CDAG will spend summer pushing for changes to the interim Central Delaware Zoning Overlay
The Central Delaware Advocacy Group will pursue amendments to the new Central Delaware Overlay that will add a waterfront setback requirement, prohibit billboards, and strengthen requirements around public access to the water and street grid extension. First District Councilman Mark Squilla added interim Central Delaware Overlay language into the new zoning code, preventing a gap in overlay coverage. However, one of the clean-up amendments changes a section of the new code, requiring a 50-foot development setback on rivers and streams.
When the new overlay legislation was drafted, it contained no waterfront setback, because the setback was in the new zoning code, and a goal is to keep the city’s new zoning law from getting as complex and redundant as the zoning it replaced. With the amendment, CDAG President Matt Ruben said, the setback is now needed for the Central Delaware Waterfront Overlay, which covers land between the river and I-95, from Oregon to Allegheny avenues.
With the amendment, Ruben said, the setback is now needed for the Central Delaware Waterfront Overlay. The Central Delaware is the only waterway with a setback,” he said, because the interim overlay requires a 100-foot setback. Ruben believes that overlays will now be needed to create setbacks on any city waterway. “We want to make sure there is a setback, and make sure waterfront access streets don’t get diluted,” Ruben stated.
CDAG concerned Planning Commission isn’t protecting Master Plan for Central Delaware
The Central Delaware Advocacy Group (CDAG) is concerned that the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s acceptance of the development plan for a 180-unit, 11-story apartment building near the Ben Franklin Bridge shows an unwillingness to insist that developers meet the principals of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware.
“The Master Plan is now official Planning Commission, and City, policy,” stated CDAG chair Matt Ruben. “If the Master Plan is to become a reality, it must become the standard against which each development proposal along the Central Delaware is measured.”