Lawncrest civic group debates auto shop lot

The vote was postponed to Sept. 18.

Speedy Auto owner Sergio Polyakov last week asked members of the Lawncrest Community Association to approve a variance to allow him to park cars on a gravel lot that is zoned residential.

The lot is behind the 5800 and 5900 blocks of Newtown Ave., but is located in Cheltenham Township.

A zoning board hearing on the variance is set for Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Curtis Hall in Curtis Arboretum, 1250 W. Church Road (at Greenwood Avenue) in Wyncote.

Some neighbors complained that the business cut down trees, while others said the open ground is cleaner and safer than when it was wooded. The shop has motion sensor lights to scare off criminals.

A few residents claimed that work takes place late at night.

Opponents tried to get Polyakov’s lawyer, Ryan Boland, to say whether he would like to live near the property.

Polyakov, who has been in business for 20 years, pays annual taxes of $1,860 on the lot.

After a lengthy discussion, the LCA agreed to make a decision on the variance at its Sept. 18 meeting, after a Cheltenham Planning Commission meeting.

In other news from the Aug. 21 meeting:

• Representing the 2nd Police District were Lt. John Barker, Sgt. Matthew Lowe and community relations officer Mark Mroz.

Violent crime, robberies, robberies with guns and burglaries are decreasing, while homicides and thefts from autos are on the rise. The police officials urged people to lock their car doors.

• Stewart Graham, of City Councilman David Oh’s staff, and former Council staffer Kathy Wersinger expressed their sorrow over the murder of Linda Rios, Council’s head of human resources. Graham and Wersinger said anyone who is a victim of domestic violence should contact Women Against Abuse or Oh’s office at 215–686–3452.

• Alice Dignam, who recently moved from Holmesburg Recreation Center to be the leader at Lawncrest Rec, appeared at the meeting.

• A crab/seafood restaurant is expected to open in the next couple of months at 5717 Rising Sun Ave. The site is the former home of K Diner, Millie’s Luv Inn and the Crest Diner.

• The McDonald’s at Oxford Circle has closed.

• The Lawncrest Community Association will meet again on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. at St. William parish hall, Argyle and Robbins streets. There will be proposals to convert a property on the 5800 block of Reach St. into a duplex and add a third floor to 6612–14 Rising Sun Ave. ••