§14-1613. Germantown Avenue Special District Controls. [346]


(1) Legislative Findings. The Council finds that:

(a) Major private investments have been made and continue to be made along Germantown avenue to prevent declining property values, promote residential uses in and adjacent to this area of the City, and protect and promote the economic vitality of this area of Philadelphia;

(b) Substantial private investment within and immediately adjacent to Germantown avenue includes the restoration, adaptive reuse, and reconstruction of numerous historic structures as well as new construction, thereby creating employment opportunities and new housing units within the area;

(c) Therefore, special land use and zoning controls are required to protect the existing residential and commercial properties and the character of the neighborhood created and enhanced by such properties which are within and which surround this district and are critical to the vitality of this section of the City.

(2) Purpose of the District. This special district is established in order to preserve and protect this area of the City through the enactment of the Germantown Avenue Special District Controls. It is recognized that this section of the City is unique and is a vital, mixed use district containing various residential uses and retail uses interspersed at street level and on the upper floors of buildings. This pattern contributes to the distinctive atmosphere of this area. Council recognizes the need to establish special land use and zoning controls to protect the investment in and foster the preservation and development of this section of the City in accordance with its special character. Council further recognizes the need to encourage the continued vitality and historic preservation of this section of the City and therefore finds it necessary to adopt special building height, width and set-back controls to ensure the continued historic character of this area.

(3) District Boundaries. For the purposes of this Section the Germantown Avenue Special District Controls shall apply to all commercially zoned properties (except for properties zoned "C-1" Commercial) with frontage on Germantown avenue between Chestnut Hill avenue and Cresheim Valley road.

(4) Bulk and Height Controls.

(a) The main cornice line of any newly erected building shall not be less than 25 feet above the average sidewalk level;

(b) Limitations on floor area used for commercial purposes:

(.1) The maximum amount of net leasable floor area used for commercial purposes in buildings erected after the effective date of this Ordinance shall not exceed 4,000 square feet;

(.2) Buildings existing prior to the effective date of this Ordinance which contain 4,000 square feet or more of net leasable floor area used for commercial purposes may continue to be used, maintained, reconstructed or extended as non-conforming structures and/or non-conforming uses as permitted in § 14-104 of this Title;

(.3) Existing buildings which contain more than 4,000 square feet of floor area shall be limited in the amount of net leasable floor area used for commercial purposes to the total amount of floor area of the building existing at the time of the enactment of this Ordinance.

(.4) Buildings existing prior to the effective date of this Ordinance which contain less than 4,000 square feet of net leasable floor area used for commercial purposes shall be limited in the amount of net leasable floor area used for commercial purposes to 4,000 square feet; and,

(.5) Nothing in this Section is intended to supersede the requirements of § 14-2007 entitled "Historic Buildings, Structures, Sites, Objects and Districts.

(5) Building Set-Back Line.

(a) Newly erected buildings shall have no set back from the street line of Germantown avenue.
(6) Maximum Building Width.

(a) The maximum width of any newly erected building or existing building to which an addition is added which increases the building’s frontage along Germantown avenue after the effective date of this Section shall comply with the following building width requirements:

(.1) Buildings or portions of buildings with frontage on Germantown avenue shall be constructed so that the total frontage of the building along Germantown avenue and the width of the building at its widest point measured on a line parallel with Germantown avenue does not exceed 30 feet.

(7) Off-street Parking. In addition to the requirements set forth below, see Chapter 14-1400 of this Title;

(a) For lots fronting on Germantown avenue between Chestnut Hill avenue and Cresheim Valley road, off-street parking shall not be permitted between the building line and the street line.

(8) Conflicting Regulations. When the provisions of this Section conflict with other provisions of this Title, the more restrictive provisions shall control.