There's a new kid on the civic group block in East Falls.
Earlier this month, residents launched East Falls Forward, a free-to-join organization with a simple, but ambitious goal: make the Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood more walkable, sustainable and business-friendly.
Improving Ridge Avenue — "the face of the neighborhood" — is priority number one.
"It would be nice to have a coffee shop or a bike store ... so that East Falls isn't just a pit stop," said Angela Velez, who chairs the civic.
Velez, who is an attorney, moved to East Falls in March. She said the group was created following a series of casual conversations with neighbors who "had the same goals."
That includes the group's other two officers, vice chair Juliet Geldi, an architect, and secretary Silje Roalsvick.
"It was actually a very natural process," said Velez.
EFF hopes to become what's known as a registered community organization. The designation, awarded by the city, would give the group a seat at the table and, importantly, some real sway when developers or residents come looking for neighborhood support for a project that needs new zoning.
While construction can move forward without community approval, the city's Zoning Board of Adjustment seriously considers what an RCO thinks of a project before ruling.
The deadline to submit an application to become an RCO is June 30.
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