Zoning variance denied by Mayfair Civic Association

May­fair folks take shov­el­ing snow very ser­i­ously.

Dur­ing one of the snow­i­est win­ters on re­cord, most neigh­bors du­ti­fully kept their side­walks clear. But by some ac­counts, the people re­spons­ible for a corner du­plex house at Cottman and Brous av­en­ues did not.

At the March 24 meet­ing of the May­fair Civic As­so­ci­ation, res­id­ents raised snow shov­el­ing, or the lack there­of, as a factor in their de­cision not to sup­port the prop­erty own­ers’ ap­plic­a­tion for a zon­ing vari­ance. Even the own­ers’ zon­ing con­sult­ant, Tom Citro, con­ceded that his cli­ents did not clear the side­walk fol­low­ing late-sea­son snow­falls, des­pite Citro’s pri­or as­sur­ances that the own­ers would main­tain the pub­lic right-of-way. 

Neigh­bors voted against the zon­ing ap­peal, 26-3.

Citro ex­plained that his cli­ents seek to leg­al­ize three res­id­en­tial units in the two-story house, which also has a walk-in base­ment. Ac­cord­ing to city re­cords, the house has a doc­tor’s of­fice in the base­ment and a res­id­en­tial unit on the two above-ground floors. However, Citro said, the base­ment had been con­ver­ted in­to two stu­dio apart­ments be­fore his cli­ents bought the prop­erty in 2012.

Prop­erty tax re­cords show that two wo­men own the prop­erty, list­ing a Brook­lyn mail­ing ad­dress for them. Citro ini­tially presen­ted his case to neigh­bors dur­ing the Jan. 23 MCA meet­ing. At the time, neigh­bors com­plained that snow had not been shoveled from the side­walk. Citro said he would con­tact the own­ers and ad­vise them to hire someone to keep the side­walk clear. The civic group post­poned a vote.

Dur­ing last week’s meet­ing, one neigh­bor com­plained that the snow had been re­moved fol­low­ing one sub­sequent snow­fall, but not after sev­er­al oth­er en­su­ing storms.

In an­oth­er zon­ing case, the ap­plic­ant met with a fa­vor­able re­sponse from MCA mem­bers. The group was un­an­im­ously not op­posed to the es­tab­lish­ment of a tat­too and pier­cing par­lor, provid­ing that the op­er­at­ors ad­here to sev­er­al con­di­tions pro­posed by the MCA.

Nick Sabatino already owns The Ink­well in Up­per Darby and seeks to ex­pand in­to the North­east in col­lab­or­a­tion with a loc­al tat­too artist. They have agreed to lease 7344 Frank­ford Ave. provid­ing they ob­tain city per­mits. That’s the former An­drews Plumb­ing shop.

The tat­too shop will prob­ably em­ploy four artists. Ac­cord­ing to Sabatino, an at­tor­ney’s of­fice is on the second floor and will re­main there. He plans to clean and paint the first floor, then in­stall cu­bicles where artists can work in re­l­at­ive pri­vacy. The par­lor will ad­here to all gov­ern­ment stand­ards for clean­li­ness and use sterile dis­pos­able needles. The used needles will be se­cured in a box in­doors and be picked up by a private dis­pos­al ser­vice. The busi­ness will op­er­ate af­ter­noons and even­ings, but prob­ably not past 9 p.m. on week­days and 10 p.m. on week­ends, Sabatino said.

As part of its nonop­pos­i­tion, the MCA re­quires that the busi­ness join the May­fair Busi­ness As­so­ci­ation, that it keep the ex­ter­i­or clean, swept and graf­fiti-free, that it main­tain an out­door trash can and re­move snow with­in six hours of winter storms.

In oth­er busi­ness, the civic as­so­ci­ation heard from 17 can­did­ates for polit­ic­al of­fice, who each were giv­en two minutes to speak. Can­did­ates for the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict in­cluded Demo­crats Brendan Boyle, Daylin Leach and Val Arkoosh, along with Re­pub­lic­ans Beverly Plosa-Bow­ser and Dee Ad­cock. Can­did­ates for Pennsylvania’s 2nd Sen­at­ori­al Dis­trict were Demo­crats Tina Tartagli­one (the in­cum­bent), Dan Sav­age and To­mas Sanc­hez, along with Re­pub­lic­an John Jen­kins.

In Pennsylvania’s 172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, in­cum­bent Demo­crat Kev­in Boyle was the lone speak­er. Can­did­ates for the 173rd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict in­cluded Demo­crats Mike Driscoll and Den­nis Kilderry, as well as Re­pub­lic­an Mike Tom­lin­son. In the 177th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, Re­pub­lic­an in­cum­bent John Taylor was the lone speak­er. In the 202nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, in­cum­bent Demo­crat Mark Co­hen was the lone speak­er.

Two City Coun­cil can­did­ates also spoke. Demo­crat Ed Neilson and Re­pub­lic­an Matt Wolfe are the party nom­in­ees for the spe­cial elec­tion to fill the at-large seat of Bill Green, who resigned to be­come chair­man of the School Re­form Com­mis­sion. Elec­tion Day is Tues­day, May 20. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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