PRESENT – Chairman McMenamin, Vice Chair Kline, Member Farnen, Member Smith, Member Hibbs, Manager Hegele, Assistant Secretary DeRenzis, Borough Engineer Goff, Borough Planner Kennedy, County Planner Miklos, and Secretary Bollendorf were present.
CALL TO ORDER – Chairman McMenamin called the August 8, 2023, Planning Commission Meeting to order at 7:15 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Chairman McMenamin led the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF JUNE 13, 2023, MEETING MINUTES – Member Smith made a motion to approve the June 13, 2023, Meeting Minutes. Motion was seconded by Vice Chair Kline, all ayes. Motion carried 3-0 with 2 abstentions as Chairman McMenamin and Member Farnen were excused from the meeting.
HISTORIC NOMINATION – 18 HORSHAM ROAD OLD MILL INN – Member Smith gave the history of the Old Mill Inn and recommended adding it to the Historic Registry.
Member Smith made a motion for Borough Council to approve the historic nomination of the Old Mill Inn located at 18 Horsham Road. Motion was seconded by Member Farnen, all ayes. Motion carried 5-0.
24-28 S. YORK ROAD RESUBMISSION –
Robert Gundlach, applicant’s attorney, gave a brief review of past submissions and stated after the ordinance passed, they submitted new Land Development in March and after feedback decided to reconfigure the footprint and resubmit. He stated in June they resubmitted for Conditional Use & Land Development approval, parking study, and stormwater management report. He also stated he received review letters and that there was no comment from the County and that the applicant will comply with all comments from Engineer Goff, and most comments from Planner Kennedy but he would like to discuss other comments tonight as the parking still needs to be addressed.
Scott Mill, Engineer for Van Cleef, reviewed all of the renderings with the room and stated the biggest change is the relocation of the building to comply with the 25 FT setback and the sidewalk and stormwater were flipped. Engineer Mill also reviewed the bonuses which included adding six electric vehicle charging spaces, a new public pedestrian sidewalk, and a bicycle rack by the seating area. He also stated that the landscaping has been designed but he doesn’t have those renderings with him.
Tom Smith, PC Member, asked who will maintain it and Mr. Gundlach stated the owner will address that in the agreement.
John Kennedy, Borough Planner, asked what kind of lighting they were using outside and suggested they consider low level lighting for safety and Mr. Mill stated he will add low light bollards for pedestrians.
Engineer Goff stated EV stations are common and that other municipalities require them, and that the Borough would not be responsible for maintaining them. Mr. Gundlach stated that the company charges if fully charged and you do not unplug it.
Vincent Mancini, Landmark Architectural Design, architect for the project, explained he created a façade that wasn’t monolithic, and brick is typically the façade of choice. He also stated the 1st floor is commercial and will have wall mounted lighting to give a welcoming presence and raised the 1st floor ceiling to 14 ft. The 4th floor is set back and made with the same material, but it is white, so it blends with the sky. He also stated that the HVAC will be placed on the roof and screened in, so it will be concealed.
LuAnn Kline, PC Vice Chair, stated no parking agreement has been reached and needs to be done before moving forward with anything and that the applicant said they would comply, but they cannot comply with the parking if there is no agreement.
PUBLIC COMMENT –
Matt Coyle, 47 N. Penn Street, asked how many units are proposed (36).
Merrie Keller, 110 W. Monument Avenue, asked the dimensions of the proposed building (80 X 150) and how many parking spots are required (determined by density and 76 dedicated spaces are required.
Mark Henesco, 120 Summit Avenue, asked what happened to the extra 15 ft from the first plan and Engineer Mill stated they moved the building over. Mr. Henesco asked who writes the ordinances and Manager Hegele stated, Borough Council, staff, and the Solicitor.
Gary Blickley, 46 Harding Avenue, asked if there is a driving area and Engineer Mill stated no, only for pedestrians.
Kelly A’Harrah, 145 W. Lehman Avenue, read the ordinance and stated she is concerned with the bonuses and
asked to improve what they are offering regarding pervious services and stormwater management.
Bruce Goodstein, 60 Franklin Avenue, stated that he doesn’t see the bike rack being used, no one will use the EV charging station, and doesn’t feel the proposed building matches any other facades.
Marianne Reymer, 120 Summit Avenue, asked if the plans have been reviewed by the Fire Company and Manager Hegele stated that yes, it currently is being reviewed. She also stated that she does not like the proposed facade of the building as it doesn’t reflect Hatboro and would like to see something that goes more with current facades. She asked where the rainwater runoff was and if green space could be added to the roof. Mr. Gundlach stated there are underground pipes which contain it and release under York Road and that they did not propose any green space for the roof and there were no plans to do so.
Kathy McGeary, 40 Franklin Avenue, suggested there should be a palate of colors that should be considered for the proposed development and asked how long construction would take. Mr. Gundlach stated, after permits are pulled and approved, construction should take 15-18 months.
Ed Henry, 238 Bonair Avenue, stated he is concerned if the charging stion catches fire if a vehicle is fully charged and not unplugged. Mr. Gundlach stated that after the car is fully charged, the charger shuts down automatically and then the company will charge the owner for not unplugging after fully charged.
Todd A’Harrah, 145 W. Lehman Avenue, stated that he doesn’t care for the facade either as it doesn’t match and asked how we can match the façade and he also stated that he feels it’s too easy to earn the bonuses.
Sean Duffy, 38 W. Moreland Avenue, asked about materials other than brick that are being used and Mr. Mancini stated the materials are durable and can be cleaned easily and the 3D rendering will demonstrate it better as it will be more realistic.
Cathy Farnen, PC Member, stated that warmer colors are better but black and white is also classic and likes regarding modern homes but in this situation, it lacks warmth and would like to see some more warm colors for this specific façade.
Robert Gundlach, applicant’s attorney, stated they will get the 3D renderings submitted, update the parking as discussed, and will provide information regarding the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations as well as revisions based on review letters and comments received this evening.
ADJOURNMENT – Member Smith made a motion to adjourn the August 8, 2023, Planning Commission Meeting. Motion was seconded by Vice Chair Kline, all ayes. Motion carried 5-0. Chairman McMenamin adjourned the August 8, 2023, Planning Commission Meeting at 9:10 P.M.
Respectfully Submitted by:
Diane C. Hegele, Borough Manager/Zoning Officer/ Open Records Officer
Transcribed by Cindy Bollendorf, Recording Secretary