PHILADELPHIA— Mayor Jim Kenney today signed the first three pieces of legislation to improve the preservation of historic properties across Philadelphia. These recommendations were introduced by the Historic Prevention Task Force and will make it easier to preserve or re-purpose historic buildings.
“Earlier this year, the Historic Preservation Task Force issued its recommendations on how we can strengthen policies and strategies to guard our history,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Our administration accepted the challenge to implement those recommendations, and today I am proud to see us taking action.”
“Our recommendations will help neighborhoods across the city retain their valuable historic assets,” said Councilmember Mark Squilla, who sponsored the legislation. “I’m pleased that these bills will become law, and I look forward to more bill signings in the future.”
The three zoning amendment ordinances are Bills 190611, 190612, and 190613. The bills will make it easier to reuse historic buildings, making it less likely that they will be torn down.
- Bill No. 190611 will change the Zoning Code to eliminate parking requirements for locally registered historic properties upon redevelopment
- Bill No. 190612 will allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in locally registered historic properties if they meet the requirements under the Zoning Code
- Bill No. 190613 will change the Zoning Code to allow non-residential, locally registered historic properties access to more land uses “by-right” or without needing a zoning variance
“Historic preservation is about people and about community,” said Betty Turner of Germantown Community Connection. “These bills will help protect the historic resources in our neighborhoods for the benefit of our residents.”
Earlier this year the Kenney Administration implemented other recommendations from the Task Force. It created a Historic Preservation Policy Team to ensure that city agencies are not working in silos while advancing preservation goals. In addition, the Historical Commission issued an RFP and selected a vendor to create a customized database to inventory historic resources.
The City also made progress in preserving its historic resources earlier this month when the Historical Commission designated Overbook Farms as a historic district.
“Philadelphia has made a lot of progress this year on historic preservation,” said Paul Steinke, Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. “Our challenge is to maintain that momentum into 2020, and I’m confident that the Mayor, Council and all of us are up to that task.”
To learn more about the Historic Preservation Task Force and its recommendations, visit https://www.phlpreservation.org/.