Home News Neighbors say no to twins on Fulmer Street

Neighbors say no to twins on Fulmer Street

A two-man development team brought its housing proposal to the recent Greater Bustleton Civic League meeting.

The site is at 1719 Fulmer St., not too far from the 9800 block of Bustleton Ave.

The property is zoned industrial. At an earlier meeting, members rejected a proposal for 60-plus townhomes.

This time, the developers proposed 48 twin homes, along with several acres of open space. The houses would sell for $700,000 or more, and there would be a homeowners association.

While some in the crowd thought the proposal was a good idea, immediate neighbors were opposed, and City Councilman Brian O’Neill previously said he would back them.

Immediate neighbors brought up issues such as drainage and vehicle entrances and exits. They suggested that single homes would be preferable and questioned whether the twins would sell for such a high price.

The developers, who bought the property four years ago, can build warehouses by right.

One woman cautioned that houses might be preferable due to the possibility of trucks driving in and out of a warehouse site.

The developers and their supporters told the crowd their property values would increase if houses were built, but immediate neighbors replied they weren’t moving. They also weren’t swayed when told their estates would be more valuable.

“When I’m dead, I’m dead,” one man said.

The discussion began to deteriorate when one of the developers told a woman opposing the plan to “sit down.”

A man opposing the plan accused GBCL president Jack O’Hara of being “in his pocket,” referring to the developer.

O’Hara said the actions of some of the opponents were “alienating” and “embarrassing.”

The developers walked out of the meeting.

In other news from the Feb. 27 meeting:

• State Sen. Jimmy Dillon was the guest speaker. He said he’s optimistic about the city’s future, pointing to a new mayor, police commissioner, City Council president and FOP Lodge 5 president. He credited Mayor Cherelle Parker for speaking at a recent Millbrook Civic Association meeting, adding that he’s been told that former Mayor Jim Kenney rarely went north of Cottman Avenue.

In the Senate, Dillon said he supports money, tools and resources to aid in officer retention in the police department.

Dillon said he would like to bring Gov. Josh Shapiro to the Fire Academy to see the outdated buildings.

The lawmaker said he supported a bill that would provide $10 million to be used for stipends for student teachers to address a teacher shortage.

Noting that GBCL is being sued by the developer of the proposed UPS site at 1 Red Lion Road, Dillon said it’s “insane” that volunteer groups can be subject to a so-called Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP). The House passed a bill that would give volunteer groups immunity against SLAPP lawsuits. The bill is in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Dillon said he would “stomp my foot” to get Sen. Lisa Baker, chairwoman of the committee, to hold a hearing and vote.

Meanwhile, in the April 23 primary, Philadelphia voters will face this SLAPP-related question: “Should the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to require the City to provide for the indemnification and defense of registered community organizations in connection with claims made against them arising directly out of their lawful participation in the City’s zoning variance process?”

Dillon will hold a senior expo on March 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at MaST Community Charter School III, 1 Crown Way.

In response to a question, Dillon said he is not sure the money is there to build a subway on Roosevelt Boulevard.

Dillon’s offices are at 12361 Academy Road and 10007 Ferndale St.

• Capt. Steven O’Brien and community relations officer Joe Staszak represented the 7th Police District.

O’Brien said a Baldi Middle School student was jumped at gunpoint on the 8000 block of Verree Road and had his bookbag and iPad taken. An arrest was made after a man tackled another man emptying money from a vending machine at an apartment complex on the 10700 block of Haldeman Ave.

A knife-wielding man approached a driver stopped at a red light on the 10800 block of Bustleton Ave. and said, “Get out of your car or I’ll kill you.” The man was later arrested.

There was a residential burglary on the 400 block of Rhawn St., with everything taken. A man falsely claiming to be from the Water Department stole jewelry, money and a gun from a house on the 9600 block of Hayden St. There was a burglary attempt at a gas station on the 8200 block of Bustleton Ave.

Five units were broken into at Pine Valley Storage, 225 Geiger Road. The facility does not have security cameras.

A cash register was taken from Don Pedro Meats, 1916 Welsh Road.

In response to a question, O’Brien said he would look into two recent fires in the woods behind Baldi.

• Democrat Sean Dougherty and Republican Aizaz Gill, candidates in the 172nd Legislative District, were in attendance.

• Oral arguments in Commonwealth Court are scheduled for April 8, as GBCL continues to oppose the proposed UPS facility. The civic group earlier lost appeals with the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Common Pleas Court.

• The zoning board approved legalization of an office building at 248 Geiger Road that houses small personal services businesses. GBCL had earlier voted in support, 25-20.

The owner of a single-family home at 9504 Rising Sun Ave. has withdrawn his application to open a personal care home after GBCL voted 84-1 in opposition.

• The city Register of Wills administers functions about wills, estates and guardianship. Call 215-686-6250 or visit phila.gov/wills.

• The Bustleton Bengals, President Street and Conwell Avenue, will hold a clothing drive and “more” on Saturday, April 13, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Among items accepted are men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and shoes, accessories, household items and toys. All donations must be in a tied trash bag. Call Chris Tarducci at 215-906-8179 for possible pick-up.

• The Pine Road Bridge over Pennypack Creek will be closed beginning April 1 until the end of the year for reconstruction. Additionally, PennDOT has delayed its resurfacing of Verree Road until 2025.

• Greater Bustleton Civic League will meet on Tuesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at American Heritage Credit Union. ••

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