DAG to DiCicco: Postpone CED vote; change signage rules

The Design Advocacy Group sent a letter to Councilman Frank DiCicco Wednesday urging him to postpone Thursday’s vote on legislation that would allow a casino to operate at The Gallery at Market East.

DAG also asked DiCicco to alter the portion of the legislation that would allow larger, rotating, electronic and rooftop signs.

The letter, signed by DAG Chairwoman JoAnne Aitken, offers some praise along with its criticisms. DAG is “eagerly awaiting” the open review of the project promised by the Planning Commission, she wrote.

But Aitken said in the letter that more time was needed to thoroughly review the proposed zoning – and it would make the city look better in the public’s eyes.

“Even a slight delay in the schedule would help ensure that the legislation benefits from thoughtful consideration from all points of view. It would also help negate the unfortunate – and, we hope, false – impression that the City government has already made up its mind about the Gallery location.

“DAG enthusiastically supports the administration’s pledge to bring openness and integrity to the development process and such a rapid schedule for an important zoning change does not help us reach this goal.”

DAG also suggests that the CED legislation be changed so that current signage requirements stay in place.

“Although we have had no time to study the design consequences of the proposed legislation, some of our members believe the effect of large signs in a dense, urban area could be detrimental while others sense a design opportunity. We do not think that the current legislation is the best place to resolve this issue.”

If the CED bill instead kept signage to that allowed under the existing C-5, commercial zoning, the Planning Commission could “review proposals for unusual or additional signage such as may be appropriate for a casino based on design quality rather than legislative right.”

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal