Along the Manayunk Canal
 

Lower Venice Island: PWD Storage Tank & Venice Island Recreation Center

View Final Plan: www.destinationschuylkillriver.org/docs/venice_island.pdf

Issues discussed at Community Meetings to create the Plan:

  • Location:
    • Regardless of when it will actually begin or how long it will take, the EPA mandate dictates that the construction of the basin is non-negotiable, while its location on the island is more flexible.In the early community meeting that took place in February 2005, the location of the retention basin was at issue.Three choices were presented, with a fourth alternative resulting from community discussions, although no final location has been specified by the Philadelphia Water Department.

 

 

  • Recreation & Greenspace:
    • No matter where the retention basin is located, construction would require the demolition of all of the current recreational facilities located on this portion of the island in addition to the displacement of the over 300 existing parking spaces.
    • With widespread development taking place in Manayunk and Roxborough, access to green and recreational space is already threatened.
    • While many of the recreation facilities on the island are in disrepair (due in part to their location in the floodway), the Manayunk Sports and Social Club hosts some 3,500 people from the 19127 and 19128 zip codes alone with an additional 7,500 people participating from zip codes outside of the local area.Turning more recent community discussions to concerns regarding where these recreational facility needs will be met during the approximately 2 years while the basin is being constructed and during the time it will take on top of this to build new facilities.
    • The big question always came back to ….who is going to pay for building new recreational facilities?The Water Department, in an attempt to work collaboratively with the community (a first effort of its kind in Philadelphia), has promised $3 million for the construction of a new recreation center and of new recreational facilities.The details remain to be fleshed out.
  • Parking:
    • But, if you replace all of the recreational facilities existing on the island now and add a new, larger recreation center, there is not enough space to provide the area and Manayunk Main Street businesses in particular, with much needed parking.The solution as the Andropogon Master Plan lays it out is to create a two story structure from Cotton Street to Lock Street that has parking throughout the ground level.
    • In this plan, recreation facilities (including street hockey, basketball, playgrounds, recreation center and performing arts space) would be on the second floor as well as a greened roof top to address the need for greenspace.
    • The idea is that by raising the recreation facilities to the second story they will be out of the floodway’s potential dangerous and heavily wearing high, turbulent waters.
    • The southern tip of the island, under this plan, is left at ground level, greened, and has docks added to allow for waterfront access.

The idea is to try to get the community to come to a consensus so that the community can then work to leverage the political support it needs to see that its best interests are taken into account in upcoming development.

For more information on the project or to get on the mailing list regarding upcoming meetings, please e-mail us at fmc@manayunkcanal.org.