E Durham Street is a quiet residential street in East Mt Airy that includes single family houses and apartments next to SEPTA’s Chestnut Hill East Rail Lines’ Sedgwick Station.
The 93 unit Sedgwick Station Apartments complex has been in the neighborhood since the 1950s and occupies most of the block bounded by E Mt Pleasant Ave, Ardleigh, Sprague and E Durham Streets, except for 2 residential properties: 318 E Durham and 7131 Sprague Streets.
318 E Durham Street Vicinity
Here’s a blow up of the 318 E Durham Street single family house that the owners of Sedgwick Station Apartments, Galman Group, purchased in 2010 and started renting it out in 2013.
318 E Durham Street House – Purchased by Galman Group in 2010, started renting in 2013.
The 318 E Durham Street Lot is just 55 feet by 80 feet. Galman Group, in their 8/7/18 L&I Zoning/Use Registration Application (link) requested to:
- Demolish the existing single family house
- Construct an 8 unit apartment building with sales and management office space of for Galman Group’s 6 Mt Airy apartment complexes.
- Install a stationary sign above on the North wall of the proposed building.
318 E Durham Street lot is zoned RSA-3, so L&I refused Galman Group’s request on 8/20/18 (link). L&I found 5 refusal items not in compliance with the Philadelphia zoning code:
L&I Refusal Notice for 318 E Durham Street – 8/20/18
Galman Group promptly submitted an appeal to the ZBA refusal (link) on 8/23/18. Near neighbors were notified of Galman’s ZBA appeal by letter addressed to Current Resident on 9/20/18 (link)
Fitting 8 Apartments and Office in 50 ft by 80 ft Lot
Galman Group is requesting to construct 8 apartment units in a 50 ft by 80 ft lot. They hope to apply RM-2 zoning to their RSA-3 zoned lot.
Zoning in 318 E Durham Street Vicinity
Galman Group wants to demolish the existing single family and construct a new building that extends to the property lines on 3 sides. Here’s a comparison of the existing house and Galman Group’s planned new building:
Galman Groups wants to squeeze 8 apartments into a small 50-by 80 foot lot, ignoring the RSA3 zoning and the residential nature of E Durham Street.
E Durham Street Neighbors are concerned, upset and mobilized. We have:
- Organized into a multi-block neighborhood group ready to take action
- Gathered over 70 signatures to our petition
- Attended EMAN’s RCO meeting on October 2nd in force. Since Galman Group could not answer neighbors zoning variance questions because they did not have an attorney attend the meeting, EMAN requested a continuance of the RCO meeting until November 20th when Galman is expected to discuss the zoning issues with neighbors.
- We will continue our fight to Say No To 318 E Durham Street Demolition