Category Archives: Mt Airy – Philadelphia

318 E Durham Street Zoning Variance Request – Trying to Shoe-Horn 8 Apartments Into Small 50 by 80 foot Single Family House Lot

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:

  1. Demolish the existing single family house
  2. Construct an 8 unit apartment building with sales and management office space of  for Galman Group’s 6 Mt Airy apartment complexes.
  3. 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


Video of Mt Airy Cat and Fox Meeting

What happens when a cat meets a fox?

Here is a video of a recent night time meeting between a Mt Airy cat and fox.

Motion Lights Stop Would Be Burglars

Devon Village Wall Graffiti and Hole: Feb 12, 2012

A new batch of graffiti tags have appeared on the Devon Village Wall in the past few days, adding to previous Sedgwick Station area tags awaiting SEPTA removal and the 8 foot hole in the Devon Village Wall awaiting SEPTA and Philadelphia L&I safety inspection survey results.

Here is a photo of 2 tags that showed up on Sunday morning, February 12, 2012.

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Devon Village Wall Hole History

A 2 foot by 8 foot hole opened up in the Devon Village wall on January 25, 2012.
How did this happen? Here is a link to the recent hole related history of the Wall.

Hole in Devon Villae Wall

Fox and Rabbit Story

Here is the latest fox story, based on January 10 video of fox family and January 14 video of rabbit.

It looks like we have a fox and rabbit story right in our E Mt Airy neighborhood.

Neighborhood Fox

We have our own neighborhood fox. Here he/she is on January 3rd about 1:00 AM.  The fox comes from the SEPTA R7 right-of-way (ROW), crosses Sprague Street and goes up our driveway. About an hour later, the fox returns to the ROW.