At the meeting on Tuesday January 15th, the civic voted to not support the request for a variance for 5260 Castor Ave. The owner, Hazel Williams, was represented by her attorney Michael Etkin at the meeting. Etkin made the case for the variance for the 1st floor of the building to be used as a hair salon. The property has a single family dwelling on the 2nd and third floor and the first floor was formerly used as a video rental store. It has now been vacant for 6 years. Since the property is zoned RM1 it requires a variance for any commercial use. The vote by the members of the civic was unanimous (although several members were sympathetic to the applicant). The reason for the no vote is to preserve the residential nature of the community.
In other other news at the meeting, one member attended with a sack full of bandit signs which she has been removing from every utility pole she see advertising to buy your junk car. Bandit signs are illegal and yet the city seems to continue to take a blind eye to the problem. It is estimated that if this one violator was fined for every illegal sign it would total over a half million dollars. Joe Krause, president of the civic, has been on a personal crusade against the bandits and spoke with the member after the meeting. Let the word go out to the people at 215-740-6116, your signs are coming down in Northwood.
The situation with illegal parking of cars being sold in the 900 block of Foulkrod Street continues. The cars come and go and take up parking that the residents need.
Erica Smith Fichman, of Tree Philly spoke briefly about their programs. Tree give away program the last two years was a big success at 2nd Baptist and should be available again this year. Information will be available as the events are finalized.
Lou Grow presented for Turning Points for Children as he did at last week’s Frankford Civic meeting. You can find a link to their community forum scheduled for February 13th here.
Christopher Pienkowski, representing Councilman at Large David Oh spoke was present and spoke regarding the Councilman’s interest in Northwood. While not directly representing the community, a Councilman at Large represents everyone and so wants to let the community know he is available to them in whatever way to help.
Progress continues on the Northwood Community Y with the electricity now turned on. Volunteers have stepped forward to work on the electrical issues in the building and the mansion section of the property is now on the market for a rental tenant.
The next meeting of the Northwood Civic Association will be on Tuesday February 19th at 7PM at St. James Lutheran Church at Pratt St. and Castor Avenue.