by Jennifer Katz

Bowman Properties took a step forward last week when legislation to change the zoning of the former Magarity property was introduced in City Council.

The Chestnut Hill developer also announced alterations to the original configuration for the mixed use, residential and commercial development planned for the site.

At the Chestnut Hill Community Association board meeting last week, Joyce Lenhardt, co-chair of the subcommittee of CHCA representatives and neighbors negotiating with Bowman, updated the board on the subcommittee’s progress.

In response to neighbor concerns regarding the density of development along Shawnee Street, Bowman has agreed to reduce the number of townhomes by one, possibly two. To accommodate that request, Bowman is planning on adding a sixth story to the building fronting Germantown Avenue, replacing the townhomes with condominiums.

To decrease the total height of the building, Lenhardt said Bowman has changed its construction design so that the additional floor will only add another 4 feet, not an entire floor height, to the overall height of the building along the Avenue.

Lenhardt also said Bowman is studying how to increase the landscape buffers bordering the site.

Richard Snowden, managing partner of Bowman Properties and an interlocking board member from the Chestnut Hill Business Association, was also at the meeting. He confirmed that the legislation to change the zoning of the property was introduced in City Council last week.

He also said that Bowman is planning to take the project to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s next meeting and may forgo coming before the CHCA’s Land Use, Planning and Zoning Committee again, but instead come to the next board meeting on Nov. 17.

Snowden said he remains committed to ensuring that City Council will not vote on the zoning legislation until the board meeting has an opportunity to vote on the project.

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