Police paying close attention to neigborhood nuisances

Au­thor­it­ies are crack­ing down on a few prop­er­ties that have be­come neigh­bor­hood nuis­ances, said Pete Specos, the Frank­ford Civic As­so­ci­ation’s pres­id­ent.

Speak­ing at the the as­so­ci­ation’s Dec. 5 meet­ing at Aria Health’s Frank­ford cam­pus, Specos also said that po­lice are keep­ing their eyes on a couple of loc­al bars and that the city’s De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions have closed up a private Ox­ford Av­en­ue club. 

Over the sum­mer, the Pennsylvania Li­quor Con­trol Board shut down an Or­tho­dox Street bar

Capt. John Mc­Clo­s­key, com­mand­er of the 15th Po­lice Dis­trict, said he is put­ting a patrol car out on ser­vice from 1:45 to 2:15 a.m. daily out­side the Kin­sey Street Cafe on the 1700 block of Kin­sey Street. There have been fights out­side the bar, the cap­tain said, and oc­ca­sion­ally some shots are fired.

“We’re pay­ing some vis­its in­side, too, mainly on week­ends,” Mc­Clo­s­key said in a phone in­ter­view Dec. 6. Po­lice are look­ing for drugs and un­der­age drink­ing. 

Sim­il­ar ac­tions are be­ing taken near the Bridge Street Cafe on Frank­ford Av­en­ue hear the SEPTA ter­min­al. 

“It’s al­ways a source of prob­lems,” the cap­tain said. 

Out­side the bar, there are a lot of drug sales, he ad­ded, and po­lice have made nar­cot­ics and weapons ar­rests.

“We went in there and found some people un­der 21, but they were not drink­ing. We es­cor­ted them out,” he said.

On a couple of oc­ca­sions, of­ficers have entered a private club at 4721 Ox­ford Ave. that was ren­ted for parties and have found six guns, the cap­tain said. The es­tab­lish­ment was re­por­ted to L&I and the de­part­ment sealed the place.

L&I “ceased” the prop­erty, said de­part­ment spokes­wo­man Re­becca Swan­son, “be­cause an il­leg­al nightclub was be­ing run there without prop­er zon­ing or li­censes.” 

Ob­tain­ing that pa­per­work would re­quire get­ting the prop­erty rezoned as a nightclub and ob­tain­ing a spe­cial as­sembly li­cense and cer­ti­fic­ate of oc­cu­pancy. That fur­ther would en­tail in­spec­tions to de­term­ine the prop­erty has fire-sup­pres­sion sys­tems and oth­er safety fea­tures to make it safe for oc­cu­pancy, she said.

“In the mean­time, the cease means that the prop­erty can­not be used as a nightclub or any­thing else that ex­ceeds the cur­rent zon­ing,” she stated in a Dec. 6 email to the North­east Times.

Cease or­ders are en­forced by the po­lice, not L&I, so if any­one sees any activ­ity that ap­pears to ex­ceed cur­rent zon­ing, the po­lice should be con­tac­ted.

The LCB shut down Timmy’s Place on the 2100 block of Or­tho­dox, the cap­tain said. 

“We had noth­ing to do with that. … It was a tech­nic­al vi­ol­a­tion. They were sup­posed to serve food if they were open on Sunday, but they wer­en’t, so the LCB shut them down.”

Res­id­ents who live near Tack­awanna and Ru­an streets said there was a lot of shoot­ing go­ing on late Dec. 3 in­to Dec. 4.

Mc­Clo­s­key said 28 shells were found on the 1900 block of Ru­an Street. No one was found in­jured and there were no ar­rests. Some res­id­ents speak­ing be­fore the as­so­ci­ation meet­ing said bul­let holes could be seen in some win­dows and build­ing facades.

A po­lice spokes­wo­man said two parked cars and three build­ings were hit.

The civic group’s mem­bers or­din­ar­ily meet on the first Thursday of each month, but Specos said the or­gan­iz­a­tion’s premi­er 2014 ses­sion will be at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday, Jan. 9, in the second-floor con­fer­ence room of Aria Health’s Frank­ford cam­pus, 4900 Frank­ford Ave.

A few zon­ing is­sues will be dis­cussed at that meet­ing, said Specos, who also is the as­so­ci­ation’s zon­ing of­ficer.

He said 1429 Unity St. cur­rently is lis­ted as a com­mer­cial prop­erty, but the own­er now wants the two-story corner prop­erty to re­turn to res­id­en­tial use, and wants the as­so­ci­ation’s mem­bers’ sup­port.

The own­er of Di­Cicco’s car wash on the 4300 block of Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue wants to put a take-out snack win­dow on the prop­erty, which will re­quire the OK of the city’s Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment. He will be seek­ing the as­so­ci­ation’s sup­port. 

The prop­erty cur­rently is zoned for heavy in­dus­tri­al use.

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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