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IN ABINGTON AND NEARBY
BELOW THIS comprehensive plan map IS A SUMMARY THAT IS
IN NO WAY comprehensive OF ZONING AND
DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES THAT ARE KNOW. MANY, MANY MORE ARE
- - Please
send us information that
you might know that we don't that should be here
here to address them on any of these issues
THIS MAP WAS PRESENTED 10-19-21 at a Comprehensive
plan to dramatically increase rental units - driven by the
Commissioners, Manager and County Planner and known to be
despised by residents throughout the Township who want to
preserve the green, open fell of the place where they bought
their "forever homes". It is not being driven by property
owners, or by the people who live and work here. It is being
driven by developers and the Townsip paid and elected staff
that are serving them , instead of the people who elected
them. The grey
circles are where they plan to impose a Mixed Residential
Overlay - as in not just single family homes -- the
dotted circles are transit oriented circles - where both
commercial and residential may be rewarded with government
funds to build deeper, denser, higher than we want .
Where are the voices of the people who "own" the
community and vote this "government" in
INCREASING IN LEAPS AND BOUNDS
1248 or more WILLOW GROVE
PARK MALL BUSINESS DISTRICT -
Bloomingdales parking lot 1st
building with 365 units -- maybe . At one point they said
they could change that if they wanted, which is true. The
building they are proposing doesn't even fit in the zoning
they are passing. Removing parking at Bloomies for the
first one - so if they DO revive the mall - where will the
parking go at the holidays? Also many more
units will be enabled and now they have agreed to 16 units
per acre but will not tell us ho w many units that could be.
They are trying to fast track it to pass it before the
end of 2021 . They finally admitted to at least 700 units -
showing a second building in the Macy's parking lot on
4-27-21 ..... but
left half of the buildable area in the Business District
unaccounted for as the number of units it could produce.
The 2 buildings they have shown, are pressed right up
against the main roads so you
couldn’t widen the intersection if your life depended on it
- and our lives DO depend on safe roads and
intersections, which should be widened when warranted.
Residents were not notified
by mail of any meetings except the very 1st one. They
don't know where to find the documents and most all have
been unaware of the subsequent 10 meetings - so have
had no no say. Of the ones they were aware of , many were
prevented from speaking. And no one can find the
relevant documents that should be readily
available. The required mixed use and master plan have
never been properly explained in public, as they pretend it
is one building - but while hte master plan alludes to many.
The excessive amount of
residential building enabled in what has been purposly zoned
commercial, is of great concern. Others would have
the same rights or perhaps even be able to sue for hte same
rights if they didn't get any of hte "goodies" . Ones
that did , at least in part are At Home, Dick's strip
(Parkside Plaza), Visionworks strip (Parkside Place),
Macy's, Bloomies. Please
take a look at the Promenade in Willow Grove opposite Lowes
on Welsh Rd . The Promenade is only 402 units with commercial below
and it is a monstrosity that does not have a "suburban feel
" at all . The Mall district could become multiple times
that, if this passes
3)Unknown # NOBLE TOWN CENTER
UNTOLD BUT VAST NUMBER OF APARTMENTS
condos and/or commercial
would become available with the apparent imminent purchase
of this huge property where Steinmarts, Bed Bath and Beyond, Pet Smart,
Ross, Walgreens and others are or have been
. It sold in 2014 for $31.5 million. Four buyers currently are considering it, per
conversation at Board of Commissioners Meeting 2-11-21 ..
approval meeting for the Baederwood 244 Apts (or at the
2-3-21 Land Use Meeting before it) - so.... coming
4) 244 BAEDERWOOD
RENTAL APARTMENTS – APPROVED on 2-11-21
even though it
did not meet the fire codes and has one whole side
inaccessible to any emergency vehicles. This is behind the
Baederwood Shopping Center.
This was originally zoned for 8 single family homes.
begun 2006/approved 2-21
5) 104 UNITS - FOXCROFT /
to the Fox Pavillion ……….
All their flood remediation and road improvements have been
borne by the taxpayers in the Abington Jenkintown
connections project. There was funny business on the part of
Abington employees that actually enabled
zoning approval in the first place.
1994 they started with Parking variances. 2002 they
asked for 2 Luxury Apartment Buildings each 5 stories
high. 2020 (zoning started many years earlier ) In Jan 2020
it went before the Planning Commission .
