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The Abington Citizens Network
where Abington, PA residents can share ideas and join forces to build a better community
 

 

Rydal Waters Development
This area is behind Rydal Park  and behind the Baederwood Shopping Center
 going  almost up to York Rd.

 Please feel free to send  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 them

 

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 ---   www.RydalWaters.org . 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 Township......

 

 
)))))))))))))))))))))))))))

CHRONOLOGICALLY  - much missing
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 .   
The Original  Plan-
            20.44 acres  ( Zoned AO  would accommodate 75 units ) 
        +  14 acres ( Zoned R1 Residential would accommodate 9 units )
             1  unit was existing (the estate)
         =85 units  (plus  10 Acres Open Space located on R1 Portion)
           Special exception needed - steep slope disturbance  
)))))))))))))))))))))))))))  
        
Circa
2006 -2007 :  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 )    
 

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))

5-08
Rydal Park ( 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 2008
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 :  http://www.erniepeacock.com/rydal_2008_0206.pdf.

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.

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
8-08

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.
)))))))))))))))))))))))))))

12-4-08
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.

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))
12-20-10

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.

 

 

BROKEN LINKS ALERT  

Abington Township revamped their entire website at the end of 2015.
All links directed to the old site were broken. We will be reinstating links as we find them If the data is still available.    
Please 
let us know if you find a broken link. Send us the URL of the link and the Name of the page it is on, and if we can reinstate it, we will
.


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