Bustleton residents heard from police, real estate agents and candidates in addition to voting on a controversial zoning case in a jam-packed Greater Bustleton Civic League meeting.
Neighbors voted 25-2 not to support the erection of a two-story single-family home on a vacant lot at 1075 Welsh Road, near the intersection of Welsh and Walley Avenue. The property has been vacant since at least 1976, said attorney David Orphanides, and is significantly smaller than surrounded lots. The refusal is that a minimum front setback of 35 feet is required, and the proposed setback is only 19 feet and six inches.
Neighbors cited concerns about the small size of the property and unclear designated proposed setback footage for not supporting the proposal after a heated discussion. The zoning board hearing is scheduled for May 22.
In other updates:
7th Police District Capt. Robert Ritchie provided crime updates. He said police had received a lot of concern about a recent double-fatal car accident. He couldn’t divulge details but encouraged neighbors not to worry.
Ritchie said that while crime overall is down, there is a recurring residential burglary problem in the Bell’s Corner area. He cited residential burglaries in which the criminal entered the home through a sliding glass door and pushed the air conditioner in.
“If you have a home that has the glass sliding doors, put a stick in the door, and if you have an air conditioner please do your best to make sure it is as secure as possible,” Ritchie said.
Police and fire are also hosting a fundraiser at Mazhu Axes on May 15 from 6 to 10 p.m. Attendees pay $10 to gain entry to the building and will have food and drinks.
Judy Moore, 10th District candidate
Judy Moore, running as a Democrat in 10th District Council election, introduced herself to residents.
“As you know, we’ve had a councilman in office for 40 years,” Moore said, referring to Councilman Brian O’Neill. Moore, a lifelong Northeast Philadelphia resident, said O’Neill has been in Council for all 40 years of her life.
Moore is married to a 7th Police District officer and she has two kids who live in the Northeast. She said she sends her kids to private school after concerns for their safety in public school.
“People should care about this,” she said. “People should care that we’re taxpayers and we have to send our kids to private school or make that decision, but what if we couldn’t afford to?”
She also said her husband takes flak for being a police officer.
“There’s not a single person that I see on our government who’s willing to stand up and say I stand for police,” she said. “I can do that.”
Moore was pregnant at 17 and put herself through college. She believes the Northeast is great, but that it can be made better.
Bob Roman from Keller Williams Real Estate visited neighbors to share updates about real estate in 19115.
“I will just tell you, the Northeast, if we don’t be careful, we’re in jeopardy,” Roman said. He said people are still moving into the city, but not necessarily the Northeast.
Roman provided numbers comparing the first quarter of this year to the first quarter of last year. The numbers apply to 19115 only.
The closed sale units, with each unit being a house that was sold, is down 32-percent. Current inventory is down 36-percent but the volume of total sales is down only 29 percent, meaning the seller’s market right now is “super strong.”
“That means home prices are shooting through the roof,” he said. The average sale price for residential properties first quarter last year was $249,700, and this year it is $266,500. The average amount of days a property is on the market dropped from 34 days to 31.
Roman said staying involved in your neighborhood is the best way to keep it active.
“If you get involved and stay involved, you can keep the community the way it is and make it better,” he said, citing the great attendance at the meeting. “Nobody destroys their communities – they give them away.”
- The Krewstown Road Festival that was scheduled for June 2 has been cancelled.
- The Maternity BVM carnival is scheduled for May 13-18.
- Work has begun on the playground at Bustleton Bengals Gym, which is expected to be completed in a couple of months.
- GBCL’s official website is gbcl.online.
- GBCL meets the fourth Wednesday of every month. The next meeting will take place May 22 at American Heritage Federal Credit Union, 2060 Red Lion Road.