Zoning Misstep Buys Jewelers Row Preservationists More Time

 

“On Jewelers Row, (from left) jewelry designer Jean Huffenus and merchants John Khodandian and Reuven Cohen share a lunch on the sidewalk in front of their Sansom Street shops.” | Photo: Inga Saffron, for The Inquirer

“On Jewelers Row, (from left) jewelry designer Jean Huffenus and merchants John Khodandian and Reuven Cohen share a lunch on the sidewalk in front of their Sansom Street shops.” | Photo: Inga Saffron, for The Inquirer

  • Opponents of the Toll Bros.’ planned demolition of five properties on the eastern end of Jewelers Row are relatively relieved to learn that, due to administrative oversight, they have been given a few more weeks during which to fight the by-right redevelopment project, reports The Inquirer’s Jacob Adelman. For her part Inga Saffron defends the architecturally eclectic street from any detractor, noting that it is such “visual cacophony that makes the block so wonderful.” Doubting that the additional time to organize preservation efforts during the non-binding Civic Design Review process will prove enough to countervail the possible profits to be had on this parcel—invitingly zoned CMX-5, and surrounded by an epicenter of American heritage tourism (while remaining free from any onerous responsibilities towards that end)—Saffron frames the case of Jewelers Row as a wake-up call for the professedly preservation-minded Kenney administration.
  • In the past year-and-a-half, the City of Philadelphia has nearly spent $14 million in settling lawsuits filed due to injuries caused by various unaddressed hazards of the streetscape, reports Dana DiFilippo for NewsWorks. Although the Streets Department does not maintain a comprehensive inventory of the aging infrastructure it is responsible for, acting commissioner Mike Carroll hopes to change that with plans to create a “contemporary asset-management system” with data they could analyze to “become more predictive rather than reactive.”
  • Naked Philly takes note of a 4-story, 33-unit project soon to replace the former Revelation Baptist Church at 3937 Haverford Avenue. Ostensibly geared towards Drexel and Penn students, the building, due to a green roof, will be built by-right with a greater density than allowed by this section of Mantua’s current zoning.
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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3 Comments


  1. CMX-5 is build by right and you simply pick up the permit to demolish and build what you want to build. No CDR, no talking to neighbors, no CDR and nobody to talk to. Political correctness rules over the law?

  2. CDR is required regardless of zoning district if the proposed building exceeds a certain size. Toll will have to do it.

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