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January 2014 Archives

Zoning bill would ban new medical offices in South Philadelphia

Several months ago, we discussed a Philadelphia City Council decision to restrict the number of doctors' offices in Northeast Philadelphia. The city's Planning Commission, which gives advisory reviews of proposed legislation, opposed the amendment to the zoning code, but the measure was passed.

Even with commercial zoning, taco truck owner hits RCO snags

Registered Community Organizations, or RCOs, regularly have a say on zoning issues in Philadelphia communities. For example, if a person wants to open a business in a neighborhood, then the business owner is supposed to contact all of the interested RCOs, which can then support or oppose the zoning proposal at the zoning hearing.

Man who feeds the homeless may keep his home, thanks to donations

A Montgomery County man who works to help the homeless has himself fallen on hard times. Each Thursday, as part of his King's Jubilee ministry, which he operates out of his home, the Souderton resident drives to Center City to deliver homemade soup to Philadelphia's homeless. However, after he became ill and his wife lost her job, the couple fell behind on their mortgage payments, and the lender started to foreclose.

Philadelphia Land Bank draws support, criticism

Mixed responses of hope and skepticism have surrounded the ordinance that created Philadelphia's new Land Bank, which is aimed at cleaning up and repurposing the city's roughly 40,000 underused or blighted properties. Philadelphia is currently the largest U.S. city to establish a land bank, and other cities with major real estate problems are undoubtedly looking to Philadelphia as a possible model.

Rezoning land to open space results in sale, citizens concerned

Zoning laws are an important part of city and county development. They exist to ensure that only certain types of structures can be built in designated areas. When officials make the decision to change the purpose of a particular area, it is sometimes met with resistance. Recently, a protest in a Pennsylvania town was caused by the county's plan for rezoning several areas as open space, but citizens are concerned about what will be done with the land in one place in particular.

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