Central Delaware Master Plan Unanimously Adopted by Planning Commission

Publication Date: March 12, 2012

waterfront thumb2.jpgAfter years of advocacy and citizen-based planning, the award-winning Master Plan for the Central Delaware has been adopted by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, making it the official basis for development decisions along the waterfront.

Last week, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission adopted the Master Plan for the Central Delaware. The Commission’s unanimous action is the culmination of years of advocacy and citizen-based planning, largely funded by the William Penn Foundation, with significant leadership from the Central Delaware Advocacy Group, Penn Praxis, the Delaware Waterfront Corporation, two successive mayoral administrations, and scores of community organizations.

By adopting the document rather than simply accepting it, the Commission has made the plan the city’s official basis for development decisions along the waterfront. Acceptance would have essentially made the plan an advisory document, rather than official policy that must be taken into account. The next step will be to create a zoning overlay that codifies the plan’s aspirations.

Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC.jpgThe plan, which has brought Philadelphia national accolades, was called “a remarkable achievement for the city that will benefit generations of Philadelphians” by WPF program officer, Shawn McCaney.

McCaney noted that progress is already happening as a result of the plan’s recommendations. “The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has already developed and is implementing a pipeline of early action projects – such as Race Street Pier, connector streets, Washington Avenue Green, and the first phases of a riverfront trail – all of which reinforce the key tenet of the master plan on the ground: that public riverfront access should be the organizing principle of the redevelopment of the Delaware waterfront. These first projects and the ones to follow should help to build and maintain public support for the full implementation of the master plan in the future.”

The plan can be reviewed in summary or in full at this page. More coverage of the plan and its adoption is available at PlanPhilly and the Philadelphia Inquirer.