This area is behind Rydal Park and behind the Baederwood
Rydal Waters Development
going almost up to York Rd.
Please feel free to
info on this issue or opinions about it -
Please incude the
words RYDAL WATERS in the title /subject box of your email .
Please be sure to correct any errors you may see by
letting us know about
Most recently :
12-17 ( or 11 -17? )
In anticipation of reconveneing their project, owner of
Rydal WaterS, Presby Inspired Inspired Life
amended the steep slope ordinance / changed our "age restriction
ordinance" from 62 to 55 YEARS OLD and change the impervious
restrictions to accommodate their already constructed
sidewalks . Developers are now regularly amending our
ordinances to suit their individual needs.
4-4-17 They are advertizing
their units ---
. Pricing options will come out the end of April 2017.
They expect to break ground in 2018 and to have their
first residents in 2019 . They hope to change the current
62 yrs old plus to 55 plus .
HISTORICAL SUMMARY -
The ground that we know
as Rydal Waters, behind Rydal Park, once was part of
a farm or tract that included 45 acres . The land
was within the D zoning back then - which was equivalent
to our R1 now - allowing 1 home per acre. Rydal Park ,
or actually it's owners, Presby Inspired Life,
bought the acreage in the 1980's - minus the
Harbison house that sat on 2-3 acres . They then sought
and obtained denser development on the front parcel with the
idea of keeping the rear 34ish acres green. The front 11 acres
that is Rydal Park, as of 2018, has well over 600 units on it
plus a medical center, chapel and offices . So from 11
units to over 600
In Rydal Park's own literature it says
Rydal Park as it is built today sits on 22 acres that were part
of the former Baederwood Golf Course. At its 1974 opening, its
original residential building, Hillside, featured 231 living
units. Rydal has since added three additional residences:
Brookside in 1975, Woodside in 1993, and Parkside in 2008.
The Joseph C. Scott Medical Center, a 94,000-square foot
all-private room center providing medical, nursing, and
rehabilitative services to residents and area community members,
was opened in 2011.
Rydal Park continues to look towards the future with an eye on
trends and offerings to meet the needs and desires of the next
generation of older adults. Today, with 320 independent living
apartment homes across four contiguous buildings, it is home to
nearly 400 adults aged 62-plus, and employs 425 staff members.
320 independent living apartment homes across four contiguous
buildings, it is home to nearly 400 adults aged 62-plus, and
employs 425 staff members.
As to the rear acres that we now know as Rydal Waters......no
one that I asked seemed to know when part of that parcel got
rezoned to AO ( Apratment /Office) but it did
. And Rydal Park/ Presby Inspired homes apparently obtained approval ( in the
80's) to build 280 apartments or more on that A/O part o.
Another part of the "Rydal Waters tract" was zoned R1 residential
and would have been untouched in that plan - ostensibly to
provide the required green space.
The apartment proposal met with difficulties ..... the height
of the proposed building among the chief offenders. The neigbors were not
happy at all to have a skyscraper next door.
In 2004 or 2005 the Elliot Group bought both parcels from
Rydal Park - the approximately 34 ish acres of A/0 & R1 land
plus the Harbison house on the 2-3 acres. They
joined them together under 1 owner. Then they sought
rezoning, creating a new overlay altogether called the NR
( Neighborhood Residential District ) which later, I
believe, morphed to SNR (Senior Neighborhood Residential. The
new zoning eliminated the A/O portion which is the only
reason neighbors got behind this plan. Despite too many units,
they preferred it to the skyscraper. So after rezoning in 2005,
the Elliot Group did the dirty work of clear cutting the
land in 2006, causing an uproar . They then went bankrupt
in 2007 and the land was bought back by Presby Inspired Life.
So add the new plan with 85
units into the big picture -- and you have over 700 units where
45 once might have been - all owned by Presby Inspired Life.
15 times the number of units originally allowed. Imagine
if this example is repeated again and again in the
CHRONOLOGICALLY - much
Circa 2004- 2005
The Elliot Group purchased both Rydal Park's acreage & Bob
Harbison's home - They joined the parcels and then the zoning
was changed to NR Neighborhood Residential, eliminating
the split zoning. 85 total units
( the Harbison house making the 85th) were approved .
20.44 acres ( Zoned AO would
accommodate 75 units )
+ 14 acres ( Zoned R1 Residential
would accommodate 9 units )
unit was existing (the estate)
=85 units (plus 10 Acres Open
Space located on R1 Portion)
Special exception needed - steep slope disturbance
: An alternate plan
was proposed : to rezone the entire parcel
to NR - Neighborhood Residential
This would accomplish
several things, including a larger buffer area for neighboring
homes , preservation of more large trees and open space moved
closer to the existing homes. In other words the units
were distributed differently. The re-zoning went through
. Construction got underway.
The clear cutting started in 06
By summer 07, the Elliot Group filed for bankruptcy and all progress on the development
came to a halt - but this , of course, was only
after the whole beautiful wooded area
had been virtually clear-cut. The parcel was purchased by the
bank holding the note. ( But, surprise, later purchased
back by original owner Rydal Park/ or Presby Inspired Life )
( or it's owners, Presby Inspired Life ) has bought the Rydal Waters property
at a price
thought to possibly be in the $14 -$19 million range - not sure
about that ... and
will be expected to close on the property by early June
Zoning at that time was NR (Neighborhood Residential) and approved
it was for 85single family dwellings which included
the estate house )
Rydal Park's original proposition : 97
age-restricted dwellings ( 64 duplexes, 33 single homes)
That proposition was once found on this site that appears
no longer to be working :
Another proposal was then raised, re; keeping development more to the interior
of the property &
open space closer to Old
York Road, Brook Road and Huntingdon Road ( a zoning change would
be required. )
This more desirable Open Space placement would come with a
request, if we understand correctly, to allow the 97 instead of
the already approved 85 units.
At the Planning Commission Meeting 7:30 on the 26th at the
Township Bldg Rydal Waters presented a sketch plan to request
additional units - 97 instead of 85 single
family units. The last variance was approved for detached units - the 97
are apparently not all detached and a "reverse subdivision " is
being requested where they will all be on one parcel instead of
having individual lots.
Hearing held at Township Building . A presentation
of the newest plan was given - Proposed were 96 units
approximately ( could be fewer) The old Harbison Estate
will become a clubhouse and a swimming pool is planned.
The units are to Lease for life - under a contract - they
will be 1750sq ft to 2400 sq ft - each with a two car garage.
Some are twins - some are singles.
The units will have no more than two occupants with no
dependent children & at least one of whom is 62 .
(They will seek to change that later to 55)
If caretakers are involved , additional occupants are allowed.
The occupants will have use of the amenities at Rydal Park .
With the exception that they are on separate pieces of land, Rydal Park &
Rydal Waters are to be considered a single integrated community.
The community will be gated and closed at night
completely. In the day time, Abington residents are allowed to
use the grounds for walking.
No one spoke in opposition to the plan.
Rydal Waters -
The prior plan passed in 2009 . There are now 96
or 97 "garden apartments and independent living units"
approved and the plan now has streets, sewer, and electric, and
is possibly just on
hold due to the economy . Rydal Park is adding
their new medical center and will turn it's old one into more
units when that is done . Between 600 and 700 units are
in the final plan.
4-4-17 Rydal Waters is
advertizing their not yet built units on the radio. They are planning to request 55 +
rather than 62+ and planning to break ground in 2018 and
have their first occupants in 2019 . In late April they will
announce their pricing structures.