Mt Sinai – 5/12/15


As previously reported, Councilman Squilla has introduced an ordinance to rezone 400 Reed Street (Mt Sinai) to permit a Planned Unit Development (PUD).  Attached to that ordinance will be an exhibit that will amend the Master Plan, which amendment must be approved by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC).  The Concordia Group is scheduled to make a presentation to the Commission next Tuesday, May 19th.  In order to clarify the position of DSWCA and others in advance of that meeting, President Ted Savage sent the following letter to the Chair of PCPC:

Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger
Chair, City Planning Commission
13th Floor, 1515 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

12 May 2015

                            Re:    400 Reed
                                     Mt Sinai
                                     Master Plan Amendment

Dear Deputy Mayor,

I write to you as president of Dickinson Square West Civic Association (DSWCA), as well as on behalf of the residents of Dickinson Square West (DSW) and our neighbors and friends in South Philly, who have voiced opinions either during public meetings or via social media.

On February 3rd at a special meeting of DSWCA, The Concordia Group presented its concept drawings and plans for the development of 400 Reed (Mt Sinai) and welcomed questions and suggestions.  We were told that those plans were preliminary and that suggested changes were welcomed and would be considered.  On February 17th at the monthly DSWCA Community Board Meeting, I solicited comments, criticisms (positive and negative), and suggestions from members and friends about those plans for development.   I promised to communicate such to The Concordia Group with the belief that those plans were, in fact, preliminary.

There have been no other public presentations by The Concordia Group.  There have been no proceedings before the City Planning Commission.  There have been no CDR’s.  There have been no hearings conducted by the DSWCA Zoning Committee.

There have been, however, significant changes to those initial concept plans, which changes I understand were the result of requests of the City Fire Department.

Since February, many DSWCA members and residents have expressed concerns and asked many questions about specific design and zoning considerations, restrictions on use of the garages, maintenance of the common areas, side yard and front yard setbacks, height restrictions, the height and design of rooftop decks and railings, how this proposed development works with Plan Philly 2035; what is the real impact of a rezoning of this city block mean, etc.

We were assured in February, and we continue to be assured by The Concordia Group that it would adhere to and work within the specific, required procedures for rezoning, inter alia, amending the Master Plan.

In general, the members of DSWCA and neighbors and friends do like the concept of a PUD, consisting only of single-family, attached townhouses.

In that regard, I attach hereto the letter I sent via email to our Councilman Mark Squilla and others.  That letter is in no way whatsoever an endorsement of the developmental proposal made on February 3rd.  Rather, it is an expression of the support for the concepts, conditioned upon the amendment of the Master Plan as it affects 400 Reed, only after and until, as required by the City Code or any other applicable ordinances and administrative regulations, a thorough review of The Concordia Group plans has been undertaken and completed by the Planning Commission staff, CDR has been concluded, and, if appropriate, either a formal presentation to DSWCA or  RCO hearings have been conducted and reported.

Please let me know, if you have any questions whatsoever, or if I can assist you and the Commission.  Of course, thank you for your continuing service to the City.

Very truly yours,

Ted Savage

C.      Gary Jastrzag, Executive Director
Councilman Mark Squilla
Nicole Ozdemir
Ronald J Patterson, Esq.

Sent via email.

Today Ted Savage received an email from The Concordia Group giving notice that the Planning staff have asked The Concordia Group to present the Mount Sinai project for Civic Design Review (CDR) on Tuesday, May 26th.. According to that email, “The staff wants to provide residents from the community to review the plan for the development at CDR.”

DSWCA members and resident have questions and concerns.  The meetings of the PCPD and CDR may be the only opportunities to listen to what The Concordia Group now proposes, to ask PCPC, CDR, and The Concordia Group questions, and to voice opinions.

If you have an interest in this development, if you have an opinion (positive or negative) about what you have heard or read so far, if you would like to learn what is The Concordia Group’s current proposal, and if you want to voice your opinion to the City officials who have the authority to act upon your opinions, you need to attend these meetings:

THIS Tuesday, May 19th,
Philadelphia City Planning Commission,
1 PM,
1515 Arch Street – Room 18-029.

NEXT Tuesday, May 26th,
Civic Design Review,
1 PM,
1515 Arch Street – Room 18-029.

If you have any questions, would like to share transportation, etc., .