Letters, March 15: Zoning, potholes and the 2nd Amendment

Posted 3/14/18

Thanks for smooth zoning process

Woodward House Corporation (WHC) is sending this letter to express its appreciation for the community's support in connection with its recent appeal to the …

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Letters, March 15: Zoning, potholes and the 2nd Amendment


Thanks for smooth zoning process

Woodward House Corporation (WHC) is sending this letter to express its appreciation for the community's support in connection with its recent appeal to the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA).

As you know, WHC owns 40 dwelling units in the St. Martin's area of Chestnut Hill, bounded by St. Martin's Lane, Gravers' Lane, Germantown Avenue and Springfield Avenue. Many of the WHC properties are rented to tenants who have lived in their WHC house (or apartment) for many years.

The WHC houses were built in the 1920s and 1930s before the Zoning Code was enacted. This meant that each WHC parcel of land contains several houses. What we sought to do for a variety of reasons, including how we handle the properties' real estate tax assessments and to facilitate our goal of preserving the properties, was to obtain the ZBA's approval to subdivide the large parcels into separate parcels, one for each house or one for each house and its garage.

On Feb. 26, we received notice that the ZBA had issued its order granting the zoning relief we had requested. As a result, the actual subdivision process will now proceed by recording a separate deed for each subdivided property. That process will not disrupt or affect our tenants nor anyone else in the community.

In order to achieve this result, we had numerous constructive discussions and meetings with representatives of the Chestnut Hill Conservancy and the Chestnut Hill Community Association and its committees. The major purpose of those discussions was to reassure the community and the various land  use committees that the outcome of this process – i.e., allowing the subdivisions to go forward – will not result in any reduction in WHC's determination to maintain and preserve the community in its present state for many years.

This determination to preserve and conserve is consistent with WHC's philosophy and practice for many years of its existence, which has been to place conservation or facade easements on those few properties that it has sold from time to time. To this end WHC is committed to continuing its conversations with the Chestnut Hill Conservancy and other community representatives about ways to preserve Chestnut Hill as a vibrant, attractive and well-maintained community for many years to come.

We are pleased to have received ZBA's approval for what we sought to accomplish, and thank you for your input into this process. We believe that the bottom line is a win-win for Chestnut Hill. Thank you.

Woodward House Corporation

Quita Woodward Horan (by her representatives)

George Woodward, III

Charles Woodward


Potholes are being filled in

I commiserate with Jay McCalla on the pothole issue (March 1 op-ed piece). Believe it or not, 17,298 potholes have been filled by the Streets Department in 2018. Richard Montanez, who is Philly’s deputy commissioner of transportation, has reported that approximately 540 potholes on Lincoln Drive, between Ridge and Wayne, have been filled by the Streets Department. Plans for repaving Lincoln Drive are in the works.

And now, here’s what you can do and what I do on a daily (yes, daily) basis. To report a pothole, google “City of Philadelphia, Welcome to 311.” Or visit www.phila.gov/311. You log in, and there are several options regarding city issues, one being pothole repairs. The site is user-friendly, and you receive updates on the progress of your request.

Within three business days, your request is filled, and so is the pothole. I do grumble about how the city is not proactive, and it is mostly up to us to request clean-ups and report graffiti and potholes, but I do whatever I can to “fix the windows” (a reference to the broken window theory that McCalla cites).

And now, back to reporting litter and graffiti at the Acme on Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy. Oh! That’s another story.

Judy Rubin

Mt. Airy


Time to repeal the 2nd Amendment

Gun manufacturers and distributors do not pay the incalculable costs of the carnage foreseeably inflicted by their products even though guns foreseeably find their way into the “wrong hands.” The gun industry and enthusiastic gun owners are shielded by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which the courts have interpreted to give more rights to guns than to humans.

Until we repeal the Second Amendment, our legislators, with the NRA alternatively growling or wagging its tail close by, will continue to hit replay on their speeches. (“The victims, friends and families are in our prayers.”) Gag me.

For a year I lived in England where most of the Bobbies famously don’t carry firearms let alone the populace. A recently published report showed our gun homicide rate is 160 times greater than theirs. It was a far better way of life. It was a way for life. We abolished slavery by way of amendment, some 30 years after the British did. We can end our slavery to those who lord guns over us, too. Repeal the Second Amendment now.

Brian Rudnick

Chestnut Hill




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