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McBane May 8, 2017 1:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by summersm343 (Post 7794786)
What an upgrade for this building... I love everything about it. Hopefully this sparks more development on the surrounding parking lots.

While the new design is a HUGE improvement I'm never a fan of office to residential conversion. It speaks to our city's weak business/employment environment. The location isn't grade A but we're not talking about a 100 year old office building. It's not a good trend.

McBane May 8, 2017 1:43 PM

I read through the Temple article too quickly. Is Cecil B. Moore Ave being downzoned to single family housing? That would be where I would draw the line. It's a commercial street.

And yes, Clarke is awful but the conspiracy theory is off. Student renters don't vote. The vast majority don't even change their address from home. The way to get rid of him is for the development and business community to band together and back someone else but they're a bunch of #ussies.

allovertown May 8, 2017 2:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McBane (Post 7798229)
While the new design is a HUGE improvement I'm never a fan of office to residential conversion. It speaks to our city's weak business/employment environment. The location isn't grade A but we're not talking about a 100 year old office building. It's not a good trend.

A rehabbed building is a rehabbed building. It speaks to the willingness of people to invest in this city. Removing office space from the market increases the value of the remaining space, not to mention makes a new office tower more likely in the future.

It speaks to the fact that more people want move here and if companies want to hire all that talent they'll eventually come here too.

You have to really try to spin something like this as a negative.

1487 May 8, 2017 2:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jsbrook (Post 7798227)
So much wrong with what's written here and incorrect, simplistic view of urban planning and reality. But I'm going to leave it alone. I don't have time to get in a protracted argument on this forum this week. Perhaps someone else will take up the torch. I will just say you are staging a false dichotomy of students v. well-heeled homeowners. That's not the reality of this neighborhood or the areas impacted by this down zoning aside from the direct vicinity of the university and not what Clarke is targeting.

what is the reality? And again, Clarke doesn't work for the planning commission- they created the language and explained the rationale for the change. The overwhelming majority of development west of Broad is student housing built on vacant lots. There is very little (if any) development of rentals (for working adults) or condos or single family homes for purchase. The ZBA grants hardships left and right anyway so many developers will still build what they want.

1487 May 8, 2017 2:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McBane (Post 7798243)
I read through the Temple article too quickly. Is Cecil B. Moore Ave being downzoned to single family housing? That would be where I would draw the line. It's a commercial street.

And yes, Clarke is awful but the conspiracy theory is off. Student renters don't vote. The vast majority don't even change their address from home. The way to get rid of him is for the development and business community to band together and back someone else but they're a bunch of #ussies.

No. This isn't for the commercial corridors as far as I understand it.

1487 May 8, 2017 3:09 PM

Details about what the zoning changes actually involve can be found here:

http://www.phila.gov/CityPlanning/me...powerpoint.pdf

It's the last item in the presentation

McBane May 8, 2017 4:35 PM

At least CBM didn't get downzoned but still....

The zoning code should not be subject to politics i.e., the short term wants of NIMBYs and the shortsighted legislators who acquiesce to every demand. The zoning code should be strictly safeguarded and managed by urban planning professionals.

Scottydont May 8, 2017 4:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1487 (Post 7798340)
Details about what the zoning changes actually involve can be found here:

http://www.phila.gov/CityPlanning/me...powerpoint.pdf

It's the last item in the presentation

I don't think its too bad. There's still plenty of wiggle room if you read the description.

Quote:

Downzone residential blocks where single-family use is dominant from RM-1 to RSA-5 to protect against conversion to multifamily units, especially along smaller streets.

1487 May 8, 2017 5:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McBane (Post 7798467)
At least CBM didn't get downzoned but still....

The zoning code should not be subject to politics i.e., the short term wants of NIMBYs and the shortsighted legislators who acquiesce to every demand. The zoning code should be strictly safeguarded and managed by urban planning professionals.

While I'm not an urban planner I think its safe to say the notion that a zoning code is written to be etched in stone is very inaccurate. And contrary to what people here seem to think, the opinions of the taxpayers do have to be taken into account when things are changed or not changed. I know most people here can't take the time to actually read the details, but much of what is being done is locking in single family zoning on streets that are already overwhelmingly single family. It's not even an overlay, it's specific changes to little swaths of the area that they are trying to keep as single family rowhouse blocks.

Philly Fan May 8, 2017 5:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McBane (Post 7798467)
The zoning code should not be subject to politics i.e., the short term wants of NIMBYs and the shortsighted legislators who acquiesce to every demand. The zoning code should be strictly safeguarded and managed by urban planning professionals.

Sounds like your second sentence is exactly what happened here:

Quote:

Last month, City Council unanimously passed legislation aimed at slowing the pace of that change. At the recommendation of the City Planning Commission, the ordinance introduced by Council President Darrell Clarke decreases the density of certain areas bounded by North Broad Street and Girard, Ridge and Cecil B. Moore Avenues in an effort to preserve more single-family housing here.
http://www.philly.com/philly/busines...y-housing.html

First, this was approved by City Council unanimously, meaning including folks like Allan Domb. In other words, it doesn't get any less political than this at City Council. Second, the idea for this legislation didn't originate with Clarke--it was introduced "at the recommendation of the City Planning Commission." In other words, this is precisely an example of the zoning code being "strictly safeguarded and managed by urban planning professionals."

