Zoning for Philadelphia's waterfront to be considered this week

    Plans for Philadelphia’s Delaware River waterfront will be debated in City Council this week. The hearing on the new zoning overlay stems from a public visioning process for the Central Delaware Riverfront.

    Plans for Philadelphia’s Delaware River waterfront will be debated in City Council this week. The hearing on the new zoning overlay stems from a public visioning process for the Central Delaware Riverfront.

    The “civic vision” for the seven mile stretch of the riverfront from south Philadelphia to Fishtown is more than two years in the making.  It includes public access to the river, and would prevent large retail developments.

    Councilman Frank DiCicco says the sticking point is the distance developments should be set back from the river’s edge.

    DiCicco: If we had a clean slate, there was no development there, if we just had open space, the vision could become the plan. But its not that easy. There are buildings in place, there are piers that have some development or some restricted uses. So we have to try to fit that vision in to what the current landscape is.

    Outgoing Deputy Mayor Andrew Altman made the waterfront plan a priority. He says in such a poor economy, starting with public access is key.

    Councilman Dicicco hopes to get a plan approved by Council before they break for the summer in mid-June.

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