Zoning

EFCC ZONING MEETING
3570 Calumet 
Argo proposal for 3 town homes with shared driveway and parking in rear to serve 3515 Midvale & Townhomes. Multiple Refusals; height, driveway width & exception required for accessory parking.
3549 Sunnyside
Owner seeks to change the ‘use’ to (4) dwelling units in an existing building with an existing granted ‘use’ of one (1) commercial unit and three (3) dwelling units.
Penn Charter Lower School
CEO & Architects EwingCole will provide an informational presentation of plans for the new lower school to be located at the Field House.

Wednesday November 17th at 7 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83666079406?pwd=NTZON0RDZDRkRTBhNDVPQXNLeDBrUT09

About EFCC Zoning

EFCC is a Registered Community Organization (RCO) with a Zoning Committee made up of volunteers Members including: 

Hilary Langer, (Chair) , Emily Nichols (EFCC President), Bill Epstein, Glynis Tart, Todd Baylson,  Stan Sherman,  LB Young, Paul Elia, Thomas Flynn, Jim O'Toole, Bruce Weitz, Coren Wise, Matt McClure, Linda Norris.

Review the Zoning Committee’s Operating Procedures Manual for more information and the EFCC bylaws to understand zoning's role within the broader civic. Interested in joining? Email us: zoning@eastfallscommunity.org

Current Proposal & Variance Request Updates as of November  11th 2021. 

CURRENT VARIANCE REQUESTS:

 

3570 Calumet

For the erection of 3 new town homes with parking spaces in rear under the town homes accessed by a shared driveway. There is included 12 parking spaces dedicated to 3515 Midvale on the rear section of the site zoned CMX2.5. To review the submission going before the ZBA click here.

Zoning Committee Meeting: 11/17/21

ZBA Appeal date: 01/12/22

3504 Ainslie (Parcel A):

For the erection of 2 new homes on newly subdivided lot Parcels B (3506) & C (3508).

See refusal and Zoning Permit Application here.

Zoning Committee Meeting: 09/15/21.

Neighbor Site Meeting: 10/11/21

ZBA Hearing Date:  Continued

3549 Sunnyside (Corner Sunnyside & Cresson)

The owner of 3549 Sunnyside Ave. seeks to change the ‘use’ to (4) dwelling units in an existing building with an existing granted ‘use’ of one (1) commercial unit and three (3) dwelling units. See application here.

Zoning Committee Meeting 11/17/2021.

ZBA Hearing Date: Continued from 11/10/21

 

3743 Midvale

This is for an accessory roof deck and exit stair for what will be Mike Murphy's Taqueria Cresta and bar on Midvale right next to Black Squirrel. See application here.

Zoning Committee Meeting: 10/20/21

ZBA Appeal date: 12/15/21

4401 Ridge Avenue

The last zoning hearing of September 8th was resumed to Oct 19th at 9.30 am. We were last up on the day and there was no time for us to lay out testimony before the ZBA called the proceedings to close at 7 pm. The EFCC, representing close neighbors, are looking for concessions from the developers to address the concerns of the large size, the height, the destruction of natural habitat, the density and the overall scale of the project and the congestion it will bring in proximity to close neighbors. The developer has provided some improvements with the implementation of masonry materials, balconies and stoops as result of the Civic design Review process, and has openly said on numerous occasions any negotiations regarding the neighbors' concerns described above are off the table.

ZBA Appeal Date: 10/19/21

ZBA Decision date: 11/03/21 - Vote of 3-1 SUPPORT

  

UPDATE EXISTING APPLICATIONS:

3018 Midvale

This is for the legalization of a dwelling structure above garage on the rear portion of a double lot. The owner has progressively enlarged the existing building as we have met with no effort to remove, alter or reduce the size of the structure. EFCC has opposed the variance. Finally, on August 25th, the ZBA denied the variance. See ZBA Notice of Decision. (NOD)

 

3445 Division Street

This application for 2 small but tall homes of 900 SF each on an 1800 SF site was denied by the ZBA. The owner has appealed the decision which will take it to the Court of Common Pleas. The neighbors have agreed to fund the legal costs of the intervention and representation giving the neighbors and EFCC standing at the appeal to continue to oppose this development.

