Several community organizations are agitated that a development proposed at 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue in Spruce Hill hasn't yet gotten the get the green light.
The U3 Ventures-proposed 10-story apartment complex with retail would require a zoning change and a variance, and the developer believes facing the zoning board would be too burdensome, according to The Inquirer. The company approached City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, who represents the 3rd district, about introducing a bill to circumnavigate the process, but she's been hesitant and has not responded to inquiries.
In her first public comments regarding the development, Blackwell said Thursday that she won't change the zoning for just one property.
"Then what?” she asked. "Then everybody who wants any project will come here and not go to the zoning board." As part of the zoning board process, the developer is required to listen to feedback from Registered Community Organizations (RCOs). "He's got to contact the community organizations," Blackwell said. "That's the rules."
"We're all for it," she added. "I don't know anyone against it, but the process is that you go through the RCOs, and then I know, and then I write a letter that says all the RCOs and community organizations support the project. I've even written letters that said we know of no opposition.
"But whoever it is, I don't know who it is, has decided that they don't want to go to the community organizations," Blackwell continued. "But that's a slippery slope for me as representing everyone. ... Just go through the community organizations. … I'm ready when he's ready."
U3 Ventures did not return calls for comment.
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