Yesterday’s hearing wasn't a victory, but it wasn't a loss. After an hour and fifteen minutes in front of the Zoning Board of Adjustment debating our position with the applicant's attorney, opposing the manufacturing business in a residential neighborhood, the ZBA postponed making a decision while we were still there and will contact us when they've decided. There was a slight possibility we would hear a decision as soon as today, but we didn't.
This appeal has been a challenge for our civic league since the ZBA first ruled against us in November of 2012. There was never a doubt in my mind that we made the right decision to appeal their ruling. Regardless of the outcome of our appeal, I think a statement has been clearly made with zoning attorney’s that the residents of Bustleton will fight inappropriate ZBA rulings that blatantly reduce the quality of life we enjoy here in Bustleton.
There have been a lot of people involved in this effort from the very beginning, and I thank them all. Let’s all hope for a positive outcome. I’ll send out a notice as soon as we learn the outcome. Take care.
Jack O’Hara, President
Greater Bustleton Civic League
(September meeting moved from the 4th to the 3rd Wednesday for Rosh Hashana)
It seems that a short article in last months newsletter, also discussed at the May membership meeting, struck a cord with a number of residents who expressed their strong support of the concept. The theory, developed by a couple of social scientists, warns how one broken window in a building, left unﬁxed, will only encourage more windows to be broken. That trash left on streets atrracts more trash, then bags of trash. Petty vandalism gone unreported only invites major crimes to occur. Paying attention to the small things before they get worse is the heart of the “Broken Window Theory”. People take cues from surroundings and adjust their behavior based on what they see. If we all work together to keep Bustleton litter-free and our streets well-maintained, others will be less likely to litter or vandalize because they’ll sense that they will surly be held accountable if they do so.
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.
811 Charette – The June 4th hearing for use as a Group Daycare Center was continued to Wednesday, August 13th, 4 pm. The presentation took place at our May 28 meeting. With a large showing of neighbors, membership voted unanimously to oppose the center, 34 to 0. The applicant is now resubmitng the application under a category that allows for the center under a “special exception”. Filing applications under a special exception has increasingly become an effective tactic of zoning attorneys. Now, the burden of proof falls on the objectors to show that the proposal will be a detritiment to public health, safety, and welfare of the community. The GBCL is strongly opposed to this use and is mounting a campaign to stop its establishment. Strong support from neighbors and members will be needed. Details of the eﬀort will follow.
2044 Red Lion, BJ's – Application was approved as presented.
1701 Welsh, Old Wawa - The GBCL has been informed to expect to receive a Referral soon for a Little Ceasers Pizza.