 

GOOD NEWS:

 

4300-26 Ridge Avenue - Grasso Project

Yes the day has finally arrived when we will see this forever vacant and blighted lot with a building! Groundbreaking finally took place on Friday September 10th. The hope is that construction will proceed without delay and stoppages so some of these gaps can start to be infilled in this sadly scruffy block bordering the Schuylkill River.

 

Current Proposal & Variance Request Updates as of September 14th 2021. 

1. 4401 Ridge Avenue - former PHA site (Parcel 3 or III) - Ridge and Merrick - review of developer proposal with notified stakeholders. 185 rental units, 180 cars and 179,000 SF overall development. 90' tall at its high point. To see the ATAPCO proposal  Click here for the layout and design of the project presented at the 2nd Civic design Review.

Please click here for community input following the community design review at City Planning.

Following the course of of two civic design reviews with City Planning and the EFCC Zoning group, the ATAPCO developers from Baltimore Maryland made some minor cosmetic changes namely the addition of balconies to some of the apartments and more significantly, an increase in the footprint of the corner retail at Ridge & Merrick. The green roof area was increased and a second loading bay added. The number of apartments remains unchanged but parking spaces have been reduced to 180 (going forward to the ZBA appeal process) The overall footprint of the project places a long unbroken high rise block at the back of the site, which has been described as reminiscent of the original towers demolished. 

 

The ZBA appeal hearing (required because of the steep slope refusal) was held on June 9th and was continued to August 17th at 9.30 am. Zoning notices were improperly posted around the site, but more significantly an additional meeting was requested by Councilman Jones and Kelvin Jeremiah of PHA to learn more of the concerns of near neighbors to the development . This meeting was held by zoom on Tuesday June 29th.

 

The August 17th ZBA hearing was resumed to September 8th at 3.30 pm due to the length presentation and testimony of the applicant. At this time the protestants and close neighbors in opposition to the development to the development in its current form will be able to be heard. 

2. 3445 Division Street - proposal for 2 homes with garages on undersized lots of 908 SF (1440 SF is minimum requirement). As of March 10th after the 3rd attempt to reach a vote, the ZBA unanimously gave a NO vote to the Zoning Variance Appeal in the favor of the neighbors. The developer NUBO Group has subsequently filed an appeal at Court of Common Pleas to overturn the ZBA vote. EFCC and neighbors have intervened so we may continue to uphold the position of the Zoning Board and the neighborhood.

3. 3018 Midvale Avenue - the owner is seeking legalization of an existing recently built structure in rear lot. The variance hearing of 01/27/21 was continued due to an incorrect application for accessory storage, when in fact the owner was applying for an accessory residential unit above a garage. The owner has since proposed to make significant alterations to the existing structure but the ZBA has still issued 2 refusals which brought the owner and community back to a hearing on August 3rd. The ZBA did not hear testimony of neighbors at this meeting or meet the EFCC request for continuance as the most recent proposal had not been reviewed. They decided that a letter of support/opposition will be read on August 25th and the board will take their vote after the reading. Fortunately the ZBA agreed with the neighbors and denied the variance and legalization of the property.

4. 4440-42 Ridge Avenue  - Construction has started on this 136 unit 96 parking space apartment building. The lower level is retail space which is isolated and disconnected from other retail on Ridge Avenue. The lower parking level and foundation excavation is well underway. 

Here is the CDR presentation of the apartment project.

5. 3515 Midvale Avenue - Construction has started on this 33 unit apartment building on the former site of Chucks garage. The large bill board has come down and the existing garage building is demolished. Site remediation and removal of fill is complete and foundation and foundation walls have come up to grade  level. 

