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 DEVELOPMENT  IN ABINGTON AND NEARBY

This summary is in no way comprehensive - - Please send us information that should be here
Find your Commissioners here to address them on any of these issues https://abingtoncitizens.com/TwpGovt/Commissioners.htm


RESIDENTIAL DENSITY INCREASING IN LEAPS AND BOUNDS

1)  1500 or more???????   well definitely not 365 units - at THE WILLOW GROVE MALL  -   APARTMENT /Condos TRANSIT ORIENTED BUILDING  No part of this has been above board. Residents were focused on a 365 unit apartment building for the first 5 out of 6 meetings.  That was not what the proposed ordinance was about at all.  The ordinance presented was to approve / allow intense building  on a large portion of the BC (Business Center District)  - so many more will be enabled. They finally admitted to at least 700 units - but left half of the buildable area out of that discussion.  Also 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 it is warranted.  Residents were not notified by mail of any meetings where the actual documents were available.  The required mixed use and master plan have never been properly explained, but the excessive amount of residential building enabled in what has been purposly zoned commercial, is of great concern. Others would have the same rights :  At Home, Dick's  strip (Parkside Plaza), Visionworks strip (Parkside Place), Macy's, Bloomies  and more.  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 . On 4-27-21 they finally admitted to another building in the Macy's parking lot .......  but would not discuss all the other space that can be built upon
   https://abingtoncitizens.com/aaISSUES/Development-Zoning-CodeEnf/WillowGroveMall/00AA-WGMall-365Apts-main.htm

3) ????  NOBLE TOWN CENTER  UNTOLD BUT VAST NUMBER OF APARTMENTS
or 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 .. the  approval meeting for the Baederwood 244 Apts (or at the 2-3-21 Land Use Meeting before it)  - so.... coming soon.........?

4) 244  BAEDERWOOD
 244 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
https://abingtoncitizens.com/aaISSUES/Development-Zoning-CodeEnf/Baederwood/Baederwood.htm

5) 104 UNITS  - FOXCROFT / GREENWOOD AVE  104 APARTMENTS  next 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  the 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 . https://abingtoncitizens.com/aaISSUES/Development-Zoning-CodeEnf/Foxcroft/Foxcroft.htm

6) ?????  OLD YORK AND SUSQUEHANNA - UNTOLD AMOUNT  BUT  INCREASED MIXED USE  DEVELOPMENT  (RESIDENTIAL &  COMMERCIAL)– 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 9-22-20,  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  certify 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  to “gift “ the developer more, the road improvements were  made to be very minimal.  Another turn 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,  will  undoubtedly 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

7) 54 UNITS   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 more details

8) 85 UNITS  -RYDAL WATERS    where just 45 would/should  have been . The 2017 rollout came after years of zoning and land use issues. As of 2020 (?) finished and  (still filling up?)  The 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. https://abingtoncitizens.com/aaISSUES/Development-Zoning-CodeEnf/RydalWaters/RydalWaters.htm

9)
 114 UNITS - RYDAL PARK   added 114 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 or rehabilitation  care  on a 20-acre campus. 

10)  98 UNITS at LIONSGATE -- 402 STUDENTS
 
in 98 apartment style dorms– Completed & opened July 2017  402-bed apartment style residence hall 

11 ) 14   UNITS - Crestmanor  for $17 million    Only 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)  Toll Brothers 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   

13 )  ????  KEEP 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?

 
14) 130-160 ?  KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE HORSE FARM NEXT TO MANOR COLLEGE – May be available for development before long– nothing  seen in any documents yet, though.  The plot, zoned CS once had a plan made 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)  Done, as I understand it, to accommodate “future impact planning”  for   water and sewer needs, but it should be noted that it  is  zoned CS  (Community Service ) so there are many more possibilities there.  Because of the acreage, there is concern about other text amendments that give new rights to properties like this for even denser development .

SCHOOLS EXPANDING

1) 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" ..... so 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.  https://abingtoncitizens.com/aaISSUES/Development-Zoning-CodeEnf/PSUAcademicBldg/PSUAcademicBldg.htm 

commercial/ office /medical

1)  WAWA  AT ROSLYN 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.

