Council Report Card: Week of November 7th

In which Blondell Reynolds-Brown calls for a sustainability pro on the Civic Design Review Committee; Darrell Clarke (via Bill Greenlee) proposes upzoning parts of Logan Square; Bobby Henon proposes changing the way city contracts are awarded; Kenyatta Johnson proposes buying some land near the airport; Derek Green, Helen Gym, and Mark Squilla propose giving L+I the power to shut down discriminatory businesses; and everybody except Darrell Clarke, Bill Greenlee, and Maria Quinones-Sanchez calls for hearings on increasing the number of buffered and protected bike lanes. Continue reading

Map: Some Councilmembers still aren't cooperating with zoning remapping

Back in 2007, city voters approved a ballot initiative establishing a Zoning Code Commission that would review and make changes to Philly's 1950's-era zoning code with the aim of making development more predictable, and less political. Continue reading

Single-Building Improvement District Passes, 9th Street BID Being Reworked

A City Council bill creating a Neighborhood Improvement District for just one single parcel--the W Hotel at 15th and Chestnut--passed Council unanimously last Thursday, reports Ryan Briggs. Continue reading

SEPTA Strike Highlights Competition Between Progressive Priorities on Transit

One important point of fact that's been curiously absent from the SEPTA strike conversations is that the state troopers budget is on course to gobble up the entire increase in transportation funding by the end of the decade. Continue reading

Philly Making the Most of the Rail Park Through Pro-Growth Zoning

(Original photo by Kyle Huff, Sumopaint by Jon Geeting) Philadelphia broke ground on the first section of the Rail Park yesterday, after closing most of the funding gap for the project's first-phase with a $3.5 million Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program grant from the state. This is exciting news for Philly not just because we're getting a great new public space, but also because the state's investment will attract lots of follow-on private investment in the area. It's a near-perfect example of how state economic development spending should work.  Continue reading

Council Report Card: Week of October 31st

In which Maria Quinones-Sanchez tries to tone down the reality TV pizzazz of our local towing industry; Council calls for hearings on the distribution of City contracts for Rebuild projects; and Derek Green, Cherelle Parker, and Mark Squilla hold hearings to introduce the Commerce Department's new small business lending consortium. Continue reading

Derailed 9th Street BID Highlights Undemocratic New State BID Law

(Totally not in need of street cleaning) Jake Blumgart reports that Italian Market property owners succeeded in stopping a vote on a bill from Councilman Mark Squilla that would have established a Business Improvement District for the Market and parts of Washington Avenue. Continue reading

Philly Restaurants Shouldn't Have to Compete With Wawa For Liquor Licenses

  As part of the last-minute burst of legislating in Harrisburg, Jan Murphy reports the PA Senate passed another round of liquor modernization legislation that, among other things, would allow beer distributors to sell six-packs. Continue reading

David Oh Staffers Fined for Violating Ethics Rules

David Oh's office got smacked with yet more fines from the Ethics Board for doing political campaign work on city time, reports Tricia Nadolny.  Continue reading

Council Report Card: Week of October 24th

In which Derek Green and Bobby Henon propose rules regulating the locations of medical marijuana dispensaries; Mark Squilla proposes allowing more housing near the future Rail Park; Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, Kenyatta Johnson, and Bill Greenlee (for Darrell Clarke) transfer some more public properties to the Land Bank; and Cindy Bass calls for hearings on increasing City WiFi access. Continue reading