6. 3570-74 Calumet Street - David Ross of Argos development is proposing 3 townhomes fronting onto Calumet with parking in the rear. Parking via a common driveway is also proposed for 12 parking spaces dedicated for 3515 Midvale Avenue. Access to the rear of 3515 Midvale Appts would be provided via restricted access to steps down the steep slope. Originally the proposal for this site was for 22 cars to address concerns of parking on Midvale. However, Calumet neighbors rightly did not want parking issues on Midvale to become their congestion issue. Two meetings of neighbors at the project site came to the census that townhomes and limited parking for Midvale might be a reasonable compromise..

Review Argos development Proposal here.

7. 3227-43 Stokley - an existing event facility with an outside deck and entertainment applying for a restaurant and full kitchen. This is a non-conforming use in the zoning for the site. This is a shared neighborhood project with RAH Ridge Allegheny Hunting Park Civic Association. The project location is close to the Bakers Center shopping center. This project is supported by EFCC after a July 21st meeting was held with the owner and RAH and due to the strong support voiced in the meeting. the ZBA approved the variance and the project on August 25th.

8. 2783 Roberts Avenue - an existing corner building with some mixed uses including daycare. There appears to be some maintenance work shop space in the lower level. They are proposing to apply for restaurant use which is not allowed in the zoning for the building. This is a shared neighborhood project with RAH Ridge Allegheny Hunting Park Civic Association. The project location is close to the Bakers Center shopping center.

As always, please email us at zoning@eastfallscommunity.org with any questions, ideas or concerns.  

We make every effort to post the upcoming meeting agenda as soon as is possible and will also post on Next Door. The best way to get the agenda is by signing up for the weekly EFCC newsletter by emailing info@eastfallscommunity.org 

 

EFCC zoning meetings are held the third Wednesday of every month, unless otherwise noted here. Outside of the pandemic, meetings are typically held at Jefferson University East Falls Campus Down’s Hall located off School House Lane across from Penn Charter or at the East Falls Presbyterian Church on Vaux Street just off Midvale. Meetings are public and all are welcome. Neighbors living close to projects on the Agenda are strongly encouraged to partiticipate.

Presentations & notes from recent Zoning meetings
  • 3445 Division Street:  

  1. Immediate neighbors had these concerns: 

  2. The allowable 3-story height of the project with full build out to the property lines on this very narrow street will significantly overshadow properties opposite on Division Street, taking away views of sky, reducing daylight and sunlight.

  3. The 3-story structure high structure at 40’+ built out to the property line on all sides will accordingly overshadow the short rear yards of Sunnyside Avenue. 

  4. These proposed homes are out of scale to Division street and are not typical of neighborhood homes which have gardens/open space.

  • The developer has modified their proposal to lower the height to the top of roof a parapet from 42' to 37'. They have provided the required 7' rear setback to eliminate that refusal. They are unwilling to make further concessions on allowing a third floor setback to open up the sky to Division Street neighbors.

  • This proposal was reviewed during a posted ZBA hearing on 02.10.21. Due to an overly full slate that kept neighbors waiting to speak for 3 hours, the hearing was cut short and continued to 03/03/21. ZBA at this time made no determination. However Curtis Jones and City Planning do not support the current proposal. 

  • 3018 Midvale Avenue:  

  1. Owner of 3018 is seeking to legalize new construction built without zoning approval or building permits.

  2. Current refusals include height of structure and lack of required side and rear setbacks. 

  3. Work continued despite stop work order issue.

  4. The structure is located at the rear of second lot for 3018, and consists of a double wide garage with a 2nd floor residential unit with large windows. 

  • The owner and their attorney have declined to a request that the illegal structure be reduced in size and are intent on completing the illegal structure.

  • At the posted 01/27 ZBA appeal the board was unable to reach a decision and still had questions. Therefore due to the full slate and the late hour the appeal date was reset for 02/17 at 3.30 pm. 

  • The 02/17 hearing was continued due to the inaccuracy of the application by the owner. Application was for accessory storage when in fact the building plans were for a single family dwelling.

