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Phila. City Council meets for final time in 2008

Inquirer staff writer Jeff Shields reports:

City Council's final meeting today should feature a final vote on zoning to allow a 1,500 foot-high  skyscraper, and a proposal to reduce construction costs with a change to the city"s plumbing code.

Passage of required zoning would enable developers of the American Commerce Center, proposed for a half-acre site on the 1800 block of Arch Street, to submit plans for what would be the city's tallest building.

Meanwhile, Councilman Darrell Clarke is expected to introduce a bill that would eliminate the city's requirement that all commercial and certain residential construction use cast iron pipes for plumbing, instead of cheaper, lighter, and easier-to-repair PVC pipe widely utilized throughout the country.

Developers say the change could easily halve their costs to install plumbing. The Plumbers union will almost certainly oppose it, saying it weakens the city's building standards.

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