A coalition of community groups are urging Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell to introduce legislation that would help move along the large residential and commercial complex proposed for 43rd and Baltimore, across from Clark Park.
The project has stalled because the property owners do not want to navigate Philadelphia’s zoning process.
So the Friends of Clark Park are circulating a petition asking Blackwell to take “swift action” to prevent the property owners from abandoning a proposal that has been devised after a series of public meetings. (For a full history of the project, click here.)
The Spruce Hill Community Association and the University City Historical Society have also sent letters to Blackwell asking her to introduce an ordinance that would exempt New York-based Clarkmore LLC from the zoning process, which can be a gauntlet of delays and even legal challenges. Clarkmore already has the right to build a no-frills 92-unit building on the property at 4224 Baltimore Avenue as it is currently zoned and the firm is reportedly willing to go ahead with that plan rather than go through the zoning changes required to build the 132-unit complex proposed after more than a year of consultation with the community.
“We do not want to see that ‘by right’ project to go through,” said Barry Grossbach, chair of the Spruce Hill Community Association’s zoning committee. “It’s going to be a box and it’s going to be ugly.” Continue Reading