Monday, September 1, 2014

WPNA - NEWBOLD Tree Pruning Event, Saturday, September 6, 2014

Please join us for the third installment of the WPNA - NEWBOLD Tree Pruning Event. We will be meeting on the corner of 22nd and Wolf Streets at 10:00am on Saturday, September 6, 2014. We will be working with a certified arborist, Brice Dorwart. We will start on the 2200 block of South 22nd street and go on from there. It should last about two hours. Come out and meet some neighbors and do some greening!

Monday, August 25, 2014

July 17th Zoning Meeting Update & Minutes 2 of 2

The community vote was 6 in favor of granting the variance, 8 opposed and 3 neutral.

The zoning committee voted unanimously to approve the variance. The letter that the committee sent explaining our decision is posted below.

July 22, 2014


To: Julia Chapman, Chair Zoning Board of Adjustment

      Kristine A. Phillips, Esquire WILLIG, WILLIAMS & DAVIDSON

      Anthony Lambrusciano

      Steve Cobb, Director of Legislation, Office of Kenyatta Johnson



Re: Appeal # 23054

       Permit # 507057

       Hearing Date Tuesday August 12, 2014 9:30am

       Property in consideration 2444 Durfor St


Dear Julia Chapman,

On July 17, 2014 the applicant (Anthony Lambrusciano) and his representative in the above referenced case met with our organization. Based on the outcome of that meeting and after careful deliberation, our organization is supporting the applicant’s request for a variance.

We base our support for the variance on the following reasons:

·         The business has been operating at this location for several years and was allowed under the previous zoning code.

·         There are no physical changes being sought to the current structures on the property that would be disruptive to the neighborhood

·         There are several similar businesses located along the 25th St. corridor


We offer our support with the following qualifications:

·         Some members of the community expressed concern over the following issues: Unlike many of the other similar businesses operating in the area, this property is right on the corner of a residential area; the presence of piles of tires was deemed by some as unsightly and concerns over an increase in pests were brought up. The business operator has promised to work with his neighbors to address these and other issues which may come up.


·         Another point of concern was that if the property, which currently operates as a tire repair shop, were granted the variance that the owner/operator would be free to expand the services it currently provides, which may not be ideal given the dimensions of the property and its proximity to a residential area. The applicant, through his attorney, has provided a letter attesting to his commitment not to expand the services provided on the property in the future. (This letter has been provided with this letter.)

·         Our organization gives our support under the assumption that the business operator and/or property owner will adhere to all relevant Federal, state and local business and environmental regulations.


If you require any further information from our organization, please feel free to contact us.





Peter Curran

West Passyunk Neighbors Association




July 17th Zoning Meeting Update & Minutes 1 of 2

In an effort to improve the transparency of the activities and decisions of our zoning committee we will begin posting the meeting minutes and the decision that the committee made on each application. Our July 2014 meeting was held on Thursday the 17th at the 1st District Police Station at 2301 S 24th St. We heard a proposal from the representatives of Anthony Lambrusciano, whose property on 2444 Durfor St was re-zoned residential from mixed use commercial when the zoning code changed in 2013. Below is a copy of the meeting minutes, the second part of this post will be the commitee's decision, vote tally and a copy of our letter that was sent to the ZBA which explains our commitee's decision.



July 17, 2014


A public zoning meeting hosted by the Zoning Committee of the West Passyunk Neighbors Association (the “Association”) was held at 7:00PM at the 1st District Police Station, 2301 S. 24th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145.  In attendance were committee members Peter Curran, Jennifer Harrison, and James McMillan (the “Committee”), the applicant Anthony Labrusciano (the “Applicant”), the applicant’s representative Kristine Phillips of Willig, Williams & Davidson (“Representative”), the business operator Marcellus, and members of the public.  


The issue addressed was consideration of the zoning application concerning 2444 Durfor Street.  The application was for a zoning variance to allow for the continued operation of the facility as a tire repair shop.


