Soccer Shots winter children's program at the Calvary Center

West Philly Parents, Soccer Shots had a successful inaugural season in Cedar Park this summer. They are now coming back for an indoor winter season at the Calvary Center. See information below for registration.

David Hincher, Cedar Park Board Member

SOCCER SHOTS INTRODUCING YOUR CHILD TO THE WORLD’S GREATEST GAME! Soccer Shots is a positive introduction to the sport of soccer with a focus on character and soccer skills through fun games and age-appropriate lessons.

Register for Winter Season in West Philly!

Calvary United Methodist Church (48th and Baltimore) Classes will be held on Fridays from Jan. 10 – Feb. 28 Sessions will be held indoors

4:30pm – Ages 3-5 5:15pm – Age 2

Register:     Online at

Questions? Contact: Thomas  (or) 484-707-9962

Long-time Cedar Park homeowners, apply for LOOP today to lower your property taxes


The City is rolling out its Longtime Owner Occupants Program (LOOP) this month. It could mean significant property tax savings for Cedar Park homeowners. This is a brand new program. It's different than the homestead exemption. (Some have called it "Gentrification Relief.") To qualify you (generally) need to have:

1.  lived in the home you own since July 1, 2003.

2.  a household income of less than 150% of the median area income (for example, one-person households must have income of less than $83,200/year.)

3.  experienced a jump in the assessed value of your home of more than 300%.

Applications are due on 1/15/2014. If eligible, you will receive a significant discount on your property taxes for the next 10 years.  You can find more information, including the application by visiting this City website:

Help CPN help neighbors by supporting our annual holiday baskets

holidaymeal Dear Friends and Neighbors of Cedar Park,

Once again, Cedar Park Neighbors, in cooperation with area churches and other nonprofit organizations, will prepare and distribute food baskets for those in need during the holiday season.

In 2012, we were able to reach over 660 people. As a continuation of this successful event, we need your financial help and support. Please consider a suggested donation in the amount of $36. Support at this amount will help us feed two families and foster our commitment to "neighbors helping neighbors."

We will be packing and distributing the baskets on Saturday December 21, 2013 from 8:30am -10:30am at Renewal Presbyterian Church, located on the corner of 47th and Cedar Ave. All volunteers are most welcome! Please feel free to contact us at if you have any questions.

We thank you in advance for your support!


Michelle and Beverly

To donate to our Holiday Basket Drive, please click here.

Remember: all annual CPN membership dues expire at the end of each calendar year.  While you're thinking about it, please consider joining or renewing today, by clicking here.


CPN hosts townhall on property taxes

IMG_20130911_203936_417 Cedar Park Neighbors hosted a workshop for over 50 neighbors on Wednesday, September 11.  The workshop, co-sponsored with our friends at Walnut Hill Community Association and Garden Court Community Association, discussed how to apply for the homestead exemption, how to appeal your AVI assessment to the BRT, and much more.  We were also joined by Rep. Jim Roebuck, Marty Cabry and Chris Riddick from Councilwoman Blackwell's office, and Monty Wilson, an attorney with Community Legal Services.

For more information on the various tax programs, you can download the Crosstown Coalition of Taxpayers' excellent guides at the links below:

AVI Survival Guide (includes information on various programs for low-income taxpayers, seniors, and people with disabilities.)

AVI Appeal Guide (includes step-by-step information on how to appeal your property assessment)


Cedar Park Neighbors guiding principles for development

Building upon the “Future of the Neighborhood” survey results and Baltimore Avenue conversation, the Development Impact Task Force crafted development principles in the spring to aid our group, the Zoning Committee and Board towards guiding how the neighborhood grows and evolves. CPN developed the principles for both residential and commercial development that encourages investment in the community. Below are some of the principles. Overarching Principles

Commercial development should add value and enhance the quality of life

As a community with a rich history and bright future, CPN prefers new residential and commercial development that adds value and meets unmet needs versus development for development’s sake. New residential or commercial developers should be able to talk about how their project will contribute to the community as a whole and specifically how the project will serve/enhance the quality of life for all neighbors.

Development should serve those of different backgrounds

Cedar Park residents value diversity in all forms and are particularly interested in new commercial and residential development that welcomes people of different races, classes, ages, sexual orientation and ability. New residential or commercial developers should be able to talk about how their project will contribute to the community as a whole and specifically how the project will serve/enhance the quality of life for neighbors of different backgrounds.

Value locally owned businesses and organizations

Cedar Park residents believe that locally-owned businesses (businesses owned by local residents and businesses with a history of involvement with the neighborhood) play a vital role in Cedar Park's sustainable economic development. CPN values the presence of locally owned and operated businesses, institutions, and non-profit organizations and wants to support their continued success.

Commercial Principles

Development should complement existing stock       

Development should maintain or respect existing character of blocks, but more diversity already exists along the commercial corridor. Development is preferred that complements existing stock especially in terms of scale, proportion and architectural features, but higher density is preferred along the commercial corridor.

