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Cedar Park Neighbors guiding principles for development

Building upon the “Future of the Neighborhood” survey results and Baltimore Avenue conversation, the Development Impact Task Force crafted development principles in the spring to aid our group, the Zoning Committee and Board towards guiding how the neighborhood grows and evolves. CPN developed the principles for both residential and commercial development that encourages investment in the community. Below are some of the principles.

Overarching Principles

Commercial development should add value and enhance the quality of life

As a community with a rich history and bright future, CPN prefers new residential and commercial development that adds value and meets unmet needs versus development for development’s sake. New residential or commercial developers should be able to talk about how their project will contribute to the community as a whole and specifically how the project will serve/enhance the quality of life for all neighbors.

Development should serve those of different backgrounds

Cedar Park residents value diversity in all forms and are particularly interested in new commercial and residential development that welcomes people of different races, classes, ages, sexual orientation and ability. New residential or commercial developers should be able to talk about how their project will contribute to the community as a whole and specifically how the project will serve/enhance the quality of life for neighbors of different backgrounds.

Value locally owned businesses and organizations

Cedar Park residents believe that locally-owned businesses (businesses owned by local residents and businesses with a history of involvement with the neighborhood) play a vital role in Cedar Park’s sustainable economic development. CPN values the presence of locally owned and operated businesses, institutions, and non-profit organizations and wants to support their continued success.

Commercial Principles

Development should complement existing stock       

Development should maintain or respect existing character of blocks, but more diversity already exists along the commercial corridor. Development is preferred that complements existing stock especially in terms of scale, proportion and architectural features, but higher density is preferred along the commercial corridor.

Street level development should encourage foot traffic      

Commercial development should make best use of street level space by housing operations there that encourage high-volume foot traffic, make best use of display windows, include signage and lighting and offer hours of operation that extend until at least 8pm.

Residential Principles

 Commercial activities should generally not occur on residential blocks and be focused along commercial corridors. There is however existing precedence for some “corner stores” within residential areas.

Respect character of residential blocks

Residential development should maintain or respect existing character of blocks and the scale of building stock. Aesthetic consistency is of a higher importance within residential blocks, particularly with regard to architectural features such as porches, bay windows, and detail and building lines.

Here is a link to the full development principles.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email contact at cedarparkneighbors dot org

David Hincher

Chair, CPN Development Impact Task Force

Help us with the future of Cedar Park survey

A lot of changes have been happening in our neighborhood. Cedar Park Neighbors is a community association representing all residents in our neighborhood. And the board of directors has asked for your help figuring out what role to play as the neighborhood undergoes change.

It’s an exciting time

We’re attracting new residents. People are buying and fixing up blighted property. Some great new businesses have opened up.

But there is also anxiety about the rate of change, especially as rents have gone up, and some residents will face property tax bills that they can’t afford.

The kind of change Cedar Park is experiencing today generates issues about things like affordability, zoning, land use, parking, education, and quality of life. Cedar Park Neighbors is frequently asked by its members to respond to these kinds of concerns.

Additionally, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission has asked Cedar Park Neighbors and other community organizations to give input on its new plan for Southwest Philadelphia and University City. In order to best represent your interests, the board will also use survey responses to guide participation in a city-led planning process. Cedar Park Neighbors will not be writing or creating a plan of its own.

Help make the survey results as meaningful and representative and forward the survey to everyone you know in the neighborhood and reach out to neighbors who do not have internet access. In addition to this online survey, a print version will be distributed through a network of block captains.

We need your help figuring out how to best represent the interests of all neighbors. Please take this survey to share your thoughts:



Also a printable pdf version of the survey is available here:

June Newsletter is out

View it here as a online flip book coutesy of issuu.com

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June 7: Next Steps in the Baltimore Avenue Conversation

Tuesday, June 7 at 7:00pm
People’s Baptist Church, 5039 Baltimore Avenue

Continuing on last year’s community conversation to revitalize Baltimore Avenue from 49th – 52nd Streets, the Community Design Collaborative and Cedar Park Neighbors want to gather the community to discuss next steps. The discussion will include a brief summary of the finalized report from last year and an update to the neighborhood on some initial efforts to move it forward.

