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Zoning Issue in Frankford and Bridesburg

Back in December of 2010 we posted the news about the proposed Aramingo Rail Transfer Station.  There is an zoning appeal hearing on August 10th at 1PM.  This falls into the area between our two great neighborhoods and effects many people who use the businesses along Aramingo Avenue.


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A Win for Frankford

zba hearing

Tim Savage, Margie Rivera, Brian Wisneiwski, Pete Specos

The hearing at the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the 1522-24 church Street application was scheduled for 4:00 pm Wednesday.  This issue goes all that way to March of this year when we became aware of the new owners plan to use the properties for recovery houses.  Since the houses are near a church, school and home for young girls, it did not sound like a good idea.  Margie Rivera who is lives closest to the houses did not think it was a good idea either.  She was besieged at all hours of the day and night by noise in the house next door and people coming and going at all hours of the day and night.

The houses are zoned as single family dwellings and cannot be used to house more than three unrelated people.  Neighbors observed many men living there.  At some point, the men were moved out and women moved in.  The owner then applied to convert the houses into duplexes that would have permitted six people to legally live in each one.  The community came together to oppose that maneuver.

Petitions, letters from city, state and federal officials and all other stake holders were collected and a hearing was scheduled.  The owner sent a request for a delay at the first hearing.  At yesterday’s hearing the attorney for the owner sent a notice that he was withdrawing from the case.  The owner did not attend and the case was dismissed.

Attending the hearing were Pete Specos, Tim Savage and Brian Wisniewski from the Frankford Civic, Margie Rivera, Rita Lugrine and Joe Fernandes Legislative Assistant from Maria Quinones Sanchez office.  This campaign took a great deal of effort on the part of the civic to coordinate the drive.  They all should be applauded.   The unsung here in this is really Margie Rivera who stepped up and just said no.

This is not over however.  Now the line is clearly drawn.  No more than three unrelated people in those houses.  L&I has to enforce this.  We will see how it goes.  You can be sure that the community is watching.

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Frankford Civic Meeting

The Frankford Civic meeting held tonight, was very well attended with about 30 people in the room.

There will be a SEPTA meeting at the Frankford Group Ministry building (4620 Griscom Street) on December 8th, to inform the community about the 7.5 million dollar rehabilitation of the Margaret-Orthodox El stop.  It was the first el stop rebuilt back in the 80’s and now they need to do it over again.  This time maybe it will be the right way.  See the community calendar for the details.

Rep. Payton has partnered with the Energy Coordinating Agency to offer a Weatherization Workshop in Frankford.   Weatherizing your home can reduce your heating bill dramatically, and provides a safer, warmer home for your family.  The Energy Coordinating Agency will show you how you can weatherize your home for little to no money.  They will also discuss assistance programs from the government that help pay for the cost of weatherizing your home.  See the community calendar for the details.  Please Call State Representative Tony Payton Jr’s Office at 215-744-7901 or email Simone Woods at if you plan to attend.

Zoning hearing at the ZBA for the conversion of 1522 and 1524 Church Street to multi family housing.  The community opposes the conversion and all concerned residents should attend the hearing to make sure the ZBA understands our position.

A contractor who owns the lot at 4205-07 Adams Avenue is seeking support for a zoning change to build a garage to store his equipment.  He came along IMG_3821croppedwith his architect to display his proposal.  He was advised to solicit support from the immediate neighbors adjacent to his property and to begin the application process.

It was anticipated that Anthony Bannister would appear to explain his group’s plan to purchase the now closed New Frankford Community Y property.   They have been in discussion with Senator Payton’s office as well as Councilperson Quinones Sanchez office.  No one from the group attended the meeting.  Reps from Sanchez and Payton’s office both said in the course of their meetings they had raised questions about the business plan and funding for the project. In addition,there is the issue of the sale of a non profit entity to a “for profit” corporation.   Barry Howell, president of the Northwood Civic was present and said that the Northwood Civic’s position at this point is to emphatically oppose the deal.

Good news to report. Somehow the long unmoving vehicle on Ruan Street that was discussed at last month’s meeting has been eliminated.  We’re not sure who deserves the credit for doing the right thing.

Next Frankford Civic meeting is January 7th.  Be sure all the details I forgot to report on