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. ••EndFragment