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City Councilman Pushes To Change Zoning Rules

(credit: CBS 3)

(credit: CBS 3)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Junkyards and auto repair shops are ruining some Philly neighborhoods, at least according to one City Councilman who wants to change the zoning rules to reign them in.

Second District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson represents portions of South and Southwest Philadelphia, where big tracts of land have long been occupied by auto body shops and junkyards.

But he says those establishments are also cropping up in more dense commercial areas and something needs to be done.

“To have 10-20 auto repair shops within a 2-3 mile radius, that’s unacceptable. The people are tired of it, my constituents are tired of it. Cars crowded up on the side of the street, tires on the sidewalks, oil on the street, so the neighbors are tired of it, they’ve spoken, and we’re responding.”

Johnson proposes a change to the city’s year-old zoning code that would prohibit junkyards in areas that are zoned as Industrial-Commercial mixed use.

Junkyards and auto body shops that are in purely industrial zones would still be allowed. Johnson says his concerns are primarily for his district.

Though his proposal to change the code would be citywide, he says other district council members could opt out of it through amendments.

It will be debated in committee.