Comprehensive Zoning Code Reform Just Passed in Philadelphia

Comprehensive Zoning Code Reform Just Passed in Philadelphia

On August 22nd, 2012, the City of Philadelphia passed it’s first major overhaul of its zoning code in more than 50 years. Thanks to the Zoning Code Commission (ZCC), who executed an expansive audit of many of Philadelphia’s business, neighborhood groups, civic leaders, etc, the new zoning code is intended to ease diverse urban growth patterns in the city and accommodate the aspirations of all of Philadelphia’s development stakeholders. In addition, the new code will make way for the creation of new jobs, and make it easier for developers to get projects off the ground.

While the 384-page code is purportedly user-friendlier than the old code, it’s still a dense read. Take a look at the the readers digest version of what the new zoning code entails below (taken from the ZCC’s web site):

• A reduced number of zoning classifications

• Incorporation of a civic design review process

• Establishment of the role of citizens in the zoning approval process

Although the code has yet to stand the test of time, Mayor Nutter, City Council and the ZCC believe that the new code creates much-needed transparency, engagement and interactivity amongst the public and local developers. With the new, simpler zoning code in place, Philadelphians can devote their energies to creating smart, collaborative changes in their neighborhoods instead of navigating the rigid guideless of the old code.

I have high hopes for the new code, considering that exhaustive planning, preparation and revision when into its composition. If you’d like to learn more about the new code, visit these sites,,, and tell us what you think about the new code in the comments section.

Brigit Brust Headshot
Phone: 267-235-7516
Dated: September 28th 2012
Views: 3,668
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