Civic group talks zoning, hears from candidates

Democratic candidates Joe Hohenstein and Maggie Borski introduced themselves to members of the Wissinoming Civic Association last Tuesday.

Hohenstein and Borski stopped by the Wissinoming Civic Association to briefly talk about their candidacy for Pennsylvania’s 177th House District. TIMES FILE PHOTOS

Last Tuesday, the Wissinoming Civic Association voted on one zoning matter and had a representative from New Courtland to discuss the property at St. Bart’s and its future plans in the community.

A property at 3031 Devereaux Ave. had previously been zoned as commercial for years. The owner of the property went to the civic to receive a letter of non-opposition to make the property a rental apartment. The owner of the property is up to date on fees, according to the Wissinoming Civic Association board.

The only other concern members posed was the residency of the landlord, but he assured them he lived in the area on Rising Sun Avenue. The civic unanimously voted to not oppose the transition of making the property available as a rental property.

A representative from New Courtland was present to give the civic association updates on the progress of their property located at St. Bart’s. He described the criteria for seniors who are interested in living there and those interested in their Living Independently For Elderly program. Programs for lower-income senior living are state and federally funded.

The representative stated his excitement for the upcoming open dates.

“We’re eager to open up St. Bart’s very soon,” he said.

He expects it to open “come in May/June.”

In other news:

• Two of the four Democratic candidates running to replace longtime state Rep. John Taylor in Pennsylvania’s 177th district were present to introduce themselves to the civic association.

Joe Hohenstein, who ran against Taylor in 2016, introduced himself to the civic by detailing his background as an immigration attorney and talked about his dispute with President Trump’s administration.

“I’m fortunate enough, I would say, to be able to be a part of the resistance to Donald Trump’s travel ban last year, when I was a part of a lawsuit that helped bring this Syrian Christian family that had been sent back, home to people here,” said Hohenstein.

Maggie Borski, a 25-year-old law school student at Temple University, detailed her background in the political world and what motivated her to seek this office.

“Right now, I’m running because Donald Trump really pissed me off in November of 2016,” said Borski.

She also reiterated the need to have more women in elected office in Pennsylvania. Borski credited Taylor’s office as being a “gold standard” for constituent services and wants to maintain and raise the bar if elected.

• A representative from Councilman Bobby Henon’s office was present to talk about an upcoming event the councilman will host at James J. Sullivan School, 5300 Ditman St., on April 18 to discuss City Council’s budget proposals. He also talked about the upcoming arts festival set to take place in Mayfair on April 14.

• The community garden in Wissinoming at St. Bart’s is beginning to start planting with the weather changing. It is $40 for a 4×8 bed, and a 25-percent discount for senior citizens interested in purchasing it as well. On April 21, Earth Day, they will clean up the garden for the grand opening of the year.

• On Saturday, April 7, members of the civic association are welcome to join in cleaning up their own blocks and the business corridor on Torresdale Avenue. The group will start cleaning between 10–10:30 a.m. from opposite directions of Torresdale Avenue and meet in the middle around Joe’s Steaks.

There is a planned prayer set up by a local church on April 15 at 6 p.m. at Torresdale Avenue and Benner Street to pray for less crime in the neighborhood. ••

John Cole can be reached at JCole@bsmphilly.com