Committee member Mr. Curran began the meeting by introducing the issue and noting that attendees present must live within the Association’s boundaries to vote on the issue.  As a disclaimer, Mr. Curran informed those present that he is a member of a city employee’s union that happens to be represented by the same firm for which the Representative works.  He then opened the floor to the Representative and Applicant.


The Representative began by stating that the Applicant had originally purchased the property – a set of 4 garages of which he owns 12 total along the block – in 1985 or 1986.  She stated that he obtained permits to allow the property to operate as a tire repair shop.  The zone CMX-2 is mixed-use commercial.  According to the representative, as recently as February 2013 the use was permitted.  Their desire was not to change anything or modify the current structure, but to keep using the building as it has been used so far.  She stated that it did not make a lot of sense that right up the block there is an auto repair service, and asked to allow these men to make a living.  When the Representative had concluded her presentation, questions and comments from the Committee and then the public were heard.


Ms. Harrison inquired if there was access to sanitation services and water.  The business operator replied that there was access to water and a portable toilet was available on the premises.


Mr. McMillan asked for clarification on the usage of the garage units.  The Applicant responded that units 3 and 4 are for tire repair, and units 1 and 2 are for private storage.


A citizen and friend of the applicant stated that he goes by that area a lot, that they are very kind and courteous to him there, and that he keeps it very clean.


A citizen asked if the owner was going to do the same thing to the other garages.  Mr. Curran informed him that this hearing was about the current property only.  The citizen then stated that when her husband’s car broke down right in front, they were able to fix it.  Otherwise they would not have been able to get home.  She also stated that the change in the zoning code bothered her.


A citizen commented on the Representative’s earlier comments, addressing the comparisons between the garages at 25th and Snyder and this garage.  The citizen stated that the main difference was that the subject property is in a residential neighborhood.


A renter of one of the Applicant’s other garage spaces commented that he has been renting from the Applicant for years just to keep a nice car in the garage.  He stated that the business operator just does a “brake job here, a brake repair there”.


In response, another citizen asked exactly what the wording of the variance was, because he had heard just then of brake jobs and brake repairs.  The Representative then read the contents of the variance.  The citizen then commented that a strict reading of the variance would allow any motor repair to occur on the premises.  The Applicant stated that he would add an addendum on that point if he could.


A citizen asked when the last time the portable toilet was cleaned, as they never saw anyone cleaning it.  The business operator responded that he cleans it himself, since he has three daughters that may be there and therefore needs to keep it clean.  The citizen also commented on a previous issue of tires being present in the back yard of the property, not thinking that anyone wants to see that in the neighborhood.  The business operator responded that he keeps the back yard locked.  A second citizen asked if those tires were from him or a prior person.  The business operator responded that those tires are the ones that he puts there.  Addressing the first citizen, the business operator asked if building a shed to contain the tires would be satisfactory.  The citizen responded that they did not agree with that being there.


A citizen asked if the tires in the back yard are a fire hazard.  The business operator responded that the tires in the back yard are stock tires that he puts there and tries to sell.  Other tires he pays a few dollars to have disposed.  The Applicant commented that if someone thinks there are too many tires to let them know and they would remove them.  The business operator also reiterated that they will be chained and locked and fenced.  Another citizen commented that the neighborhood may have to accept that tires may not be the best to look at but if someone is going to sell tires they need to have a place to store them.  The business operator stated that he has a dog to slow down any theft and protect the tires in the back yard.  He hoped that if someone hears the dog barking that someone would call the police.  He stated they also have a camera system as well.


The business operator commented that he is not trying to do any harm.  This is the first time he has owned his own business and it has been quite an experience.  He has been doing it for a while.  He is open 7 AM to 7 PM, not on Sundays, for convenience to customers’ schedules.


A citizen asked who to contact if there are any issues.  The Representative responded that if there is an issue, the Applicant and business operator will work with them to make sure you know when the toilet is cleaned or when the tires in the back yard are cleaned up.  The business operator responded to let him know personally.