OLD YORK AND SUSQUEHANNA - UNTOLD AMOUNT BUT
INCREASED MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT (RESIDENTIAL &
And the question is why? Because this is totally
Township driven. No developer is putting pressure on the
Township at all. Who exactly is asking for this
increase? Certainly not the residents. They are
opposed to it. Who have we elected or hired that iniates
projects against our wishes? Some properties are
already bought by the County Redevelopment Authority and, on
without notification to the property owners or to the
surrounding neighbors who were promised they'sd be kept in
the loop and be part of the process,
they attempted to
certain of the
properties they wanted as blighted. (And simultaneously
"sort of " approve a denser plan without actually presented
a proper plan at all. ) These properties, in fact, are not blighted.
All were/are functioning
businesses . And they are not needed to improve the
intersection. But they were wanted to make the developer a nice
little package to improve his bottom line.
A nice "gift" . Eminent domain is being
considered to take one of the "gifts" from an owner
who doesn't want to sell..
The call here by the Township is for far denser
development and taller development with more residential
units. All 3 of these things are very unpopular with residents.
What's the name of the person driving such development
contrary to the wishes of the residents who live and vote
here? Why would
our Township elected
officials work in opposition to their wishes and their vision. In order
“gift “ the developer more, the road improvements were
made to be
lane coming South on Old York turning West on Susquehanna
should have been crafted for better intersection safty and
to keep the traffic moving. It gives you a real clue
what you’d be in for if you allow the Township to form their own
Economic Development Corporation and use your grant money to
act on their own wishes instead of the wishes of the
people they serve. The development includes a
bus stop in
the highest crash
intersection in Abington – which , added to the increased density at that intersection,
create MORE safety concerns than are solved by the slight
fixes to the road..
What a way to spend $3M ...... https://abingtoncitizens.com/aaISSUES/Development-Zoning-CodeEnf/OldYork-Susquehanna-TrafficImprovement/OldYorkAndSusquehanna-TrafficImprovement-NWCorner.htm
THE COLONADE / 100 YORK
(588 total? ) The Colonade originally had 534 units in 2
hi rises - 12 stories and 8 stories - called the
Estate and the Manor. When it was rehabbed circa 2016 . amid
much controversy that included a Grand Jury investigation
(results still secret at the AG's office), and a
Whistleblower suit( that continues into 2021 ), they
converted all the commercial and office units to residential
contrqary to what the same Commissioner ( who was Project
Manager ) was doing in the zoning - where they were trying
to force mixed use everywhere . They added another 54 (?)
residential units . Renting was begun already in 2016
, they are still not
full in 2021 . 1 bedroom Units were starting at $1077
as of 3-21 . See
the former debacle
where just 45 would/should have been . The 2017 rollout came
after years of zoning and land use issues. As of 2020 (?)
(still filling up?)
project features 85 carriage homes (twins) in a $75 million expansion
behind Rydal Park. Land maneuvers
began in the early to
mid 2000’s - another company first bought the land, clear
cut it removing 45 acres of largely forested lands and
causing flooding already below int eh shopping center lots.
This company rezoned it, and then went
bankrupt at which time it was sold back to Rydal Park's
parent company Presby Inspired Life. Besides the 85
cottages, a clubhouse with fitness center, multipurpose
space, cocktail lounge, heated swimming pool, fire pit, dog
park, walking trails and outdoor grilling areas.
UNITS - RYDAL
certified beds –
their total units at 546 include 307 independent living apartments – as well as anoter
200 or so assisted living “personal care” & skilled nursing
on a 20-acre campus.
98 UNITS at LIONSGATE -- 402 STUDENTS
in 98 apartment style
Completed & opened July 2017
apartment style residence hall
14 UNITS - Crestmanor for $17 million
14 units were added to the 32 of subsidized housing that was
already there. The Project cost $17 + million.
Only 14 additional families helped . For that enormous
sum 32 units that were already there were rehabbed
and 14 were added. A Community building enhanced and a
storage area moved or built . The cost isextraordinary
- and an investigation into the finances should, in my own
opion, be launched and the details made public. We can ill
afford to house all those that need it, when such
extravagant funds are spent on so few families. They could
have bought them each their own home, ground included, for
that. So who profited, and how much?
12) ST BASIL’S
(NEXT TO & ACROSS FROM MANOR COLLEGE)
acquired an equitable interest in
St Basil’s so they can apply to change the zoning. The
school will sadly close at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
The property is zoned CS and that allows
for things like a senior housing facility - so something
like what BET offered us for the YMCA parcel ( that was
pretty uniformly detested) is a real possibility.
On May 3, 2021 they held an informal zoom with over
200 attendees where Toll Brothers proposed 120
single family homes on the 46 acres there, rather than
sticking to the CS uses as it . Residents almost uniformly
spoke out against it and wanted to keep the greenspace - or
more of the greenspace - but it is unclear that they fully
understood the alternatives.
