City Council Creates NID in Callowhill

Callowhill and Chinatown North residents who were hoping to create a Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) to help pay for blight removal, street lighting, and other improvements finally got their wish, granted by City Council.  More than half the property owners in the proposed district – bounded loosely by Broad, Spring Garden, Vine and 8th streets – had opposed creating the district, according to votes tallied by the offices of Councilman Frank DiCicco and the City Clerk.  On Thursday, City Council unanimously voted to pass the legislation anyway.

Petition signatures still have to be verified in order for the NID to be official.  Many residents don't want to see their taxes increased.  If the NID were created, property owners would have to pay an extra tax for the services the District would provide.

The NID had some support from the Nutter administration.  In September, Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger testified before City Council, saying that creation of a NID is "one element of an overall strategy to manage and plan for growth" in the neighborhood.

The potential death of the NID legislation clouds the future of a proposed park on the Reading Viaduct.  An early version of the NID legislation proposed creating that park, Though the provision was later removed, in part because it had no support from the city.  Specific plans for the Viaduct stretching from Vine street to Fairmount Ave were never settled on, but many community members continue to pursue the project.

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