Mayfair Civic Association Meeting
May 21, 2012 at 7pm
Mayfair Community Center
2990 St. Vincent St. Philadelphia, PA 19149
Board Members Present: Joseph DeFelice, Mike JP Williams, Pete McDermott, Kevin Leonard, Mike Serverson, Suzann St. Marie, John Jenkins, Lisa Greco, Donny Smith, Milt Martelack, Anna Stacey, Mia Hylan, Melinda Mulvenna.
Board Members Absent: Dana Lambie
Called to order at 7:07pm by President Joseph DeFelice
Seargent at Arms Donny Smith stated that applications for membership are still available at the meetings or online at. It is $10 to join the Civic Association for one year. Only paid members are allowed to vote on zoning issues.
By Law Update
No by-law updates at this time.
Treasurer Kevin Leonard reported that the current balance as of 05/21/12 is $3,833.69.
1. Zoning for 6410 Frankford Ave, Proposed Planet Fitness—Applicant Ronald Patterson, Mayfair Shopping Center. Applicant need a use variance on the property to be used as a fitness center, housing tanning beds and other retail items. The hearing was originally set for May 30, 2012 but Zoning Chair Pete McDermott was informed that the application had been withdrawn. However another notice was received that the date of the hearing has been changed to June 14, 2012. A special hearing will be held when the applicant will present paperwork.
No Vote taken at this time.
The floor was opened to members to state any concerns, support, or statements of opposition regarding the proposed Planet Fitness:
- Several statements were made regarding the “predatory” nature of Planet Fitness business practices; Planet Fitness increases memberships by undercutting fees to other members of other gyms such as Bally's and Retro Fitness.
- Concerns were stated regarding bringing outside contractors from other states and not from within the community. Specific Concerns regarding the alleged us of undocumented workers and illegal workers used in other local building operations in Jenkintown.
- Also raised were allegations and concerns regarding issues with the ownership of specific Planet Fitness' in Las Vegas and Delaware County.
- Several neighbors also cited that traffic and parking are already an issue in that shopping center.
- There was a question regarding Planet Fitness’ Better Business Bureau qualifications.
- Concerns were raised regarding the competition posed for an existing business (Galaxy Tans) in the Mayfair Shopping Center. In the current tenants agreement there is a stipulation that there would be no type of fitness center unless determined by the owner. Owner has approved the Planet Fitness application and tenants will be allowed to oppose the owner.
2. Zoning for7302 Frankford Ave--Applicant Muhammad Abu Ali. Use variance for a restaurant/cafe with hookah Bar at 7306-7308 (Stutz Candies). Mr. Abu Ali was not present at this meeting. Hearing is scheduled for Wednesday May 23, 2012. Applicant is allegedly having a problem with the landlord/owner “7302 Associates”. No Vote taken at this time.
3. Zoning for 2849 Rhawn Street—Applicant Elizabeth Cruz. Use variance for increasing current group daycare from 4 children to a total of 12 children. Hearing is scheduled for May 22, 2012 at 9:30 am. Ms. Cruz was present with a portfolio of her current business, all supporting paperwork and licenses, pictures of the current day care, architectural plans and elaborated on the process she has gone through.
Not opposed, with provisions
- Majority vote approved applicant for 8 children only
- No signage will be allowed on the exterior of the home,
- A larger fenced in area for the children to play in
- Join the Mayfair Business Association.
- “Watch Children” signs will be erected along the street.
4. Zoning for 2842 St. Vincent—Applicant ________. Variance for take-out restaurant. Failed to appear before the ZBA. Zoning Chairman and MCA Secretary Pete McDermott was present for the ZBA meeting.
No Vote taken at this time.
Updated Zoning—Methadone Clinic update. The Healing Way Inc.(THW) appealed the denial of their application to the Court of Common Pleas. Oral arguments will have to be heard in front of a judge in common pleas court. This could take up to 6 months in common pleas court. The MCA continues to oppose the application.
New Zoning –New zoning codes will take effect August 2012. Neighborhood organizations will have to be registered with the city via an application process with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. Secretary Pete McDermott is already working on registering the MCA.
- Two minute presentation from Mike Tomlinson, Republican candidate for the 5th Senatorial District, since he missed the May Candidates meeting due to a miscommunication.
