Petition: Say No to Philly Council's Planter Power Grab


3rd District Councilmember Jannie Blackwell thinks you should have to get a letter of support from City Council for that planter in front of your house. We’re here to tell you how backwards this is.

On Thursday February 2, Councilmember Blackwell introduced legislation (Bill No. 170087) to amend Chapter 10-611 of the Code, entitled "Sidewalk Behavior," by “providing certain requirements for obtaining a permit to place street furniture, planters, benches and other fixtures on the public sidewalk.”

According to Councilmember Blackwell’s proposal, “certain requirements” means a signed letter of support from the District Councilmember. Here’s the relevant text (proposed changes shown in italics):

“No person shall… place or maintain any bench, planter, fixture or other street furniture on the public sidewalk without a permit from the Department of Licenses and Inspections. Before any such permit is issued the Department shall obtain a letter of support from the District Council person representing the area of the city where the bench, planter, fixture or street furniture will be located.”

This is a totally unacceptable power grab from residents and businesses, which would put City Councilmembers in the absurd position of acting as gatekeepers for people's sidewalk plants.

Sign this petition to say NO to the Planter Power Grab

As written, this bill would apply to any benches and planters in front of homes. The City already has laws on the books to ensure passable sidewalks for pedestrians and those who use wheelchairs, so it's not clear what Councilmember Blackwell’s goal is, other than appointing herself the home decor czar. Council has bigger fish to fry than to micromanage everyone's street decorations, or at least they should.

This bill is especially disappointing since West Philly is at the forefront of public space and public seating innovation in Philadelphia, thanks largely to the work of University City District. The 3rd District needs a Councilmember who wants to ramp up UCD's amazing work, not scale it back.

There's still time to stop this bill

Council bill 170087 aka the Planter Power Grab has been referred to the Council Committee on Streets and Services, which is chaired by 1st District Councilman Mark Squilla and also includes 7th District Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez (Vice-Chair), David Oh (At-large), Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District), Cindy Bass (8th District), Bill Greenlee (At-large), and Al Taubenberger (At-large). 

Sign and share this petition, and then call your City Councilmember:


Jannie Blackwell: (215) 686-3418   

Mark Squilla: (215) 686-3458

Maria Quiñones-Sánchez: (215) 686-3448

Kenyatta Johnson: (215) 686-3412

Cindy Bass: (215) 686-3424

Bill Greenlee: (215) 686-3446

David Oh: (215) 686-3452

Al Taubenberger: (215) 686-3440


2,306 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 1871 reactions

  • signed 2018-03-29 19:44:40 -0400
  • posted about this on Facebook 2018-03-27 16:47:51 -0400
    Petition: Say No to Philly Council's Planter Power Grab
  • signed 2018-03-27 16:46:34 -0400
  • signed 2018-02-07 13:26:51 -0500
  • signed 2018-02-06 14:35:49 -0500
    This is so ridiculous. She should focus on crime in the city, not people trying to beautify their neighborhoods.

    If there is an issue in one area, the current laws on the books should be enforced.
  • signed 2017-09-20 07:24:35 -0400
    Stop messing with us. By invading our property (we own and maintain the front of our curbside theu to the street) you destroy any chances this city has to achieve beautification, eliminate littering abd loitering and instill pride. Go deal with actual dope pushers and criminals.
  • signed 2017-08-26 07:45:38 -0400
    This is absurd.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-07-10 16:41:11 -0400
    Petition: Say No to Philly Council's Planter Power Grab
  • signed via 2017-07-10 16:40:42 -0400
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-07-10 16:24:41 -0400
    Petition: Say No to Philly Council's Planter Power Grab
  • signed 2017-06-12 11:40:55 -0400
    How stupid
  • signed 2017-06-12 11:12:52 -0400
    Please vote against this!
  • signed 2017-03-25 15:32:21 -0400
    The city politicians need to address the deadbeat landlords and entities that do not maintain properties they own. The laws on the books are ignored in these situations but you go after the ordinary citizens trying to live with the blight and show pride of their homes by decoration. Residents pay a lot of taxes in this town, they should be able to have plants and benches. Thank You. Bonnie Diamond
  • signed 2017-03-18 13:56:03 -0400
  • signed via 2017-03-17 13:01:21 -0400
  • signed 2017-03-11 12:56:05 -0500
  • signed 2017-03-01 14:09:29 -0500
    This is the wl8 law ever. This how to people make their neighborhoodso beautiful and welcoming. I feel that somewhere she just will make money from this
  • signed 2017-02-27 12:20:01 -0500
    This bill is unnecessarily intrusive on citizens.
  • signed 2017-02-21 01:30:22 -0500
  • signed 2017-02-20 02:16:17 -0500
  • signed 2017-02-19 17:31:03 -0500
  • signed 2017-02-17 20:21:02 -0500
  • signed 2017-02-17 16:01:21 -0500
  • signed via 2017-02-16 12:18:32 -0500
    They want to approve something that is going to better our neighborhoods but won’t disapprove buildings that are destroying them !! If you want to control my sidewalk then come fix it and shovel it !!
  • signed via 2017-02-13 23:28:05 -0500
  • signed via 2017-02-13 12:54:25 -0500
  • signed 2017-02-13 09:44:03 -0500
  • signed via 2017-02-13 08:34:59 -0500
  • signed via 2017-02-12 17:10:15 -0500
  • signed via 2017-02-12 15:00:02 -0500
    This is an insane proposal. Residents should be able to decide what planters and benches, etc that want outside their homes as long as it doesn’t needlessly block the sidewalk to pedestrian and wheelchair traffic.