Northeast Times

L&I chief to visit Greater Bustleton Civic League

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Old busi­ness will con­tin­ue to be dis­cussed Jan. 25 as the Great­er Bustleton Civic League con­ducts its first meet­ing of the new year — in a new loc­a­tion. But that’s not to say there won’t be plenty of new mat­ters on the league’s plate. They’ll be some spe­cial guests, too.

Mem­bers again will con­sider a pro­pos­al by Ve­r­i­zon to put some mo­bile phone net­work equip­ment on a 107-foot PECO trans­mis­sion tower off of Red Li­on Road. They dis­cussed the plan dur­ing their Dec. 14 meet­ing, said the league’s pres­id­ent, John McK­eever, but will vote to sup­port or op­pose it Jan. 25.

They’ll also con­tin­ue to talk over uses of a Roosevelt Boulevard prop­erty that once was the cen­ter of neigh­bor­hood out­rage and is now spark­ing fresh con­cerns about plans for its use and the il­leg­al re­mov­al of trees.

Fran Burns, com­mis­sion­er of the De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions, will at­tend the ses­sion, McK­eever said, as will state Rep. Kev­in Boyle (D-172nd dist.)

The Janu­ary ses­sion will be the first in the or­gan­iz­a­tion’s new meet­ing place at the Amer­ic­an Her­it­age Fed­er­al Cred­it Uni­on’s new build­ing at 2060 Red Li­on Road. The league pre­vi­ously had met at the cred­it uni­on but ses­sions were con­duc­ted at Temple Beth Ami while con­struc­tion there pro­ceeded this year.

Ve­r­i­zon wants to put 12 an­ten­nas and a light­ning rod on the PECO tower at the rear of 1998 Red Li­on Road. The Ve­r­i­zon equip­ment will raise the tower’s height to 115 feet. The phone com­pany also wants to in­stall an equip­ment shel­ter at the tower’s base and also put up an 8-foot chain-link fence.

McK­eever said the tower is along a freight line and can be seen from the street. He said Ve­r­i­zon wants the com­munity’s sup­port be­cause it must get a zon­ing vari­ance to put up cel­lu­lar equip­ment with­in 500 feet of res­id­ences. McK­eever said there are apart­ment build­ings that are less than 500 feet away from the tower.

Ve­r­i­zon had been set to go be­fore the city’s Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment on Dec. 20, McK­eever said, but the league asked for a con­tinu­ance to a date after the group’s Jan. 25 meet­ing.

Dur­ing the league’s past two meet­ings, mem­bers have dis­cussed what is hap­pen­ing at 9432 Roosevelt Blvd. Some mem­bers ques­tioned the re­cent re­mov­al of trees on the prop­erty and wheth­er the con­struc­tion on­go­ing at the site was per­mit­ted.

There are three build­ing per­mits for work be­ing done in the build­ing, City Coun­cil­wo­man Maria Quiñones Sánchez stated in an e-mail to the North­east Times.

The coun­cil­wo­man said the per­mits al­low for some in­teri­or de­moli­tion, ex­ten­sion of the second floor, new ex­ter­i­or stucco, fram­ing, sheet rock, paint­ing and floor­ing as well as a new heat­ing and air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem.

In re­sponse to com­plaints and con­cerns from neigh­bor­ing res­id­ents and the civic league that her of­fice has re­ceived, the coun­cil­wo­man said she has made re­peated re­quests for the De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions to look over the con­struc­tion.

“L&I has come out on sev­er­al oc­ca­sions to in­spect the work, but to our know­ledge no vi­ol­a­tions have been is­sued,” the coun­cil­wo­man wrote.

Quiñones Sánchez said she also has got­ten com­plaints about il­leg­al re­mov­al of trees on the prop­erty.

She said the own­er, which is lis­ted on city re­cords as Mer­ck Real Es­tate LLC of Blooms­burg, Pa., was cited for il­leg­ally re­mov­ing two trees.

Fur­ther, she said, the Pennsylvania De­part­ment of Trans­port­a­tion had to re­move some trees from the Boulevard’s me­di­an. She said PennDOT sus­pects the trees and some grass were poisoned by a chem­ic­al that was sprayed and has re­ferred the mat­ter to the state De­part­ment of Ag­ri­cul­ture’s Bur­eau of Plant In­dustry for in­spec­tion.

“I have been in reg­u­lar com­mu­nic­a­tion on this is­sue with the Great­er Bustleton Civic,” the coun­cil­wo­man wrote, “and I have co­ordin­ated for the lead­er­ship of L&I to at­tend the next civic meet­ing to an­swer the res­id­ents’ ques­tions in more de­tail.”

That meet­ing is set for 7:30 p.m. next Wed­nes­day at the cred­it uni­on’s meet­ing room off 2060 Red Li­on Road.

In early 2009, the Boulevard prop­erty was con­sidered as the site of a meth­adone clin­ic. It had the prop­er zon­ing for that use, but neigh­bor­hood op­pos­i­tion was so strong, the pro­pos­al was with­drawn.

Sev­er­al oth­er zon­ing mat­ters will be be­fore the mem­ber­ship next week:

• Cre­ation of two lots from one at 9708 Bustleton Ave.

• Randi’s res­taur­ant in the shop­ping cen­ter at 1651 Grant Ave. needs prop­er zon­ing for use of a pi­ano.

• Own­ers of a prop­erty at 9105 Bustleton Ave. are ex­plor­ing the pos­sib­il­ity of put­ting a used car lot on the site.

• OK for a fence at 9307 Voits Place.

• OK for a shed at 9957 Hal­de­man Ave.,

• OK to cre­ate an off-street park­ing space at 9624 Birwood St. ••

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You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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