2019 August Variance Vote

Synopsis
From the applicant: “We have a zoning application in process due to the replacement 3 athletic field scoreboards (baseball, soccer, and softball) on our campus with the new Jefferson branding, and also for the final signage on our new Kay and Harold Ronson Health and Applied Science Center building (on Henry Ave near School House Lane), which is just finishing construction.

The scoreboards are slightly different size, but remain in the same locations. (GOOGLE MAP DOC HERE) They are standard collegiate size from Daktronics, the dimensions of which have changed since the original signs were put in years ago.  Nothing we would consider significant, but they will naturally look different, and since their dimensions changed, it tripped the variance requirement and generated a refusal from the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA).

Regarding the signage on the Ronson Building, the larger size of the sign and the fact that it includes LED backlighting triggered a refusal (LED signage falls under the category of an animated sign). We believe the sign is far different from animated signage for several reasons.

These are LED signs naturally intended to be seen, but not to cast light. The end wall Jefferson shield is a total of 150 watts of LED. The Henry Ave.  Jefferson / Ronson sign has the Shield lit with 100 watts and then the subsequent letters ranging from 21 to 5 watts per letter. We believe these are respectful signs in keeping with our campus lighting. The building is sustainable, and is committed to LEED silver and is actually tracking towards LEED gold.

We are in the process of appeal and would like the input of the neighborhood RCOs to present to the ZBA for our hearing this Thursday, 8/14.”

Click the following links for more info on the JeffU presentation and the RCO/neighbor notification letter.

Resulting Vote is:
– 85% (44 votes) SUPPORT REQUEST FOR VARIANCE.
– 15% (8 votes) DECLINE SUPPORT OF VARIANCE.

2018 June Variance Vote

VARIANCE REQUEST for 3502 Ainslie Street 

The legalization of a long existing multifamily building (from three to four units) located at 3502 Ainslie Street for the stated purpose of permitting for updates and upgrades.
There are four units in the property. One apartment on the first floor, two on the second, and one on the third. The building is configured as a four family dwelling, each unit with kitchens, bathrooms and sleeping areas in each apartment.
No neighbors objected at meetings. Adjacent neighbor expressed some concerns about repair of a retaining wall (not relevant to zoning, just FYI).
Here is the refusal.

Resulting Vote is:
 – 94% (34 votes) SUPPORT REQUEST FOR VARIANCE.
– 6% (2 votes) DECLINE SUPPORT OF VARIANCE.

VARIANCE REQUEST for Penn Charter ball field (3001/3005 W Schoolhouse Lane)

Penn Charter’s baseball field project will received a refusal from the City and seeks a variance in order to initiate construction.
This project includes the demolition of the former JEVs property located just past Fox Lane off School House Lane (SHL) on the Wissahickon side of SHL and the conversion of that area plus part of the existing athletic fields into a new ball field as well as parking.
There were a dozen or more questions at the meeting, but no objections of note. Penn Charter is working directly with no less than two neighborhood associations.
Here is the refusal, Information about the larger SPIN can be found here.

Resulting Vote is:
 – 97% (35 votes) SUPPORT REQUEST FOR VARIANCE.
– 3% (1 vote) DECLINE SUPPORT OF VARIANCE.

Special Exception Vote: KenCrest Group Home (3132 Midvale Avenue)

KenCrest at Midvale & McMichael seeks to create a transitional care home for six ventilated/intubated children in their facility by the park (currently providing daycare for disabled adults).

To do so, they’ll need a special exception. (Philadelphia zoning allows “special exceptions” for certain uses that are not quite permitted by-right but are allowed on a conditional basis.)

At January’s zoning meeting, about 20 near neighbors demanded that EFCC’s zoning committee vote against KenCrest at a ZBA hearing February 21stand now vow to fight thru the court system, if necessary. (Re the ZBA meeting date, it may be postponed. KenCrest plans to ask the ZBA for a special session to give full attention to this issue.)

East Falls Forward held its own separate meeting on Thursday January 18 with KenCrest’s lawyer, Bill Kerr and several staff members presenting to a thoughtful, engaged group. For a quick recap (including video) and some more context around this contentious issue, check out this East Falls Local article.

Please take a moment to express your position on this very important community issue. Also, comments both for and against are encouraged — our Secretary, Steve Fillmore, will read them into the record at the special ZBA meeting (date TBD)

Resulting Vote is:
 – 73% (30 votes) SUPPORT REQUEST FOR EXCEPTION.
– 27% (11 votes) DECLINE SUPPORT OF EXCEPTION.

