Mayor Nutter Philadelphia City Planning Commission Release Two District Plans

Philadelphia, January 31, 2012– Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Philadelphia City Planning Commission released two draft district plans for lower South Philadelphia and the area around City Avenue and West Fairmount Park. The district plans are open to public comment for the next month. In June 2011, the Philadelphia2035 Citywide Vision was adopted as the City’s new comprehensive plan. It is part of an “Integrated Planning and Zoning Process” that also includes the district plans, the new zoning code, and the Citizens Planning Institute.

“The Philadelphia 2035 planning process along with these first two district plans exemplify my vision for the rebirth of planning in Philadelphia and engagement with neighborhood residents,” said Mayor Nutter. “Community leaders in West Park and Lower South should feel empowered by the way they were involved and listened to during the preparation of these plans.”

The Philadelphia2035 comprehensive planning process continues with the preparation of 18 district plans covering every section of Philadelphia. The first two of these plans are: 1) The Lower South District Plan, and 2) The West Park District Plan. District plans recommend future land use and contain an analysis of municipal facilities. Development scenarios for key opportunity sites in each district are illustrated through urban design plans and renderings.

“The district plans have a key role in implementing the Philadelphia2035 Citywide Vision and guiding future investment in our neighborhoods and business districts,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger, FAIA. “Amazing things can happen as a result of good planning supported by citizens who truly care about the future of the city.”

The Lower South district covers the Navy Yard, stadium complex, Sunoco refinery and neighborhoods to the south of Packer Avenue. The draft plan calls for improved highway and transit access, well-designed housing for seniors and families, and better connections to parkland and the riverfronts. Exciting new restaurants and amenities will make the stadium complex a busy and more vital place at all times of the day and night. The Navy Yard will continue to expand as a first class business campus, and the port will add roads and shipping facilities to support job retention and the creation of new jobs in Philadelphia.

The West Park district includes West Fairmount Park, adjoining communities and the neighborhoods along City Avenue. Draft recommendations call for new mixed-use development on 52nd Street, Lancaster Avenue and Parkside Avenue, allowing Fairmount Park and nearby communities to improve in a coordinated and well-planned manner. Neighborhood playgrounds will be upgraded at locations most accessible to local residents, while City Avenue will develop into a more urban and pedestrian-friendly corridor at the city’s edge.

Community engagement was conducted through a steering committee and three public meetings in each district. With the official release of the plans, public comment will be accepted until March 1. Final adoption of the district plans is scheduled for March 20, 2012.

The City Planning Commission Meeting also included the third graduation ceremony for the Citizens Planning Institute.

Extensive information about Philadelphia2035 and copies of the district plans are available at and the “Philadelphia2035 Facebook page.

Commissioner Burns Announces Implementation of Legislation Encouraging Solar Panel Use

Philadelphia, January 19, 2012 – The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) has implemented two ordinances designed to encourage the use of solar panels systems in Philadelphia. Sponsored by Councilman Jim Kenney, the two ordinances amend the Philadelphia Building Construction and Occupancy Code to greatly reduce the costs of securing both electrical permits and building permits for solar panel systems (also known as photovoltaic systems).

Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Fran Burns stated, “These changes are not only part of the ongoing reform and focus on supporting business development, but also a step towards ensuring a sustainable and competitive future for Philadelphia and its residents. I am excited to support this energy option since solar panel systems decrease dependence on fossil fuels and reduce the risks of rising energy costs in the long-run.”

Commenting, Councilman Jim Kenney said, “Today we move Philadelphia in the right direction, towards a more sustainable and greener future, while also encouraging economic development and job creation. As we continue down this green path, we must be open to further innovation and development of cleaner fuel sources.”

Passed by Council and signed into law by Mayor Nutter in the 2011 Term, Bills 110533 and 110829 amend the Code to exclude the costs of solar panels and inverters in calculating electrical permit and building permit fees when a photovoltaic system is installed.

In 2009, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability released the landmark Greenworks report, setting a variety of sustainability goals, including a key target of purchasing and generating 20 percent of electricity used in Philadelphia from alternative energy sources. The passage and implementation of these code amendments are important steps towards meeting the vision of Greenworks — to make Philadelphia the Greenest City in the United States.