, former councilman turned new zoning board chair

Through the last half of the 20th century, Philadelphia’s mid-century zoning code was Frankenstein-ed into an impenetrable tome, creating a convoluted development process, and empowering the local politicians who became its…

    • Walking Uptown, 16th and Ridge

Francisville downzoning objections come to Council too late

The public comment period near the end of each City Council session is rarely a forum for reasoned criticisms of pending legislation. If a critic enjoys the clout or the know-how,…

    • Tacony Music Hall (file)

Tacony sex-positive community center will proceed without zoning relief

On Wednesday the sex-positive community center proposed for the Tacony Music Hall was slated to go before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA). Instead it asked for a continuance, pushing the…

    • Tacony community meeting about 'sex-positive community center' on March 23, 2017 | Jake Blumgart/PlanPhilly

Proposed 'sex-positive community center' gets fair hearing from Tacony residents

Thursday night’s community meeting in Tacony went better than anyone could have expected. A proposal to open a private sex-positive club in the midst of a residential neighborhood would likely stir…

    • Zoning notification diagram, 2016 RCO Fact Sheet

Councilman Henon proposes changes to RCO requirements and zoning notice

On Thursday Councilman Bobby Henon introduced legislation to tweak the regulations governing the city’s Registered Community Organizations (RCOs). A product of the 2012 zoning code, RCOs are geographically-specific organizations that developers…

    • Tacony Music Hall (file)

Will Tacony Music Hall turn into 'sex-positive community center'?

The Victorian redbrick Tacony Music Hall is an icon of this working class riverfront community in the lower Northeast. The stately bulk of the building is breathtaking, standing out from its…

    • Stations for Recommended TOD Overlays

Council proposes zoning changes to drive transit-oriented development

When Philadelphia adopted its new zoning code in 2013, policymakers included an overlay provision meant to encourage denser development around transit stations. In theory, it meant that developers could build more…

    • Planner David Fecteau discussing zoning changes with Somerset Neighbors for Better Living, January 2017

Scrap yard fight in Kensington won't end with rezoning

On Monday night, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) gave the members of Somerset Neighbors for Better Living (SNBL) some good news regarding the future of three scrap yards located north…

    • Silver Street outside Philadelphia Scrap Metal | Catalina Jaramillo, January 2016

Kensington neighbors living by scrap yards want a future without salvage next door

On Wednesday morning, Shawn Rowe and his wife were crossing East Silver Street in Kensington with their 3-year-old daughter and their newborn in a stroller. The block, near the intersection of…

    • Zoning map detail showing CMX 2.5 and CMX 2 zones in North Philadelphia

Planning Commission supports 36 changes to zoning code

2016’s final meeting of the Planning Commission centered on a year end zoning reform omnibus bill introduced by Councilman William Greenlee on behalf of City Council President Darrell Clarke. The bill…

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