After the public meeting and vote held on January 15, 2020 – which resulted in a majority of 75% of the votes opposed to the proposal (27 in support, 85 against, and 1 abstention) – on behalf of the community, WICA members and Josh Cohen from Councilman Jones’ office attended the zoning board hearing on February 12, 2020. Despite the overwhelming opposition from our community of the proposed development for 147 Sumac, the zoning board approved the building of six new units on the property, in addition to the existing historical duplex, which will remain.
WICA appealed the ruling, and we’re now going to common pleas court in January 2021. We need your support to continue to challenge this development.
• The proposed driveway is too close to the intersection of Sumac and Righter and could be moved to a position that is both safer and that the neighborhood feels is more respectful of the existing historic building (147 Sumac). • The proposed driveway encroaches on the side of the historically designated 147 Sumac, damaging its historic and architectural integrity. • In addition to providing access to rear-loading garages, several surface parking spots have been proposed, adding to the overall paving of the site. • The majority of the site’s open space will be paved, with the “green space” becoming green roofs and permeable paving. • The required front and side yard setbacks fro RSA-1 Zoning are not being respected.
In order to maintain the unique features and character of the Wissahickon neighborhood and to honor the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay (NCO), we must act to protect green spaces and limit the number of units for this proposed development in accordance with the carefully completed 2016 residential zoning remapping.
WICA needs funding to exist, to be your voice, to say that’s not the way we want it. Whatever you can contribute to make us stronger will be greatly appreciated.
Your donation of $50, $20, or even $10, we will be able to fight this development in court.
The next General Membership meeting is Wednesday, October 14th at 7pm. Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of every month unless otherwise noted. The meeting will be held via Zoom, a free online application available on your computer or smartphone. All neighbors are invited to hear, participate, and learn about neighborhood concerns and current issues.
The next General Membership meeting is Wednesday, September 9th at 7pm. The meeting will be held via Zoom, a free online application available on your computer or smartphone. All neighbors are invited to hear, participate, and learn about neighborhood concerns and current issues.
Agenda items include: • Power Corps at 100 Steps • Directors & Officers Insurance Policy • Wissahickon Transportation Center Expansion
The application is for a banquet hall for under fifty (50) people. No live entertainment or dancing (assembly and entertainment) (no activities as defined in 14-603 (13) of Philadelphia Zoning Code) and proposed retail sale of prepackaged food and non-alcoholic beverages (retail sale of food, beverages, and groceries) (same tenant) on entire 1st floor with existing 14 family dwelling above as previously approved in an existing structure.
WICA, as the coordinating RCO, has scheduled a Public Zoom Meeting on August 18th at 7pm in advance of the public hearing to discuss the project. All neighbors are invited to attend. An official vote will be taken and a summary of the results sent to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) in the form of a letter.
The WICA Online Yard Sale is live! Dozens of items are available for you to bid on. Donated by your neighbors, items include: • Handcrafted wooden bowls • Vintage light fixtures and lamps • Chairs • Bicycles • 100 steps prints • House plants, and more!
The next General Membership meeting is Wednesday, August 12th at 7pm. The meeting will be held via Zoom, a free online application available on your computer or smartphone. All neighbors are invited to hear, participate, and learn about neighborhood concerns and current issues.
On July 1, 2020, Sowinski Sullivan and McCormick Taylor presented the latest Wissahickon Transportation Center designs on behalf of SEPTA. The full PDF presentation can be found here. This submission is considered 30% completion of conceptual design. SEPTA plans to start construction in the middle or end of 2021 with the project taking 18-24 months to complete.
Highlights of the questions and concerns raised at the meeting include:
• Pedestrian and cyclist circulation and safety • Proposed bike path access and security • Architectural characteristics and design features reflective of the lower Northwest neighborhoods • No enclosed waiting area to protect riders in inclement weather • No designated drop-off/pick-up area for passengers (referred to as “Kiss and Ride”) • Connection and ADA accessibility of the transportation center to the train station • Location of the site in the 100-year floodplain and stormwater management
The Art Commission decided not to approve the conceptual design as presented. The Commission requested that SEPTA work to improve the design with guidance from an Art Commission subcommittee and consideration of community feedback. SEPTA will present design updates at the September 2 Art Commission meeting.
To watch the full presentation of the July 1 Art Commission meeting, click here. The Wissahickon Transportation Center presentation begins at 00:12. Feedback from Representative DeLissio (01:20), John Hunter representing the Northwest Coalition of Civics (01:08), and Wendy Green-Harvey representing SEPTA (01:42), were all provided. Comments included written feedback (56:00), phone-in inquiries, and comments via Zoom.
Once the community concerns are addressed, WICA supports the update and redesign to the Wissahickon Transportation Center and believes it will be a major improvement and asset to the area.
Following the success of our first online auction, we’re launching a virtual yard sale. Please consider donating your unwanted household items. From air conditioners and bicycles, to household games and accessories, we are accepting any donated pieces that are in good condition. Auction will be held July 20 – August 20, 2020 ›› The auction is hosted through Bid Beacon where you can browse and bid on items and track progress and updates.
All donations welcome, but items of particular interest include: • Bicycles, kayaks, outdoor furniture, outdoor storage boxes, games, kiddie pools • Air conditioners and fans • Computers and work-from-home accessories including webcams, headphones, standing desk converters, etc. • Family games for children, art and crafts items, household items, decorative items
Send a picture, description, and suggested starting bid to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com soon. We will upload your item to the auction and if it sells, we’ll arrange a no contact, socially-distant pick up.
All proceeds for the yard sale will go directly to the WICA legal action fund.
The next General Membership meeting is July 15th at 7pm, one week later than the standard second Wednesday of the month. The meeting will be held via Zoom, a free online application available on your computer or smartphone. All neighbors are invited to hear, participate, and learn about neighborhood concerns and current issues.
WICA is a community-based, volunteer organization. We welcome your support and generosity. All donations are tax deductible.
ShopRite Save-A-Tape Program
Turn your ShopRite purchases into funds for WICA! ShopRite reimburses WICA for 0.5% of the total receipts we turn in. Save your receipts and bring them to any of our meetings, send them to Lisa Wetzler at 124 Sumac Street, or we can arrange to pick them up from your home. Receipts must be no older than 5 months.
What is WICA?
WICA is the Civic Association representing the Philadelphia, PA neighborhood between East Falls and Manayunk at the gateway to the park where the Schuylkill River and the Wissahickon Creek merge.
There are multiple things you can do to get involved in the Wissahickon community. Become a member, attend monthly meetings, join a committee or make a donation. Every little bit helps.