2017 November Variance Vote

Variance Request: 3625 McMichael Street

Due to proposed use (“hospital: medical care home”), parking issues and % open space. Please follow the following links to the Refusal, the Plans, and the Narrative.

Resulting Vote is:
 – 57% (13 votes) SUPPORT REQUEST FOR VARIANCE.
– 43% (10 votes) DECLINE SUPPORT OF VARIANCE.

Variance Request: 3232 Henry Ave (New Courtland)

New Courtland has received a refusal for their plan for the former EPPI property, and the tower portion of the redevelopment specifically. They have presented their plan a number of times in front of us and other nearby communities seeking support. The refusal is because multi family is not permitted in the current zoning. Please follow these links to their plans and their refusal.

Resulting Vote is:
 – 83% (19 votes) SUPPORT REQUEST FOR VARIANCE.
– 17% (4 votes) DECLINE SUPPORT OF VARIANCE.

2017 June Variance Vote

General Update: HOW Properties Plan Redesign

HOW properties is redesigning their mixed use project located off Ridge between Ridge and Kelly Drive on what is commonly referred to as the “Japanese Restaurant site”. They will be proposing a small number of townhomes (8-14 over two phases) and a smaller 65 unit apartment building.

Variance Request: 3300 Conrad St for off street parking

A developer who owns 3300 Conrad St seeks to include front accessed off street parking. This element of the development proposal was refused by the City and they seek support for their variance.  Zoning Denial here.  Public Meeting notice here. Site plan here. Floor plans here.

Resulting Vote is:
 – 54% (13 votes) SUPPORT REQUEST FOR VARIANCE.
– 46% (11 votes) DECLINE SUPPORT OF VARIANCE.

2017 April Variance Votes

Variance Request: 3513 Ainslie Street Attached Single Family to Two-Family

Applicant is requesting a variance to change their three story attached single family dwelling to a two family dwelling.  Zoning Denial here.

Resulting Vote is:
 – 66% (25 votes) SUPPORT REQUEST FOR VARIANCE.
– 34% (13 votes) DECLINE SUPPORT OF VARIANCE.

Variance Request: 3232 Henry Avenue (“EPPI” site) into senior housing (and dog park)

The owner, New Courtland Elder Services, is seeking a variance to convert this site into senior housing, along with community oriented gardens and dog park.  Their refusal can be found here . Here are renderings and site plans.

Resulting Vote is:
 – 100% (38 votes) SUPPORT REQUEST FOR VARIANCE.
– 0% (0 votes) DECLINE SUPPORT OF VARIANCE.

2017 January Variance Votes

How Development & EFDC Joint Project Parking Lot

How Properties & EFDC request a variance to allow a public-private parking lot partnership at 4422-24 Ridge Avenue.

See Plan Here

We reviewed information as provided by Gina Snyder of East Falls Development Corporation (EFDC).

Resulting Vote is:
 – 93.3% (42 votes) SUPPORT REQUEST FOR VARIANCE.
– 6.7% (3 votes) DECLINE SUPPORT OF VARIANCE.

As a result, East Falls Forward will be recommending approval of the variance.

U-Haul Proposal

U-Haul requests a variance due to changes in zoning at 2801 West Hunting Park Avenue.

Their description:

“Over the past year, U-Haul has completed substantial repairs to the former Tastycake Building. A portion of the first floor has been approved for a customer service area, retail sale of moving supplies and accessory office. Now, U-Haul proposes to use the fourth floor and sixth floors for self-storage units. The fourth floor will be heated; the sixth floor will be climate-controlled. An unexpected, recent change in the uses that are allowed in the CMX-3 Zoning District requires a variance for the proposed self-storage.”

We reviewed information as provided by Secretary Steve Fillmore.

Resulting Vote is:
 – 97.8% (44 votes) SUPPORT REQUEST FOR VARIANCE.
– 2.2% (1 vote) DECLINE SUPPORT OF VARIANCE.

As a result, East Falls Forward will be recommending approval of the variance.

Traffic and Parking Survey

East Falls Forward would like to take a look at our neighborhood’s traffic and parking needs, habits, and expectations — plus, provide Fallsers an opportunity to express their opinions on Henry Avenue, speed bumps, bike lanes, permit parking, and more.

We’ve put together an informal survey, where neighbors can chime in anonymously online. Results will be posted here & shared with PennDOT and EFCC’s Traffic Committee. Thanks for taking the time to help make East Falls awesome for all of us. Survey begins below —  Continue reading “Traffic and Parking Survey”