April 13th GCCA Zoning Meeting

Garden Court Community Association has a regularly scheduled Zoning and Development Committee meeting at 8pm on Wednesday, April 13th. We are still meeting virtually, via Zoom; log-in detail are at the bottom of this post.


Meeting Agenda:

  • 1. Zoning cases: None, but one in Spruce Hill next week

  • 2. Report: any status updates for ongoing projects of significance

  • 3. Report: March Garden Court real estate activity - permits issued, home sales, and apartment rentals

  • Public Comment

  • Committee Working Session (closed)

  • Next Meeting: May 11th (will include community meeting for Civic Design Review of 4746-48 Spruce Street)


1. Zoning cases:


Though technically outside of GCCA boundaries, our friends in Spruce Hill let us know that they will be hearing a variance case for a new use at 4430 Pine Street. Though difficult to say for sure in the refusal notice (pasted below), it appears that the applicant is proposing a take out restaurant in one of the commercial spaces fronting on 45th Street, adjacent to the outdoor seating area of the Knock Box Cafe.


Meeting information is below:

Topic: Spruce Hill's Zoning

Time: Apr 20, 2022 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88542282908?pwd=cFFrOXJwc1hqMjZCTzl5d09pTVNwQT09





2. Significant project updates


GCCA zoning is trying to keep tabs on some of the larger scale developments underway in the neighborhood so that we provide our community with neutral, fact-based information about what's happening. From time to time, we may invite developers to provide a community update and answer questions.


314 S. 46th Street - no major update

(25 apartments via adaptive re-use of the Good Shepherd Community Church building and erection of a new building on site). Leasing activity has begun and construction is nearing completion. We expect that the garden plan developed with GCCA Zoning and the West Philadelphia Native Plants and Pollinators group will be implemented this spring.


301 S 51st Street - no major update

(apartments on site of a currently abandoned car service garage in the interior of the block). A zoning permit was issued in 2019; a building permit has not been due to non-compliance with the fire code. The owners are in discussion with Neighbors for Healthy Community Development and have engaged the Light of Elmwood Lodge. No Update.


4900 Spruce Street - no major update

(150 apartments on -a former parking lot). Construction continues and is nearing completion. Leasing expected to have begun in February for occupancy in April.


4701 Pine Street - no major update

(220 apartments in a 6-story addition over the garage adjacent to the Garden Court Plaza). Structural work in the garage has begun, with vertical construction expected to begin later this year.


4746-4748 Spruce Street

A zoning permit was issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections on December 30th. The permit is for a 12-story building (six stories on the east end) with commercial space on the first and second floors (proposed uses include restaurant and grocery store), 170 residential units, 28 vehicular parking spaces (accessed via Spruce Street), 76 bicycle parking spaces, and an off-street loading dock (accessed via 48th Street). Through the Low Income Housing Bonus, the proposal includes a $1.8M payment toward the Housing Trust Fund. The project was permitted by-right and does not require variances from the Zoning Board of Adjustment; due to its scale, however, it will be subject to Civic Design Review, during which the developer will be required to provide more details through renderings etc. Garden Court Community Association has been named coordinating RCO for the project by the 3rd District Councilperson. The required community meeting is scheduled for the May 11th at the GCCA Zoning Committee's regularly scheduled meeting. Project material will be posted as part of of the meeting agenda in advance, with opportunity to provide comments and questions before and feedback after.



3. March Garden Court real estate activity report


RCOs like GCCA are called upon to discuss development proposals requiring variances or civic design review, but those represent a small fraction of real estate activity in any month. In the interest of staying informed of the bigger picture, GCCA Zoning is putting together a monthly report of permits issued (including by-right zoning), homes sales, and apartment rentals in the neighborhood. This is being posted here so neighbors get information without needing to attend the meeting. Trends are shown and discussed on a quarterly basis. Special thanks to committee member, Chris Mejia-Smith for pulling together this information from a variety of sources.


By Right Permits over the last month
  • 3/18/22: 4940 Locust St; Proposed 3rd story addition above 2-story rear portion of existing building.

  • 3/31/22: 4701 Pine St; Proposed Use in Space H for caterer, Fresh on 47

Recent Sales
  • 506 S 46th St: $826,000 ($289/sqft)

  • 505 S 49th St: $675,000 ($225/sqft)

  • 4617 Pine St Unit H305: $427,000 ($206/sqft)

  • 5002 Locust St: $325,000 ($185/sqft)

  • 5117 Irving St: $275,000 ($160.82/sqft)


Map of for-sale homes that are affordable to the Median Philadelphian Income ($57k/year)

Map of for-sale homes that are affordable to the median 3rd Council District Income ($30k/year):


Rental Market Snapshot



Various Rents across Garden Court (via apartments.com, trulia.com, and hotpads.com)


Details for Joining the Meeting:


Time:  April 13th, 2022 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Direct Link: https://upenn.zoom.us/j/91979124404?pwd=Q3pYOFpLenBTQW95Sm9aMTRzRmt3dz09

or dial in to: +1-646-558-8656 or +1-301-715-8592 additional numbers at: https://upenn.zoom.us/u/ahHOJpCyM Meeting ID: 919 7912 4404 Passcode: GCCAzoning


Public participants will need to "raise their hand" to be un-muted and ask questions or make comment. GCCA Zoning's regular rules of decorum will apply.



Get involved.


As always, our meetings are public and open for anyone to attend; if you are interested in receiving email updates from the Zoning Committee, or are interested in joining when there is an opening, please email Zoning@GardenCourtCA.org - not yet a GCCA member? Join here! Our geographic boundaries are 45th Street, Cedar Avenue, 52nd Street, and Locust.


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