See that page here
YOUR EYES ON JOEY TATE'S AND THE USPS BUILDING IN
ABINGTON OR JENKINTOWN -- apartments may have been
discussed. Let me know if you hear more . I have no details.
Is it Jenk or Abington?
KEEP YOUR EYES ON
THE HORSE FARM NEXT TO MANOR COLLEGE –
Just as Penn State works to rezone CS Districts for
Campuses, Manor College appears to be in negotiations to buy
the horse farm for it's veterany program . As of this
writing the zoning change is not complete and the deal
between Manor and the Sisters is not complete. The plot, zoned CS once had
a plan made for about 124 residential units . Then
there was some discussion of a possible 160 units
of age restricted units, perhaps for the Sisters. But
the only plans seen were drawn up some years
ago (2012 ish or earlier) The residential plans
were done, as I understand
it, to accommodate “future
impact planning” for water and sewer needs, but
zoned CS (Community
Service ) so there are many more possibilities there.
For now the As of this writing it seems likely that Manor
will acquire it and Penn State may succeed at the rezoning
of CS plots held by colleges and universitities . Stay tuned
34 -54 Units 1209 Rydal
Rd A single beautiful home on Rydal Rd
with 7+ acres that should support no more than 7 single
family homes has a proposal by a developer for 34 units -
not yet formally submitted - but drawn up, as of this
writing, and presented to the neighbors ...
PENN STATE and
MANOR COLLEGE - PSU is rezoning for expansion
on College and University campuses. Penn State is in the process of rzoning
not just for the Academic Building they have openly
proposed, but the overall zoning they are doing is intended
for "Colleges and Universities in Abington Township" .....
Manor College would be the recipient of that zoning, too.
Setbacks, heights, greenspace and so much more. They are trying
the Township's time honored tradition of keeping everyone’s attention focused on the
beautiful new Academic building, and not
on all the other things that could result and become a “use
by right”. In other words, if they can zone
before you know what can be built under this zoning, then
the use by right will mean no more input by residents would
be necessary. Manor College area residents have not been
included at any of Penn State's meetings that I know of.
commercial/ office /medical
THRIFTWAY – still in court?
Last I checked in,
they were last
arguing, essentially, over whether the alley in the rear is
a street or not….Then I heard tell that the
Township may have missed providing notifications to
nearby residents - and that may also be in court . Updates appreciated.
on Old York between Eckard and Guernsey
20,000 sf of office space
. This is good but built
too close to the road to allow for what will be much needed
expansions. More residential units create problems when job
seekers so greatly outnumber jobs. Here there are jobs
created. It has yet to be learned how the neighbors will be affected or whether it is an
Susquehanna (Former YMCA) . Expected to open
April 2021 . Zoning process began for a vast
number of senior units that filled nearly every
inch of the property.
This ultimate use creates jobs and fills a need
in the community . But the rezoning of the property which
added a text amendment to our zoning
might add deep residential density on similar
properties. And almost immediately after the zoning
for a supposed Residentail Senior Apartment building
was obtained, BET ( for Bruce E. Toll with
Michalel Markman CEO or President ) had a
quite different client for it. The CHOP facility, which
was no longer required to obtain any input from
the residents now had the use by right, even
though the residents had never seen it, this facility was
now legal there.
Their right to comment on what was going
to be sharing a property line with them was thus removed. Will Meadowbrook Apartments or other
lands near hospitals try to use this newly obtained
zoning? Thousands of additional units could result
, for instance at Meadowbrook apartments and surrounding
land with ( or maybe even without) a tweak from a lawsuit won in court, or another
tiny change to the zoning. Stay tuned.
770 Jenkintown Rd
13 condos --- commercial ?
Stay tuned . Former Florist and greenhouses bought 7-15-19
and somehow were rezoned into 13 commercial condo's .
We're still learning more about this one.
in, on or of Our Parks
1) MANOR WOODS
ACROSS FROM THE ALVERTHORPE PARK ENTRANCE
funded to the tune of $100K in the 2020
budget to move
forward on their plan---- but they won’t say which plan of
the 2 that were options. One was for a “park”
with trails but one included a football field. No
clarity on which option was being put forth has been
offered. Let me know if you hear
While residents planned a community center with computer
rooms for nearby families
2) CRESTMONT PARK
that may not have sufficients computers per household,
a basketball court, meeting rooms for community
discussions and activities - 2 floors and with a kitchen,
the same $1.3 million was spent on literally ONE room
with a small kitchen in a disgraceful lack of cooperation in
the use of funds . The "room " is offered at a cost of
$75 to residents - rather than free and used to serve
the needs of an underserved community.
