Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Big Update.

The official statement:

Today, City Council voted to re-zone the Penn Plaza property and Enright Park to allow for the redevelopment that LG Realty has aggressively sought for its site. But, critically, the rezoning passed with concrete protections for the park and the neighborhood in the form of conditions that Mayor Bill Peduto, Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin, and the City Planning department have assisted Council in attaching to the legislation. Enright Park's neighbors and advocates worked tirelessly with the Administration to shape these conditions, and the City worked against tremendous pressure to ensure that the rezoning legislation moved forward only with them in place.

While we normally could not support the re-zoning of either site without a Preliminary Land Development Plan from the developer, we nonetheless recognize the unique circumstances that brought us to this juncture today, as well as the tremendous amount of work that has gone into balancing complex competing interests on this very important site. Therefore, we - the Enright Park Neighborhood Association, Friendship Community Group, and Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation - have placed our support behind the legislation. 

These legally binding conditions will ensure an appropriate and thorough public review process for the entire site, giving the larger community the input which its citizens deserve. We are grateful that these conditions guarantee that neither streets nor driveways will divide the park, and that most of what remains in the way of a mature tree canopy will be preserved. These conditions will allow the park to maintain its present size (although in a different configuration) and remain under public ownership, ensuring that future generations of residents will be able to enjoy it. We see opportunities ahead to hold meaningful discussions about how Enright Park may best serve this community for years to come.

In that vein, there is still much work to be done, and we're going to continue to pursue what we feel will be the most favorable set of outcomes for the neighborhood during the unfolding development at Penn Plaza. We express our utmost appreciation to the Mayor, to Chief of Staff Acklin, and to Planning Director Ray Gastil, along with those members of City Council who were receptive to our concerns. Most of all, we thank all those who came out in support of preserving this vital community amenity.

More to come. We are exhausted and elated.

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