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Northwood Civic Meeting Update

We saw some progress on the Simpson playground mess at the Northwood Civic meeting on Tuesday, August 20th.  Jason Dawkins, speaking for Councilwoman Sanchez, explained the issue of funding the repairs to the closed building at Simpson.  The total required is over $500,000 to make the building safe again.  Normally those funds would come from the Council rep for the area which is Darrell Clarke.  However due to redistricting, Clarke will turn Northwood over to Councilwoman Sanchez in 2015.  Clarke is reluctant to spend all that money on people who will only be his constituents for another year.

Councilwoman Sanchez has been in talks with Clarke to share the cost of repairs and they agree in principle and are now negotiating the relative amounts.  Jason expects the impasse to be resolved and repairs will be made.

In other news at the meeting:

  • Jason also updated the group on Arts Place grant which was awarded to the City Planning Commission for Frankford.  Over $300,000 will be spent on public art and other improvements.  The public will have some input in how a portion of those funds will be spent.  More news on this will be rolled out in September.
  • Dawkins also reported that an application for a grant for a study of possible uses of the Bromley mansion has been made.  This is the Y building and the grant would be for $210,000 to have the study done with the intention of then finding funds to follow the recommendations.
  • Tim Savage, referred to proposed legislation by behalf of State Re. Clay  that would tax lottery winnings to benefit public schools in Pennsylvania.  Our state is one of the few that does not tax lottery winnings and if the legislation is enacted it would raise in the area of $700 million dollars.
  • Savage also noted the upcoming Town Hall meeting on the subject of recovery houses in Frankford scheduled for September 19th at 6PM at Aria Hospital.  At present there is no zoning code nor state regulations to control the number of these facilities in Frankford.  There is no control over the quality of the service provided.  Given the negative impact of the over abundance of these facilities in Frankford, everyone should consider attending.  In addition, Rep. Clay has instituted a hot line for residents to report illegal recovery houses to his office.  The number is 215-744-7901.
  • Kudos to 311 when one resident called about bandit signs in Northwood, she noted city employees taking them down the next day.
  • There has been a break in at the Y building and some radiators were stolen.  Observant neighbors called the police and the thieves were apprehended.

The next meeting of the Northwood Civic Association will be on Tuesday, September 17th at 7PM at St. James Lutheran Church at Pratt and Castor.




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Northwood Civic Association Meeting Update

The Northwood Civic Association met on Tuesday July 16th with about 15 people attending.  There were no active zoning cases to discuss but the Board has taken action on an old issue concerning 5260 Castor Avenue.  The owner applied for a variance for a beauty salon.  The civic had previously voted to oppose that use.  The owner made a presentation at a board meeting which included detailed plans and also signed petitions from local residents and businesses in support of the change.  The Board then voted to send a letter on non opposition since it was clear the zoning board would approve the variance.

In other matters:

  • The owner of the property at Dyre and Leiper is applying for a variance to use the property as a church.  The owners are expected to present details at the next civic meeting.
  • Simpson playground pool did open this year using porta potties and so far there have been no problems.  Attempts to contact the city agency to get a timeline on permanent repairs lead to no answers.  They claim there is no money to fix the problem.
  • The neighborhood Security Patrol has discontinued operation. The civic will explore other options.
  • Bandit signs are back all over Northwood.

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