Next Meeting:
February 7, 2007



Memberships Are Due

It's that time again. If you have not renewed for 2007, now is the time. See the form on page 3.


102 Rector-Couch Tomato: Couch Tomato is seeking to expand their restaurant to the 2nd and 3rd floors, with a liquor license. At our December meeting, they agreed to stop serving alcohol by 11 pm and to close by 11:30. They agreed not to have a bar and not to sell take-out alcohol. Members at the meeting supported their proposal on the condition restrictions be incorporated into a deed restriction and made a proviso to their zoning variance.

In a disappointing and frustrating turn, Manayunk Development Corporation has reversed it's support for deed restrictions. Instead they are proposing to dissolve the existing deed restriction with Couch Tomato (which bans alcohol) and leave them with no controls. In any event, Manayunk Neighborhood Council will oppose any changes without a deed restriction. See the minutes on page 3. Couch Tomato has not been in touch with us to begin negotiations.

114 Levering: A cheese steak shop was proposed for the corner of Cresson and Levering. Asian Pearl was slated to open there. They got zoning and signed a deed restriction but never opened. The operators were particularly targeting the late night drinking crowd. The neighbors indicated the existing deed restriction should be kept. The deed restriction forces them to close at 11 pm. The operators were deciding whether to go ahead and purchase the building. We have not heard back them and we do not know the current status of the project.

4330 Main-Machismo: The new owners of 4330 Main (formerly Luck Brand Jeans) went to zoning to open a burrito bar. They refused to sign any agreements with MNC. We argued, at zoning, to limit their hours to 12 am and to not allow a liquor license. The Zoning board granted them a variance with the proviso that the close at 1 am and that the do not get a liquor license. They have a sign up in the window but have not opened yet.

4247 Main-Sole: The operators of Sole, at the corner of Rector and Main (formerly Fishtank, formerly Mainly Café) have applied for a liquor license. The MNC board met with the operators. They are proposing a 12-seat bar. The operators claimed 24 table seats but did not have a complete floor plan). We proposed that they sign a deed restriction that identifies their floor plan and stops service at 11 pm, among other things. We have filed preemptive opposition to their liquor license application. Negotiations are underway.

3 Rector Street-Labov's: We have filed appeals to the historical commission approval and the zoning board approval for this project. We are still waiting for hearing dates, transcripts, etc.

4430 Silverwood: Member Brian Merion's proposal for a home at the corner of Gay and Silverwood, was approved by MNC and a variance was granted by the zoning board, with some changes.

132 Rector: MNC opposed a variance to legalize a multi-family conversion at this location. The hearing was continued once and the applicant did not appear at the second hearing. The case was dismissed and the house will remain a single family home.

301 Green Lane: The owner is seeking to rebuild an existing garage. The current garage was not considered legal by L&I so the owner needed a zoning variance. The new garage will be the same height and occupy the same footprint. The project was approved by the board.

145 Carson: The owner is seeking to put a parking pad in their back yard (accessible by an alley off of Baker Street). The board reviews plans, talked to a neighbor, and approved the project.

4472 Fleming: The owner is proposing to build a deck. The original case was continued but the owner has not contacted MNC.

Special thanks to Councilwoman Campbell and her staff for their support at zoning.

Manayunk Development Corporation is holding nominations for their board February 7. Elections are February 14.

Proposed Definitions and Limits for Food Establishments on Main Street

Definition of a Restaurant

  • Sit down table service only (bar exception). No high-tops or ledges. No counter service.
  • Minimum seating requirements.
  • No delivery.
  • No self-service.

Definition of Casual Food-Pizza, hoagies, etc.

  • Tables, high-tops, ledges with seating. No standing.
  • Minimum seating requirements.
  • Counter service
  • Self service.
  • Delivery service.
  • No food service after 12 am.

Definition of Take out-Not allowed

  • No seating or less than some minimum seating.

Definition of a Bar-Not allowed

  • Liquor license
  • Fails to meet minimum standards for restaurant or casual food.

Limits on all establishments

  • No dance hall license. No cabaret license. No amusement permit. No extended food license.
  • No live music. No Dj's. No cover charge.
  • Music not audible off premises.
  • On side streets and Cresson Street, must be closed (patrons out) by 11 pm
JUST A FEW MINUTES . . . December 6, 2006

Note: We don't have minutes of the January Meeting.

Kevin called the meeting to order at 7:30.

Pretzel Park funds contains $3900 of grant money to be spent on drinking fountain by June 2007 MNC Funds $2511

Couch Tomato: Michael Cassano and Craig owners of Couch Tomato, seek to expand and do business on the 2nd and 3rd floor of their current establishment, and add a liquor license. They wish to become a sit down full service dinner type restaurant. They will close by 11:30 and will not have a bar nor will they sell take out.

They are willing to sign a deed restriction ending liquor sales at 9:00 Mon-Thur. and Friday and Saturday at11:00 and closing by 11:30. Conversation followed about the clientele it would bring to Main Street versus maintaining it as a BYOB.

Zoning approval is needed to convert the building from apartments on the third floor to a multi story restaurant. Parking was also mentioned as a problem but they are negotiating to procure parking behind their building.

In general neighbors supported the concept on the basis of a deed restriction on the building and the owners established good reputation. The deed restriction would transfer to any new owners and could include provisos stating no alcohol banners or happy hour advertisements would be allowed.

A motion was made to support the proposal based on an agreed deed restriction including hours as above with soundproofing on the upper floors to protect neighbors' privacy. The motion was seconded, a vote was held, and it passed overwhelmingly with 2 abstaining.

It is worth noting business owners were present at this meeting in support of Couch Tomato. They were also adamant that Main Street has become too loud, too violent, and we appreciate their support in restring a clean, quiet, safe Manayunk. We hope this cooperative effort will expand to other MDC members.

Zoning 114 Levering: This is where Asian Pearl was and new ownership planned to open a cheese steak shop capitalizing on late night traffic. The current deed restriction has them closing at 11:00. Neighbors reiterated their desire to stand firm on this deed restriction.

4330 Main: Next to Pitchers Pub - Machismo a Burrito Bar is forced by the zoning board to close at 1:00 with no liquor license granted.

3 Rector (Labov's): Developers received approval to build a five-story condominium building above Labov's. We will be appealing to the zoning board and to the historical commission. Anyone who has viewed the design proposal and wishes to join us in the appeal is encouraged to contact us. It is the MNC's believe that the design approved is not good for Manayunk's culture, its businesses or its citizens.

Cosmopolitan 4163 main Street: New occupant and owner. We will review situation regarding L&I Judgments requiring faade be torn down and be replaced with a faade meeting historical commission standards. (UPDATE: The new owners were at 4161 and not 4163. 4163 is still empty)

Conversation began about late night nuisance on Main Street. Summit Park Apartments, St. Joes, and Villanova are bringing busloads down on the weekend. Questions were asked about liability on the part of these institutions for the behavior of their students and residents. Finally it seems MDC and MNC are on the same page and are committed to reducing noise and crime on Main Street.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30.

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