PAPERS, PLEASE: City Council Wants You To Get A Permission Slip To Put Out Flowers

UPDATE:  Against a tsunami of public outrage against her proposed legislation, Councilwoman Blackwell has agreed to withdraw the bill.


It’s not enough that City Council finds a new way to drain your wallet with a new tax increase or a new tax each and every spring.

Now they want you to get a written permission slip from them to put flowers outside your house.

No, I’m not making this shit up.  Have a read:



What’s the fine for not doing this, you ask?  $300.

Mind you, the whole public law on sidewalks is written very poorly but the goal of the original ordinance is to make sidewalk encroachments illegal unless you get a bill written by City Council and passed (here’s an example of one).

Because City Council hasn’t ever fixed the language of the original bill so it’s clear what sidewalk encroachments are, Councilwoman Blackwell’s bill requiring a permission slip on top of a permit from the Department of Licenses and Inspections takes already-bad municipal law that is super-broad and ruins it further.

So yes–if her bill actually passes, you will now need a permission slip from City Council as well as that L&I permit in order to put a flower planter or a bench in front of your house.

Which is fucking ridiculous.

Take some time today and let these people know that the sidewalk encroachment code is already stupid and Councilwoman Blackwell just wants to make it even more stupid.

JANNIE BLACKWELL: (215) 686-3418

MARK SQUILLA: (215) 686-3458


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

  • E Avila

    Maybe they should start with enforcing sidewalk restrictions that already exist – like sidewalk cafes that leave less than 2 feet of space for peds.

    • Debbie Thomas

      Yes……thank you! Some restaurants take up 50% of the sidewalk with those tables.

  • disqus_tixirHVby6

    What’s the fine, uh…fee, for complying?

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  • Architecture is Important

    Voting Jannie Blackwell and Darrell Clarke out of office and replaced by two half-decent individuals would do SO much for our city.

    • Paul Olkowski

      VOTING the entire city council of Philadelphia out of office is an even better idea. I am going on twitter and other social media to start this movement. This communist city council is out of hand. We pay our outrageous property and school taxes and are told multiple times a year what we can and cannot do on our own property. I am a former nursery worker who on various times has had numerous flowers and window boxes on my property. I will be DAMNED if I am going to ask some Communist blowhard for permission to have flowers and plants on my sidewalk or property. Listen to me Blackwell,n YOU WILL BE VOTED OUT OF OFFICE NEXT TIME AROUND! YOU COMMUNIST OPINIONATED JACKASS!

  • Y o Yo Yo

    But they’ll welcome illegal immigrants with open arms.

  • fmtguy1

    Why isn’t she worried about her shit hole residents who litter. Clean up you own house before you come to mine. She truly is the epitome of a C U Next Tuesday. I would love to see her mowed down by a Septa bus.

  • Brian Sidi

    Perhaps, Philadelphia should do two things:n1) Scrap the mayor-council system altogethern2) Divide the city into townships and boroughs, with the each locality being governed by the citizens themselves (i.e. town meetings). As once said “all politics are local”, just take the politicians out of the equation.