East Torresdale Civic Awaits Zoning Decision

Lead­ers of the East Tor­res­dale Civic As­so­ci­ation had no new in­form­a­tion to re­port about the com­munity group’s op­pos­i­tion to a series of city zon­ing vari­ances sought by a neigh­bor­hood tav­ern own­er.

The Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment has not made a form­al rul­ing on ap­plic­a­tions in­volving Mag­gie’s Wa­ter­front Caf&ea­cute;, ac­cord­ing to ETCA pres­id­ent Lew Halas, who spoke at the group’s monthly gen­er­al meet­ing on Dec. 12.

Fur­ther, Halas said, the civic group has re­ceived no writ­ten no­ti­fic­a­tion of when a de­cision is ex­pec­ted from the zon­ing board.

However, Halas con­tin­ued, the ETCA will prob­ably need more mon­et­ary con­tri­bu­tions to its leg­al fund to pre­pare for an ap­peals pro­cess, should the ZBA de­cision not go the group’s way. Bill Kennedy, the civic group’s first vice pres­id­ent, ad­ded that ad­di­tion­al fund­ing also might be needed to con­tin­ue the ETCA’s fight against ex­pan­sion of a state li­quor li­cense at Mag­gie’s.

The busi­ness is at 9242 N. Delaware Ave.

In a series of zon­ing vari­ance ap­plic­a­tions, Mag­gie’s own­er Kev­in Good­child has sought to com­bine the busi­ness’ prop­erty with ad­ja­cent prop­er­ties that he owns. Good­child also seeks per­mits to build an ad­di­tion for new re­strooms, along with a new de­tached walk-in cool­er. Oth­er zon­ing vari­ances would al­low him to build or leg­al­ize ex­ter­i­or stairs lead­ing to a rooftop deck, as well as off-street park­ing.

The ETCA op­poses most of the changes, fear­ing a gen­er­al ex­pan­sion of the busi­ness and neg­at­ive im­pact on sur­round­ing homes.

In a sep­ar­ate pro­ceed­ing, the Pennsylvania Li­quor Con­trol Board re­jec­ted Good­child’s ap­plic­a­tion to ex­pand the scope of the busi­ness’ li­quor li­cense. But Good­child has said he may ap­peal the LCB rul­ing, which would cause him and the ETCA to in­cur more leg­al ex­penses.

Both sides also have dis­cussed meet­ing privately to ne­go­ti­ate a com­prom­ise. Good­child at­ten­ded this month’s civic meet­ing but did not speak pub­licly about the pending is­sues.

Kennedy, the ETCA vice pres­id­ent, also re­por­ted that the city’s De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions has agreed to vis­it the Mag­gie’s site to in­spect ex­ter­i­or light­ing fol­low­ing com­plaints from some neigh­bors that lights from the busi­ness shine on nearby houses.

In un­re­lated ETCA busi­ness:

• With much of the Phil­adelphia Wa­ter De­part­ment con­struc­tion zone now re­moved from State Road north of Linden Av­en­ue, neigh­bors began to ques­tion some of the street’s new traffic con­fig­ur­a­tions.

Res­id­ents com­plained that the new lines in­dic­ate a three-lane con­fig­ur­a­tion, one in each dir­ec­tion in ad­di­tion to a cent­ral left-turn lane. Pre­vi­ously, State Road had two lanes in each dir­ec­tion. The new con­fig­ur­a­tion also fea­tures ded­ic­ated bi­cycle lanes.

Oth­er neigh­bors re­peated calls for No Turn On Red signs to be pos­ted at State Road and Aren­del Street to pro­tect school­chil­dren from care­less mo­tor­ists.

Halas re­com­men­ded that the ETCA al­low the Pennsylvania De­part­ment of Trans­port­a­tion and oth­er pub­lic agen­cies to com­plete their work be­fore sup­ply­ing them with a list of sug­ges­ted modi­fic­a­tions.

• The ETCA voted in a new slate of ex­ec­ut­ive board mem­bers by un­an­im­ous vote. All can­did­ates ran un­op­posed.

The of­ficers in­clude Halas (pres­id­ent), Kennedy (first vice pres­id­ent), Joe Dri­oli (second vice pres­id­ent), Con­nie Sif­fel (re­cord­ing sec­ret­ary) and Alice Urbanski (treas­urer). Oth­er board mem­bers and com­mit­tee chairs in­clude Alan Bab­new, Debbie McMul­len, Linda Hogan, Ad­elaide Mar­tin, Kim Weir, Pat Weir and Mark Mor­ris­on.

• The next gen­er­al meet­ing of the ETCA will be on Monday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m., at Liberty Evan­gel­ic­al Free Church, Linden Av­en­ue and Mil­nor Street. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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