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Bunting Battle Continues Despite Demolition

Civic groups fight for 5901 Ridge Ave. for precedent.

The Bunting House at 5901 Ridge Ave. itself is gone, but local civic associations continue a fight to make sure it didn't go down in vain.

An appeal to the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment took place last week, despite the fact that the building in question was demolished, Central Roxborough Civic Association President Ed Hotham said at the group's Jan. 3 meeting.

The CRCA—along with the Manayunk Neighborhood Council, Wissahickon Interested Citizens Association, Ridge Park Civic Association and Wissahickon Neighbors Civic Association—fought to preserve the Victorian home throughout the fall. In December, a Court of Common Pleas judge ruled against an injunction, and property owners Giovannone Construction exercised their legally acquired building permits and demolished the Bunting House, along with 5905, 5907 and 5909 Ridge Ave.

Hotham said the civic associations' attorney, Hal Schirmer, offered to continue the case in order to establish precedent for future demolitions.

"Hal wanted to follow through and make sure something like this shouldn't happen again," Hotham said.

The legal battle was in response to the developer securing permits and questioned whether the city should have issued them to begin with. Kevin Smith, of the Manayunk Neighborhood Council, attended the Jan. 2 hearing and said the zoning board seemed attentive.

Although the civics expect to lose the city case, Hotham said the groups were interested in appealing at the state level. Schirmer has offered to work pro bono, but funds are needed for filing.

Whether or not the neighborhood groups succeed legally, the Bunting House awoke a sentiment to get ahead of future projects.

Resident Bob Spear said neighbors, led by Kay Sykora, have set up a meeting with the City Planning Commission to discuss Roxborough's options—including a potential zoning overlay that would make demolition tougher.

Michael January 09, 2013 at 05:44 PM
I don't know what a "trans plant" is. Sounds erotic. Here's a piece of advice... If you want people to understand you and take you seriously, learn how to spell and put complete sentences together. And then, don't insult them by calling them impaired cause they don't understand you. Heck, after reading your post below I think I'm impaired. And you shouldn't need spell check for “Respect”.
Debbie Thomas January 09, 2013 at 06:19 PM
It's not the new people who have moved into the area that are committing crimes, most are from outside the neighborhood. Mike is doing the very same thing those parents did when teenagers were harassing the woman who owns Yoga on the Ridge. They were blaming yuppies, college students and people who recently moved in. The people in Tacony wish all they had to worry about was living around working professionals and college kids. Crime in that neighborhood has spiked recently and I am talking violent crime such as homicide.
Gary v January 09, 2013 at 07:55 PM
I am making it a great place to live...thanks for the complement Mike.
David Schiman January 10, 2013 at 02:05 AM
Michael, I stopped by the site today and asked them to wait until 7:00 to start. They all acted like no one was in charge. So, I asked Josh Cohen at Councilman Jones' office to get in touch with the proper authorities to get them to comply. I hope that helps!
Mike O'Neill January 10, 2013 at 01:03 PM
Don't be mistaken.It was never a complement !!

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