October 2013

Minutes03 Oct 2013 08:39 am

Minutes from October 1, 2013 PSCA General Meeting @ Annunciation BVM

Meeting began at 6:40 pm, ended at 7:50 pm. Attendance: Approximately 45.

Board Members Present: Zenzola, D’Ippolito, Morris, Wilder, Knapp, Emma, Anton, Geary

Absent: Fioretti, DiCapua, Knox

Welcome and Introductions: Pam Zenzola welcomed guests and thanked Chickie’s Deli for their food donation. She also introduced Father John from Annunciation and thanked him for the use of their space for our monthly meetings. Pam also announced that we have won a PCA grant of $1600 to use to enhance the arts in the neighborhood. We have also just reached 1,000 likes on our Facebook page.

House Tour: Caroline New and Jen Barr, co-chairs, discussed the upcoming Annual House Tour on October 12 from noon-4pm, advance tickets are $20, day of are $25. Admission also gets you discounts at the Devil’s Den after party from 3-6pm and a free slice of Slice Pizza during the tour. There will also be a raffle at the after-party. Tickets can be purchased online, or day-of at Columbus Square Recreation Center, which will be open from 11am-2pm that day for ticket and home tour guide/map pickup.

Zoning: Tina Geary reported that the next Zoning Committee meeting will be Tuesday Oct. 8 at 7pm at Annunciation and they will vote on two cases: 1535 S. 11th Street, application for the first story addition to an existing attached structure (max. height not to exceed 38’-0”) for use as an eating & drinking establishment (sit-down restaurant) at 1st floor level with accessory storage at basement, and a single family dwelling unit located at upper level with accessory rear roof deck located at second (2nd) story roof. Zoning refused because the proposed use of an eating & drinking establishment is not permitted in this zoning district; and 1203 S. Clarion Street, application for the change in use from existing one story garage to a three story single family dwelling with one attached off street accessory parking slot inside the residence, and the use of a rooftop sundeck. Zoning refused as the open area of lot and rear yard depth are under the minimum required amounts. The Zoning Committee will also hear three other cases that have not received formal refusals from the ZBA yet, but the applicants want to present their plans for input. These include: 1304-06 9th Street, El Zarape Restaurant from Passyunk and Morris signed a lease for this space and will present their plans; 1235 Federal Street, plans for adding a third floor and building 10 apartment units with 10 parking spaces; and 3) 1403-1409- Darien Street, plans for the construction of 6 single family homes.

PWD Stormwater Planters: Christine Knapp reported that PSCA is looking for volunteers to assist us in monitoring the stormwater planters around the neighborhood, and alerting us if you see trash or debris in them, which limits their effectiveness at absorbing rainwater. The volunteer commitment would be filling out a form for each planter once a month, and different folks can take different planters. Two volunteers raised their hands, and PSCA will be in touch. The planter locations will be listed on our website. These planters are part of PWD’s Green Cities, Clean Water’s program to green 1/3 of the city’s impervious surfaces over the next 25 years, to aid in reducing sewer runoff into our rivers. Email beautification@passyunk.org if you would like to help.

Planning: Karin Morris reported that the Philadelphia City Planning Commission has begun work on the Washington Avenue Roadway Design Study investigating bicycle and pedestrian safety and a new roadway design for Washington Avenue, and will host a public meeting on October 23, time and location TBA. All are invited to offer input on the possible redesign of Washington Avenue to better accommodate all users. Also, the Planning Committee is continuing to solicit ideas for properties to nominate to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, so please send ideas to planning@passyunk.org. Listing in the register protects the property from significant alteration and/or demolition. Possible candidates include schools, churches, cemeteries, or sites with social significance.

