Taking Another Look at the Fishtown Flag Lot
The flag lot at 1323R E. Montgomery Ave. has captured the attention of dozens of individuals on the block, and the story concerning possible development on it has taken several twists and turns since Spirit News initially covered a zoning meeting about the lot in January.
Most recently, we reported on L&M Real Estate Development appealing the ZBA’s decision not to allow a variance at 1323R E. Montgomery Ave. Now, Spirit News examines the actual contents of that appeal, and the agreement of sale of the lot in question.
Henry “Hal” Schirmer Jr., the attorney representing the neighbors and the Fishtown Neighbors Association, said there shouldn’t be any new developments concerning L&M’s appeal for about a couple of weeks. Spirit News obtained a copy of the appeal, which details why L&M appealed and the agreement of sale of the flag lot in question.
Leo Mulvihill, the attorney representing L&M in the appeal, said last week he was still working on his brief to be presented to the city’s Court of Common Pleas.
“Granting the requested variances will not harm city infrastructure or injure neighbors,” the appeal reads. This claim has been disputed by neighbors since January.
Mulvihill said he could not get into the specifics of his appeal until his brief was finished.
Along with the appeal, there is also an agreement of sale for the flag lot on Montgomery Avenue. On the first page, L&M is listed as the buyer, but the seller is left blank. On a later page, Mo Rushdy, managing partner of L&M, is listed as the buyer. Kevin Baird, co-owner and chief business officer of Houwzer, a real estate agency in the city, is listed as a seller.
Both Rushdy and Baird declined to comment. Mulvihill said Baird “has an ownership share,” adding that he didn’t know any other specifics because he didn’t prepare the agreement of sale.
Schirmer said he doesn’t consider anything to be “nefarious,” and said several observations about the agreement of sale, from it possibly being expired to an out-of-date form, could be simple paperwork issues.
“You get crappy paperwork all over the place,” he said about dealing with zoning cases. “When somebody’s hurrying to nail down a deal, you get a wrong address or a bunch of other issues.”
Records in the appeal indicate that, as Spirit News previously reported, Michael and Laurie Kavanaugh are the owners of the flag lot and 1315 E. Montgomery Ave.
A bunch of neighbors, including Rich Levins, have filed a motion to appear as co-defendants, along with the FNA. Levins said he doesn’t know Baird, adding his main focus to uphold the ZBA’s original ruling in court.
“We preserved our rights, and we’re just going to see what the next step is going to be in the court’s timeline and go from there,” Levins said.
Schirmer added the main purpose of the appeal is zoning-related only.
“The zoning board isn’t supposed to care who the owner is,” he said. “The court is supposed to look at the property alone.”
Featured Image from Fishtown.us.