HomeNewsEast Torresdale residents discuss private sewer

East Torresdale residents discuss private sewer

A private sewer system, a pending deal for Maggie’s and other topics were addressed at the Oct. 14 ETCA meeting.

The East Torresdale Civic Association met Oct. 14 at Liberty Free Evangelical Church. Meetings may soon move to All Saints’ Episcopal Church. TIMES FILE PHOTO

Much of the conversation at the Oct. 14 East Torresdale Civic Association meeting centered on a private sewer system that covers part of the neighborhood.

Mainly, residents spoke about who is responsible for the private line, whether it can accommodate increased development and who is allowed to connect to the system. 

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The discussion was spurred by a proposal to build a home at 5021 Fitler St. ETCA members narrowly voted against a variance for the project in May, but it’s believed the plan will be going through the zoning process again in the coming months.

Nearby residents have opposed the project and reiterated their concerns that an additional house will increase flooding in their yards and basements.

There was also a lengthy back-and-forth about the private sewer line. 

Most city properties are hooked up to a public sewer, meaning the Philadelphia Water Department is obligated to repair any damaged mains. Private sewer problems are the shared responsibility of all property owners connected to the system, according to PWD’s customer guidebook.

Some neighbors said the line is at capacity and cannot handle any more houses. Residents reported incidents of sewage back-ups. 

There was a discussion of whether a homeowners association or nonprofit corporation should be formed to control the private line.

Maggie’s deal being finalized

Maggie’s Waterfront Cafe owner Kevin Goodchild said he is close to finalizing a deal to sell the bar and restaurant he founded more than 10 years ago at North Delaware and Arendell avenues.

“This will be the last meeting I’m attending,” Goodchild told ETCA members. “If everything goes well, I won’t be the owner of Maggie’s anymore.” 

Right now, he is waiting on the transfer of the bar’s liquor license. Goodchild did not disclose the buyer, saying they preferred to introduce themselves to residents at a later date.

Maggie’s has been engaged in a legal battle with residents over an outdoor patio. Last month, the Department of Licenses & Inspections shut down the patio following a Commonwealth Court decision.

“The new owner, he knows everything going on here,” Goodchild said. “He’s a resident. He’ll come around talk to you himself.

Neighbors have long blamed the bar for disturbing the surrounding area and causing quality-of-life issues.

Other notes

ETCA members voted to move meetings to All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 9601 Frankford Ave., at the earliest possible convenience. Currently, the group is paying $900 a year to use Liberty Free Evangelical Church, Milnor Street and Linden Avenue, while All Saints is offering a room for free.

Riverfront North is hosting “Pumpkins in the Park” on Saturday, Oct. 26, from noon to 3 p.m. at Pleasant Hill Park. The event will include fall treats, pumpkin painting and other activities. It will also be a community fishing day. Children under 16 can fish at the park without a license from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bait, rods and instructions are provided. ••

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

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