Zoning Remapping Bills Need a Nutrition Label

(Map of proposed rezoning in Bella Vista. Image: Philadelphia City Planning Commission) Jake Blumgart reports that five years after Philadelphia passed a landmark zoning reform bill, only about half of the city has been remapped, and some zoning watchers say City Council foot-dragging is part of the reason. Continue reading

Cap and Trade: The Simple Fix for Neighborhood Parking Angst

(Parking permit blocks. Image: Parkadelphia) Council President Darrell Clarke is pushing a really damaging bill that would double mandatory minimum parking requirements for certain zoning categories. Continue reading

Sanchez Inclusionary Zoning Bill Only Would've Produced 163 Units Last Year

(205 Race is one of just two buildings to take advantage of current affordable housing bonuses. Photo: Jon Geeting) City Council will be debating a mandatory inclusionary zoning bill this fall that will require home builders to rent or sell 1 out of every 10 units in buildings with more than 10 units for lower-income people making between 30 and 50% of Area Median Income.  Continue reading

Kensington Micro-apartment Proposal Shows How Darrell Clarke's Parking Minimums Bill Would Hurt Housing Affordability

Lots of people like to complain about the price of new construction apartments, and say they want to see developers producing less costly housing. Developer Allan Nadav agrees, and he is proposing a new 49-unit building at 1613-27 Germantown Avenue in Olde Kensington whose 440-square foot studio apartments would rent for just $750 a month. Continue reading

Darrell Clarke: I Know Better Than Experts Because I've Been Around Longer

(Thinking about driving to the corner store to pick up 'The High Cost of Free Parking') Council President Darrell Clarke is a guy who drives to the corner store for his every need, and he's apparently dead serious about passing a bill that would force his preferred lifestyle on more neighborhoods, while meaningfully increasing the cost of new and refurbished housing.  Continue reading

Analysis: City-Owned Parking Lots Are Worth More Than the City Thinks

(The City is forgoing $3,208,000 to subsidize parking on E. Passyunk Avenue) Philadelphia owns more vacant property than any of our peer cities, and in recent times, politicians have been trying to inventory what we have, and offload some of it.  Continue reading

Five Answers About Rebuild (Spoiler: Council Wins)

Back in early March, we outlined the five most important questions about Rebuild. Council passed an amended version of the bill in the last meeting of the session on June 22nd, so let’s see how things panned out. Continue reading

Sánchez Proposes Inclusionary Zoning-for-Upzoning Bill. Can Philly's Housing Market Handle That?

(Multifamily buildings would have to set aside 10% of units for people making 50% of Area Median Income) Before breaking for summer vacation, Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez introduced a last-minute bill that, if enacted, would create an inclusionary housing requirement for new buildings of 10 units or larger. Continue reading

Philly Needs Inexpensive Housing in Addition to "Affordable Housing"

(Home First Development in Portland creates inexpensive housing) Philadelphia has an above-average supply of low-cost housing, but we also have a very high population of people who earn so little money that they can't afford even the most inexpensive housing. Continue reading

Darrell Clarke Bill Wants You to Pay for Other People's Parking

Council President Darrell Clarke is a guy who brags about driving to the corner store, so it's no surprise that his vision for the 5th Council District looks a lot more like the suburban sprawl of Phoenix or Atlanta than the rowhouse neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Continue reading