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2011 was busy planning year for Philadelphia officials, P.2

1/4/2012 | Real Estate Blog

In our previous post, we began recounting the various development projects that have been planned in the last year. We have already mentioned the city-wide comprehensive plan that was adopted back in June, individual district development plans, and plans for the Central Delaware Waterfront.

Among the early-phase projects connected to the waterfront plan is the Race Street Pier and Connector project. The latter involved lighting, landscaping and public art improvements designed to create a safer and more defined route between the pier/riverfront and Old City. The north side of that project has also begun, in addition to planning work on the Columbia Avenue Connector, which is intended to better connect Fishtown to the river.

Back in April, a Cash for Gold store which opened across from the SugarHouse Casino stirred discontent among city council members, planners and residents. The storefront was reportedly not forbidden under zoning laws and was validly operating as a precious metal dealer. In response, the city council passed a bill broadening the definition of pawn shops-which were illegal under the code-to include Cash for Gold stores. The storefront’s signs shortly afterward came down and the store never did open.

Other zoning bill controversies arose this year in Chestnut Hill and Germantown, Fishtown, Pennsport, and Old City. First District Councilman Frank DiCicco apparently introduced several license bills allowing for larger and brighter billboards. One of those bills was vetoed by Mayor Nutter.

From the looks of it, more development planning is set to take place in 2012, and the city council is sure to be busy.

Source:, “2011: A year of planning milestones, and some development controversy,” Kellie Patrick Gates, December 27, 2011.