Northeast Times

Somerton Civic opposes psychic business application

The Somer­ton neigh­bor­hood has been hold­ing its ground on sev­er­al re­cent zon­ing is­sues.

Dur­ing the May 14 meet­ing of the Somer­ton Civic As­so­ci­ation, zon­ing chair­man Seth Ka­plan re­por­ted that the city’s Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment had re­jec­ted a pair of vari­ance ap­plic­a­tions af­fect­ing loc­al prop­er­ties. Mean­while, SCA mem­bers voted un­an­im­ously to op­pose a new vari­ance ap­plic­a­tion.

The new­est case in­volved a two-story wood-frame twin house at 15203 Bustleton Ave. The oc­cu­pant is seek­ing per­mits to open a psych­ic read­ing busi­ness there. SCA mem­bers re­jec­ted the pro­pos­al. As a policy, the civic group does not con­done the use of res­id­en­tial prop­er­ties for com­mer­cial busi­nesses. A zon­ing board hear­ing is pending.

In two older cases, the zon­ing board re­jec­ted vari­ance ap­plic­a­tions al­though the civic as­so­ci­ation ac­tu­ally en­dorsed one of them, Ka­plan said. A homeown­er at 208 Du­mont St. was seek­ing to con­vert his at­tached gar­age leg­ally in­to liv­ing space. The civic group saw no prob­lem with the plan, but the zon­ing board did, ac­cord­ing to Ka­plan.

Mean­while, the board sided with the civic as­so­ci­ation in deny­ing a homeown­er at 855 Southamp­ton Road per­mis­sion to sub­divide the prop­erty and to build a second house on the newly cre­ated lot.

• In un­re­lated busi­ness, state Rep. Brendan Boyle re­por­ted that a new “Wel­come to Somer­ton” sign has been erec­ted at Bustleton Av­en­ue and Tre­vose Road. Last year, the law­maker sup­por­ted the erec­tion of a sim­il­ar sign on a traffic is­land at the same in­ter­sec­tion, but van­dals re­moved the sign. The new sign is in the same loc­a­tion, but is taller, al­low­ing mo­tor­ists bet­ter vis­ib­il­ity of the roads.

• Boyle presen­ted a Pennsylvania House cita­tion to Somer­ton res­id­ent Sally Ro­ten­berg to re­cog­nize her many com­munity and char­it­able con­tri­bu­tions. A re­tired teach­er, Ro­ten­berg was a reg­u­lar par­ti­cipant in the Susan G. Ko­men Race for a Cure be­fore she was dia­gnosed with breast can­cer in 2006. As a sur­viv­or, she now speaks pub­licly in sup­port of can­cer aware­ness and vo­lun­teers for Ron­ald Mc­Don­ald House and Aid For Friends.

• Ka­plan said that of­fi­cials at the Bustleton Branch Lib­rary have seen im­prove­ment in their graf­fiti and loiter­ing prob­lems in­volving sus­pec­ted George Wash­ing­ton High School stu­dents. The lib­rar­i­an, the school prin­cip­al and loc­al po­lice have partnered to ad­dress the case, which the North­east Times first re­por­ted in March.

Po­lice have made one drug-re­lated ar­rest out­side the lib­rary, while van­dal­ism has ceased. Some young people still loiter out­side the lib­rary, which is next door to the school, but their dis­rup­tions have di­min­ished, Ka­plan said. A lib­rary friends group is con­sid­er­ing in­vest­ing in a sur­veil­lance cam­era sys­tem.

• Ka­plan is seek­ing help from neigh­bors in find­ing his fam­ily’s lost dog. Champ is a 3-year-old male pit bull/lab mix. He weighs about 60 pounds and has brown fur with a white spot on his chest and bald­ness on his back­side. He is a friendly dog and was last seen near Loes­che Ele­ment­ary School. 

Call 215-760-9021 to re­port in­form­a­tion about the dog. •• 

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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