Council to vote on budget and tax bills | Delaware waterfront proposals exceed height limit | Temple-area power and development struggles | fire at Lorenzo’s | zoning lowdown for attorneys

Good morning, Streeters. It’s going to be right toasty today, but it’s nothing compared to what’s ahead through the weekend.

City Council will meet today to blaze through a host of bills on final passage [pdf] before its summer recess, including the budget and tax legislation that would delay AVI.

Ensemble Real Estate is proposing two more developments on the Delaware River waterfront, both taller than the 100-foot height limit set by the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, reports PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates. Next to the Dockside condos on Columbus Boulevard, Ensemble wants to build a residential building by rebuilding Piers 34 and 35. Pier reconstruction could be, however, a hard sell to public agencies. Ensemble is also proposing a 215-foot tall residential tower at the foot of Pier 40 in Northern Liberties, and is offering the pier to the city. Both proposals were presented to the Planning Commission for information only, but expect them to come back for hearings soon and for height to be a serious point of debate.

There’s a land rush in Central North Philly, where developers leave construction sites a mess and speed through construction, and neighborhood transition has reached breakneck pace. City Paper’s Isaiah Thompson reports from the area around Temple, investigating the development landscape and neighborhood’s layered power struggles.

Lorenzo and Sons, the South Street pizzeria known for its crazy big slices, late night crowds, and gritty atmosphere, caught fire yesterday morning badly damaging all floors of the building. Owner Giuseppe Pulizzi told NBC10 that he escaped from the second floor through ‘black darkness’ with his dog and suspects the fire began in the exhaust system. Pulizzi had cleanup crews on-site yesterday evening and vows to reopen.

When city lawmakers and planners explained the new zoning code to a roomful of real estate attorneys, PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey was there. Panelists – like Bill Green and Eva Gladstein – stressed that the full transition wouldn’t be immediate but ultimately will improve the city’s development process. “The idea that you can propose anything,” said Alan Greenberger, “and somehow find a way out of [the code], needs to slow down, and eventually stop.”


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