Thursday, July 20, 2006

Breaking: David Auspitz and Vince Fumo vie for the revered title of Biggest Pompous Idiot/Gasbag in Philadelphia

The Barnes Tower dispute is back in the news. The developers have made some very worthwhile changes to the design. (Among them: “developers now plan to put all parking underground, move the entrance to 22nd Street, landscape the area where a fence would have stood, and possibly add street-level stores.” [CP])

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."

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."
After all, you ain’t representing Philadelphia if you don’t begin by yelling unintelligibly at everyone in your presence.
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.

"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.
David Auspitz has spoken people. Heed his wisdom.

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.

"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."
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.
He also said the developers were greedy and called them "piggish."

"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."
Aww, poor baby. Vince, why are your diapers all in a bunch?

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


Ruby Legs said...

Good for Fumo and Aupitz - someone needs to fight for the rights of alcoholics to a cheep beer in a seedy bar. I'm sure all the residents in that rapidly gentrifying neighborhood are going to be real upset to see all the toothles drunks that hang out in the B & W Sports Bar disappear from the neighborhood. Fairmont will never be the same.

Auspitz and Fumo are entirely disingenuous.

Chris said...

How dare a developer follow the law.