Street level development should encourage foot traffic      

Commercial development should make best use of street level space by housing operations there that encourage high-volume foot traffic, make best use of display windows, include signage and lighting and offer hours of operation that extend until at least 8pm.

Residential Principles

 Commercial activities should generally not occur on residential blocks and be focused along commercial corridors. There is however existing precedence for some “corner stores” within residential areas.

Respect character of residential blocks

Residential development should maintain or respect existing character of blocks and the scale of building stock. Aesthetic consistency is of a higher importance within residential blocks, particularly with regard to architectural features such as porches, bay windows, and detail and building lines.

Here is a link to the full development principles.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email contact at cedarparkneighbors dot org

David Hincher

Chair, CPN Development Impact Task Force

Soccer Shots comes to Cedar Park

Starting in September, Soccer Shots will bring their youth soccer program to Cedar Park. Soccer Shots is a national program created in collaboration withchildhood education specialists, professional soccer players, and experienced and licensed soccer coaches. They use creative and age-appropriate curricula, infusing each lesson plan with enthusiasm and structured activity through a mixture of play and learning basic soccer skills. The program will serve kids ages 2-4 will divide participants into two potential age groups: 2 year olds, 3 to 4 year olds. This will supplement the neighborhood’s Clark Park Youth Soccer League, which serves youth aged 5-11. Starting September 14, Soccer Shots will run for 2 hours once a week on Saturday mornings.  This season runs from September 14th thru November 16th.  During each week’s 2-hour time frame, they will provide two to three session times, which are 30-40 minutes each.  Session will occur on two small grass sections of the park, which will allow Soccer Shots to provide classes for a maximum of 15-17 children during each 40-minute time slot. There is a registration fee to participate this activity, and registration is online at

CPN is excited to bring this youth program to Cedar Park and look forward to fun and active fall season.

Download the Cedar Park Soccer Shot flyer

Philly Park Flyer_Fall 2013

Future of the Neighborhood Report

In the summer of 2012, over 500 Cedar Park residents participated in a survey about the future of the Cedar Park neighborhood. Over several months, members of the CPN board and Development Impact Task Force  have analyzed and compiled the data from the survey. CPN also researched recent census data to contextualize the changes seen and experienced over the last decade. Within the survey responses, there was wide agreement from survey respondents on many important topics. Almost universally, there was excitement about increased vitality of the Baltimore Avenue commercial corridor, the decreasing number of blighted/vacant properties and the sense of community that residents feel here.

Sense of community, access to public transit, walkability, bikeability, green space, architectural character, affordability, and racial & economic diversity are the top reasons that Cedar Park residents choose to live in the neighborhood.

On matters of zoning, residents want to see more growth and amenities along commercially zoned areas of the neighborhood, and a majority of respondents preferred that new commercial development be led by local business owners. Most neighbors desire future development that is compatible with the character and style of existing architecture. See the attached report for the full analysis and data.

Download here: CPN Future of the Neighborhood Report Findings

Contact david.hincher at gmail dot com if you have any questions or comments regarding this survey.


David Hincher

Chair, CPN Development Impact Task Force

Help neighborhood students going to college

Each year, Cedar Park Neighbors raises money to award scholarships to help neighborhood students attend college. Since its inception the scholarship program has awarded over 134 scholarships to more than 60 of our young neighbors. That is truly amazing when you think about how those funds were raised by neighborhood residents, who have chosen to give generously over the years to assure the youth in our community have the opportunity to pursue their aspirations! This year, we've fallen about $400 short of our fundraising goal.

If we don't raise this amount, we will need to deny one more worthy applicant or reduce the total scholarship amount.

Will you help us raise this last $400?

Click here to contribute to the fund. (Please write "scholarship" in the comment box.)


PS. Zachary Spence, a junior at Howard University and one of our current recipients, shared that “as tuition continues to increase, the scholarship is greatly needed.” Zach continues to immerse himself in his collegiate experience, majoring in engineering and participating on the Howard University travelling basketball team. He maintains a 3.5 grade point average and spent the summer interning at the Navy Yard. He got hands on experience as a computer engineer as he helped develop a simulator for the Navy’s submarine ships, composed of two tanks which transfer water between themselves and a reservoir. He constructed a computer program that controlled the simulator and allowed users to conduct preferred functions.

Jazz Returns to Cedar Park: Every Friday from 6-8 pm


Cedar Park Neighbors thanks our sponsors, without whom our jazz series would not be possible, including PFCU, Holly Mack-Ward & Co. (, the Gold Standard Cafe, Little Baby's Ice Cream, UC Review, Gregg Mohrmann, and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.
This project is also supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, through the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA), its regional arts funding partnership. State government funding for the arts depends upon an annual appropriation by the Pennsylvania General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. PPA is administered in this region by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

Dealing with the City's new property taxes

Adapted from an original article in CPN's paper newsletter.  Didn't get the newsletter?  Consider joining CPN today. For years, the City’s approach to property tax assessments was lackadaisical at best.  Then, in an attempt to address this, the City’s Office of Property Assessment (OPA) reassessed 450,000 homes across the City all at once.  Based on the new assessments, City Council will now adopt a new property tax rate and methodology by the end of June.

