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

 

The York Rd & Easton Rd. Corridor

Revitalization Project
 

WEBSITE :::  http://abington.org/OYRresults.htm the full study -  Chapter 4 is most relevant & if you only look at one page make it page 163 or 164 to get a flavor of this "vision"
 

1-6-11 Not only did the Old York Corridor Plan pass - but as soon as it did it was used by Brandolini a  reason to justify their plan for what most of us see as over-development plain & simple  at the Baederwood .  In fact, the plan was not only supported by this Old York Rd Corridor Study - but in fact the "Fairway Transit Ordinance", passed today  employs many elements of it. Resident  after resident has appeared at the podium to protest buildings pulled up to the street instead of set way back.  Yet the Fairway Transit Ordinance that will enable so many objectionable elements  is planned for other areas besides the Baederwood.  We have had the first view of what the Old York Road Corridor Study  will do to change the way of life that we have known in Abington Township.

 11-5-09  The expected final Old York Rd Corridor presentation took place. Residents stood up to talk about the  fact that so few knew or understood what was going on with this project.  ( Rep Shapiro mentioned the many ways that this was "advertized"  - and they did do a great job of that . Newspapers, Public Channel etc etc But few knew WHY it was important to come and  there were also attempts by Commissioners and others to put aside efforts to gather open talk sessions  that would allow free discussion of these important issues. Resident meetings were NOT facilitated - free, open  to all and open formatted meetings -  despite their being requested.  Each neighborhood should/could have had gatherings to create awareness.  The long range implications of this "vision" are likely to alter the nature of our township entirely --- and zoning rewrites to accommodate this "vision" are  under discussion in separate sessions.

Some attendees  talked about the traffic, others about the multi story story parking garages, still others about the overdevelopment and that this was NOT a vision  that they liked.  The five story building allowances ( where 1 or 2 story now are ) were discussed as well as the fact that this "vision" allows changes to begin without developers  assisting in the infrastructure changes required.   The removal of parking in favor of adding  parking garages was objected to and the fact that over-development will of necessity require many outsiders to keep these stores afloat - and that they will compete with our mall and our existing stores. Boutiques stores were mentioned as desired - not big stores as seem to be "envisioned " .

A business woman and her husband spoke in favor of it  and many spoke about aspects of it they liked and the fact that the big name stores also could provide smaller "boutiques"  . One resident  spoke in favor of the expansion of the train system and the need for more parking  and that she thought a hotel might be nice  because she had nowhere to put those that visited . A conference center might be nice for Penn State and others.  Of note :  the hotels in Fort Washington 15 min away have an overabundance of rooms and we will be drawing business from them as well as needing to draw traffic to our roads to fill one here. Information was also shared   about a group that is trying to get the "up-line" stations  developed by Septa so train  riders do not have to travel by car to our stations and then use up our local residents'  parking spaces- which would free our roads from traffic at the same time.

Rep. Shapiro said that the comments were being noted and would be responded to.    It is wished by many of us that these comments would be incorporated  into the plan which would be "tweaked" .But no clear summary of the comments was made with concurrence by those present. And the comments, as they came, would require a lot more than just a "tweaking" . Overwhelmingly people seem, for instance,  not to like parking garages in our "suburban setting "  --yet they were built into  the plan anyway - never removed  and  I doubt that they will be after this tweaking . That is the part that residents find perennially discouraging. ( See a plan anywhere for the 10 million that is coming in to support a movie theater....?????  ) 

 Rep. Shapiro convincingly told us the process is still on going - though  this meeting had been touted as the FINAL meeting with residents. He said he will  circulate a new report once the comments have been incorporated .    After the "tweaking,  it may be presented for approval - the exact process  or time frame has not yet been announced that I know of .    
________________

11-2-09 

The 3rd & expected to be " final" meeting is Nov 5th ,2009 

We DO need revitalization. That is not what I believe this to be. Please look at the Corridor Plan yourself - I believe the density it encourages, the increase of commercial over residential, the addition of non-owner occupied units and the complete disregard to what this kind of a plan would do to traffic on an already congested corridor is an outrageous affront to what we all hope for our township. This is not revitalization - this is over-development that will affect every one of us .

A letter to Representative Shapiro

Dear Josh

      As you, I am sure, know I am dismayed and horrified to see how the Old York Rd Corridor Study is being handled.  Not one ounce of the real impact of this document and these plans on the residents of Abington has been offered to them .  Hours of  glitzy presentations fail to tell them what the incredible traffic impact of such a "vision" will be - what the increased commercial presence will mean and how the residential density is being allowed to be multiplied. They do not realize how  the synergy between this plan , our Comprehensive Plan, and our current Zoning rewrites  will impact the community.  In essence you are taking a suburban community and incorporating, one after another, urban elements under the guise of pedestrian-friendly zones and re-vitalization. 

      I urge that you contact me to discuss how  the residents might  be afforded a real view of the actual elements of this plan that speak to the issues such as I have mentioned above. While your view of this and mine differ - I request that I be allowed to address more than one question to the group on November 5th so they may have a real understanding of a residents view of what is in this document


      As I think you are well aware, there are very few residents who have read any substantial portion of this document at all - and virtually none who have attended the working meetings . Although you have publicized this meeting openly - the 300-500 residents that have participated represent only a tiny fraction of the township and do not represent the voice of the community .

The vast majority are unaware of the meetings that are taking place or of the significance of what is being discussed in these meetings. It is important that they have details summarized FOR them.  I would appreciate an opportunity to help do that .

 Sincerely,

Lora Lehmann

______________________
8-09 

Holy Smokes -  see Zoning Rewrites for an update of what this supposed revitalization has become ...
"Revitalization" ----or "Commercial Increase "

5-09   Overview -
 A revitalization of the Rt 611 Corridor  is underway . Multiple townships are involved  and improvements are planned for the  Economic Development, Land Use, Traffic/Transportation, and Beautification of the corridor.  In Abington the area is 2.6 miles of Old York Road from Rydal Road to Moreland Road.

In March 08 both a Town Hall Meeting at Abington High School and an Open House were held to show off some of the preliminary studies done. Several Meetings were held since then . The consulting team doing the work is from McCormick Taylor. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission is  being kept apprised of what is going on so that there is some coordination with their multi-municipal study.

Abington Commissioners received a summary of the plans in Dec 08 and again May 09 .

THE OFFICIAL SITE
For complete info & to add your input go to http://www.oldyorkroad.net

Beware - in the past they then printed your input with your name etc on the net.  I, personally, think input should be posted - but your name held private.
 

  Our codebook is in 2 parts
Part 1   Township's Codebook    except for  zoning
Part 2 Zoning Portion of Township Codebook

or go to http://www.abington.org/info/newcodebook.htm

__________________________
 


    Please feel free to send your  information to us  and please be sure to  tell us about any information you believe to be incorrect - write  lel@abingtoncitizens.com

 

 

BROKEN LINKS ALERT  

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

 


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