Why Is The Zoning Board So Often At Variance With RCOs?

 

Photo: Maria Pouchnikova, for City Paper

Photo: Maria Pouchnikova, for City Paper

  • City Paper’s Ryan Briggs opines upon on the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA), which after “six years [of the Nutter Administration], a ‘reformed’ code and numerous board appointments… is still drowning in thousands of costly, time-consuming variance requests each year.” Briggs’ portrait of an overly selective, lenient, and complacent municipal body is backed up by the City’s own data: of last month’s 130 appeal cases, 85 were decided—only 10 of which were denied. The opinions of local civic members are often wholly ignored, such as the denial this spring for a transformative project at the vacant lot at 23 & South Street. The ZBA is “still living under the old culture,” suggests Bella Vista Neighborhood Association zoning chairman Larry Weintraub; principled stands have been limited to the hampering of density, but not parking issues.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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