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WHAT'S NEW IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
CENTER CITY ZONING OVERLAY BILL: REQUEST FOR PAUSE GRANTED TO CROSSTOWN COALITION
Here they go again. On Tuesday, after a hearing about which neither CCRA nor many other affected civics received any notice, City Council's Rules Committee approved a bill (140519) that would allow taller and denser commercial buildings in select areas of Center City, and permit residential development on smaller lots than is currently allowed. This lack of notice was despite the fact that CCRA has been engaged in a 6- month long zoning remapping process, and despite the fact that the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition (of which CCRA is a charter member and active participant) had been involved in extensive discussions with many of the stakeholders regarding the overlay concept. Thanks to the quick action of Steve Huntington, CCRA Executive Director and PCC Chair, and Joe Schiavo, PCC Zoning and Land Use Committee Chair, Councilman Mark Squilla, the bill's sponsor, has agreed to pause the bill until there is an opportunity to convene a roundtable meeting of representatives of all the communities impacted by it.
As presently written, the bill would create a Center City Commercial District Control Area, bounded by South and Spring Garden and the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. Among other things, it would:
Permit buildings in CMX-2 properties (neighborhood commercial corridors) that have frontage on three or more streets to be built to 55 feet, rather than the 38 feet currently allowed. Two of the streets must be at least 50 feet wide.
Allow density bonuses on CMX-3 lots with frontage on three or more streets for mixed-income housing or green building. The density bonuses, up to an additional 250% of Floor Area Ratio, are currently allowed in Transit-Oriented Development districts. These TOD districts have not yet been drawn into the city maps.
Increase the maximum Floor Area Ratio to 750% in CMX-4 lots that fall within both the Center City Commercial District Control Area and the Center City/University City Floor Area ratio.
Remove the limit on residential units in lots zoned CMX-2 and CMX-2.5, and reduce the minimum size of units to 360 square feet.
We will keep you posted as negotiations progress on this important legislation.
The Peace Islands Institute, CCRA, and Trinity Memorial Church are partnering on an interfaith break-the-fast meal preceded by a discussion of the Islamic Ramadan traditions on Monday, June 29, commencing at 7:30 pm with the Ramadan meal served at sundown, 8:30 pm. Location: Trinity Memorial at 22nd & Spruce. To ensure a headcount for seating, preregistration with a $10.00/person fee is required. Register online at centercityresidents.org or call 215 546 6719. Proceeds will be donated to Oxfam for Nepalese relief efforts.
HOMES NEEDED FOR CCRA'S 57TH ANNUAL FALL HOUSE TOUR, SUN, 10/18
Our 57th Annual House Tour will be held on Sunday, Oct. 18 This is an important fundraiser for the Association. As hundreds of your neighbors have done before, would you be willing to place your home, apartment, or condo on the Tour this year? We provide insurance and multiple on-site hosts/hostesses. You receive our deepest thanks, as well as recognition in our Tour Book and the Center City Quarterly. Please contact the CCRA office for further information at 215-546-6719 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
STREET SCENE URBAN GARDEN AND PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION
CCRA's Street Scene urban garden and PHOTOGRAPHY (new this year) returns, bigger and better than ever. Garden entries are due by June 30, and photography entries are due by August 15. The CCRA Street Scene web page and entry forms are live. In addition, each week through October 31, the CCRA e-newsletter will contain a gardening tip to help you plan, plant and maintain your most fantastic Street Scene entry yet!
A big thank you to our sponsors, Reinhold Residential, Pam Rosser Thistle, REALTOR, and Friends in the City.
STREET SCENE TIP - GERANIUMS
For hot, sunny locations, geraniums are no-fail choices. Fill your window boxes with their colorful blooms and you can enjoy a display of nonstop flowers all summer long. Pay attention to the variety because many newer geraniums bloom more and with less care than older selections. No matter the selection, your geraniums will look best if you pinch or cut off the spent blossoms. Geraniums need at least six hours of full sun each day for best growth and flowering. In the hottest part of the summer, they do better in afternoon shade. Fertilize every two weeks, and water when soil feels dry to a depth of two inches. Geraniums need good drainage. Allow water to fully drain from the window box or pot. Geraniums can be trained into standards, or tree forms, if you want to use them to give height to your window box. Ivy-leaf geraniums have vine-like growth and smooth, leathery leaves and flowers with narrower petals. They are popular in Europe, and because they have a cascading habit, are naturals for window boxes and hanging containers. Scented-leaf geraniums can be a pleasant gift to the street and to yourself if your window box is at a window you open. They make excellent houseplants, and many have soft, finely textured foliage and small flowers. Scents include rose, lemon, nutmeg, apple and peppermint.
CCRA MERCHANT MEMBERS DISCOUNT PROGRAM
Support our local merchants and save money too. These local merchants will provide a discount (described here) to any member who shows a current CCRA membership card (Di Bruno Bros. has its own CCRA card) and personal identification.
Uber - Limo service Uber provides $20 off a first ride, Good for new users only. Members use code CCRA14.
Philly Foodworks - Use the code "CCRA" when signing up for home delivery and receive a $20 discount on delivery charges.
NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS AND EVENTS
RITTENHOUSE SQUARE FINE ARTS SHOW, FRI & SAT, 6/5 AND 6/6, 11AM - 7 PM, AND SUN, 6/7, 11 AM - 5 PM
Walk around Rittenhouse Square and view paintings and sculptures by local artists. For more information, click here.
GREENFIELD SCHOOL PRESCHOOL PLAYDATE, SAT, 6/6, 10 AM - 12 PM, 22ND & SANSOM ST
Parents of newborns to 5 yr. olds (and prospective parents) are invited to a playdate at the Greenfield School playground Sat, 6/6, 10 AM - to Noon, 22nd & Sansom. Meet parents of Greenfield students and parents of potential Greenfielders to learn about the School and meet your neighbors! The Greenfield catchment area is from the north side of Bainbridge to the south side of the Ben Franklin Parkway, Broad Street to the Schuylkill River.
FRIENDS OF RITTENHOUSE SQ OUTDOOR CAFE, SAT, 6/6, 12-10PM
Join the Friends of Rittenhouse Square this Saturday for their annual 18th Street Outdoor Café . Grab your friends for delicious food and drinks at tables set up by Devon, Parc and Rouge. 18th Street will be closed between Locust Street and Walnut Street for your strolling and dining pleasure, weather permitted.
Proceeds will benefit Rittenhouse.
Carol Ashton-Hergenhan "Florescence, Senescence & Regeneration," FRI, 6/12 - THURS, 7/2, tWENTY-TWO GALLERY, 236 S 22ND ST.
Recent watercolor and drawings by award winning Philadelphia area botanical artist, Carol Ashton-Hergenhan at Twenty-Two Gallery.
BLOOMSDAY: A DAY-LONG READING FROM JAMES JOYCE'S ULYESSES, TUE, 6/16, 9:30 AM - 7:30 PM
James Joyce enthusiasts from all walks of life will read
selections from Ulysses aloud.
Readings and musical performances will take place in three locations- Parkway Central Library (1901 Vine Street), Rittenhouse Square,(18th & Walnut) and the Rosenbach (2008 Delancey Place). Featuring Joyce fans to Joyce newbies to some of Philadelphia's most recognizable personalities, Bloomsday is truly a people's celebration of a great work of literature. This is a FREE program. Fore information, click here.