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Saving Stanton, ZBA and the future of Powelton Village, tax appeals favor property owners, Darrell Clarke’s ascent

Supporters Edwin M. Stanton Elementary School at 17th and Christian argue the school’s small enrollment and aging facility shouldn’t be the only metrics considered by the School District as it weights the school’s closure. To Stanton’s supporters, the school’s academic performance, engaged community, and creative use of extra space make it worth saving, reports Patrick Kerkstra for PlanPhilly. At a meeting Wednesday night, Stanton parent, Temwa Wright said, “I hope this is a genuine process. I hope that everything we’re saying will actually be considered.”

Is the Zoning Board of Adjustment keeping Powelton Village a student ghetto? In her column today, Inga Saffron writes about Powelton Village’s ever-growing supply of student housing enabled by the ZBA, even as Drexel and the Powelton Village Civic Association are prioritizing and planning for homeownership. Saffron writes, “These serious, professional plans provide guidance for neighborhood development. But one has to ask, what policies and logic guide the zoning board?”

A parking lot owner’s tax appeal sets precedent for the city to potentially lose millions in revenue thanks to hundreds of similar pending appeals. The appeal was a victory for nonresidential property owners, but comes as the city budget struggles continue. The Inquirer explains the appeal and reports the city isn’t giving up without an appeal of its own. Of course, if the city finally moves over to 100% valuation for property taxes, these changes would no longer matter.

Who is Darrell Clarke and how did he become Council President? This week’s Citypaper cover story looks at Clarke’s rise to power and finds answers involving former Mayor John Street, power driven by development in his district (and developers as his financiers and detractors), and shrewd politics.

 

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest.

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