Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

I want to comment on this bill, because we have concerns and we're asking that the bill be tabled. Because what this vacant land bill is doing is actually setting up an online store for many developers to come and purchase City-owned properties. I understand that many of our colleagues believe in terms of community benefit of this bill, but let's look at the bigger picture here, that many developers have stated to us that they want to have opportunities to buy cheap land so they can flip for high end.

We must also remember that this bill -- when the vacant land becomes available, that you still have what we call the by-right zoning, which allows many developers to build houses in your community that will be ranking from five to six hundred thousand dollars. So when this bill goes through, many of your communities may turn into Point Breeze. So be careful with this.

We're saying that we were not notified -- many RCOs were not notified, and although many minority groups became RCOs in June, many did not get notification about this. We're looking at this particular Philly Land Bank Alliance where you have Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors, you have Preservation Alliance, you have Philadelphia Association of Preservation Alliance, and I'm saying these groups, although they may have good intentions, many of them are interested in getting cheap land to possibly sell.

I have a problem with the Board, the appointment of the Board, because we feel that this Board should be elected. It should not be appointed where you be in debt or gracious to someone. It should be appointed. Why? Let me give you reasons why. Because when you go down to the Planning Commission, you have majority -- the Planning Commission is majority all white, I hate to say, and one token African American. When you look at the Zoning Commission, it was very few African Americans or minority people on those Boards. When you look at the CDR, we went down to the CDR last week. Majority -- only one African American sitting on that Board.

We have a problem with that, and this particular Board needs to have diversity.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech