Philadelphia City Council has passed legislation to stop the city from buying most properties without an appraisal to make sure it doesn't overpay.

Council members on Thursday unanimously passed the bill, which would require an independent appraisal before most acquisitions and for the sale of most municipally owned properties valued by the city's assessment office at more than $200,000.

The bill, spearheaded by Councilman Allan Domb, was a response to the lack of an  appraisal ahead of the city's agreement to pay $249 million to a developer for a new city Police Headquarters in the former Inquirer building at 400 N. Broad St.

The newly passed legislation, which still requires a signature from Mayor Kenney to take effect, wouldn't apply to sheriff's sales and acquisitions through eminent domain.