The Fishtown Neighbors Association held a community zoning meeting on Tuesday, April 12, over Zoom for two proposed projects: 601 Gaul St. and 1326-30 E. Berks St.
The meeting was hosted by FNA zoning committee chairman Will Dungan and attended by a few dozen residents. Representatives from each project presented their plans and questions and concerns brought up by the community were addressed.
The Gaul Street project will look to demolish the existing structure at the corner of Gaul and Montgomery, which will then be reconstructed into a three-story house. The project members are looking to request a variance to allow for two parking spots accessed from Gaul Street. To accommodate access to the spots, they are also proposing a slightly wider curb cut. Dan Reisman, the attorney for the project, said the off-street parking spaces would be beneficial for the surrounding community.
“By allowing two spaces on the property, that’s going to obviously take care of the car,” Reisman said. “So you won’t have additional cars competing for the limited street parking in the neighborhood.”
While there were some concerns about the impact the construction might have on the immediate neighbors, the majority of those in attendance agreed that the two off-street parking spots would help with opening up on-street parking and the wider curb cut wouldn’t be a detriment to the immediate neighborhood.
As for the Berks Street project, it would see the construction of five townhomes, with variances allowing for those homes to be constructed with no rear yard, instead of the required 9-foot rear yard. Each home would have two off-street parking spaces, with a reduced curb cut allowing for them to be added.
A majority of the community members in attendance expressed displeasure with the project in its current form. Concerns include the absence of green space for each unit, the lack of access for emergency services and the overall fit of the proposed buildings within the neighborhood.