Next Meeting:
October 4, 2006



Kildares II (MacGrogan's Oyster House)

Dave MacGrogan has backed away from his plans to open a new bar/restaurant at 4402-4410 Main Street (formerly Mainly Shoes). While Mr. MacGrogan described the proposed business as an upscale restaurant, people were not fooled. Mr. MacGrogan planned live music, radio station events, multiple bars, and late night operation. At our May meeting, Mr. MacGrogan refused to compromise on any of his plans. He faced strong opposition from Manayunk Neighborhood Council. He also faced opposition from m restaurants and stores on Main Street already fed up with the late night problems.

Main Street Madness

The kids are back from vacation. Neighbors and restaurant owners report that the late night disturbances are back with a vengeance after a slight summer lull.

4650 Mansion

The owner sought to legalize his 2-unit rental, in order to sell it, at 4650 Mansion Street. His zoning request was denied. He was granted a re-hearing with the zoning board on September 26. There was no new information presented at the re-hearing. Manayunk Neighborhood Council continues to oppose the legalization. The planning commission went on record in opposition. In a disappointing non-decision the zoning board did not deny the request but took it "under advisement".

Route 35 Cut

Ridge Park Civic Association and a neighbor on Silverwood were successful in getting the route 35 cut back to it's old loop route. Bus drivers have reported record ridership. Nevertheless, in November, the bus will no longer go to Wissahickon Transfer and will no longer go to Andorra. 500 riders a day will now face the complication and hardship of multiple transfers and long waits.

3 Rector Street

Developers David Waxman and Alon Barzilay originally proposed the demolition and replacement of 3 Rector with a three-story condo building. The building, built in 1876, is last remaining building from the Archibald Campbell & Co. textile mills. The demolition was denied and the developers eventually dropped their appeals in favor of a plan to build onto the building.

MNC met twice with the developers but they presented only sketchy plans and refused to leave any materials for further review. In February, the historical commission approved a four story addition "in concept". This means the commission agrees an addition is possible but they need better plans.

In June the developers came back with a five story plan which the historical commission approved even through the add-on dwarfs the original building and surrounding buildings and contains no features or materials to blend into the historic district.

MNC appealed the approval to the board of building standards. The appeal was unsuccessful. We have now taken the appeal to the court of common pleas.

The developers have pressed forward for zoning and have a hearing on October 4. We have hired attorney Hal Schirmer to help us with the historical commission appeal and with the ZBA hearing.

If this building goes forward we can wave goodby to any historical protection for Manayunk. If you can do this, what can't you do?


JUST A FEW MINUTES . . . September 6, 2006

Kevin called the meeting to order at 7:30

3 Rector Street/Labov's--The Historical Commission approved the drawings back in July for a 5 story addition to the historically significant Labov's Plumbing Supply building at 3 Rector St. MNC is appealing the Historical Commission's ruling and opposing the addition at the upcoming zoning hearing for this building. Richard's Apex is concerned construction equipment will make their business situation untenable. Construction equipment and materials may be placed on Rector Street making an ugly situation for Bourbon Blue. It was proposed to hire Attorney Hal Schirmer to represent us at zoning and to appeal the historical commission's ruling. A motion was made to ratify proposal to hire Hal, and initiate opposition to the plans at Labov's. The motion was seconded by Jane. Discussion ensued with many objecting to the parking plans in the design at 3 Rector Streets addition, as well as the overall design. The proposal requires an elevator to take cars to the basement for parking. Further conversation followed about the economic feasibility of such a building as well the architectural effect on Main Street. The motion to oppose the building and hire Atty. Schirmer was passed without opposition.

Vince Esposito--Time was devoted to honor former MNC President and community activist Vince Esposito who recently passed away.

4430 Silverwood Brian Merin--Proposal for single family home. Brian and his wife own a lot at 109 Gay Street and wish to build a new home. The property is presently zoned R10A. Brian seeks a variance to go higher than 35 feet.. At the highest point of the house, the peak of the slope on Gay Street, the house would be 43 feet. The intriguing design received generally favorable comments. A motion to approve was made by Harry and modified by John to approve the specific design. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.

Kildares II (MacGrogan's Oyster House)--It was rumored that Dave MacGrogan was going ahead with his plans for MacGrogans Oyster House.

107 Green Lane Café--Mike Coyle of Coyle's Café on Ridge and local architect Bob Torres presented a plan to open a café where The Furniture Workshop (TFW) currently has auxiliary space. Currently, there is a tent on this site and TFW is selling furniture outside. The site is near Green Lane and Main Street, under the Bridge. Mike wants to establish a health food restaurant. There will be a covered eating area outside with colorful fabric. Bob noted this is the gateway to both Manayunk and Roxborough. The restaurant on Green Lane would have a green theme in menus, design, and building design. Bob addressed trash removal as well as additional use of color to attract some attention to what is often a slow area on Main Street. Mike stressed alcohol will not be served and it would not a BYOB. Mike stressed recycling would be a key feature. Hours will be 7:00 A.M to 10 or 11:00 P.M. The design was enthusiastically received. Questions followed concerning making sure it doesn't become a hangout. A motion was made to support the proposal. It was seconded, and approved unanimously.

4526 Wilde Street Single Family Home--This site is in back of Henry's store near Wilde and Ritchie. Mike Coyle proposes to subdivide a portion of land to create a separate lot. The lot is short by 290 square feet of being a legal lot. He proposes to build a three-story home with a one car garage, The house would be built up to the sidewalk. As neighbors have not yet been informed no vote was held tonight, just an opportunity for Mike and Bob to get feedback on the proposal. The house would probably be sold.

Officer Kline presented 5th district police information. Three robberies have occurred in the last week between Cresson and Henry. We've also had several cars broken into get the air bag. Five or six arrests have been made for graffiti in the past two months. Discussion followed about how someone had to wait 45 minutes for a patrol car when they caught two children writing graffiti in the area.

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