From bakeries to billboards, Fishtown locals chime in at zoning meeting

Res­id­ents gave an em­phat­ic “yes” to a new bakery in Fishtown at last week’s zon­ing meet­ing.

Dur­ing a meet­ing of the Fishtown Neigh­bor­hood As­so­ci­ation’s zon­ing com­mit­tee, held Tues­day, June 12, at the Fishtown Rec. Cen­ter, loc­ated on Mont­gomery Street near Gir­ard Av­en­ue, Fishtown res­id­ents voted un­an­im­ously in sup­port of the pro­pos­al for the new Zyn­nie Bakes bakery.

They also heard a plan presen­ted by rep­res­ent­at­ives from CBS Out­door Ad­vert­ising, who pro­pose to see a build­ing at 1513 N. Delaware Ave. – a former mo­tor­cycle re­pair shop – de­mol­ished and a new sup­port beam in­stalled to a CBS-owned bill­board on that site.

Res­id­ents re­com­men­ded ap­prov­al of that pro­pos­al with a vote of 12 to 2.

The bakery will be in a re­l­at­ively small 239 square-foot space at 1255 Marl­bor­ough St., will of­fer “cup­cakes, cook­ies, and con­fec­tions” to all, ac­cord­ing to own­er Zyn­thia Mar­tinez, 31.

“I just want to be a part of the neigh­bor­hood,” an en­thu­si­ast­ic Mar­tinez told the audi­ence on Tues­day. “You’ll know it’s morn­ing when there’s that cup­cake smell [in the air].”

Mar­tinez presen­ted her pro­pos­al to res­id­ents, as she needed a vari­ance from the city’s Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment in or­der to put a bakery on that site.

Neigh­bors that even­ing seemed to ap­prove of the idea and also seemed to like Mar­tinez’s plan to com­post her busi­nesses waste with the Com­post Co-op, a part of the New Kens­ing­ton Com­munity De­vel­op­ment Cor­por­a­tion’s  Sus­tain­able 19125 ini­ti­at­ive.

Neigh­bors re­com­men­ded ap­prov­al of the plan with a vote of 20-0.

Fol­low­ing the vote, Mar­tinez – who said the bakery would be her first busi­ness ven­ture – said she was ex­cited by the op­por­tun­ity to open the bakery.

“I used to work for a med­ic­al sup­ply com­pany,” she said. “But, I was al­ways late com­ing to work be­cause I was home bak­ing something.”

She said bak­ing has al­ways been a hobby of hers, and now she’s look­ing for­ward to mak­ing it a ca­reer.

As for what type of bak­ing to ex­pect, Mar­tinez said she’s al­ways been a fan of “old-fash­ioned fla­vors” but wants to up­date re­cipes to tan­tal­ize the mod­ern pal­ate.

After the bakery opens — she didn’t spe­cify a date — Mar­tinez said she hopes to of­fer break­fast foods as well as baked goods at the shop.

Re­gard­ing the build­ing de­moli­tion and bill­board is­sue, George Kroculick, an at­tor­ney for the bill­board ad­vert­ising com­pany, said the com­pany hoped to re­move the build­ing, as it is  un­used, covered in graf­fiti and has be­come something of an eye­sore.

There are, though, a few people of­fer­ing a car wash ser­vice there from time to time.

Kroculick said that the pro­ject would al­low the ad­vert­ising com­pany not only to have a clean­er site to present to pro­spect­ive cus­tom­ers, but they also plan to in­stall some land­scap­ing there.

“What would be good for every­body would be for this build­ing to be gone,” he said.

“It’s not fall­ing down. It’s not con­demned, but it’s not a beau­ti­ful build­ing, which I think any­one would tell you.”

The group presen­ted their plan be­cause they needed a vari­ance for is­sues such as the sign be­ing less than 500 feet from oth­er bill­boards and be­ing less than 300 feet from a res­id­en­tial area.

However, since the bill­board could stay as it is by right – and the nearest res­id­en­tial home is across I-95, just a few feet short of the 300 foot re­quire­ment – Kroculick said that by sup­port­ing the plan, res­id­ents would get a “clean­er, neat­er” site.

Star Staff Re­port­er Hay­den Mit­man can be con­tac­ted at 215-354-3124 or hmit­

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