Planners To Preserve Wissahickon Neighborhood’s Character With Rezoning

 

“Gorgeous turreted Victorian and mansard-roofed neighbor [on Freeland Avenue]. These are the first two houses one sees when coming up from the Hundred Steps.” | Stephen Stofka, 2012

“Gorgeous turreted Victorian and mansard-roofed neighbor [on Freeland Avenue]. These are the first two houses one sees when coming up from the Hundred Steps.” | Photo: Stephen Stofka, 2012

  • Residents of the Lower Northwest’s Wissahickon neighborhood (bounded by Hermit Street, Ridge Avenue, Henry Avenue and Wissahickon Creek) were briefed last week on the Planning Commission’s plan to remap their section’s zoning, this in preparation for the establishment of a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay (NCO). NewsWorks’ John Corrigan reports that the remapping aims to “preserve the character of Wissahickon by matching zoning to existing lot sizes and density. [City planner Matt Wysong] plans to utilize residential single-family attached zoning to prohibit front garages and require contextual setbacks and heights on new construction.” Low-impact commercial uses are also being sought for Rochelle Avenue. For a better appreciation of the diverse architectural styles offered in this remarkable proto-suburb, check out Stephen Stofka’s 2012 photo tour HERE.
  • Councilman Kenyatta Johnson introduced last week a bill allowing the Planning Commission to establish and enforce “standards of conduct” for all Registered Community Organizations, says PlanPhilly. This came a week after anti-Semitic remarks were made by community members at a South Philadelphia HOMES meeting towards Point Breeze developer Ori Feibush, incidentally the unsuccessful challenger to Johnson’s council seat during last year’s Democratic primary.
  • Germantown’s New Bethel AME Church at Germantown Avenue & Walnut Lane “is in the process of reshaping ourselves to re-position ourselves for 21st century ministry,” Allan Robinson, its senior pastor, tells The Philadelphia Tribune. With declining participation and aging congregation, the historic church must be more active in addressing the needs of its neighborhood, he says. “We are striving to be a church without walls, a church where the community can say ‘that’s my church.’” New Bethel may receive physical alternations towards that end as well.
  • Billy Penn profiles Malcolm Kenyatta, a 25-year-old North Philadelphia native who has taken to community organizing. He coordinates block clean-ups, arranges for political candidates—or their surrogates—to stop by and chat with voters, and he proudly dons a suit each day, all in an attempt to rectify his community’s “inspiration deficit.”
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. They are two very beautiful houses, love those turrets. I would love to own a house in that area.

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