147 Sumac Street Update

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.

Why we’re challenging 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.

WICA is a 501(c)(3), and your donation is tax deductible.