§14-1617. Fifth Street Special District Controls. [356]

(1) Legislative Findings. The Council finds that:

(a) Major public and private investments have been made and continue to be made in and around Fifth street to preserve and protect the economic development potential, and protect and promote the economic vitality of this area of Philadelphia;

(b) The revitalization of Fifth street is important to the economic vitality and diverse character of Philadelphia in that it serves as a shopping area for nearby residents;

(c) It is desirable to maintain the pedestrian friendly atmosphere of this area as future development and redevelopment progresses along Fifth street;

(d) The Zoning Code recognizes that wholesale businesses do not belong in retail areas. Wholesale sales[357] are not permitted under the provisions of the "C-1" and "C-2" Commercial zoning classifications. These zoning classifications are the categories that have been traditionally used to designate the retail areas in older areas of the City;

(e) Despite the fact that existing Zoning Code provisions would not permit wholesale businesses in this area, a number of wholesale establishments currently exist along this stretch of Fifth street;

(f) Wholesale businesses in and out of themselves are not necessarily offensive but when located in a traditionally retail area can have negative impacts on surrounding conforming businesses;

(g) The concentration of these uses causes a deleterious effect on the aesthetics and economics of the areas in which they are located;

(h) Therefore, special land use and zoning controls, providing for the prohibition of certain uses are required to preserve the integrity of this area.

(2) District Boundaries. For the purposes of this Section, the Fifth street Special District Controls shall apply to all properties with frontage on Fifth street between Cheltenham avenue on the north and Wyoming avenue on the south.

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

(a) Wholesale sales;

(4) Variances. The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall not grant variances from the provisions of § 14-1617(3)(a) except where the denial of a variance would effect an unconstitutional taking.