  • Wissahickon Brewery 4705 Ridge Avenue. Following a well advertised community zoom meeting held on September 29th 2020, the EFCC Zoning Committee voted to support the variance for the Brewery. Quite simply their operation as a brewery with retail, tasting, yoga room and food sales was refused in L-2 Industrial Zoning (existing zoning of the parcel). The community agreed they should be granted the variance to continue operation in an L-2 district with the proviso that there would be no amplified outdoor events. The concensus of participants was their operation is welcome and fully enjoyed within the community.
     

  • 3449 Scotts Lane: The owners of the approved townhouse development at the former “Gold Lot”, sold the site to Stamm Development who are proposing 220 rental units over covered parking. There will be some limited rehabilitation of existing and overgrown side walks. Stamm made their pitch to the community via virtual zoom meeting on August 18 2020. The development was well received and no opposition to the project was raised. Stamm agreed to carry forward the community requirement from the previous development that the internal road would connect through to Henry Avenue reducing potential congestion on Scotts Lane. The 5 parking spaces on site negotiated for adjacent homes would also remain. The project has since been through two Community Design Reviews and has implemented review recommendations of improved landscape design, buffer zones along Route One, and building elevations on Scotts lane that would include more glass. The community has nevertheless reinforced the need for safer and better sidewalk environment on the lane, and to encourage the use of the SEPTA Regional Rail System. The Zoning Committee based on the general census of the community meeting and the design review improvements will provide a letter of support with above conditions for the project.

  • Wissahickon brewery is on the 09.29.20 agenda for several use variances.  Their refusal is here.​ A summary of the petition / survey Wiss Brewing did about their efforts can be found here. EFCC is supporting their variance request via this letter to the ZBA

  • 3449 Scotts Lane (New Owners - Stamm Development Group) have fairly dramatically changed the planned build out of this parcel. Previously the development planned was ~ 90 units comprised of mainly townhome-like buildings, some which were duplexes or triplexes, and which had something like 120-130 parking spaces. The new plans are for more of an apartment complex with 220 apartments and 220 parking spaces as well as around 80 bike parking spaces. The new plans are most easily seen and understood in this presentation.​

  • The underlying zoning of this parcel was changed - mainly around the same time as and likely in an effort to facilitate the earlier proposal. This is done by City Council via legislation. EFCC generally supported that process despite some lingering concerns about traffic and parking and density and that approach to altering zoning districts because it was going to turn a trash strewn underutilized parking lot into a new part of the neighborhood with the promise of new residential housing and the rare inclusion of ample parking. Our recollection of the meetings and discussions was that even skeptics acknowledged the plan would be a pretty good outcome for the neighborhood given the short dumping happening on the windswept parking lot and the prospect of new for sale townhomes next to Recreation Center and walkable from the train station. 

  • ​The prior developers also committed to turning the existing driveway running through the site and the former EPPI site (currently being redeveloped currently into senior housing) into essentially a through street connecting Scotts Lane and Henry Ave at the new light installed on Henry near the Roosevelt Blvd access road. This new roadway was widely supported because it will help distribute traffic and it was also thought that it will reduce the amount of new traffic on Scott's Lane because residents of the new development could exist via either Henry Ave OR Scotts Lane. The new owners have committed to retaining this access road, which EFCC thinks is a huge win and benefit. 

  • ​The new design is by right in part, we were told, because of the change in the zoning that was done previously. The project is on the meeting agenda because its size triggered Civic Design Review. As some of you may recall, developers who can do a by right development that trigger civic design review have to do a community meeting and then up to two additional meetings in front of the design review board, but they are not obligated to change their design and approach. In essence, and unlike in a variance matter they have to listen to the neighborhood in a series of meetings, but they can ultimately ignore community feedback and still get a building permit for what they've proposed. Here are the additional zoning plans, zoning application, and elevation for what is currently proposed and what will be discussed in the meeting.

