by Brendan Sample

At its latest Board of Directors meeting, the Chestnut Hill Community Association assured members that it is very much dedicated to working to fix the ongoing concerns over the development on 2 East Chestnut Hill Ave. With the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections issuing four violations to Main Street Development over not complying with the building plans they had already submitted, the CHCA will be looking to meet with the developer in early December.

Local residents have expressed their displeasure over the Chestnut Hill Avenue project since it was revealed that the building materials and appearance of the current construction have veered away from the rendering of what the newly constructed home is supposed to look like. Several community organizations, including the CHCA and Chestnut Hill Conservancy, already made a number of concessions to the developers in exchange for having them meet several conditions of their own. With the initial construction appearing different from the plans, however, the groups also feel that this development is now in violation of the agreed arrangement.

While a specific meeting date has yet to be finalized, the board members expressed their commitment to doing everything they can to help solve this issue. After their initial meeting, they also plan to hold public meetings with the developers so as to keep the community up to date on the matter.

In addition to community complaints, the developer could face further action from the city if these discrepancies are not changed.

“I’ve heard from L&I that if these issues aren’t addressed, the property won’t get a certificate of occupancy, which is almost as significant as a stop work order,” said CHCA Executive Director Anne McNiff after the meeting.

McNally’s expansion

Also in the CHCA Physical Division, a motion was made to support the variance request for the planned expansion of McNally’s Tavern. Both the Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee and Development Review Committee reviewed the plans and voted to support them on the basis of three conditions. These conditions were that an architect would be hired by January 15 for the planning of the first two phases of the project, the applicants would return to the DRC before beginning the third phase to share plans for the second floor exterior and that said plans would not include any additional stucco surface. With co-owner Anne McNally and her husband Joe Pie in attendance, the board voted to support the variance with the agreed conditions.

Community Fund Drive

In preparation for the upcoming Annual Appeal, board members Kathi Clayton and Susan Bray, who are leading the campaign, asked the rest of the board what it would like to see if the Appeal hits its $100,000 goal. Some of the suggested ideas included putting it toward planting more trees in the area, the Water Tower’s master plan, marketing current events in Chestnut Hill, resurfacing roads, street cleaning and putting together a community fair party.

Water Tower Rec. Center

Board members Craig Hosay and Keith Kunz also provided several updates on the Water Tower, including an announcement that it would be receiving an architectural award from the Conservancy. Renovations are continuing on the property, as several trees were recently removed or pruned back, roof work is being done on the main building, the basketball court floor is getting refinished and the backboards are being replaced.

Brendan Sample can be reached at