Developer’s Retaliatory Lawsuits Demolish Old City Civic’s Zoning Board


Proposed World Trade Center City | Neal Santos, for Plan Philly

Proposed World Trade Center City | Neal Santos, for Plan Philly

  • Old City Civic Association’s (OCCA) zoning operation has been dismantled by a private developer, says Plan Philly. After Waterfront Renaissance Associates reached an extended stalemate with the Registered Community Organization with the proposed World Trade Center, they sued several parties, charging conspiracy to derail the project. When OCCA’s liability insurance rates skyrocketed as a result, the group was forced to disband their zoning board. Such litigation has been called a SLAPP suit—Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. “The fact that the phenomenon has a name and developers are tuned into it is scary,” said Jeff Hornstein, president of Queen Village Neighbors Association.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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1 Comment

  1. Best solution to Temple’s problem with the boathouse is to carve away the portion of land occupied by various boathouses and facilities from the Fairmont Park system of 9200 acres. This new zoning area would be called the Boathouse District and that would take away the power of the Park Alliance.

    Theoretically speaking, Temple could build a 23K boathouse on the site of the old boathouse which would be demoed. But before this could happen, we would have to have the zoning changed from Fairmont Park to Boathouse District and we would have to assure Philadelphia Police Department that their boat unit would still get use of the new boathouse with appropriate facilities added to the new construction. FInally, we would have to shut up the pettiness among historical preservationists as this is a boathouse being replaced with a better boathouse. After all, it is not Independence Hall that we are tearing down.

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