#City & Town Planning
Philadelphia City Councilmember Curtis J. Jones, Jr.
East Falls, Philadelphia, PA

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) is initiating a multi-billion-dollar, city-wide project to upgrade many of its facilities, including demolition and new construction at the Queen Lane Water Treatment Plant. We agree with the goal, and we’re not opposed conceptually.
HOWEVER, as part of PWD’s preparations, they are requesting from City Council an ordinance for “by-right” zoning, allowing PWD almost free reign. Given the proximity of so many homes, we are concerned. When PWD proposed horrendous fencing and lighting around certain parts of the plant, we had leverage to negotiate better results. The rezoning being requested today would strip the community of that leverage.
First, prior to the rezoning, the PWD should enter into a binding, enforceable agreement establishing basic parameters about fencing, lighting, new curb cuts, landscaping, placement of loud equipment, retention of the impressive stone walls, etc.
Months ago, we provided a draft agreement and indicated our willingness to negotiate. PWD instead offered only a non-binding, aspirational letter. Second, we asked that the redevelopment of the facility be required to follow an official Master Plan that is reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission and City Council, a process used for certain other large properties in the City. PWD rejected that, too.
Unfortunately, after PWD rejected our requests, Councilmember Curtis Jones introduced PWD’s zoning bill into the City Council, putting it into the legislative pipeline, and, at some point it will go to a Rules Committee hearing and then be voted on by Council. We are encouraging the Councilmember to stand with the community, and to advocate for our protections before the rezoning bill becomes a law.

Councilmember Curtis Jones, we respectfully request that the rezoning bill for the Queen Lane Water Treatment Plant be held until such time as Philadelphia Water Department provides the community protections being sought by the East Falls Community Council, and that you assist in making that happen.

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The Withold Rezoning Queen Lane Water Treatment Site Until PWD Provides Protections petition to Philadelphia City Councilmember Curtis J. Jones, Jr. was written by East Falls Community Council and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.