In the realm of public policy things tend to happen slowly, but good things do happen. Here is a case in point. On February 5, 2008 the Philadelphia Inquirer published an op-ed I wrote talking about planning and zoning reform. In that article I argued:
“communities have been creating plans on their own, without clear guidelines or a means to integrate those plans with city action. The Planning Commission should produce a set of criteria, ensuring consistency among community plans. The city should reward compliance with these criteria by giving benefits to communities whose plans are adopted, such as grant funding or inclusion of projects in the capital program.”
Well, guess what… last week the Philadelphia City Planning Commission staff presented a set of Community Planning Guidelines to the Commission for its review. This would finally provide some consistency for neighborhood plans, provide an incentive for community groups to get their plans officially recognized, and provide a link between community-based planning and official City policy.
The guidelines are on the Commission’s website for public review, and will be voted on at the next monthly meeting of the Commission. If you want to go show your support, the next Commission meeting is Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 1:00 PM at 1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor.