Juniata Civic Discusses Zoning and Safety Issues at Meeting

The Juniata Park Civic Association supported a zoning application from JJ’s Cafe to allow the establishment to include music and live entertainment at J Street and Erie Avenue.

    The Juniata Park Civic Association (JPCA) held their first indoor meeting since March of 2020 on October 13th. It was held in the gym at the Juniata Park Boys and Girls Club instead of the usual meeting room so that people could distance from each other as the pandemic continues.

    The JPCA had two zoning issues to discuss. The first was a personal service Hair Salon at the corner of M and Luzerne Streets on the first floor, along with a single family household residence on the second floor.

    The property has been vacant for years and had previously been a corner store. Kate Clarke, JPCA President, said that C&R Caterers used the building for storage at one time. Looking back to a little bit of history — Shawn Ward, Zoning Lawyer, told the group that records indicate that in 1963 a variance was given for a 1st floor luncheonette and candy store in the property.

Proposed location for a Hair Salon at M & Luzerne Streets.

    The new owner, Elizabeth Morales of Juniata, purchased the building in November of 2019. She plans on opening a hair salon with her parents living on the second floor. Five employees are expected in a 5-chair salon with hours of Monday through Saturday from 9am to 7pm, if the ZBA approves the request. Initial plans to be open on Sundays were scrubbed, after a request from the JPCA at the meeting, due to its proximity to a church located diagonally from the salon.

    A lighted awning will be installed which will provide some security measure. The JPCA voted unanimously to support the business at zoning.

JJ’s Cafe, J Street & Erie Avenue

    The second zoning issue was an application for JJ’s Cafe to include music and live entertainment for more than 50 people in the existing structure.

    JJ’s Cafe has a total occupancy of 60 people, and is currently open on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    Nearby residents discussed the need for security guards to disperse people from the area when they leave on Friday and Saturday nights. Representatives from the cafe agreed.

    The JPCA voted unanimously to support the business at zoning.

* * *

    Community Relations Officer Tina Willis gave the September crime statistics for PSA-1 in the 24th Police District:

    * 3 homicides (35xx Emerald St, 18xx Thayer St, 9xx Cayuga St).

    * 5 Shooting victims

    * 2 Robberies with a gun (1 cleared by arrest)

    * 9 Robberies without a gun

    * 9 Aggravated Assaults with a gun (2 cleared by arrest)

    * 19 Aggravated Assaults without a gun (4 cleared by arrest)

    * 5 Residential Burglaries, all in the Juniata area.

    * 2 Prostitution arrests

    Officer Willis made special note that Theft from Autos is high across the board. People are leaving items in clear site. She advises that you hide items in your car before you arrive at your location so that no one sees you doing it. She warned that there are people who just watch as people park their cars. With the problem of opioid addiction, she said that there are people who will steal anything to help feed their addiction.

Officer Willis also made note that the problem of Domestic-related offenses has been extremely bad, with 30 criminal incidents in PSA-1 during the month of September. There were 5 arrests.

    On Friday afternoon, October 30th from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, the 24th District is planning a Halloween event at Ruth and Clearfield Streets.

    The JPCA is discussing a possible Halloween afternoon event on October 31st. Update next week.

    Kate Clarke announced that at the next meeting — November 10th — proposed zoning issues will be discussed that would bring residential units to 3804 Castor Avenue and 1440 E. Erie Avenue.

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