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City Councilwoman Faces Down Bulldozer, Developer Cries Foul

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker and several of her constituents stopped a bulldozer on Thursday to keep it from demolishing a house in Mt. Airy.

But the developer who owns it calls the action unfair.

The house at 8200 Rodney Street is modest but has the fieldstone exterior that distinguishes so many northwest Philadelphia houses.

So when neighbors were upset when they learned a developer was planning to replace it with four vinyl-sided units, they sought Parker's help.

Mt. Airy home
The home at 8200 Rodney Street. (credit: Pat Loeb)

She says she tried negotiating with the developer, to no avail; then challenged the demolition permit, saying proper notice wasn't posted; and when the bulldozer arrived anyway, she joined neighbors to block its way.

"The action was the recourse of a community that had no other options," said Parker.

"This is terrible, I've never been treated like this in my life and I've been doing this for 45 years," said developer James Cardano.

Cardano says he personally posted the notice 21 days ago and has done everything by the book. He agreed to let the 21-day clock restart, in the face of the stand-off, but plans to proceed.

He says, after talking to neighbors, he'd agreed to use stucco and stone instead of vinyl on the house fronts but, now, is reconsidering that concession.

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