Parks & Rec budget shift | Planning Commission supports Norris Square rezoning | townhouses for Rivers Edge | Mercy Street gardening | Grand Jury looks at Buck fire | SEPTA’s nerve center | Moyer rules

Will the Department of Parks & Recreation see $8 million restored to its budget? PlanPhilly’s JoAnn Greco went to City Council’s budget hearing for Parks & Rec and she reports park advocates have found allies in freshmen Council Members like Mark Squilla.

Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez’s controversial rezoning proposal for Norris Square, which would restrict multi-family housing development, was approved by a split-decision at the Planning Commission. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that prior to the vote, the commission heard protests by supporters of the Norris Square Civic Association which is planning a 15-unit co-op housing development at the former St. Boniface site. NSCA has already pulled its zoning permits for the project, but Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez plans to contest the project’s permits. The Councilwoman said, “I will challenge it, I will appeal it, and I will run down the clock on them.”

Developer David Perlman presented the Planning Commission his proposal for a 38-unit townhouse development at Front and Willow, in the Rivers Edge nook of Old City. PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates reports the proposal’s low density, given the C-4 zoning, surprised and pleased members of the commission. “What’s shocking is that you are sitting on a C-4 property, and behaving rationally instead of exuberantly,” said planning commission chair Alan Greenberger. “I don’t know what to say, except thank you.”

NewsWorks visits the growing Mercy Street gardens, started/squatted by Occupy Vacant Lots (formerly Philly Food Forests), where free-form community gardening is taking root in South Philly.

The District Attorney’s Office announced a grand jury investigation into the Buck Hosiery fire, the Inquirer reports. Meanwhile, Curbed Philly posted Laura Kicey’s 2010 photos from inside the Buck Hosiery building.

Photographer Steve Weinik offers a peek into SEPTA’s “Nerve Center” at Hidden City Daily. It’s the high-tech hub of SEPTA’s activity and reveals how advanced the agency actually is in terms of real-time operations monitoring.

Last night Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher ever to win a major league baseball game. We salute you, Jamie! Too bad it was with the Rockies.

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