  • 3515 Midvale Ave (the former Chucks Garage site) 

  • ​The developer and owner of 3515 Midvale Ave has requested to come back and discuss the project with the community specifically to discuss some changes they anticipate making. They intend (as of a recent update) to develop slightly fewer units that are a little bit larger than previously planned. I believe the number is around 30 units total now, down from 40-44 or so. Please don't quote me on those numbers as exact. They also intend to buy (or may have already gotten under agreement) two parcels of land that are located on Calumet street which were for sale this spring. If feasible, the developer intends to turn the two parcels on Calumet into dedicated parking for the 3515 Midvale building. Residents would then basically park on Calumet and walk over a skybridge to the top of the building at 3515 Midvale where they could descend to their units. Calumet is approximately at the same height as the top of the building proposed for 3515 Midvale. ​

  • Regardless of what you think, this is a novel and interesting (certainly expensive) approach to helping provide parking for these new residents and parking capacity is certainly a concern for a lot of people in East Falls. That said, I have heard from several neighbors on Calumet that they do not like the idea of their residential street supporting dedicated parking for a larger than is typical building that is located down on Midvale Ave.

  • Additionally, it needs to be noted that the building thats been proposed for 3515 Midvale is by right (no variance needed / could go get building permit today) but Im told (I haven't reviewed the zoning personally yet) that converting the two parcels on Calumet to be parking will require variances, which the neighborhood could forcibly oppose and petition the deciding body (the zoning board of adjustment) to not approve a variance. This is why the developer wanted to come meet with the neighborhood again and highlight what they are willing to try to do to try to help solve some of the challenges - like parking capacity - that have swirled around the Midvale Ave development ideas. 

  • ​Lastly, the developer has tentatively agreed to have any costs for the parking be included in the rent, rather than charging extra for this amenity. The thinking is that if the benefit of dedicated parking is included in the rent, new residents will "pay" (it will be an unseen part of their rent)  and use the parking but if they have to pay "extra" above and beyond their rent payments for the parking they will decide not to do so and will just park on the street, which many people feel cannot accommodate additional cars.

  • ​To set the stage fairly, some claim we have no space for any new cars on area streets and there is too much new development by far. Others see new buildings that are walkable from the train station and centrally located in East Falls as a great match for the neighborhood because it will support commerce and because they see room for more density. Most people probably fall somewhere in the middle. 

  • ​No new drawings or eye candy are available for 3515 Midvale Yet. 

  • 4440-42 Ridge Avenue: Civic Design Review (CDR) letter regarding the HOW properties apartment building proposed for 4440-42 Ridge Ave (adjacent to the townhomes HOW built between Ridge Ave and Kelly Drive). Here is the CDR presentation of the apartment project. 

 

  • 3625 McMichael Street: The redevelopment of 3625 McMichael Street (the former Ken Crest property) into two single family homes is supported by EFCC. The building is basically being preserved with some modest changes. Here is the refusal, application, plan and elevation. Here is our letter of support. 

  • 3588-3600 Calumet Street: The owner (or soon to be owner) of 3588-3600 Calumet St., where Dobson St. intersects with Calumet St. near Frank’s Pizza, applied for a variance to combine these two properties that sit on the right side of Calumet St. as one travels up the street from Ridge Ave. The owner
    proposed to build five townhomes with six parking garages / spaces at the rear of the properties. The refusals on the proposal deal with parcel widths and land areas smaller than those allowed by the zoning code. EFCC requested the developer ask the ZBA for a continuance so that the conversation could continue and wrote the following letter saying that if they moved ahead we opposed the variance (longer story but thats essentially what happened). The developer moved ahead and the ZBA approved the project despite our letter of opposition. Demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of the new homes is expected to start in the spring of 2020.

