September 2012

Minutes05 Sep 2012 08:41 pm

Minutes from September 4, 2012 PSCA General Meeting @ SPOAC

Meeting began at 6:44 pm, ended at 7:55 pm. Attendance: Approximately 39.

Board Members: Anton, DiCapua, D’Ippolito, Emma, Fioretti, Geary, Knapp, Knox, Morris, Wilder, Zenzola.

  1. 1.      Announcements
    1. Welcome and Introductions: Pam Zenzola welcomed the general membership back from the summer break, and gave an overview of what the Board has been working on over the summer hiatus. This included the annual Board retreat, the designation of PSCA as a Registered Community Organization, and the approval of our annual budget, among other initiatives.
    2. New Board Member: Tina Geary has been elected to the Board after serving for eight years on the PSCA Zoning Committee.
    3. Food Sponsors: Thanks to Chickie’s Deli for donating the hoagie tray, and Acme for donating water.
    4. 2.      Committee Reports
      1. Communications: Cassie Knox reported that PSCA is planning a website redesign in early 2013. We continue to grow our Facebook, Twitter, email distribution list, and text message option (send the word “PSCA” to 215-987-5555).
      2. Beautification: Andrew Emma reminded neighbors that Passyunk Gardens is open on Sundays from 4-6pm. Committee is Looking into installing more public art in neighborhood, like the recently completed mural of birds by Eder Muniz at 9th and Federal, funded by PSCA. The fall tree planting will happen in November.
      3. Trash and Recycling: Carmela Fioretti informed us that the next e-waste recycling event would be in early November at the Acme.  Over the summer, a trash “think tank” formed and these volunteers visited 42 businesses to let them know about compliance with new Streets Department trash can requirements. Of the 42 businesses contacted, 16 already had trash cans, and four have since added them. In addition, volunteers are needed for a new PSCA “Clean and Green” committee. In addition, Dickinson Narrows Civic Association, our neighbor to the east, will be sponsoring, along with Pho Ha, a fall clean-up at 6th and Washington and will need volunteers.
      4. Education: Christine Knapp is looking for a volunteer to lead this committee, as well as more volunteers to fill around a dozen roles to assist with education. Each volunteer would have a specific and manageable task. Over the summer, a Back to School supply drive was held and was successful. Neighbors can also donate to specific fundraising projects at the Jackson School through the website ( PSCA will host a three-hour advocacy training on Oct. 27 on how to advocate for your child in his or her school and outside of school on a broader policy level. This will be open to everyone.
      5. Planning: Karin Morris reported on two ongoing projects. First, PSCA is awaiting final permitting from the Streets Department on the 30 “Welcome to Passyunk Square” signs to be installed on key streets in the neighborhood. Second, PSCA is creating a new feature on the PSCA website on available development sites in our neighborhood, working with local volunteer Lynn Mandarano.
      6. Parks: Chris DiCapua gave on update on activities happening at the three parks in our neighborhood. Capitolo is hosting a flea market on Oct. 13 (rain date Oct. 14), as well as a charity baseball game on Sept. 28 (followed by a two hour draft beer and buffet at South Philly Bar & Grille), whereby 20$ of the proceeds will go to Capitolo for the restoration of the playground. Yoga at Columbus Square resumes in the fall. Friends of Gold Star Park is looking for volunteers to lead efforts at that park. PSCA is also working with Play In-Between on the possibility of creating a pop-up park in our neighborhood.
      7. Fundraising: Ilene Wilder gave an update on the business sponsorship program, which has netted several Sustaining Sponsors as well as other levels of support, from large to small. Our newest Sponsor is 10th Street Laundromat, whose owner, Lisa Budnick, presented her sponsorship check to Ilene. Sponsors will receive window decals that say “Proud Sponsor of PSCA”.
      8. Events: Trish Kowalski promoted the Oct. 13 home tour, in conjunction with Design Philly. PSCA is still interested in additional homes to feature on the tour, so please contact PSCA if you would like to volunteer your home. Tickets are $20, but discounted to $15 if you buy your ticket at the September or October PSCA general meetings. On-site sales will happen at Columbus Square recreation center, and most likely B2s and/or Benna’s. The after-party will take place at South Philly Bar & Grille. Need volunteers to sell tickets or housesit for short two-to-three hour shifts on the day of the event.
      9. Zoning: Tina Geary discussed the role of PSCA as a registered community organization, which is a new designation that will allow for better communication between the city and the civic association, and more advanced notice of zoning cases. Zoning committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month. Pending September cases include:

i.      1224 Alter Street Construction of 4-story single family dwelling with garage, roof deck, and 2nd and 3rd floor balconies at the front and rear.  Located in C-3 Commercial.  Refused for use as a single family dwelling in a commercial district, and open area (required 25%- proposed 9%).  The garage requires a certificate from the ZBA.

