PlanPhilly

Adult daycare likely coming to former Germantown Settlement Charter School campus

An adult daycare center is now on track to become the newest tenant of a five-building complex in southwest Germantown.

For-profit Tori's Garden of Eden wants to open the center at 4811 Germantown Ave., once the address for Germantown Settlement Charter School's campus.

A lease is already in hand, but Ken Weinstein, who is developing the six-acre complex, needs a use variance from the city's Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) before the center can move in.

The entire campus is zoned residential.

Community meetings

Following a community meeting last week, Weinstein appears poised to get the green light from the ZBA.

Immediate neighbors voted 12-5 in favor of the variance, and none of area's registered community organizations — Germantown Community Connection, G'town Restoration CDC and the Wakefield 49ers — oppose the project.

"The ZBA already heard our case and was just looking for more feedback from the community," said Weinstein after what some attendees framed as a contentious, disorganized meeting. "This is the feedback they were looking for."

The ZBA ordered Weinstein and representatives with Tori's Garden to follow up with residents during a late-February hearing after it became clear that the community needed more information about the center.

The board is expected to make a final decision about the variance in the next couple of weeks.

While the ZBA doesn't automatically side with the community, neighborhood input is typically a critical part of its decision-making process.

"Everybody now really understands what adult daycare is," said Steve Masters, Tori's attorney. "Part of our problem was really to educate people."

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