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Nutter appoints new chair for Zoning Board of Adustment

5/5/2013 | Real Estate Blog

Julia Chapman, legislative director for the Nutter administration during his first two years of service, has reportedly been asked by the mayor to chair the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Chapman, sources say, left the administration on short notice in 2009, during an unstable time for the mayor’s administration. At the time, it was speculated that she was asked to resign from her post, but Nutter later said she left by her own free will.

The current chair of the zoning board, Lynette Brown-Sow, will be moving to the Philadelphia Housing Authority to become its chairwoman. In a public statement on her new appointment, Chapman has commented on the “critical role” the Zoning Board plays in “balancing neighborhood preservation and the economic growth of the city while insuring the integrity of the zoning code.” 

Zoning is indeed an important body of law, not only from the perspective of city governance but also from the perspective of real estate development. The zoning board is responsible for applications for appeals, variances and special exceptions to the zoning code. Businesses looking to grow and expand to new areas sometimes have to work with the zoning board to make it possible for their project to move forward.

One fortunate aspect of the new zoning code, of course, is that the need for zoning variances is not as great as it was under the old code. When this does happen, the process is not so cumbersome.

Businesses facing zoning challenges sometimes come upon challenges that are more than they can handle. In these cases, it can help to work with an attorney that understands the process.

Source: Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, “Nutter taps former aide to lead zoning board,” Sean Collins Walsh, May 1, 2013.