New Zoning in Historic Philadelphia Neighborhood Will Protect Victorian Homes

A rezoning expected to go into effect in the neighborhood of Spruce Hill in Philadelphia chooses historic preservation over potential student housing developments.

1 minute read

December 31, 2017, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Victorian Townhomes

chrisinphilly5448 / Flickr

A proposed rezoning of the Spruce Hill neighborhood in Philadelphia "is intended to protect the iconic Victorian homes in Spruce Hill from demolition," according to an article by Jake Blumgart.

The article describes the rezoning proposal as a "backdoor" and a "rearguard action" at different moments. The bill that would enact the rezoning was "quietly slipped through City Council," according to Blumgart.

At stake are what neighborhood booster believe to be the largest collection of Victorian townhomes in the United States on one hand, and the neighborhood's proximity to the University of Pennsylvania on the other. "The current zoning bill would remap strategic areas of the neighborhood from multi-family to single family to make it harder for developers to build student housing," according to Blumgart.

While neighborhood advocates hope the rezoning will slow demolitions, critics fear the rezoning will make Spruce Hill even more expensive. Blumgart also reports that the bill is currently waiting for Mayor Jim Kenney's (expected) signature.

Thursday, December 28, 2017 in PlanPhilly

stack of books

Planetizen’s Top Planning Books of 2023

The world is changing, and planning with it.

November 24, 2023 - Planetizen Team

Close-up of 'Red Line Subway Entry' sign with Braille below and train logo above text in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Red Line Extension Could Transform the South Side

The city’s transit agency is undertaking its biggest expansion ever to finally bring rail to the South Side.

November 24, 2023 - The Architect's Newspaper

Row of brick three-story townhomes in Britih Columbia.

More Affordable Housing for People, Less for Cars

Most jurisdictions have off-street parking requirements that increase motorists’ convenience but reduce housing affordability. It’s time to reform these policies for the sake of efficiency and fairness.

November 20, 2023 - Todd Litman

View of downtown Seattle with construction cranes and cloudy sky as seen from top of Space Needle.

Seattle Council Rejects Transportation Impact Fee

Councilmembers who opposed the proposal say the fee would have slowed housing development and raised housing costs.

2 hours ago - The Registry

Close-up of driver's side of silver truck with cloud of dirty emissions from tailpipe.

FHWA Issues Emissions Tracking Rule

The agency will require states to monitor transportation emissions and create plans to address air pollution.

3 hours ago - Route Fifty

Close-up of bus driver from behind with only hand visible on steering wheel.

FTA Proposes Measures to Prevent Transit Operator Fatigue

Public transit is the only type of transportation not already subject to ‘hours of service’ and fatigue risk management regulations.

5 hours ago - Safety & Health

Assistant/Associate Professor in Indigenous Planning

University of New Mexico - School of Architecture & Planning

Principal Planner

Placer County

Coastal Program Analyst III

San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.