Community Meeting: Adult Daycare at 4811 Germantown Ave? Talk about the future of this property on Tuesday, April 1

Neighborhood Development News
Talk about the future of 4811 GERMANTOWN AVE
“Adult Daycare” proposed by developer Ken Weinstein

Community Meeting: Tuesday April 1 at 6 p.m.
at The DePaul Catholic School
44 W Logan Street

Attend this important community zoning meeting and contribute to the conversation about the development of a new business in Germantown. In February 2014, developer Ken Weinstein with Philly Office Retail applied for a zoning variance to the City of Philadelphia’s Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) to open an “Adult Daycare” facility at 4811 Germantown Ave, Building D.

Map

Map of 4811 Germantown Avenue and the surrounding neighborhood. View on Google Maps.

Additional Information

  • 4811 Germantown Avenue is part of the nearly six-acre former Germantown Settlement School campus, which is on Germantown Avenue at the intersection of W Rockland Street and extends all the way back to Stenton Avenue.
  • The campus currently houses two businesses: a private correctional facility and a performing arts space (coming soon). The “Adult Daycare” facility would be the third approved business.
  • A Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing was held about this project on February 19, at which the ZBA board and the Office of Councilwoman Cindy Bass agreed that an additional community meeting with the public was needed.
  • The April 1 meeting is likely the final community meeting about the project. The City is waiting to hear what the community thinks before deciding whether or not to grant the zoning adjustment, which would allow for an “Adult Daycare” facility to move into the space.
  • A change in zoning would also allow for other similar types of businesses to move into the same building in the future.
  • For reference, included below is the letter to the Zoning Board of Adjustment written by the Wakefield 49ers, the neighborhood Registered Community Organization responsible for hosting zoning meetings in our area. This letter recaps the first and only public meeting about this project which was held on February 10. At that meeting, all the attendees objected to the proposal.
  • In addition to the Wakefieled 49ers, three other Registered Community Organizations in the neighborhood attended the initial February 10 meeting and wrote letters to the Zoning Board of Adjustment based on community feedback at the meeting. You can read each of the letters by clicking on the links below. Please note, the letter penned by Betty Turner with Germantown Community Connection is the only letter from an RCO written with full support of the project as is. This letter does not reflect the opinions of residents present at the meeting and is questionable based on that fact alone.

Letters from Registered Community Organizations

These letters are based on the February 10 community meeting; they were submitted to the Zoning Board of Adjustment prior to a hearing about this project which was held on February 19.

The W Rockland Street Project’s Point of View 

We are residents of the 100 Unit Block of W Rockland Street – the former Germantown Settlement campus, which includes 4811 Germantown Avenue, is directly across from the top of W Rockland Street. As near neighbors, a development site of this scale has the potential to greatly impact the residents of W Rockland Street.

To think that we are the only people who would be impacted by this project would be to think small. It should not be overlooked that Mr. Weinstein has the potential to direct and shape the development of a significant portion of Germantown Avenue in Lower Germantown.

4811 Germantown Avenue is part of a five building, six acre property. We should not be having a conversation about one building. A comprehensive plan for the site is warranted, one that looks at phasing, parking, lighting, uses, traffic circulation, landscaping, inventory of existing structures, and more.

This should include the adjacent C.W. Schaeffer Public School at 4701 Germantown Avenue, which is also owned by Mr. Weinstein and Philly Office Retail. These large properties front nearly an entire block of the Avenue, less than half a mile away from Wayne Junction Station and Nicetown Court II, the recent transit-oriented development on Germantown Avenue at the Nicetown border.

Will Germantown squander the opportunity to build off of the millions and millions of dollars of investment pumped into Wayne Junction and Nicetown? I sincerely hope not.

In the past year, the Zoning Board of Adjustment has heard three hearings for properties at the former Germantown Settlement campus. Each time a zoning adjustment is needed for a building on the site, community meetings and hearings must be scheduled.

Remember, this is a five building, six acre property. Given the scale, neither the community, nor the Zoning Board of Adjustment, should continue to be asked to consider each piece of property one at a time.

For these reasons, and many others, I made it a point to testify at the ZBA hearing on February 19 (also attended by Aine Doley), in which I asked that a second community meeting be held before a decision could be rendered by the ZBA. Thankfully, the ZBA board has agreed that an additional meeting with the public is needed but it will be up to residents of the community to attend and offer their opinion.

Get Involved

If you just want to learn more, or simply don’t approve of the project, please attend the April 1 meeting.

If you have concerns, you can also email Julie Chapman and Michelle Rand at the Zoning Board of Adjustment and call/email Councilwoman Cindy Bass.

Don’t delay! The Zoning Board of Adjustment will be making a decision about this project soon.

Zoning Board of Adjustment
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Room 1140
Philadelphia, PA 19102
EmailJulie Chapman, Chair of the ZBA Board, julia.chapman@phila.gov
Michelle Rand, michelle.rand@phila.gov

Office of Councilwoman Cindy Bass
City Hall, Room 594
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3290
Email/Call: Councilwoman Cindy Bass
Cindy.Bass@phila.gov, (215) 686-3424

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