Mayfair Civic says ‘no’ to roof deck at former Teamsters property

Members of the Mayfair Civic Association voted against plans for a rooftop deck for restaurant and bar under construction at Cottman and Brous.

Zoning attorney Glenn Hing speaks to residents at the Oct. 15 Mayfair Civic Association meeting about a proposed rooftop deck at a restaurant and bar under construction at Cottman Avenue and Brous Avenue. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO

A proposed rooftop deck for a restaurant and bar under construction at Cottman and Brous avenues was overwhelmingly opposed by members of the Mayfair Civic Association during a special zoning meeting Oct. 15.

Residents packed a room at the Mayfair Community Center to voice concerns over the deck and overall project at the site of the former Teamsters building, 2825–35 Cottman Ave.

The owners of the property are applying for a zoning variance to install a 3,320-square-foot roof deck for customers of the one-story bar and restaurant, which has not yet opened.

Attorney Glenn Hing, who represented the owners at the meeting, said the deck would take up only about a third of the total roof area. Hing said it would be set back from Cottman Avenue by 23 feet and Brous Avenue by 55 feet. A parapet wall is being constructed, in part to provide a buffer for residents, he said.

The deck would be used mainly in warm weather, and there will be no live music on the roof, according to Hing.

“It’s an outdoor seating area,” he added. “The deck will not be used for karaoke. It’s strictly a dining area.”

JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTOS

One of the major concerns raised at the meeting was parking. There are only 16 existing spots on the property.

“Basically, there’s parking on the street,” Hing said, before being drowned out by residents, some of whom said his response was the “wrong answer.”

Previously, there had been talk about valet parking at a lot in front of the supermarket at 2842 St. Vincent St. The operator of the restaurant said idea is still on the table, but some at the meeting questioned whether valet parking was safe on Cottman Avenue and whether that parking lot had enough spaces to accommodate the restaurant.

Residents also said they were worried about noise coming from the deck.

At one point during the meeting, the operator of the restaurant agreed to three provisos, or conditions, for the deck — no karaoke, no music and no bar (although patrons would still be able to drink on the deck).

Even so, residents remained opposed to the deck. The vote tally was 43 opposed, three not opposed with provisos and three not opposed.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment is scheduled to hold a hearing on the case at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the city’s 1515 Arch St. building.

The Oct. 15 meeting was the first time any part of the controversial project at the former Teamsters site has come to the civic association for a formal vote. All of the other permits for the property have been acquired “by right,” meaning community input was not required, according to civic association president Donny Smith.

Last November, representatives from the company that owns the property presented preliminary plans for an Asian-American fusion restaurant and bar, as previously reported by the Times.

The owners of the property, Eastern Plaza LP, purchased it in August 2017 for nearly $1.5 million, according to city property records.

In other news from the Mayfair Civic Association’s zoning meeting:

  • Members of the civic association voted unanimously against an application for a permit allowing the elimination of a garage and the creation of two driveway parking spaces at a residential property at 3020 Wellington St. An attorney for the owner said the work has already been done, and this application is to legalize it. Residents said they were worried about safety and the possibility of the owner turning the property from a duplex into a triplex. A ZBA hearing is scheduled for Oct. 24.
  • The civic association also voted to oppose a permit for a duplex at 3239 Teesdale St. An attorney for the applicant said the property was a duplex for many years before being rezoned as a single-family property because the prior owners did not rent it out. Again, residents were concerned the property could be illegally converted into a triplex. The case will go in front of the ZBA on Nov. 7.
  • Residents voted unanimously in support of a permit for an office on the first floor of an existing duplex at 3401 Princeton Ave. A butcher shop operated at the site for many years before it closed about 10 years ago, according to a presentation at the meeting. The property was rezoned residential, but the owners want to open an office for a security company at the property. A ZBA hearing is scheduled for Nov. 14.
  • The Mayfair Civic Association’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Mayfair Community Center, St. Vincent and Battersby streets. ••

Jack Tomczuk can be reached at jtomczuk@newspapermediagroup.com