All posts by Rick Bechtel

Meeting Notes – October 11, 2016

Baynton Hill Neighbors Meeting – October 11, 2016


Neighbors present: Joe, Lindsay, Dorsey, Rick, Kathy



Redevelopment project at Cunningham Piano – petitioning City Council

Camera on Rufe St.

Social event

Historic Germantown House Tour


Redevelopment project at Cunningham Piano

    • Cunningham Piano is moving their main store to King of Prussia, but they will maintain a small space at the current location
    • Ken Weinstein is redeveloping the building to include market rate apartments and restaurants MORE INFO HERE
    • Joe wrote a letter to the City Planning Commission on behalf of BHN to convey disappointment about their disregard of the RCO (Registered Community Organization, which BHN is) process to hear and approve of developments, as well as the zoning re-mapping that was presented during the meeting without prior notice.
    • BHN would like to create a petition to City Council that lays out what we would like to see in the zoning changes and redevelopment. Joe and Lindsay will work on this together and share with the group, followed by some group effort to collect signatures. Dates, deadlines aren’t known yet.
    • Concerns brought up during our meeting, that may be noted in the petition:
      • Amount of parking for new additions of residential and commercial use
        • discussion of underutilization of city-owned lots
        • unsure of parking lot on Gtown Ave being a good idea
        • potential for permit parking during particular hours
      • Proper space for trash disposal
      • Maintaining and giving new attention to historic features
        • the security grates/shutters
        • facade details
      • A concern about possibility of Section 8 housing (because Ken’s proposal doesn’t specifically say this won’t happen) was brought up, though there was disagreement amongst neighbors present about whether Section 8 is a problem.
      • Separate from the Cunningham development, an environmental justice issue of pollution from existing industrial uses impacting nearby residents. The zoning of this should be looked into.


  • Please email/call myself or Joe if you’d like to weigh in on the petition we write– if you have concerns, something to add, your thoughts are encouraged.



Camera on Rufe St.

  • Joe and Ross installed a deer hunting camera on Rufe St. in attempts to catch those who are illegally dumping there
  • The camera needs to be recalibrated to get better photos
  • Hasn’t actually been able to capture any license plates or anything


Social event for BHN

  • We were thinking to do something in tandem with the effort on Rufe St. but are nearing the end of the outdoor event season, so maybe a holiday potluck instead? Ideas are welcome. Please contact Lindsay if you’d like to help put something together.


Historic Germantown House Tour

  • Sunday, October 16 11:30-4:30 at various locations in Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill. More info here
  • Tickets: $30 in advance; $35 day of tour and are available by calling (215) 843-6333, or by visiting  On the day of the tour tickets may be purchased at Mount Airy Learning Tree, 6601 Greene Street, Philadelphia, PA 19119.



  • Joe submitted a nomination for Waringhouse to be a historically designated site, will bring his letter to the next meeting
  • Idea to create a welcome letter for new residents


Next meeting: Tuesday, December 6 @ 7:00, location TBD

notes from meeting 02/23/2016


Special Guests Becca Fagan and John DiGiulio from PWD

Re: PWD Work Stoppage:

There was a dispute between a local Imam and the contractor. The construction was impacting the Imam’s businesses, and he was demanding money, there were scheduled protests. It delayed the time frame (scheduled for October 2015).

The original sewer was in worse condition, taking an extra month. There was also bedrock that was unaccounted for. The original work called for trench restoration (only replacing the section that has been damaged), it looked like more than 50% had been upset, so PWD decided to do curb to curb. Scheduled for completion next week. There is also scheduled a small section between Lena and Wakefield, which will be done in 2 months.

One neighbor was upset about the litter and dumping increase. Trash hasn’t been collected for months. The agreement with the contractors is that the contractors will help move the trash outside the construction zone.

Neighbor: because contractors are storing materials there, the dumping has gotten worse. They’re not picking up after themselves.

Neighbor: How far are they coming on Baynton? A: No work on Baynton St.

Cars drive down, and turn around. Are there guidelines about traffic flow? A: I will request additional signs about the traffic.

Neighbor: What condition are the streets being left in? They are filled with dirt, but not asphalt. A: There’s not a requirement to plate. Temporary asphalt is used sometimes, but that gets more complaints. Water Department is increasing their own regulations.

Neighbor: They never put up detour signs. CCT Connect and taxis won’t come down. Chestnut Hill didn’t have this problem. A: Streets does not change directions or make them two way. We have about 8 contractors, some are better than others. We are going through our own requirements for quality of life.

BHN is grateful for the proposed changes and supports an increase in standards for contractors.

Neighbor: A bus hit my car. My wife’s car is in danger. There’s no signs. The contractors are going the wrong way up the street.

Neighbor: Queen Lane used to be 2 way. Now it’s one way. A: They won’t make it two-way.

The timeline for completion: 2 months