Recap of the meeting: The
Plan had been underway for over 2 years, but when the Comprehensive
Plan Team published their "Future Land Use" map, with
circles around a LOT of neighborhoods that would soon be allowed to go
from single family residential to multi-family (ie: landlord managed)
or commercial -- people got
Manager Manfredi's solution was not to hold open
meetings to hear from residents (as he had been asked) or to create a
GIS map so they could see where their homes were on the map (as asked)
nor to use the scrolling, nor to do either an email or snail mail
mailing, nor to videotape the meetings for wider viewing, nor to use the Facebook page, nor to do anything else at
all that he was asked to do to engage the 58K residents who were clueless
this was happening. Instead he removed that map and the
whole Chapter completely
from the Comp Plan website, allowed the Committee to take months to finish the REST
of the plan until it was ready for final reviews. His actions
ensured that residents could NOT share those pages or work to inform
one another during those months. Over a year and a half of feedback on the Future Land Use
was simply discarded. And the fully public meeting format was not used
to finish the job.
Manager set one single, solitary meeting to hear from residents, and
gave the task of moderating that meeting and creating the Future
Land Use Chapter to an out of state firm who had not heard the more
than 2 years of resident testimony --- so that testimoney was thrown
out like so much old dishwater... a complete disrespect to the many
hours residents had spent in attendance. Manfredi chose to say
he had removed everything in the interests of "transparency"
saying, he wanted to hear from residents first before adjusting
the Future Land Use Chapter. Again, none of those that had contributed
were being considered. But NONE of his actions lent themselves
to any "transparency". Just the opposite.
The meeting that he chose for the Chapter to "reappear" on May 25th
was an Administrative Public Information meeting...... a meeting
type of his own creation that is designed
to have the least transparency of any kind of meeting available to him
to use... including the Comp Plan Committee meeting where it should
have appeared. He took it out of that format. Usually at a Public Information Session, one
would expect to be informed. That did not happen. There were no
reference points, no documents, no agenda, no guidance and the
uninformed public was invited to shape the "Future Land Use" in
Abington for the next 10 years, having no idea what that
entailed. Absolute nonsense. Disingenous is a mild term to describe
what he did. After making sure for well over 2 years the smallest
number of residents had access to the information, it is just
ludicrous to suggest that THIS session, that would be seen by so few,
that he did not even plan to film and air, would in any way provide
After providing no
guidance whatsoever, Manager Manfredi tried to tell the "public"
that he couldn't video-tape the meeting because it wasn't a "public"
meeting. You can't make this stuff up. The "public" who had
attended the "Administrative PUBLIC meeting" went a little nuts at
that. They persisted in getting him to agree to video-tape it - but then he said it
was "policy" not to tape and air these meetings . So
although it would be taped, he would have to ask the Commissioners if it could be aired.
He was asked where that policy was written. And since it does NOT seem to be a
written policy that we can find anywhere, there was in fact
nothing at all preventing Manager Manfredi directly from deciding to air the
meeting because it is in the public interest. He said he
wanted to hear from residents. If that were true, airing the meeting
and giving them the
firstname.lastname@example.org address to make comments would
be the very best way of doing that. So Ok - he DID ultimately
decide he could air the meeting without the benefit of the
Commissioners' approval-- but he CUT OUT the parts of him
fibber-mcgeeing the residents that it was not a public meeting and the
outcry from the crowd in attendance. Our meetings are supposed to be
taped and aired in hteir entirety.
Again, if your
actions are the opposite of what you are saying, it would be hard to
judge you favorably. If you care that residents have a say, one
single meeting is not enough under these circumstances. The news of
what is happening must first be televised, and distributed using
every option you have. THEN
perhaps you may be believed.
On June 15th they will show us
what they thought we said. I hope everyone will plan to attend
June 15th, at 6:30 pm either by zoom or in person. And in the meantime
please make comments to
email@example.com whether you want your single family homes replaced by
multi-family or commercial enterprises, or whether you want hi-rise
apartments every where.
100 York Apartments, the former
Colonade, should be example enough to show you what corporate housing
can so quickly become - while the Township professes no way to control
the deplorable conditions.
We want businesses and services that enhance our
lives and defray the taxes, and we want homeownership to be a hallmark of our town, as
the Comp Plan itself attests to the fact that maintenance and stability
are increased by homerownership. Corporate (Landlord) interests differ greatly from Homeowner
interests. Abington has thousands and thousands of rental
units - far more than it needs to keep a balance of housing.
Beware .... there are OTHER plans out there
besides the Comp Plan that also promote this very bad, dense, multi-use housing, especially around trains
and or Apartments on the parking lots. We want the Comprehensive Plan to supercede
any previously written plans
and for OUR Comp Plan to reflect what OUR interests are ..... since
it is we who should be guiding this community.
--------------------------------------------------------- The circles have been dropped we are told
ARE YOU IN A CIRCLE? Details of what they were trying to do :
Now, we have no idea now - they won't tell us last until the minute. Fraud?
