Special meeting of the Civic Design Review committee on December 18th on Zoom.

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission will host a special meeting of the Civic Design Review (CDR) Committee to consider a Master Plan for the site of the proposed Center City arena. The meeting is being held at the request of City Councilmember Mark Squilla (1st District).

The meeting is open to the public and will be held virtually on Zoom at 9:30 AM on Monday, December 18, 2023. You can register here to receive an email with the meeting link, sign up to comment at the meeting, or provide a written comment.

The meeting agenda and instructions for dialing in to the meeting are available here. The meeting will include a presentation about the proposed arena (located at 1001-19 and 1025 Market Street and 1001-25 Filbert Street) and time for public comment. The meeting will be held in English and interpreted simultaneously into Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish.

The CDR Committee may make recommendations to improve the project. CDR is advisory only. Developers are not required to adopt CDR Committee recommendations but are strongly encouraged to do so.

CDR focuses on the aspects of a project that are visible to and accessible by the public. Topics discussed at CDR for Master Plans include movement of pedestrians, traffic, and public transportation in and around the project site; locations for loading and unloading; public access; open spaces; and the overall size, shape, and location of the building or buildings on the site.

How to Provide Public Comment

The Civic Design Review Committee welcomes public comment on the proposed arena Master Plan. You can sign up to comment verbally on your registration form or use the “raise hand” function in Zoom during the meeting. People who sign up by 12:00 PM on Thursday, December 14 will be called on to speak before other commenters.

You also have the option of submitting comments in writing, by emailing CDR@phila.gov or by completing the meeting registration form and including your comments in the “Questions & Comments” field. Comment by 12:00 PM on Thursday, December 14 to give the CDR Committee time to review your comment before the meeting. Committee members will give equal consideration to written and spoken comments.

Each commenter at the meeting has two (2) minutes so that as many people as possible have a chance to speak. If you have already submitted a comment in writing, do not read it aloud at the meeting–it has been added to the record. Do not repeat comments that have already been made. The Chair of the CDR Committee can choose to enforce these rules by muting commenters.

Common Questions about the December 18th CDR for Master Plans meeting.

Questions about meeting access and commenting:

Q: How can I access the meeting?

The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, December 18th. You can access the meeting via Zoom by registering here, even after the meeting has started, or by calling (267) 831-0333 (Webinar ID: 829 8638 4744 Passcode: 575748).

Q: I can’t attend but want to comment, how do I do that?

You can submit written comment on this form or by emailing CDR@phila.gov.

Q: Will the meeting recording be available afterwards?

Yes. The meeting recording and minutes will be available on the Planning Commission website and the City’s PHL Gov TV YouTube channel.

Questions about the Civic Design Review process:

Q: What is CDR?

CDR, or Civic Design Review, is a forum for public discussion of large development projects. A committee of design professionals and up to two community representatives make advisory recommendations about how these projects interact with the public realm. The public realm is part of a development that people can see and access and includes adjacent public spaces including streets, sidewalks, and parks.

Regulations for Civic Design Review are available in section 14-304(5) of the Philadelphia Code.

Q: What is CDR for Master Plans?

There are two types of CDR: CDR for Buildings and a second, less common type, CDR for Master Plans. Projects that go through CDR for Master Plans will also go through CDR for Buildings.

Topics discussed at CDR for Master Plans include movement of pedestrians, traffic, and public transportation in and around the site; public access; open spaces; and the overall sizes and shapes of buildings.

More information about Civic Design Review (CDR) for Master Plans is here.

Q: Does a Civic Design Review mean that the project is approved?

No. City Council may introduce a bill in 2024 to legally recognize a Master Plan for the arena site. Holding Master Plan Civic Design Review before a Master Plan bill has been introduced provides an opportunity for the public to provide input to the plan.

Other questions:

Q: Where can I learn more about how the City is responding to the arena proposal?

Information about the City’s due diligence efforts is available on the Department of Planning and Development’s website. You can check this page regularly for updates.

Recordings of public meetings related to the arena are collected on the City’s PHLGov TV YouTube channel.

Q: I have a question that is not answered here. How can I ask my question?

You can email CDR@phila.gov with your question or call the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s front desk at (215) 683-4615.