36 Unit Drug Treatment Facility Slated for Penn and Harrison

The main presentation at the June 7th Frankford Civic Association meeting was by David Orphanides on behalf of the Harry Patel, owner of the Quickie Mart at Frankford and Unity.  A zoning application and liquor licencing is in the works to allow for beer sales at the Mart.  The owner says he needs to the new business to stay competitive.  The result would be a remodeled Quickie Mart with indoor seating for over thirty with tables and chairs where you can eat in or take out.  There was some fervent discussion on both sides of the issue.  Mr. Patel is seeking community support for the change.

The possible opening of the property at Hawthorne and Margaret Sts. formerly known at the T&T bar as a bodega has been dropped and another more community friendly use is being explored.

Manny Citron of PhillyRising talked about CLIP citations which are now coming out as the summer growing season arrives.  CLIP gets complaints and send and investigator to see if your grass it too high or whatever.  If the investigator issues you a notice at that first inspection, it is not a citation.  He will be back in ten days to see if corrective action has been taken.  At the second visit, he may issue a citation.  You should appeal that citation by calling the L&I Review Board at 215-686-2428.

Jason Dawkins of Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez office announced that zoning has approved the application of an institution to open

4834 Penn Street

a 36 unit drug rehab facility for men at 4834 Penn Street (corner of Penn and Harrison).  No community input was heard by the zoning board. An investigation is underway as to how this could be done behind the back of the Councilwoman’s office when it is publicly known that there is a moratorium on opening new facilities of this type in Frankford.

The next meeting of the Frankford Civic Association is on July 5th at Aria Health.

Editorial comment

The 4800 block of Penn Street is a quiet residential block and is not the appropriate location for a facility housing 36 men in recovery.  Frankford has carried a disproportionate share of the burden of rehab and other neighborhoods need to start carrying their share of the load.  The argument will be made that the facility is located where it is needed.  The reason why we have so many people in recovery in Frankford is that for years the facilities have been put here.  If they start locating them on Society Hill or Chestnut Hill then the need will suddenly be in those neighborhoods.

Last year a clinic tried to open in a commercial area of Holmesburg. It was passed by zoning but the neighborhood came together and it did not open.  The time to come together has arrived in Frankford.

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  • Lorraine Fortino

    Re: The drug treatment facility at 4834 Penn St. So who are the people responsible for “sneaking” this facility into Frankford?

  • Gil

    I first found out from the neighbors. Jason Dawkins says it is a non profit with a license in Lansdale. What moron at Zoning approved it, we do not, at this point, know. They should have come in there with some letters of community support. No zoning application notices were ever displayed on the property. The for sale sign is still up on the corner.

  • Lorraine Fortino

    Are you sure that no one from the Frankford Civic or the Frankford CDC was aware that this non profit wanted to open a drug treatment facility here in Frankford? I know the members of the Frankford Civic are dead set against more facilities like this in our area. Where does the Frankford CDC stand on this issue?

    The Bridge contacted the Frankford Civic and the Northwood Civic before they made plans to buy in Frankford.

    It’s possible that some one or some group “opened the door” for this non profit with a license in Lansdale. Or do you think they just picked Frankford at random?

  • Gil

    I just got back from the CDC and they had no advanced notice. The Civic was also surprised as far as I can see. The CDC stands with the community to oppose the use of that property. I agree with you that nothing happens out of the blue and I want to know who has betrayed Frankford by opening this door.

  • nw resident

    The Northwood Civic Assn. was notified about this through Mr. Dawkins on Monday 6/4. The civic pledged our support to assist the Frankford Civic in keeping this facility from opening; and help Mr. Dawkins in any way they can. I pass this property almost daily and never once saw a zoning notice in place; I did however notice the ever growing number of loiterers who gather here on a daily basis. This activity is even evident when you do a street view of the property on google maps. It’s high time the residents of Frankford/Northwood control our neighborhood so it’s history and future can be enjoyed by those of us who ‘pay it’s bills’. So our kids can go outside and enjoy the parks with their friends. It’s time that everyone stops pretending they don’t see these nuisance ‘drug treatment facilities’ being opened in the middle of one of the cities largest open-air drug markets; which is the fuel for these properties.

  • Lorraine Fortino

    I’m very glad to hear that the Frankford CDC is opposed to this property being used as a drug treatment center. I hope the CDC will work with the Frankford Civic and the Northwood Civic in trying to stop this from happening. I also agree that we need to find out who encouraged this group to operate in Frankford.

    Unfortunately we have many non profit organizations here in Frankford that are making money from the drug industry ( and make no mistake – these drug treatment centers are all part of the “drug industry”). It may be difficult to flush out the people responsible for this latest treatment facility. Who was responsible for bringing the drug treatment facility on the corner of Orthodox and Penn Sts.?

    Holmesburg is a great example of what can happen when the community comes together. Can this happen in Frankford?

  • nw resident

    Not sure if they can; but I would hope that every person affiliated with the Frankford H.S. will come out and help prevent this project from maturing. Do we really need this across the street from our High School? The kids in this area have enough struggles with what they see everyday; they need to know that we as a community are doing everything we can to give them a chance at being the best they can be. I don’t care how they sugarcoat this project; it is not a medical facility.

  • Lorraine Fortino

    The community of Holmesburg consists of many long time residents and homeowners. Therefore they cared enough about their community to fight that treatment facility from moving into Holmesburg. Frankford use to be a community of long time residents. However, Frankford has become a transient neighborhood. Many of the new residents of Frankford are here because of:
    . Section 8 housing
    . Drug Treatment Facilities
    . Redevelopment in other areas of Philly
    . Open market drug traffic

    Once we (the community) sat by and let N.E.T. move into the 4600 block of Frankford Ave. we allowed the flood gates to open with regard to drug treatment centers and recovery homes. Think about how many of these facilities have moved into our area since N.E.T. has been here. And has the drug traffic become less or more since all these facilities have moved into our area?

  • jojy

    We have been in touch with the State to see how something like this could have happened in such an opaque manner. State Dept of Corrections has no record of activity there, neither does the Dept of Public Welfare.

    Waiting to hear back from the Dept of Health’s Drug & Alcohol Program Licensure. We need to mount community opposition to this ASAP, the media will be notified as well.

    jojy, chief of staff
    state rep Tony Payton JR.

  • nw resident

    Confirmed with Philly311 that this house is being worked on without any work permits. Logged a complaint and had a ticket # issued; no one from L&I has been out to the property so far from what I’ve been told. The 311 report was taken on June 28th. Notified City Council office of the 311 complaint that was filed. This property is going to add an even bigger problem to this neighborhood; which is not needed. Start calling and calling everyone in the city to prevent anyone from occupying this property. It has been labeled a problem by everyone representing us in the city and state; yet no one from L&I has been there to help our cause. They’re working around the clock inside this property to move people in; we need the same motivation.

  • Lorraine Fortino

    Who is the present owner of this property? The BRT records show the owner as James McCarraher of 6431 Oxford Ave. since 2000.