Also, as the article makes abundantly clear, this is about stabilizing the neighborhood and ensuring that it doesn't get completely taken over by transitory student housing. Similar efforts have been made in University City and West Philly by Penn and Drexel, consolidating student housing on and nearer to their campuses, and encouraging more single-family development and stability further away. Penn famously had--and may still have--a program to subsidize loans for employees, including faculty and professional employees, to buy, fix up, and move into single-family houses a few blocks west of campus. And of course, Penn Alexander School is a BIG part of that.

So I think it's hard to read the entire article and conclude anything other than that this legislation was instigated by the urban planning professionals in the City Planning Commission, and not by Clarke, NIMBYs, or anyone else.

br323206 May 8, 2017 5:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McBane (Post 7798467)
At least CBM didn't get downzoned but still....

The zoning code should not be subject to politics i.e., the short term wants of NIMBYs and the shortsighted legislators who acquiesce to every demand. The zoning code should be strictly safeguarded and managed by urban planning professionals.

I disagree with the decision but I don't think this is an accurate representation of the process. The change was recommended by the professional planning staff and they gave reasonable justifications for it. I disagree with them, but I respect their opinion.

br323206 May 8, 2017 6:03 PM

I would also point out that the zoning changes do include some upzoning along Ridge and Broad, a change which I think we all support.

1487 May 8, 2017 8:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by br323206 (Post 7798601)
I disagree with the decision but I don't think this is an accurate representation of the process. The change was recommended by the professional planning staff and they gave reasonable justifications for it. I disagree with them, but I respect their opinion.

I'm honestly not even sure what people are complaining about. They are trying to focus future multifamily housing for students closer to the school or in areas where it has already taken over and trying to preserve single family homes on blocks that mostly consist of such right now. As the article says, the zoning changes are partially a correction to reflect realities on the ground.

summersm343 May 8, 2017 11:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1487 (Post 7798747)
I'm honestly not even sure what people are complaining about. They are trying to focus future multifamily housing for students closer to the school or in areas where it has already taken over and trying to preserve single family homes on blocks that mostly consist of such right now. As the article says, the zoning changes are partially a correction to reflect realities on the ground.

Darrell Clarke, is that you?

There are a dozen of neighborhoods gentrifying with single-family housing: Francisville, Point Breeze, Dickinson Narrows, Brewerytown, Fishtown, Olde Kensington, East Kensington, etc. etc. It's nice to mix multi-family in there. This area would be half-abandoned if not for the new development for students. Gentrification and redevelopment would not have even reached this point yet. Plus, with all of the other areas in the city (even neighborhoods around this one) gentrifying with single-family housing, or which still can gentrify with single-family housing (Ludlow, Sharswood, West Poplar, etc.), it's nice to have something different, which appeals to a different demographic. Maybe one day we will get to a point where the areas South and East/West of Temple are changing to a single-family setting where people young professionals and families can put down roots (similar to what has happened over time in the neighborhoods surrounding University City), but we're just not there yet. All this will do is kill momentum, or force developers to build single-family homes to fill with 4-8 college students. In the latter case, it's just going to cause the students to spread farther, faster.

summersm343 May 8, 2017 11:41 PM

Exclusive: Inside The Yard’s first Philly coworking space in the Steele building

Read more here:
https://philly.curbed.com/2017/5/8/1...he-yard-photos

Parkway May 9, 2017 12:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by allovertown (Post 7798281)
A rehabbed building is a rehabbed building. It speaks to the willingness of people to invest in this city. Removing office space from the market increases the value of the remaining space, not to mention makes a new office tower more likely in the future.

It speaks to the fact that more people want move here and if companies want to hire all that talent they'll eventually come here too.

You have to really try to spin something like this as a negative.

It's also worth noting that online file storage and telecommuting has decreased the amount of space needed for each worker.

jsbrook May 9, 2017 12:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by summersm343 (Post 7798943)
Darrell Clarke, is that you?

There are a dozen of neighborhoods gentrifying with single-family housing: Francisville, Point Breeze, Dickinson Narrows, Brewerytown, Fishtown, Olde Kensington, East Kensington, etc. etc. It's nice to mix multi-family in there. This area would be half-abandoned if not for the new development for students. Gentrification and redevelopment would not have even reached this point yet. Plus, with all of the other areas in the city (even neighborhoods around this one) gentrifying with single-family housing, or which still can gentrify with single-family housing (Ludlow, Sharswood, West Poplar, etc.), it's nice to have something different, which appeals to a different demographic. Maybe one day we will get to a point where the areas South and East/West of Temple are changing to a single-family setting where people young professionals and families can put down roots (similar to what has happened over time in the neighborhoods surrounding University City), but we're just not there yet. All this will do is kill momentum, or force developers to build single-family homes to fill with 4-8 college students. In the latter case, it's just going to cause the students to spread farther, faster.

This is the reality. Yes.

