Members of the Somerton Civic Association voted against a local homeowner’s plan to pave a portion of her yard for additional parking spots.
Dimitra Malliaris owns a twin duplex at 10860 Parlin Terrace. The corner property also abuts Parlin Street. During the June 11 SCA meeting, Malliaris said she hopes to pave a 14-foot-wide plot of grass behind the residence, but the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspection denied her permit request because it does not conform to the zoning code.
Accessory parking is not permitted in the front, side or rear yards of residences. Also, the proposed parking spots would encroach within three feet, two inches, of the rear property line, where a 20-foot setback is required for any new construction.
Malliaris claimed that her rear neighbor has “no problem” with her plan, although the homeowner presented no evidence of the neighbor’s approval. Malliaris argued that the parking spots would help the neighborhood by reducing the demand for on-street parking.
The SCA’s legal counsel, Marlene Josephs, noted that their advocacy of a zoning variance in the case could establish a bad precedent. Cars produce noise and fumes that could become a nuisance to adjacent property owners, Josephs said.
Members voted 13-7 against Malliaris’ plan. The city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment is scheduled to hear Malliaris’ appeal on July 10.
In other SCA business:
Treasurer Pat Cantwell proposed that members start bringing nonperishable food items to the monthly civic meetings so that the group could donate them to the Somerton Food Bank at St. Andrews in the Field Church. Reminders will be published in the monthly e-newsletter. The next SCA meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. at Walker Lodge 306, 1290 Southampton Road.
The civic group will host its annual Community Day on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Boyle Playground. Organizers are accepting individual and business donations and seeking volunteer commitments. In the coming month, SCA members will be asked to sell raffle tickets to help offset the cost of the event. Tickets will be sold for $5 each. The winner and the civic group will split the pot.
Kristin Sawka, librarian at the Bustleton Branch Library, Bustleton Avenue and Verree Road, said that her staff is seeking Lego donations for a planned series of Lego workshops at the library.
Dan Lodise, chief of staff for state Rep. Brendan Boyle, reported that his office is sponsoring outdoor family movie screenings this summer. One is scheduled for Aug. 21 at Junod Playground in Parkwood. Another will be on Aug. 28 at Gifford Playground in Somerton. Boyle will host his annual Senior Fair on Sept. 12 at the Klein JCC. ••