- Councilman Curtis JonesPhiladelphia City Council, District 4
Oppose the re-zoning of Saint Mary's campus to multi-family use
The complete St. Mary of the Assumption church property has been up for sale for some time. We met last in March when we only had a preliminary concept of the development. A few things have happened since then, including meeting with the developer, North Light Community Center and State Representative Pam DeLissio and the Planning Commission.
- MNC and North Light have met with the developer, making our concerns clear and suggesting alternatives. In the eight months since our first meeting the plans have changed very little; they still call for about 100 apartments and about 130 parking spaces with no parking spaces for the community or North Light.
- North Light serves 3,000 community members per year and reached out to the property owners numerous times about purchasing a portion of the lot for parking, after a decades-long use agreement, and were told they would not sell only a portion of the property. To date, North Light has retained use of the lot during the agreement of sale.
- Such a development will be at least twice as dense as a row house development, further worsening parking and congestion problems.
- The properties (17 in all) are zoned RSA-5. i.e. twins and rows. Just because a developer is willing to pay more for a property doesn't entitle them to a larger development. There were other bids that were rejected for a higher bid that ignored the zoning classification.
- We have learned that Councilman Jones has recently directed the Planning Commission to prepare a new zoning overlay consistent with the developer's plan; allowing multi-family units across the whole site.
- A new zoning overlay is unnecessary and unacceptable. It hijacks the zoning process and will formalize and make permanent high-density multi-family housing in the heart of our row-house neighborhood.
- Apartments tend to attract a more transient population that does not support our schools or create long term stability in the neighborhood.
We therefore will request that the Councilman withdraw the directive so that any proposed development respects the existing zoning classification.
- Philadelphia City Council, District 4
Councilman Curtis Jones
We oppose the re-zoning of Saint Mary's campus to multi-family use. We urge you to meet personally with your constituents to hear the needs of this community before any plan is developed.
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