July 18: Progress at L&I | Yardley votes down Transit-Oriented District | Germantown YWCA RFP

Danya Henninger talks to developers and neighborhood advocates who say the much-maligned Department of Licenses & Inspections has noticeably changed for the better under Dave Perri’s leadership, just seven months into the Kenney administration. “The department is actually functioning now,” said John Longacre of LPMG Properties, “They’re actually responding to permits, closing out files. Inspectors in the field are making common-sense decisions.”

Bjarke Ingels’ first Philadelphia project 1200 Intrepid, next to Central Green in the Navy Yard, is close to completion, reports Melissa Romero. PlanPhilly and Design Advocacy Group are hosting a special design-focused tour of the Navy Yard on August 10th, and you can grab tickets for that here

The city is seeking development proposals for the historic Germantown YWCA next to the recently-renovated Vernon Park, says Jared Brey. “The Redevelopment Authority isn’t limiting the potential development proposals, but any project will have to work around the building’s historic status and zoning. The YWCA has been on the city’s register of historic places since 1984, and the eventual developer will be required to preserve the façade, at the very least.”

Yardley residents persuaded their borough council to overturn a planned Transit-Oriented District, around the Yardley regional rail station, Jeff Werner reports. “The overlay zoning district would have introduced higher residential density and transit oriented commercial uses to neighboring streets in and around the train station in south Yardley, a move some residents feared would have dramatically changed their quality of life and character of the borough.”

“Port Richmond is officially a thing, folks,” writes the Naked Philly blogger, listing off several new businesses that have opened in the neighborhood recently along the Richmond Street corridor. 

Cycling advocates appear poised to score a very nerdy victory: inserting protected bike lane designs into AASHTO’s bike design manual for the first time. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials is the most powerful transportation organization you’ve never heard of, as their Green Book and other engineering guides are considered to be the most authoritative resource on street and road design by state transportation engineers. Most transportation policy is made at the state level, so the stakes are high in the jockeying over these street design guides.

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