Central Roxborough Civic Association Meeting Minutes
October 6, 2016
CRCA Vice-President Lynda Payne called the meeting to order at 7:37.
446 Green Lane (corner of Green & Mitchell)
Attorney Edmond Shinn presented plans for the conversion of the first floor of a building where a “problematic” commercial space is currently located into a residency. A variance is required for multi-family living because the parcel is zoned RSA-3, which only permits single-family residences. The 2nd floor of the building is currently used as 2 apartments, and that use would continue. The current 1st floor resembles a commercial space and the most recent occupant was a dance studio. Prior occupants included a florist and a smoke shop. Because commercial uses are not permitted in RSA-3, businesses on the first floor would be required to obtain a variance for each new use. The property owner wishes to turn the space into a 2-bedroom apartment and volunteers to agree to a proviso that trash from all units will remain indoors until the trash pickup day, most likely in a room constructed specifically to hold rubbish and bins. The owner stated he does not want neighbors to have a problem with his tenants and has a vested interest in making sure the trash issue is resolved in a satisfactory manner.
- A neighbor asked if there would be changes to the exterior of the building. The response was that minimal changes, mainly to the windows, would occur.
- As for parking, there would also be no change from current conditions in that there is no parking currently provided. The owner stated that only one of his tenants on the 2nd floor has a vehicle, and the attorney added that there was no parking for staff and visitors to businesses at the property, so any impact on parking by the conversion to residential should be minimal.
- Attorney Shin encouraged neighbors who support the proposal to contact the ZBA prior to the hearing, scheduled for October 12.
- The owner and his attorney left, and the meeting was opened up to general discussion. Those present supported the proposal when a straw poll was conducted, although some new attendees expressed concern about Roxborough’s changing landscape.
Update: 451 Green Lane
CRCA’s Alex Fidrych gave an update on a presentation from September’s CRCA General Meeting which proposed the complete demolition of an existing home for the construction of a triplex, the parcel at issue being zoned only for single family dwellings. CRCA opposed the proposal at the ZBA hearing, and the ZBA denied the request for a variance. The applicant has 30 days (until 10/27) to appeal the ZBA’s decision to the Court of Common Pleas.
Update: 6160 Ridge Avenue
This property has served as an illegal boarding house for some time. A few months ago, there was an application to the ZBA to legalize that use. After a meeting with CRCA and Roxborough Development Corporation, the property owner withdrew the request for a variance.
Roxborough Green Project
Kay Sykora announced the formation of the “Roxborough Green Project.” This is an initiative to beautify the neighborhood while fostering relationships between
neighbors. There is a Community Planting Day scheduled for October 22, and anyone interested in participating (or obtaining plants for their yard at
wholesale cost) should contact Kay Sykora via email at email@example.com
In a similar vein, CRCA’s Alex Fidrych reminded those present that Tree Philly is doing its annual free tree giveaway. To find out
how to get a free tree for your yard, go to treephilly.org.
Josh Cohen - Special Assistant to Councilman Curtis Jones
Josh Cohen from Councilman Jones’ office introduced himself and answered some community questions about development in the neighborhood based upon what he knows from L&I permits. (The old Christmas tree lot on Henry is becoming a multi-family one-building structure with approximately 30 units. The project is by-right and thus did not require a public meeting).
A community member asked if there was any news on High Pointe Church. Lynda Payne responded that they presented at an earlier CRCA meeting, received a variance from the ZBA, and seem to be moving along with their plans to open a church/coffee shop/performance venue on Ridge Ave.