News briefs from Fox Chase

Nearly 40 people were on hand for last night’s meeting of the Fox Chase Homeowners Association and Town Watch meeting, and residents brought their lists of neighborhood concerns.

601 Rhawn St. The home at 601 Rhawn St. next to St. Cecilia’s Church has been for sale, and Councilman Brian O’Neill was at last night’s meeting to address rumors of what the buyers plan for their new home. O’Neill’s office has received letters stating the new owners have plans to convert the home to a Buddhist temple. Though O’Neill said he’s unsure of the owners’ intentions, he assured neighbors the property is not zoned for such use.

“Fox Chase has been very successful in the past 15 years to make sure this neighborhood is protected,” O’Neill said, stressing the importance of being tough on zoning. 2nd District PSA 3 2nd District Community Relations Officer Mark Mroz and Lt. Lisa Harner from PSA 3 discussed recent crimes in the area, including an increase in burglaries and thefts from autos.

Mroz announced officers are also looking for a white male in his 40s or 50s who is missing his lower front teeth. Mroz sail the man held up Jeanes Hospital Consignment Shop. The same suspect may also be responsible for holding up the Eckerd at Bleigh and Oxford avenues.

Still an issue in Fox Chase is vandalism. Mroz said the district has reason to believe the group of teenage males who vandalized the playground at Fox Chase Rec Center April 18 were from Morrell Park. Town Watch President Steve Phillips assured residents the suspects were caught on camera and will be fined for the cleanup in addition to other charges.

Mroz issued a warning to Fox Chase parents that many neighborhood teenagers have been drinking in a storefront at 6300 Rising Sun Ave. in Lawncrest. Recently, 83 teenagers were arrested for underage drinking, and Mroz said most came from Fox Chase and Abington.

222 Hartel Ave. The roof of the garage at 222 Hartel Ave. is in danger of collapsing due to the winter’s heavy snow. Homeowners Association President Matt Braden said L&I and O’Neill are aware of the situation and are keeping an eye on it. The surrounding area has been taped off for safety reasons.

Fox Chase Train Station Improvements to the train station are moving forward, despite the missed December 2009 completion deadline. A rough end of summer deadline has been given, and Braden said the station will see “a lot of good and vital improvements.”

Krispy Kreme On its way back to Philadelphia, Krispy Kreme hopes to host its flagship location in Fox Chase in the former Popeye’s Chicken on Oxford Avenue near Hasbrook Avenue. Spokesman Brian Zaslow said he hopes the storefront will “bring a lot smiles to the neighborhood.” In addition to the trademark glazed doughnuts, Krispy Kreme will now also sell coffee, cold beverages, muffins, bagels and ice cream. The Fox Chase location is expected to open by November.

Census Zoning Director Craig Turner advised residents to be on the lookout for phony Census workers in the coming weeks while the U.S. Government attempts to gather  information from delinquent households. As Turner put it, the only information a Census employee should ask for are:

the number of people in the house the names of the people in the house the birthdays of the occupants

7th District PSA 1 7th District Community Relations Officer Rich Simon explained the new  policy for fender-benders. In the event that the only damage during a minor car accident is to one or more vehicles, and all drivers exchange information, 911 will not respond to the call. Involved parties should instead report to or call the local police district to file a report.

Simon gave a run down of recent crimes in the Zone, including nine residential burglaries, two commercial burglaries and two aggravated assaults.

Ryerss Library will mark its 100th anniversary Sunday with a free public celebration from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The next Fox Chase Homeowners & Town Watch meeting will be July 14.

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