Mount Sinai zoning appeal filed, then dropped by neighbor seeking ‘a chance to be heard’

As one might expect with such a large undertaking, the development at Mount Sinai has been on a roller coaster ride since its announcement early last December. What started off as a project featuring 38 town homes and nearly 200 apartments has morphed in to similar mix of residences that now feature two different designs, less apartments, and a large parking garage. So why hasn’t there been any movement on the project in which developers Greenpointe Construction and Gagan Lakhmna had hoped to have purchased and already started?

The redesigned town homes as seen from 5th and Dickinson Sts. (via
The redesigned town homes as seen from 5th and Dickinson Sts. (via

A concerned neighbor missed all of the initial hub-bub of the community meeting process and wanted more information. According to PlanPhilly, that neighbor filed an appeal to the zoning variances granted for the project.

The appeal document gives no reason why it was filed, but the attorney representing appellant Melissa Miller said she was “initially upset when she found out such a large project had already been approved.” Attorney Zhen Jin said his client never got the community meeting notice, so she filed the zoning variance appeal before the 30-day deadline, on April 10, “so she had a chance to be heard.”

But after reviewing the plans and talking to neighbors, Jin said Miller was “ok with” the development proposal and told him to file a discontinuance of the appeal.

April 10 is an important date because Greenpointe and Lakhmna were poised to close on the property on April 15, with the seller “adamant that no extensions would be given beyond the 15th of April.” In simpler terms, the appeal could have potentially scuppered the entire project.

As of now, the project is still up in the air as we await word whether the appeal has derailed the project or if Greenpointe and Lakhmna have purchased the site.

– James Jennings is the founder of the blog Pennsporter — a site dedicated to exploring the neighborhood  from Washington to Snyder, the Delaware to Fourth.

4 thoughts on “Mount Sinai zoning appeal filed, then dropped by neighbor seeking ‘a chance to be heard’

  • May 16, 2014 at 11:03 am

    omg omg omg FEWER apartments, not less apartments!

  • May 18, 2014 at 11:50 am

    one person can single handily screw up an entire neighborhood. thanks Melissa. you had to be living in a cave not to notice all the signs in the neighborhood asking for feedback. i hope the sale didn’t fall through.

    • May 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      Truly amazing…

      • May 22, 2014 at 8:35 pm

        I don’t know. It seems the developer has done a pretty solid job of taking a dump on the neighborhood already. I understand the desire for development of an empty plot of real estate, but this developer may not be the best choice to do it. The garbage he dropped on Latona Street doesn’t appear to be an improvement on the character of the neighborhood, even if it replaced a crumbling, infested warehouse. He regularly uses shoddy building materials, replaces contractors constantly, and leaves the block an absolute mess. You’re better off letting this contract fall through and finding a better developer if you actually seek improvement of your neighborhood.

        You should also make sure he pays his bills…

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