The word had been going around that there would be a new, important issue to discuss at this month’s Northwood civic, so I got there early to get a seat close to the action. By ten of seven Fox 29 had arrived so I figured the story must have been true. There was a larger crowd than usual when Barry Howell called the meeting to order.
Fox took the time before the meeting to conduct a few interviews. If they air I’ll post a link to them later.
Some old business related to the proposal to purchase the Frankford Y by a group of investors came first. Northwood Civic does not support the deal as it is presently understood and will petition Orphans Court for an audit of the books the Y. They have concerns related to the potential sale to a “for profit” corporation and the disposition of the assets of the Y should a sale go through.
They are continuing their pursuit of some nuisance tenants on behalf of some property owners in Northwood.
The hot issue at the meeting is the sale of a house at 4871 Roosevelt Boulevard to Volunteers of America Delaware Valley. As you can see from their web site they offer a variety of services. The house is in the Burke deed restricted area and as such cannot be used for anything other than single family occupancy. The house is presently being renovated for some purpose. Efforts to determine the exact purpose of the renovations have been unsuccessful so far.
The Civic intends to make the new owners aware of the deed restriction and see what their position will be. If necessary, the Civic will organize the homeowners in the surrounding area in filing a lawsuit to stop the intended use. Councilperson Sanchez and Representative Payton are board in their opposition to any use that would violate the deed restriction.
At the end of the meeting Barry noted that Northwood is blessed by many very large homes that are coming on to the market. Given today’s lifestyle, with smaller families, the demand for those homes as single family residences is not as great as it was when they are built. This makes them an attractive target for groups who would like to use them for other purposes. The community has to be extremely vigilant in order to control that situation and keep it from happening. Fortunately in the deed restricted area, there is legal way to combat those who would break up those homes or convert them to other uses.
Barry also noted that if the community does not support the Civic with membership, the financial means to wage these battles will not be there when it is needed. At present there are only 18 active dues paying members. You can’t expect the Civic to function at that level of membership.
If I lived in Northwood I would be a member. If you live in Northwood, you should be a member. They need your dues and your support.