BILL 150745: WHY WE SHOULD RED LIGHT THE GREEN ROOFS BILL
Green roofs are laudable, they diminish sewer system runoff and their cooler surfaces drive down summer temperatures. Not so Bill 150745 which twists the spirit of the zoning code by providing building density bonuses in exchange for green roof developments. The Zoning Code density specifications were hammered out between communities and developers over four long years. The Code's bonus system , also a product of the same four year process, accords increased density for developments which provide benefits for the impacted communities. In other words, the Code encourages fair trades - the neighbors receive underground parking or public art and the builder receives permits to build higher or denser structures.
Bill 150475's density bonus does not offer the type of trade off sanctioned by the Zoning Code, The Bill's density bonus visits downsides on the locally affected block faces ( more people, cars, traffic and trash) but the upsides are city wide (less water in the City's drainage system, lower ambient temperatures in the summer). 150475 asks the neighbors next door to the supersized green roof structure to exchange a locally diminished quality of life so that the City as a whole can benefit,
What's the fix? If green roofs are to be incentivized, green roof buildings should get a break on the City's storm water management service charge. You scratch my back (less storm water runoff) I'll scratch yours (lower storm water management bills).
The green roof/density trade-off is not the Bill's only defect, just its most glaring deficiency. Like too many Council bills, 150475 does not address enforcement. The bill provides no penalties where a green roof is replaced with a roof deck. Nor does the Bill fund an inspection process, extra L and I employees to investigate whether bonus buildings contain green roofs. Currently, two years after the Salvation Army tragedy, L and I can't even comply with its internal guidelines for supervising demolitions. Need more? If Bill 150475 were passed, developers could double dip by taking the 150475 density bonus AND an existing bonus allowing for a one square foot reduction of parking lot landscaping in exchange for each square foot of green roof. So under 150475 the community not only gets more density, it gets less neighborhood greenery. Well at least the Bill should get high grades for diminishing in a bonused building's water run off. Not really. Bonuses are provided where 60% of the roof surface is green. When I went to school, a 60 was passing, but just barely.
The idea behind 150475 is laudable, the execution is lacking. The bill should be sent back to the drawing board. And when it is redrafted, shouldn't there be a special bonus favoring resident accessible green roofs, high rise mini parks which diminish the burden on community parks and playgrounds?
At this traditional neighborhood gathering, 12 congregations in our area's Christian, Jewish and Islamic faith communities invite residents to join them in offering thanks in their respective traditions.
Nous sommes tous maintenant les Parisiens
The world felt different when we wrote last Friday - a millennium ago in these internet-accelerated times. World affairs are seldom in our jurisdiction - we're a civic group, dedicated to city living in some two square miles in Philadelphia. The attacks in Paris were attacks on city living. We offer no analysis, politics or proposals. What we can provide is solidarity, which we give to the people of Paris with our whole hearts.
In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, CCRA will closed on Thursday, 11/26 and Friday, 11/27. The office will reopen on Monday, 11/30.
NO TRASH COLLECTION ON THURS, 11/26
Addresses with Thursday pickup will be collected on Fri, 11/27.
HOLIDAY SEASON PACKAGE DELIVERY ALERT
There have been reports that delivery service packages are being stolen from people's front doors (including behind locked gates) when left there by UPS, FedEx, etc. It is probably best to redirect your packages to a neighbor or business if you don't have a secure place for them to be left. This may become more of a problem as we get closer to the holiday season.
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 promo code CCRA14.
Philly Foodworks - Use the code "CCRA" when signing up for home delivery and receive a $20 discount on delivery charges.
Dance Affiliate - Get $10 off Dance Performances with your CCRA Membership. Members use promo code allattheprince.
NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS AND EVENTS
Christmas Village returns to Love Park, Thurs, 11/26 to Sun, 11/27, 15th & JFK
The Christmas Village, presented by NRG Home, is returning to bring the holiday atmosphere of a traditional German Christmas market (Weihnachtsmarkt) to Center City!
Show your valid Center City Residents Association membership card and receive discounts on your favorite items! Choose from a German bratwurst or schnitzel served on a warm roll (Brötchen) to satisfy your holiday cravings; both feature a hearty complimentary side of delicious German sauerkraut!
ART EXHIBIT AT TWENTY-TWO GALLERY, "SEA TREASURES," BY ANDREA BALDECK, NOW THRU SUN, 12/6, 226 S. 22ND ST
"Nautilus Quartet" archival silver gelatin print, by Andrea Baldeck
The series Sea Treasures offers black and white still life arrangements to highlight the shapes and contours of shells, bones and carapaces. Combined with vintage texts of design and zoology, the result is an interplay of two and three dimensions intended to engage the eye, stimulate thought, and renew our sense of wonder at the natural world.
SETH ROZIN OF INTERACT THEATRE COMPANY AT PHILA CITY INS, WED, 12/2, 6:30-7:30 PM
The Friends of the Philadelphia City Institute (PCI) Branch Library is sponsoring a program with Seth Rozin, Producing Artistic Director of InterAct Theatre Company. Seth will speak about InterAct's upcoming move to the Drake and the company's 2015-2016 season. There will also be a special, sneak preview performance of a scene from the upcoming world premiere of #therevolution by Kristoffer Diaz featuring Mary Tuomanen and Brett Robinson.
The program will be held in the meeting room on the library's lower level. There is no elevator in the library.
"THE RETIREMENT YEARS: A NEW FRONTIER"
SERIES BY PENN'S VILLAGE, WEDS, 11/9 & 11/16,
11 AM, FREE LIBRARY, 1901 VINE ST
The generation is reinventing retirement - living longer and healthier. Instead of planning to simply relax for a few good years, expect to live for decades after leaving your careers and you want those years to be active, meaningful and fulfilling. This two program series is devoted to this topic.
Please arrive at the Library 15 minutes early since the program is in the 4th Floor Skyline Room. Register by calling 215 925 7333 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The handicapped entrance is on Wood Street. For more information, click here.
Liberty One Observation Deck Opens Sat, 11/28, 10 AM, 1650 Market ST
The Observation Deck has 360-degree views as far as 40 miles out, six giant, multilingual tablets where you can zoom in on city streets, a giant, greenish, selfie-friendly bust of Ben Franklin, a sound track of locally inspired tunes you already know, and, should nature call 883 feet up, restrooms. The gift shops are on the ground floor, just before security and across from a massive replica of Ben Franklin's feet. Tickets can be purchased on-site or online. For more information, click here.
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY, 11/28
Help support the shops in our neighborhood. Click here to learn which businesses are participating.
ICE SKATING AT DILWORTH PARK, NOW THRU 2/28/16, CITY HALL
The Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park, offering the new Rothman Cabin, where skaters can enjoy warm drinks and food without having to take off their skates. The rink will also offer special sled skating accommodations for disabled skaters. Sled skating for children and adults will be supervised by trained staff to help push the sleds or train sled skaters in using the equipment. Sleds can be reserved during scheduled sessions that begin in January. For schedule and ticket prices, click here.