  • Jefferson University (formerly Phila U) received a refusal for two signage matters - the first being the signage on their new building at Henry Ave and School House Lane, the second being updates they plan for the scoreboard signage on their main athletic fields. The signs at the major athletic fields are being replaced to include the Jefferson name and colors etc. The athletic field signs will be approximately the same size with same lighting treatment etc. Renderings and the technical drawings that we have received can be found here, here, here and here. Jefferson's zoning board hearing was on August 14th, 2019. A map of the athletic field signage locations can be found here. Our letters of support, with some conditions for the treatment of the new building lighting are here and here

  • 4021 Ridge Avenue: There is a Civic Design Review (CDR) triggered by the proposal to build 135 units in three new buildings planned on the eastern section of Dobson Mills where the old brick chimney was recently taken down. It appears the owners have their zoning approved, except for completion of the CDR process and the required public meeting. Please keep in mind that at this time it appears that the owners do not need a variance to get a building permit although they have committed to listening to feedback. Here are the plan, plan and elevations of the project that we have received. CDR meeting 1 was held on 9/3/1

  • 3680 Indian Queen Ln - Owner sought  support for a variance to convert the ground floor of a building from commercial to residential. The building is currently under construction authorized, as far as we can tell, by a valid building permit that includes commercial on the ground floor. The refusal also includes minimum lot size. Here is an information packet including the refusal, design details that are available etc. This project was discussed at two EFCC meetings and the reaction has been fairly negative with consistent outcomes from an online survey. Accordingly EFCC is opposing the requested variance. Letter of opposition here. 

  • Penn Charter 3000 W School House Ln,  - Penn Charter seeks support for a variance for their proposed athletic and wellness center as well as a new field and reconfigured off street parking.  These projects have been discussed publicly in prior public meetings about Penn Charters master plan. Here is the final refusal. Here are updated plans that will be discussed. EFCC is supporting the requested variance via the letter here

  • 3515 Midvale Ave (formerly Chuck's Garage) -  Informational presentation and Q & A with developer is summarized here: The convo about 3515 midvale was pretty basic and low key...no visuals, conversational approach etc. They are looking at either a mid rise multifamily bldg (# of units unknown) or a townhome plan (~10), leaning towards midrise w what they described as great commerce on the first floor (the much desired and often requested grocery and prepared food store was dangled as a potential type of tenant). They are optimistic they'd get approval to build a retaining wall like the other two adjacent properties have, which would add to build-able area. They can do the project by right but don't want to ruffle feathers and want to work with the community, but at the same time they need to make money and stated that they've spent an astonishing amount figuring out what is below ground in terms of gas station infrastructure, running water etc. as well as how to address the slope on the site. Its a complicated site. but they believe being adjacent to the train station is a big value proposition and worth doing. They specifically highlighted attracting people wanting to commute downtown as well as to Conshy. They heard loud and clear that the major and huge concern is parking and traffic on midvale, which attendees noted has gotten markedly worse recently in the mornings. They spoke about car share, biking, train, people having less cars in the future due to ridesharing etc. and other means of mitigating the one apartment = two cars mantra. Their views did not seem to shake attendees concerns about parking and traffic and they acknowledged that they heard the concerns loud and clear. They do want parking involved in the project but there are prohibitions on parking front due to zoning. Those could be addressed via a variance...but then they'd be seeking a variance. They promised they'd be back sooner than later.​ ​​

  • 3901 Henry Ave (The Kelly House) - Variance - The applicant proposed a number of interior modifications including: creating meeting space, a reconfiguration of the interior spaces in the main house, and a caretakers residence above the existing garage. Here is the refusal, here is the notification letter and here are drawings and visuals. EFCC supported the requested variance. Our letter to the ZBA is here

  • 4300-26 Ridge Avenue: Rivage / Grasso development at Ridge and Calumet ​The Rivage project has had a reduction in the height and the number of units and some other modifications. Due to these and other changes, but because it is still above a certain threshold in terms of size, the City required that the developer go back to the Civic Design Review (CDR). CDR is for projects above a certain size to see a review by a panel of design professionals. It is not a zoning hearing or related to the variances discussed for the project some time ago. The CDR process does require a documented and advertised public meeting, which was held on August 15th, 2018.  Truth be told, CDR can request that the applicant / developer make changes to their design and project, but the applicant is not required to adopt the changes. CDR can require that the applicant come back a 2nd time which is expected to happen on October 2, 2018. The applicant is still not required to adopt the CDR recommendations. More information on CDR can be found here: http://www.phila.gov/CityPlanning/projectreviews/Pages/CivicDesignReview.aspx

    Here is the latest project presentation from Mr's Grasso's team. 

