Point Breeze developer Ori Feibush stirred some controversy this month when his lawyer, Wally Zimilong, sent a letter to a woman, Haley Dervinis, opposed to his latest project: four single-family homes around 20th and Annin. The letter cautioned her not to libel or slander Feibush with disparaging comments in an upcoming zoning hearing, and was, to our eyes, a fairly ridiculous cease-and-desist scare tactic. It worked–she was scared. The letter got press as a threat, and Feibush came off as a bully trying to censor her.
At the hearing, Dervinis was certainly not alone in her opposition, and now, according to Jan Ransom of the Daily News, the Zoning Board has denied Feibush’s petition to go beyond the current zoning, which is for three homes rather than four.
Feibush could file an appeal with Common Pleas Court, but he’s content to back down and listen to the neighbors’ concerns. “I don’t want to fight people. If we can appease neighbors’ concerns, it’s a win for everyone,” he told Ransom.
Good for you, Ori. Shovelfuls of sugar make the medicine…well, you know the rest.
And what else is going on in our area?
• Inga Saffron talks about preservation and the fact that there are two components: the building itself, of course, but also what’s happened inside the building. How to preserve the history and the meaning if the preservation effort is simply a token gesture? She cites Blue Horizon, the Royal Theatre and the Uptown specifically.
• Well, here’s a lackluster headline for you: “Housing Is Recovering. So What?” Er, you’d think it would matter, actually, but the contention here is that it doesn’t mean too much to the overall economy. Funny how different that assertion would have sounded in 2008.
• A new movie theater in Center City! At the Kimmel Center! Thank god. How long has it been since the SamEric closed? The Roxy? The Forum? God bless you, Wyncote Foundation.
• A HUP parking lot has been transformed into green space, making for a pretty new park. It’s at 34th and Spruce. More at BeWell Philly.