§14-1616. East Falls Special District Controls. [354]

(1) Legislative Findings. The Council finds that:

(a) Major public and private investments have been made and continue to be made in and around the East Falls section of the City to preserve and protect the economic development potential, prevent declining property values, encourage investment and tourism, 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) The revitalization of the East Falls Commercial District is important to the economic vitality and diverse character of Philadelphia in that it serves as a shopping and recreation area for residents of Philadelphia;

(c) The East Falls Commercial District is an area consisting of a fragile and unique balance of retail development surrounded by a predominantly single-family residential area within walking distance or a short commute;

(d) The narrow streets in this community, combined with the proximity of Kelly drive and the Schuylkill River, place limitations on the availability of on-street parking;

(e) There are certain geographic conditions that place limitations on opportunities to provide off-street parking in this area of the City. The surrounding residential community is densely developed, the southwestern edge of the community is bounded by the Schuylkill River and a slope rising toward Henry avenue characterizes the northeastern edge;

(f) It is desirable to maintain the street scale, historical character and pedestrian friendly atmosphere of Ridge avenue as future development and redevelopment progresses along Ridge avenue and Midvale avenue;

(g) It is further desirable to extend and reinforce the commercial flavor of the district, which currently exists near the intersection of Ridge avenue and Midvale avenue to the east and to the west along Ridge avenue;

(h) Therefore, special land use and zoning controls, providing for the prohibition of certain uses and the institution of certain development controls, are required to preserve the integrity of the residential community and to promote and help guide appropriate commercial development.

(2) District Boundaries.[355] For the purposes of this section, the East Falls Special District Controls shall apply to all commercially zoned properties within an area bounded by Weightman street, Ridge avenue, a line approximately seventy-seven feet northwest of Calumet street, Cresson street, Calumet street, Conrad street, Midvale avenue, Cresson street, Indian Queen lane, Krail street, the Roosevelt Boulevard Extension and the Schuylkill River as well as all commercially zoned properties with frontage on Ridge avenue between the Roosevelt Boulevard Extension and Scotts lane.

(3) Prohibited Uses. Within the area subject to the East Falls Special District Controls and notwithstanding any other Chapter of this Title, the following uses shall be prohibited:

(a) Athletic drill hall; dance hall; theater; motion picture theater; and other entertainment of guests and patrons as a principal use;

(b) Automobile repair shop;

(c) Automobile sales lot;

(d) Automobile service station for the retail sale of automobile fuels, lubricants, radiator fluids and accessories, and for the performance indoors of incidental service and minor repairs to automobiles, incidental car washing indoors;

(e) Bottling and/or distributing of liquids for human consumption;

(f) Central heating plant;

(g) Installations of auto, boat, motorcycle or truck parts;

(h) Outdoor amusement parks;

(i) Penal and correctional institutions;

(j) Radio or television transmission tower;

(k) Restaurant which serves patrons who remain in their automobiles; restaurant, cafe or soda and ice cream fountain which dispenses food at retail through a window or aperture which opens onto the sidewalk or public arcade area;

(l) Retail sale of packaged beverages as a main use and the retail sale of malt beverages for take out as an accessory use;

(m) Sales of live poultry, live fish, or live animals for human consumption;

(n) The following sales, separately or in any combination: automobiles and parts, motorcycles; boats and farm equipment;

(o) Trolley and cab stations, bus terminals, car and bus barns;

(p) Water booster or sewer sub-stations; telephone exchange buildings; railroad passenger stations; electric transforming or gas regulating sub-stations.

(4) The following retail sales, separately or in any combination, shall not exceed 1,500 square feet in gross floor area:

(a) Electric appliances;

(b) Floor coverings;

(c) Furniture;

(d) Garden supplies;

(e) Hardware;

(f) Household appliances;

(g) Office equipment and supplies;

(h) Radio and television sets and parts.

(5) Height Regulations.

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

(6) Building Setback Line.

