Here we are. Again.
You may remember last year’s proposal for a gas station to be located at Columbus Boulevard and Tasker Street in Pennsport, along Philadelphia’s iconic waterfront. DRWC wrote an op-ed explaining why this proposal should be denied and we asked you to submit letters to the City of Philadelphia’s ZBA (Zoning Board of Adjustment) in opposition to that project and, in the face of tremendous public support for the goals of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, that proposal was withdrawn.
However, the same developer is back, making the same request for a gas station in the same place, only this time the proposal includes subdividing a small sliver of land along Columbus Boulevard, circumventing the zoning code by arguing the gas station does not technically front on Columbus Boulevard. You can read more about the specifics of this revised proposal and the details here, here, and here.
These technicalities do not change the overall project or the fact that it still violates the spirit and intent of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, the City’s 2035 comprehensive plan, and the Central Delaware Overlay of Philadelphia’s zoning code. This is still an auto-oriented use that will bring more traffic congestion to the area, place fueling tanks near the River, and make public access to the Delaware River Trail and our waterfront parks much more difficult.
Since the previous proposal last year, the waterfront’s transformation into a vibrant destination of public spaces connected by a trail has continued. DRWC has:
- Opened a new section of the Delaware River Trail at the end of Tasker Street;
- Started the design of the future south Wetlands Park;
- Announced the construction of a two mile section of the Delaware River Trail between Washington Avenue and Spring Garden Street;
- And advanced the design for the new Park at Penn’s Landing, opening in 2024.
Mixed-use development proposals have been approved for the area adjacent to this proposed gas station as well, showing that there are numerous viable uses for the waterfront that are in line with the Master Plan’s goal of a walkable, mixed-use, vibrant waterfront connected to trails and public space.
DRWC, the Pennsport neighborhood, and the Central Delaware Advocacy Group are continuing to work to stop this project and we are asking again for your help.
If you can, please attend this special Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 9:30 am (1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor).
Anyone who has the time to attend the meeting in person is welcome and encouraged to do so. Whether or not you are able to attend to show your opposition in person, DRWC asks that you fill out the comment form and letter below. As we did in 2018, we will print out all emails we receive and bring them to the hearing. Last year we received over 500 letters in opposition. Let’s bring 500 more and show that the Master Plan and our waterfront has more support than ever!