In an, at times contentious, meeting of the Frankford Civic Association on April 4th, the membership voted unanimously to oppose the opening of a Crown Fried Chicken at 4731 Griscom Street. Turnout was unusually large with some members carrying signed petitions of opposition already circulated and in hand.
The owner’s representative made a presentation to the group for a variance for use of the property for take out service. Although the legal address is on Griscom Street the store would be located in what was formerly Lee’s shoe repair at Oxford and Griscom.
Residents of that block of Griscom Street spoke out vehemently against the variance. Gary and Sandra both cited the history of drugs and violence which plagued the area last year with 3 murders during that time. Recent months have shown improvement and they do not want to see a business open which they believe will lead to a return to the bad old days. They made it clear that the issue is not personal to this owner but would be the same for any business keeping late hours for take out food. These businesses belong on a commercial corridor and not at the end of a residential block.
In another case, the owner of 1728 Orthodox is seeking a variance to build a one story garage for storage of two small trucks and equipment used in his contracting business. He made his presentation but the membership voted to oppose that use although the vote was not unanimous. The objections centered on the fact that it is a busy residential block with occupied houses on both sides of the now empty lot.
There was a moment of silence at the beginning of the meeting to commemorate the loss of four board members since November of 2010. Thelma Young, Frances Clay, Kevin Walch and Steve McClintock all actively served to Civic. Representative James Clay, son of Frances Clay, also said a few words.
Penny Colgan-Davis, Principal of Frankford Friends School, spoke about some exciting plans for the school.
Zoning hearings for the properties discussed at this meeting will be held at the Zoning Board of Adjustment offices at 1515 Arch Street on the 18th floor on Wednesday April 17th . 1708 Orthodox Street is scheduled for 4PM. 4731 Griscom is scheduled for 5PM. The hearing is open to the public.
The next meeting of the Frankford Civic Association will be held on May 2nd at 7PM at Aria Hospital.