Bustleton zoning board hearing delayed

A yearslong zon­ing duel between a Bustleton res­id­ent and the neigh­bor­hood’s civic group has been delayed.

Flore An­dresi, who is op­er­at­ing a dent­al im­plant-man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness in a home at 9997 Hal­de­man Ave., and mem­bers of the Great­er Bustleton Civic League were due to go be­fore the city’s Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment on Jan. 15. However, the hear­ing, which was court-ordered, was con­tin­ued, said City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill and Jack O’Hara, the league’s pres­id­ent.

O’Hara said last week that no new date had been set.

An­dresi had been be­fore the zon­ers in Novem­ber 2012 and won their OK to tem­por­ar­ily op­er­ate his man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness in the small single-fam­ily home. 

League mem­bers had over­whelm­ing op­posed put­ting a busi­ness in a res­id­en­tially zoned prop­erty, and after the zon­ing board vote didn’t go their way, they voted to ap­peal the de­cision in the Court of Com­mon Pleas.

O’Neill (R-10th dist.) fre­quently op­poses com­mer­cial uses for prop­er­ties in res­id­en­tial areas and had urged the league to spend the money on the ap­peal.

The court saw things the league’s way -— sort of. In Au­gust 2013, the court re­manded the case back to the zon­ers be­cause it said An­dresi had not proved hard­ship. What the zon­ers will re­quire, whenev­er the hear­ing oc­curs, is that the own­er prove that the prop­erty could not be used for any­thing else but his busi­ness.

O’Neill said he had nev­er seen the court do something like that.

“In­stead of over­turn­ing the zon­ing board, the court re­manded the case back to the zon­ing board,” the coun­cil­man said in a phone in­ter­view last week. “There was no evid­ence of hard­ship to the prop­erty … and the new hear­ing is lim­ited to de­term­in­ing where was a hard­ship.”

But the judges already had de­term­ined there was no hard­ship, O’Neill said.

Zon­ing at­tor­ney Shawn Ward, who rep­res­ents the ap­plic­ant, told the North­east Times in 2012 that the prop­erty was suit­able only for An­dresi’s busi­ness and that his cli­ent wanted to sell it. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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