Eastwick Public Land Strategy Comments Due October 31

On October 25, 2018, Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition (EFNC) hosted a Public Meeting to review, consider, and comment on the Eastwick Public Land Strategy Recommendations that were presented to the public on July 26, 2018.

EFNC’s comments and concerns about the Eastwick Public Land Strategy are rooted in a Eastwick’s long legacy of advocacy. The community has dealt with many challenges over the decades. 60 years ago, Eastwick was devastated by Philadelphia’s push for so-called “urban renewal,” when City leaders found justification for uprooting 8,000 Eastwick residents out of their homes using eminent domain, condemnation, and blight certification. Disenfranchisement and distrust lingers, as Eastwick, an environmental justice community, deals with chronic flooding, two superfund landfill sites, pollution from nearby airport and mega-highway, sub-standard homes built on dredge spoil.

While there are pieces of the proposal that we support – including re-purposing Wolf/CommTech school – we have significant concerns about multiple aspects.

The Eastwick Public Land Strategy can be a great “first step” at helping Eastwick heal, not only for residents, but for City officials and agencies that oversee community infrastructure. But EFNC cannot support the plan until more answers and information are provided to crucial questions, including:

  • Have Eastwick’s economic, environmental, and social equity issues been addressed with this plan?
  • Is it prudent to develop in Eastwick’s FEMA-designated Special Flood Hazard Area (the 100-year floodplain), even if it is legal?
  • Are the right land uses proposed in the right places?
  • Who benefits and who pays the costs in the proposed land strategy

During Hurricane Sandy, October 2012, 1,000 residents were urged to evacuate from Eastwick. Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter came to the planet streets and stated the need for a comprehensive solution to flooding. The burden of proof is on PRA to prove that Eastwick will not flood with the proposed development. Eastwick’s experiences tells us the smart thing is NOT to build here, even if regulations allow for it!

EFNC urges all Eastwick residents to submit comments to the plan before the deadline of October 31, 2018. YOUR voice matters! Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and Interface Studios want to hear YOUR thoughts about Eastwick development. To submit comments, go to PRA website.

Click here to download and read the EFNC Presentation (PDF document, 34 pages).
EFNC Public Mtg FINAL presentation 2018-1025 Cover


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