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

Q&A: Attorney Cheryl Gaston on the Zoning Board's Role in Philly Development and Planning

As part of our ZBA Draft campaign to elevate the conversation about Mayor Kenney's next Zoning Board appointment, we reached out to a few Philadelphians with deep practical knowledge of zoning to answer some questions about the Zoning Board's role in Philly development and planning.  Continue reading

ZBA Draft: What qualifications should the next Zoning chair have?

Last month, we kicked off a ZBA Draft effort to bring some more public attention to Jim Kenney's upcoming choice of the next Zoning Board chair.  Continue reading

DA Candidate Joe Khan Speaks on Reforming Civil Asset Forfeiture

At Philadelphia Magazine, David Gambacorta has an important read on the state of play of civil asset forfeiture reform in Harrisburg, where a well-intentioned bill has been watered down to the point of near-meaninglessness. Continue reading

PA House Advances Bill Regulating Uber and Lyft

Uber and Lyft took one step closer to legal status in Philadelphia yesterday, as the Pennsylvania House unanimously passed a long-stalled bill legalizing and regulating the popular ride-hailing apps. Continue reading