East Falls Local

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Category: Zoning (Page 1 of 2)

There’s No Place Like Home

Is East Falls the kind of community that would welcome a home for sick kids by our favorite residential park? 

During the holidays, especially, “home” takes on special meaning. We decorate them, make up our own little rituals when to light this, and where to hang that. We welcome friends and family home, even sing about home in Christmas carols. Everyone needs a place to call home.

Here in East Falls, KenCrest at Midvale & McMichael seeks to create a transitional care home for six ventilated/intubated children in their facility by the park (currently providing daycare for disabled adults).

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MEET, SNACK, LEARN: 3rd Thursdays with EFF

As the summer winds down, reconnect with your neighbors and check in on local events & developments. East Falls Forward provides beer, popcorn, and news. You bring your comments & questions.

Change keeps coming, no need to be blindsided when East Falls Forward’s got all the scoop ahead of time. And every meeting starts with a free Happy Hour, and ends at the beer garden.

This Thursday’s agenda includes news regarding the site of East Falls’ future dog park.

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Meeting with NewCourtland Has Tails Wagging

You don’t have to be a dog owner to appreciate this month’s East Falls Forward agenda — but it helps! NewCourtland leads the pack with news of an off-leash play area in their site plans. 

As NewCourtland’s plans move forward, dog park specs come into focus. We’ve got two questions we’re hoping to get answered at Thursday night’s East Falls Forward meeting:

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Who’s Who in Local Politics

EFDC, EFCC, EFF… OMG! What’s up with all the local governing bodies here? Who’s who in leadership — and how do different groups of neighbors influence our community? We’ve spent the last two years on this highly-personal summary of East Falls politics. 

As East Falls heads into 2017, we’d like to pounce on this opportunity to summarize our hyper-local political landscape. We offer these observations after studying & writing about East Falls history for about a year on EastFallsHouse.com, plus covering two years’ worth of meetings, characters, and events right here on this growing blog.

Here’s our run-down of movers & shakers for business, development, traffic/parking, and quality of life in the Falls.

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SPIN or Get Off the Pot

UPDATE, DECEMBER 14, 2016: Philadelphia’s City Council passed Philadelphia University’s Master Plan, and then Mayor Kenney signed & approved their institutional zoning (SPIN).

It’s a done deal, folks! Congratulations to PhillyU and to the overwhelming majority of neighbors who voted to support legislation that streamlines the process for campus growth & development. 

Jeff Cromarty (PhillyU’s chief operating officer), expressed delight while thanking the community, “We are grateful to East Falls Forward, the East Falls Community Council, and all the residents who contributed to this process. With this designation, we look forward to remaining a valuable East Falls asset for many more years.”

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Turning Japanese on Kelly Drive

After a setback at Civic Design Review last Wednesday, what’s next for the development of the old Japanese banquet hall site on Kelly Drive?


UPDATE: PlanPhilly’s recap of Nov 30th’s Civic Design Review.

The next step in the development of the vacant Japanese banquet hall will have to wait a little longer as the Civic Design Review (CDR) board voted last Wednesday to bring back Gary Jonas and his HOW Properties team for another review of their plan.

The CDR cited missed opportunities and lack of connection to the river as disappointments in the design renderings and suggested several improvements they hoped would be incorporated in the next round of renderings.

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Manifest Density: Zoning for Our Riverfront

So… are we still getting that big apartment building where the Japanese restaurant used to be? And some kind of thru-street between Kelly and Ridge? Answers, photos & links in our quick zoning recap. 

EastFallsLocal how properties resize

Funny how loving architecture doesn’t necessarily make you good at assessing design plans. I’m talking personally: when Gary Jonas of HOW Properties put up the image of his new apartment building for Kelly Drive, I thought it looked fine. Not the most beautiful structure, sure, but it seemed kinda snazzy with the red brick, the geometry.

But what do I know? Neighborhood feedback has been way lousy.

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All Over But the Financin’

The long-awaited Ridge Flats project gets approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustments, clearing the way for construction. 

Rivage renderings.Kelly Drive.w Text

Today’s approval of the Ridge Flats (aka Rivage) project by the Zoning Board of Adjustments (ZBA) means the project has cleared its final zoning hurdle with the city.

You may remember that the Civic Design Review Committee approved the project in May with a few suggestions that were passed along to the ZBA, including incorporating more public spaces along with the ground-floor retail on Ridge Avenue, adding more color variation to the paneling, and breaking up the monotonous wall on the Ridge Avenue side. Committee chair Nancy Rogo Trainer felt the wall made the building “seem a little relentless.”

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Close Call

Philadelphia University’s plan squeaks by Civic Design Review over spirited opposition. 

CDR Bldg

The PhilaU institutional plan moved one step closer to passage yesterday by a 5-3 vote of the Civic Design Review committee. This PlanPhilly article lays out the details, including the vehement opposition to the ecological soundness of the plan. Having attended the meeting as an RCO rep (Secretary, East Falls Forward) here’s my take on the proceedings.

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Go, Go, Grasso!

UPDATE May 31: Rivage gets approval from Civic Design Review Committee! And East Falls Local was there! 

EastFallsLocal ridge flats moves forward updated

Steve’s not a huge fan of Civic Design Review, but when the Rivage project appeared on the CDR committee docket on May 31, he hustled down to 1515 Arch Street to speak up for the long-delayed project (and get some notes).

Grasso started off the meeting, saying was eager to hear the Committee’s comments and hoped the input would make the project the best it could be. He also said he was open to any suggestions, provided they didn’t make the project financially unfeasible.

The Committee members seemed happy to see the site developed. Some noted positives about the plan (including the green wall, the frontage on three sides, and burying the parking under the building). There were however, suggestions for improving the project as well, including

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