(September meeting moved from the 4th to the 3rd Wednesday for Rosh Hashana)
The Philadelphia Zoning Code is the rule book that regulates development within the city as it relates to land uses, the type, size, and height of buildings, population density, parking requirements, placement of signs, decks, fences and more. It’s the reference book that the GBCL looks to for direction when examining project proposals. Our zoning regulations ensure that land use and buildings are compatible with their surrounding area. While far from a perfect document, the GBCL supports the guidelines set forth in the Zoning Code. The GBCL feels zoning applicants should also look to the Code for direction and be thoughtful to the viewpoints of local residents. Bustleton is considered a jewel of a section within the city and one that’s obviously worth fighting to protect. The residents of Bustleton have been very consistent with expressing their desire to maintain its organized design as it’s been officially established. As a result of our current appeal and multiple hearing appearances, the GBCL and Bustleton residents have a reputation with zoning attorneys and the ZBA as a group who will consistently show up to oppose zoning matters that reduce the quality of life and neighborhood appeal we’ve all grown to appreciate. This is a reputation we accept and will definitely maintain.
1. 75% of burglaries involving older persons involved unlocked doors and windows; and, less than half of these robberies are reported. Remember to lock your doors and windows.
2. Never open your door automatically or let a stranger into your home. Consider a peephole.
3. If a stranger asks to use your telephone, offer to place the call for them yourself.
242-246 Geiger Rd, Day Care plus – There will be a presentation and VOTE at our Sept. 17 membership meeting. ZBA Hearing Wed., Oct., 8, 5pm. Variance application is for a number of businesses and was refused for usage and signage. Day care, medical, dental, and health practitioner, are all prohibited in this district.
9997 Haldeman, Appeal – The 7/23/14 ZBA ruling that suc-cessfully preserved the residential zoning of the house from a manufacturing classifica-tion is being appealed by the applicant. Date for the hearing in Court of Common Pleas has yet to be set. The applicant needs to show the court how the ZBA decision was in error. In Nov. of 2012 the applicant told the ZBA he was residing at the Haldeman business, while owning another home three blocks away. Most recently the applicant stated he no longer lives at the business, and the house is not suitable as a residence. GBCL membership will discuss the next steps in the appeal process and the associated costs.
811 Charette, Daycare - The Aug. 13th hearing was continued, and the applicant’s attorney stated the application may be withdrawn. As of now, a final “must-hear” date has not been scheduled. The GBCL is successfully collaborating with neighbors in the hearing preparation.
The typical zoning project brought to the GBCL for a membership opinion is reviewed by the GBCL Board, before the presentation to membership, in the following manner:
1. GBCL is contacted by an applicant, or the applicant’s attorney informing us of their project, the stage they’re in of the application process, and requesting a date to present their project to membership as required of them by City Planning.
2. This contact is usually followed by receipt of the L&I notices and plans of the project.
The GBCL Board then begins their review.
3. L&I documents and plans are examined.
4. Requests for any needed clarification are sent to the applicant and L&I. Multiple phone conversations usually take place.
5. Photographs are taken on location of the project area.
6. City records are examined for permit and tax history.
7. Relevant zoning rules and principals are researched.
8. Collaboration with Councilman Brian O’Neill’s office takes place.
9. Information is exchanged and discussed at executive board meetings with the applicant often on a speaker phone line responding to questions.
10. Meetings are sometimes held with affected neighbors.
11. Flyers are produced and physically distributed to surrounding neighbors and businesses informing them of the upcoming presentation and requesting input on the proposed project.
12. Incoming inquiries and opinions from neighbors that arrive on the hotline and emails are collected. Multiple conversations usually take place.
13. Applicant or applicant’s attorney is informed of any issues that were uncovered or unaddressed in their original proposal.
14. With the GBCL inspection complete and summarized, photographs, project plans and any relevant documents are loaded onto the computer for projection at the membership meeting.
15. The project is then presented to membership by the applicant for a vote.