PlanPhilly

At first civic meeting of the season, a preview of what's to come in Homesburg



Cars lined two full blocks of Ditman Street on either side Tuesday night. Children and their parents made use of the playground out the rec center as the Holmesburg Boys Club's pee-wee football team practiced beneath the setting sun. Inside the rec center, Holmesburg Civic Association board members grabbed additional red folding chairs as the meeting room filled up.

And so began the group's first meeting of the 2012-13 season. Members will meet once a month through June, and President Rich Frizell reviewed on Tuesday some of what members can expect in the coming months.

It was a night of fresh starts for the HCA. Beneath a new "Holmesburg Recreation Center" banner, Frizell led his first meeting as group president. He was elected before the summer break, but one of his first duties as HCA leader will be celebrating the historical designation of the Pennypack Creek Bridge.

"I think it's going to be the biggest day in Holmesburg for a generation or two," Frizell said of the dedication day.

Farmers Market

New Foundations Charter School at 8001 Torresdale Ave., will host a farmers market Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.



A project kicked off by former HCA President and Northeast historian Fred Moore, the dedication is set for Oct. 13. Built in 1697 and now tucked between Solly Avenue and Ashburner Street on Frankford Avenue, the small bridge has come to be known as the "oldest bridge in the new world." Now connecting Holmesburg and Upper Holmesburg across the Pennypack Creek, the bridge once carried American and French forces during the Revolutionary War.

But not everything Frizell will deal with in the coming months will be as celebratory.

The HCA is still battling the Healing Way, which attempted to open a methadone clinic on the 7900-block of Frankford Avenue last summer. Though the Zoning Board revoked the clinic's permit, the owners have appealed and the matter will be up for review again later this year.

Frizell and the HCA board have already issued to letters of opposition to zoning matters of the summer. Both matters await a ruling from the Zoning Board.

Jack Connelly Collision at 7369 State Rd. was denied its proposal to sell used cars on the body shop's property. Frizell said issuing the opposition was difficult, given the property owner's upkeep of the lot, but the board felt the proposal for 50 parking spaces would be an overuse of the lot.

The owners of 4504 Bleigh Ave. also got a letter of opposition from the HCA. Their application for a six-foot stockade fence on the front of the property - to block out troubling neighbors - did not meet the HCA's standards.

And though the membership got a glimpse of some of the controversial matters they'll be voting on this year, the evening ended on a positive note: The civic association made $30 on its first 50/50 drawing.

The Holmesburg Civic Association will next meet Oct. 9, when nominations for the vice president and secretary will be finalized. Voting will take place in November. 


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