On Sept. 17, at the behest of Council President Clarke, Bill 210669 (with its companion Resolution 210692) was introduced in City Council. The Bill calls for an amendment to the City Charter that would expand the number of members of the ZBA from five to seven; require that the ZBA members include an urban planner, an architect, a zoning attorney, an expert in real estate finance, and two recognized leaders from community organizations; require that all ZBA members have "demonstrated sensitivity to community concerns regarding development and protection of the character of Philadelphia neighborhoods;" and that all ZBA members must be confirmed by a majority vote of City Council (presently they are simply appointed by the mayor). Here is a letter from Council President Clarke explaining why he deems the proposed changes important.
At its meeting on Sept. 27, the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition, of which CCRA is one of the charter members, voted to ask Council to delay a vote on the legislation until it could be reviewed by the City's civics. On Tuesday, CCRA's Executive Committee voted to endorse the legislation in principle, subject to further discussions being moderated by the Land Use Committee of the PCC (Co-Chaired by CCRA's Steve Huntington). We will keep you posted.