- Blighted properties/Absentee Landlord properties presentation/information from Mike Fitzpatrick, Mayfair Business Association member from Keller-Williams. Mr. Fitzpatrick requested that neighbors call his office regarding any blighted properties or trouble properties owned by absentee landlords. Mr. Fitzpatrick’s office will contact the owner and give them the option of selling the home to the group of investors. If they accepte the investors will buy the properties. Several concerns were raised by neighbors regarding the new landlords, the possibility of decreasing property values in the area due to these investors buying properties cheaper, and that new landlords are not necessarily from this area.
- President Joe DeFelice encouraged MCA members and neighbors to use Councilman Bobby Henon’s “Bad Neighbor Initiative” as well as his City Hall smart phone application to report problem properties.
- Jeffrey Dempsey from Representative Kevin Boyle's office spoke to address concerns that Representative Boyle is trying to “get rid of Mayfair” when the state legislature completes redistricting. Mr. Dempsey clarified that Rep. Boyle wants to “keep Mayfair” and has no plans for leaving. There are also no plans to get rid of the office at 7518 Frankford Ave. Several neighbors addressed concerns with Mr. Dempsey regarding the trash and clean-up around the office and the garbage disposal. Mr. Dempsey assured the neighbors that he will make sure that all garbage from their office is secured however he believes that some of the trash may be coming from other businesses around them as well.
- Paul from Councilman Henon's stated that the Councilman’s new district office will be opening at 6730 Torresdale Ave. There will also be a Senior Fair held on June 29, 2012 at the Mayfair Community Center.
- A “Cash for Gold” business tried to open up at 6718 Frankford Ave without proper zoning/usage permits. This issue was addressed by Lisa Deeley from Councilman Henon's office. The owner has taken down all signs but has again applied for a cash for gold license for that storefront. This issue will continue to be addressed by Councilman Henon’s office and the Mayfair Civic Association.
- Mr. James Ortlieb is the newly appointed chairman of the newly created Clean-up Mayfair Committee. Mr. Ortlieb is proposing a designated one day Mayfair wide clean-up event in the neighborhoods. Mr. Ortlieb will go forward with planning this event by picking a date within the next couple months and exploring city resources for the clean-up. He would also like to focus on areas of Frankford Ave and businesses that do not clean up their storefront areas and sidewalks.
- Secretary Pete McDermott made a proposal to set us a Community Clean-up at Frankford Ave and Cottman. This was seconded by a board member.
Mayfair Fallen Heroes Run Update
- There were over 200 runners pre-registered and close to 400 walkers and runners combined the day of the race. Five thousand dollars ($5000) was raised for the Heroes Thrill Show and Two Thousand dollars ($2000) for a Hero Plaque for Joe Konrad.
- An additional four thousand ($4000) will go towards continued improvements and upkeep for the Mayfair Memorial Playground.
- A “Badge of Honor” will also be installed at the site of the Mayfair Memorial Playground on which the names of the honorees of the MFHR will be engraved each year.
Next year’s honoree for the Mayfair Fallen Heroes Run 2013 will be Officer Chuck Cassidy.
Northeast Dog Park Update
NEDP raised approximately $300 at their most recent fundraiser and continues to explore options for land to use for an enclosed dog park in the Northeast.
Mayfair Town Watch Update
Next certification class is scheduled for May 30th from 7:00-9:00pm at the Mayfair Community Center.
Contact www.mayfairtownwatch.org. for more information.
Mayfair CDC Update
President Joe DeFelice, Executive Director Suzann St. Marie and Assistant Secretary Mia Hylan recently met with Councilman Henon and his staff regarding setting up a farmer's market at the Frankford-Cottman Triangle as well as exploring the option of hanging artist’s work in vacant storefronts. Setting up a business improvement district (BID) for the Frankford Ave business corridor is also being explored.
There were questions regarding and update on the the landromat being placed on Tyson Ave and Brous Ave. According to Secretary Pete McDermott the ZBA has not granted them their permit yet but the owners did buy the building.
Meeting adjourned at 8:56.
Minutes submitted by Assistant Secretary Mia Hylan, 5/22/2012.