Zoning20 Jun 2011 06:45 am

Last Tuesday, June 14, the Zoning Committee of the Passyunk Square Civic Association met with applicants for two projects.

1. 538-44 Washington Avenue: Applicant is seeking permission for a roof deck, pilot house and 5 accessory signs in R10-A zoning district (single family).

This project had come before the committee previously and was granted permission for 3 commercial spaces (2 ground floor retail and a second floor office space) and 2 residential spaces (a third story apartment and a bi-level residence on the second and third stories). Currently, the first floor will be occupied by a dentist’s office. Other commercial tenants are to be determined. This applicant sought permission for a roof deck and pilot house to access the deck. It also sought permission for 5 signs totaling 30 square feet (15 square feet of signage on Washington Avenue and 15 square feet on 6th Street).

The committee voted in non-opposition to the deck/pilot house by a 6-0 vote and non-opposition to the signage by a 6-0 vote. This case is currently scheduled to appear before the Zoning Board of Adjustment on July 27, 2011 at 5pm.

2. 1332-36 S. 9th Street: Requesting variance for auto repair on the first floor with 4 apartments on the 2nd floor. Also requesting pilot house and 4 roof decks for apartments. Refused by L&I for auto repair and 4 apartments in R10-A (single family dwelling) and for height of pilot house.

This project had also appeared previously before the Zoning Committee seeking permission for three apartments and an auto repair shop. At the time, the Committee opposed the auto repair shop but the variance was granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Since the owner did not begin work on the property, the variance expired. Presently, the applicant is seeking permission for (1) four apartments, (2) four roof decks – separate ones for each unit – with a pilot house for common access to the roof, and (3) an auto repair shop on the first floor.

The committee voted in NON-OPPOSITION to the four apartments by a 6-0 vote. The committee voted in NON-OPPOSITION to the roof deck and pilot house by a 6-0 vote. The committee voted to OPPOSE the auto repair shop. Committee members and neighbors expressed concern at the number of auto repair and auto body shops currently operating in many parts of the neighborhood, particularly in the area bounded by East Passyunk Avenue, Ellsworth St, Reed Street and 7th Street. One committee member mentioned the desire of the neighborhood to continue its transition into a place where auto repair facilities in the middle of dense, residential blocks would no longer be acceptable.

This project is currently scheduled to be heard by the Zoning Board of Adjustment on June 29 at 4pm.

Neighbors are encouraged to attend the Zoning Board of Adjustment meetings for any of these projects and express either their support or opposition to the project. The ZBA hearings take place at 1515 Market Street on the 18th Floor.

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