These are real steps forward, says Thomas Chapman, acting director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.
On the whole, he
adds, "the city is in a good place; we have new residential development of all different types in virtually every neighborhood."It's the development boom itself , which has led to the city's newfound status as a desirable place to live, shop, and be entertained , that has heightened public interest in planning, he
City planning director Tom Chapman
acknowledges the concerns expressed by Coffey and others.
"Some people would like us to have more power and responsibility than we actually have," Chapman
continues."They care more about design issues, but design review is not something the planning commission really has much control over."
As for the fact that the last citywide master plan was adopted when Eisenhower was president, Chapman notes that the size, scope, complexity, and cost of such an undertaking require major public and political support."It can't be done by a bunch of guys in a smoke-filled room," he
It's the development boom itself that has caused some of the unhappiness, Chapman
adds.The boom has given the city a new desirability.But it has also caused inevitable problems that have heightened public interest in planning generally, and in reforming the zoning code in particular, he