December 8th marks an important day in the history of Germantown. No, there’s no historic battle. But what is on the calendar for this Monday is a slew of events concerning development and other neighborhood revitalization efforts coming to Germantown in the near future.
What’s on the agenda? The Emerald Isle, also known as Vernon Park, is in the early stages of a park redesign. The Women’s Community Revitalization Project has proposed 35 new affordable town homes on vacant woodsy land on Wister Street in East Germantown. We have a new school coming to the 140-year-old St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at Wayne Avenue and Harvey Street, originally designed by architects Frank Furness and George Wattson Hewitt. St. Peter’s is fast transforming itself into the Waldorf School of Philadelphia’s new campus. Also on the education front, the Germantown Community Charter School Coalition will present their plan for the reuse of Germantown High School before the School Reform Commission, complete with a busload of supportive Germantowners in tow. And much more.
Yes, December 8th, 2014 is a very important day for Germantown. Pick a meeting or presentation and go!
Photo by Germantown resident Jill Saull via Flying Kite
1. Germantown Community Charter School
Time: 10:30 AM – 2 PM (bus trip); 11:45 PM (hearing begins promptly, GCCS is scheduled first)
Location: School District Of Philadelphia, 440 N Broad St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130
The Charter School Application is in the approval stage. (Phase 1) We are scheduled for a (15) minute public hearing presentation to an audience before the SRC (School Reform Commission). We need ALL ALUMNI, FAMILY, FRIENDS, COMMUNITY AND SUPPORTERS AT THIS MEETING. RIDE the BUS on US: The bus leaves at 10:30 from the former Germantown High School at Germantown and High Sts. YOU MUST RSVP at GtownCharter@gmail.com TO CONFIRM A SEAT ON THE BUS YOUR NAME MUST BE ON THE LIST. You can also meet us there. Be part of the Sea of Green in support of the Germantown Community Charter School. Equally important they are accepting public testimony beginning at 3pm. We need as many people as possible and representatives of our partner organizations to give their words of support. To sign up to speak you need to call: 215-400-4010.
Read more: District will hear Germantown Community Charter School Coalition’s pitch on Monday | NewsWorksWHYY 2014
2. Friends of Vernon Park
Time: 6 – 7:30 PM
Location: Center in the Park, 5818 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19144
Dear Friends and Neighbors of Vernon Park, Come join us and see the latest design for the Master Plan for Vernon Park from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society design team. This is an exciting time and some parts of the plan are already underway. Please come promptly so we can have a good block of time for the presentation and questions. If you haven’t been to our meetings before, please note you need to use the back entrance to the Center in the Park from the parking lot off Rittenhouse Street and ring the bell at the door.
3. RCO Meeting to discuss proposed Nicole Hines Townhomes development at 417 E Wister Street by Women’s Community Revitalization Project
Time: 6 PM
Location: Wayne Junction Campus, 4809 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia PA 19144
Hosted by: Joint Registered Community Organization meeting hosted by Wakefield 49ers Community Development and Improvement Association RCO
via Women’s Community Revitalization Project
Rendering of Nicole Hines Townhomes courtesy of Women’s Community Revitalization Project
Re: 417 E Wister Street (417, 423, 431, 443, 445 E Wister St and 5120 Rufe St)
Dear Registered Community Organization or Property Owner:
The Zoning Board of Adjustments has continued this hearing. You are hereby notified of the following PUBLIC HEARING to be held by the City of Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment on the issue described below:
Public Hearing Date: December 17, 2014
Public Hearing Time: 2 PM
Location: 1515 Arch St, 18th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Property Description: The property is vacant land located on the block bounded by Wister, Rufe, and Collom Streets, less than one block away from the Wister Station along the SEPTA Regional Rail Line. The address is 417 E. Wister (along with 423, 431, 443, 445 E. Wister St. and 5120 Rufe St.). The nearest cross street is Wister and Rufe. The property is located in a RSA-2 zoning district.
Project Description: The purpose of the application is to build 35 homes, thirty five parking spaces and one community space. This project will also relocate lot lines from 6 existing lots to create one lot. To complete this development we are
seeking the following variances:
- To build 35 residences on one lot in a zone that allows 1 residence per lot
- To build a community space for residents of the development
- To have both the community space and the homes in the same district
- To build 13 separate structures where no more than one is allowed
Read more and view additional photos and renderings: Women’s Community Revitalization Project planning to build 35 affordable houses in East Germantown
Contacts: Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a copy of the zoning application.
Wakefield 49ers – Rosalind McKelvey, 215-275-6853, email@example.com
4. The Waldorf School of Philadelphia Town Hall Meeting
Time: 7 PM
Location: 7500 Germantown Ave (School Auditorium, 3rd floor, Eagles II), Philadelphia PA 19119
Join The Waldorf School of Philadelphia Leadership Team and members of the Board of Trustees for a community-wide Town Hall meeting. We will provide a preliminary overview of our relocation plans and offer an opportunity to ask questions and share concerns. Members of the current Waldorf community and the wider Germantown community are all invited. Bring friends, neighbors, grandparents, prospective families – all are welcome! If you cannot attend but have a question you can forward your questions to Kerry Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Overview of project, history of how and why we are moving.
- Campus buildings and geographic layout of classrooms
- Transportation and parking
- Potential Community Outreach
- Timeline highlights: move, weekend celebration, graduation, summer camp
- Tour dates and next town hall
- Q and A
Read more: Former church in Germantown to house school | The Philadelphia Inquirer 2013.07.18
5. Penn Knox Neighborhood Association Monthly Meeting
Time: 7 – 9 PM
Location: Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, 143 W Coulter Street, Philadelphia PA 19144
via PKNA Chair Julie Baranauskas
Agenda: Updates on the conservancy effort of 5328 Wayne Avenue (David Gilfillan); progress report on the Growbot sculpture at the Penn Street community garden (Birdie Busch) and the Penn Knox Community Information Board at Maplewood Mall; safety report from the working committee; annual pot luck and fundraising auction.
Save the date: January 12, 2015 next PKNA monthly meeting on the 2nd Monday of the month.
6. City Council Hearing on Trees: Resolution No. 140668
Time: 12 PM
Location: Room 402, City Hall, Philadelphia
via Office of 8th District Councilwoman Cindy Bass
In September, we introduced a resolution calling for a hearing regarding the current state of park and street trees and their continued maintenance. The hearing has been rescheduled for Monday December 8, 2014 at 12 PM.
Tree Germantown is a big supporter of this bill! Learn more about it and support this effort.
Read more: Download a PDF of the Trees Hearing Resolution
Are you on Facebook?
The Changing Germantown Facebook group was created in response to a noticeable uptick in development activity in the Northwest and few public forums for residents to freely discuss and access such information. This group offers a space for focused conversation on such issues. Members are invited to freely post photos, articles, comments and opinions related to urban planning and design, community development, and zoning issues in and around Northwest Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood. The group offers a broad view of current development activity at play in the neighborhood and insight into what neighborhood stakeholders are thinking.