Population Confusion - a false "need" for
housing was "concocted" Here is the
Comprehensive Plan and Draft Chapter links
minus the Future Land Use chapter,
Rezoning Township - Wide Via Comprehensive Plan Manager Manfredi seeks to gift himself the right to "rezone" your properties in
a complicated and deceptive process that
lays the groundwork via a "vision" for text and
map amendments that are, quite simply, a "back door" around
Your Commissioners have given you no way to understand what they are doing or why you should
participate and speak up. (Some of them don't even seem to
understand it) Once passed, it will enable text and map amendments
at an unprecedented rate. Manager Manfredi, who will glean an
extra approximately $3M annually from his unprecedented
hikes, has promised the zoning
approvals will be "consistent" with the "vision" -
a vision you knew
nothing about because they kept it as hush hush as they could.
Meetings weren't taped and put on the
TV - it wasn't explained in Commissioner or Township Newsletters,
they refused to put it on the interactive maps and yanked the
standard map as soon as we started circulating it. They
townhall sessions, refused to answer most questions submitted by
email, refused to post a Q&A page, and literally did whatever
they could to keep it from the public. The uninformed public was invited May 25th to determine the Future Land Use .... with NO
prior background and no guiding documents. A ridiculous scenario
showing completely inept management -- and in addition, our
Manager assigned Simone Collins to create the Future Land Use
chapter, a firm from out of the area ( Norristown) who had not been privy to ANY
of the prior 2 years discussions or citizen testimony. A year and a half of resident testimony
down the tubes.
This screams mismanagement. see
more about the apartments that may come to the parking lot and the
duplexes and triples you might find nect door to you if you are
less than a 1/4 mi away
Development (or Overdevelopment?)
Our township is under assault from developers throughout, with the complicity of
the Commissioners, Manager and those we elect and pay with our tax dollars.
While the residents feel they have no say in how their community
Willow Grove Mall 365
Apartments.... or far more? After a full year's
worth of meetings (12 ) where the Commissioners helped PREIT keep
the public focused on one building despite an ordinance for far, far more,
they withdrew- waiting for the Comprehensive Plan to pass which
will make this easier.
False figures offered, false testimony given, and Commissioners
complicit in deceiving the public in a dozen ways. But PREIT has
already released press info that they WILL have resiential on the
Willow Grove Mall and around it.
The Economic Development Corporation Your leaders want to use
your taxes, grants & personnel to "become the developers" .....
but through a separate legal entity, distancing them from public opinion and all the normally required rules,
Conflict lines are completely blurred, and it was done in an
underhanded way. Moving on fast in 2023
Code Enforcement Debacle
: Colonade Whistle Blower LawsuitViolations of our
Trust and of the Law. Grand Jury results still withheld or
sealed -Whistleblower case
settled with disturbing revelations. Despite his actions there, Kline appointed to Zoning Hearing Board in 2022
- and in 2023 the public got a front row seat to the health and
safety crisis that management had tried to keep under wraps. Oh my...
And they want to put apartments everywhere!
Public Comment It has been changed for the 4th time since Richard
Manfredi arrived - not once for the benefit of the public.Each time are
rights are reduced further - til they are nearly literally
removed, while calling it an
expansion. They fixed NONE of the things we told them were
problematic and they regularly are violating law and policy.
This is all being done in conjuction with their efforts to
pass zoning changes that are known to be unwanted and that will
change our Township forever.
The 2022 Budget They
got $19 million dollars for free in Covid relief funds - SIX
times what the tax increase would bring - and they levied the tax
increase anyway . 30 % spread over 2 of the last 3 years,
while families battle Covid losses and inflation. The budget was
withheld from the public and proper speaking rights not granted...
You don't have to do things like that when you're operating in
good faith. An 856 page budget with teeny, tiny print,
so paper copies are useless. John's Spiegelmans long saga of
why your taxes had to go up missed the mark by a mile - missing
the actual reasons that your taxes had to go up. A lack of
transparency and integrity.
- some legit - some not. What is being done to eliminate
what we believe are known establishments still participating in
improper or illegal activities who may be engaged in Human Trafficking? Who will help?
Public Affairs :Manor Woods is back on the front burner. And the Football Field Option is still in the plan.
Parks Travesty :
The Boy Scout Preserve in Meadowbrook -
went down to the mud.... a 13 acre wildlife refuge at the outset of winter-
when wildlife needs refuge . Dead
trees left standing . Live ones removed. Proposal again to poison every living thing...
Parks Recreation:Manor Woods -
back on the front burner with the Football Field Option still in the plan.
Were $120K (?) in 2021 Covid allotted
to create trails and a parking lot when those exist right
across the street ?
Abington Township, with John Spiegelman in charge, revamped the entire Township website at the end of 2015
and broke all the links to the information we had archived on this site for you.
In 2017, Manager Richard Manfredi arrived and assigned someone not qualified to redo the entire website again.
They not only broke all archived links we had reinstated, but made everything as impossible to find as they could.
Nearly all of our comments and recommedations to fix the Township website have been wholly ignored.
So we do need volunteers to work together helping the Township create a site that is functional and accessible.
We will be reinstating links as we find them....if the data is still available.
So... 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, we'll reinstate it.
Thanks for the help.
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