Whither Overbrook Farms Historic District, legalizing bandit signs, Boy Scouts HQ still in limbo, Performance Garage to close

Overbrook Farms isn’t sure it wants to become a local historic district, even though the homeowners’ association has been seeking designation for several years. Last fall, some Overbrook Farms residents felt blindsided by the process of local historic designation when they received notice that the city’s historic district regulations were in force as the Commission considered the district proposal. PlanPhilly’s Jared Bray offers a refresher on the process and on Councilman Curtis Jones’ intervention that put designation on hold. Jones is also reportedly considering introducing legislation requiring City Council’s approval for historic designations. Stay tuned: The Historical Commission will consider designation of an Overbrook Farms Historic District on February 10 .

Those small illegal signs nailed to telephone poles advertizing “We Buy Houses” or “Cash for Junk Cars” could become legal. Councilman Curtis Jones introduced a bill to permit “bandit signs” in the city if advertisers pay $1 per sign. Jones casts this as a revenue-generation strategy, but as an It’s Our Money editorial today points out the city has a fine of $75 per sign that goes largely unenforced. The editorial notes, although the city has thousands of bandit signs, the city wrote a measly eight tickets for signs in 2010. So why not enforce the $75 penalty, and raise money while getting rid of this visual pollution?

The Boy Scouts’ local headquarters in Logan Square remains in limbo. After the Boy Scouts won an expensive lawsuit filed by the city, which sought to evict the Scouts from the city-owned building because of discriminatory practices, the city is stuck with nearly $1 million in legal fees and a building it would rather sell. The Inquirer reports a deal to sell the building to the Boy Scouts at a reduced price to offset legal fees owed has fallen through. Now that the sale is dead, will the city will knock on investor Mel Heifetz’s door to see if his offer to buy the building for around $2 million is still good?

The Performance Garage, a dance studio at 1515 Brandywine, is slated to close at the end of August, reports the Temple News. The studio provided rehearsal and performance space for notable dance companies such as Ballet X and Philadelphia Dance Project. No word yet on the building’s future use.

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