While some will see their taxes increase, many others will see their taxes go down.  In fact, with the right mix of gentrification relief, a report prepared for City Council found that 80% of residents in our third Councilmanic district will actually see their property taxes go down.

Unfortunately, according to a map prepared by Cedar Park resident Casey Thomas (see below), most in Cedar Park will likely see their property taxes go up.  Some by a very significant amount.


You should have received a letter in the mail in April with your revised assessment.  If you didn't receive the letter, you can find the assessed value of your home by visiting the City's AVI Calculator and entering your address.  (Note: the AVI Calculator can't tell you what your new tax bill will be since the tax rate has not yet been determined.)

City Council is supposed to pass a budget by June 30.  At that time, we should all know what our property taxes will look like next year.  But here are four things that Cedar Park residents can do now to ease the anticipated bite.

  1. Do you disagree with your AVI assessment?  Appeal to the Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT) by October 7.  The deadline (for most people) to request that OPA re-evaluate their assessment of your home has passed.  But even if you missed that deadline, everyone who believes that your AVI assessment is wrong can appeal to the BRT.  More information on appealing the assessed value of your home can be found here.  The deadline to appeal your assessment to the BRT is October 7.
  1. Do you own the house in which you live?  Make sure you have applied for the Homestead Exemption.  The City is currently considering a proposal to exempt from taxation the first $15,000 or $30,000 of value for those people who own the homes in which they live (and it’s their primary residence).  This could mean an annual savings of up to $400.    You can file for the Homestead Exemption by calling the Homestead Hotline at 215-686-9200 or by visiting this website.  The deadline to file for a Homestead Exemption is September 13.
  1. Are you a low-income senior?  Apply for the Low-Income Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Freeze.  If your total annual income is $23,500 or less for a single person or $31,500 or less for a married couple AND you or your spouse is 65 years of age or older, the City will not increase your real estate tax bill.  (You  may also be eligible if you are at least 50 years old and your spouse died at age 65 years old or over.)  For more information and to obtain a copy of the application, visit this website.  The deadline to apply is October 15.
  1. Are you a low-income homeowner or renter?  Apply for the Property Tax (and Rent Rebate) Program.  If your annual income is $35,000 or less for homeowners and $15,000 or less for renters (half of Social Security income is excluded), you may be eligible to receive up to $650 back from your property taxes or rent.  In addition to the income limits, you must also be 65 years of age or older OR a widow/widower aged 50 years of age or older OR a person with a disability age 18 and older.  More information on this State program can be found here, including a brochure, further instructions on applying, and the application form itself.  The deadline to apply is December 31.

For assistance with these programs, contact Councilwoman Blackwell’s office at 215-686-3418.

Cedar Park Neighbors is working to keep our community informed about these proposed changes to our property taxes. Our taxes should raise enough money for our schools, libraries, and parks.  But as City Council considers the new tax structure, it should also ensure that residents are not forced to leave the neighborhood that we love.

Pedestrian Plaza Begins at Baltimore & 48th Street


More than 18 months ago, Seth Budick from the University City District (UCD) came to the Board of Cedar Park Neighbors with a proposal.

UCD wanted to submit a bid to the City to build a pedestrian plaza at the corner of Baltimore Ave, South 48th Street, and Florence Avenue.  It's a crazy intersection, as we all know, and the plaza was aimed at calming traffic and easing the way for pedestrians and bikers.  With CPN's support, the City approved UCD's proposal.  And this past weekend, after months of discussions with many stakeholders, the City finally painted the bump outs.  The next step is to put in planters and benches in the now painted spaces.

A rendering of what the pedestrian plaza will look like is above.  An article that ran in Philly Curbed, a popular Philadelphia real estate blog, in February 2012, has more information.

CPN college scholarship applications due June 1


Each year, Cedar Park Neighbors awards several scholarships to neighborhood students to help pay for college expenses.

Complete applications packs must be received (or mailed and postmarked) by June 1st, 2013 to be considered.  Students living within Cedar Park can apply for a scholarship to help with the increasing costs of higher education, including travel expenses and school supplies.  Awards in the past ranged from $600 to $1000 so don't miss your opportunity!

Click here to download an application.

CPN Co-hosts a visit from Congressman Fattah on 4/19

Cedar Park Neighbors is proud to co-host a visit from U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah on Friday, April 19, from 6-8pm at the Calvary Community Center, 815 S. 48th Street.

Congressman Chaka Fattah will hold an informal meet and greet for residents of the 2nd Congressional District. Rep. Fattah will share with his constituents his work in Congress and provide information with how you can obtain assistance on federal related matters. Staffers will be on site to answer questions.
Open to the Public


Fattah Coffee Event