ii.      920 Washington Ave Legalization of existing parking spaces (22+1 HC Accessible space) accessory to one story commercial structure.  Strip Mall located in C7 Commercial district.  Refused for required landscape buffer (none proposed), % of landscaping, and requirement for HC space along Washington Ave.  (none proposed in front parking area)

iii.      1218 Gerritt Street Construction of 3rd story addition to an existing single family structure.  Located in R-10A district.  Refused for open area (required 30%- proposed 24%).

iv.      1544 S. 13th Street Construction of a Roof Deck and Pilot House.  Located in R-10A.  Refused for size of pilot house. (max allowable 48sf- proposed 77sf).

v.      Joint Civic case (will be held at the South Broad Street Neighbors zoning meeting on the third Tuesday of September at Methodist Hospital): 1303 S. Broad Street Construction of decks at 2nd and 3rd Floor Rear.  Construction of additional Roof Deck on 3rd Floor roof for use by 4th Floor apartment.  This building is currently used as a 5-family dwelling and they are requesting an additional apartment in this application for a total of 6 units.  Located in R-10A district.  Refused for use as a 6-family dwelling

      1. Town Watch: Next walk is September 8 at 11am at Police Station at 11th and Wharton. Ace Delgado from the Police Department gave tips on securing one’s home and belongings and mentioned some recent house break-ins where thieves entered through the back of the house. He recommended that homeowners put their address on the back of their house as well, so neighbors in the back know how to identify the house to police if they see a break-in in progress. Ace also recommended more motion-activated lights for the front and back of homes. Ace also said the Police Department is trying to set up more training sessions for town watch volunteers. In addition, the Police will be sponsoring a Peace Day on September 21, look for more information on this soon.
  1. 3.      Presentations
    1. Neighborhood Ambassador Program (NAP):  Angel D’Ippolito presented an overview and gave out a brochure regarding the new NAP, which will replace the former Block Liaison program. PSCA is looking for volunteers to become Ambassadors and represent a smaller sub-area within our larger neighborhood. Eight initial sectors/subregions were identified. With Outreach Committee members Sarah Anton, Chris DiCapua, and Ilene Wilder, a discussion was held on the various responsibilities and tasks of the Ambassadors, such as distributing information, encouraging neighbors to attend PSCA meetings, organizing events within your immediate neighborhood, and reporting yearly to the general membership on micro issues within your sector.


–Submitted by Karin Morris, PSCA Secretary, September 5, 2012.

Minutes05 Sep 2012 08:39 pm

Minutes from June 5, 2012 PSCA General Meeting @ SPOAC

Meeting began at 6:40 pm, ended at 7:50. Attendance: Approximately 32.

Board Members: Knapp, Zenzola, D’Ippolito, Morris, Emma, Pohlig, Anton, Wilder, Fioretti, DiCapua, Knox.

