Civic group to meet about proposed rooming house for recovering addicts

The West Torresdale Civic Association will hold a special zoning meeting on July 19 at the 8th Police District to consider 3201 Morrell Ave.

A view of 3201 Morrell Ave. from the side and rear showing several existing entrances to the proposed rooming house. SOURCE: REDFIN.COM

The West Torresdale Civic Association will hold a special zoning meeting next week to consider a proposed rooming house for recovering alcohol or drug abusers on Morrell Avenue.

The meeting will be on Wednesday, July 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the 8th Police District.

According to WTCA President Ken Law, Way of Life Sober Living is seeking a zoning permit to operate a seven-room boarding house for up to 14 residents at 3201 Morrell Ave. The property also abuts Academy Road.

In an email sent to WTCA members and the Northeast Times, Law quoted a zoning applications that described the proposed rooming house “for maximum fourteen (14) occupants in maximum seven (7) rooming units in an existing structure. All occupants are capable of self preservation and self sustaining. No occupants under the jurisdiction of any court system.”

Constructed in 1966, the two-story end-of-row house features a grade-level basement and internal garage. It has 2,464 square feet of floor space and sits on 4,268 square feet of land. It was built for residential use and is still zoned for a single-family residence, but city zoning records show that prior owners have obtained use permits for for medical offices and child daycare within the last 10 years.

Online real estate services report the property sold for $229,000 last July. But the city’s own online property records show it sold most recently in February 2011 for $125,000 to a woman who reported a Pennsauken, N.J., mailing address. The city’s online records often do not include recent sales. The city assessed the 2018 market value at $209,700.

The 2016 seller’s agent marketed the property as the “only quad in the Northeast” and “a quad or a duplex with a large doctor’s office.” Although zoned for a duplex, the building had already been divided into four units with separate utility meters, according to the sales listing. The building allegedly featured 10 bedrooms and nine bathrooms at the time, according to the listing.

Way of Life Sober Living operates “a network of recovery and sober homes throughout the Bucks County, Pennsylvania, region,” according to its website. The website does not specify if it’s a for-profit company.

The July 19 WTCA meeting is open to the public. ••

William Kenny can be reached at 215–354–3031 or wkenny@bsmphilly.com. Follow the Times on Twitter @NETimesOfficial.