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First Step Toward Vibrant Riverfront? You Guessed it, Zoning.

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Zoning is kind of boring, but the city's plan for the Delaware riverfront is exciting, and the first step toward getting there is intelligent zoning. Yesterday, Councilman Squilla has introduced a bill that would create a new zoning overlay for the Delaware Riverfront, with the intent of shaping it to the Central Design Master Plan. The bill calls for unobstructed extensions of eight streets to the river, and places strict limits on building height.

The eight streets which will extend to the river front are Dickinson, Christian, Race, Callowhill, and Spring Garden streets and Washington, Frankford and Columbia avenues. The bill restricts building heights within the area to 100 feet, but by providing public goods such as art and riverfront trails, builders can earn the right to additional height.

Though most interested parties think the bill is okay, no one is jumping for joy. The Central Delaware Advocacy Group is pleased at the general provisions of the bill, but wanted restrictions placed on billboards, while the Development Workshop would have liked fewer height restrictions. All in all, the bill represents compromises for all involved, but it's a significant step toward turning the city's Central Delaware Master Plan into reality and connecting Philly to its waterfront.
· Zoning bill designed to shape development of city's Delaware River master plan goals introduced [Plan Philly]