AVI: Angel D’Ippolito reported that property assessment appeals are due Oct. 7 to BRT. Your appeal must be postmarked no later than that date, or you can hand deliver the appeal application to the BRT offices in the Curtis Center at 601 Walnut. Appeal applications are at www.phila.gov/brt. You should appeal if you received a first level decision that you disagree with, or if your first level review has not been decided yet, or if you chose to skip the first level review and were waiting for the appeal. Pennsport Civic is hosting Councilman Squilla tonight, October 2 at 7pm, to answer questions about AVI, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel at 2329 S. 3rd.

Education Committee: Tom Wyatt handed out a brochure about the education committee’s work. He reported the happy hour fundraiser for education raised $500. Back to School Night at Jackson is October 3, and the committee is looking for more raffle prizes. The rooftop garden at Jackson will have a build day on November 24, and they need volunteers. The education committee’s next meeting is Oct. 15 at 7pm at Columbus Square.

Volunteer Opportunities: Pam Zenzola encouraged folks to volunteer with the civic, especially because we can scale your involvement to what you are comfortable with, whether it is volunteering for a few monthly cleanups a year to leading other larger efforts. Please sign up and we will find something valuable for you to do!


Ace Delgado from the Philadelphia Police Department once again encouraged residents to be safe, through installing security cameras, keeping one’s windows clean so the police can dust for fingerprints if necessary, putting one’s address on the back of one’s house, being aware when you are out walking with your cell phone, and being aware of some recent thiefs on bicycles. Ace also reported that there was a burglary on the 900 block of Ellsworth on Oct. 1 where the burglar kicked in the front door.

Cathy Harris from the Mural Arts Program spoke about the soon-to-be-installed mural at 910 Dickinson (next to Annunciation parking lot). The artist Joe Burchero spoke about his black and white mural and revealed the final design. The mural will be completed by the second week of November.

–Submitted by Karin Morris, PSCA Secretary, October 2, 2013.


Neighborhood Stories01 Oct 2013 08:26 am

gary tumolo 4.jpg

This month, Gary Tumolo is our featured neighbor. I sat down with Gary a few weeks ago to learn more about him and all that he has done for the neighborhood (We met at Stateside, and had some excellent small plates of gnocchi and cauliflower…kudos to the friendly staff!).

Gary volunteers for the Zoning Committee for Passyunk Square, which meets monthly. All neighbors are welcome to attend the monthly meetings (see the PSCA website for information), during which they review zoning applications in the neighborhood. They then send letters to the zoning commission of Philadelphia, which makes the final decisions. In this way, Gary and other zoning board volunteers make sure we have a say in what happens in our neighborhood.

Gary also helps out a lot with other neighborhood activities, like the Christmas tree sale, and the Annual Home Tour (which is coming up October 12th!). Gary has attended very Home Tour every year since its inception 10 years ago, was on the Home Tour Planning Committee in 2009 and 2010, and continues to volunteer the day of the event. Gary moved to the Passyunk Square neighborhood in 2002. He is originally from South Philadelphia, but spent several years in San Diego before moving back to the Philadelphia area. Angel D’Ippolito, PSCA VP and head of the Neighborhood Ambassador Program, had this to say about Gary: “When asked to help promote our holiday tree sale, Gary went above and beyond expectations. Not only did he write a custom holiday song for PSCA, but he somehow managed to organize a group of casual shower-singers into a real-life caroling extravaganza. We had so much fun and brought a whole lot of smiles to the neighborhood that day. I’m not sure we could have done it with such pizazz without Gary’s positive attitude.”

Gary’s day job, for which he actually gets paid, is for The Office of Housing and Development in Philadelphia. Gary manages the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia’s contracts as well as Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) contracts. The HOPWA program is a Federal program dedicated to address the housing needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

Gary was awarded a certificate of appreciation in August from the City of Philadelphia Operation Town Watch Integrated Services in recognition for all the volunteer work he has done for the neighborhood. It is neighbors like Gary who make Passyunk Square such a wonderful place to live and work.

-Melissa Rosato
(contact me on facebook or twitter: Melissa Rosato@myrrr03)


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