Somerton residents vote in favor of four zoning variances

The Somerton Civic Association met for its regular monthly meeting Tuesday to discuss a variety of issues within the community. The first issue addressed was the recent resignation of the association’s vice president, Michael Smith. The board encouraged members to step up and put themselves in the running for the position. Whoever is elected will serve until June 2012, when elections for the entire board will take place. “We would love to see some new blood,” Pat Cantwell remarked.

The board also thanked everyone who participated in the Community Day event last month. The only issue with the event was that the members wished they had more time to plan the festivities. It was noted that if there is a Community Day in 2012, it would be held in the beginning of October.

Officer Rich Simon spoke to the association about recent criminal activity in the area. In the last month there have been 11 burglaries, either physical or attempted.

“Keep your windows and doors locked. Be vigilant,” warned Simon. One patron expressed concern about the delayed response time of police officers to the area when called.

“It took 2 ½ hours for an officer to respond to my call,” said the upset community member, who would not go into specifics of the issue. Another issue brought to attention was the sighting of teenagers partying around the Red Lion Bridge on nights and weekends. Simon urged community members to document any incidents by calling 911. A complete video of Officer Simon’s report is available below.

The meeting also welcomed candidates Bill Rubin (Democrat-City Council), Al Taubenberger (Republican-City Councilman At-Large), Al Schmidt (Republican-City Commissioner), Michael Untermeyer (Republican-City Council At-Large) and Joe McColgan (Republican-City Council At-Large) to introduce themselves to the community. The candidates gave brief rundowns of their campaign promises and plans to improve the neighborhood.

Seth Kaplan also presented four zoning issues to the association:

The resident of 1811 Tomlison Rd. wanted to construct a wooden fence on his property against the neighboring commercial wire fence to make his land more aesthetically appealing. The group voted in favor of the resident.

The resident of 1905 Tomlison Rd. wanted to build a side wrap-around deck to connect his existing staircase to the back of his property. The group voted in favor of the resident.

The Philadelphia Dialect Forum wanted to purchase the vacant property at 2190 Bennett Rd. to house the organization. The Turkish-American organization plans on using the building as a community center, an occasional banquet hall, a day care center and place of theological education. The group voted in favor of the resident.

The owners of 725 Red Lion Rd., which is Old Country Pizza, wanted to purchase the vacant store two doors down from the existing property in order to open a full-service restaurant. This new restaurant would be separate from their current business, and would not offer take out services. The group voted in favor of the resident.

Another important note announced at the meeting included the changed date for November’s meeting. Since the usual meeting day lands on Election Day, the board has decided to move the meeting to November 15.


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