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Frankford Civic Association Meeting

The Frankford Civic met Thursday night at Aria Health (Frankford) at 7:00 PM.  The meeting called to order by Frances Clay and the minutes  from last month’s meeting were read by Brian Wisniewski.

The first item on the agenda was a zoning issue related to the property at 1845 Wakeling Street.  It is a commercial property presently zoned as residential.  It has never been a residence but now must be officially rezoned to be legal.  You can view the presentation made by Tom Citro, the expediter for the owner, at our YouTube channel.

Pete Specos went over a zoning issue regarding 4314 North Penn Street.  Owner wants to convert it to a two family dwelling.  The hearing is scheduled for next week.  The issue of 1715 Harrison Street from last months meeting was also discussed where the owner wants to convert if from a two family to three family dwelling.  The Civic issued a letter of opposition to the ZBA for that change.

Next up was Jason Dawkins of Councilwoman Sanchez office with an update on the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards program.  This program is a no brainer.  You get free stuff for your trash.  All you need to do is recycle.  The City saves money and you get something.  Recycling bins are available at Tony Payton’s (4665 Frankford Ave.) office and Tina Tartaglione’s office (Bridge and Large Streets) as well.

Jason also talked about the proposed Stakeholders/Town Hall meetings on the issue of recovery homes. The meetings may possibly be scheduled by the summer.  Some rational discussion about the recovery house issue followed.

The book he mentions (“How it works”) is available in our book store.

Mayor Nutter sent Lauren Vidas (Coordinator, External Affairs and Public Engagement at City of Philadelphia) , Dr. Don Schwartz (Health Commissioner) and Carl Williams (Deputy Streets Commissioner) to explain the budget options that have been proposed to close the 120 million dollar budget gap for fiscal year 2011.  The discussions focused on the proposed tax on sugar sweetened beverages and the trash collection tax.  They also made the point that the mayor is open to any reasonable proposal to increase revenues but at this point does not believe that further service cuts are possible or realistic.

This Saturday, park cleanups are scheduled all over Frankford.  Check the upcoming events for more information.  The next meeting of the Frankford Civic is scheduled for May 13th.  At that meeting, folks who would like to join the Civic and become a voting member may pay their annual dues of $10.00.  The Civic needs your support to continue doing the vital work that needs to be done.

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DA Seth Williams And Absentee Landlord Among Presenters At Tonight’s Civic Meeting

A standing room crowd showed up for a full agenda at tonight’s Frankford Civic meeting.  DA Seth Williams stopped by to discuss his office’s new iniative of assigning his assistant district attorneys to geographic areas.  He feels that this will allow them to better understand and relate to the needs of the community.  Sounds kinda like the police departments PSAs.  Here’s video of Seth talking about Frankford’s issues.

Also at the meeting, Jason Dawkins from counsel-woman Sanchez’s office spoke:

  • of her reservations about the obesity tax pending in counsel stating that coming from retail and small business, she was concerned about increased taxes hurt small business.
  • He also talked about Smedley school at Bridge and Charles Streets becoming a Renaissance school.  The plan proposes to turn around about 30 schools over the next three years by bringing in new leadership from education management organizations (EMOs), charter schools, or teams of District educators.
  • Spoke again of the city’s “Spring Into Your Park” cleanup scheduled for April 10th.  He has to possible projects and are looking for input
  • He’s got recycle bins, get into contact with him if you need one
  • tomorrow at Sankofa Freedom Academy at 1 pm, they have their rescheduled Black History Month presentation
  • THEY ARE PLANNING FOLLOWUP STAKEHOLDERS AND TOWN HALL MEETINGS ABOUT THE HALFWAY/DRUG HOUSE TASK FORCE! Remember the last one?  It was a year ago and apparently there’s been some steady progress.  No firm date has been set.

Carla Sastio came in to talk more about Philadelphia’s Recycling Rewards.

The business owner of 4102 Paul Street, sitting at the corner of Torresdale and Paul St, came in because he’s seeking a zoning for retail sales of aftermarket wheels and tires.  The place is currently zoned commercial but because he wants to be able to take the tires off of cars, it has to be zoned as auto repair.  There were concerns over where he would be storing all the tires after another tire joint burned down two of it’s neighboring houses.  His zoning hearing is March 9th at 2:30 pm.

The owner of 1715 Harrison Street came in looking to get zoning to convert it from a 2 family home to a 3 family home.  He stated he lives in New York and that he’s owned up to 100 properties in Philadelphia at one time.  He admitted to having one outstanding L&I violation for having key locks on every room which usually means its a being used as a boarding house.  He said 5 people were living there now.  The owner left after his presentation.  Later on Pete Specos spoke of taking 3 weeks and 4 letters to get into contact with the owner, and that there were 3 or 4 violations on the property.  He also said all three floors of the house were occupied and that when he went to the location, it was a “pig pen”.