PFCU branch office not coming to Holmesburg

A local credit union’s controversial plan to open a new branch office at a busy Frankford Avenue intersection is dead.

During the monthly meeting of the Upper Holmesburg Civic Association last Thursday at St. Dominic’s Marian Hall, the group’s zoning chairman, Paul DeFinis, announced that the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union has decided not to move into a portion of the James D. Morrissey Inc. property at Frankford and Academy Road.

The UHCA and the East Torresdale Civic Association each opposed the plan, which would’ve required several zoning variances. A developer who hoped to build the new office on behalf of the credit union was scheduled for a Zoning Board hearing last month. In advance of the hearing, the developer agreed to ask for a postponement and to meet further with opponents of the plan.

But as the hearing date approached, the developer instead withdrew the zoning appeal and notified the civic groups that the credit union had decided to open the new office in a vacant bank building on Knights Road, DeFinis said.

In a separate property-use topic, DeFinis reported that a company plans to open a tractor-trailer parking facility on a lot at Hegerman and Pennypack streets. It’s the same lot where an auto salvage company tried to open a serve-yourself junkyard several years ago. But neighbors blocked that plan after a lengthy zoning fight.

No zoning changes are needed for the truck parking facility, so there will be no Zoning Board hearing, DeFinis said. The lot may relieve some of the nuisance truck parking along Torresdale Avenue near the Academy Road interchange. Neighbors routinely complain that the truckers routinely park there although the trucks are too wide to fit between the curb and lanes of traffic. The trucks also present a hazard to users of the nearby ballfields and playground, who sometimes have to park across the street.

Residents have been trying to get new “no truck parking” signs posted in the area for years. DeFinis said that even without the signs, truckers are not allowed to park unattended trailers. So if anyone sees a trailer without a cab, they should report it to 311.

Regarding the former Liddonfield public housing site, UHCA President Stan Cywinski reported that the Philadelphia Housing Authority is still reviewing redevelopment bids for the site. The civic group has endorsed a plan offered by New Courtland Inc., which has proposed a mix of senior housing and athletic fields for the 32.1-acre property. ••