December 6: Land Bank amendments | Clarke’s Love Park plans | Council overrides Nutter veto | Coffins unearthed beneath playground | Friends of Wissahickon progress report

Good morning Streeters!

City Council approved amendments to the proposed land bank bill yesterday. The amendments bring the legislation a step closer to passage. According to the Daily News, the amendments give in to several of Council President Darrell Clarke’s demands – like keeping the Vacant Property Review Committee – but still do not give City Council as much oversight as Clarke had hoped. 

Clarke wants to renovate Love Park and to add indoor and outdoor dining. Clarke said adding the restaurants would pay for park renovations without costing the city. 

City Council overrode a veto by Mayor Nutter. The bill requires any new medical offices to obtain a zoning waiver before opening. Councilman Brian O’Neill introduced the bill because he believes the new zoning code is too lax with medical uses, which O’Neill wants to limit in his district. 

Work crews at William Dick Elementary School uncovered six pine coffins beneath the school’s playground. The coffins are remnants of the Odd Fellows Cemetery, which held about 85,000 graves before it was relocated so the city could build a housing project and a public school. Apparently this is nothing new for Philadelphia, where works have found human remains during several other construction projects. 

Friends of Wissahickon released a progress report as part of their Sustainable Trails Initiative, a collaboration with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. This year FOW removed 336 bags of trash and planted 361 plants. The work took 3,851 volunteer hours and an investment of almost $375,000. 

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