    ​Here is a description of the updates: 
    Grasso Holdings LLC (GH) is presenting an updated Civic Design Review (CDR) presentation for 4300 Ridge Ave., a ground up mixed use project at the corner of Ridge Avenue and Calumet Street. This project had previously received CDR and Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) approvals, however, GH is required to re-submit for CDR approval based on certain design changes made to reduce the scale and overall cost of the project. With these design changes GH now anticipates being able to break ground on the project within the next several months.

    The changes to the design of the project have resulted in no additional zoning refusals and, based upon the recent rezoning of the site to CMX-3, the project is now much closer to an as-of -right submission.  Accordingly, this presentation to the EFCC is only in anticipation of a CDR presentation and there is no requested zoning relief at this time.

    The project will now consist of 142 rental apartments (reduced from 206 apartments), 118 surface parking spaces and approximately 10,000 SF of retail space. The apartments will consist of a mix of studio, 1- and 2-bedroom units targeting professionals and empty nesters seeking a highly amenitized building with the benefit of living adjacent to Fairmount Park and the banks of the Schuylkill River. While the massing and building orientation is substantially similar, the current plans represent a reduction in scale and intensity from the previously approved plans. Compared to the previously approved design, the apartment unit count has been reduced from 206 to 142; parking has been reduced from 207 to 118 spaces; the number of floors has been reduced from 6 stories to 5 stories and building height has been reduced from 79’-8” to 65’-3”.

    The project will be presented by KTGY architects, an internationally known architecture firm based in the Washington, DC area. As is required of a CDR presentation the design team will be presenting the characteristics and public realm elements of the project. This presentation will focus on building height and scale, exterior materials, proposed streetscape and ground floor plans with relationship to outside public spaces."

    We understand that the developer will still implement traffic improvements including the right turn lane onto Calumet off Ridge heading towards downtown and the other intersection improvements discussed a while back. ​

    There have been a lot of questions about why the project has taken so long and what the challenges have been. I do not want to speak for him but David Grasso suggested that he has momentum to pull this project forward at this time and told me that he intends to move forward as quickly as possible following the CDR. I'm sure the timeline is something he can discuss at the meeting. 

 

  • The development is proposed for the large and often underutilized parking lot behind New Courtland (formerly EPPI) that is immediately uphill from the train tracks where they cross Scotts Lane. It is diagonal from McDevitts Rec Cntr. The description from Callahan Ward states: "The design includes 92 units situated over the site.  The land plan calls for returning a significant portion of the site from asphalt parking lot back to landscaped "meadow" and courtyard space around which the new homes will be centered.  The site has 122 parking spaces, most of which are within the footprint of each home site with guest parking scattered around the perimeter of the property.  The project is conceived of as a for-sale project with a mix of multi-family, duplex and single family homes." 

    Regarding circulation, Callahan Ward has secured access to Henry Avenue via the New Courtland property in addition to the main access off of Scotts Lane. A site plan, renderings and additional details can be found here. 

    Scotts Lane Townhome project​ - This housing development has been proposed by Callahan Ward. Here is their website: http://callahanward.com/aboutus.html

    EFCC supported the initial work to begin on the updated zoning requested by Callahan Ward. Additional input has been assured over the fall of 2018 and any additional changes sought will be coordinated with Councilman Jones. 

  • 3502 Ainslie Street: EFCC supported the multifamily building seeking legalization at 3502 Ainslie St. Here is the refusal, picture , and our letter to the ZBA. 

  • Penn Charter Ball Field: EFCC supported Penn Charter's proposed ball field project after requesting that the design be adjusted to save at least two Heritage trees. This was an imperfect outcome but we sought to blend our goal to reduce the number of huge trees they were removing with our support for this important and beautiful neighborhood institution that generously lets residents use its property and athletic fields. The letter of support is here. Here is their refusal and the overview of the master plan / SPIN, which includes the ballfield project.  

