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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”.

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Yesterday’s Frankford Civic Meeting

NEast Philly has a summary about the discussions going on about recovery houses.  Also among new business discussed was the opening of Chinese Restaurant on the northeast corner of Torresdale and Bridge and a new market on the corner of Frankford and Church.  The market seemed to be met with some approval.

Jason Dawkins from Counselwoman Sanchez’s office made a presentation about a new recycling program that’s being started.  The information is contained in this recycling flyer.  The recycling signup sheet is here.

He also discussed the recently extended ex offender program and the recently rehabilitated cleaning up on Frankford Ave.

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Pocket Parks

Jason Dawkins, of Ms. Sanchez staff, spoke this month at the Frankford Civic about organizing community groups to adopt a pocket park.  John Loftus, in this weeks Northeast Times, gives the issue the full treatment.  Have a look here.  There is a meeting at the second Baptist this Monday to talk about it.

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Frankford Civic Association Meeting

The meeting last night on the second floor at Aria Health was well attended despite the cold temperatures.

First issue on the agenda was a zoning issue regarding a house owned by Pastor Richard Smith of the Faith Assembly of God.  He is seeking to renew his zoning variance on a property at 1930 Harrison Street to house up to eight men.  A number of people from the congregation attended and there was testimony at the meeting of the pastor’s dedication to helping men in need.

Another zoning issue was related to the application to build a storage facility for a contractor at 4205-07 Adams Avenue.  This applicant appeared at a previous meeting and the project is moving along.

In regard to the possible sale of the now vacant Frankford Community Y building, Jason Dawkins of Ms. Sanchez staff reports that the issue is still on the table but the attorney for the parties involved say that funding is still not in place.  That was the reason why they did not appear at the last Civic meeting.

The issue of the sale of the Salvation Army building has been reported and there has been no change in status.  It is significant to note that the Pols offices are both taking a proactive stance in trying to make sure that any sale that does take place will be in the best interests of the community.

The big news at the meeting was revealed by Barry Howell, president of the Northwood Civic Association.  He announced that Community Behavioral Health, contracted by the City of Philadelphia, is opening up a recovery house at 4871 Roosevelt Boulevard.  This would violate the Burk deed restriction which prohibits use of the property for anything other than a single family residence.

So now the city government has turned on us.  The city where you pay taxes is going to war against us.

Barry requested that someone from Frankford Civic attend the Northwood Civic meetings in the future.  This fight will require a coordinated  effort by by both Civics.  Why is this important when there are so many other recovery houses in Frankford?  Because there are so many recovery houses in Frankford. There are far more than the number of people in Frankford needing those services.

It’s time again to stand together and so no more.   Check out the report on