Plans for new Dupont St. homes and a gym in Roxborough to be continued

Two Roxborough-based zoning applications, one for new homes and one for a new gym, came before the Zoning Board of Adjustment Tuesday, but neither has moved ahead yet.

One case, a variance application for a gym with personal training at 5400 Ridge Ave. was continued until June 19 because the applicant, James Pfromm, lacked sufficient documents and came before the zoning board without a lawyer.

This case was not the application for a Planet Fitness gym at the former Golden Chrysler property in the 6200 block of Ridge, as previously reported. That case is not yet scheduled for a hearing, but has the support of the Central Roxborough Civic Association and the Roxborough Development Corporation.

NewsWorks regrets the error, and will continue to follow that project.

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In the other Roxborough case before the zoning board Tuesday, an application for four new single-family homes on what is now a parking lot in the 500 block of Dupont Street wasn’t decided at the meeting.

The ZBA heard the case and reviewed builder Andrew Mulson’s plans for two sets of twin homes at 535 Dupont St. — one pair fronting Dupont and the other fronting Green Lane, but did not take a vote. The application seeks to combine four lots into one, and for exceptions to side-yard setback requirements, of five feet instead of the required eight.

Mulson said the setback exception was needed to fit the twin houses on the lots, leading zoning board chairwoman Lynette Brown-Sow to question why the builder didn’t choose to do single homes on the lots instead. Mulson said several of the other houses on Dupont are twins, so his homes would fit in with the neighborhood, and said they took advice from Martin Gregorski at the city Planning Commission.

If approved, the homes would each have one-car garages and three bedrooms, and would be priced at about $350,000, Mulson said. The houses facing Dupont will have basement storage areas, while the Green Lane pair will sit on a slab.

Brown-Sow also expressed concern at why the bathroom on the ground floor of the townhouse was a full bath, rather than a powder room — a full bath, she said, could too easily be converted into an apartment. The board did not ask for any specific changes to the project.

The Central Roxborough Civic did not oppose the plan, and it has the support of Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. Mulson and partner Christopher Koch, both of Roxborough, have built several residential projects in the Manayunk-Roxborough area.

Last June, another plan for townhouses in a different property on the same block won city approval for similar exceptions to the R5 zone, but not through the zoning board. Instead, a City Council bill changed the zoning of the property at 551 Dupont St., a former auto body shop, to allow for the townhouse project.

NewsWorks has partnered with independent news gatherer PlanPhilly to provide regular, in-depth, timely coverage of planning, zoning and development news. Contact Amy Z. Quinn at

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