Northeast Times

They’re wary of Telfair Road plan

Neigh­bors pack Mill­brook meet­ing to op­pose pro­pos­al for multi-fam­ily home at edge of the city.

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.

NO ELEC­TION

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 jloftus@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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