Attend Council Hearing 11/1/11 at 10 am and share your opinion with City
Council Rules Committee. Tell them that you do not want 10,000
Square foot digital billboards along Spring Garden street, just blocks
from Independence Mall. Tell them that Philadelphia skyline is not
for sale…and it’s definitely not available for free. Tell them to
follow the advise of the Planning Commission and vote no on Bill
The 600 block between Willow and Spring Garden Streets has been the subject of previous attention for wall wraps. A wrap was illegally erected, and SCRUB, via a lengthy struggle through the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the courts (going as high as a denial of certiorari at the US Supreme Court) helped get it down, and ensure that it was determined to violate the Philadelphia Zoning Code. Bill 110563 (PDF) represents an attempt to circumvent the zoning code’s protections.
Bill 110563, in addition to being a potential example of illegal spot zoning, and attempting to skirt the previously adjudicated violations of Philadelphia zoning law that these massive advertising wraps would create, may also prove a violation of the Federal Highway Beautification Act. In Philadelphia, adherence to this act must minimally conform to the January 1972 agreement between PennDOT and and the Federal Government; this agreement applies to areas “within 660 feet of the nearest edge of the right of way of all portions of the interstates system in which signs are visible from the main travelled way of said system, zoned commercial or industrial.” The area in question is zoned L4 Industrial; about half the block falls within 660 feet of the main traveled way of the Vine Street Expressway. The most likely site for the wall wrap, the face of the building on the Southern edge of the block facing Willow Street and the Vine Street Expressway is clearly visible from the Expressway, and is within 660 feet.
If possible, please attend tomorrow’s Planning Commission meeting and voice your disapproval for this massive wall wrap. The meeting will take place at 1pm in the One Parkway building at 1515 Arch Street, Tuesday, October 18th. If you cannot attend, please consider contacting:
Philadelphia City Planning Commission
One Parkway, 13th Floor
1515 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102