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