City Blotter: Sustainability legislation passing through City Council

Benchmarking
Passed June 21, 2012

Requires commercial buildings of more than 50,000 square feet to track, measure and report energy and water use. Benchmarking is expected to save tenants and building owners money as well as encourage energy efficient practices. Takes effect in one year.

Complete Streets
Vote postponed until Fall 2012

Revises Philadelphia’s traffic code to meet the state traffic code and provide better protection for pedestrians and cyclists. Highlights include no parking in bike lanes and $100 penalty for bikes running a red light. The bill was proposed May 31, but the hearing is postponed until Council reconvenes in the fall.

Philadelphia Land Bank
Under discussion

Establishes a single authority to hold and maintain land, simplifying the current process. A state bill was passed on April 3, 2012 that will allow individual cities to create land banks. Gov. Corbett has yet to sign the bill into law. Meanwhile, an additional bill (currently under discussion) is proposed in Philadelphia that would bypass the state and put a land bank bill up for a citywide ballot vote.