Friday, November 29, 2013

SOSNA: Toy Drive, Police Safety Tips, 2012 Water Main Break

SOSNA will be accepting donations for their Holiday Toy Drive thru December 18. "We've filled one big box with toys for the students of the Arthur and Stanton Elementary schools and on to box number two. Thanks to everyone for their generosity."

More info here

Here are some safety tips the police officers from the 17th Police District shared at their monthly PSA 1 Community Meeting at the SOSNA office:
  • Take all your gifts out of your car or lock them in the trunk - thefts from auto remain the most common crime in the neighborhood.  Remind family, friends and neighbors who might be visiting you of the same. 
  • This may sound simple, but remember to lock your car doors! We learned last night that 50% of all stolen cars in PA were left unlocked.
  • Try not to carry much currency - if you carry a purse, maybe carry your cell phone and some cash in your pocket and the rest in your purse.
  • Don't advertise that you're on vacation - don't allow newspapers or circulars to accumulate on your stoop. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on this, or put a vacation hold on your papers.
  • Similarly, don't leave notes for the postman about holding your mail - if you need your mail held while you're away, you can do so online here.
  • Put your stoop light or lights in your house on a timer.

Also from SOSNA regarding last year's water main break:

If you, or someone you know, has suffered damages from the Water Main Break that occurred on July 22, 2012, please join us for a neighborhood meeting at the SOSNA office (1901 Christian St.) on Monday, December 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm. There will be discussions regarding the status of the claim against the city and recent developments in this ongoing legal matter. Become informed about this pending matter and protect your rights to a legal remedy.

AVI and Gentification

Here's an extract from the Center City Residents' Association November 27th Weekly Newsletter.

Homeowners who have continuously occupied the same residence since July 1, 2003 and who meet income requirements can qualify for the City's realty tax Gentrification relief program IF their AVI reassessment at least tripled the former assessment (i.e. $100,000 pre AVI to at least $300,000 AVI). Note that the trigger is the increase in the assessment, not the increase in the tax due. Those who qualify can limit their tax to 1.32% of triple their former assessment even if the AVI assessment exceeds that amount. For example, if the pre AVI 2012 assessment was $100,000.00 but the AVI assessment due in Feb. of 2014 is $350,000, the program would cap taxes at the tax rate (1.32%) times the cap ($300,000) = $3,960, a savings of $660.00 from 1.32% x $350,000 = $4,620. 
The program guidelines include all incomes of household residents - the maximum income for a single person household is $83,220 and $95,050 for a double occupant dwelling. The City plans to mail out Homestead applications to each address with a treble increase or more. Completed applications are due by January 14 although a Council bill, yet to be passed, would extend the deadline to February 15. Those who fail to apply forfeit their right to apply in future years so citizens should fill out the application even if they are not certain of their eligibility. The Gentrification Relief forms have yet to be published. CCRA will include these forms In a newsletter once they are published.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pink and Blue are Gone!

I guess SLAP Properties doesn't think Philly Cupcake's signature baby pink and blue color scheme is a positive selling point. The exterior is back to two shades of green. Wonder what the next tenant will do.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SOSNA Zoning Committee Meeting

SOSNA Zoning Committee meeting is Wednesday, November 20. Starts at 7:00pm at the SOSNA office, 1901 Christian Street. On the agenda for this meeting that's relevant to our neighborhood:

2111 Kater Street: (2nd Presentation): Erection of a sunroom to an existing single-family dwelling.

Full agenda here.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

iJuice! Opening November 16

 iJuice! is scheduled to open this Saturday, November 16. Billed as a juice bar and vegetarian cafe, located in the commercial space that formerly was home to Betty’s Speakeasy at 2241 Grays Ferry Avenue.

Half price off all juices and blends on opening day, Saturday.

Read more from here and from Century City here.

