With WICA’s annual officers election this month, we want to take a moment to reflect on the past year and preview what’s in store. We invite you to help us keep the momentum going and get involved.
The Zoning Committee had a busy year. Outgoing chair Brian Olzak left us much needed Zoning Committee Policies and Procedures to establish a formal process to handle zoning variance applicants. The zoning variance process is complicated and for WICA it has involved hiring legal representation, hosting community meetings for voting, and attending zoning board hearings. New chair Daniel Flescher, an architect by trade, has recently come on board to represent WICA’s zoning interests moving forward.
- 200-214 Kalos Street. WICA negotiated with the developer to change the plans from nine townhomes to six twins with a design aesthetic that better matches the character of our neighborhood.
- 147 Sumac Street. In this ongoing application put on hold by the pandemic, WICA tried negotiating with the developer to build a reasonable number of units on the property and preserve the greenspace. In February, the zoning board ruled in favor of the developer but WICA has since filed a reconsideration and an appeal.
- Land Use Agreements. WICA continues to enforce the land use agreements we have in place with 5132 Rochelle Ave (Triple A Auto) and 5102-04 Rochelle (former Melnick’s).
Janet Anderson, current parks chair and former WICA President, led the charge for a productive year for our local parks.
- David P. Montgomery Field. Janet coordinated a tremendous cleanup effort last November. The Phillies organization sent 40 volunteers, including Lyn Montgomery and her family. Impact Softball’s coaches, players, and families, as well as nearby neighbors participated.
- LaNoce Park. In addition to biannual cleanups, WICA hired a tree service, with funding from the Philadelphia Activities Fund, to prune the park’s trees, making it safer for all users.
- 100 Steps Graffiti. After several unsuccessful attempts, last October the graffiti was removed by the City’s Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP) with help from WICA member Caitlin Martin. New graffiti has since appeared but we are working hard to once again have it removed.
New chair Kay Marie Boblenz has taken on the challenge of increasing community engagement and our membership numbers. Kay Marie, a recruiter by trade, has a number of creative approaches she’s working on and we’re looking forward to setting them in action.
President Lisa Wetzler and Vice President Greg Wright recognized our need for organized fundraising and stepped up to the plate. Although they are stepping down from their President/Vice President roles this month, they will continue their fundraising efforts, which have included:
Legal Fund Donation Drives. Lisa and Greg tirelessly led several donation drives to collect funds to pay for WICA’s legal representation in zoning matters.
Online Auction. In May, WICA hosted a successful online auction, with donations of goods and services from the community, to raise over $800.
Happy Hour Fundraiser. Last September, WICA hosted a happy hour fundraiser at Wissahickon Brewing Company open to all neighbors.
AmazonSmile and ShopRite Save-A-Tape Program. We now participate in both of these programs that donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to WICA.
Traffic & Parking
Chair Chip Roller has been keeping a keen eye on issues that will have a direct effect on our neighborhood, including the Wissahickon (Transportation Center) Gateway Plan, monetization of the Wissahickon train station parking lot, and increased neighborhood density. Chip is also active with the Coalition of Civics, keeping us connected to the neighboring Roxborough/Manayunk civics.
Behind the Scenes
Treasurer Ken Sawyer has meticulously managed WICA’s financials, filing our annual taxes and maintaining our nonprofit status, and making sure the bill is paid for our Directors and Officers insurance policy. Secretary Nicole Healy wears many hats recording meeting minutes, sending email updates, and managing WICA’s website and social media.
Did you know WICA often has special guests address the General Membership Meetings? This includes regular appearances by State Representative Pam DeLissio; Josh Cohen, Chief of Staff to Councilman Curtis Jones; and representatives from the 5th Police District.
We are so grateful for our dedicated members who act as the eyes and ears of the community, attend meetings, express their opinions, and make us a better organization. THANK YOU!
How can you help?
- Become a Member! Membership is only $10 a year. It helps fund the organization and members get to vote on all WICA activity.
- Volunteer! We need people to help on committees, raise money, and organize community events.
- Donate! We are a volunteer organization and rely on the generosity of donors and the donation of services, time, and expertise. If you have a service or specialization that can help the neighborhood, consider helping out.
- Don’t Have Time? If you cannot make the meetings or actively participate, don’t worry. Membership includes regular updates so you can see activity and be aware of what’s happening in the neighborhood.