A satellite image shows 248 E. Evergreen Ave. and the adjacent side yard its owners plan to subdivide in order to build a new, four story house.

by Brendan Sample

At its latest meeting, the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s Land Use, Planning and Zoning Committee heard from representatives of an applicant looking to subdivide a lot that encompasses 248 and 250 E. Evergreen Ave., allowing for a new structure to be built. The empty lot at 250 E. Evergreen is presently a side yard for the house at 248 E. Evergreen.

Larry McEwen, a member of LUPZ, is architect for the project and was on hand to present the plans to the rest of the committee. Janet Stern, who is listed as the property owner at 248 E. Evergreen Ave., was unable to attend the meeting. Chestnut Hill realtor Rob Lamb was in attendance to represent the owner.

The applicants received an official refusal from the Philadelphia Department of Licenses & Inspections on June 24. It was issued on the basis that the minimum lot width and side yard minimum width for 248 E. Evergreen, along with the rear yard minimum depth for 250 E. Evergreen, both fell short of the required sizes. The proposed figures of 21.104 ft., 3 ft. and 7 ft. fell short of the city-required 25 ft., 8 ft. and 15 ft. minimums, respectively.

As it currently stands, the plan calls for a four-story house to be built on what would be the empty lot of 250 E. Evergreen Ave. Becuase the plans are still in a preliminary stage, however, McEwen acknowledged that elements of it are still subject to change.

Several LUPZ members raised minor issues regarding parking, a new driveway, building materials and the treatment of deck railings. None of these questions, however, amounted to any serious problems, as members of the committee said they trusted McEwen and wanted only to be thorough in figuring out the details.

“In general, my sense is that there aren’t any real strong objections to this,” said Joyce Lenhardt, LUPZ member and vice president for CHCA’s Physical Division. “We all trust you, Larry, but we also know that other things can happen.”

A motion ultimately passed for the LUPZ to approve the plans in their current stage, with the understanding that McEwen will present updates at the next meeting.

In addition to the new house plans, the LUPZ approved a final draft of its updated guidelines, which have been under review for several months. Along with previous changes that had been suggested, one new rule that had been added since the last review: A formal refusal from L&I would be required for the committee to hear a zoning applicant. The committee will now take the fully updated draft to the CHCA for final approval.

The next LUPZ meeting is set for Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Chestnut Hill Hospital. Brendan Sample can be reached at brendan@chestnuthilllocal.com or 215-248-8819.

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