Our monthly legislative tracker below provides summaries and status updates to bills currently before the Council.
Legislative Updates as of July 16, 2021
Bill No. 210482 – enacted May 20, 2021
This bill creates a new section of the Zoning Code, entitled “/HHC, Heliport Hazard Control Overlay District,” and provides in part that any deck, roof deck, roof deck access structure or other outdoor area intended for human occupancy shall be located a minimum of 100 feet below the maximum height shown on the City of Philadelphia Heliport Hazard Control Map. Upon notice from L&I, the owner of any currently existing nonconforming structure that has an adverse effect on air navigational safety within the “Heliport Hazard Area” will have to install obstruction markers or lights as deemed necessary by the Federal Aviation Administration or the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Aviation, as applicable, so that the structures become more visible to pilots.
2. New Air BnB Legislation
Bill No. 210081 – enacted June 10, 2021
This bill adds and revises provisions related to use of properties for short-term lodging and hotel purposes. A limited lodging operator license is now required, in addition to other new regulations.
3. Variances Now Required
Bill No. 210425 – enacted June 10, 2021
This bill amends the Zoning Code by revising a provision of Section 14-514, entitled “/FNE, Far Northeast Overlay District”, to provide that any use within the Code that qualifies for a special exception shall instead require a variance within this Overlay District.
4. Creation of Mid-Walnut Street Area
Bill No. 210362 – enacted June 10, 2021
This bill creates a new zoning overlay called the mid-Walnut Street area and providing, among other things, that the maximum lot coverage for portions of buildings above 65 feet and up to 300 feet in height shall be 95% of the lot.
5. Use Regulations
Bill No. 210446 – enacted June 24, 2021
This bill revises provisions of Chapter 14-600, entitled “Use Regulations,” by amending use standards for historically designated properties and providing that for any structure located within a Residential Single-Family Detached (RSD) zoning district, the minimum lot area required per dwelling unit is 50% of the minimum lot area for that zoning district.
6. Moratorium on Demolitions
Bill No. 210473 – enacted June 24, 2021
This bill establishes a temporary demolition moratorium with respect to historically significant properties in the area of Christian Street between Broad and 20th Streets, under certain terms and conditions.
1. Street Vending
Bill No. 210332-A
This bill revises Section 9-203 of the Philadelphia Code, prohibiting street vending on certain portions of East Passyunk Avenue and surrounding areas.
2. Overlay District Amendment
Bill No. 210361
This bill revises a provision of Section 14-504, entitled “/NCO, Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District,” to provide that no multi-family use is permitted in any single-family zoning classification.
3. Excavation Issues
Bill No. 210389
This bill amends the Building Code to revise provisions relating to excavation work and work impacting historic structures, creating an excavation contractor license and instituting additional safeguards for properties next to where certain construction activities, such as underpinning, are occurring.
4. Commercial Review Area
Bill No. 210445
This bill revises and consolidates provisions of Chapter 14-500, entitled “Overlay Zoning Districts,” by amending Section 14-524, entitled “/FDO, Fourth District Overlay District,” and Section 14-527, entitled “/WYN, Wynnefield District Overlay District,” and creating a “commercial review area” in which the following uses are permitted with a special exception:
5. Refuse and Littering
Bill No. 210451
This bill amends Chapter 10-700 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled “Refuse and Littering,” by amending Section 10-719, entitled “Penalties,” by revising the penalty to be assessed for violations to provide a fine of $1,000 for each violation. The penalty for a violation of Section 10-717.1 of the Code (regarding municipal waste collection and neighborhood sanitation and cleaning services) shall be a fine of $500.
6. 1900 Market Street Digital Display Sign Regulations
Bill No. 210470
This bill revises provisions of Chapter 14-900 by providing for new sign controls and requiring, among other things, that the signs be no higher than 50 feet, that they only be illuminated during certain hours and that a traffic engineer demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Streets Department that the digital display accessory sign will not “create a material distraction to drivers of motor vehicles or otherwise present a safety hazard or substantially interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the neighborhood.”
7. Zoning Map Amendment
Bill No. 210480
This bill changes the zoning designations of certain areas of land located within an area bounded by Civic Center Boulevard, University Avenue, Spruce Street and 34th Street.
1. Amendment to Master Plan
Bill No. 210634
If approved, this bill would amend the Master Plan for the University of Pennsylvania by areas of land located within an area bounded by Guardian Drive, East Service Drive, Civic Center Boulevard, 34th Street, 33rd Street, Walnut Street, the Schuylkill River, 34th Street and University Avenue.
2. Parking and Loading for Historic Properties
Bill No. 210637
No parking or loading spaces are currently required for a property that has been designated as historic. Under this new bill, expansions to historic properties shall be subject to a reduction of 50% of the minimum parking or loading requirement, which may be met off-site under certain conditions.
3. Amendment to Zoning Map
Bill No. 210638
If approved, this bill would amend the zoning maps by changing the zoning designations of certain areas of land located within an area bounded by 11th Street, Reed Street, 12th Street and Wharton Street to amend Title 14 of The Philadelphia Code by adding Section 14-531, entitled “/SMH, South Philadelphia Municipal Hub Overlay District,” and making other related changes, and approving the Residential Mixed-Use-2 District (RMX-2) Master Plan for the site generally bounded by 11th Street, Reed Street, 12th Street and Wharton Street – all under certain terms and conditions.
4. Affordable Housing Changes
Bill No. 210633
This bill proposes to introduce a new overlay, the “Mixed Income Neighborhoods Overlay District,” to apply to new “residential housing projects.” The bill mandates that at least 10% of all dwelling units shall be provided and maintained as affordable on the same site as all other dwelling units. In addition to that requirement, the following conditions must be met:
Any development that has received or will receive government financial assistance conditioned upon the provision of 51% or more units meeting affordability standards of a government program does not have to meet these requirements.
Affordable units are to be provided under the following standards:
Affordable rental units must:
In the event the income of a tenant is found by the Department of Planning and Development to exceed the maximum income provided for in this subsection, a tenant shall be deemed in compliance until the first expiration of a lease occurring after the tenant’s income first exceeded the maximum permitted.
Affordable owner-occupied units must:
5. Property Maintenance
Bill No. 210205
If approved, this bill would amend the Property Maintenance Code to establish a program in which the City can perform certain urgent repairs and bill the property owner.
6. Changes to Affordable Housing Bonus
Bill No. 210474
If approved, this bill would make changes to Section 14-702 of the Zoning Code, entitled “Floor Area, Height, and Housing Unit Density Bonuses,” and other related changes. The bill, in part, proposes that for properties located in an RM-2, RM-3, RM-4, RMX-1, RMX-2, RMX-3, IRMX, CMX-3, CMX-4 or CMX-5 zoning district earning a floor area bonus: by multiplying the maximum additional total gross floor area allowed (not including any floor area earned through bonuses other than this mixed income housing bonus), that would be earned through this bonus, measured in square feet, by $11.30, if the owner is seeking the moderate income bonus, and by $14.60 if the owner is seeking the low-income bonus. The effect of this legislation is that it will become more expensive for any developer seeking to get either a moderate income or low-income bonus.
Full-text copies of all bills are available online.
As new details emerge or statuses change, we will provide relevant updates. Questions about pending legislation can be directed to our team.