ADVOCACY UPDATE: City Council Back in Session
- We still anticipate a budget transfer ordinance, sponsored by At-Large Councilmember Helen Gym, intended to direct more resources to our understaffed Historical Commission.
- An amendment to the Parking Relief Bill for historic properties, which emerged from the Historic Preservation Task Force, is tentatively scheduled for review before the Rules Committee of City Council in October. The amendment brings the original bill closer to the spirit in which it was passed and eliminates parking requirements for adaptive reuse projects that do not alter the historic envelope or exterior of a locally designated building (and which would otherwise trigger typical parking requirements per the Zoning Code.)
- There are likewise potential changes to the Mixed Income Housing Bonus and the types of projects that will be allowed to secure height and density bonuses via payments to the fund – in lieu of providing affordable housing units on site. The Preservation Alliance is generally supportive of any measure to promote affordable housing, though many recent demolitions have been associated with projects accessing bonuses via payment in lieu. We will be sure to monitor any proposed changes to the program, whether citywide or specific to Council districts.
- Lastly, Council President Darrell Clarke’s Neighborhood Preservation Initiative is set to launch with an initial $400 million in funding allocated over the next four years. Proven programs with high demand, such as Basic Systems Repair and the Adaptive Modification Program, are among the beneficiaries and we hope to support the initiative in its efforts to maintain naturally occurring affordable housing, promote home ownership, and provide help for the many owners of aging properties across our city in need of technical and financial assistance.
2301 Fairmount Avenue
On the Philadelphia Register nomination front, we also have a number of pending nominations tentatively scheduled for review at the October 20th meeting of the Committee on Historic Designation. They include: John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School (319 N. 19th St and 312 N. 18th St.); 2301 Fairmount Avenue; the “Conwell House Block” Historic District (2010-2022 N. Broad Street); and the former Colonial Federal Savings & Loan (1206 Chestnut St). Complete nominations and relevant meeting materials available here.
October Preservation To-Do List
Fall is here and Philadelphia is bustling with activity! This month enjoy the crisp, cool weather with a tour around Tulpehocken, Tourison, the Rail Park, Queen Village, and more.
Don’t forget to join us for our 2021 Fall Speaker Series as presentations continue every Tuesday evening at 6pm this month.
Click here to view more preservation-related events around town this month.
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