The triangle-shaped plot of land at 6th, Passyunk and Christian has been a much-debated property in Bella Vista. It was once home to a gas station, but once that ceased to exist, the lot sat vacant for years. Triangle Park, a community green space, was created on the property, but in 2013 was shut down by the lot’s owner, Stuart Schlaffman.
More current plans for this location included a mixed-use development with five stories, a ground floor restaurant space and 12 apartments. That original plan was denied by the ZBA, but the developers are making an attempt to move forward with amended plans to that project. Friends of Triangle Park are now working to appeal a zoning permit to block this development from moving forward and potentially make this property a green space again.
From the GoFundMe:
We are appealing the City’s grant of a zoning permit to a developer to build a five-story apartment building and restaurant on the site and we need funds to pay our lawyers immediately. A very similar version of this project was previously rejected by the City, in January of 2016, for being too tall and lacking open space. The developer has attempted to put roughly the same plan through by using a loophole in the zoning codethat grants bonus height and area with the addition of a “fresh food market.” This exception to the code was created to bring markets to neighborhoods that need access to fresh food. This is a gross misuse of the statute considering these neighborhoods have plenty of grocery stores and the Italian Market is three blocks away. We don’t need more grocery stores, what we need and want is more community green space!
The money Friends of Triangle Park raises through this crowd funding will go towards the legal fees necessary to appeal the zoning permit. This friends group also hopes to raise enough funds to purchase the lot. As of Thursday, April 28, they have raised $2,170 of the goal of $10,000.
We reached out to the developers for more information on the plans, but have yet to hear back.
What do you think? Should this mixed-use plan go forward, or should this lot become a green space again?