On The Dangers Of Ad Hoc Interpretations Of The Zoning Code



Zoning code interpretation in opposition | Photo: Plan Philly

  • Writing for Plan Philly, Ryan Briggs explores the implications of Councilwoman Cindy Bass’ aborted bill from last week that would have clarified the zoning code’s language of “safety services” and “life protection” uses. Unilateral dishonesty to some but, the Nutter Administration sees it as inclusive reading of the code. The story of Ken Weinstein’s push for the confidential development of a woman’s abuse shelter in Germantown suggests a weakening of the mayor’s assurances for transparent government. Seeing as the “safety services” use is permissible in all zoning categories, Briggs wonders what controls are in place that could prevent this from becoming a more common phenomenon, for it is communities’ trust in the code’s process and not what is written that has people most concerned.
  • CBS Philly discusses plans for an abbreviated Mummers Parade this New Year’s Day, which will start at Dilworth Park for judging, and then march only as south as Broad & Washington. “We want to make sure the people come up and ask to have a picture taken with us,” says Tom Loomis, the president of the Philadelphia String Band Association. “We want to be able to play songs just for the people in the crowd. We want to play songs they recognize. Our shows tend to be a little complex musically, but our music on the street is still good old-fashioned Mummers music and we want to show them we still have that.”
  • According to Flying Kite, the Community Design Collaborative (CDC) is one of eight organizations selected by GlaxoSmithKline to receive an IMPACT Award grant of $40,000. CDC will use this money to assist in the planning of five “community health and wellness projects,” as well as the updating of its website. This year’s other recipients include the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the University City District.
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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