A CONTROVERSIAL bill that would have allowed gigantic wall-wrap advertising on a single building near the Vine Expressway officially died yesterday as City Council wrapped its last session of the year.
As promised, Mayor Nutter vetoed the legislation sponsored by Councilman Frank DiCicco that would have permitted the advertising on a building at 7th and Willow streets - site of previous lawsuits and fines related to an illegally erected ad.
DiCicco managed to get the measure passed Dec. 1 with 12 votes - the number needed to override a veto - but some of those supporters were uneasy after letters from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and City Solicitor Shelley Smith warned the measure could have jeopardized federal highway funding. Additionally, Nutter has said such an effort should be done with a more comprehensive approach.
"I didn't feel it was appropriate to call up a bill that may have died," DiCicco said. "I think the City Council coming in is going to look at wall-wrap and outdoor advertising in a total different view than how we've looked at it over the last 16 years."
In fact, Councilman Darrell Clarke introduced two related bills yesterday. One would allow for advertising on public property, which he said could generate roughly $10 million for the city, and the other would create five or six development districts. In those districts, the city would be allowed to sell publicly owned property at a discounted market value to incentivize development.
Both bills will die, as yesterday was Council's last session. But Clarke said he wanted to give Nutter's administration ample time to review the proposal formally before he reintroduces them next month.
In other business, Council:
* Passed a bill sponsored by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown that would require landlords who rent to families with children age 6 and younger to have a certified technician conduct a dust-wipe test to check for lead. The landlord would then be required to provide a copy of the dust-wipe clearance to the Department of Public Health. The measure passed, 16-1, with Jannie Blackwell voting against it.
* Voted unanimously to update the city zoning code, completing a four-year rewrite of the 50-year-old rules that govern development.
* Passed a bill to establish a Callowhill neighborhood-improvement district despite a claim by opponents that more than 51 percent of property owners in it had written letters to block the proposal. DiCicco said he wanted Council to vote on the bill in case some of the signatures on the letters are invalid. If they are verified, the bill will die, he said.