Yesterday, Pew Charitable Trusts issued a new report on the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), concretely expressing some outcomes of this policy that were already known or at least suspected by many. The primary takeaway from this report (which you can read in full here) is that AVI is shifting a portion of the property tax burden away from commercial owners and onto residential owners.
Share of tax burden shifts
The raw numbers
AVI has been pitched by the administration as a revenue neutral policy, and this is technically an accurate portrayal. But for homeowners as a group, AVI will not be revenue neutral, with an aggregate added tax bill of $72M. The report suggests that the reason for this change is that residential properties have generally been underassessed under the current system, while commercial…
Local officials and civic groups have big visions for Philadelphia development, economic and otherwise. One, Green2015 is a push to create 500 acres of new green space by 2015. Another is the redevelopment of Penns Landing. Those goals are being reached by planning efforts like Phila2035 and through initiatives like greening school and rec center blacktops.
A greened Lea schoolyard
During this year’s annual state of Center City address, Paul Levy, Center City District president, said that Philadelphia needs to set a goal: create 50K to 100K new jobs by 2023, the Philadelphia Business Journal (PBJ) reports. This year’s State of Center City publication is now available online. According to the study, there are currently 279,412 wage and salary positions in Greater Center City (does that include this blogger?), and Center City accounts for more…
We’d imagine that at least a few of you are preparing to run in this weekend’s Broad Street Run. A Philly tradition, this race gives participants the opportunity to experience almost all of Broad Street, from Somerville Ave. all the way down to the Navy Yard. For some, however, the Broad Street Run will merely be a warmup for a slightly longer race coming up next month- the ODDyssey Half Marathon.
From last year
While the Broad Street Run had become an institution for serious runners in Philadelphia in its thirty-plus years of existence, the ODDyssey Half Marathon is a sillier take on things, with (optional) costumes, a post-race party with beer from Sly Fox, and secret (and again optional) challenges along the way. The course, by the way, runs through Fairmount Park, starting at Memorial…
Last week, an article in the Inquirer got us thinking about the idea of high-speed trains along the Northeast corridor, a concept we’ve pondered from time to time over the years. For many, the fact that we lack true high-speed trains in America is a source of some embarrassment, especially considering their apparent success in Europe and Asia. But for better or for worse, it seems that ours is a driving culture, and getting Americans to exchange their cars for train tickets is much easier said than done.
30th Street Station
Still, efforts have been taking place, both from Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), to consider options for new high-speed train service on the Northeast corridor (NEC). In 2010, Amtrak released a report entitled A Vision for High-Speed Rail in the…
For some design professionals, the Soak It Up! challenge provided the opportunity to flirt with ideas they’ve perhaps talked about but not yet had the chance to implement.
We’ve covered the challenge, created by the Community Design Collaborative and the Philadelphia Water Department, since it was first announced last year. The winners were announced in early March. Part of the challenge meant meeting price ceilings indicated by the contest. So submissions had to be economically as well as physically efficient.
“It was the perfect way to express the vision we’re looking to put forth,” said Melissa Muroff, vice president of green roof company Roofmeadow, and a member of the winning industrial site team, about the competition. The Germantown-based firm specializes in developing aesthetically pleasing stormwater management solutions via green roofs.
A blue-green roof
The Leveraging Water + Plants…
Planners, architects, and neighbors these days seem more and more sensitive when it comes to the scale of a block. We’ve attended countless neighborhood zoning meetings where developers have sought a few feet of extra height than is permitted by right, and neighbors stand in opposition as a result. While the new zoning code adopted last August increased the allowable height in many zoning districts by a few feet, it also created protections to maintain blocks that contain primarily two-story homes, insisting on an eight-foot setback of the third floor for new construction three-story homes. The sensibility of this requirement can be debated, but it’s in there.
2000 block of Pemberton
In Francisville, this caused a stink
It’s clear that no such rule exists in Washington DC. A thread on Philadelphia Speaks led us to an interesting…