“Planning Commission adopts Central Delaware Master Plan
March 6, 2012. Kellie Patrick Gates
The Philadelphia City Planning Commission unanimously adopted the Master Plan for the Central Delaware Waterfront in its entirety, on Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s an ambitious plan,” said Commission Vice Chairman Joe Syrnick before the vote. “It’s not perfect, but this area has languished for far too long, and it needs a road map for moving forward.”
The action was a great relief to advocates for the master plan - which aims to reunite the city and the waterfront with a system of linked parks and extended city streets - and the quasi-city agency that oversaw its development.
As recently as Saturday, top planning staff was still in discussion over whether to recommend that the commission adopt the full plan or accept portions on the northern and southern end. See previous coverage here and here.
Because it was adopted, the Central Delware Plan is now part of the city’s comprehensive plan. It must be considered by any city governing body - such as City Council or the Zoning Board of Adjustment - when making a waterfront decision. Had the plan been accepted instead, consideration would have been optional.
“We’re thrilled,” said Matt Ruben, chairman of the Central Delaware Advocacy Group, which is comprised of representatives from waterfront civic and other organizations and advocates for the vision the public expressed for the central Delaware during years of public input sessions.
CDAG and other fans of the plan say it will re-tie the city to the waterfront, create new recreational and green space and spur economic growth. Queen Village Neighbors Association President Jeff Hornstein told commissioners that his is one of the communities most cut-off from the waterfront by the creation of I-95. “We see the plan as a remedy,” he said.”