No further questions or pertinent comments being forthcoming, ballots were cast by eligible members of the public present on whether to support, oppose, or remain neutral regarding the Applicant’s application.  The results of the public vote were eight opposed, six supporting, and three neutral.  No further business being required, Mr. Curran adjourned the meeting.  After the meeting, the results of the Committee vote were all three supporting.




James McMillan, Secretary

West Passyunk Neighbors Association

August Zoning Meeting This Thursday

Our August zoning meeting is this Thursday, August 28th, 7 PM, at the 1st District Police Station at 2301 S 24th St (between Wolf & Ritner). On the agenda is a proposal from the owner of 2001 S Opal St. who would like to convert the property from a mixed use (commercial/residential) property to a purely residential dwelling. All members and area residents are welcome to attend and make their voice heard.

Friday, August 22, 2014

2100 Snyder Cleanup

We'll be working on the 2100 block of Snyder this week!

We'll meet tomorrow (8/23) at 10am on the corner of 21st and Snyder and pick up trash for about an hour.

The schedule for the next two months is below.  If it's raining one Saturday, we'll just skip that block and get back to it on the next round.  Hope to see you there!

8/23   2100 Block of Snyder
9/6     2200 Block of Snyder
9/20   2300 Block of Snyder
10/4   2400 Block of Snyder
10/18 1900 Block of Snyder
11/1   2000 Block of Snyder
11/15 2100 Block of Snyder

Monday, August 18, 2014

PWD Meeting at Smith Playground

Important meeting at Smith Playground, Tuesday August 19th at 6:30pm. The Philadelphia Water Department is implementing some storm water management practices (Rain Gardens and Trenches) at Smith Playground. Representatives from PWD will be on hand to go over the work they are implementing as well as answer any questions or concerns from residents.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


We had over 7 entries in the contest, listed on the WPNA Facebook page.
The winners are:
Grand Prize - 2247 S. Croskey Street - Luanne
Runner Up - 2411 Fitzgerald Street - CJ
Special Mention - St. Edmond's Rectory - Miki / Deacon Jim
Congratulations to all who entered and thank you for "greening the neighborhood"

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cleanup of 2000 Block of Snyder Ave

Sorry for the last minute notice, but we'll be working on the 2000 block of Snyder this week.

We'll meet tomorrow (8/9) at 10am on the corner of 20th and Snyder and pick up trash for about an hour.

The schedule for the next two months is below.  If it's raining one Saturday, we'll just skip that block and get back to it on the next round.  Hope to see you there!

8/9     2000 Block of Snyder
8/23   2100 Block of Snyder
9/6     2200 Block of Snyder
9/20   2300 Block of Snyder
10/4   2400 Block of Snyder
10/18 1900 Block of Snyder
11/1   2000 Block of Snyder

Friday, July 25, 2014

Cleanup of 1900 Block of Snyder Ave

We're cleaning up Snyder Avenue, a block at a time!  We're starting over in the cycle from 19th to 25th and working on the 1900 block this week.  I won't be there to provide gloves and bags, so please bring your own!

We'll meet Saturday (7/26) at 10am on the corner of 19th and Snyder and pick up trash for about an hour.

The schedule for the next two months is below.  If it's raining one Saturday, we'll just skip that block and get back to it on the next round.  Hope to see you there!

7/26   1900 Block of Snyder
8/9     2000 Block of Snyder
8/23   2100 Block of Snyder
9/6     2200 Block of Snyder
9/20   2300 Block of Snyder
10/4   2400 Block of Snyder
10/18 1900 Block of Snyder

Friday, July 11, 2014

Tree Pruning Event - Saturday, July 12, 2014

Please join us as we prune some trees with our civic association neighbors on Saturday morning at 10:00am. Brice Dorwart from Davey Tree is a fantastic arborist and has offered to work with our groups in the West Passyunk area. This will be one of four events this summer. We will be meeting at 10:00am. in the 2000 block of Jackson Street. Hope to see you there!