Civic opposes variances
Ridge Park votes down proposed plan for Cinnaminson Hill townhome development
ROXBOROUGH >> PRDC Properties is already working on one development project on Cinnaminson Street, but if local residents have their way, a second project will not happen.
The Ridge Park Civic Association unanimously voted to oppose requested variances for a proposed 18-unit townhome development at 358-360 Cinnaminson St. in Roxborough during the civic’s May 9 meeting.
PRDC Properties is currently building six homes on the street in a project that is by right.
The PRDC Properties project that was before the civic seeks to create a private street off Cinnaminson that would service 18 three-bedroom, three-bath townhomes, according toHerculesGri- gos, attorney for the developer.
Each unit would have a one-car garage, along with a parking pad in front of the home, according to Grigos. Additionally, there would be 13 community parking spaces.
A homeowners association would be established.
“All maintenance of the street will be on the homeowners association,” engineer Dennis Kurek said.
The HOA also would handle private trash removal, according to Grigos.
All stormwatermanagement to be handled on site, while all trees taken down during construction would be replaced in kind along the border to increase the buffer with the neighboring homes, according to Kurek.
Representatives for the developer said they had met with committee members fromthe civic on
two occasions and made adjustments to the plan based on their feedback to hopefully keep the project in line with neighborhood wishes.
The developer sought several variances in order to make the plans a reality.
The first was because multifamily residential construction is not allowed in the zoning district.
While only one family would live in each townhome unit, the entire property would be considered one lot for zoning purposes, making it a multi family project, according to Grigos.
“It’s a technical variance,” Grigos said. “It meets the intent and the spirit of the code.”
Also since the site would be viewed as one lot, the plans require a variance from the regulation that allows only one principal building per lot.
“I think the density’s appropriate based on zoning standards,” Grigos said.
A third variance would have waived the required steep slope protection at the property.
A gravity sewer would go from the site out to Parker Avenue, going over the steep slope, according to Grigos.
“None of the houses or none of the major development affect the steep slope,” he said.
Neighboring residents in attendance were vocal in their objection to the project, with their main concerns focusing on traffic on Cinnaminson Street.
Many said they feel driving on Cinnaminson is currently dangerous and adding more residents would add to the poor conditions.
“You’re talking about adding 38 new cars on that road,” one resident said. “That street is not capable of handling that. It’s absurd.”
Others said the street is in disrepair and is difficult to navigate during poor weather.
Some, however, noted many of the residents’ concerns were better directed to the Philadelphia Streets Department, not the developer.
“Let’s bite the head off the right snake,” Denise Bratina said, saying residents need to let the city know about the conditions of roads and similar matters.
Many neighbors also complained about the impact the construction of the first set of homes has already had on the neighborhood, fear- ing it would continue or become worse if a second project began.
One resident complained about having her driveway continually blocked by contractors’ vehicles, while another noted a bulldozer had been left on the street overnight.
The developer’s representatives promised to address those issues immediately.
In the end, the civic voted 21-0 to oppose the requested variances, with 10 people abstaining.