December 5, 2012 |
The ink on Philadelphia's zoning reform has barely dried, but Council nonetheless held an epic committee hearing Tuesday to debate changes to a code that took four years to write. One of the proposals would return to the old standards under which businesses and other uses are permissible in neighborhood commercial districts - reversing an effort to conform the code to new-urbanism ideals of walkable, dense neighborhoods. Another would change some of the requirements for notifying and seeking input from neighbors and community groups on proposed developments.
December 4, 2012
By Kiki Bolender Today the City Council Rules Committee has the chance to reaffirm one of the best ideas in the new zoning code: registered community organizations, which give citizens a real seat at the table in the development process. Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell has introduced a bill that would gut these organizations. She argues that her proposal would give her constituents more say on what's built in their neighborhoods. But it would very likely have the opposite effect. The bill would consolidate even more power over development decisions in the hands of district Council members.
December 2, 2012 |
Now in his third season with the 76ers, swingman Evan Turner appears to be overcoming the major obstacle that has prevented him from being a more consistent professional. That obstacle is Turner himself. Though Sixers fans have been quick to judge whether taking Turner with the second overall pick was the right choice, Turner and coach Doug Collins knew the process would take some time for the former Ohio State star. Not that Turner has reached his peak as a professional, but where he is now, compared with his first couple of seasons, is as different as the college and pro games.
November 27, 2012 |
Passing along some city high school football tidbits . . . AT ONE END of the touchdowns-by-brothers spectrum, you have West Catholic's Hollomons and completely at the other you have Roman Catholic's Shieldses. Two years apart, Rob (interception in 2007) and Brandon Hollomon (punt in 2009) notched 99-yard scores on returns. Also 2 years apart, Kerry (rush) and Collin Shields (fumble return) posted 1-yarders. The Shields guys, a pair of linemen, had their fun against Roxborough.
November 19, 2012
IT'S BEEN SAID that democracy is messy. For some elected officials, unfortunately, democracy also appears to be inconvenient. In just the past few weeks, more than one Council member has tried to alter the city's new zoning code, which took four years of intense community work and civic meetings to devise, in a process that was approved by a citywide ballot measure. The effort was not just a victory for a highly civic process, but also a victory over the city's own 50-year history - the last time the zoning code was revised - of Byzantine rules that tested developers, builders and residents alike.
November 16, 2012 |
Philadelphia City Council on Wednesday resolved the first big conflict to emerge from the zoning code overhaul, reaching an agreement on a 50-foot buffer for streams and rivers, but other challenges to the new code still loom. The buffer pitted environmentalists trying to protect waterways against developers concerned about the impact. A compromise brokered largely by Councilman Bobby Henon makes four riverfront uses - marine-related industry, marinas, utilities, and city-owned facilities - permissible within the buffer.
November 16, 2012 |
AT A TIME when Philadelphia is trying to revitalize its commercial corridors, local development groups raised concerns Wednesday about changes that City Council is planning to the new zoning code that would revert back to the city's previous practice of restricting what businesses are allowed on neighborhood shopping strips. The Nutter administration had serious concerns about the amendment proposed by Councilman Brian O'Neill at Council's Rules Committee hearing Wednesday that would impose "dramatic changes" to one-third of the city's commercially zoned spaces.
November 14, 2012
It's only been a few months since Philadelphia enacted a new zoning code. But now City Councilman Brian O'Neill is trying to amend it to make it harder for pet shops, veterans' halls, hardware stores, and other small businesses to open their doors. As well-intended as O'Neill's legislation might be, it will undermine years of hard work to make it easier for Philadelphia to change old land uses into new ones. For too long, the city had labored under an antiquated zoning code more appropriate for its industrial past.
November 10, 2012 |
The underlying narrative of the Nutter years has been the clash between Old Philadelphia and New Philadelphia. Old Philadelphia wants to keep decision-making within a tight group of insiders and parcel out changes like packs of fun-size Halloween candy. New Philadelphia likes to cast a wider net and crowd-source big ideas. It can hardly wait for this gritty manufacturing town to be remade. The new zoning code is the creation of New Philadelphia, and it borrows liberally from the latest urban thinking: It favors density and transit while discouraging parking.
November 9, 2012 |
THE EAGLES' red-zone results in New Orleans were stunning - 0-for-5 on 17 snaps, minus penalties, one play that gained yardage, two turnovers, two field goals, the only TD the pick-six Michael Vick threw. "Geez. I believe we were 4-for-6 in the two ballgames preceding this last one [actually it was 3-for-6], so I thought we were going, on that," Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Thursday. "I think we ran the ball three times for minus-1 . . . and then the passing game was worse.