Huntingdon Valley Shopping Center in Ward
and the Comprehensive Plan
See the red text below for what it
says in Chapter 7 Part 2 about HVSC
THE NUTSHELL –
They want to allow residential on the parking lots of almost all
commercial districts in the Township
They want to allow multi units (duplexes, triplexes and more ) a full
1/4 mile around commercial centers
They want to allow dense
commercial and residential a full half mile around all but one train
station and around bus stations, too -
And they plan more
Transition Zones – where they turn residences into light commercial,
as they did across from the HV Shopping Center
THE WAY IT'S
---They are putting their wish list into the
Comprehensive Plan “vision” . Don't worry, they tell you. It's just a
vision. We're not rezoning. No proposals have been submitted.
---They hope to pass it this “vision”
before you understand what they actually are doing and how it
will be used to help pass those proposals.
----It is true there actually are no residential
applications now, because it is not legal. Spot zoning laws generally
----After the Comprehensive Plan passes - it will
be quite the opposite, as it will then be the
"vision" of our legislative body, the commissioners.
----They expect to have the Plan passed within the next
few months- and are withholding every means they canof informing the
----Then : their newly created “Comprehensive Plan
Consistency Committee” will review the zoning/development
----They have promised that requests for zoning will be approved to
match ( or be "consistent" with ) the “vision” created in the Comprehensive Plan.
----You have missed 2
years of being able to have input, because most of you never knew about it or
if you did, you didn’t know how it was to be used.
----It will, of course, be too late to change the Comprehensive
Plan once it is passed… That Plan will be ours forever. In
10 years they are unlikely to "reduce" any measures.
---- Generally you are allowed just 3 minutes
for comment at meetings. Commissioners are either not answering your
questions or often falsely answering.
----Some Chapters aren’t even available for review.
They are being withheld to make it more difficult for you.
Holding those Chapters til the end means you miss open comment sessions
at other meetings where you
could ask to change or remove items.
--- You also miss the
time to appeal to or ask questions of your Commissioners. They know
Forecasted population figures are incorrect and further have been
used in a fraudulent manner.
---- We already have nearly the
population forecasted for 2045 - and they all have homes.
they are telling you that we have many more to accommodate, and so
need to build more.
--- Meanwhile, in their plan they are
allowing new units on parking lots, around trains, & in our
---- This what will CREATE a larger
population - it is NOT to accommodate a larger population that appears
from "out of the blue"
---- By pretending many people are coming,
they say there is a NEED to build. But it is the building of the units
themselves that is creating the influx of new people.
don't believe they can control the number of people this will allow -
if they one to build a triplex, how can they deny the next request?
-----Ask them - how many triplexes would be allowed? How many
apartments altogether? How many new units around train stations? Or
---- Ask how many children would be added to
the schools? We already will be paying off $120 M over 30 years for
the current renovations. New schools cost upwards of $40 M
would be irresponsible to NOT discuss and show us how this population
increase could be limited.
---- At Township Hearings, your comments are commonly ignored – so
please work to
change what needs changing NOW
----You also don’t want to be drug
through a merry-go-round of endless meetings where, if you aren’t there, it will pass
---- Only 8 people
have to say yes to have this approved
- even if 57,000 of the 58,000 residents hate it .
is important that we change that dynamic - and that ALL 15
commissioners begin to represent what the electorate wants. Their
first job is to learn what that is.
---- Most all of us want to
see the changes -- and see them reflected
NOW.... and for the Commissioners to begin to be honest about
what they are doing and use the tools to inform us.
THE LESSON HERE IS :
NOW is the time to tell your Commissioner and the Comp Team this is
not what you want! And that every single voice needs to speak up more
than once .
FIND THE MAPS ON THE RESIDENTIAL EXPLOSION PAGE : They show the
incredible number of neighborhoods ( is yours one?), commercial districts, and
transit areas affected.
Those grey circles multi-unit circles are no longer ½ mile wide - They have been reduced from ½ mi to ¼ mi.
because of voices your neighbors shared. Please come meetings & email
your Commissioners to help the ones who have been holding down the
The new ¼ mile residential multi-unit areas are seen in the dark blue solid line circles in the other
more orangey map at the top of the page. Those circles were drawn by Comr Thompson
still refuses to have the staff we provide for him put this on a GIS map
so you can just type in your address & see if it’s in a circle.
YOU ARE NEEDED
group of dedicated voices helped get the reduction to 1/4 mile … and also get
height of the buildings reduced. But most of us don’t want it reduced – we simply don’t want it
at all! We don't want someone changing the neighborhood where we
invested our hard earned cash and chose to settle down. Your voice will matter. See below how to use it.
FIND THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DRAFT CHAPTERS at hte link in
this paragraph- except
that they have withheld several important chapters that by May of 2022
are STILL NOT THERE . I believe they
will try to pass quickly all at once after posting these last minute .
There is no reason they should
not be posted now even if there are changes to be made to them - after
all, they are ALL drafts. Find the drafts here:
Vision2035, Abington's Comprehensive Plan Update | Abington Township,
The leader of the group:
Commissioner Mike Thompson
A great deal of the plan is coming from himself and our Montgomery
County / Abington Planner, Michael Narcowicz MNarcowi@montcopa.org.
