Bustleton neighbors want discussions with developers

A Bustleton man who wants to de­mol­ish an Evans Street house and re­place it with two single-fam­ily homes last week didn’t get the sup­port of Great­er Bustleton Civic League mem­bers.

Mem­bers didn’t vote to op­pose Emilio Di­Cicco either, but they did give him an ear­ful.

Di­Cicco and his part­ner, Vin­cenzo Ciocca, want to tear down a small brick home that sits on the prop­erty at 9615 Evans St. and re­place it with two houses they hope to sell for more than $400,000 each. They also want to cede 5 feet to the abut­ting prop­erty owned by Di­Cicco’s fath­er.

Di­Cicco wants the league’s sup­port for his plan be­cause he needs a vari­ance to build homes that have only 50 feet of street front­age. The quiet neigh­bor­hood near Grant and Bustleton is one that is made up mostly of single-fam­ily homes. The Evans Street prop­erty in ques­tion is zoned to have 65 feet of street front­age. It now has 105, but each of the two houses the part­ners want to build will have just 50 feet each, so they need the Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment’s OK. 

Ac­cord­ing to the league, the pro­ject is in com­pli­ance with zon­ing reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing park­ing, lot size width, total lot size area and side yard width re­quire­ments.

Neigh­bors turned out to the league’s Nov. 20 meet­ing, and were vo­cal in their op­pos­i­tion to the plan presen­ted by at­tor­ney Dawn Tan­credi. But throughout the some­times heated ex­changes dur­ing the league’s ses­sion at the Amer­ic­an Her­it­age Fed­er­al Cred­it Uni­on on Red Li­on Road, some give-and-take evolved to the point that zon­ing of­ficer Carl Ja­dach asked mem­bers to vote to keep talk­ing with Di­Cicco.

They voted over­whelm­ingly to meet with the de­veloper, who lives on the next block of Evans, if he agrees to ask the zon­ers to delay his up­com­ing ZBA hear­ing. 

Earli­er in the Nov. 20 ses­sion, City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill (R-10th dist.) urged mem­bers to op­pose the de­velopers’ pro­pos­al. He said they plan to build homes that are out of char­ac­ter with the neigh­bor­hood, whose cur­rent hous­ing stock is com­posed of homes “that are not fancy, but are very nice homes … a lot of brick and stucco and stone.”

He said the neigh­bor­hood had been remapped to re­quire lar­ger lots with the very idea of mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult to put more build­ings on one street.

The coun­cil­man said he doesn’t think there is any­thing wrong with the ex­ist­ing house, and, al­though one neigh­bor said the cur­rent struc­ture is an eye­sore, most neigh­bors agreed with O’Neill. Many urged the de­velopers to re­hab the small build­ing.

The part­ners pur­chased the build­ing this past spring for $189,000. Cur­rently, their zon­ing hear­ing is sched­uled for 2 p.m. on Wed­nes­day, Dec. 4, 1515 Arch St., 18th floor.


The night be­fore it was due for a City Coun­cil vote, O’Neill talked up an or­din­ance he and Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on (D-6th dist.) in­tro­duced that would pro­hib­it med­ic­al uses in many areas of their coun­cil­man­ic dis­tricts.

The or­din­ance is a zon­ing over­lay, O’Neill told league mem­bers, that spe­cifies al­most all med­ic­al uses would need a zon­ing vari­ance. 

The meas­ure un­an­im­ously passed a Coun­cil vote the next day, O’Neill said Nov. 21.

The new or­din­ance re­quires zon­ing hear­ings for all new meth­adone clin­ics, and oth­er med­ic­al uses like doc­tors’ of­fices, in the North­east. 

Meth­adone clin­ics, which are fa­cil­it­ies that provide treat­ment for heroin ad­dicts, fall un­der the med­ic­al use cat­egory, and are not defined sep­ar­ately in the zon­ing code. 

The coun­cil­man told league mem­bers that, “It’s not about clin­ics; it’s about everything.”

“We are in­und­ated with doc­tors’ of­fice,” he said. “There is a glut of them.”

Re­fer­ring to an­oth­er zon­ing mat­ter, Jack O’Hara, the league’s pres­id­ent, said zon­ers in Janu­ary will re­con­sider their de­cision on 9997 Hal­de­man Ave., whose own­er was gran­ted a three-year tem­por­ary vari­ance to op­er­ate a dent­al im­plant-man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness in his res­id­ence.

A year ago, league mem­bers had over­whelm­ingly re­fused to sup­port own­er Flore An­dresi’s vari­ance ap­plic­a­tion. When the zon­ing board ap­proved it any­way, league mem­bers took the mat­ter to court. They won their ap­peal in Ju­ly when Com­mon Pleas Court Judge El­len Ceisler ordered the ZBA to re­hear An­dresi’s ap­plic­a­tion.

The hear­ing will be at 2 p.m. on Jan. 15 at 1515 Arch St., O’Hara.

The league’s pres­id­ent also talked up the up­com­ing tree-light­ing ce­re­mony at Amer­ic­an Her­it­age Fed­er­al Cred­it Uni­on at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30. The an­nu­al event al­ways draws a large crowd.

The league’s next ses­sion will be at 7 p.m. on Wed­nes­day, Dec. 18, at the cred­it uni­on’s Car­riage House, off Red Li­on Road.

Con­tact the league at 215-676-6890 or vis­it www.gb­c­league.com ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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