There was a good turnout for the meeting tonight with several new members signing up.
4271 Penn Street
First up was a presentation by Dawn Tancredi, Esquire representing Miosotis Jones. Ms Jones is applying for zoning to change the use of 4271 Penn Street (Penn and Ruan Streets) from single family to four unit occupancy. That would be made up of three one bedroom apartments and one studio apartment. She is requesting a letter of support from the Civic. The presentation was well done and the zoning officer will do some further investigation, the board will vote and a decision will be made within 7 days. There was some community support for the change present at the meeting.
The operator of a family day care home in the 5100 block of Torresdale Avenue is looking for a letter of support for her change to a group home. That means the capacity would go from six to twelve children. Discussion of the issues followed and the zoning officer will make a followup visit.
The last piece of business at tonight’s meeting was a vote on whether to write a letter of support to the zoning board for the application by the Bridge to move on to the property on Adams Avenue. The Board and eligible members voted 2 to 1 against the motion. Letters of support have already been written by the Northwood Civic and Juniata Civic Associations.
Follow this link to NEastPhilly.com coverage of the meeting.
The next Frankford Civic meeting is scheduled for June 2nd.
Northwood Civic met last night with a crowd of about 40 people.
Discussion about the Volunteers of America Property at 4871 Roosevelt Boulevard which violates the deed restriction focused on strategies for dealing with the organization. The VOA is a huge, well funded organization that has the resources to overwhelm a much smaller civic like Northwood. However, the fight will continue. The civic does not oppose the individuals who currently reside in the property. The issue is that the property is not a single family dwelling and therefore violates a deed restriction previously upheld by the courts. The VOA could resolve this situation but chooses to ignore it.
The big issue at the meeting was the proposal to support the Bridge in their desire to move into the property on Adams Avenue. The Bridge is a residential and out patient drug treatment facility for adolescent boys. Barry Howell, President of the Civic announced that the Juniata Civic Association at their last meeting had unanimously voted to support the Bridge.
In a vote by the Board of Directors of the Northwood Civic taken prior to the meeting, they had unanimously approved the issue. A detailed explanation of the reasons for support was given to the members in attendance and a vote was held. The members gave their approval with one or two dissenting votes.
The overriding reason for supporting the Bridge at this point seems to be the threat that if its not the Bridge, it could be something else much worse. My point is that it might be something better. Threats to turn the old Parkview Hospital on Wyoming Avenue into a huge drug rehab were opposed and eventually the Cancer Treatment Centers came in and took over the property.
Have a look at NEastPhilly for their coverage of the meeting here.
The Frankford Civic Association meeting last night had over 30 in attendance including some new faces which are always welcome. The big issue was the Bridge. As usual, Chris Wink did his outstanding job reporting for NEastPhilly.com. Wink prefers to work in the background but he faithfully attends these community meetings and makes the job here much easier. You can read his report here.
The next Frankford Civic meeting on April 7th will feature a presentation by the Bridge. They are looking for community support in the quest to move into Frankford. The Frankford Civic board is looking for community input before they make their decision on support. Even if you cannot vote directly, you can make your opinion heard.
My opinion is that I support the Bridge. It looks like a great program and I cannot understand why it has to move into this particular location. So I support the Bridge finding another location. There is no overwhelming reason why the Bridge should be in Frankford. We have gone on record in the past that we have enough of this type of service here and that is simple enough.
Find another creative use for that land that does something positive for the community. Follow the Frankford Creek Redevelopment Area Plan. If you have forgotten about it. Read it here. But that is only my opinion. Come to the meeting next month and express yours.
Major news last night was the appearance of Frank Bennett who has taken title to 4712 Castor Avenue and is in the process of restoring it to its former grandeur. Mr. Bennett intends to occupy the home with his family and has taken on a formidable task. Work is underway at this time but on Saturday there will be an open house between noon and 4PM for those who would like to see the property.
Michael Ogden made a presentation on behalf of the Bridge, a residential treatment facility for adolescent boys between 14 and 18. They are looking for community support for their proposed move to the 1100 block of Adams Avenue. They presently occupy a building at 8400 Pine Road in Fox Chase on the Medical Missionary Sisters grounds. That building will be taken over by the sisters for a residence for nuns in retirement so the Bridge must relocate. A new facility would be built on that hill on Adams Avenue and the Bridge would have a long term lease.
Ogden made his case to the audience and it is clear that they run a very good program. The issues raised by the audience were of security since this is not a lock down facility. It is run like a school. If a kid wants to run away, he can. Ogden stated that no violent offenders are in their program. Jorge Santana (Tony Payton’s Chief of Staff) pointed out that the property now is frequented by drug users who are more likely to be criminals than the residents of the school that would hopefully replace the empty lot. Two young men, residents of the Bridge, spoke eloquently of their life changing experience in the program.
No vote was taken regarding the Civics’s support for the Bride at last night’s meeting. It is a tough call. Most residents are opposed to more social service programs moving into the neighborhood. However, the audience last night seemed to be favorably impressed with the quality of the Bridge.