Bar and CafĂ©…home of the virgin cocktail
2241 Grays Ferry Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19146
7am to 7pm, Monday through Friday
8am to 6pm, Saturday
9am to 5pm, Sunday

Monday, November 11, 2013

Royal Theater Public Meeting

A public meeting was held Monday, November 11, at the Bainbridge Club, to discuss the Royal Theater. It was sponsored by South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA), South Street West Business Association, and Universal Companies. About fifty people were in attendance.

It was stated upfront that this meeting would be the first of an on-going set of meeting to discuss the development of the Royal Theater.

Chris Stromberg, from the SOSNA Architectural Review Committee, stated that the ARC's procedures for reviewing the development work of the Royal Theater would be more stringent than a typical review. The ARC anticipates two separate reviews of the development plans before a plan is presented to the SOSNA Zoning Committee and neighborhood review. Typically only one review is held. UC stated that they expect to make zoning variance requests.

Universal Companies provided the major presentation of the evening. This was given by Rahim Islam, President and CEO, and Shahied Dawan, CFO. The majority of their presentation identified UC's mission and their history with the Royal Theater. Their opening statement was to declare the "negative chatter" about UC they heard in the back of the hall as untrue. They gave a chronological run down of their activities with the Royal Theater. They stated that they had made several proposals in the past to develop the Royal Theater as a cultural and entertainment venue, but did not find sufficient support to proceed in this fashion.Their latest proposal is to develop the site as retail space fronting South Street, thirty rental units upstairs, thirteen parking spaces, and six town homes with garages on Kater Street. The facade will remain intact. The development will span from 1520 thru 1536 South Street, which includes some of the property adjacent to the Royal Theater which UC currently owns.

Comments from the Q&A session were varied. Several stressed the importance the Royal Theater had to the African American community and a desire to preserve some aspect of this history as part of the development plans. Many wanted the space to provide some kind of cultural/entertainment outlet. Two neighbors were hostile to UC, providing examples where UC had not been responsive to local residents' requests.

Update: Read what NakedPhilly has to say about the meeting here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Royal Theater Public Meeting

From the SOSNA web site:

Discussing History and Next Steps with Universal Companies

The Bainbridge Club
On Monday November 11 at 6 PM at the Bainbridge Club (1529 Bainbridge Street) there will be a public meeting at which representatives from Universal Companies will discuss the history of the Royal Theater and lay out next steps for the property.  SOSNA and the South Street West Business Association (SSWBA), the two local Registered Community Organizations (RCOs), will also outline how the redevelopment of this historic theater and neighborhood landmark will go through the zoning process.  There will be time for Q&A following the presentation. 

Any questions call 215-732-8446.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Election Day, November 5

Tuesday, November 5th, is Election Day.

Up for grabs are:
State Office:
- Justice of the Supreme Court (Retention Votes)
- Judge of the Superior Court

City Office:
- City Controller
- District Attorney
- Judge of Court of Common Pleas
- Judge of Philadelphia Municipal Court
- Judge of Traffic Court
- Judge of Elections
- Inspector of Elections

There's also a bond question:
Should the City of Philadelphia borrow NINETY-FOUR MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($94,745,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?

Find out more about the candidates here.

Find your polling place here.

Police Station Visitors Week - 17th District

From the SOSNA web site:

Police Station Visitors Week - 17th District

17th Police District
20th and Point Breeze Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19146
SOSNA is thrilled to participate in a global event called Police Station Visitors Week (PSVW).  On Thursday November 7 at 3 PM SOSNA will be touring the 17th Police District (20th and Point Breeze) and rating the District in terms of Community Orientation, Physical Conditions, Equal Treatment of the Public, Transparency and Accountability, and Detention Conditions. 

Who wants to join us?  RSVP to andrewd AT southofsouth DOT org by Wednesday November 6. 

Neighborhood Books Food Drive

Curtis Kise, owner of Neighborhood Books at 1906 South Street, is holding a food drive to help Philabundance.