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After five years of zoning battles, the City Avenue Special Services District has finally received approval for a zoning ordinance that will transform the former "Golden Mile" stretch into a pedestrian-friendly destination retail zone. (The Pedestrian Mile doesn't ring quite as well, but it's probably a decent trade-off.)
Region of City Avenue being rezoned
The length of City Avenue between the Schuylkill Expressway on the east and Conshohocken State Road on the west is dominated almost entirely by car traffic and office buildings. CASSD's goal is to turn the stretch into a hip, destination region with a walkable, urban feel. (It is not hip to try to dodge four lanes of traffic, no matter what anyone tells you.)
Terrence Foley, president of the City Avenue Special Services District
CASSD prez Terrence Foley says the ordinance will allow for the development of retail, mixed-use, and multifamily residential properties to finally move forward. Potential developers, he says,have been expressing interest in the area for months. Official development announcements may be released in as soon as six months. A good deal of streetscaping is also being planned, he says, including a multipurpose path on the Lower Merion side and widened sidewalks.