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.
Zoning is one of the most important economic policy tools at the local level, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment plays a powerful role in how the City's plans for development and the built environment are carried out. It's something local officials should take seriously.
Mayor Kenney's prior pick, Dr. Jim Moylan, was Johnny Doc's chiropractor and resigned from the ZBA after it was reported that he was investigated FBI in connection with their probe of Doc.
There's now an opening on the board, and we think Kenney should pick a new chair with some real built environment chops. The next chair should be someone who has professional experience dealing with the City's zoning laws from a diverse range of perspectives.
To that end, we asked a panel of 50 people who work on all sides of Philly built environment and development issues to tell us which qualifications they think the next ZBA Chair should have. Here's what they told us:
The top three choices were planning experience, neighborhood advocate and civil association experience, and development experience.
Currently, all of those perspectives are lacking on the board, so the next ZBA chair may need to be someone who's worked on zoning from more than one angle.
Next up, we'll share some ZBA Q&A's with local built environment professionals about the Zoning Board of Adjustment's proper role, and its ideal relationship to planning and development in Philadelphia.
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