This past summer, City Paper featured a cover story by yours truly about development gone wild in North Central Philly, mostly around Temple University where a veritable gold rush to build student housing has been underway.
Among this reporter's findings were dozens, if not hundreds of instances of blatant violations of construction and other regulations:
Walk in any direction on almost any block between 19th Street and Broad near Temple’s campus and you’ll find plenty more where that came from: sites improperly fenced, dried cement in the gutters, piles of construction debris illegally dumped in city-owned vacant lots, construction sites without posted permits, permits without street accommodations, development without much regard for anyone — including, apparently, for the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections, which should be issuing violations for all of the above.
The Department of Licenses and Inspections did, at the time, say that it was stepping up enforcement efforts in the area -- but now it looks like there'll be a new fire burning under developers' feet: Today, the office of City Controller Alan Butkovitz announced a press conference set for tomorrow to discuss "a special review of construction activity in North Central Philadelphia, near Temple University."
Given the Controller's job of pointing out inefficiencies, misspending and city snafoos, the review isn't likely to be a "two thumbs up." We'll keep you posted.
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