A bill that would change the zoning of some land around the airport from multiple classifications to airport designation SP-AIR is headed to city council's Rules Committee with the approval of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.
The land in question is bordered by the Philadelphia County Border, the Delaware Expressway, 86th Street, Bartram Avenue, 84th Street, Mario Lanza Boulevard, Island Avenue, Penrose Avenue, Delaware Expressway, the Schuylkill River and the Delaware River.
Planner Paula Brumbelow told commissioners Tuesday that because the parcels had different zoning classifications, they did not convert to the new zoning code's airport classification automatically. The all-at-once conversion called for in Zoning Bill 130007 would mean the airport won't need zoning relief if it desires to put a use allowed under the SP-AIR classification on any of this land in the future. The airport doesn't have any projects planned at this time, Brumbelow said.
Most of the land is owned by the airport, with one exception: The city owns one parcel with a fire station on it. Because fire stations are an allowable use under the airport classification, planners decided it made more sense to convert that land to airport as well, rather than have a small spot zoned something else in the middle of the airport-zoning, Brumbelow said.
The legislation was introduced by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson last month.
Kellie Patrick Gates writes about planning, neighborhood development and the Central Delaware Waterfront. A journalist for more than two decades, she worked for daily newspapers in Central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and South Florida before coming to Philadelphia in 2003 to write for the Inquirer. Her work has appeared on PlanPhilly since 2007, and she also writes Love, the Inquirer's weekly wedding column. A native of Elk County, Pa., Kellie lives with her husband, Gary, and their dog and two cats.