Friday, August 12, 2005

More debates over the definition of "progress"

Close on the heels of debates over the changing fate of West Philadelphia (see here), another neighborhood is greeting prospects of new development with mixed feelings: Brewerytown. Concerns about emininent domain and hungry developers are again running up against the lure of rising property values and neighborhood revitalization.
Hanna admits that Alston, the antigentrification activist, raises legitimate concerns about displacement and rising property taxes. Black residents have historically been bullied out of their homes to make way for stadiums and condos for the rich, Hannah says.

Councilman Clarke has introduced two bills to address those fears. One would allow longtime homeowners to defer paying property taxes if they rise due to gentrification. Another would cap the percentage by which property taxes can rise in a year.
The themes of these stories feels similar, although each plays out in a different way.
(See Grey's Ferry story here.)


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