1.      Announcements

    1. New Board Officers: New Board Officers announced: Pam Zenzola is President, Angel D’Ippolito is Vice President, Sarah Anton is Treasurer and Karin Morris is Secretary.
    2. Other Board News: Thanks (and flowers) were given to Christine Knapp, immediate past president for her service as a Board Officer, and Dan Pohlig, Communications Committee, who is leaving the Board. Welcome to Cassie Knox who is a new Board member and will take over the Communications role.
    3. Food Sponsors: Thanks to Acme for donating water and cookies.
    4. Next General Meeting: September 4 (board continues to meet over the summer).
    5. 2.      Committee Reports
      1. Zoning: Meetings held second Tuesday of the month. Pending case of 1519 S. 7th needs a use variance to allow a tutoring service in an R10A zoning district. Pending case of restaurant at 11th and Tasker re: 2nd floor seating will be reviewed at end of meeting.
      2. Beautification: Pruners Club will take place on June 16. Harry O Gardens open on Sundays from 4-6pm. Looking into installing more Mural Arts murals in neighborhood.
      3. Trash and Recycling: E-waste recycling event will be June 23 from 9am-1pm in the Acme parking lot. Trash “think tank” formed and will be doing outreach to businesses with takeout food regarding city enforcing new trash can requirements.
      4. Communications: PSCA is now able to send text messages to those who send the word “PSCA” to 215-987-5555. This is a free service we are testing out.
      5. Education: We need more volunteers to fill around a dozen roles that have been identified to assist with education. Each volunteer would have a specific and manageable task, for example, organizing a Reading Buddy group at Kirkbride, while another volunteer might do the same task at Jackson.
      6. Planning: PSCA is hoping to install “Welcome to Passyunk Square” signage on key streets in the neighborhood. Last hurdle is Streets Department approval of each sign’s specific location. Bike racks through the city’s adopt-a-rack have been installed recently (exact number TBD). Lynn Mandarano, Temple planning professor, introduced as new Planning volunteer. She will be compiling a list of available development sites in our neighborhood and any previous planning ideas/renderings for them and/or new ideas.
      7. Parks: Capitolo is hosting a flea market June 9 from 9am-2pm and still accepting vendors. Capitolo has open spaces in their summer camp. Columbus Square has three preschool spots open for next year. Their summer camp has a waiting list, while they will also be enrolling kids and adult pottery classes soon. Yoga resumes in the fall on Wednesdays at 6:30pm. Gold Star Park will host a cleanup on June 10 from 11am-12:30pm, and Music in the Park on June 14 at 7pm. Friends of Gold Star Park is looking for two co-chairs to lead the group, with a monthly time commitment of four hours. Tasks could include organizing parents and playgroups, grant writing for playground equipment, organizing events, planning mural projects, and maintaining the website. Any questions on the above, please email
      8. Outreach: Need volunteers and committee members to assist with outreach to the elderly and non-native language speakers, and to build up the block liaison program.
      9. Events: May Plant Sale was successful. Next event is Oct. 13 home tour, in conjunction with Design Philly. The Food Trust’s Night Market is June 28th at 9th and Washington.
      10. Town Watch: Next walk is June 9th at 11am at Police Station at 11th and Wharton.
      11. 3.      Presentations
        1. Ace Delgado from the Philadelphia Police gave an update on recent crime concerns in the neighborhood and some safety tips. He said theft from auto is the most common crime in our area. Recommends not leaving cars unlocked, windows open, nor valuables inside. Don’t be unaware of one’s surroundings, don’t talk on cell phones in public, and don’t carry a pocketbook if you don’t have to. If you plan on going on vacation, you can inform the local Police District and they can drive by/check on your house while you are away. Don’t be too obvious with neighbors that are you are going to be away. Call in anything suspicious that you see or any complaints you have on noise, vandalism, etc. to the police so that it appears on their daily roll call.
        2. b.      Kim Davis from PSCA Town Watch discussed using 311, which has been in place since 2008. Seventy percent of all calls to 311 are for information-only, while 30% are for service requests. Not everyone knows that 311 can be used for service requests. She encouraged anyone who calls to get a Service Request number so you can track the progress of your request and escalate it if it hasn’t been resolved. Kim is our new 311 Neighborhood Liaison, which means she can track fulfillment of requests and prioritize complaints (as a civic association) and communicate that to 311. She handed out a list of typical 311 complaints and their corresponding service level turnaround times. Kim feels 311 is valuable because of the service request tracking and ability to escalate unresolved requests, rather than the website SeeClickFix, which does not offer those features. The city is offering one-hour training for others who want to become 311 Neighborhood Liaisons. Email for more info or to give Kim your 311 service requests.
        3. 4.      Other
          1. A question was asked about the Actual Value Initiative and whether we could have someone speak at our next meeting about this. We will find a speaker for our next meeting in September, if not before, given the timeliness of the issue. PSCA has not signed on to the Coalition for Tax Fairness. Homestead tax exemption forms are now available on and are due July 31.

**A special meeting was held afterwards to discuss the zoning case of the proposed restaurant at 11th and Tasker.

–Submitted by Karin Morris, PSCA Secretary, June 6, 2012.

Event03 Sep 2012 06:37 pm

Tuesday, September 4th 6:30pm

Our first General Meeting after the summer break is tomorrow.  We’ll have updates from our committees who have been busy working straight through these hot months to make Passyunk Square even better!  Refreshments will be provided by Chickies and Acme and Home Tour tickets will be available at a discounted price of $15 per person for those who attend the meeting (normally $20).  See you there!

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