Northeast Times

Council aide seeks solution for Torresdale Avenue market

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. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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