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. ••