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South Philadelphia residents attack development plans

4/24/2015 | Real Estate Blog

A Philadelphia developer who wants to build apartments and stores on a parcel of residentially-zoned property in South Philadelphia doesn’t just have the zoning map against him, he also has dozens of angry residents.

At a recent three-hour long Passyunk Square Civic Association meeting, residents jumped out of their seats and had to be asked to “not scream” as they dramatically opposed plans for proposed projects. Parking seemed to be their main point of concern. 

The residents complained that their neighborhood had become a parking lot for the famous cheesesteak restaurants Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks, as well as redevelopment in the area, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The parcel of land that the developer has his eye on is a 30,000-square-foot combined-lot property that includes an adjacent rowhouse. It sits directly across from Pat’s, and the project would require a variance from the zoning board.

In addition to the apartment-store project, residents also blasted a request to provide Triangle Tavern with more sidewalk area to serve patrons from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Opposing the request, one resident said he didn’t want “that to be Geno’s Steaks on our corner.”

Undoubtedly, this isn’t the first time that a developer has had to ask for a variance from a zoning map, and it certainly isn’t the first time a developer or business owner’s plans has conflicted with the desires of neighbors.

For these reasons, it’s essential to have an experienced and knowledgeable real estate lawyer on your side during any type of development project or when facing any kind of zoning issue. With the law on your side, even angry neighbors might not be able to stop you.