Philly block parties must now be approved by police. Residents looking to throw a block party must get permission from their local police district and the Streets Department, leaving many angered by the new policy.
Prior to the change in policy, a resident looking to throw a block party was required to get approval from 75% of their neighbors, submit a form to the Streets Department and pay a fee of $25.00.
New policy on Philly block parties
As of Thursday, that has now changed with city officials issuing a press release without any advance notice to the public, according to Philly Voice.
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“[All] Street Event Applications handled by the Right of Way Unit will require pre-screening approval from local Police Districts in advance of being processed. This change applies to applications submitted for approval on or after August 1, 2018.”
“Applicants seeking approval to close their street to host a block party or another street event must submit a Block Party Authorization Approval Form to their local Police District before applying for a permit with the Streets Department,” the press release announced.
Now residents must submit their applications to their local police department for approval. The new rules doesn’t just apply to block parties. Anyone looking to host a large birthday party, religious event, wedding party or prom party must also apply.
Upset about the change in policy, some residents have put together a petition to fight the new block parties policy.
"This is totally unnecessary red tape that's just going to make it harder for neighbors to organize block parties, and weaken this important part of Philadelphia's culture," read the petition that has been sponsored by the bipartisan Philadelphia 3.0 political organization.
Mayor Kenney and his administration has since issued a statement about the policy and the public’s response.
"To better serve residents, the process has been revamped to allow the police to approve the request before the permit is paid for and issued," a spokeswoman for Kenney stated.
Adding, “approval by the police was always a part of the block party permitting process, that is nothing new. The only thing that has changed is the order in which it now happens."