Big zoning reform hearing, vacant school hazards, Manton Street park reclaimed and sold, Dilworth’s pedestrian problem

Today City Council will bring the final Zoning Code Commission’s Final Report to public hearing, and could vote on the matter this week (or next). PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey breaks it down, once again. Jared will be at today’s hearing and report back for PlanPhilly.

City Controller Alan Butkovitz slammed the School District of Philadelphia for allowing closed schools to deteriorate to the point of becoming safety hazards, reports Patrick Kerkstra for PlanPhilly. The Controller’s report called the District’s eight vacant schools eyesores and havens of illegal activity. The District hopes to sell them off, but that’s slow-going. Sound familiar? Will the same thing happen to the nine schools slated to close over the next two years?

This year neighbors rolled up their sleeves to reclaim a pocket park on Manton Street from weeds and junk, after getting permission from Councilman Frank DiCicco’s office and the Department of Parks and Recreation. But while volunteers labored to restore Manton Street Park this summer, the city was selling off the lot. Turns out, Parks & Rec was relying on a 1990s-era database showing the parcel was a city park, and DiCicco had introduced the bill authorizing the sale, the Daily News reports. The buyer has until today to close the sale.

Dilworth Plaza has become a construction fortress, fenced to the street, leaving no room for pedestrians to walk on its edge. If pedestrians aren’t walking on the opposite sidewalk, they’re walking in the bike lane or in the street. The Inquirer reports that the city is not required to provide a protected walkway for pedestrians because Dilworth is a plaza not a sidewalk.


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