There’s not much more of Philly left at Telfair Road in Millbrook, and many of the street’s residents don’t want any more.
Homeowners who live around a Telfair Road property marked for development turned out in force at last week’s Millbrook Civic Association meeting to oppose the idea.
Mike Sperduto bought a vacant 2,300-square-foot property on the 11700 block of Telfair in late 2007, the same day he bought an adjacent two-story, two-unit building. Now, he wants to erect a building similar to the one next door and rent out two two-bedroom apartments.
Zoning consultant Thomas Citro said the parcel, which is very close to the city’s border with Bucks County, is not zoned for multifamily dwellings so Sperduto needs a zoning variance to legally proceed.
Sperduto said he will take the proposal to the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Jan. 18, but it got no support from any of the more than 50 neighbors who attended Millbrook’s meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at the Calvary Athletic Association on Deerpath Lane.
“Nothing positive will come out of this,” said Telfair Road resident Mike Gallagher.
He had put out fliers to alert residents that Sperduto would be presenting the plans to the civic last week, and he said several signed a petition in opposition to Sperduto’s proposal.
Sperduto said he carefully will screen rental applicants not just to ease neighbors’ concerns about who will be living on their street, but to protect his investment in the property.
Some neighbors countered that they had no problems with the people who rent from him now in the adjacent two-unit building, but they said he couldn’t guarantee a new owner would be as scrupulous if he sold the property. Sperduto, at Citro’s suggestion, said he would put a restriction on the deed that it couldn’t be sold for 10 years.
That offer didn’t move anyone to support Sperduto’s variance request.
“I’m for what the community wants,” said the association’s president, Carol Fowler, after neighbors unanimously voted their opposition.
Secretary Mike Bremser said he would inform the zoning board of the community’s sentiment.
Interviewed the next day, Gallagher, who has lived on the street 34 years, said he would try to get a van or a bus if necessary so he could take his neighbors to the zoning hearing at 4 p.m. Jan. 18 at 1515 Arch St., 18th floor, so that board members could see and hear how they feel.
Later in last week’s meeting, nominations for board officers for 2012 were taken, and since none were opposed, there was no need for an election. That also means there will be no need for a meeting in December, Bremser said. The next meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Next year, the Millbrook Civic Association’s officers will be:
• Current treasurer John Kradzinski, who will serve as president.
• Ann Marie Feeney, who will stay on as first vice president.
• Current president Carol Fowler, who will serve as second vice president.
• Mike Bremser, who will remain as secretary.
• Maryann Benner, who will serve as treasurer.
Also last week, Dennis Wallace, manager of the Wal-Mart store in Franklin Mills mall, said the Wal-Mart Foundation had $4,000 in community grant money remaining this year and urged the civic association to apply for some of it.
In an interview Nov. 30, Bremser said he immediately applied for the civic and that Wallace told him Millbrook would get $2,000 for its community programs. ull;•
Reporter John Loftus can be reached at 215-354-3110 or firstname.lastname@example.org