Following this introduction, there will be brief presentations on the following community desires: senior/affordable housing, building facade improvements, fresh food grocery, greening the corridor, and garden center.

Speakers will include a representative from Friends Rehabilitation about the steps in the process involved in building senior/affordable housing with examples from projects they have built around Philadelphia. Joe McNulty, Cedar Park resident and Baltimore Ave. commercial corridor coordinator for the University City District, will talk about how commercial facade improvement programs work, what sorts of local and state grants and programs are available for Baltimore Ave. businesses. Leah Pillsbury from Mariposa Food Co-op will present information about their plan to expand their store to Beulah Tabernacle building at 49th and Baltimore, including expanding membership to new members, a larger store, more open shopping hours for non-members. Stephanie Chiorean from the Philadelphia Water Department will be speaking on greening plans for the City of Philadlephia and about their ambitious new plans to change the way Philadelphia manages storm water run-off. Danielle Denk will present about a new proposal to possibly bring a Garden Center to some of the empty lots at 51st and Baltimore.

We hope to see you there. Please feel free to invite all of your neighbors for what should be a very informative event.

For further information on the Baltimore Avenue Conversation please contact
Cedar Park Neighbors at 267-531-4147 or contact@cedarparkneighbors.org

Also please check out the Baltimore Avenue Community Corridor Design Study yourself online.


The link above has the entire study produced by the Community Design Collaborative with the help and input of everyone who came out and participated in the Baltimore Avenue Conversation project. You can view and flip through the book of the study online or download a copy for yourself at the link above. Thanks again for everyone who came out and provided input to the process.

Community Meeting on Outdoor Café Seating

Councilwoman Blackwell invites neighbors to a community meeting on outdoor café seating for Gojjo, Aksum, Dock Street and Elena’s Soul Food.

When: Wed, Apr 27, 7pm
Where: Elena’s Soul Food (4912 Baltimore Ave. 2nd floor)

Annual CPN Board Election Meeting:
“What’s Happening on the Ave?”

Monday, April 25th, 7pm
@ the Calvary Community Center (48th & Baltimore)

(The Calvary will be open early (at 6pm) for voting.
Voting ends at 7:30 and results are announced at the end of the meeting.)

Please join Cedar Park Neighbors for our annual board elections and a presentation on what’s happening on Baltimore Ave.

“What’s Happening on the Ave?” speakers and topics will include:

  • Leah Pillsbury, Capital Campaign Coordinator at Mariposa
    – Mariposa Food Co-op’s Expansion Project
  • Vince Whittacre, Gold Standard Cafe co-owner and BABA member (Baltimore Ave Business Assoc)
    – New businesses and BABA’s proposal for sidewalk seating.
  • Algernong Allen, CPN Board Member and owner of Elena’s Soul
    – Upcoming CPN summer festivities (Jazz in the Park, etc.)
  • Maureen Tate, Baltimore Ave Conversation Volunteer
    – Summary on the Baltimore Ave Conversation and possible next steps


Baltimore Avenue Conversation – CDC presentation of final recommendations

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Baltimore Avenue Conversation Continues
with the CDC presentation of their final recommendations
… this Wed, Oct 6 -OR- Sat, Oct 9

Many residents, organizations and businesses came together in the spring for a series of workshops to begin to imagine a revitalized Baltimore Avenue from 49th St. – 52nd St. With a volunteer team from the Community Design Collaborative, we prioritized some ideas and reviewed preliminary design study recommendations for the area. Our ideas and feedback have now been incorporated into a final report that will be presented to the community.

Join us for a community presentation of the Baltimore Avenue Community Corridor Design Study:

Wednesday, October 6 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, October 9 at 10:00 am
People’s Baptist Church
5039 Baltimore Avenue

(Note: The same presentation will be made at both sessions)

The session will include a presentation on the final recommendations of the Community Design Collaborative, an opportunity for further discussion and feedback as well as consideration of next steps we might take to further some of our ideas.

For further information about the Baltimore Avenue Conversation please contact Cedar Park Neighbors at 267-531-4147; contact@cedarparkneighbors.org

Baltimore Ave. Conversation Project Input Round 2

Wed, 4/21 @ 7pm – OR – Sat, Apr 24th @ 10am (choose one)
Baltimore Ave Conversation Continues!

