Northeast Times

Still no agreement with Maggie’s in E. Torresdale

“I’m still try­ing to work with the com­munity, but it seems like they won’t let go of some of the prob­lems from the past,” the own­er says.

The East Tor­res­dale Civic As­so­ci­ation and the own­er of a neigh­bor­hood tav­ern had al­most three months to ne­go­ti­ate a com­prom­ise on a series of new con­struc­tion and zon­ing per­mits sought by the busi­ness.

But no agree­ment was to be had. On Sept. 26, the civic group voted to fight most of what Mag­gie’s Wa­ter­front Caf&ea­cute; own­er Kev­in Good­child wants to do.

Typ­ic­ally, the ETCA holds its gen­er­al mem­ber­ship meet­ings on the second Monday each month. The group’s lead­ers de­cided to hold a spe­cial gen­er­al meet­ing last week to ad­dress the long­stand­ing con­cerns about the bar/res­taur­ant at 9242 N. Delaware Ave.

Good­child is seek­ing sev­en zon­ing vari­ances from the city’s Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment. ETCA voted to op­pose five of them.

Spe­cific­ally, neigh­bors voted 26-7 against al­low­ing Good­child to con­sol­id­ate 9250 and 9238 N. Delaware Ave. – both va­cant lots that he also owns – with the Mag­gie’s prop­erty. Neigh­bors fur­ther voted 27-7 against a pro­posed ex­ter­i­or stair­way to a rooftop deck, 29-0 against the leg­al­iz­a­tion of live en­ter­tain­ment on-site, 26-7 against a 357-square-foot ad­di­tion to the busi­ness and 10-8 against the con­struc­tion of a roof over an ex­ist­ing 38-foot-long breeze­way.

Neigh­bors voted 30-0 not to op­pose the con­struc­tion of a new walk-in cool­er at the rear of the busi­ness and 29-1 not to op­pose the leg­al­iz­a­tion of a small, one-story ad­di­tion that had been built to shel­ter the build­ing’s ex­ter­i­or base­ment doors.

ETCA pres­id­ent Lew Halas said that, in gen­er­al, neigh­bors op­pose ex­pan­sion of Mag­gie’s, par­tic­u­larly with re­gard to out­door ser­vice and en­ter­tain­ment, al­though they re­cog­nize that the site has long been home to bar/res­taur­ant-type busi­nesses.

Good­child told the North­east Times that he ex­pec­ted the ETCA to ap­prove at least five of the vari­ances upon the re­com­mend­a­tion of a spe­cial com­mit­tee formed by the civic group. But the gen­er­al mem­ber­ship of the ETCA, in­clud­ing many im­me­di­ate neigh­bors of the busi­ness, did not ac­cept all of the com­mit­tee’s re­com­mend­a­tions, he claimed.

“I’m still try­ing to work with the com­munity, but it seems like they won’t let go of some of the prob­lems from the past,” Good­child said.

The busi­ness own­er says he has re­solved noise vi­ol­a­tions is­sued by the city’s De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions by pla­cing a morator­i­um on live mu­sic per­form­ances, ex­cept at spe­cially li­censed events such as a po­lice-re­lated fund-raiser on Sat­urday.

Good­child opened Mag­gie’s about three years ago. Many neigh­bors have been com­plain­ing about the busi­ness al­most as long. Al­though oth­er area res­id­ents sup­port and pat­ron­ize the busi­ness, many claim that it is the source of nuis­ance prob­lems in­clud­ing ex­cess­ive noise, rowdi­ness, trash and vehicle traffic.

The sides both test­i­fied dur­ing a Ju­ly 5 hear­ing of the Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment. After the ses­sion, the board post­poned rul­ing on Good­child’s ap­plic­a­tions and in­struc­ted the sides to at­tempt to reach a com­prom­ise.

No fol­low-up hear­ing has been sched­uled, Halas said.

The civic group plans to for­ward the res­ults of its votes to the ZBA. If the board rules in fa­vor of the busi­ness any­way, the civic group would have the right to ap­peal.

The next reg­u­larly sched­uled gen­er­al meet­ing of the ETCA will be this Monday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m., at Liberty Evan­gel­ic­al Free Church, Linden Av­en­ue and Mil­nor Street. ••

Re­port­er Wil­li­am Kenny can be reached at 215-354-3031 or bkenny@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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