PLANNING NOTES by Gina Snyder

What’s doing in East Falls business and development? Gina Snyder looks ahead to goals for 2016, including revamped digs, bridge repairs, and an exciting new landscaping plan for Mifflin’s rock garden (fingers crossed). 

Eastfallslocal EFDC gina planning notes with bridge collage

Hope 2016 has been good to you all so far (and fingers crossed that spring will be here soon)! A quick update on the latest EFDC developments:

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New Digs

Last year, we bought a building for our office at 4133 Ridge Avenue.  We are planning interior renovations and will be working on a design for the exterior this year.  The building offers several benefits:

Great location. It’s located at an entrance to the Riverfront Business District (on the corner of Ridge and the Ridge Avenue exit ramps from Route 1). It also has a large visible side wall that is perfect for a gateway message, and it is directly across the street from the parking lot we maintain at 4100 Ridge Ave.

Sublet opportunity. The office has the potential to sublet space to a professional who is looking for an office outside of the home – we have wi-fi, security, and parking.  If you know someone who might be interested, please contact me.

EastFallsLocal collage mifflin

Cleaner and Greener

We continue several programs aimed at keeping the river cleaner for wildlife and as a source of drinking water.

We run an afterschool program at Mifflin School to educate children about the importance of clean water, we monitor the storm water bumpouts along Queen Lane at the reservoir, and are working with the Mifflin School and the Friends of Mifflin on putting together a campus master plan.

The idea is to apply to the Community Design Collaborative (a non-profit that provides free architectural and landscape architectural assistance), to participate in the school’s landscape program.  The Collaborative has designed a number of school landscape plans and has even published a booklet about them.

If we are accepted, the Friends of Mifflin and EFDC will run a community process to get everyone’s opinions as to what would be the best use for the Mifflin land.

Last Fall, the Friends of Mifflin, a committee of the East Falls Community Council, introduced the project to their partners, who include the people who clean up the “Lost Arboretum,” and the project was accepted.

We are now waiting for the Collaborative to determine whether it has the resources to assist us.  All of these projects are supported by the Philadelphia Water Department.

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Remapping and Rezoning

We have been busy remapping and rezoning a number of small portions of the Riverfront Business District.  This has been a lengthy process.

After the Philadelphia Zoning Code was updated in 2012, the City Planning Commission planned to systematically look at the entire City’s current zoning to correct and make changes.

We went through a planning process with our planner, Matt Wysong, that resulted in the “Lower Northwest Plan” that was adopted by the Planning Commission in 2014.

Matt and his team then conducted a detailed review of East Falls and proposed changes to align the zoning with long-term actual uses of parcels in our area.

We are jointly working with East Falls Community Council and East Falls Forward, the two Registered Community Organizations of East Falls.

Once there is general agreement about the changes, the next step will be to ask Councilman Jones to introduce legislation that will implement the zoning modifications.

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Take ‘Em to the Bridge

Yep, the temporary closing of the Falls Bridge is a bit of a pain, but the 120 year old structure needed some work.  The project is expected to be finished by early April (we hope in plenty of time for the Dance on the Bridge on September 17!)

We’re glad to see so many runners, pedestrians, and cyclists continuing to use the bridge during the repairs.

We hope one of our favorite landmarks is back to its rock solid self as soon as possible. In the meantime, we‘ve noticed a marked decline in traffic on Ridge Avenue in the morning, which is a great relief for all East Fallsers.

Questions or Suggestions?

Contact me at 215 848-8084 or ginasnyder@eastfallsdevelopment.org

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