R.I.P. Old City Civic Association

Without a zoning committee and status as a Registered Community Organization, the Old City Civic Association (OCCA) has decided to call it quits entirely. PlanPhilly released a copy of a letter from former OCCA president Ryan Berley that was sent to Old City District’s Graham Copeland. Titled “Re: Old City Civic Association (OCCA) – Cessation of Business,” it reads:

I regret to inform you that at a special board meeting on May 6th, 2013, a board vote was taken to discontinue all civic and social activities and to cease doing business as OCCA, as the Association can no longer afford the risk of liability associated with its mission.

This difficult and painful decision is driven by the lack of insurance coverage.

Consequently, going forward, the entity formerly known as OCCA will play no role nor participate in any decisions relative to land-use, zoning, planning, licensing, permitting, historic preservation, enforcement of regulation or code, nor conduct any other business as OCCA.

At this time I wish to express my sincere gratitude for your support of our work over the past 35 years that the OCCA has endeavored to preserve, protect and improve the Old City residential and business community.

We reported earlier on the insurance coverage Berley refers to, which protects a civic association from SLAPP lawsuits filed by developers. Meanwhile, some civic associations in town worry about what this means for them, while others continue on without RCO status.

Old City Civic Association, 1973-2013 [PlanPhilly]

News of Old City group’s demise sends chill down city’s civic spine [PlanPhilly]