CALL TO ORDER: Member Battis called the February 11th, 2020 meeting to order at 7:14 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Member Battis led the Pledge of Allegiance.
PRESENT: Members Kline, Battis, Shaefer, McMenamin, Manager Hegele, and County Planner Mohr.
ABSENT: Member Farnen was absent this evening.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Member Kline made a motion to approve the September 10th, 2019 meeting minutes, motion seconded by Member Shaefer, all ayes. Motion carried 4-0.
REORGANIZATION OF BOARD:
Member Battis stated that he would like to be Chairman as he has one year left on his term. He also stated that he really into the planning and he would like to give it a try. Member Hegele stated that one of the members must nominate him.
- Nomination of Chair – Member Shaefer nominated Ron Battis for Chairman of the Planning Commission. This nomination was seconded by Member Kline. A vote was called with all voting in favor of the nomination.
- Nomination of Vice Chair – Member Battis nominated Member Kline for Vice Chair of the Planning Commission. This nomination was seconded by Member Shaefer. A vote was called with all voting in favor of the nomination.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN – BOROUGH REVIEW:
Planner Mohr had a slide presentation planned for this evening but due to an IT glitch, therefore the slide presentation was postponed until a later date.
Planner Mohr stated that she has met with many people over the course of two years regarding gathering the information for the Hatboro 2040 Plan. A variety of public outreach events and surveys were done, all kinds of background data were collected, a vision statement was drafted, and created goals that would reach that vision.
Planner Mohr also stated that a final draft of the Plan is available on Hatboro’s website and she recently made a “story map” which is an interactive website that highlights some of the content from the plan in order to make it more accessible to those who might not be able to read the entire document.
Planner Mohr stated that there is also a summary of all of the public outreach which she thinks is valuable in itself because it has the full results of all of the surveys, all of the information that was collected from the public meetings, open houses, as well as other feedback that was received. Planner Mohr hopes that all the elected, appointed, and employed people in Hatboro will use this as a resource moving forward to get a sense of what a segment of the community thinks on a variety of issues and topics.
Planner Mohr stated that she presented each member with a copy of the brief review letter from the County which commends the Borough of Hatboro for undertaking the Comprehensive Planning process and completing it. Planner Mohr stated she personally looks forward to continuing to work with the Borough on implementing some of the recommendations in the Plan as she continues to work as the Planner for Hatboro.
Chairman Battis stated that he compared the Plan from 2004 to the 2019 Plan and he noticed that while the plans follow each other, the one from 2004 was not done by the county but from an outside source. He noticed that other townships have vacant businesses just as Hatboro does. They all went to the redevelopment or revitalization route and Chairman Battis likes that in the new plan, a neutral stance was taken as no particular business was targeted, and he likes the fact that we are going to let the market decide where we want to go regarding the future of Hatboro. Chairman Battis stated he loves the plan and is very happy with the fantastic job the County did.
Planner Mohr thanked Manager Hegele and member Shaefer for their hard work as they both played a major role in helping with the Plan.
Chairman Battis made a motion for the Hatboro Planning Commission to support the adoption of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. This motion was seconded by Member Shaefer, all ayes. Motion carried 4-0.
Chairman Battis stated he feels Ron McKnight should be recognized for his years of service. Manager Hegele agreed and stated that the Mayor is working on a proclamation regarding his service to the Borough.
Chairman Battis requested a copy of the finished Comprehensive Plan for each member of the Planning Commission and asked for an update on the Parks plan for review if Planner Mohr would like him to review it.
Planner Mohr stated the Parks plan is approximately two to three months behind the Comprehensive Plan in terms of its completion. She stated that simultaneously to the Comprehensive Plan, her office was working on a Parks and Recreation open space plan for the Borough with a subcontractor from Upper Moreland Township. The Recreation Director, Pat Stazio, consulted on the Plan. She stated that document is near completion and the Borough can expect to have a final draft by next week that Council could announce review at the April meeting.
Chairman Battis stated that since the plan took so much time to complete and such a good job was done creating it, he suggested that every ten years, a committee should get together to just review the progress that has been made and to see where we are in regards to if we are following or not following the Plan. Chairman Battis also suggested passing this along to Borough Council to see if they would like to do this.
Chairman Battis stated he had some questions for Manager Hegele.
- Chairman Battis asked if Manager Hegele had any information regarding the Seven Eleven Building.
Manager Hegele stated that after reaching out to the property owner with several letters and phone calls, she is unable to get any information regarding the future of the building but staff as well as herself are still working to make contact to not only get information but make them aware that Fire Marshal inspections are still needed and property maintenance still needs to be kept up while the building remains vacant.
- Chairman Battis asked if we had any “feelers” from the Hatboro Horsham School District regarding Pennypack Elementary School.
Manager Hegele stated that she does not but it is her understanding that they will have a meeting possibly in March.
- Chairman Battis asked if there was any news regarding the CVS building located at 24 S. York Road. He had heard the building was sold and was wondering if Manager Hegele had any more information as he feels the building is a huge part of the business district.
Manager Hegele stated that she heard there was an agreement of sale
and that they were in a due diligence period at present and she has no more information regarding the agreement.
- Chairman Battis asked Manager Hegele if she had any information regarding the Impact Thrift Store located at 14 E. Moreland Avenue.
Manager Hegele stated that she had met with a potential Real Estate Developer awhile back but then heard nothing after that meeting. She stated that unfortunately she has no information regarding that property.
Manager Hegele stated that she wanted the Board Members to know that the Borough does not own the Cressbrook House yet because the YMCA has not yet changed hands with Victorian Village and therefore there was no movement yet regarding their application to come before the Planning Commission or the Borough’s taking ownership of the property. Manager Hegele also stated that unfortunately the process has been delayed.
NEXT MEETING DATE:
Manager Hegele announced that the next meeting date will be March 10th, 2020 at 7:00 P.M.
Chairman Battis adjourned the February 11th, 2020 Planning Commission Meeting at 8:14 P.M.
Borough Hall Administrative Clerk
Transcribed by Cynthia Bollendorf