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No East St. Boarding House; Nixon Street Project May Commence

A look into two property issues.

One Wissahickon house will remain a rental property, while a Shawmont Valley plot of land could become four homes by year's end.

The Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment Wednesday dismissed an application to allow 158 East St. to rent as a boarding house. 

In Shawmont, owner Talal Charabi shared the progress of four future homes at 7845 Nixon St.

No Boarding House

Jason Mifflin applied to the city late last year to turn the rowhome at 158 East St. into a structure with four units. That immediately drew opposition from the Wissahickon Neighbors Civic Association, which feared the property would devolve into a boarding house.

At a Feb. 6 meeting, . Often, property owners will present plans to the community to vie for support. However, Mifflin never formerly appeared in front of the civic, and the organization wrote a letter to the zoning board against it.

After pushing the hearing twice, Mifflin's zoning appearance was scheduled for Wednesday. 

James Petkovits, appearing on behalf of the civic, was the only person present. Mifflin didn't show up, and the zoning board dismissed the application, alerting Licenses and Inspections to enforce its current zoning.

"No one from the civic was in favor of this, at least at that meeting anyway, and it looks like it will continue as a rental," he said.

Mifflin previously did not return requests for comment.

Nixon Street Homes to Begin Soon

The generally sleepy Nixon Street is rife with construction equipment lately. If Charabi's permits get in line, a residential property project will join the .

Charabi appeared before the Residents of Shawmont Valley Civic Association Tuesday to update the group on his plans to build four new homes at the end of Nixon Street, near Port Royal Avenue and River Road.

The only thing between him and starting is final paperwork approval. Charabi said he needs to submit a stormwater management plan to the Philadelphia Water Department, and he should be good to go.

Thus far, he's refrained from doing any work but anticipates a quick project.

"I definitely want this done before the winter," he said.

Civic President Dave Cellini inquired into extra lots. Charabi said his plan was to deed the land to homeowners. Development is impossible. 

Working under the association's mission for land preservation, Cellini encouraged Charabi to work with Natural Lands Trust and potentially create an easement permanently preventing development. Charabi said he was open to it.

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