No High Rise in East Oak Lane!

No High Rise in East Oak Lane!

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Nichole McCarter started this petition to Petition to the Zoning Board of Philadelphia

There is a proposed high rise development in East Oak Lane and we need your help to oppose it. The proposal is for a 40-unit, 1-bedroom Senior Apartment Building to be located at the intersection of 12th Street and Oak Lane.  East Oak Lane is a diverse neighborhood with beautiful historic homes and churches.  Please don't allow this developer to turn our neighborhood into the picture above!

This project requires a Zoning Variance for the following:

-current zoning does not allow for multifamily dwellings

-current zoning does not allow for the proposed height allowance and stipulation for side, and back yard clearances, and required parking spaces

-the proposed height of the building is 44 ft, exceeding the requirement by 6 feet, the back and side yard allowances are under the requirement by 22 feet and 5 feet

-the required parking number of spaces is 27 and none are proposed!! A parking arrangement for only 2 staff has been offered at another location.

History:  The Refuge Church requested a variance for a parking lot at this location which was approved conditionally at a Community Meeting and approved with conditions by the Zoning Board in 2016. The conditions were lighting, landscaping, erection of a fence in accordance with community standards.  The vacent lot is the site of the Church which burned down in 2013 and is not zoned for multifamily.

Notice for a Community Meeting was made via letter, public postings, email notice and notice at Oak lane Library. the Community Meeting was held February 5, 2020 and the project was opposed by an 84 to 15 majority. A letter of this vote was sent to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the City Planning Commission and Office of Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, as well as were individual letters from the Friends of the Oak Lane Library, The Tree Tenders, and individual residents who live directly adjacent to the proposed development.

The Zoning Board Hearing was held Wednesday February 12, 2020. At the hearing over 25 residents took the time to travel into Center City to appear and or testify at the Zoning Hearing.

Stated Opposition to the project was based on the following:

-Location: The location is not appropriate for this type of use.  It is not well thought out, as it is on the same block as an existing multifamily apartment complex which is zoned to allow for multifamily these two buildings bring at minimum 94 residents, in addition to the residents of the homes on this one block. (Allowing for only 1 tenant per unit at the propose development)

-Traffic: The intersection of 12th and Oak Lane supports traffic and parking from the Library and the Ellwood school in addition to traffic from the congregations and church activities of the Oak Lane Presbyterian Church and Refuge Baptist Churches.   This development would significantly increase traffic from new residents, their families, friends and service providers.  Traffic congestion at that intersection would impact fire safety and emergency response which is on Oak Lane. Oak Lane is very narrow and both Oak Lane and 12th Street serve as needed departure/ access routes for fire and emergency response unit.  Navigating pedestrian needs of Ellwood children in addition to residents, visitors, caretakers, delivery needs of the  new high-density development- is quite dangerous.  

-Parking: The lack of parking spaces will exponentially increase the demand for parking spaces on the immediate and extended surrounding blocks.

-Building Design :The design of this building as proposed is unappealing to many as it’s a square red brick building which appears to be consistent with the design of the Refuge Church rather than in harmony with the architectural history of buildings of Oak Lane.

-Population and Building Density: Further there are apartment complexes at 69th and 12, st at 8th st. and 66 Ave. and the rehabilitation of the Condo building at 6751 N 13th Street is expected to provide additional multifamily dwelling space. This area from 7th to Broad and Oak Lane to Cheltenham is full of apartments, including illegal single-family conversions, group homes, personal care homes, rehabilitation homes and does not require additional congregate housing. Congregate housing for Seniors is a worthy idea however the location chosen does not meet the Zoning requirements and is certain to causes disruption to the immediate and adjacent neighbors, No hardship is caused to the church as the income from the project will primarily go to the developer per the funding arrangement. Sale of this land could well fund a project at another location. More members of the church appear to reside outside of the boundaries of East Oak Lane than within.

-Access: According to the funding requirements of this proposed development no preference can be given to East Oak Lane residents, and though this is described as “affordable housing”.  Out of 40 units fewer than 10 units will be open and available for persons at the maximum income level of $57,000 annually. For residents who are not in favor of this development, who feel that it is not the obligation of the community to fulfill someone else’s idea, and agree that its building allows and promotes continuing and zoning noncompliance, adds to overcrowding, is an unnecessary addition to the landscape and the existing number of congregate units, will have an adverse impact on traffic and parking resulting in a cumulatively adverse impact upon the near neighbors and the East Oak Lane Community as a whole:  PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION.   

Also, you are invited to appear at the next hearing , and or send your opinion in writing prior to the Continued Hearing Date on April 21, 2020, to the Chairman, Frank DiCicco, Zoning Board of Adjustment ZBA, 1515 Arch St. 18th fl, Room 18006
 Phila PA 19102, OR RCOZBA@PHILA.GOV JONATHAN GOINS, OR IAN HEGARTY , CITY PLANNING COMMISSION, 1515 ARCH STREET, 13TH FL, PHILA PA 19102, OR EMAIL RCO NOTIFICATION@PHILA.GOV COUNCILWOMAN CHERELLE PARKER CITY HALL ROOM 577, PHILADELPHIA, 19107, OR HILARY.EMERSON @PHILA.GOV. 

 

Please go to www.nohighrise.com for more information.

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