East Falls Development Corporation makes case for new signs outside Midvale Ave. office

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign – and the East Falls Development Corporation will soon get their own.

The Zoning Committee of the East Falls Community Council approved a variance request for two signs destined for a property on the 3700 block of Midvale Ave. in East Falls that is currently home to the EFDC and an attorney’s office.

The two circular signs are 30-inches in diameter, and will project approximately 40-inches from the façade. Both will be located approximately 10-feet off of the ground, and will advertise for the two entities that occupy space in the building. The two signs were funded by the EFDC and the city’s Storefront Improvement Program.

Gina Snyder, executive director of the EFDC, said that a zoning variance was requested because the building, which appears to be two properties, is actually zoned and taxed as one parcel, and only one sign is permitted per parcel under zoning codes.

“It presents itself as two storefronts,” observed Snyder. “We’re two tenants, and we would like to have two signs.”

Designed to fit code regulations 

Snyder explained that the building, which also has frontage on Indian Queen Lane, resides within a zoning overlay known as “East Falls Special Controls.” Under this overlay, there are specific regulations dictating uses and signage for buildings.

Snyder noted that the overlay allows for signs up to nine square feet per sign face, and using a white cork board with a red circle drawn within its perimeter, demonstrated that the proposed signs would be well under the space allocated by code.

In addition, the sign’s designs have been approved by both the Philadelphia Art Commission and the Streets Department, although Snyder noted that the Streets Dept. will have final say on the safety of the installations.

Next steps 

Barnaby Whittels, chair of the EFCC Zoning Committee, said that no comments had been received from the community.

While residents present at the zoning meeting posed questions related to the unique character of the building, no concerns were voiced relating to the signs or their design in the public portion of the meeting.

There is no date at present for a zoning hearing, but if and when approval is secured, Snyder said that the two signs will be installed immediately.

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