Revamping 40th Street Trolley Portal | Support for 50-foot stream buffers | Contested Washington Avenue | Dolphin Tavern to reopen

Good morning, Streeters. Today is the deadline to apply for the homestead exemption for next year’s property taxes. The simple application [pdf] is due by the end of business today. Today is the day applications are due to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for Philly’s remaining casino license. Today City Council’s agenda includes the Complete Streets bill and parking minimums zoning amendment.

University City District is hatching plans to remake the dreary plaza around the 40th Street Trolley Portal, reports PlanPhilly’s Christine Fisher. UCD met with Spruce Hill neighbors Tuesday, discussing the project’s logistical challenges and its phasing. The first priority is to make the plaza safer for pedestrians and add green infrastructure, and a commercial space of some sort could follow. UCD, SEPTA, and the City are working with Andropogon Associates to redesign the plaza, and expect that work could begin sometime in 2013.

A consensus bill to create 50-foot buffers along city waterways was approved by City Council’s Rules Committee on Wednesday and will get a first reading at City Council today, reports PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey. The bill does not include a contentious provision that would have allowed existing businesses in the buffer zone to expand parallel to the bank within the 50-foot zone. Councilman Bobby Henon’s office worked with city agencies and environmental advocates on the bill, which will permit marine-related industrial uses by right.

On Washington Avenue you can buy granite slabs or a whole fish, eat pho or find decorative ironwork, but it is a place that is essentially unplanned, rife with competing visions and interest, writes Allyn Gaestel in Next American City. Will Washington Avenue ever get a plan all its own? Or will it be consistently treated as a boundary street that, as one business owner says, falls through the cracks?

Passyunk Post is reporting that Avram Hornick has struck a deal to reopen the Dolphin Tavern, the dive go-go bar at Broad and Tasker. Hornick’s company Four Corners (also behind Morgan’s Pier, Union Transfer, the Boot and Saddle, Lucy’s Hat Shop, etc) could open the Dolphin as soon as December, keeping the vintage neon sign and go-go pedestals. “We imagine the Dolphin will shift away from South Philly land of lost dreams and more into what the Trestle Inn has become.”


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