After a two-month summer hiatus, the Central Roxborough Civic Association held its first meeting of the season at Leverington Presbyterian Church on Thursday evening.
On the agenda was a presentation by the Friends of Gorgas Park regarding the current conceptual phase of a storm water management project. The Friends of Gorgas Park, who were awarded a Stormwater Management Incentives Program Grant this past year, are seeking ways to better distribute and manage water run-off in certain affected areas of Gorgas Park.
The group offered a view of some preliminary design ideas at the meeting.
Also on the agenda was a status update on the development of two properties that have brought much neighborhood attention over the past year: 5901 Ridge Ave. and 365 Green Lane.
Since that time, much of the community has rejected the developers — Frank and Anthony Giovannone’s — proposition to develop a drive-thru Wendy’s on the highly congested commercial corner.
In January of this year, the Zoning Board of Adjustments also rejected the Giovannones’ plans, granting them an exception to build the restaurant itself, but denying the request to install a drive-thru window.
However, on Aug. 5, Judge Nina Wright Padilla of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas overturned the zoning board’s ruling stating the ZBA should have granted the special exception for the Giovannone brothers to build both a Wendy’s take out and drive-thru.
Hal Schirmer, attorney for the opposition, was at Thursday’s CRCA meeting to explain the next step in the ongoing battle: An appeal to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. It was set to be filed at the end of last week.
“It may take six months, nine months, sometimes about a year before we actually get a decision,” Schirmer said of the Commonwealth Court appeal.
Regarding 356 Green Lane, Schirmer noted progress is at a stand still. After a July Zoning Board Hearing rejected developer Todd Joseph’s request to build multiple units on a property zoned for single-family dwelling, the property was pulled from the market and then back on dropping the listing price from $379,000 to $329,000.
The property was originally purchased by Joseph for $200,100 in December or 2013. Joseph has since cut the electric and gas to the property.
“Though cutting the utilities to a property is typically done in preparation for demolition, there is currently no demolition permit for 365 Green Lane,” Schirmer said.