Council approves contentious zoning changes, Who is Germantown?, blight of Divine Lorraine and on Knox Street, Delaware waterfront trail progress

City Council voted Thursday in favor of contentious zoning changes that pave the way for a Dollar Tree will open at Germantown’s Chelten Plaza, some buildings on Spring Garden Street to be wrapped in advertising, and SugarHouse to build its huge riverfront garage. PlanPhilly was on hand to cover Council’s moves, and the fallout.

Who is Germantown, and what does it deserve? PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey and Kellie Patrick Gates report on Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller move to change the Germantown zoning overlay as it played out in City Council Thursday. Neighbors objected to Miller’s move, effectively permitting a Dollar Store at Chelten Plaza, calling it spot zoning and a developer handout. City Council unanimously approved the zoning change.

The Divine Lorraine gets a pink slip from Licenses and Inspections, NewsWorks reports. L&I is requiring owners of vacant, derelict properties to put windows and doors in openings to reduce the blighting influence of these buildings. If they don’t, it’s fines of $300 per day per opening and blight court for the owners.

The Daily News details the slow, frustrating pace of change for a blighted property on Germantown’s 5300 block of Knox Street. Neighbors are losing patience with court-owner proceedings that change nothing and result in more than a decade of owner neglect.

New trail design work is ahead for parts of the Delaware River waterfront trail, reports PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation announced that design work is starting for a section of the waterfront trail between Spring Garden Street and SugarHouse site. Unified design guidelines are being developed for the trail so that pieces completed over time will fit together.

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest.

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