Maggie’s approved for outdoor seating

Late last week, Maggie’s Cafe received approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment to open the outdoor patio, but denied the request for an employee parking lot.

Late last week, the Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the request made by Maggie’s Waterfront Cafe, 9242 N. Delaware Ave, to open up the outdoor patio, but denied a request for an employee parking lot, with additional requirements for the business to follow.

This decision comes one month after the ZBA had declared in a hearing that it would wait 30 days to make a decision on the requests made by Maggie’s.

Last summer, L&I determined that Maggie’s had to either remove the outdoor chairs on the patio or apply for a new zoning variance. Late last week, the ZBA notified Maggie’s that its application to open up the outdoor patio was approved, but it has to be closed by 9:30 p.m. The request also approved an “accessory shed” and “rear yard setback.” The application for an employee parking lot on Arendell Avenue was not approved.

“I’m happy for the decision,” said Maggie’s owner Kevin Goodchild. “I just wish it could have been worked out with the community, specifically the near neighbors.”

Maggie’s and the East Torresdale Civic Association have been at odds for years over a number of issues.

“The main thing, I was trying to keep Councilman Henon and Rep. Mike Driscoll involved from the get-go,” Goodchild said. “I still think, after talking to the councilman the other day after the decision, he’s still open for trying to come up with a community benefits agreement.”

Henon and Driscoll had met with near neighbors on different occasions throughout the ongoing matter.

The East Torresdale Civic Association released the following statement on the ZBA decision: “We would prefer to not comment at this time, as we are weighing our options. However, we believe it is unfortunate that possibly the ZBA did not fully understand the quality of life issues that some of the residents near this establishment have to endure. Some residents did move in after this establishment first opened, but prior to certain additions and expansions. We also have many more long-time residents who remember a quieter, more peaceful neighborhood. We believe that a person’s home should be their sanctuary.”

Goodchild hopes to open up the outdoor patio within a week. ••

John Cole can be reached at JCole@bsmphilly.com