by Brendan Sample

With the Philadelphia 2035 Comprehensive Plan set to come to Chestnut Hill in the fall, a representative of the project made a presentation during the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee meeting on Thursday. In addition to discussing some general goals, city planner Ian Hegarty also shed some light on how the initiative will be applied to Chestnut Hill.

Launching its first stages in 2010, Philadelphia2035 set out to create comprehensive physical development plans that would guide both individual districts and the city as a whole for the foreseeable future. Since these plans started forming in 2011, most of them have already been completed, with the Upper Far Northeast, Lower Far Northeast and North districts still underway. The West district is the only other one besides the Upper Northwest that has yet to be formally implemented and adopted.

Since he was assigned to community development for the Northwest Philadelphia district, Hegarty was invited to present to the LUPZ. He explained that Philadelphia2035 began out of a desire to create a new zoning code for the city, and, while much already has been accomplished, the project certainly grew into more than just that. The planners ultimately wanted to be more strategic in their development than they had been before – a desire that was instrumental in creating the specific city plans.

With the Upper Northwest district having a great deal of historical significance, especially compared to other districts, the project will be focusing on preservation in the district. It may also be using at least some of the data from the Chestnut Hill Residential Conservation, Preservation and Development Study, which concluded back in June. The project will also work on planning transit-oriented development, improving the pedestrian-focused areas of the district and ensuring that preservation efforts do not interfere with residents’ everyday home lives.

Beyond the Philadelphia2035 presentation, the LUPZ also heard from a Gravers Lane resident planning to construct a taller fence than the one currently behind his house. He cited a desire to have his children not get too close to nearby construction and for his family to not be constantly exposed to it. The proposal was for the current 6-foot fence to be removed, though with the same posts being used, and to construct a 7-foot one with an extra foot of trellis on top of it.

Though the LUPZ generally favors lower fences to allow residents to see historically significant properties, but since this proposed fence would be at the back of the house, the board moved to support the construction.

The next LUPZ meeting will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, at Chestnut Hill Hospital.

  • James Goodwin

    How will we improve transportation in Chestnut Hill in 2035? Will the trolleys be resurrected to run down Germantown Ave, even though the route is now truncated into two separate bus lanes? What about improvements to both Chestnut Hill East and West terminus stops on the Regional Rail plus improvements to current stations on East/West Regional Rail lines with ADA improvements that will include higher flat platforms for ease of entry to trains?