Apologies for the long gap in posts. We the NCK team have been crazy busy this Fall trying to get two Neighborhood Conservation Overlays (NCOs) drafted and the overlay areas completely photographed. Two of the Roxborough civic associations, Ridge Park and Wissahickon Interested Citizens, have local residents working on their proposals for the Planning Commission, hoping for adoption by December. Our team has assisted with intern power, but the impetus for protecting their own walkable character comes from them.

As it turns out, the actual code drafts are simply replicating the language in the already adopted Central Roxborough NCO. Although everyone sees some room for improvement in the CRCA overlay, at this time it is considered risky and cumbersome to have three different overlays in neighboring areas that have the same walkable T4 patterns and zoning districts (RSA-3 and RSA-5). One of the stated goals of our Knight grant was to make these NCOs easier for the Planning Commission to administer, and they’re getting requests (demands?) from all over Philadelphia for new NCOs.

The main change we would like to see in the Central Rox language involves existing properties where the owners pave over the front yards and park cars on them. We have strict rules against developers doing that in new construction, but are not adequately protecting Roxborough from itself, so to speak.

The next post will address how to minimize the negative effects of driveways and curb cuts where they already exist or are contemplated. Hint: narrower and greener.