A proposal to encourage the redevelopment of a glitzier East Market Street by offering developers the option of having large-format, digital signs on buildings to which they make $10 million improvements has the approval of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.
But commissioners Beth Miller and Joe Syrnick voted against the proposal after the failure of an amendment that would have only given PCPC support to the legislation if four buildings on the Philadelphia Historic Register were exempted and two blocks of Market Street were cut out of the special commercial advertising district.
The Market Street Commercial Advertising District would extend along Market Street from 7th to 13th streets if the legislation sponsored by First District Councilman Frank DiCicco and Councilman-at-Large James Kenney passes city council.
Usually, a bill is not voted out of committee until the planning commission weighs in on it. But with council's session winding down, the Rules Committee held a hearing last week and voted it out of committee. Planning Commission Chairman Alan Greenberger told the rest of the commission he spoke in favor of the proposal at the hearing, but not as a commissioner. He was wearing his other hat – deputy mayor for planning and development.
Full council is expected to vote on it Thursday, and they will have the planning commission's approval of the matter when they do so.
DiCicco has called the legislation a tool to encourage development in a part of Center City that “roles up its sidewalks after five.”
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