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City Planning Commission

[Record group 145]
Agency home page.
Agency Function
The City Planning Commission, is an independent agency of the City of Philadelphia created to guide the physical development of the City. It consists of three ex-officio members including the Managing Director, Director of Finance, and City Representative, as well as six members appointed by the Mayor. To assure adequate civic representation, the Home Rule Charter stipulates that at least five of the appointed members hold no other public office, position or employment.

Powers and duties of the City Planning Commission include the preparation of:

  • a Comprehensive Plan and its modifications, showing the present City and its planned future development;
  • the Capital Program and Capital Budget;
  • proposed zoning ordinances and amendments; and,
  • regulations governing the subdivision of land.
The City Planning Commission may also advise City Council and the Mayor on proposed legislation affecting the capital programs, plans of streets, zoning ordinances, the Physical Development Plan, and acquisition or sale of City owned real estate. In accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, it must review certain legislation affecting development plans.

Agency History
Established by an Ordinance of April 13, 1929 and composed of twelve mayoral appointees, two members of City Council, and one of the Commissioners of Fairmount Park whose duties were to make recommendations to City Council concerning proposed changes in the City plan or any new public facilities on the basis of current or future needs in regard to communications, recreation, public services, etc. In 1942 the Commission's composition was changed to nine mayoral appointees and the recommendation of zoning changes to Council and the annual preparation of six year capital budgets were added to its duties. The City Charter of 1951 changed the Commission's membership to the Managing Director, the Director of Finance, and the City Representative, and six appointees of the Mayor, and directed that its recommendations be received before the passage by Council of any ordinance concerning zoning, street plans, land subdivisions, or the acquisition of real estate by the City. The Commission is also charged with preparing and maintaining current physical redevelopment plans for the City as a whole and for particular areas.

Archival Records
145.1 Annual Report (1943, 1946-1971, 1974)

145.2 Files (1938-1975)

145.3 Capital Program (1945/1950-1968/1973, 1970/1975-1993/1998, 1995/2000-1997/2002)

145.4 Area Redevelopment Publications (1948-1985)

145.5 Reports Issued by City Planning Commission (1930-1994)

145.6 Reports Received by City Planning Commission (1943-1992)

145.7 Social Survey SS 1a, Population and Transportation Data (1934)

145.8 Philadelphia Central District Study, Returns and Work Papers (1949-1950)

145.9 Real Estate Survey, Girard Avenue to Washington Avenue, East of Broad Street (1934)

145.10 Public Information Bulletins (1946-1971)

145.11 Aerial Photographs (1930)

145.12 Outline History of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (1935)

145.13 Works Projects Administration. Reports. (1933-1939)

145.14 Works Projects Administration. Projects' Work Papers (1933-1939)

145.15 Basic Plan (Map) of Stauts of Arterial Streets and Highways (1932)

145.16 Urban Development Coordination Unit. Files. (1958-1965)

145.17 Maps and Plans (1960, 1962, 1970, 1980)

145.18 Philadelphia Manufacturing Plants and Employment, by Planning Analysis Section (1960)

145.19 Work Sheets, Bureau of Employment Security, Employment Statistics, Census Employment Survey (ca. 1960)

145.20 Area Planning Files (1961-1971)

145.21 Old City Study Steering Committee (1977-1978)

Current Records

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Last updated on April 24, 2000