"REVITALIZATION PLANS, STUDIES & INITIATIVES INTENDED TO CAPTURE FUNDS
FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENT "
######## THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN - VISION 2035
is still being crafted as I write this in May 2021 -- I
can't find a copy of what's been done so far online, but we
found a document from June 2020 when they were working on the
Willow Grove Mall Apartments Ordinance. https://www.abingtonpa.gov/home/showdocument?id=15104
The public had not seen any sign of the Willow Grove
Mall apartments request - but the Township and the developers
had long been working on it. They were busy changing Right Of
Way lines on documents - with the help of your paid personnel
- and improving traffic signaling so the mall wouldn't have to
- out of your pocket, not theirs , It was clear
the " vision" in our Comprehensive Plan was being crafted to
accommodate the developer - rather than the developer being
required to comply with the vision. Read this document -
much detail about our housing is in it ... take note of these
things : https://www.abingtonpa.gov/home/showdocument?id=15104
p 1:"homeownership rates are typically
associated with neighborhood stability and a high
level of home and property maintenance///
says that rental units Abington has over 4,200
of them with an 8% vacancy rate
--so over 330 available at any given time ...
have much higher vacancy rates than homeowner owned homes
p8 a the bottom suggests that 1,141 new
housing units are needed by 2045 (really ? why?
what benefit is there to us? The mall might take care of
this on its own
p 9 talks about incentivizing
affordable housing by offering zoning bonuses and changing
the zoning of the CS (community service) districts to allow
residential uses on those properties with no recognition
that the loss of the CS districts is a serious
one - CS districts provide us with hte kinds of uses
that enrich our community .
interesting read - geared to become a segment of our
comprehensive plan that is underway.
TRANSIT ORIENTED DISTRICT
is planned out and
ready to go. They worked on the plans more than a decade
encourage dense growth around transportation hubs ie:
the Noble Station.
Citizens were engaged in 2011, inviting public
comments. But of course people were uniformed
about the totality of the expansions Township-wide
and had no clue what TODs and TRIDs are.
So their comments were meaningless.
A TRID is a Transit Revitalization Investment
requires that all benefits from the
revitalization be pumped back into the District
######THE KESWICK REVITALIZATION PLAN –
of expansion .
Plan was completed July 2012
This plan identifies a number
of important strategies that will foster further economic
development of the Keswick Village area, including
enhancements, business and economic development ( you know,
higher and denser) , and parking improvements. https://www.abingtonpa.gov/home/showpublisheddocument?id=3114
#### THE ROSLYN REVITALIZATION PLAN –
The Wawa at Easton and Woodland is underway
now at the Roslyn
Rite Aid site. A
Storage facility on Easton Rd.
was just built .
The currently available study began
September 2009 – completed- April 2010. To be eligible for
Revitalization Program funding, the Roslyn
Community Revitalization Plan would need an
believe it has to be within 7 years) .
As of March 2011 a
Comprehensive plan is or just was voted in - that also would
be use for the same purposes
###### THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION -
Our Commissioners want to have their own "Development
Corporation" so they can essentially "become the developers"
while they are also the ones that "oversee" the developers -
and grant the zoning approvals for the developers and
inspect the projects that the developers are completing and
decide who gets the grant monies available for development
and while they retain powers of eminent domain, etc etc etc
. Who doesn't recognize what a bad proposition that
is....... see separate page on this - where already unfair
and unscrupulous tactics have been used to try
to get it approved...... (begun 2019 - they propose to get
it passed in 2021 ) See Old York & Susquehanna above
on this page.
WHAT'S DRIVING THIS MASS
DEVELOPMENT WITH RESIDENTIAL DENSITY?
at Willow Pointe 2405 Maryland Rd, Willow Grove
- Built 2019 ish - filling up now
ANY PLACE WITHIN A ½ MILE RADIUS OF A TRAIN IS AT HIGH
for " transit oriented " over
They are ( see map at top of page ) using TOD and TRID funds
to help them do that, too. It's all about
BUT ABINGTON IS TAKING IT WAY BEYOND
THAT - THEY PLAN TO AMEND YOUR ZONING ORDINANCE AT
On 10-14-21 The manager , Richard Manfredi ,
who already had removed speaking rights to the best of his
ability, announced a plan to allow the Commissioners
to "amend" the zoning ordinance whenever they wanted to .
