Out of concern of perceived gentrification, Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke is calling for a comprehensive review and revision of the city's zoning code.

Part of that review and revision would create something called a "Single Family Preservation District," which would ban the Zoning Board of Adjustment from granting variances for multifamily housing in any area designated as such.

It is unclear if the bill would be legal. Zoning lawyers have their doubts.

"I don't in any way question the council president's intentions. It's just that if you asked me as a lawyer, it's unconstitutional," said Matthew N. McClure, the team leader of Ballard Spahr's Zoning and Land Use Team. "What if you have a non-residential structure in an area that's zoned for single family use? There is clear case law on this."

Philadelphia's zoning regulations were last reworked in 2012. That was the city's first major zoning revision since the 1960s.

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