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 Café, 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. ••