On October 9th, over one hundred Eastwick residents and supporters gathered at City Hall to stand up for Eastwick. Residents testified to the City Council Committee on Transportation and Public Utilities about rampant flooding in Eastwick, which has long gone unaddressed. The flooding issues were raised by residents at the June 12th Rules Committee hearing on the proposed rezoning of a 35 acre parcel on which Korman plans to build 722 rental units and 1000+ parking spaces. Among others, Richard Nalbandian, consulting geologist and environmental planner at M. R. Nalbandian and Associates, testified on October 9th that “if the rezoning and redevelopment plans currently being considered by the Philadelphia City Council are approved as they stand, the Council must be advised that both current and future residents will be placed at significant risk of physical and financial harm.” Law Center Staff Attorney Amy Laura Cahn testified that a pending settlement agreement between Korman, the City of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority is driving the City’s support of the proposed Korman project, to the detriment of the Eastwick community
After the hearing, District Councilperson Kenyatta Johnson stated to the press that the rezoning and associated property bills are not moving forward anytime soon.
As a result of the hearing, State Senator Anthony Williams issued a letter to City Council on October 12th expressing his opposition to the development until the consequences to the community can be properly assessed and solutions to the existing flooding identified. Senator Williams urged City Council to consider his and the community’s concerns about flooding; the lack of a cohesive, coordinated planning process that involves residents; and the impact on the Heinz Wildlife Refuge before moving forward with the development. Read Senator Williams’ full letter.