Mayfair Civic Association OK with day care

The Mayfair Civic Association last week came to an agreement with a day care operator, while opposition seems to be mounting toward a proposed fitness center.

Elizabeth Cruz, a native of Colombia, is permitted to care for up to four children at her single home at 2849 Rhawn St. in Lexington Park, but she was seeking a zoning variance to increase that total to 12. She’s lived there for seven years.

Cruz has passed a child-abuse check by authorities and said she doesn’t drink or smoke. She showed pictures of the inside and outside of her house. She has sealed her fireplace for safety. She said part of her program will be to teach the kids to speak Spanish.

Opponents of her bid to expand don’t want a business operating on a residential block and pointed out that the nearby Northeast Community Center offers day care. They also cited the busy intersection at Rhawn Street and Lexington Avenue and what they believe to be a small area for the children to play in outside.

“There is no place for those kids to play,” one woman said.

Some neighbors worried that children will be dropped off in the common driveway and were generally concerned about traffic and parking issues.

Cruz said the youngsters start getting dropped off at 6:15 a.m.

“Most of the people are sleeping,” she said.

In the end, Cruz agreed to the civic group’s request to ask the Zoning Board of Adjustment to care for up to eight children, not 12.

In other news from the May 21 meeting:

• Planet Fitness wants to open in a former Fashion Bug store at 6420 Frankford Ave. in the Mayfair Shopping Center.

Attorney Ron Patterson explained at the civic group’s March meeting that the 10,000-square-foot gym would be open 24 hours a day. It would include tanning beds.

A hearing is scheduled for June 13 in front of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

At last week’s meeting, concerns were raised about traffic, parking and the hours of operation. Neighbors note that there is a Galaxy Tans location in the shopping center.

If the center is approved, neighbors want the people hired for construction and permanent jobs to come from the area.

Meanwhile, the civic group has concerns about trash outside the Northeast International Supermarket, at 2842 St. Vincent St. The supermarket is seeking a zoning variance to offer takeout food.

• Mike Tomlinson, the Republican candidate in the 5th Senatorial District, described himself to the crowd as a former teacher and certified public accountant.

Tomlinson, who is challenging 12-year Democratic Sen. Mike Stack, is running on issues including creating jobs, strengthening schools and small businesses and improving government integrity.

The challenger also wants to implement tort reform to lower the number of frivolous lawsuits. He blames the high cost of malpractice insurance for the closing of local hospital maternity wards.

“You can’t go to Nazareth, Jeanes or Torresdale to have a baby. You have to go all the way up to Holy Redeemer,” he said.

• Jeff Dempsey, an aide to state Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-172nd dist.), tried to quash rumors that the lawmaker wanted to remove the divisions in Mayfair from his district during the Legislative Reapportionment Commission process.

Dempsey noted that Boyle has a large office at 7518 Frankford Ave.

“We have every intention to keep that office there,” he said.

• The May 19 Mayfair Fallen Heroes Run, in memory of firefighter Joseph Konrad, was a success, raising about $11,000.

Hero Thrill Show Inc., which provides college scholarships to the children of police officers and firefighters killed or disabled in the line of duty, will receive $5,000. Another $2,000 will go for a plaque in Konrad’s memory. About $4,000 will go to improvements to Mayfair Memorial Playground.

More than 400 people signed up for the run and walk.

Next year’s Fallen Heroes Run will be in memory of police officer Chuck Cassidy.

After the run/walk, the Mayfair May Fair took place along Frankford Avenue. Highlights included live bands, a car show, an art show, a dog pageant and a dunk tank.

Awards were presented to Monsignor Charles E. McGroarty, pastor of St. Matthew Church (Mayfair Award); Lisa Greco, owner of Bellalisa Hair Studio (Business of the Year); and Cathy McElvaney, who has been the crossing guard at Cottman and Rowland avenues for 37 years (Crossing Guard of the Year).

• City Councilman Bobby Henon (D-6th dist.) will sponsor a senior citizens fair on Friday, June 29, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Mayfair Community Center, at Brous Avenue and St. Vincent Street.

Nazareth Hospital and other organizations will offer information. Singer Tony Rad will provide musical entertainment. There will be dancing, and a light lunch will be served. Contact Lisa Deeley at 215–686–3444 or info@bobbyhenon.com

Meanwhile, Henon hopes to open his district office in the next week or so. The location is 6730 Torresdale Ave.

• Oral arguments will be heard on Nov. 5 in Common Pleas Court, as operators of a proposed methadone clinic seek to reverse a Zoning Board of Adjustment ruling that revoked their licenses.

The city Department of Licenses and Inspections issued the licenses for the proposed clinic at Frankford Avenue and Decatur Street. Neighbors appealed to the ZBA, which ruled in their favor.

Joe DeFelice, president of the civic association, has met with the community’s attorneys, who must file written briefs before the court date. The clinic’s lawyers must also file documents.

The case will be heard in a City Hall courtroom in front of Judge Idee C. Fox.

• Mayfair Civic Association will meet on Monday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Mayfair Community Center. ••

Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215–354–3034 or twaring@bsmphilly.com