A single-family home located at 1117 Day St., was the topic of discussion at a public zoning meeting held by the Fishtown Neighbors Association . Neighbors located in the immediate area were encouraged to vote on whether or not the property shall be converted from a single-family to a duplex.
The forum-goers who frequent Fishtown.us have been discussing the potential of the property for about a week. Posters consider the property to be rather narrow for two families and assume the proposed duplex will go under. Others wondered if the parking situation around the property would affect the decision. Neighbors closer to the property seemed more open and even apathetic to the ordeal.
“Honestly, I don’t care as long as they’re good neighbors,” said Ben Jacobs, a resident living across the street from the property in question. “First people here were afraid of property values decreasing. Now they want things to stay the same, keeping the status quo.”
Despite the apathy of some, the property’s owner, Alberto Rivera was present at the neighborhood rec center to argue a case for his duplex decision. Rivera, who is also a local resident, said he believes the area needs more affordable housing and more housing in general.
“People want to live here,” Rivera said. “A bulk of the money for the more expensive properties they’re developing are for people who are investing in Fishtown who don’t even live here and they’re getting zoned and approved.”
Rivera provided residents with his proposed duplex’s floor plans on large poster boards and answered questions from those in attendance. The floor plans revealed the new layout of the property to be two studio apartments. He justifies this conversion from a single-family home to two studio apartments as a way to provide more affordable housing in an up and coming neighborhood.
Rivera’s comments reflect the Fishtown Neighbors Association’s voting policy which is aimed more toward local voters than outside influence. The impending vote will only allow those within a certain radius to have the most influence over the property’s fate.
“So far so good,” Rivera said. “I’m not sure what to expect from the Fishtown Neighbors Association but we’ll see.”