Friday, January 25, 2019

CCRA Newsletter

Weekly E-Newsletter
News and Updates

Neighborhood Feedback:  Airbnb, VRBO, & Co 

CCRA is investigating the role short term rental companies, such asAirBnB, VRBO, etc., play in our neighborhood.  In 2015, following the Pope's visit to Philadelphia, City Council enacted Bill No. 150441-A to clarify our regulations on short-term rentals under the "Hotel Room Rental Tax."   Under this ordinance, short term rentals here are limited to 91 days occupancy per year (out of 180 days offered) in owner-occupied residences (that occupied by the owner for at least 180 days/year), with common kitchens and bathrooms, and may not adversely change the residential character of a building or neighborhood.

Done properly, proponents say AirBnB etc. offer alternatives for the traveling public, especially those who need full kitchen/laundry facilities; provide travelers a more authentic local experience and enable residents with space to earn extra income.   

However, commercial providers -- e.g., individuals and businesses, lease apartments or buy homes just to rent them out as rooms to individuals or groups.  Critics say that these operations are unregulated rooming houses & hotels, violating local ordinances designed to protect both renters and neighbors and creating unfair competition for the hospitality industry. 
A quick perusal of short-term rental sites such as AirBnb reveals several rooms, apartments and houses available within CCRA boundaries.  CCRA would like to hear from our members about your experiences with the short term rental industry.  What impacts have you experienced--negative -- or positive-- from short-term rentals in our neighborhood?  What do you think?  Let us know -- take our survey at   
Please reply by February 11, 2019.  The survey will close on that date.

CCRA's Final Recommendations of Mayor's Historic Preservation Task Force

CCRA'ville had one of the first residential historic districts in the City (Rittenhouse/Fitler Residential Historic District, adopted in 1995), and historic preservation continues to be an ongoing priority of CCRA.  In that regard, CCRA recently commented on the Final Recommendations of Mayor Kenney's Historic Preservation Task Force.  Although we indicated full support for the the implementation of recommendations in all eight focus areas, the majority of our comments concerned the better integration of historic preservation into the development process of the city, including a strengthening of neighborhood constituents in protecting historic resources in their communities. Several CCRA Historic Preservation committee members actively participated in the development of the Neighborhood Preservation Toolkit and we support it's publication and publicity as a citywide resource.   For more information, see full content of the letter here.
The Bethesda Project Is Looking for Volunteers 
They are in need of three volunteers to help them at the upcoming Community Life event, Bethesda Games Valentine Edition. This event is taking place on Thursday, 2/14/19, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm in the community room of their North Broad residence. Volunteers will help set-up decorations, run games, serve lunch & snacks, and clean-up. Please let Sarah Erdo know if you are willing and able to help out with this community building event.  They also need beverages and snacks for this event. Please let me know if you are able to donate popcorn, potato chips, cheese curls, and /or soda.
Help Keep Our Sidewalks Clean 

Each year CCRA uses Neighborhood Beautification contributions to fund a $29,000 contract with the  Center City District for sidewalk cleaning after each weekly trash collection and further to finance our other aesthetic initiatives - tree planting, historic preservation, the Schuylkill River Park Community Garden.  We would be grateful if you could contribute a charitable donation to help cover the costs. Click or tap here  to donate.  If you have already contributed, thank you very much for your generous support. 

Community Events
Classical Music Concert at the Philadelphia Ethical Society

Fine Art Music Company presents a classical music concert, Sunday, January 27, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Philadelphia Ethical Society, 1906 Rittenhouse Square: "War of the Romantics - Musical Raptures (Part 1)" 

Free Admission To The Museum of American History to all Furloughed Federal Workers

The Museum of the American Revolution (3rd and Chestnut) is offering free admission to all furloughed federal workers and three additional guests throughout the remainder of the partial federal government shutdown. Federal workers must show valid government ID at the front desk to redeem the offer.
CCD Restaurant Week

Center City District Restaurant Week, presented by Maker's Mark Bourbon and El Tesoro Tequila and supported by OpenTable and Lyft, is more popular than ever and is returning in January for nearly two weeks! From 
January 13-25, 2019, more than 115 participating restaurants will serve three-course dinners for $35 per person and three-course lunches for $20 per person (excludes tax, gratuity and alcohol). New restaurants for this season include Bai Wei, Sedition, Mission Taqueria, Giuseppe & Sons, and Fat Salmon. 

Visit to see the full list of participating restaurants and links to make reservations via OpenTable, and enter for a chance to win a grand prize of dinner once a week for a year at select Center City restaurants and a $500 TD Visa ® gift card valid at any shopping location.

Follow @PhilaRestWeek on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates. All menus will be posted in the coming weeks.
For more information about neighborhood events, check out CCRA's Community Events Calendar
Useful Links

CCRA Merchant Member 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 and personal identification.

Raven Lounge, 1718 Sansom St. (215-840-3577)
Rim's Dry Cleaners & Tailors,2203 South St. (215-546-1889)
Rittenhouse Hardware, 2001 Pine St. (215-735-6311)
Suga Restaurant, 1720 Sansom St. (215-717-8968)
Ursula Hobson Fine Art Framing, 1528 Waverly St (215.546.7889)
Astral Artists - Use promo code "CCRA" to receive a $10 flat rate on all tickets to their concerts.
Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St, (uses separate card, see info here)
Dom's Shoe Repair, 203 S. 20th St (215-972-0098)
Eye Candy Vision, 218 S. 20th St (215-568-3937)
Home Helpers Philly, 1835 S. Broad St., Ste 2 (215-334-2600)
Jason Matthew Salon, 1735 Chestnut St, 2nd Fl (215-665-8030)
Koresh Dance Company, 2002 Rittenhouse Sq St. (267-687-1769)
Nature's Gallery Florist, 2124 Walnut St (215-563-5554)
NextMove Dance - Get $10 off  Dance Performances with your CCRA Membership.  Members use  promo code SAVE10.
Philly Foodworks - Use the code "CCRA" when signing up for home delivery and receive a $20 discount on delivery charges.
Photo Lounge 1909 Chestnut Street (267-322-6651)
Twenty-Two Gallery, 236 S. 22nd St, (215-772-1911)

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