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Councilman Continues Push to Preserve Germany Hill

Josh Cohen says Germany Hill still a priority for Councilman Jones.

Update: An official hearing time was added to the article.

Despite opposition from the City Planning Commission, (D-4) continues his push to preserve an undeveloped section of Roxborough and Manayunk.

Joshua Cohen, legislative aide for the councilman, said March 1, Jones will fight for his bill to make development nearly impossible at Germany Hill. 

Despite the rebuke from the Planning Commission, Cohen told the Ridge Park Civic Association the councilman won't back down.

"The councilman takes the recommendations of the City Planning Commission seriously, but he feels strongly about this community issue and will go forward with the bill," Cohen said.

Preservation

Located on 20 acres between Smick Street, Fountain Street, Mansion Street and Parker Avenue, Germany Hill is a wooded area owned in part by the city (12 acres) and private landowners (8 acres).

Residents of Ridge Park Civic Association have fought for its preservation for years.

"We've worked really hard to keep that area development-free," Ridge Park trustee Marlene Schleifer said, adding groups like Ivy Ridge Green continually cleanup and green-up the area. "We don't want development happening."

In February, Jones introduced a bill to strike a portion of Cinnaminson Street from city maps, which, as Cohen said, "would make it virtually possible to develop the privately owned part of Germany Hill."

However, the Planning Commission unanimously opposed the bill Feb. 23, agreeing with landowners who argued their plots are zoned residential and should be allowed to developed.

Owners Greg Ventresca and Walt Lewis said in a NewsWorks article that the bill violates their right to legally develop their property.

Public Discussion

Ridge Park encouraged members to attend a Streets Committee hearing, where Jones' bill will be discussed.

"We're looking for as much support as possible. The more people that come down there... the Streets Committee will notice and that is extremely important," Schleifer said.

Despite its City Planning rejection, the bill can pass if City Council overrides that decision. If the bill passes committee, City Council will vote on it in a full session.

Cohen said Monday the hearing is scheduled for March 15 at 3 p.m. in City Hall. Ridge Park said it would flyer the area.

Debbie Thomas March 07, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Come on, isn't there already enough development in the Manayunk/Roxborough area? Homes are being built on the smallest pieces of land. Give the neighborhood residents a break and let us have our green areas.

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