August, 2019 Minutes

August CDAG Board Meeting
Thursday, August 8, 6:00 PM
Society Hill Towers Community Room
285 St. James Place

6:00: Call to Order and Approval of Prior Meeting Minutes.
Motion to delay the minutes. Approved unanimously.

6:05: Officer Reports

  • Chair: North trail and South trails are wrapping up soon. The Central Trail, on road trail, will go out to bid in the fall. The RFP will be posted on DRWC website in the fall.
  • Penn’s Landing CAP is moving into final design. There will be a public engagement process.
  • Vine Street property archaeology public tours occurred. There will be another public tour. Tours display AECOM due diligence work.

6:15: CDO Legislation Update. Stakeholder meeting with Councilman Squilla. Also, in attendance: Planning commission staff, the attorney and architect for K4-Peter Kelson who represents the Durst Corporation; Karen Thompson—DRWC; George Claflin—DAG. James Templeton, Samantha Safara, Matt Ruben and Joe Schiavo were all present.

  • There is a new draft of the CDO, which will be distributed to CDAG. 
    The current overlay will be altered to enable Option B— a voluntary and optional tract. If selected, developers will be legally required to comply with the Option B tract. There is speculation that developers may not use Option B because a FAR bonus may not be needed, but the rep from Durst disagreed. Option B does not affect projects that don’t seek a height bonus.  Option B gives the Planning Commission binding authority over the developer. Option B applies to CMX 3, 4 and 5, which are governed by FAR rather than height limits. The Planning Commission must certify to LI that the requirements have been fulfilled, and that all proposed facades are in harmony with the intentions of the CDO. High profile projects will make use of Option B. In exchange for entering into Option B developers are not governed by height limits but by FAR. Once a developer has a building permit and a project breaks ground they are not able to leave the optional tract.
  • The base height limit in the main overlay will be reduced from 100 ‘ to 84’. Because of building codes and the economics of building, including structural steel and sprinklers, it is not practical to build higher than 84’ before costs leap frog. The maximum height bonus will be changed from 144’ (224’ max) to 156’ (240’ max). To reach that height bonus you must provide more amenities.
  • Form and Design Guidelines are proposed in the base overlay and are meant to disincentivize townhouse development that is not consistent with the Master Plan. 
  1. No portion of any building can be located less than 35’ from the other.No portion of any building can be located less than 35’ from the other.
  2. The length of the side of the building that parallels Delaware Avenue shall not exceed 200’
  1. There must be a minimum of 50’ between ground floor primary entrances for household living uses on the same lot.3.
  • It is proposed that single family homes do not count as an active use. There is an addition of requirement for entrances on Columbus and the riverfront side. Building permit applications at L&I do not regulate entrance locations. 
  • DAG drafted CDO Design Guideline Recommendations for revisions to the CDO and the Planning Commission was receptive to the spirit and the content of the document. 
  • DAG architects are surprised by the lack of interest in the development community to marine uses. There is a marine use bonus in the overlay, but it is not generous enough to generate interest. Marine uses are exorbitant. 
  • Matt will draft a letter expressing concern about connector streets being taken from the CDO. Main overlay will add six river access streets to the CDO. There is interest in adding Beech Street to the CDO.

6:40: Update on PECO Power Station site development.

There is a screening meeting for the stakeholders, which will be held Tuesday at 6 pm. All the entertainment uses are being taken out except for the event space. 210 residential units are being added.

7:15: Motion to Adjourn. Approved.