It was a meeting full of highs and lows for the Greater Bustleton Civic League.
The highs: Crime is down as much as double digits in the 7th Police District, according to Capt. Robert Ritchie. According to his report, crime dropped by double digits in a statistical comparison from 2018 to 2019 in every property crime category.
Examples he read off included:
- 126 homes broken into in 2018 to 91 in 2019 – a decrease of 28%
- 43 businesses broken into in 2018 to 18 in 2019 – a decrease of 58%
- 395 cars broken into in 2018 to 251 in 2019 – a decrease of 36.5%
“This is very heartfelt, because I’m constantly asking you to be our eyes and ears,” Ritchie said.
A frequent visitor to the civic league, Ritchie thanked the attendees for their vigilance, but said 251 cars broken into was still 251 too many.
After Ritchie’s report, much of the discussion focused on the warehouse at 1 Red Lion Road. GBCL president Jack O’Hara was told that an official announcement about who would be moving into the 1.85-million-square-foot warehouse would be happening within two weeks of the Jan. 22 meeting.
Much of the residents’ opposition comes from the sheer size of the warehouse, which could include 350 truck bays and 704 parking spaces, as detailed by early plans. For perspective, the former Budd Co. plant totaled 1.1 million square feet, and Lincoln Financial Field is 1.7 million square feet. It will be in operation 24/7.
There will be a presentation about the warehouse by the end of March that will give the public the opportunity to learn how the property will be used. The presentation is expected to include the exact size of the warehouse, the operations that will be performed and a traffic study of the surrounding area. The date for the meeting has not yet been decided.
“We support development of the site but want our elected officials to support our opposition to the size and to represent that opinion,” is the GBCL’s official written stance on the property.
Will Patterson, chief of staff for state Rep. Martina White, was in attendance.
“Once the tenant is announced we would want to pick up the phone and come speak with you and hear the concerns of the neighborhood and get them addressed,” he said. “We’re supportive of making sure it fits the neighborhood and making sure it’s going to be a complement and not a detriment.”
O’Hara again emphasized he believes the warehouse is the “biggest threat” the civic league has ever faced.
In other news:
- Next month’s meeting will include zoning presentations about a medical center at 2050 Welsh Road, a hookah lounge at 842 Red Lion Road and a proposed two-family household at 9514 Bustleton Ave.
- GBCL meets the fourth Wednesday of every month at American Heritage Federal Credit Union, 2060 Red Lion Road. The next meeting will be held Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.
- Keep up to date at GBCL.online.