NOBLE TRAIN STATION AREA
Baeder Rd, The Fairway, Noble Plaza etc
Please check all details
for accuracy . If
there are discrepancies
please let us know
so we can correct anything that needs correcting.
See the Noble TOD/TRID plans
which were publicly presented 9-5-12
. ( A TOD is a Transportation Oriented District ) - with high
enough density to qualify for state or federal funds) As of
Friday 9-14-12 the Committeee meetings will be put online ( I
hope this is, then, the 1st to be shown) so you can
share a link with your neighbors and review them when it is
convenient. the week of 9-11-12 this issue
should be playing on Verizon 24,
Comcast 43 . The Noble issue is 3 hours into the meeting, so intead of
9am 2 pm and 7pm- check in at 12 noon, 5pm and 10pm and
set your DVR if you have one .
WHAT IS BEING DEVELOPED
Behind Barnes and Noble and Chili's etc - 12,000 sq ft of Retail & Offices,
as well as 72 Residential Units, a
Parking Garage with 516 spaces on 6 floors and Road that extends Baeder Rd past the train
station and through to the Fairway. The 72 units are on
1.5 acres . The street takes up .9 acres and the whole area with
hardscape street and buildings and green is 5 acres. The "park "
is on the south side of the tracks. The track platform will be
raised and connected to the building in the (now parking lot)
Calling certain lands "underutilized" the Township is
rezoning and redefining certain areas with a plan of adding both
more residential and commercial in a Township that has already been
repeatedly labeled 98 % developed. Residents have
indicated that they DO want the failing commercial areas
revitalized, but not at the expense of more density,
parking garages, more traffic, less greenspace, more aggravation. That has
not stopped the Township from using their funds to "study"
(repeatedly), plan and
rezone exactly as residents (voters) said they did not
want. The Baederwood, Rydal Park, Rydal Waters and so many other
examples are now joined by the Noble Train Station
"over-development" with Apartments, retail, offices bring
hundreds and hundreds of vehicles to an already congested
intersection at Baeder and York Rd . and at York and
Susquehanna and at the other end of the Fairway.
TOD's and TRIDS :
The area is being targeted by our township staff and Commissioners
as a TRID (Transit Revitalization Investment District) .
Originally as TOD (Transportation
Oriented District ) there were certain " benefits" we
were supposedly able to receive by increasing density and
allowing for increased transportation opportunities.
A TRID is a TOD on
half-mile radius around the train station will be targeted for
high density development and, while we have been told the new
development is necessary to bring bonuses for our entire
Township and keep our taxes down, a great deal of those bonuses
are diverted back to the TRID district (ie: improving the
properties of the very developers and owners who already
benefited from our grant money to start with) .
LINKS no links of the renderings
have yet been posted ( that we can find - please ask your
Commissioner to get them posted as soon as possible - they make a
very clear picture of what is in the works .
Just a VISION The
Noble area shows the original development plans
( a "vision" - not a plan to actually develop it.
In fact once they zone for this beautiful vision, giving
the property owners extensive rights that they currently do not
have , they then have almost no way to require the owner or
developer to adhere to their "vision" at all )
MONEY GOES In a nutshell the developers
are managing to get our Township personnel and our grant $ to
fund these "studies"
- their development plans.
( A 3rd study is possibly on the heels of
these). They then
get more of our grant $ as we take care of the streets and
infrastructure improvements that they normally would have to
make. Then they have a little clause that the benefits from the
improved value will be
diverted back to the development.
It is entirely amazing.
those of you who think of grant $ as "free" money, as I used to
…. I will share that I have since come to be enlightened,
realizing that I am paying the grant $ for every project
like this in every township across the entire nation.
are also getting "free $" ….. mine.
So, sooner or later we
need to realize whose pockets the $ ends up in and why we have a
15 trillion $ deficit for our children to pay off,
and why neither our
deficit nor our taxes are going down. Please do not
misunderstand me… I am not against "proper" development and I
would like to see it . But the incentives here are for
over-development and then re-sale
of (or rights to) land
with far expanded zoning benefits than were bought. There is
less incentive to build cautiously and prudently with my money
than with their own.
DOING THIS ? Please add these 72
units and 12,000 sq ft of retail in this project to the
nearby 97 units still to come at Rydal Waters, the improvements
at Rydal Park (50 some units) , the 246 units and up to 205,800
square feet of commercial at the Baederwood Center , and the
fact that they are hoping to
continue to rezone the
whole Fairway area that way.
When I say " they" ---- it is your Commissioners in
charge of this, ultimately. The staff is under their purview.
You have elected the people whose approvals are needed and who
are "legislating" this way and directing the managers and the
staff in this manner. Has your voice you been heard?
Perhaps you may be happy to
have this, even if it is you that is paying for it. Perhaps not?
Do we have the facts and do we understand what our neighbors
Businesses do not vote. They are
entitled to fair rights and fair services for their taxes, but
residents are the ones who can vote the decision makers in or
out amd who rightfully should determine what they want in their
communities. The show often feels like it's on the other
EARLIER HAPPENINGS IN THIS ISSUE
Jan 2012 Assistant Manager
Lahaza openly presented the plans for the Noble station TOD
(Transportation Oriented District) and TRIDs ( Transit
Revitalization Investment District)-
which I warned of earlier. In essence these are HIGH DENSITY
DEVELOPMENT. (see more about these below ) TOD is the
first level . Mr Lahaza reports another 60,000 to be spent for the
TRID study - which requires even denser development than the
TOD in order to receive these grant funds.
