Association Is Opposed To Variance For Houses

Posted: June 11, 1987

The East Torresdale Civic Association will oppose a zoning variance application for a single-family housing development proposed for the northeast corner of State Road and Grant Avenue, an attorney for the association said Tuesday.

Members decided Monday night, in a closed session after their regular monthly public meeting, to oppose the plan by developer George Pappas, said Richelle Hittinger, the attorney.

Pappas' plan first was presented to the civic association in March, she said. According to a billboard at the site, the project calls for 10 single homes priced at $149,900 each.

Neither Pappas nor the owner of the property, James Flannery, could be reached for comment. Flannery's attorney did not return telephone calls.

The civic association has refused to support the project, which requires a zoning variance, because the plan calls for less space between and in front of the houses than specified by the property's residential zoning, Hittinger said.

After sending Pappas a letter indicating its opposition, the civic association heard nothing about the proposed development until last week, Hittinger said. She learned that the developer had applied for a variance and that a hearing was scheduled for today before the Zoning Board of Adjustment, she said.

The association has requested a continuance of that hearing. But Hittinger said that whether or not the continuance was granted, the association would oppose the plan in its current form.

Hittinger said the civic association opposed the development because members believed the developer could build profitably under the zoning regulations, and would not suffer any "unnecessary hardship," which generally must be demonstrated to obtain a variance.

This is the second time the civic association has opposed a plan to develop the land, Hittinger said. A proposal for retail stores, which received approval for a variance from the zoning board several years ago, was appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The court ruled in favor of the civic group.

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