Neighborhood news in brief

Neu­ter­ing ser­vice for cats offered for free to 19134 res­id­ents after loc­al kit­ten-burn­ing in­cid­ent; hous­ing in Front Street his­tor­ic banks may be can­celed; and more.

Pro­pos­al for Front Street banks may be with­drawn
A con­tro­ver­sial hous­ing de­vel­op­ment for his­tor­ic banks at Front and Nor­ris streets that’s cur­rently tied up in court may have been quietly can­celed by its de­veloper, the Wo­men’s Com­munity Re­vital­iz­a­tion Pro­ject (WCRP).

Hid­den City Phil­adelphia re­por­ted Fri­day that the WCRP has re­turned the state tax cred­its it needed to fund a pro­posed 25-unit hous­ing de­vel­op­ment in­side the his­tor­ic Ninth Na­tion­al Bank and In­dus­tri­al Title, Trust Sav­ings Com­pany build­ings at 1942-58 North Front St.

The build­ings were pur­chased by the Nor­ris Square Civic As­so­ci­ation in 1989 and sold to the WCRP for this pro­ject. The WCRP planned to build the Nitza Tufino town­homes, an af­ford­able hous­ing pro­ject for low-in­come moth­ers and fam­il­ies.

In 2012, at a meet­ing of the Nor­ris Square Civic As­so­ci­ation, Fishtown Neigh­bors As­so­ci­ation and East Kens­ing­ton Neigh­bors As­so­ci­ation, res­id­ents voted against the hous­ing pro­pos­al on grounds of dens­ity, safety, plans to main­tain Front Street as a com­mer­cial cor­ridor, and his­tor­ic pre­ser­va­tion of the build­ings.

In Au­gust 2012, the Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment (ZBA) gran­ted vari­ances for the hous­ing pro­pos­al over neigh­bor­hood op­pos­i­tion. Two Kens­ing­ton res­id­ents ap­pealed the ZBA’s de­cision.

That ap­peal is pending but may be rendered moot if the WCRP can­cels its  pro­pos­al. ••

A hu­mane op­tion for stray cats; free in 19134
After a kit­ten was found burnt and wan­der­ing the streets of Kens­ing­ton, the For­got­ten Cats or­gan­iz­a­tion is re­mind­ing loc­als that they of­fer ser­vices to con­trol loc­al pop­u­la­tions of stray cats.

Parts of the River Wards have high pop­u­la­tions of stray cats.

“I don’t know how many we take in, but we take in a lot,” said a rep­res­ent­at­ive of the Pennsylvania So­ci­ety for the Pre­ven­tion of Cruelty to An­im­als (SPCA).

That’s why For­got­ten Cats of­fers “trap-neu­ter-re­turn” ser­vices for $50 per cat. They provide this ser­vice to about 600 cats a month, said John Mey­ers, a For­got­ten Cats em­ploy­ee.

However, for res­id­ents of 19134, For­got­ten Cats has grant money avail­able to provide the TNR ser­vice free of charge to people who care for colon­ies of strays.

Once For­got­ten Cats is con­tac­ted, they will bring out traps for cats and set them up where fer­al cats have been sighted.

“We show people how to set the traps. Then we come by, pick them up, give them a ra­bies shot, spay or neu­ter them and give them a one-time trop­ic­al flea and worm treat­ment … then bring them back to the same ex­act ad­dress,” Mey­ers said.

These ser­vices are es­pe­cially sig­ni­fic­ant after a five-week-old stray kit­ten that had been set on fire in Kens­ing­ton was found last week on F Street near McPh­er­son Square Park in Kens­ing­ton.

The kit­ten is be­ing treated at Crown Veter­in­ary Hos­pit­al in Le­ban­on, N.J.

The Hu­mane So­ci­ety is of­fer­ing a $5,000 re­ward for in­form­a­tion lead­ing to the ar­rest and con­vic­tion of who­ever set the kit­ten on fire.

Any­one with in­form­a­tion about the in­cid­ent is asked to call 866-601-SPCA (7722). To find out more about the free TNR ser­vices in your area, con­tact John at 215-219-2148.  ••

Brides­burg gets $200K grant to clean up
The U.S. En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA) has awar­ded a $200,000 grant to the Phil­adelphia City Plan­ning Com­mis­sion to plan for the re­use and re­hab­il­it­a­tion of brown­field prop­er­ties along Frank­ford Creek, in­clud­ing in Brides­burg.

This grant will go to­wards a study in­to plan­ning the “cleanup and re­act­iv­a­tion of brown­field” land, ac­cord­ing to the EPA. “Brown­field” is the tech­nic­al des­ig­na­tion for post-in­dus­tri­al sites with con­tam­in­ated soil.

The four-mile-square area around Frank­ford Creek des­ig­nated in the grant in­cludes parts of Brides­burg, Frank­ford, Port Rich­mond and Ju­ni­ata Park.

This in­cludes the 126 river­front acres that make up the former Phil­adelphia Coke and Rohm and Haas sites in Brides­burg, as well as the former site of Edge­wa­ter Dye­ing and Fin­ish­ing in Frank­ford.

“By com­pre­hens­ively plan­ning in part­ner­ship with the EPA, Brides­burg’s va­cant brown­fields can suc­cess­fully be re­medi­ated and re­developed with a dy­nam­ic mix of uses that will con­trib­ute to the city’s and re­gion’s eco­nom­ic vi­tal­ity” said City Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on (D-6th dist.)

The Phil­adelphia City Plan­ning Com­mis­sion ap­plied for this grant. ••

Spe­cial hear­ing set for Penn Treaty Vil­lage pro­ject
A bar, res­taur­ant, bowl­ing al­ley and mu­sic ven­ue com­plex pro­posed for Fishtown will get a spe­cial hear­ing next Wed­nes­day at noon be­fore the Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment (ZBA).

‘The pro­ject, known as Penn Treaty Vil­lage, was pro­posed by Core Re­alty to be built in­side at the bor­der of Fishtown and North­ern Liber­ties un­der I-95, in­side the former Ajax Met­al Works and Dry Ice build­ings at Delaware and Frank­ford av­en­ues.

The ZBA ordered a con­tinu­ance after a hear­ing in April at which three res­id­ents from nearby Al­len Street pro­tested the pro­ject due to park­ing con­cerns.

Those res­id­ents were rep­res­en­ted by at­tor­ney Paul Boni. Boni de­clined to com­ment or provide fur­ther in­form­a­tion about his cli­ents’ op­pos­i­tion to the pro­ject.

Penn Treaty Vil­lage needs 10 vari­ances to go for­ward, in­clud­ing a vari­ance from the loc­al zon­ing that pro­hib­its nightclubs.

Mem­bers of the Fishtown Neigh­bors As­so­ci­ation voted 86 to 25 in sup­port of Penn Treaty Vil­lage in Septem­ber 2012.

The ZBA will con­tin­ue the hear­ing at 12 p.m., on Wed­nes­day, May 15, at 1515 Arch St., on the eighth floor.  ••

-Com­piled by Sam Ne­w­house

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