By Mike Dunn and Jericka Duncan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In the wake of Wednesday’s demolition collapse in center city that killed six people, Mayor Michael Nutter today vowed to put new restrictions on how contractors in Philadelphia obtain demolition permits.
The mayor’s announcement amounted to a tacit acknowledgement that, until now, just about anyone could get a permit to carry out a demolition.
Nutter says he plans to change that.
“Our goal here is to increase public safety at these private demolition sites, to bring them up to the same high standards that we maintain on public demolition sites,” the mayor announced at a City Hall press conference. “We can do better and we will.”
Some of the changes are being enacted immediately. Permit applications must include — apparently for the first time — detailed information on who will actually perform the demolition:
“Details on the experience (and) qualifications of the contractor performing the demolition, including the demolition experience of the owner, the company, and its employees.”
Permit applications will also have to include a site safety plan and an engineer’s report on the protection of adjacent properties.
The mayor is also ordering stepped-up inspections of demolitions sites, and will ask City Council to approve through legislation the creation of a formal license for demolition contractors.
“Through these changes, we will hold local private developers, property owners, and demolition contractors to the same high standards to which we, as a city government, hold ourselves to any demolitions involving public property or public projects,” the mayor said.
Listen to Mayor Nutter’s Full Statement (runs 17:03)…