Kellie Patrick Gates of PlanPhilly recently commented on the busy year in Philadelphia in terms of planning and development. Overall, it was a busy year, particularly with respect to planning around the Delaware River and district level planning.
The Philadelphia Planning Commission added additional details to the city’s comprehensive development plan, Philadelphia 2035, including adoption of three district-level plans applying the city-wide vision to certain neighborhoods, laying out specific goals for those neighborhoods. West Park, for example, calls for new development at 52nd and Lancaster, changes at and near the Centennial District geared toward providing amenities, and better transit connections. Lower South has the goal of extending the Broad Street subway to the Navy Yard. It also calls for residential development at the former Naval Hospital site, as well as mixed use development around the sports complex. Each district has its own unique plan.
The commission also adopted a master plan for the Central Delaware. That was done in early March. The plan calls for mixed-use development along the seven miles between Oregon and Allegheny avenues, including residential, commercial and industrial uses. The plan is now part of the city’s comprehensive plan, just as the district-level plans are, and any waterfront decisions must be considered by a city governing body such as the City Council or the Zoning Board of Adjustment before they can go forward.
There are certainly critics of the plan, though. Some say that certain components of the plan amounted to taking away privately owned property, and that since the city doesn’t have enough money to put the plan into practice, it put properties in an unnecessary limbo. These and other objections have led to talks on the zoning component that would codify the plan. Property acquisition, height limits, and liability issues have all been part of these discussions.
Already, there have been proposals challenging the 100-foot height limit called for in the plan. In addition, there have also been proposals by some developers to reuse some old buildings for new purposes.
In our next post, we’ll continue looking back at 2012’s planning and development accomplishments.
Source: Plan Philly, “Planning and development, a look back at 2012,” Kellie Patrick Gates, December 20, 2012