Neighborhood Smackdown: Point Breeze Developer Ori Feibush vs. Haley Dervinis

Point Breeze developer Ori Feibush is at odds with fellow resident Haley Dervinis over Feibush’s plan to build four homes on 20th Street, where Dervinis’ home is. He says she’s made defamatory comments about him on public forums. She says she’s just exercising free speech.

The Daily News’ Jan Ransom reports that Feibush’s attorney, Wally Zimolong, sent Dervinis a cease and desist letter to prevent her from pursuing “all wrongful conduct concerning the project,” including what Zimolong apparently worries will be potentially defamatory comments at today’s 2 p.m. Zoning Board of Adjustments meeting about Feibush’s plan. (The full text of Zimolong’s letter is at philadelinquency.com.)

From the DN:

“I’m allowed to express my opinion and so are my neighbors,” said Dervinis, 31, who has lived on Annin Street since 2006. “To be threatened because we have different feelings is a tough pill to swallow.”

Dervinis said she has been acting as the voice of a group of roughly 25 residents who oppose the project because they say it will create congestion, limit parking, possibly cause property taxes to rise and change the look of the block.

She said that days after speaking out against the project at community and zoning meetings, her employer notified her that Feibush’s attorney had called to discuss the matter. “He’s trying to intimidate me,” Dervinis said.

Here’s what Feibush will propose at that meeting, according to the ZBA website, which uses all caps like a grandma using Facebook for the first time:

PERMIT FOR RELOCATION OF LOT LINE TO CREATE FOUR (4) LOTS (LOT #A to D) FROM THREE (3) DEEDED LOTS. ERECTION OF THREE (3) – THREE (3) STORY ATTACHED STRUCTURE (MAXIMUM HEIGHT NTE 38 FT) WITH CELLAR AND ROOF DECK ABOVE THIRD FLOOR (8 FT FRONT SETBACK) WITH ACCESSORY PILOTHOUSE MAXIMUM HEIGHT 7 FT (LOT #B,C & D) AND PARCEL #A – ERECTION OF THREE STORY ATTACHED STRUCTURE (MAXIMUM HEIGHT NTE 38 FT) WITH CELLAR AND REAR ONE STORY GARAGE (ONE OFF STREET PARKING) WITH DECK ABOVE GARAGE AND ROOF DECK ABOVE THE THIRD FLOOR (8 FT FRONT SETBACK) WITH ACCESSORY PILOTHOUSE MAXIMUM HEIGHT 7 FT, ALL FOUR STRUCTURES-USE AS SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING. SIZE AND LOCATION AS SHOWN ON THE APPLICATION.

Feibush denied the charge of intimidation, but one thing is clear: That ZBA meeting will be spicy.

Developer Ori Feibush sends warning letter to project’s opponent
• Thread: TONIGHT – Real Estate Developer To Go To Zoning For… His Own House [Philadelphia Speaks]
When You Go Loco About a Developer, Could That Get You In Court? [PDQ]

  • pb

    Cease and desist letters are not such a big deal. And people should not be intimidated by attorneys. It is simply a letter signed by an attorney telling someone to stop doing something. In this case, he was simply telling her to stop making untrue statements and that if she makes untrue statemetns in the future, then he will pursue legal action. He is not a thug. She is not a victim. Both sides of the story were told today.

  • Laydmay

    I live in Point Breeze. I thought Ori was doing something good for the area, but now I’m not so sure. I will have to look deeper into what is going on.

  • Julezee

    From my perspective, Ori is trying to do good for the neighborhood. He recently paid, out of his own pocket, to have a city-owned vacant lot on Cleveland Street cleaned up after requests to the city had gone unanswered. Based on other neighbors’ comments, the lot has been a nuisance for years…he had it cleaned up in about an hour. At the end of the day, Ori is also a business man…so, his long-term vision would, of course, also include maintaining a successful business in the area…I see no problem with accomplishing both personal and community objectives at the same time.