Apartment wins support in Upper Holmesburg

The Up­per Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation has ap­proved a loc­al apart­ment build­ing own­er’s re­quest for zon­ing ex­emp­tions for his prop­erty.

Bor­is Ovrut­sky does not plan to al­ter his 11-unit, two-story build­ing at 8433 Tor­res­dale Ave. But in or­der to com­ply with the city’s newly ad­op­ted zon­ing code, the prop­erty must be gran­ted sev­er­al zon­ing vari­ances, ac­cord­ing to UHCA zon­ing chair­man Paul DeFinis, who de­tailed the case dur­ing the civic group’s monthly meet­ing on Dec. 20.

As it stands, the apart­ment build­ing oc­cu­pies two sep­ar­ate par­cels. The build­ing has a private park­ing lot with 11 spaces for ten­ants.

Ovrut­sky’s at­tor­ney, Steph­en G. Pol­lock, ad­vised the UHCA that the own­er wants to leg­ally con­sol­id­ate the two par­cels in­to one ad­dress. Fur­ther, the own­er seeks re­lief from code pro­vi­sions that re­quire the prop­erty to have a 6-foot-wide “buf­fer” zone around its peri­met­er and a rear yard of at least 1,144 square feet.

In a let­ter to the city’s Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment, the civic as­so­ci­ation en­dorsed the vari­ances, not­ing that if the prop­erty own­er were forced to in­stall the re­quired buf­fer zone and yard, the build­ing’s park­ing spots would be lost. Ten­ants would have to park on pub­lic streets, which would be to the det­ri­ment of neigh­bors.

The prop­erty own­er has agreed to plant a row of 6-foot-tall ever­green trees along the north side of the park­ing lot.

The Up­per Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation will hold its next gen­er­al meet­ing on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m., at St. Domin­ic’s Mari­an Hall, 8532 Frank­ford Ave. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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