Greater Bustleton Civic League members nominated board candidates and discussed at length a proposal to put gas pumps at the B.J.’s wholesale club during a long session April 23 at the American Heritage Federal Credit Union’s Carriage House on Red Lion Road.
After about two hours of listening to and discussing a presentation about B.J.’s expansion and modernization plans for its store at Red Lion Road and Jamison, members voted to support the wholesale grocer’s plan to install gas pumps near the front of the property.
League attorney Joe Guerra told members that the company is not seeking any kind of zoning variance to put in the pumps. Rather, he explained, B.J.’s is asking for a special exception. That, he said, puts the burden on the neighborhood to show the Zoning Board of Adjustment reasons why the pumps shouldn’t be allowed.
Company representatives discussed putting the pumps behind or beside the store, although an original plan was for situating them close to Red Lion. Neighbors who live behind the store said they didn’t like the idea of the pumps being close to their properties. They said they were worried about safety and noise, especially since gas pumps will begin daily operations at 6:30 a.m.
The company reps also said they will sell propane from a 1,000-gallon tank. That, league vice president John McKeever said, was a new topic, as did Rich Hasson, a vice president at American Heritage, whose property is across Jamison from B.J.’s and also fronts on Red Lion.
At their May meeting, league members will elect board members. According to Tommy James, nominations chairman, Jack O’Hara, the incumbent president, was nominated to keep his seat. So were John McKeever, current vice president; Jack Bonner, recording secretary; and Joan Rhodes, treasurer. No one is seeking the board’s corresponding secretary post, James said. Members were asked if they had any nominations, but no one submitted any.
McKeever said April 24 that the position has been vacant for a while. Since it will remain open after next month’s election, O’Hara likely will appoint somebody to the post, McKeever said.
At the April 23 meeting, City Councilman Brian O’Neill (R-10th dist.) announced he had arranged for a $2,000 Philadelphia Activities Fund Grant for the league.
Besides electing board members next month, members will give out $100 Community and School Service awards to pupils from five neighborhood schools. They’ll also discuss a few zoning issues. But one that was discussed last week was a plan to put a house on a tree-filled parcel on the 9700 block of Verree Road. In an interview April 25, O’Neill said he and some neighbors are opposed to erecting a home at 9785 Verree because he said the street frontage is only 50 feet, and that current code requires 75 feet. He said the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections had issued a building permit, but that he and neighbors are going to appeal the decision to the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.
A petition was circulated at the April 23 meeting and signed by those who don’t like the proposal to build on the lot. According to city online records, the property was purchased by Sandra and Salvatore Berardi in late 2003 and is zoned for residential use. Revenue Department records show there are eight city liens on the property, and that there are payment agreements in place to clear up more than $8,600 in delinquent taxes, interest and penalties.
Next month, members will look at plans to put a day-care center in a residentially zoned building on the 800 block of Charette Road as well as a proposal to demolish a structure on the 900 block of Alburger Street, subdivide it and build two homes.
The May 28 session will begin at 7 p.m. at the American Heritage Federal Credit Union, Red Lion and Jamison. The league’s hot line is 215–676–6890; its website is www.gbcleague.com ••