Action Alert on Pending Stormwater Fee Exemption for Community Gardens

This November, you have an opportunity to support your community garden and gardens around the city. Come out to a Water Rates Board hearing during the week of November 14th.

Last June, Mayor Kenney signed a law passed by City Council that allows community gardens a special discounted rate for stormwater management services.

The Water Rate Board determines stormwater charges for every property in the city. It will soon decide how much each community garden needs to pay. http://www.phila.gov/water/rateboard/Pages/2016Special.aspx

The Philadelphia Water Department has asked the Rate Board to discount garden stormwater fees 100%. We are asking for the same full exemption so that community gardens will not need to pay onerous stormwater fees every month.

What you can do to advocate for a full exemption from stormwater fees:

Attend one of the following Water Rate Board public hearings:

  • Monday, November 14, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, at the Community Room of Villas Del CARIBE, 167 W. Allegheny Ave.
  • Wednesday, November 16, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, at City Hall, Room 201, Broad and Market streets.
  • Friday, November 18, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, at Fumo Library, 2437 S. Broad St.

Together we can make an impact by turning out a crowd at each hearing. You can present public testimony about the burden this fee creates for your garden and the community benefits that your garden provides.

If you do not want to speak, join us to fill the room and to display the importance of the exemption for gardeners across the city. Please let us know that you plan to attend a hearing at http://neighborhoodgardenst.polldaddy.com/s/planning-to-attend-a-stormwater-exemption-fee-hearing.

If you are unable to attend any of the meetings, you can submit written testimony to Gemela.McClendon@phila.gov.

Up next: Stay tuned for the opportunity to advocate for gardens with the new Philadelphia Land Bank! Details to come.

Questions? Please contact:

Amy Laura Cahn, The Public Interest Law Center at acahn@pubintlaw.org

Jenny Greenberg, Neighborhood Gardens Trust at ngtrust@pennhort.org