September 2011


Zoning24 Sep 2011 10:16 pm

On September 13, the Passyunk Square Civic Association Zoning Committee heard five cases and reached the following decisions:

1. 1214 S. Juniper St.- (2) new 4th story roof access structures with (2) new roof decks; replace existing curb cut and create (2) interior parking spaces; 6′ high fence; to be used as 2 family dwelling (previously approved) with storage on a portion of 1st floor (previously approved) in R10-A. Refused for use as 2-family, exceeding maximum height, and # of stories. The parking spaces require a certificate from the ZBA.

Voted in non-opposition unanimously. Please note that the 2-family dwelling had already been approved. This case was only to seek approval for the height and number of stories.

2. 1243 S. 7th St. -erection of (4) story structure with cellar, roof deck, and rear balconies at 2nd & 3rd floors. To be used as a single family dwelling in R10-A (single family). Refused for open area, height, and # of stories.

Voted in non-opposition unanimously. Neighbors on the side street behind this property (Sheridan Street) had expressed concerned about sunlight blockage. Applicant agreed to pursue some kind of translucent wall for the rear parapet wall around the roof deck.

3. 1422 S. 9th: Legalization of a two-family dwelling. Refused for two-family use in single-family use (R10-A) zoning district.

Voted in opposition unanimously. The ZBA hearing for this property was on September 14. We will update with the outcome from that hearing when we get it.

4. 1157 S 12th: 3-family dwelling. Refused for 3-family use in single-family use (R10-A) zoning district.

Voted in opposition unanimously. ZBA hearing for this property had been September 13 but was continued in order to grant PSCA time to hear the case.

5. 1437 E. Passyunk Ave.: Seeking variance for use as a bakery. Refused because property is zoned single family (R10-A) and use as commercial property (bakery) not allowed.

Voted in non-opposition unanimously.

The PSCA Zoning Committee meetings are opportunities for neighbors to hear the details of zoning applications within our civic association boundaries. The Zoning Committee does not make any final decisions on these zoning applications, but we do send letters to the Philadelphia Zoning Board Administration. Those letters outline the neighbors’ thoughts on the application and the Zoning Committee’s decision either to oppose or not oppose the proposal. Check out Passyunk.org for more information following the meeting about how the board voted and information about the ZBA hearing dates for these cases.

Zoning Committee meetings take place on the second Tuesday of every month at 7pm at S.P.O.A.C.

Beautification and Event23 Sep 2011 08:15 am

By now you may have noticed the exciting development on the southwest corner of E. Passyunk Ave. and Wharton St. The quick back story (in case you haven’t heard it) is that producers of the Rachel Ray Show got together with the good folks at the Camden Children’s Garden and made an agreement with the owner of the lot to operate it as a community garden for at least the next two years. The show wanted the spot to be the backdrop for an upcoming episode (Monday, September 26 in fact) during which they’d have some kind of cooking contest and show some footage of the process of turning the formerly blighted lot into the great space it is now. Having done that, The Rachel Ray show has turned over the garden to us and the Camden Children’s Garden. CCG and the PSCA Beautification Committee are now partnering up to turn this into a real asset for the neighborhood.

Caught up? Great. So what’s happening today from 5 to 8?

The issue we have to deal with now is the fact that the food growing in the garden needs to be harvested…asap! (I know… tough problem, right?) That’s why this TODAY we’re going to open up the garden from 5-8 for anyone who wants to come in, and have a little kickoff introductory event. We’ll harvest as much of the food as we can, and have a few folks come and prepare the most delicious thing we can conjure up from it all. A big salad seems like a definite, but some of the basil and mint would be amazing in some virgin cocktails (we can’t have alcohol in the space, sorry folks). In addition Slice pizza will be providing some free pies for everyone who turns out.

So… we could still use some volunteers to help out. Specifically, we’re looking for:
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Education and Neighborhood Stories16 Sep 2011 10:32 am

Today is the observed day of the US Constitution (with September 17 being the official Constitution Day). Passyunk Square Civic Association board member Mary Beth Bongiovanni will be attending a Constitution Day event at the Andrew Jackson School, where the guest speaker is Sandra Day O’Connor. The Honorable Day O’Connor will be swearing in delegates at the school for their very own government. Too cool!

Check out Day O’Connor’s call for greater civic education in our schools on Philly.com. She makes the vital point that:

Barely a third of our fellow citizens can name the three branches of government, and an equal number cannot name even one. Less than 20 percent of eighth graders know why the Declaration of Independence was written.

These failings threaten the future of our democracy. If we don’t know what makes this country special and worth saving, how will we know how to safeguard its promise of freedom and opportunity?

She goes on to make several suggestions for how we can fix this particularly dangerous deficit. Give it a read.

And congrats to the new student government members at the Jackson School!

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