October 12th GCCA Zoning Meeting
Garden Court Community Association has a regularly scheduled Zoning and Development Committee meeting at 8pm on Wednesday, October 12th. We are still meeting virtually, via Zoom; log-in detail are at the bottom of this post.
1. Zoning cases: 5039 Spruce Street Variance Request
2. Report: any status updates for ongoing projects of significance
3. Report: September Garden Court real estate activity - permits issued, home sales, and apartment rentals - no report this month
Committee Working Session (closed)
Next Meeting: November 9th, 2022
1. 5039 Spruce Street variance request.
The property in question is an existing 3-story twin. The property zoned RSA-3, a single-family district; the applicant is seeking to permit a three-family use. The permit refusal by the Department of Licenses and Inspections is shown below for reference.
At our meeting, the applicant will present their proposal and neighbors; following any clarifying questions from the chair, anybody from the public, and members of the committee will have the opportunity to make comment or ask questions. We will take a poll of support, opposition, or non-opposition from any neighbors and members of the public to share with the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA). In its closed session, the committee will take a similar poll to determine its own position and share with the ZBA. The ZBA may consider these polls/positions and has the final authority to grant or deny variance requests.
1. Significant project updates
GCCA zoning is trying to keep tabs on some of the larger scale developments underway in the neighborhood so that we provide our community with neutral, fact-based information about what's happening. From time to time, we may invite developers to provide a community update and answer questions.
4746-4748 Spruce Street - no major update
(12-story building - six stories on the east end - with commercial space on the first and second floors, 170 residential units, 28 vehicular parking spaces, 76 bicycle parking spaces, and an off-street loading dock; through the Low Income Housing Bonus, the proposal includes a $1.8M payment toward the Housing Trust Fund). The project was permitted by-right. After the required community meeting (hosted by GCCA in May) as part of Civic Design Review, the CDR hearing was held on August 2nd at which the advisory panel voted to conclude the process. It is expected that the developer will soon apply for building permits.
4701 Pine Street - no major update
(220 apartments in a 6-story addition over the garage adjacent to the Garden Court Plaza). Construction has begun, site access principally taking place on 47th Street.
314 S. 46th Street - no major update
(25 apartments via adaptive re-use of the Good Shepherd Community Church building and erection of a new building on site). Construction appears complete and occupancy begun.
301 S 51st Street
(apartments on site of a currently abandoned car service garage in the interior of the block). A zoning permit was issued in 2019; a building permit has not been due to non-compliance with the fire code. The owners are in discussion with Neighbors for Healthy Community Development and have engaged the Light of Elmwood Lodge. In light of the impact of inflation on construction costs and the an inability to reach an agreement with the Lodge for secondary access/egress or additional parking, the owner of the property says that they are putting the project on hold; they say they are open to ideas for how to make use of the property.
4900 Spruce Street - no major update
(150 apartments on -a former parking lot). Construction continues and is nearing completion.
3. September Garden Court real estate activity report
RCOs like GCCA are called upon to discuss development proposals requiring variances or civic design review, but those represent a small fraction of real estate activity in any month. In the interest of staying informed of the bigger picture, GCCA Zoning is putting together a monthly report of permits issued (including by-right zoning), homes sales, and apartment rentals in the neighborhood. This is being posted here so neighbors get information without needing to attend the meeting. Trends are shown and discussed on a quarterly basis. Special thanks to committee member, Chris Mejia-Smith for pulling together this information from a variety of sources. NO REPORT THIS MONTH.
Details for Joining the Meeting:
Time: October 12th, 2022 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
or dial in to: +1-646-558-8656 or +1-301-715-8592 additional numbers at: https://upenn.zoom.us/u/ahHOJpCyM Meeting ID: 919 7912 4404 Passcode: GCCAzoning
Public participants will need to "raise their hand" to be un-muted and ask questions or make comment. GCCA Zoning's regular rules of decorum will apply.
As always, our meetings are public and open for anyone to attend; if you are interested in receiving email updates from the Zoning Committee, or are interested in joining when there is an opening, please email Zoning@GardenCourtCA.org - not yet a GCCA member? Join here! Our geographic boundaries are 45th Street, Cedar Avenue, 52nd Street, and Locust.