Two Curious Phrases

Some very shaky legal ground.

That is how Pat Ford, mayoral development czar, dissuaded an attempt by the City Planning Commission to get in the way of Downtown signage.

Turns out that the state Municipal Planning Code does not apply to cities of the second class. That is, to Pittsburgh. (Let alone first-class Philadelphia, h/t EM).

Long live the Home Rule Charter!

Perhaps there are other standards for shakiness out there, but we have not yet heard them.


Galaxy of legal risks.

That is how Don Kortland, general counsel for the URA, described the consequences if the city failed to reach a settlement with the Garden, allowing them press forward to the Supreme Court.

We should say so.

Kelo et. all vs. City of New London

As reported in the P-G:

Don Kortlandt, the URA’s general counsel, said he approached the theater’s legal counsel after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed the owner of the North Side porn theater another defeat on appeal Dec. 27.

So the URA went to the Garden with a $1 million-plus offer. A sign of weakness.

What if the characters in today’s City Paper cover story realize they can drastically alter the URA, and a hundred other economic golems like it?

How big would the payout have to be for a whole neighborhood?

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