Residents and developers in need of a zoning variance in East Falls may now have to meet with two different civic groups.

At the end of June, Philadelphia's City Planning Commission approved East Falls Forward's application to become a registered community organization, which means their support — or lack of it — for a given project will be part of the Zoning Board of Adjustment's decision-making process.

The commission reached its decision after EFF met all of the city's requirements for RCO's. They include being a volunteer organization, having a statement of purpose and a geographic area with less than 20,000 parcels.

"We're excited that we achieved our first goal," said Juliet Geldi, the group's interim vice-chair.

EFF's boundaries will largely mirror the area covered by East Falls Community Council, among the neighborhood's most prominent civics.

They are: the Schuylkill River, Wissahickon Creek, Wissahickon Avenue and the railroad tracks just north of Hunting Park Avenue.

East Falls Forward, however, will have a narrower focus than the EFCC. In particular, improving the neighborhood's business district along Ridge Avenue.

The group's first task: survey the community about what business they'd to see in the neighborhood.

"We really do have the potential to have more," said Geldi.

The group will have meetings every third Thursday every other month. The next one is scheduled for 7 p.m. on August 20 inside BuLogics, 3721 Midvale Ave.

ZBA applicants