Philly may block utility meters on outside of new historic district houses

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    When it comes to Philadelphia’s historic neighborhoods, a city councilman wants to hide a necessity of modern life.  

    Constituents keep telling Councilman Bill Greenlee it’s ugly to stick a gas or water meter on the front of the home, so he’s introduced a bill to relocate them, at least in historic areas.

    “We have received a lot of complaints from areas that are in historic districts that when construction is done utility companies are making the builder put the meters, both electric and gas, in the front of the building,” Greenlee said. “Particularly with historic districts, that doesn’t appear to fit in with the facade of the developments.”

    Greenlee’s bill would allow existing meters to remain on front facades.

    “In new construction in historic districts, the meters have to be placed inside unless there is some kind of real necessity,” he said. “And if they do have to be placed outside, in some kind of covering so they are not visible from public view.”

    A hearing for the bill has not been scheduled yet, but a PECO representative said the utility will work with the city to deal with the issue, even though it’s an industry standard to locate utility meters on the front of homes.

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