2)  MEDIPLEX   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 improvement   

3)  CHOP  Medical Building  at Old  York & 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. https://abingtoncitizens.com/News/YMCA/index.html


Development in,  on or of  Our Parks

1) MANOR WOODS  PARK  ACROSS FROM THE ALVERTHORPE PARK ENTRANCE was 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 https://abingtoncitizens.com/aaISSUES/Development-Zoning-CodeEnf/OpenSpace/Summerford.htm |

2) CRESTMONT PARK CLUBHOUSE - 
While residents planned a community center with computer rooms for nearby families
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 NOBLE TRANSIT ORIENTED DISTRICT  The Noble TOD  is planned out and ready to go. They worked on the plans more than a decade ago. (2008)  The  Transit Oriented Districts (TOD’s)  there  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 District, which  requires that all benefits from the revitalization be pumped back into the District 
https://www.dvrpc.org/trid/pdf/NobleStationTRIDPlanningStudy_June2013.pdf  

######THE KESWICK REVITALIZATION PLAN – unknown scope
 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  streetscape 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 b
egan  September 2009 – completed- April 2010. To be eligible for Revitalization Program funding, the Roslyn Community Revitalization Plan would  need an  update. (I believe it has to be within 7 years .   https://www.abingtonpa.gov/home/showpublisheddocument?id=3112 

As of March 2011 a Comprehensive plan is or just was voted in - htat 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.
https://abingtoncitizens.com/aaISSUES/EconomicDevelopment/TheEconomicDevelopmentCorporation.htm


WHAT'S DRIVING THIS MASS DEVELOPMENT WITH RESIDENTIAL DENSITY? 


****** ANY PLACE WITHIN A MILE RADIUS OF A TRAIN IS AT HIGH RISK  for over development
             because of the TOD and TRID funds available. 

******   $$$$$$$$$$$ 

******  OUR MANAGER, richard manfredi,  HAS MENTIONED HE WANTS TO REVISIT THE ZONING ORDINANCE AND CHANGE IT AGAIN
 -Don't let him!
             
I can’t tell you what a bad idea that would be. Our Zoning Ordinance served us well  from 1996 until 2017. Our Township at that time was
             98% built up according to all reports .  Steve Kline led a zoning rewrite effort that culminated in the  current 2017 Zoning Ordinance,
             which cut residents largely OUT of the conversation and gifted to developers & certain commercial property owners vastly greater rights at the
              expense of our lovely community and our individual rights.  Being already 98% built up  when he started, it is a certainty that it was this re-zoning
             that caused the doors of our community to be flung wide open for development again. But immediately after it was passed, developers began
              asking to change the text of our brand new ordinance to garner even MORE than they had just been gifted.  And developers and their associates,
              such asland planners are seeking to rewite all our laws in their favor .  The newest effort at the Willow Grove Mall boldly writes that wherever his
              demands and our  ordinance clash, HIS should take precedence. 
              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 that the
              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  ---
              especially by this Manager who refuses to fix the most basic things that are broken and that keep residents constantly at a disadvantage  when
              access to their goverment systems, htat they pay for , is sought . 


****** ARE THERE MORE SUSTANTIAL DEVELOPMENT  PROJECTS, CURRENT OR PAST, IN ABINGTON  OR NEARBY THAT
            SHOULD BE  HERE ?    Please alert me so others can know ....


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OTHER RECENT  DEVELOPMENT CLOSE BY
 
HELP ME WITH THIS, PLEASE - send any info you have  
 Many of these will likely all converge on the same local intersections

275 Units "The Stations"  in Upper Moreland at Davisville and York - not  senior  https://twitter.com/JG_Petrucci/status/939258309554601984  
            An informal survey ( not officail) is that Only studio for $1,600 or 1,700+; one bedroom 1,800+; two bedroom $2,200 +.   all approximate
            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.
            There are pet restrictions. They require a security deposit and first month rent.


54  Units  "Federation Housing" Senior age restricted units in Upper Moreland on Davisville near Overlook  set to sart construction circa March or April 2021

402 Units "The Promenade" by BET Investments in Upper Dublin Welsh Rd- opposite Lowes. Not Senior. Commercial on bottom.
           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  

240 +
Units at Willow Pointe   2405 Maryland Rd, Willow Grove -  Built 2019 ish - filling up now
            https://www.apartments.com/willow-pointe-willow-grove-pa/ky9xln8 /


256 Units at  "555 Flats"   1 an 2 bedroom apts  by BET Investments  in Horsham  on Dresher and Witmer - not  senior  
              
https://www.555flats.com/#  //Or https://www.apartmentfinder.com/Pennsylvania/Horsham-Apartments/555-Flats-Apartments-sv7ser4   $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
            135 independent living units, 80 assisted living units, 216 apartment units and 120 carriage home units 
      
        
https://northeasttimes.com/2021/02/17/550-unit-community-discussed-for-medical-mission-sisters-property/?fbclid=IwAR16CS9YnSC2JYVT6JqKN_XcoY-GDsog2Jq7LLEVSN-RmMoMAjxSiXqgWwA

32 Units  in Jenkintown on Homestead Rd  where Church of Our Savior is - Not yet approved .  stay tuned....

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RELATED QUESTIONS

How  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 real estate? 


How and rental units do we have total in Abington ?


How many  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 conditions ? 

 



 

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