PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia City Council has wrapped up its hearings on a plan to rewrite, top to bottom, the city’s antiquated zoning laws.

Community groups concerned about losing their voice in the process dominated the second City Council hearing on the zoning code overhaul.

“This document is extremely developer friendly — it has muted or reduced the response by (community groups),” said Madeline Shikomba, with the North of Washington Avenue Coalition.

But there seemed broad agreement among councilmembers for the proposals of the Zoning Code Commission, which was formed to guide the process.

“Where we disagree,” said councilman-at-large Bill Green, “I think our current plan is to not change the code, put that aside, so that we can pass the 99 (or) 99.5 percent that we agree on.”

Council now has twenty days to submit its own thoughts and recommendations to the commission.  Councilmembers would then cast a final vote, and members say they hope that will come by year’s end.

Reported by KYW City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn


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