Join the Community Design Collaborative
at the People’s Baptist Church, 5039 Baltimore Ave

The CDC has taken all our thoughts and comments on the neighborhood from the previous workshops and outreach and have some ideas both big and small for us to consider. They will present these initial thoughts on what Baltimore Ave between 49th – 52nd St. could become if we choose and they want your feedback.

* What ideas do you like?
* What is missing from this vision?
* What ideas concern you?
* What ideas are on the right track but still need a little work?

We want all area residents and business owners to be a part of this unique collaborative community conversation. Please invite your neighbors!

To read background on this conversation, click here.

Hope to see you there!


Let’s have a conversation … What would you like to see on Baltimore Ave., 49th – 52nd Streets?

Cedar Park Neighbors (CPN) is hosting a conversation about Baltimore Avenue and we hope you will participate.  We have been working hard with others on neighborhood improvements. However, the portion of Baltimore Ave., 49th St. – 52nd St., once a thriving business district, has fallen on hard times.  What improvements do you imagine for this area of our community?  We are seeking input through this questionnaire and a series of community workshops.   CPN is pleased to be working with the Community Design Collaborative, a volunteer based community design center, on this listening process with community residents, businesses and organizations.

Let us know your thoughts. Please print out this questionnaire and return by Feb 20th – or better yet, bring it with you to the to the Informational Meeting on Feb 17th at 7pm at the People’s Baptist Church, 5039 Baltimore Avenue.

CPN submitted a proposal to the Community Design Collaboration (Collaborative), a volunteer based community design center that provides pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations.  We are pleased the Collaborative has decided to work with us in conducting a listening process with community residents, businesses and organizations about what we would like to see on Baltimore Avenue from 49th St. – 52nd St.  The Collaborative provides a team of architects and planners who will listen to input from the community in order to generate a consensus on priorities for improvements for these three blocks.  The Collaborative previously worked with neighbors in a similar process to develop a design for the newly renovated Cedar Park at 50th Street, now once again a much enjoyed community green space.


There will be one information meeting and two open community workshops.  The Collaborative team will listen to ideas from neighbors, business and organizations and then take our ideas and produce a set of conceptual designs.  The designs are only for the purpose of envisioning and clarifying possibilities, imagining what could be.  These designs could involve ideas for new businesses, use of vacant land, housing, streetscape or other thoughts that come from participants.   This is only a listening process.  There are no investors or funding sources to implement the concept design that we come up with.   However, once neighbors get talking, there may be interest in forming a group to make some parts of the community’s vision a reality.


January:  Conversations with neighbors, businesses, and stakeholders along the three blocks of Baltimore Avenue to invite participation.

Wed, February 17, 7pm: Information meeting about the process.

Wed, February 24, 7pm & Sat, February 27, 10am: (Choose one)
First community workshop with the Community Design Collaborative for people to voice their hopes and concerns.  This is a key meeting for your voice to be heard.  Choose one date.

Wed, April 21, 7pm & Sat, April 24, 10am: (Choose one)
Second community workshop
when the Collaborative will present their draft design(s) for comment and feedback.   Choose one date.

June- June: The Collaborative writes a final report.  CPN hosts presentation to community.

Note: All meetings will be held at People’s Baptist Church, 5039 Baltimore Avenue.


What are we asking of you?

  • Participate in one information meeting and two community workshops.
  • Begin talking now with neighbors about what you imagine as improvements to these three blocks –  the buildings, the land, stores, streetscape etc.   What would you like to see?  What would you not like to see?

–       Residential use? Row homes or multistory? Small businesses?  A large chain store?

–       Mixed use – stores with housing above?

If there is wide agreement on the concept design, the plans can be used in a variety of ways to generate interest for further public and/or private investments.


Monica Allison, President, Cedar Park Neighbors

267-531-4147 or  contact <at> cedarparkneighbors <dot> org

POSTPONED - Baltimore Ave Informational Meeting - Wed 2/10

Due to the pending storm, we are POSTPONING this meeting by one week.

New date:

Wed, Feb 17, 7:00 pm
People’s Baptist Church, 5039 Baltimore Avenue