PlanPhilly

Community Meeting: Proposed Zoning Changes in Germantown

An informational zoning meeting about several proposed zoning changes in Germantown, including comprehensive neighborhood remapping and a zoning classification change for the Cunningham Piano building, will be held on Tuesday, September 13 at 6pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in St. Barnabas Hall (5421 Germantown Ave). The meeting will feature presentations from city planners at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and developer Ken Weinstein (Philly Office Retail), who will specifically be speaking about his proposed plans for the former-Cunningham Piano building (5427 Germantown Ave). 

City planners from the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) will also present a few other zoning changes around Germantown that have come at the request of the Office of Councilwoman 8th District Councilwoman Cindy Bass and PCPC. They are as follows:

1. Remove corner store zoning within residential areas of Lower and Central Germantown. This is in response to many nuisance complaints with regard to corner stores. 
2. Remove the CMX-2.5 zoning designation in the same areas. Right now, this zoning would allow for structures that are 55 feet (5 stories) tall to be developed by-right, which we find to be out of scale with neighboring properties (primarily rowhouse blocks). Residents and community groups are likely to object to such development.
3. Rezone the Maplewood Mall plazas to a “Park & Open Space” designation, consistent with its current use.

All are welcome to attend this informational meeting. 

For background information as to why this meeting has been called, in August, the Planning Commission convened a meeting with representatives from several area Registered Community Organizations (RCO) to discuss a proposed zoning change of the Cunningham Piano building and zoning remapping of a small section of the neighborhood surrounding this particular property. There wasn’t any consensus opinion from the group regarding support for a zoning bill – some were for it, some were against, some abstained. But the universal opinion was that remapping of the Cunningham Building should follow the same process as the zoning bill for Greene Street Friends School. The developer Ken Weinstein (Philly Office Retail), who is purchasing the Cunningham Piano building, agreed to present his plans to the public (Sept. 13 meeting), just as GSFS did when Council/PCPC remapped their campus. The RCO’s invited/or in attendance at the above mentioned meeting included: Faith Community Development Corporation RCO, Penn Knox Neighborhood Association, SoLo Germantown Civic Association, Baynton Hill Neighbors, Germantown Community Connection, and G’Town Restoration. Germantown United CDC was also in attendance. You do not have to be a member of any of the above groups to attend the Sept. 13 meeting. All are welcome. 

[Please note. Germantown United Community Development Corporation is not the host/convener of this meeting. We are sharing this information with the public to raise awareness about this neighborhood-wide zoning matter. Please share this information with your neighbors on and offline!]

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