How Can the City Make Life Easier for RCOs?

(Photo: Jon Geeting) Five years ago, Philly created the Registered Community Organization (RCO) system as the official channel for citizens to be involved in the zoning and land development process.  Continue reading

SEPTA: Stop Worrying About Uber and Make Transit More Convenient

(The 48 bus | Photo: Philadelphia Magazine) We're over at the Inquirer op-ed page today, laying out some customer-friendly changes SEPTA can make to their bus network to stop bleeding ridership.  Continue reading

Council Report Card: September 25th

In which Derek Green (At-Large) proposes to clean the detritus from out the City Code; Jannie Blackwell (3rd District) proposes extending the lives of eighteen West Philly Keystone Opportunity Zones as a carrot for Amazon; and Mark Squilla (1st District) and Darrell Clarke (Council President, 5th District) propose rezoning some large industrially-zoned properties in South Kensington and Olde Richmond (and notably neglect sprawl repair opportunities on Aramingo and York.) Continue reading

The ZBA Approves Industrial Conversions All the Time. Why Not the Quaker Building?

(Quaker Building | Photo: Post Brothers) Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron uses her column this week to blast the Zoning Board of Adjustment for their transparently political rejection of Post Brothers' redevelopment plan for the Quaker Building at 9th and Poplar.  Continue reading

Wayne Junction Proposal is the Development Model Philly Needs

(City Council should let more people live and work near Wayne Junction | Image: Philadelphia Zoning Map) Northwest Philly developer Ken Weinstein announced a major new redevelopment plan for the Wayne Junction regional rail station area this week, reports Jacob Adelman. Weinstein's company Philly Office Retail will invest $12 million to restore several buildings near the station with new offices, businesses, housing, and a trolley car diner.  Continue reading

University City is Easily the Best Location for Amazon (in Philadelphia)

(Amazon's Seattle HQ | Photo: Jon Geeting) Apart from a handful of naysayers, there appears to be a strong consensus forming in political and media circles that Philadelphia should make a bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, and that we might even have a shot.  Continue reading

ZBA Rejects Quaker Building Plan Despite RCO Support

(The Quaker Building | Image: Post Brothers) Last week we wrote about how wards shouldn't be officially recognized as RCOs by the city, and discussed the example of the 14th Ward organization being assigned as the coordinating RCO to hear Post Brothers' zoning appeal for a conversion of the long-vacant industrial Quaker Building into a 350-unit apartment building at 9th and Poplar. Continue reading

Philly Dems Need a Loyal Opposition, and the GOP Isn't Interested

(Bob Brady (left) with Mike Meehan (right)) The most important bedrock reality of Philadelphia politics is that registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by about 8 to 1, making it very difficult for non-Democrats to win any citywide elections.  Continue reading

Get Philly's Political Wards Out of the RCO Game

(The Quaker Building | Photo: Post Brothers, via Philadelphia Inquirer) Back in late 2000's when the City was overhauling its zoning code, the framers of the new code set a goal of preserving neighborhood participation in the zoning process. While the purpose of zoning reform was to reduce the overall volume of construction projects that would need special approvals, members of the Zoning Code Commission also wanted to create a formal process for neighbors to participate in zoning decisions. And thus, the Registered Community Organization (or RCO) was born. Continue reading

Who's Going to Replace John Taylor?

(John Taylor | Photo: Philadelphia Public Record) One of the more exciting intramural Democratic party debates that was going to play out during the 2018 state legislative elections was going to be about the question of John Taylor, Republican representative of the 177th House District.  Continue reading