by Wesley Ratko
The highly-attended Chestnut Hill Community Association board meeting on Aug. 22. resulted in no major actions but did produce a few interesting discussion points:
• Joyce Lenhardt, vice president of the CHCA’s Physical Division reported on the Development Review Committee’s initial meeting with the lawyer for a new dental practice – Top of the Hill Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry – slated to go into the old KCBA Architects office in the Top of the Hill shopping center at 8705 Germantown Ave. She also asked for and received board support to appoint John Haak, a planner with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and member of the Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee to co-chair that committee.
• Lenhardt touched on a growing interest to have additional meetings to discuss what can be done to assist local businesses with sprucing up their storefronts and creating a policy for signs along the Avenue.
• Finally, Lenhardt addressed the issue of the century-old fire station at 101 West Highland Ave. When first addressed at the August 2012 board meeting, the Philadelphia Fire Department had approached the CHCA with concerns that modern fire trucks were becoming too wide for the historic station doors to accommodate. Three options were discussed: Widen the entrance of the historic building, build a new fire station building elsewhere in Chestnut Hill, or use smaller trucks at this location. Lenhardt now says that as of its last meeting, the PFD has opted to find smaller trucks. Neither modifying the existing station nor building a new one are viable options. Lenhardt noted that the city’s fleet of fire trucks are standardized and not customized specifically to the station houses they serve. The board took no action on this issue.
• Board president Brien Tilley urged members of the board to join one of several committees that need volunteers.
• Tilley also proposed that the board hold an annual membership drive akin to the annual fund-raising drive. Board member Jane Piotrowski suggested doing so during the run up to board elections. Tilley suggested that board members check their calendars and consult with the membership committee to determine the best approach.
• There was interest expressed from community manager Celeste Hardester to bring back the Christmas parade to Chestnut Hill, as well as other activities that would bring increased foot traffic to the Avenue during the holiday season.