Controversial property presentation delayed

Developers cancelled their presentation about a proposed multi-level apartment complex at 3011 Edgemont St. hours before PROPAC’s Sept. 6 meeting.

By Logan Krum

Upward of 75 residents of Port Richmond and surrounding areas showed up to last week’s PROPAC meeting, a gathering that usually attracts a crowd a fraction of its size.

Concerned residents congregated to voice opinions about the proposed apartment complex at 3011 Edgemont St., which would stand four or five stories.

But at 3:30 p.m., fewer than four hours before the meeting was scheduled to begin, Port Richmond on Patrol and Civic president Ken Paul received a call that the developers of the property would have to cancel the scheduled presentation.

The developers are scheduled to give their presentation at next month’s meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 4. PROPAC meets the first Wednesday of every month.

The developers cannot move forward with the zoning proposal until the presentation is given to PROPAC.

Residents were less than happy about the news, but the overwhelming majority stuck around to participate in the rest of the meeting, which discussed three other zoning issues — one of which proved to be possibly just as controversial.

That was the night’s third proposal — building a three-condo structure on a vacant lot at 2821 Salmon St., nestled closely to I-95. It was the only zoning issue to not pass out blueprints for the property.

During the presentation, residents claimed the property owner allowed weeds to overgrow on his other properties, and generally did not perform maintenance on his properties.

Paul suggested the lot may be better suited as a one-family unit.

At the residents’ urgence, the property owner promised to clean up the property by Friday, Sept. 8.

The other two proposals were met with much less fanfare.

The first zoning proposal was submitted by residents of 2526 E. Cambria St. They requested the erection of a second floor on top of their existing garage. The additional space would be used purely for storage purposes.

The second proposal was submitted by the resident of 2707 E. Seltzer St. He wanted to expand his roof deck and cellar further into his yard. His property is backed by railroad tracks, so it would not close space between his property and anyone else’s.

When it came time to vote, the first two proposals were unanimously approved.

The third received one yes vote, the rest voting no.

PROPAC’s opinion will be taken into consideration at each property’s zoning board hearing, but is not the final decision.

In other news:

  • 24th District Police Capt. Daniel O’Connor delivered a crime statistics update for PSA-3, which covers Port Richmond. Crimes included three gunpoint robberies, one aggravated assault with a gun, four aggravated assaults with no weapons, seven residential burglaries, five commercial burglaries, 25 cars were broken into, 19 cars stolen, and officers stopping 60 people for suspicious activity. A total of 1,893 calls for service were made, and a total 604 people were arrested within 24th district as a whole, of which Port Richmond is one-third. O’Connor emphasized the importance of locking cars and keeping valuables out of sight.
  • The 24th District Police Advisory Council is hosting its fifth annual golf outing Friday, Sept. 29 at the Juniata Golf Course. Doors open for registration and breakfast at 8:30 a.m., and the games begin at 9:45. Participants will be treated to a buffet breakfast and food after the golfing is done. Price of participating is $75 for a single person, or $300 for a team of four. Proceeds will go toward funding PDAC events and to promote better communication between citizens and police. Business sponsors can purchase ads at holes for $150.
  • Shift Capital, a real estate firm dedicated to boosting urban communities, is hosting a storefront challenge in North Kensington. Ten storefronts on Kensington Avenue will be offered to members of the community looking to start a business. Selected individuals will receive one year free of rent and $10,000 in construction costs. They are partnering with NKCDC for the initiative. Applications are due Nov. 1. To apply or learn more, contact NKCDC or email info@shiftcapital.us.