(a) Newly erected buildings shall not be set back from the street line of Ridge avenue and/or Midvale avenue;

(b) For lots located west of Calumet street with Ridge avenue frontage which also have a secondary frontage on Kelly drive, or lots with Kelly drive frontage, all newly erected buildings shall provide a minimum 25 feet setback from the street line of Kelly drive. Such setback shall provide a landscaped area as follows:

(.1) A landscaped berm at least 18 feet deep and 3 feet in height;

(.2) The landscaped area shall be installed along the entire Kelly drive frontage;

(.3) The planting material shall be installed at the top of the berm and shall be at least 3 feet tall at the time of installation and shall be planted with no less than 6 feet between the centers of plantings;

(.4) The type of plant material shall be selected from a list of types, sizes of species of plants, and number of plants that are appropriate to achieve adequate screening and appropriate for the location. This list shall be prepared and maintained by the City Planning Commission, in conjunction with the Fairmount Park Commission;

(.5) The required screening shall be maintained in a manner to ensure its survival. In the event that any landscaping dies, it shall be replaced at the required ratio.

(7) 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 Ridge avenue and/or Midvale 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 Ridge avenue and/or Midvale avenue shall be constructed so that the total frontage of the building along Ridge avenue and/or Midvale avenue and the width of the building at its widest point measured on a line parallel with Ridge avenue and/or Midvale avenue does not exceed 100 feet, provided, that buildings with frontage on both Ridge avenue and Midvale avenue shall be constructed so that the total frontage of the building along each street and the width of the building at its widest point measured on a line parallel with Ridge avenue and Midvale avenue does not exceed 100 feet.

(8) Off-street Parking. In addition to the requirements set forth below, see Chapter 14-400 of this Title:

(a) There shall be provided on the same lot, at the time of the erection of any new building or structure, or for the extension of any building or structure, off-street parking spaces in accordance with the following requirements:

(.1) For uses other than restaurants, the number of parking spaces shall be provided in accordance with the following schedule:
Building’s Gross Floor Area
Spaces required per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area
Up to 2,999 square feet
3,000 square feet and over

(.2) The number of required parking spaces for any restaurant shall be determined by the legal occupancy (pursuant to Section 806.0, "Occupant Load," of the BOCA National Building Code) of the use as follows:

(.a) Restaurants. One space for every 4 persons;

(b) Location of Parking. All required parking shall be provided as follows:

(.1) For lots fronting Ridge avenue and/or Midvale avenue, off-street parking shall not be permitted between any building line and the street line;

(.2) All required parking shall be located either on the same lot or on an abutting lot; provided that required parking may be located on a non-abutting lot (where public parking is a permitted use) within 1,000 feet provided a Zoning Board of Adjustment Special Use Permit is obtained;

(c) Curb Cuts.

(.1) All curb cuts on Kelly drive shall be prohibited;

(.2) Permitted curb cuts shall be limited to 1 curb cut for every 100 lineal feet of lot frontage with a maximum width of 20 feet for any curb cut.

(9) Trash Storage/Venting.

(a) Every building shall provide off-street trash storage in accordance with the following requirements:

(.1) All trash and garbage storage and/or disposal shall be provided within the building or within a completely enclosed trash storage area located on the same lot as the building it serves. This trash storage and disposal may include, but is not limited to, the use of garbage disposals, refrigerated trash storage and trash compactors;

(b) Every restaurant shall provide venting in accordance with the following requirements:

(.1) All cooking and other exhaust fumes shall be properly vented through the roof of the building.

(10) Signs. Signs shall be permitted in this district only under the following conditions:

(a) Signs shall be accessory to the permitted use of the building;

(b) Signs shall not be erected or project above the roof lines or wall coping;

(c) Signs may be illuminated; provided, the illumination shall be focused upon the sign itself, so as to prevent glare upon the surrounding areas;

(d) Signs shall be permitted at a ratio of 3 square feet per lineal foot of street frontage, subject to any exceptions or limitations imposed below;

(e) Internally illuminated signs shall be limited to neon tubing, individual letters affixed to the building or in the windows of the building, or internally illuminated signs with an opaque background;

(.1) Only the following types of signs shall be permitted:

(.a) Flat wall signs;

(.b) Projecting signs, provided that such signs not exceed one projecting sign per lot; further provided that such signs are limited to 9 square feet per face;

(.c) Free standing signs shall be permitted, provided that such signs not exceed a maximum of 6 feet in height and further provided that such free standing signs are attached directly to the ground and are not supported by any columns, poles or uprights. Free standing signs shall be located in a landscaped area the least dimension of which shall be no less than 6 feet and the size of which shall be no less than twice the area of the face(s) of the free standing sign;

(f) Signs with flashing or intermittent illumination shall be prohibited;

(g) Signs that revolve or are mechanically moved shall be prohibited.

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