  • Penn Charter Preliminary Master Plan and Special Purpose institutional zoning discussions from May 2018 Zoning Meeting are here

  • 3465 Bowman Street: EFCC supported the proposed demolition of the garage located at 3465 Bowman Street which is proposed to be replaced with a new rowhome. Here is the plan and refusal. The letter of support to the ZBA will be posted here at the earliest opportunity. 

  • Ken Crest: Here is a brief overview of the Ken Crest matter.

After three meetings and a number of ongoing discussions, email threads, an online survey, a petition in opposition to the Ken Crest proposal and a lot of negative interactions the zoning cmmttee voted to take no position on the Ken crest proposal in this KenCrest letter . This was insufficient for a number of the near neighbors who are also EFCC members and who wanted a firmer no out of the EFCC and the letter was held.  At a subsequent General Meeting of the EFCC (the 4th public meeting discussing Ken Crest) the members in attendance voted to override the Zoning Cmmttee and write a letter to the ZBA describing the EFCC as a firm no on the Ken Crest proposal. That letter is here. Following submission of that letter to the ZBA, the applicant withdrew their application for a variance indefinitely on or around March 19th, 2017.

 

Subsequently, on April 12th, 2018 Ken Crest received their permit as a "reasonable accommodation under the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act". Here is a screenshot of the permit issuance. This accommodation bypassed all local zoning processes although it was discussed as a potential approach that Ken Crest might consider taking during  the public meetings about Ken Crest's efforts. 

 

Additional information about the Ken Crest proposal includes: 

1) Updated plan

2) Updated section/elevation 1 of 2

3) Updated section/elevation 2 of 2

4) DRAFT/PROPOSED Agreement with KenCrest (!!!! - NOT agreed to, nor executed - !!!! - just proposed by them based on feedback from the prior meetings - !!!!) 

5) Original refusal

  • New Courtland Henry Avenue: EFCC supported the latest element of New Courtland's plan for the former EPPI property, and the tower portion of the redevelopment specifically via this letter to the ZBA. They have presented their plan (link here) a number of times in front of the East Falls community and other nearby  communities seeking support. The refusal was because multi family was not permitted in the current zoning. Here is their refusal

  • 3300 Conrad Street: EFCC is supporting the development proposed for 3300 Conrad St following the 6/21/17 mtg. We requested specific improvements to the property regarding the street frontage and to improve the space for the public. See the refusal, the developers letter notifying near neighbors about the 6/21/17 zoning mtg, drawings of the proposed development (set 1 and set 2) and the EFCC letter of support to the ZBA outlining the requested improvements.

  • 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". Here is an updated presentation of what they are proposing to building including: a small number of townhomes (8-17 over two phases) and a smaller 65 unit apartment building. HOW believes that these revisions will be by right (no variance needed), which means this is an informational presentation although they have requested input on the design, materials etc.  

  • East Falls Family Dentistry: EFCC letter of support for East Falls Family Dentistry's special exception

  • New Courtland Henry Avenue: EFCC letter of support for the New Courtland Senior Services redevelopment proposal for 3232 Henry Avenue (the former EPPI site). Here is a presentation of their plans for the New Courtland at Henry Avenue redevelopment. 

  • HOW properties / EFDC parking lot proposal from January 2017 zoning mtg: 

    • The plan

    • The refusal 

    • The letter of support from EFCC

    • Description of the project: HOW properties and the EFDC are proposing taking an unmaintained paved lot own by the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation and converting it to a functioning parking lot.  Half of the spaces will be permit parking (we believe for apartment tenants) and the other half will be first come first serve.  The parking lot will be leased directly to The East Falls Development Corporation.  The lease will be for 1 year and will be renewed yearly. Eventually, it is hoped that the parking lot will be converted into a through street to increase traffic circulation and enable people to more easily get to the recreational path and the Schuylkill river 

  • Presentation from 350Philly discouraging fossil fuels and SEPTA's proposed CHP plant. 

  • Presentation from EFDC about new parking lot -> through street as part of HOW properties Japanese Rest. Site Redevelopment