by Wesley Ratko
The Chestnut Hill Community Association’s Development Review Committee reluctantly voted to support the planned improvements to the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s St. Martin’s campus along Willow Grove Avenue.
The committee’s hesitance came as a result of the club’s failure to provide adequate documentation certifying that all near-neighbors had been contacted about the project.
Carl Primavera, attorney for the club, defended his client’s efforts, saying that Tim Muessle, the club’s chief operating officer, did ask the six adjacent neighbors along St. Martins Road, only five of whom provided responses.
“We don’t think that there’s anyone out there who hasn’t been given the opportunity to comment,” he said.
In spite of the club’s assurances, members of the DRC appeared reluctant to cast a vote in favor of the variances without evidence the neighbors were aware of the project.
“This was something that was made very clear in previous meetings,” Lenhardt said.
“In the past, we’ve had some problems getting letters from near adjacent neighbors – we really have to have them,” DRC co-chair Larry McEwen said.
Primavera became defensive and insisted Muessle detail his efforts to contact the St Martins residents before the committee. Committee member John Landis insisted that wasn’t necessary.
“We’re not impugning your process,” he said. “We just need that documentation by tomorrow morning.”
A motion to support the variances was passed with one dissenting vote.
Lauri Strimkovsky, vice president for financial affairs at Chestnut Hill College, and Lee Casaccio, an architect with the firm Casaccio and Yu, returned to the DRC with changes to new signs proposed for the main entrance to the college campus at 9601 Germantown Ave.
Based on comments from the Streetscaping and Land Use Planning and Zoning committees, the circular signs were made a bit smaller and the font of the lettering was changed.
The college is seeking a variance from the setback requirement of the zoning code, which the DRC, acting on behalf of the CHCA board, voted unanimously to approve.
No opposition from the public was voiced.