Greater Bustleton Civic nixes plans for grocery store

In other news, residents were reminded swimming in any unguarded body of water in Philadelphia is illegal, and Hayes Playground will soon get an upgrade.

Residents and members of the Greater Bustleton Civic League are in agreement about one thing: they don’t want a grocery store in their neighborhood.

In a highly attended meeting on June 28, not a single hand raised in support of the idea. Lin Yu Yun and his attorney, Lin Xiang Xing, decided to cancel the project at 1911 Tremont St. directly after the vote.

“We realize the neighbors’ concerns, and the case will be withdrawn,” Xing said. Several neighbors spoke in firm opposition to the proposal, stating property values would drop, and that the store would attract bugs, rodents and unwanted traffic.

Despite the vote, Yun did not have to drop the case — his family could have gone forward to the Zoning Board of Adjustment with the proposal. Neighbor complaints would have been taken into consideration, but the ZBA has the right to go against public opinion (and has before).

The Yuns wanted to run the store out of a garage they had on their property, which they found too large for storage.

Community and league members got the rundown on a variety of topics while munching on ice cream to celebrate the beginning of summer:

• Philadelphia Police Department Marine Unit Sgt. Gregory Caputo gave a talk about the dangers of swimming in city creeks like Pennypack Creek.

“A lot of people fail to realize it is illegal to swim in the creeks, and any body of water in the city of Philadelphia,” Caputo said. Caputo said there can be swimming only when a lifeguard is present, which is only at pools.

Caputo asked the residents to be the eyes and ears for the police, echoing a common sentiment. He said residents should call 911 if they see anyone swimming illegally so police can handle the situation.

“It’s about education,” Caputo said, as opposed to immediate punishment.

• The police department is recruiting new members. The requirements to being an officer are being 22 years of age, high school diploma or equivalent, and there is no age cap. (“Even 77?” a resident asked jokingly.) Those interested can head over to JoinPhillyPD.com

• Capt. Michael Gormley, commander of the 7th Police District, gave a monthly crime update. Total crime is down 6 percent from last year, and residential burglaries are down 26 percent from last year.

Commercial burglaries increased, however. For example, there was a recent burglary at the Dunkin’ Donuts located in Grant Plaza.

Gormley also referenced the opioid epidemic. “Don’t be afraid to step forward if you know anyone in need of help,” he said.

As he did in the previous meeting, Gormley encouraged residents to keep an eye out for their neighbors who may be away during the summer. Out of 36 vehicular thefts, 27 of them were from unlocked vehicles.

• Permits have been granted to construct a gymnasium on the site of Hayes Playground at 9800 Roosevelt Blvd.

“A lot of people have been working on this for years, and it’s inching closer to completion,” GBCL President Jack O’Hara said. Groundbreaking will hopefully take place in August.

In addition to the gym, the parking lot is being examined. A current hockey and tennis court are in discussion to be repurposed as parking.

• Philadelphia Activities Fund awarded GBCL with $1,500. PAF reviews applications and rewards nonprofit organizations all across the city.

• GBCL will next meet Wednesday, Sept. 27. ••