The flip sides of the "lovely
development" - you need more customers! The businesses cannot survive without bringing
in the customers from elsewhere. And please note: the businesses
that do spring up here will take business
from other establishments - ones already in need of a shot
in the arm , not competition.
Residents have not been allowed
Township wide to have open meetings on these issues, despite many
requests . Who wins - the developers who get your grant funds to
do "studies" that draw up their plans and "test out the waters"
with your Commissioners and get your Commissioners to get YOU to
pay to put in all their infrastructure and then even to import their customers . Who
loses? You and the businesses they will compete with.
always a trade-off. If you want nice shops, you have to support
them. But if we're putting MORE & MORE and MORE in we aren't going to be helping
the ones we already have, are we? We have seen it again and
again in Abington . 2 Supermarkets right next door . A
dozen Pizza shops. It becomes a win-win for a few and
big loss for the many.
Township "meetings" that
should allow all to benefit from the questions and knowledge of
their fellow residents are being held instead with
small groups of people. In a township of 56,000 residents, all
should have a say not just a select handful. People are told it is
too costly to disseminate the information or post it all on
line. But for the savings of a hundred dollars of posting
costs, individuals residents loose tens of thousands each as
their houses now end up next to large business concerns. It is not our land that
is underutilized - it is our communication system.
October 2012 I visited the Notable charrette and I
asked what the sense was from the other residents that were
looking at it ----- the answer I got was that maybe 20% were
opposed maybe 20% love it and the rest want more information.
They are planning on potentially using
permeable paving and having rain water gardens with the
possibility of Green roofs on the parking garage . Yes there
will be a parking garage. There is the possibility of a hotel
or conference facility, offices and shops as well as
apartments. These would all bring in people - lots of people -
which would have access of the of the train that is right there.
First of all one should understand that what was seen in the
drawings were possibilities of what could be built - not plans
for the actual building at this point. I have not yet seen
these drawings posted on the website - Please
ask your Commissioner to get the actual plans posted . In
the drawings there was a garage with 500 spaces and 80 - 170
residential units on top and retail below on the ground level
(12,000 sq ft???? ) .
The train platform would be covered and
would extend from the parking garage ( which would be built on
what is generally vacant parking lot right now ) all the way
over to the train station. Baeder road in this drawing would
continue straight across York road, and then wind behind the
office buildings and go in front of Jules said in Lind this law
and had out to the fairway where there would be a traffic signal
as it entered the Fairway. They were planning to keep some open
space around the train - but it was just that I need greenspace
between the busy York road and station which would not be very
usable except by people who wanted to sit next to a busy
roadway. Seven story buildings are being considered they are
considering using the FTD overlay district in this area --
exactly what we got wind of when that unpopular district was
10-26 TO 10-29 Noble Station Charrette
was held A charette is “ collaborative session” to
draft a solution to a design problem . You are invited to visit
the Charrette Trailer at the Noble Train Station -- - a
multi-story parking garage may be in the works including the
possible extension of Baeder Road to connect directly to The
Fairway. Preliminary ideas and will be presented & your input
is requested . LOL So this is how they say “ we did it
with input from the citizens…"
Wednesday, October 26th 6:30 pm to 8:00 PM Abington Twp. Bldg.
Board Rm. Opening Noble Presentation
process will conclude with a presentation on Saturday, October
29th 3-4:30 pm at the Township Administration Building See
times and details here :
TOD'S/TRIDS MORE INFORMATION ( Particularly for
Noble Station area right now - but beware - they have been
mentioned in regard to other train stations in the township as
TOD's : Transportation Oriented Developments
TRIDS : Transit Revitalization Investment District
In essence – if you “ rack ‘em, stack ‘em and tax em” , they
will give you lotsa grant money to do that . No high density –
no grant money . Here are some info links
An example of TOD’s in Phila
TRID - PennPraxis Artivcle - March 17
TRID Presentation - DVRPC - 2005
TRID Presentation - PennDot - 7-20-2005
THE TOOLS AVAILABLE TO YOU
Ask your Commissioners and your Township manager
specifically to :
...post a SINGLE webpage on this with links to find meetings,
updates & all the plans
2) ...tape all meetings on this topic & air them on our public
channel - the devil is really in
-then you can review or catch up on a meeting you missed .
This is actually important .
3) ... post all
the taped meetings on-line with time reference points and
fast forward features
4) .. create an email list for all
updates and - invite ALL residents
via Township & Commissioners
lists to be on it so they can receive updates in their box if
5) ...provide a meeting space ( already paid by your taxes
) for neighbors to hold their own open
whenever they choose - not called by or moderated by authorities.
6) ... provide residents a summary of all changes being proposed
in 2 column/compare style
neighbors, please make
meetings open to all - if you try to limit
hoping to benefit only your point of view, then you will find it limited
for yourself --- you will
be part of the problem not the solution
Email me if you need
help contacting others. I also have a great deal of information about
how our processes work and what is happening elsewhere in the
Township that might be helpful to your situation.
Our codebook is in 2 parts
except for zoning
Zoning Portion of Township Codebook
or go to
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