Mike Thompson is an Architect - and since he joined the Board his firm
has received a huge alottment of work - including renovations to
the Township Building
THE HUNTINGDON VALLEY SHOPPING CENTER (HVSC)
is 9R on the yellow map at the link just above this. In the
Comprehensive Plan the direct recommendation about building on the
HVSC parking lot is in Chapter 5 p6-8
is the Commissioner for Ward 3 which encompasses the Huntington Valley
If anyone is telling you there are no plans to
build apartments on the HVSC lot – please point them to :
Chapter 7 part 2 “Housing” on page 8 ( read 5,6,7 & 8) . It is found
https://www.abingtonpa.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/17119/637794238158770000 and it says :
7.5.2 Recommendations 1. Mixed Use Developments. Allow residential
uses at Willow Grove Park Mall, Huntingdon Valley Shopping Center
and “the triangle” portion of the BC-Business Center-Noble District
(adjacent to the train station), directing new development to areas of
existing infrastructure and transit networks, where such development
can accelerate revitalization. 2. Allowable Density. Reconsider
appropriate density limits in BC Business Center Districts and in
MS-VC Main Street-Village Center Districts in order to maximize the
chances of successful transit-oriented development and neighborhood
revitalization. 3. Housing Choice (see ). Review the range of housing
unit types allowed by zoning district and expand the types of allowed
units to expand housing choice in appropriate locations (the map on
the next page illustrates the few areas in the township which are used
for twins, duplexes, triplexes, and possibly townhouses). Doing this
would have numerous benefits. It would help address the relative
shortfall of 1-unit attached and 2-unit dwellings, as compared with
the county as a whole (see Existing Conditions, above). It would
THE HVSC IS EXPANDING
IT’S COMMERCIAL USES
Here is a link showing the added
commercial that is in the works. https://retailproperties.cbre.us/property/output/document/view/id:63323
Several leased or leasable spots can be seen in the documents . The
pad near the Citizens Bank is believed to have been leased to a
Chipotle and review of that is underway now. Ask Drew Rothman why
that has not been in his newsletter and why we can't get any proper
information on it even though they are already using our Township
personnel and resources. The minute your tax dollars are employed we
should have access to the information. We want to know whether
it is a current “use by right”, and if so does it need variances or
waivers (and if so do they have a hardship for those)? Or is it being
proposed as a text amendment where only 8 Commissioners have to vote
“yes” for it to happen? We need to be able to know where it is next
expected to appear so we can “save the date” and have time to inform
TO MAKE YOUR VOICE EFFECTIVE – email your Commissioner
or email all of them (because they ALL vote on this ). Do not
call once or email once. Please continue until your questions are
answered. And please share your answers back so we can share the
wisdom. Here are some of the things you can ask:
--- Please post a question answer page that we can see each
others questions and your prompt answers
videotape the Comprehensive Plan meetings – air them on the channel
and post them online
--- Please produce an interactive GIS
map with those circles so I can type in my house and see if it is in a
--- Please show the residents your desire to:
add residential on parking lots
allow multi-units in our neighborhoods
increase density in transit areas
and creeate "transition zones" makeing light commercial out of
residences near commercial
Please put all this onto the
scrolling on our channel so people can understand what your “vision“
--- Please see that Commissioners newsletters show a
summary of details
--- Their newsletters and the Township's
should feature the maps and explain what the circles are all about
--- Please hold open mic zoom info sessions on this - multiple
ones are needed
--- Please send me a definition of TOD development around
trains and buses – what might we expect.
send me a definition of
a transition zone and tell me what might be in one
send me a definition of
the Mixed Residential overlay putting multi
unit buildings in neighborhoods
send me a
full “affordable housing“ explanation. Will luxury
units be built and then subsidized by us? --- Please show me a full
financial analysis that shows me how this vision is a benefit for me
--- Please include the cost of students at $22,000 per
child in your financial analysis
---- Please include the cost
of widening roads, traffic signaling, infrastructure
in your financial analysis
---- Please include the cost
expanding services like fire and police and our pools, parks and
---- Please include the cost of increasing
our carbon footprint, the loss of greenspace
Please include the cost of increased “corporate housing,
where homeowner voices are diminished
--- Per your own plan,
homeownership provides better maintainance and stability – so
why do this?
---- Please include any benefits at all that
would cause you to over-develop in this manner
---- Please tell
how this might increase or decrease my “quality of life”
as one who chose suburban, not urban
---- Please tell me the
increased population goal of all this planned (envisioned) dense
-----Please say whether you recognize one can already
chose high density just a few miles away
Please also ask your Commissioners why a resident is having to
inform you about this, when we pay millions for 275 employees to
help each Commissioner manage the job of informing us. Yes, we even
recently added a Communications Director – but we seemed to get even
less information after that. We often cannot get the phone
answered. Something that never happened in Abington in half a century
of some of us being here.
The huge staff seems to be service
others, while even basic residents services and notification are
ignored. Many of you had only a vague clue or none at all
that “something” was even in the works at he HVSC - and across
THANK YOU ALL FOR SPEAKING UP …. please do so
continually….. until they hear us, and represent us
the way we want them to represent us. Please get answers to the above
questions and others that you have and share them back with me
email@example.com ) so I can share the concepts back
with everyone else. Please don’t anyone think that
“someone else” is doing it ....... Without you, they will fail.
If you have time to lend a hand with some of the
outreach, - or with research or other volunteer work - if you can find
an extra minute – just email me
We all will benefit.
Also – I am ordering the next round of signs that cost me $4 apiece –
any contributions are welcome.
Lora Lehmann 1431 Bryant
La. Meadowbrook, PA 19046 215-885-0504