Members of the Frankford Civic Association considered two zoning issues during their June 9 meeting, but the biggest topic discussed was a weekend flea market that has sprung up and has been growing on the 4200 block of Torresdale Ave. during the past year.
Board secretary Rose Zimmerman said vendors crowd the sidewalk, and cars owned by vendors and shoppers are creating traffic difficulties on Torresdale Avenue.
Trash that is left behind is causing problems for property owners, too, she said, adding that some are getting citations for trash that is left on the sidewalks outside their homes. Some people are defecating and urinating near the street, she added.
She said between 30 and 40 vendors are lining the sidewalks on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Jason Dawkins, an aide to City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez (D-7th dist.), said most of the vendors are lined up on the east side of Torresdale Avenue, which is in the 1st Councilmanic District. He said the councilwoman’s staff would have to get together with aides to Councilman Frank DiCicco (D-1st dist.) and check with the Department of Licenses and Inspections on the legal status of the market.
Board member Al Mitchell and treasurer Tim Wisniewski suggested that, instead of trying to chase the flea marketers away, perhaps some accommodation could be made.
People coming to Frankford to shop is a good thing, Wisniewski said. A property at Kensington and Frankford avenues might be useful, he added. Mitchell said civic group and public officials might try to organize the market so it is a benefit to the neighborhood.
The first zoning matter brought before the civic association was an application for a zoning variance to allow a check-cashing business at 4947 Frankford Ave. G&C Check Cashing, owned by Eugenia Veloz Herrera and Carlos Herrera, wants to operate a business that cashes checks, does some tax preparation and arranges wire transfers of funds.
Attorney Joe Vaccaro said the variance is needed to open a check-cashing business because, although the property has commercial zoning, approval is needed to operate that kind of business within 500 feet of a hospital or school. The building is across Frankford Avenue from Aria Health’s Frankford campus.
Andrea Willis told the civic association’s members that she is seeking a zoning variance so she can expand the day-care business she runs from her home on the 5100 block of Torresdale Ave.
Willis said she has been operating her business at 5108 Torresdale and has been caring for no more than six children. She needs a zoning variance to be able to accept up to 12 kids.
Members did not vote on either proposal.
The Frankford Civic Association will not meet in July and August. The group’s next session will be at 7 p.m. on Sept. 8 in the second-floor conference room of Aria Health’s Frankford campus, 4900 Frankford Ave. ••