The previous zoning ordinance was in place for 21 years .
Coupled with the map planning "Mixed residential use "
throughout the Township - the prospect of what is to come is
Manfredi had mentioned previously that he wanted to revisit
the zoning ordinance and to change it to his liking (
and the liking of his developer friends. )
I can’t tell you what a bad idea that would be.
But now he wants to pass legislation that would let him do
that at any time.
Our Zoning Ordinance served us well from 1996 until
2017. 21 years later our Township was 98% built up. Steve Kline
- the commissioner who the could have been charged by the
Attorney Generals office for his bad behavior at the
Colonade, led hte rewriting of our Zoning Code to
produce the April 27, 2017 Zoning Ordinance, cutting residents largely OUT of the conversation and gifting to developers
& certain commercial property owners vastly greater rights at the expense
of our lovely community and our individual rights.
It was this re-zoning
that flung the doors open to developers - who, immediately
after it was passed, began asking for text and map
amendments to increase their rights even further . And developers and their associates,
such as our own land planners and our "County Planner",
Michael Narcowich are helping them do it - while
Manfredi and the Commissioners try to rewrite all our laws in
their favor .
The newest effort at the Willow Grove Mall boldly used our
County Planner to co-write the ordinance --- a complete
conflict of interest. Whose
side is he on - ours or the developers? Given that he
broke laws, codes and rules writing them, it's a safe
bet to say he's on the developers side. Our Commissioners have rarely met a
developer they didn't want to do MORE business with. But
their uncanny silence about what would befall the mall
after the bankruptcy when they had been presented with a
document that would allow potentially thousands of units
public knew nothing about, was
an eye- opener.
Please, it is incumbent upon each of
us to to put up strong opposition to any further rezoning
by this Manager who refuses to fix the most basic things
that are broken and that keep residents constantly at a
access to their goverment systems, htat they pay for, is
ARE THERE MORE SUSTANTIAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS,
CURRENT OR PAST, IN ABINGTON OR NEARBY THAT
SHOULD BE HERE ? Please
alert me so others can know ....
DEVELOPMENT CLOSE BY
HELP ME WITH THIS,
- send any info you have
Many of these
will likely all converge on the same local intersections
"The Stations" in Upper Moreland at Davisville and York -
An informal survey ( not officail) is that
Only studio for $1,600 or 1,700+; one bedroom 1,800+; two
bedroom $2,200 +.
Parking for extra car is $75/mo. Amenities $300yr The complex is 57% full as
of 3-18-21 ish.
Tenants pay all utilities, which is electric, water and
cable. Verizon cable only.
No amenity fee now due to COVID-19. But normally $300 a year.
are pet restrictions. They require a security deposit and
first month rent.
"Federation Housing" Senior age
restricted units in Upper
Moreland on Davisville near Overlook set to start
construction circa March |
or April 2021
402 Units "The Promenade"
by BET Investments in Upper Dublin
= Welsh Rd-
opposite Lowes. Not Senior. Commercial on
Studio - $1,726-$1,821// 1 Bdrm + 1 Bath -
$1,839 - $3,304// 2 Bdrm + 2 Bath -$3,627 -$4,833 //
2 Bdrm + 2.5 Bath - $3,304 -$5,892
Opened circa 10-20
40 % full in 2-21
Flats" 1 an 2 bedroom apts by BET Investments in Horsham on Dresher and Witmer - not
$1,644 -$1,659 or $2,114 - $2,179
Opened early 2021
. Building finished circa 4-21
549 Units on the
"Medical Mission Sisters" property at 8400 Pine Road by
Aquinas Realty Partners.
Mostly Senior community- Propsed 3-21
independent living units, 80 assisted living units, 216
apartment units and 120 carriage home units
in Jenkintown on Homestead Rd where Church of Our
Savior is - Not yet approved . stay tuned....
many condo units or
co-op units do we have where the condo
association or homeowners own & controls the property?
How many condo units do we
have with corporate ownership- where another entity owns the
How and rental units do we have total in Abington ?
homeowner owned single family dwellings do we have (non-condo units)?
How many large
( 15 units or more) apartment
buildings or complexes do we have - where is the list the
Township keeps ?
What is the %
of corporate owned units in Abington versus homeowner owned
units in Abington ?
How many multi-unit residential properties
presented any actual financial stats/ benefits .... a
proper analysis....... upon application ?
What are the benefits or drawbacks of having
homes owned by voting residents vs rental units with "corporate ownership" ?
What can we learn from our recent experience with a landlord
who threatened eviction to those who "complained" about the