Anyway, there was a meeting before the Zoning Board of Adjustments yesterday, where the usual crew of narcissistic neighborhood types showed up to bitch about the make-believe shadow that the tower was "going to cast over the entire neighborhood of Fairmount."
ZBA chair David Auspitz saw this as an opportunity for some grandstanding (above his normal amount) and seized every chance he had to make the project’s developers bow to his awesome power and authority.
In setting the tone for the hearing, chairman David Auspitz said, "I want to represent the people of Philadelphia."After all, you ain’t representing Philadelphia if you don’t begin by yelling unintelligibly at everyone in your presence.
He then quickly berated the majority developer, Dalia Shuster, for angering many residents by not initially holding a public hearing on the permit, telling her, "Stand up, let people see you."
Lawyer Neil Sklaroff, who represents the developers, said a 47-story "slender, elegant building" would stand out not just in Philadelphia, but in the world.David Auspitz has spoken people. Heed his wisdom.
"We want this to be the international building in Philadelphia," he said.
Auspitz, however, repeatedly berated Sklaroff for speaking of a 47-story tower when neighbors have said they did not want such a tall building.
"You keep trying to sell me the same suit, a brown suit," Auspitz said. "I want a black suit. That's what's wrong here. The brown suit isn't going to sell." […] "It's not going to be 47 stories," he said.
Seriously, the man has an extensive background in architecture and urban planning. Oh wait, no he doesn’t. He used to own the Famous 4th Street Deli, so you know, he’s pretty well connected politically.
And that’s all the qualification he needs to be the most influential person involved in city planning in the great city that is Philadelphia.
So what about Vince? Remember last time we heard from him, he heroically (or sophomorically – you choose) threatened the developers that “this neighborhood has enough funds to litigate this for 20 years.”
What’d he have to say this time, you ask?
The lawmaker said he favored putting a few townhomes on the site.Vinny baby. We don’t want to be New York either. We do, however, want to be a city of healthy neighborhoods, with plenty of people on the streets, kids in the schools, and businesses making the money. And in order to do that, we need to welcome quality developments and the vitality and higher tax base that come with them.
"We do not want to be New York City," he said. "We are Philadelphia... . We are a city of neighborhoods. If you want to be New York, go to New York."
He also said the developers were greedy and called them "piggish."Aww, poor baby. Vince, why are your diapers all in a bunch?
"This is a bunch of greedy developers trying to take money out of the city and go back to where they came from," Fumo said.
He said that if they tried to start construction, "I believe this neighborhood will lay down in the street. And I'll be right there with them."
"We're going to fight this no matter what it takes and no matter how long it takes."
Oh, that’s right, because you’re seventy bajillion years old and haven’t had an original thought in your head since Dilworth was mayor.
Get over it Vinny. Philadelphia is moving on. Without you. Read about it for yourself.
Fumo and Auspitz agree: pissing contests are the coolest [Inky]
Surprise, Surprise: David Auspitz and the ZBA think urban planning is a myth
Of high-rises and small-minded batshit crazies