URGENT: Fairmount Park Ordinance

Input is requested on a new ordinance proposed by the Commission on Parks and Recreation.  The ordinance titled “Protecting Public Lands” lays out a process by which a private entity can purchase, lease or alter the use of Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park and recreational grounds.

In summary, a private party must submit an alternative use analysis report to the Parks Advisory, and City Council.  After review the Commission makes a recommendation to City Council, who is not bound by the recommendation, but must give it increased weight. The report if approved by council could then result in the sale, transfer, altered use of sections of Fairmont Park, or Recreation Land in the City.

Scenic Philadelphia’s attorneys are working on making a recommendation to include stronger language with a more robust process to be sure Philadelphia’s Parkland is protected for generations to come.

To read the ordinance and share your concerns

  • go to www.philaparks.org
  • Attend Public testimony and Commission response to public comments andquestions at the Commission Meeting on 10/27/10  at 6:00PM at Free Library Commission meeting to vote on final ordinance on 11/17/10

Victory for Burholme Park: Commonwealth Upholds Orphans’ Court Decision

After months of deliberations, the  Court in the  case of In re Estate of Ryerss, 987 A.2d 1231 (Pa. Commw. Ct. , 2009) denied the City’s request to turn over 19.4 acres of parkland to Fox Chase Cancer Center for its expansion.

The unanimous decision of the seven member panel of judges dismissed the city’s arguments that continuing to use Burholme Park as parkland was not the most beneficial use, and would not best serve the public interest.

The court determined that the language of the law “focuses on whether the original use has ceased to serve the public interest and did not allow for a balancing of benefits.”

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VICTORY! City Council Pulls Park Bill!

Thanks to your support and outcry at the proposed City Council Bill allowing non-recreational, private uses on public parkland, Councilwoman Krajewski has pulled the Bill from City Council!

Early Tuesday afternoon at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission meeting, the Executive Director of the Planning Commission, Alan Greenberger announced that the Bill, referred to as Bill No. 090380, was pulled from the City Council calendar and therefore would not be considered by the Planning Commission.

Scenic Philadelphia will continue to follow this issue and other issues affecting our public space and keep you informed.

Thanks again to all who contacted their City Council members and the Planning Commission.