Waterfront design review | Germantown potter’s field update | Skaters beat back Council | Change by Us and OpenDataPhilly to grow

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has created a new Design Review Committee, prompted by the recent batch of development proposals that fail to meet the standards set in the Master Plan for the Central Delaware. PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates reports that developers are not required to meet with the new committee but if they do committee members will offer advice on ways to satisfy aspects of the master plan and take on questions both technical and theoretical. The committee will weigh the quality of a proposal’s design and possible tradeoffs in terms of variances and public benefit. The Design Review Committee meetings will not be open to the public.

The Housing Authority has agreed not to build on a once-forgotten potter’s field in Germantown, but some residents believe the agency has underestimated its size, reports the Daily News. The Housing Authority vacated the Queen Lane Apartments late last year, planning to demolish the high-rise and construct 55 townhouses on the site. A federal review to consider the preservation impact of the proposal on the historic archaeological resources on site is ongoing.

Philly skaters may have killed legislation that would have hiked fines for defacing “artwork” and proved that City Council’s public comment period can actually work. The Inquirer reports that a handful of well-spoken skaters dissected the bill’s lack of clarity, convincing Council to put the bill into legislative limbo. Councilman Jim Kenney said: “This might be the first time in the history of comment period where something got accomplished.” The ban may be reintroduced, but today Ed Bacon would be proud.

Knight Foundation funding is supporting the growth of two civic tech initiatives in Philly, reports Next American City. Change by Us will expand to include crowd-funding features and OpenDataPhilly will work with Participatory Politics Foundation to collect and put city data in a single, simple interface.

 

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