April 27, 2004 |
The Zoning Board of Adjustment has approved the variances needed for a 31-story condominium tower near Rittenhouse Square that opponents said would block the light in nearby condos. David Auspitz, chairman of the Zoning Board, said yesterday that the board voted last week to allow the four variances needed for the proposed building, to be known as 1706 Rittenhouse Square Street. The proposed condo tower at 17th Street near Locust, one block off Rittenhouse Square, is the project of Tom Scannapieco and Joseph Zuritsky.
April 12, 2004 |
When he was Philadelphia's Licenses and Inspections commissioner a decade ago, Bennett Levin exercised government power with Hollywood-style drama and a tough-guy flair. When a Delaware Avenue strip club touted its featured dancer as having a form of "121xxx-24-36," L&I inspectors swept in with a tape measure and found that Crystal Storm's bust was only a 48. (She acknowledged that "121" represented centimeters, not inches.) Eager to ensure proper permits for home improvements, Levin had inspectors staked out at the Home Depot, where they would trail lumber-laden customers to their homes, then ask to see their permits.
March 25, 2004 |
After months of controversy over its design and location, a Chicago parking-garage company and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital won zoning approval yesterday to construct an eight-story parking garage on Chestnut Street. The Zoning Board of Adjustment voted 5-0 to grant the seven zoning variances needed to build the $35 million garage on the south side of the 900 block of Chestnut Street. The 700-space structure will have 13,250 square feet of retail space fronting on Chestnut.
February 25, 2004 |
Officials in Clementon violated New Jersey zoning laws when they rejected a bid by a group of immigrants to turn a derelict apartment house into a mosque in the tiny South Jersey borough, a judge has ruled. The Delaware Valley Islamic Center needed a use variance to turn the boarded-up triplex into a house of worship. A use variance allows exceptions to zoning laws - in this case, establishing a religious center in an area designated for commercial use. Yesterday, Superior Court Judge Francis J. Orlando Jr. of Camden County gave the two dozen Bangladeshi immigrants who formed the group their variance, saying that local officials bothered by traffic and lost taxes either considered issues that are not relevant under zoning laws or did not adequately analyze the issues.
December 5, 2003 |
A developer seeking to build a sprawling senior community on the bulk of a 90-acre wooded tract in the Trevose section of the township received support last night from the Zoning Hearing Board, despite objections from people who live in the area. The developer, TSAG Associates of Elkins Park, received two variances from the board that would allow the company to build Tremont Village, near Tremont Avenue and Oakford Road. The variances would allow a reduction of the age restriction for such projects - from 62 to 55 - and permit housing units to exceed the township's limit of 1,200 square feet for this type of development.
November 7, 2003 |
Last summer, after two lengthy hearings about a proposed Center City parking garage for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Zoning Board Chairman David L. Auspitz sent the developers away, exhorting them to come up with a better approach to issues of function and aesthetics. Yesterday, hospital executives and InterPark, the developer, revealed their revised plans for the controversial garage in the 900 block of Chestnut Street, which they will present to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
October 23, 2003
Farm defies builder's short cuts I wish to thank Adam Fifield for his excellent story in the South Jersey edition on the Monroe Township Zoning Board of Adjustment's consideration of a use variance application by Orleans Homebuilders for a 223-unit, age-restricted housing development that is next to our farm ("For farmers, too close for comfort," Oct. 17). A variance should be granted only for minor things. But Orleans wants to create a whole new neighborhood under a use variance without first doing the planning and environmental studies for a change in land use. It's putting the cart before the horse.
August 12, 2003
Threatened by a kitchen? Do the neighbors of Ann Marie Geiger feel personally threatened by a kitchen that enables one disabled woman to live as normal a life as her condition permits? If so, they should be pitied. Those concerned should think about treating others as they would wish to be treated. Then, perhaps, they might be considered to be neighbors, and the area in which they live a neighborhood. To this end, they should withdraw their appeal of the Zoning Hearing Board's decision.
May 3, 2003 |
Officials in Washington Township have asked a Superior Court judge for permission to take down a controversial billboard at the entrance to the Atlantic City Expressway if the billboard's owner does not apply for a variance from the township's zoning board. The billboard's owner, NextMedia Outdoor Inc. of Englewood, Colo., has consistently refused to appear before the zoning board. The request was part of a counterclaim filed yesterday in a civil dispute over the 104-foot-high billboard, which was erected two years ago after two politically connected businessmen negotiated approvals for the project during meetings with the late Jack Trimble Sr., then the township solicitor.
February 24, 2003 |
Cherry Hill's loss was supposed to be Hainesport's gain. If restaurateur Gus Diamantis gets his way in court, it could still be. Diamantis this month confirmed that after 36 years in business, his family's Diamond Diner at Grove Street and Route 70 in Cherry Hill will give way to a giant Walgreen's. What he did not say was that a plan to replace it was brewing in his head. Under a convoluted land swap, a new diner - plus what Diamantis described as a "more upscale" steak and seafood restaurant - was to rise on property the family has owned near the intersection of Route 38 and Bancroft Lane in Hainesport for more than 20 years.