On December 6, the Committee of Law and Government approved Council President Clarke’s proposal to alter the composition and processes of the Zoning Board of Adjustments. Proposed changes include:
Increasing the members on the Zoning Board of Adjustment from five members to seven,
Mandating City Council approve the mayor’s appointments to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, and
Requiring that board members have specified professional backgrounds.
The resolution specifies that an urban planner, an architect, an attorney with zoning experience, someone with experience in the construction industry, and at minimum two leaders from community organizations must be members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
The Kenney administration expressed concerns regarding these proposed changes during the committee hearing and argued that these changes may ultimately slow down development in the city. Nevertheless, the measure unanimously passed committee. It can be approved by a final council vote as soon as December 16, 2021.
Changes to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter must ultimately be approved by Philadelphia voters via the ballot. If the bill and corresponding resolution is signed into law, it will be on the ballot for May 2022 municipal election. If approved by Philadelphia voters, these changes will go into effect on October 1, 2022.
For more information, contact a member of the Philadelphia Public Strategies team.