Somerton Civic OKs axe-throwing business

The Somerton Civic Association supported two zoning applications, and residents received updates on a number of ongoing projects in the neighborhood.

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Members of the Somerton Civic Association supported two zoning applications at the group’s Sept. 10 meeting, including one allowing an ax-throwing business to remain in operation.

Bury the Hatchet, 1890 Woodhaven Road (near Evans Street), needs a variance because the property is zoned for industrial use. The ax-throwing chain is applying to have the zoning changed to assembly and entertainment. 

“Ax throwing is a very popular indoor sport these days,” said attorney Harry Cook, who represented the owner of the business. 

Cook said the Department of Licenses and Inspections reached an agreement with Bury the Hatchet that allowed the facility to remain open during the zoning process. The ax-throwing chain has been in Somerton for about a year, Cook said.

Residents at the meeting voted 46-2 in favor of the zoning change.

SCA President Chris Bordelon said he is in discussions with the owner of the building, which contains multiple stores, to draw up a deed restriction to prevent marijuana dispensaries or growing facilities from operating at the site.

Bordelon said the assembly and entertainment designation could allow a marijuana-related business to open without a variance in the future. 

The vote on the variance was not contingent on the ratification of the restriction.

Civic members also voted unanimously in support of a permit legalizing work done at a house at 15103 Endicott St. Years ago, prior owners of the property replaced the garage door with a wall. The zoning requires one off-street parking space.

In other news from the Somerton Civic meeting:

  • The Zoning Board of Adjustment has set a hearing for Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. to reconsider a zoning application allowing a developer to build eight houses on a wooded lot at 11934 Stevens Road. The board granted a variance for the project in July. Residents have twice rejected the plan, though those proposals called for more housing on the site.
  • On Aug. 21, the ZBA granted a permit for an auto sales business at 13410 Damar Drive on the condition that there is no mechanical, body or fender work done at the site. At a special meeting last month, the SCA declined to vote on the matter because the applicants sent out incorrect notices to neighbors and there weren’t enough residents in attendance to hold a vote according to the civic’s bylaws. The civic wrote the ZBA a letter explaining the issue and asked the board to push the hearing back, Bordelon said. The SCA board lodged a written protest to the ZBA, he added.
  • Bordelon said he has been told that rumors of a methadone clinic preparing to open on a portion of the old Byberry hospital property are not true. He contacted Self Help Movement, which utilizes the site, about work being done at a building on Southampton Road. Bordelon said the organization told him it has no intention of opening a methadone clinic; the work is just an extension of already-existing drug and alcohol treatment services.
  • A representative from 10th District Councilman Brian O’Neill’s office said paving of Southampton Road was scheduled to begin late last week. Work should take about two weeks and the speed cushions will remain.
  • The SCA received a $25,000 check from a developer who agreed to donate the money in November as part of an agreement with the civic’s board related to the construction of a 100,000-square-foot warehouse at 2021 Woodhaven Road. The developer needed a special exception to remove “heritage trees” from the site. The money is slated to go into a special fund to pay for the planting of trees at local schools and playgrounds.
  • The next SCA meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. at the Walker Lodge of the I.O.O.F., 1290 Southampton Road. There will be a demonstration of the new voting machines that will be rolled out in November. ••

Jack Tomczuk can be reached at jtomczuk@newspapermediagroup.com.