The meeting of the Frankford Civic Association covered quite a few issues, so I haven’t had the time to report on an important piece of news that did come out. When the Frankford Special Services District (FSSD) came into being several years ago it included a zoning overlay. That was to take some control over what types of businesses would open up in the district. When the FSSD legislation expired in December of 2005 the zoning overlay also expired.
The city law department has determined that since the FSSD has now been resurrected, the zoning overlay is also now in effect. The result is that the community once again has some influence over the opening of certain types of businesses. This places a greater burden on the board of the Frankford Civic as our representatives in these zoning issues. There will be more cases that they will have to review.
It also makes it imperative that the Civic, State Rep and City Councilperson work together on these issues. Can we count of all of these folks working together for the bettement of Frankford?
You wouldn’t think this nice little building would be a source of controversy. The Frankford Day Nursery (4445 Penn Street) served the community for close to 100 years and now is closed and up for sale. At the recent town hall meeting, some residents expressed concern that it was being converted to a transitional residence of some kind. Both state representative Tony Payton and councilperson Maria Quinones-Sanchez said they knew nothing of such plans but would look into the rumor.
At the Frankford Civic meeting last night, the operators of the Joy of Living recovery house attended and talked about their plan to use the day nursery building as a recovery house. They had been in contact with Tony Payton’s office and in fact had some kind construction permit.
So there was some confusion in Tony’s office about what to do and how to do it. When this expansion of the Joy of Life services was being planned, the operators should have come to the Frankford Civic to discuss the issue. It would have been good if Tony’s office had told them about it.
New Rule: You don’t open a drug related facility in Frankford without getting community support from the Frankford Civic Association.
A town hall meeting was held in Frankford Tuesday night at St. Joachims in the parish hall. You will find many opinions from those in attendance at to the success of the meeting. Some folks were at the meeting with the belief that it was to discuss the conversion of the old Frankford Day Nursery into another half way house. This was not the case and that misunderstanding should fall on the organizers of the meeting.
The meeting appeared to have been hastily organized but that impression may have come from incorrect or little information available before hand. However the outcome of the meeting was an acknowledgment by councilperson Maria Quinonez-Sanchez that yes Frankford has a serious problem and it is going to take some work to fix it.
Sounds like a commitment to me. There is no magic wand that will solve the kind of problem we have in Frankford. The decision to actually adddress it will do for me. Drugs are a part of modern life and several folks at the meeting spoke out that we are not against the services being offered to the poor souls hooked on drugs. We are opposed to being the main location for all these services. That has to end.
Next we need to enforce the existing laws and regulations to shut down those services that are not run properly. And finally we have to go after those flop houses that exploit these folks, take their money and do nothing for them. They are sucking the sould out of the community and deserve to be run out of town.
How can you help? Report every flop house you know to the councilperson’s office and let them find out if they are licensed. 215-686-3448 or 3449.
Now thanks to Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Tony Payton. Also, as I was listening to the tape tonight I think I heard that a representative from Senator Specter’s office was in attendance. If so, thanks Arlen. If I missed anybody, let me know pols.
Regular readers will know that I was more than a little miffed when Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez bailed on the Friends of Overington Park’s Tree Planting, leaving me hungry for the cookies and orange juice she promised. But boy did she come through at last night’s town hall meeting. She promised better interaction with city agencies, a more streamlined communication with our civic associations, and attentiveness when residents bring problem properties to her attention. But she guaranteed tastiness coming through with that spread. If she never does another thing for Frankford(or ever starts), her heroics calling in the snack foods will long be remembered.