Bill would require developers to disclose potential impact on neighborhoods

City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker (D-9th dist.) has introduced a bill that would require developers of mid- and large-scale projects to complete a form outlining the potential impact of their development on neighborhoods.

The Project Information Form would ask developers to provide a brief description about the potential impact on traffic, parking and the environment, along with information such as the proposed use, anticipated construction period and job creation.

The legislation targets any project that is 2,500 square feet or more and requires action by the Zoning Board of Adjustment, a civic design review or Council ordinance. It excludes single-family homes, duplexes and triplexes.

“The Project Information Form is a communication tool intended to level the playing field by ensuring that all community groups, regardless of their size, technical capacity or skill set, receive a baseline of information when it comes to potential development in their neighborhood,” Parker said. “I am confident that this will not hamper or delay development, but instead provide a greater level of transparency and help prevent the spread of misinformation about proposed projects.”

The legislation is backed by the Development Workshop and Philly Office Retail. Harold Epps, director of the city Department of Commerce, credited Parker for taking time to develop the bill.

Applicants would be required to distribute the form to the district City Council office, recognized community organizations and all residents and businesses within 200 feet of the property prior to any public hearing or community meeting about the project. The form would also be posted online by the appropriate city agency.

“While several groups have told us this legislation does not go far enough, we have worked hard to ensure that this bill does not stymie growth or development in the city, while at the same time providing a vehicle for richer dialogue between developers and the community,” Parker said. “I sincerely thank all of our stakeholders for providing valuable feedback as part of the drafting process, and I look forward to their continued input as we move this bill toward the goal line.” ••