Though opponents sang the blues about parking issues and the impact on neighborhoods, zoning changes for a proposed Fishtown concert venue were approved by City Council's Rules Committee yesterday.

The proposed venue would hold 2,600 to 3,000 patrons with a wraparound balcony and 105 covered parking spaces, situated along the Delaware River, north of SugarHouse Casino.

The man behind the plans, David Grasso, told the Rules Committee that the area is a no-man's-land where criminals go to hide out or ditch cars.

Several people spoke out against the project, however, including a representative from the Fishtown Neighbors Association and J.J. Anderson Construction. Daniel P. McElhatton, an attorney for Anderson, said he believed that future Interstate 95 construction would limit the amount of parking areas that Grasso claims he has near the venue and could cause access issues for the construction company.

He also felt that the project would create an influx of parking in adjacent neighborhoods, and was a prime example of "spot zoning."

Grasso said he believed that the Live Nation venue could further promote waterfront development, however, and is a reason to extend a trolley up Delaware Avenue to the venue at Girard.

- Jason Nark