Despite its usual aversion to increased rental units, a local civic organization voted to not oppose one new apartment unit in Roxborough.
Edward and Chris Topolewski propose changing the first-floor commercial property at 4134 Manayunk Ave. into a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit. The Manayunk Neighborhood Council Wednesday night decided it won't protest the case when it goes before the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment.
"In general, we don't support more rental units, but when we do, in cases like this, we vote nonopposition" as opposed to approval, MNC President Kevin Smith said. The property falls within both the MNC and Central Roxborough Civic Association's boundaries, and Smith said the latter group deferred to the MNC on it.
Located at Manayunk and Jamestown streets, the corner lot exists as a three-story building and separate garage, which has a second floor apartment. Already, zoning permits apartments on the two second-floor and one third-floor units. The Topoleski proposal only changes the commercial space into a residential one.
"To confirm with the neighborhood, we want to have it as a residential property. It's a tough location to make into a successful commercial business," Chris Topolewski said.
The developers told the civic association that it has a policy that requires proof of employment in order for someone to rent the space. Edward Topolewski said he inspects the property weekly for trash and cleanliness compliance. If tenants become a problem, neighbors can personally call him.
"If they are not good tenants, we'll get rid of them. We are not absentee landlords," Chris Topolewski said.
Edward Topolewski added: "We don't farm this out to an outside management company."
Residents at neighboring and nearby properties raised issues with parking and noise.
"It's not a good site for a commercial business because of the parking, and we have a problem with that 24/7," one resident said.
The developers countered that commercial unit brings cars to the block. Also, the lease places a limit that only two people may live there.
A neighbor at the attached property said noise from former tenants caused him to install soundproof buffers at his home. However, since the Topolewskis took over, there hasn't been a problem.
Check back with Patch to see how the case does before the ZBA when a hearing date is scheduled.