DAG to DiCicco: Postpone CED vote; change signage rules

The Design Advocacy Group sent a letter to Councilman Frank DiCicco Wednesday urging him to postpone Thursday's vote on legislation that would allow a casino to operate at The Gallery at Market East.

DAG also asked DiCicco to alter the portion of the legislation that would allow larger, rotating, electronic and rooftop signs.

The letter, signed by DAG Chairwoman JoAnne Aitken, offers some praise along with its criticisms. DAG is "eagerly awaiting" the open review of the project promised by the Planning Commission, she wrote.

But Aitken said in the letter that more time was needed to thoroughly review the proposed zoning - and it would make the city look better in the public's eyes.

"Even a slight delay in the schedule would help ensure that the legislation benefits from thoughtful consideration from all points of view. It would also help negate the unfortunate – and, we hope, false – impression that the City government has already made up its mind about the Gallery location.

"DAG enthusiastically supports the administration's pledge to bring openness and integrity to the development process and such a rapid schedule for an important zoning change does not help us reach this goal."

DAG also suggests that the CED legislation be changed so that current signage requirements stay in place.

"Although we have had no time to study the design consequences of the proposed legislation, some of our members believe the effect of large signs in a dense, urban area could be detrimental while others sense a design opportunity. We do not think that the current legislation is the best place to resolve this issue."

If the CED bill instead kept signage to that allowed under the existing C-5, commercial zoning, the Planning Commission could "review proposals for unusual or additional signage such as may be appropriate for a casino based on design quality rather than legislative right."

  • http-planphilly-com-sites-planphilly-com-files-dag_letter-pdf
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About the author

Kellie Patrick Gates, Waterfront, casinos, planning reporter

Kellie Patrick Gates writes about planning, neighborhood development and the Central Delaware Waterfront. A journalist for more than two decades, she  worked for daily newspapers in Central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and South Florida before coming to Philadelphia in 2003 to write for the Inquirer. Her work has appeared on PlanPhilly since 2007, and she also writes Love, the Inquirer's weekly wedding column. A native of Elk County, Pa., Kellie lives with her husband, Gary, and their dog and two cats.

Follow her on Twitter @KelliePGates

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