CPN Zoning Committee Letter for 5047 Baltimore Avenue

Mr. Frank DiCicco, Chair
Zoning Board of Adjustment
Municipal Services Building
1401 JFK Boulevard, 11th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Re: 5047 Baltimore Avenue,

Philadelphia, PA 10143

Calendar No: 31105 Permit No. 769535

Dear Mr. DiCicco:

Cedar Park Neighbors did not reach an agreement on the application for a use variance for proposed new construction at 5047 Baltimore Avenue.

A public meeting of Cedar Park Neighbors was held on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at the Calvary Center for Culture and Community to review this project and the proposed variance. Attorney Darwin Beauvais, the developer JMSK, LLC, and the project architect described the proposed project, a four-story infill apartment building in the middle of the block. The proposal includes a ground floor retail space in the front, and three three-bedroom apartments, occupying the basement through fourth floors. In addition to six members of the CPN zoning committee, seven additional members of the public attended this meeting, along with the project team, several others who did not participate in the final vote, and a local reporter.

Three of the neighbors voted to support this project; three voted against it; one had no opinion. Of the zoning committee, one member supported this project, four voted against it, and one member recused. The committee members felt that the drawings were unclear – one of the units, which has all three of its bedrooms in the basement, appears to have window wells for those bedrooms that are covered by building structure and will not get the requisite light and air required for a dwelling unit. Although this is not a zoning issue per se, the applicant is requesting a use change to increase the number of units from two to three. We feel that a claim of hardship for this increase is unwarranted – the unit being added is substandard, and therefore we did not feel that an increase in the unit count represented a benefit to the community. Several members of the committee felt that a plan which included a third unit, but did not rely so heavily on the use of the basement, might be better; however, without drawings that are more clear, it is too difficult to make a firm decision at this time.

Attached for your information and records are the Attendance Sign-In Sheet and the Meeting Summary Form.

Very truly yours,

Katherine Dowdell, Cedar Park Neighbors Zoning Committee

Cc: Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell
Darwin Beauvais, Attorney
City Planning Commission (rco.notification@phila.gov)
Southwest Philadelphia District Services, Baltimore Avenue Business Association, Southwest
Community Development Corporation, Southwest Community Advisory Group, 51st Republican Ward

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