By Mary Cummings
Nothing is ever easy in Philly.
Where it may be sunny.
But usually not at hearings of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
The ZBA met yesterday by Zoom to decide on a proposed sportsbook at Chickie’s and Pete’s at 15th and Packer in South Philadelphia.
The issue at hand is whether Parx Casino’s Turf Club at 7th and Packer should be allowed to relocate less than a mile away to the Chickie’s and Pete’s mother ship.
The hearing — fourth in a series, if you’re counting — ended without a ruling as ZBA officials sparred with the attorney for the Packer Park Civic Association, which opposes the relocation of the sportsbook.
Attorneys representing Parx and the civic association must now submit written closing arguments by June 2, and the ZBA will make its decision at its next executive session.
“If you’re suggesting — that sounds like you’re suggesting — that this proposed gambling parlor is going to have a negative impact and cause people in the neighborhood to become addicted to gambling, and they now can walk three blocks east and bet on anything they want in the Live! Casino, I don’t see how you can make that argument,” ZBA boss Frank DiCiccio said.
The proposed relocation of the sportsbook was previously opposed by the Philly’s L & I, which claimed relocating the sportsbook would classify Chickie’s and Pete’s as a casino under The Philadelphia Code when no more licenses for casinos are available in Philadelphia.
Past hearings ultimately determined the Chickie’s and Pete’s sportsbook would fall under assembly and entertainment use.