On Thursday, Councilwoman Cindy Bass’ Registered Community Organization (RCO) Protections Bill was passed by City Council. The bill will establish guidelines for the zoning process and add protections for RCOs, developers and neighborhood residents.
“This bill will refine the zoning process so that everyone involved is protected and treated fairly,” Councilwoman Bass said Thursday. “I am proud of the effort that all community stakeholders including neighborhood residents, RCO members and developers put forth help our office craft a bill that works for everyone.”
Bass’ RCO Protections Bill will amend the Philadelphia Code to improve the zoning process through measures including:
- Extending the “One Year Rule,” to require zoning applicants to wait one year before refiling dismissed or denied zoning applications,
- Increasing the time period within which zoning applicants must send notice to RCOs from 10 days to 20 days,
- Increasing the time period within which applicants must post hearing notification after filing an appeal to the Zoning Board from three business days to five business days,
- Creating provisions under which zoning applicants must procure and maintain proof of mailing for written public meeting notice,
- Improving the visibility of notification signage for zoning hearings,
- Extending the time zoning applicants are required to post zoning appeal notification signage, and,
- Requiring notification for properties whose base zoning is changed to become less restrictive than the property’s then-current zoning.
“As I have said before, this bill ensures that developers are protected from any accusations that they did not properly notify residents by putting clear notification protocol in place,” Bass said. “It protects RCOs and neighbors by ensuring they receive ample notification and information about any development that may affect their neighborhood. This bill is an exact reflection of conversations I’ve had with neighbors, RCOs and developers, and it will improve the zoning and development process citywide.”The bill now awaits Mayor Jim Kenney’s signature.
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Councilwoman Cindy Bass represents the 8th Council District, which includes Germantown, Mt. Airy, Nicetown, Tioga, Chestnut Hill, portions of Logan, Olney, Feltonville and West Oak Lane. She is Chair of Council’s committees on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and Public Health and Human Services.