Today was the third trip to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for a planned development at 2010 Wharton Street in Point Breeze.  And before you can say Point Breeze, yes… Ori Feibush is the developer.

The property is the site of a former warehouse, now since demolished early this summer, which has been a source of consternation with South Philadelphia HOMES, the Registered Community Organization who has coordinated neighborhood meetings about the project.

Earlier this year after the project had been sent to the Planning Commission for detailed review, a strong recommendation was returned to build the project pending some design modifications.

During Wednesday’s ZBA hearing all aspects of the design of the house plans was put to the zoning board again during a specially-called meeting.  A quorum was present consisting only of ZBA chair Julia Chapman, Greg Pastore and Sam Staten.

One key sticking point with the zoning for the property is that the parcel it sits on is zoned ICMX and is several blocks away from any significant commercial activity and is nestled inside  blocks of residential housing.   The Philadelphia 2035 remapping plan calls to have the parcel remapped to permit residential housing.  As it stands now, no residential housing is allowed on ICMX property.    It’s a strange situation since the current zoning would permit a gas station.

As far as land use and dimensional feedback from neighborhood residents, sentiment was split on whether or not the homes should include off-street parking.  The original plans didn’t call for any, so they were added, then modified.   The homes meet the 38′ required height limit and roofdeck pilot houses have been modified to terminate below the height limit of a roofdeck railing but the stairs continue beyond the pilot house to reach the level of the roof.

The ZBA meeting itself was a bit more jovial and less acerbic than typical ZBA hearings involving OCF projects.   On a show of hands, 3/4ths of all residents who attended indicated they were in favor of the project, a tally that a clerk counted was over 90 people.

Other residents remain opposed.  South Philadelphia HOMES director Claudia Sherrod accused the attendees in favor of the project of receiving monetary gifts in order to attend.   No one was paid to show up to the hot, stuffy room.

In a separate matter, Philadelinquency has taken notice at South Philadelphia HOMES’s non-profit income tax returns.  To date, a public tax return has not been made available for public inspection by South Philadelphia HOMES, and a call to their accountant was met with a refusal.

At the ZBA hearing, Philadelinquency cornered Sherrod and asked her if she would be willing to produce the IRS Form 990s for her organization as required by law for non-profit organizations.   Sherrod declined.

We left Sherrod with a reminder that last year’s tax return must be made available for inspection [or an assertion that an extension of time to file was filed], and then we filed this complaint with the IRS:



Here’s a clip of some of Sherrod’s testimony before the ZBA:

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I’m not going to get involved in the ridiculousness over #PopeFence.   This is about the #PopePass.

I love SEPTA.  I ride it every day.  I’m the only guy running for office in Philadelphia on the November ballot who does not own a car and rides the bus and the rails on SEPTA each and every day.

I backed your ass up when Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said SEPTA does nothing but move welfare queens around town.  Fuck that clown.

I have endured years of urine-soaked stairways and elevators.  I don’t mind playing the “what’s that stain?” game before sitting down on a seat.   I’m buds with Chief Thomas Nestel III, the SEPTA police chief, who is among one of the most popular law enforcement commanders SEPTA has ever had on its payroll and one of your best decisions to date.

But this papal pass lottery thing?   WTF are you doing SEPTA?

Through a snap executive decision after your website blew up offering the special passes, which is enough of an insult for all of us who hold a TransPass…

WTF SEPTA???!?!?

…you are now going to just throw the limited-edition Papal Passes, the only thing you can use to get on to the system, up into the air for ticket scalpers to buy them up?   So the few people who want to dare to get near a train to do something OTHER than try to get to Center City are going to be left going to ticket scalper sites?

You are the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, and you answer to a board who represents each of the counties of the SEPTA network where we all live.  You provide a service that we help pay for directly and indirectly and we go to bat for you every time you have a funding crisis.

But now you are going to throw a limited number of papal passes up, see who grabs them, and everyone of us working stiffs who pays regularly out of our paychecks for your passes are all going to get “ACCESS DENIED” to go anywhere.

You’ll have to pay a scalper to get to Shop Rite, see grandma, visit your brother in Delco to re-up on weed, etc…

No, seriously SEPTA… Fuck. You.  About this.  A million times.   SHUT. IT. DOWN.

Seriously, this feels like that time in 1976 when Frank Rizzo put out calls for the Army to flood into Philly for the Bicentennial, prepared to get busy with urban warfare and tourists noticed the ridiculousness of it all, so no one showed up.