1487 May 9, 2017 11:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by summersm343 (Post 7798943)
Darrell Clarke, is that you?

There are a dozen of neighborhoods gentrifying with single-family housing: Francisville, Point Breeze, Dickinson Narrows, Brewerytown, Fishtown, Olde Kensington, East Kensington, etc. etc. It's nice to mix multi-family in there. This area would be half-abandoned if not for the new development for students. Gentrification and redevelopment would not have even reached this point yet. Plus, with all of the other areas in the city (even neighborhoods around this one) gentrifying with single-family housing, or which still can gentrify with single-family housing (Ludlow, Sharswood, West Poplar, etc.), it's nice to have something different, which appeals to a different demographic. Maybe one day we will get to a point where the areas South and East/West of Temple are changing to a single-family setting where people young professionals and families can put down roots (similar to what has happened over time in the neighborhoods surrounding University City), but we're just not there yet. All this will do is kill momentum, or force developers to build single-family homes to fill with 4-8 college students. In the latter case, it's just going to cause the students to spread farther, faster.

Just because I don't think in lock step with you doesn't make me Darryl Clarke. Apparently you missed a lot because as numerous people noted the PCPC authored the bill, but it is in Clarke's district. This won't stop anything other than placing 4 story, 16 unit student rentals on mostly residential blocks with shorter housing. It does not ban student housing or multifamily. and having too much of that housing would only work against this areas potential to be a focal point for single family homes in the future. I know damn well what was there before, I used to go through this area daily on the bus. Student housing is better than vacant lots for sure, but having the area be consumed by these cheap looking, overpriced multi unit buildings that pack in 10+ students per structure is probably not good for the long haul. You don't find this situation around Penn or most of Philly's other schools- student housing tends to be more focused in larger structures on or near campus. Temple made a decision a while ago not to invest directly in housing (aside from Morgan Hall) which has led to the scattering of students all over the area. New buildings are a good thing, but let's not glamorize the idea of having dozens of students packed into buildings on your block if you are a neighbor. I wouldn't want to live there, especially considering what it looks like on trash pickup day down there.

jsbrook May 9, 2017 2:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1487 (Post 7799296)
Just because I don't think in lock step with you doesn't make me Darryl Clarke. Apparently you missed a lot because as numerous people noted the PCPC authored the bill, but it is in Clarke's district. This won't stop anything other than placing 4 story, 16 unit student rentals on mostly residential blocks with shorter housing. It does not ban student housing or multifamily. and having too much of that housing would only work against this areas potential to be a focal point for single family homes in the future. I know damn well what was there before, I used to go through this area daily on the bus. Student housing is better than vacant lots for sure, but having the area be consumed by these cheap looking, overpriced multi unit buildings that pack in 10+ students per structure is probably not good for the long haul. You don't find this situation around Penn or most of Philly's other schools- student housing tends to be more focused in larger structures on or near campus. Temple made a decision a while ago not to invest directly in housing (aside from Morgan Hall) which has led to the scattering of students all over the area. New buildings are a good thing, but let's not glamorize the idea of having dozens of students packed into buildings on your block if you are a neighbor. I wouldn't want to live there, especially considering what it looks like on trash pickup day down there.

You are seriously off the mark here. Certain portions of areas that were down-zoned are not problematic. And there was a certain amount of upzoning in some spots. That said, East of Ridge Ave, they took lots of RM-1 and turned it into RSA-5, reducing the number of potential dwellings by 2/3s right off the area Clarke and PHA say they want a commercial corridor. This is where the most vacancy is in this section, so it's where most of the new development can occur. And now it WON'T. You look at maps of the area, and 3/4 of the map is yellow - RSA-5, 2, 1, or some other ill-conceived single family designation that has no business being on a metropolitan map in today's age. It's impossible to build Single Family homes on lots that size, in that location, unless its subsidized PHA housing. Such government subsidized housing in unsustainable. Lots will simply sit empty. Watch.

If the concern was helping existing lower income people remain in some single-family homes in the area, there are much more intelligible solutions that don't have the consequences this will have. Such as adaptive reuse of existing single-family housing stock and tax relief for longstanding property owners in the area to mediate the rising cost of living there. Not blocking any higher density buildings. The only real way to tackle the affordable housing crisis is with increased density. This is very poor city planning under the guise of maintaining the "character" of neighborhoods. We will see many vacant grass lots remain so when they could have been developed. The economics no longer make sense. At best, if the demand is there, we might see some larger, more expensive single-family homes for occupation by college students or families, but these won't improve the lives or financial burdens of longtime residents either.

SEFTA May 9, 2017 2:05 PM

It seems to me that they're attempting to manipulate the mix of development. Would it be safe to assume that student housing is free to develop on the commercial streets just not the smaller, mostly single family homes streets? That seems a fair mix if so, and not unusual. Assuming there are enough places where multi-family development can be done. It should not be a total blanket but a quilt of priorities.
Often these empty lots are owned by developers and waiting to expand them. Attempting to gut the neighborhood.
It's a battle being raged on every urban campus. The townies and the students. It's vital to come up with the right mix and making attempts to do so. I like to believe it's being done for the best interest of the community.


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