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Northwood Civic Meeting 2/21/2012

Ian Litwin - Community Planner

Frankford in 2035 was on the agenda at the Northwood Civic meeting on Tuesday with a presentation made by Ian Litwin, a community planner with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.  Litwin explained that the lower northeast planning district will now be the focus of the planning process for Philadelphia2035.  That process will begin with a meeting at Friends Hospital on April 3rd at 6PM.  Subsequent meetings will result in a draft plan for the district in the Fall.

During each district plan, a Steering Committee will help guide the plan, facilitate information flow and review outreach efforts.  Chaired by Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s Project Manager, a Steering Committee is comprised of leaders of neighborhood groups, business groups, and institutions such as colleges or hospitals.  Steering Committees will meet on a monthly basis during a district plan.

Three public meetings in total will take place during each district plan.  Public meetings are designed to be available to all citizens in a district.  Advertised through community organizations, flyers, direct mailings and internet postings, the public meetings will update residents on the progress of the plan and seek public input.

The opportunity to have a voice in a plan that will ultimately shape the neighborhood of the future does not often come along.

In other news from the meeting, Joe Krause gave a brief treasurer’s report and announced that Renee Hudson will be acting Treasurer until at least next month.  Some records need to be sorted out and then a report for the last two years can be made public.

Joe Krause Presdent of Northwood Civic

Committees are still being formed and volunteers are needed.  Come to the civic meeting to get involved.

The illegal parking problem on Bridge Street discussed at the last meeting seems to have been resolved but members should continue to keep an eye on the situation.

Joe has made contact with the Frankford Civic to offer to work together toward common goals.

Joe Menkevich was recognized to talk about the Burk Deed restriction and offered copies of the relevant documents.  They are linked on our history page where you can download the pdf files for viewing.

One person attending was recognized and raised the issue of the poor condition of Greenwood Cemetery.  Significant improvements were made to the cemetery over the last two years but in the back over along the Castor Avenue side, it is still overgrown and people are going in there at night.  This is a link to a slide show we did in the fall that shows some of those conditions at that time.

Another resident complained about the new Northwood Academy Charter School building on Castor Avenue.  He said it looks much larger than was originally planned and looms over the neighborhood.  There are traffic concerns too in that there is no safe place for students to be picked up and discharged from the buses.  Joe Menkevich noted the presence of a vacant lot at 4601-19 Adams Avenue that might be utilized for a bus loading area.  State Rep. Tony Payton offered to pass along this information to Northwood Academy.  Joe Krause said he had a meeting scheduled with them and would bring the issue up at that time also.

Attending the meeting were our two State Representatives, John Taylor and Tony Payton.  They both spoke briefly about what is going on at the capitol and the problems of being in the legislature in this period of financial crisis.

The next meeting of the Northwood Civic Association will be on March 20th at 7PM at St. James Lutheran Church at Pratt Street and Castor Avenue.



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Northwood’s Burk Deed Restrictions


My father snagged a Burk Deed Restriction handout from last night’s Northwood Civic Association meeting.  I’ve never been able to find anything on the internet about it and its such a shame because it’s probably the greatest asset that community has.  I’m kinda fuzzy on the history so if a reader wants to correct me, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll correct it.  As far as I know, all properties built within the deed restricted area are required to be single family houses.  This forbids corner stores, duplexes and commercial properties.  But from what I undertand, doctors are aloud to have their offices in their houses, that’s why you might see doctor signs up.

I had known that the restriction existed in the triangle of Oxford-Harrison-Castor, but I didn’t know there was one on some blocks west of Castor, I wonder how Pat’s Cafe and that auto shop were able to be built.  Neast Philly recently reported that the Northwood Civic is planning legal action against any infringement on the deed restrictions which is sure to keep the neighborhood strong for years to come.

[PDF] burk deed restrictions