The Old City Civic Association (OCCA), known for its vociferous opposition to character changing developments in the Old City neighborhood, is getting out of the advocacy game. Why? They've been hit with one too many retaliatory lawsuits from developers.
The suits against the OCCA are what's known as SLAPPs, strategic lawsuit against public participation. The OCCA has been dealing with a lawsuit over its opposition to the World Trade Square since 2007, (which the OCCA opposed because of its height,) and has dealt with two suits in the past thirteen months over liquor license transfers.
In order to limit liability, the OCCA is disbanding its Develpment and Liquor committees. The OCCA will, however, continue its beautification efforts. It plans to "continue its various community improvement and outreach activities, such as its semi-annual tree planting, clean up and "haz-mat" removal days, social events and tours of historical places", even though it has ended its more controversial campaigns.
· Old City civic gets SLAPP-ed one too many times [Philly.com]
· Builder's ambition hits Philadelphia ceiling [Developer Implode]