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Battle Over Definition of 'Underground' Will Determine Whether One Riverside Place Gets Built

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One Riverside Place, the sky high residential tower proposed by Carl Dranoff, will undergo zoning review in a month, even though the Dranoff camp avers that the proposal is allowed by right (meaning that it needs no zoning clearances). A concerned neighbor feels that the project ought not be by right, because of a difference in opinion about what "underground" means.

One Riverside Place's "by right" status hinges on a zoning bonus given out to buildings that put parking underground (the zoning code grants extra interior square footage to buildings that include certain features deemed desireable.) There's a small bugaboo, though: the parking garage for One Riverside Place is not, strictly speaking, entirely underground.

The garage is mostly underground, but a story of parking is visible above the street. Though the Dranoff camp claims that because the garage is lower than the 100 year floodplain, it is technically underground, an irate neighbor begs to differ, taking a very literal and unimaginative approach to the word "underground." According to Plan Philly, he says that "It isn't reasonable to conclude that a street-level garage is below ground".

Licenses and Inspections says that because the structure is within one foot above the hundred year floodplain it is "below average ground level," thereby rendering it below ground (even if it is literally above ground.)

In any case, the battle over the definition of "underground" is not actually a battle over the definition of "underground". The same neighbor spearheading the underground means under the ground campaign is also trying to keep the tower from being built.
· One Riverside zoning hearing rescheduled [Plan Philly]
· One Riverside Place Renderings [Curbed Philly]