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 September 12, 2023, Planning Commission Meeting to order at 7:05 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Chairman McMenamin led the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AUGUST 8, 2023, MEETING MINUTES – Member Smith made a motion to approve the August 8, 2023, Meeting Minutes. Motion was seconded by Vice Chair Kline, all ayes. Motion carried 5-0.
21-23 & 37 N. YORK ROAD LAND DEVELOPMENT AND CONDITIONAL USE APPLICATION – The Planning Commission met to begin their review of the Conditional Use and Land Development Applications submitted by JERC Partners LXIX, LLC for a proposed development at 21-23 and 37 N. York Road.
Ed Murphy, representative for the applicant, reviewed the applications and stated this development, as currently proposed, would consist of:
- 3 Stories with retail on the first floor.
- 102 Residential Units and 159 parking spots.
- 12 studios, 73 (1) bedroom units, and 17 (2) bedroom units.
- 4,732 SQFT 1st Floor Retail Space along York Road which could be 2, 3, or 4 retail spaces.
- 3,142 SQFT 1st Floor Amenity Area along York Road.
Copies of a rough site plan, renderings, and plans of the proposed building were displayed. He also stated that the applicant will comply with all comments on the review letters from Engineer Goff, Borough Planner Kennedy, and County Planner Miklos.
Sandy Koza, PE, PTOE, reviewed the parking evaluation and explained how a parking study is conducted which was from our Ordinance. She stated there are 146 spots on site including 13 along the front for a total of 159 spots and explained how they came up with them and all intersections were included in this study and that visitors are accounted for. She also stated the primary access points are York Road and Abbotts Lane.
Borough Planner Kennedy stated they can use the front for retail only and based off actual projects that are built, the numbers are pretty exact and better than the projection.
Engineer Goff stated that the applicant will comply with all comments regarding stormwater based off Dep model (various requirements) and that the UMHJSA will have to review it as well. Mr. Murphy stated they already have their cert from the sewer authority.
George Hartman, P.E., stated that the property is 90% impervious and as of today, there is no stormwater management as the water currently just flows off of the site and he explained the applicant proposes two underground basins in the rear of the building which will collect the water and discharge underground.
Member Farnen asked if the existing trees would remain, and Mr. Hartman stated they are proposing to enhance along Abbotts Lane and they will remove and replace as well as enhance the buffer.
Manager Hegele stated there will be a pre-con meeting which will go over the rules and regulations during development and how to keep the traffic on the main road (York Road only not Abbotts Lane).
PUBLIC COMMENT –
Cindy Giovinazzo, 33 Abbotts Lane, stated she is happy they are controlling the rainwater and showed pictures from the last storm which demonstrated how it is not controlled and just runs off of the property.
Jackie Nace, 45 Abbotts Lane, stated she is concerned about only two entrances that are proposed because it will be hard to exit onto York if there are cars parked along the road.
Bruce Goodstein, 60 Franklin Avenue, stated that he doesn’t think the façade matches and parking is still an issue as he doesn’t believe they have enough spots.
Greg Guim, 48 Franklin Avenue, asked how they considered if a tenant has visitors regarding parking and if the study considered Hatboro events.
Matt Coyle, 47 N. Penn Street, asked about commercial deliveries (truck turn analysis done), commercial and residential combined trash (not determined yet but will be in same spot), displacing businesses and bringing in minimal commercial space (they are complying with the ordinance).
John Sweeney, 55 N. York Road, asked about the access on York and Abbotts which Chairman McMenamin showed.
Arielle Fisher, 400 N. York Road CONDO J, read a letter stating what adverse effects shed believes the proposed development will have on Hatboro regarding the traffic, congestion, increasing noise pollution and wants to preserve Hatboro and the quality of life for the residents and wants to predive the “small town charm”.
Sandra Guim, 48 Franklin Avenue, stated she is concerned with the addition of approximately 300 more people and that there is already too much cutting through neighborhoods and speeding. She asked how much rent would be for the units and is also concerned with tenants who may have dogs and where they would be walked.
Mr. Murphy stated they are proposing what complies with the ordinance and that he will provide references.
Member Smith stated that they have the right to build if it complies with the ordinance and review letters and it is on them if it is successful or not and progress will happen, and we have to give them some credibility.
Kelly A ‘Harrah, 145 W. Lehman Avenue, concerned that there is no public space, and that the proposed building façade does not fit Hatboro.
Erin McGovern, 48 Orchard Avenue, asked how it would affect the elementary Scholl (is there enough room) and Mr. Murphy stated he will provide all of that information. Member Smith stated he lives in The Lofts and there are not that many children in his building.
Gary Blickley, 46 Harding Avenue, asked if the traffic studies were done during rush hour because that is when they should be done. Ms. Koza stated they were done between the hours of 7 A.M. until 9 A.M. and 4 P.M. until 6 P.M.
Sean Duffy, 38 W. Moreland Avenue, asked about construction time and parking lights/light pollution. Mr. Hartman stated it should take approximately 1-1 ½ years and the lights will be shielded. Member Farnen stated that a lower light pole is better as it will reduce any glare.
Herbert Fisher, 400 N. York Road CONDO J, stated he is concerned about parking in general and then when there are events.
Maureen Trusky, 45 Franklin Avenue, stated she would like the Planning Commission and the applicant to walk her neighborhood to see their concerns and to form a partnership as we need to work together to make this happen.
Mr. Murphy stated he will bring more information regarding other projects that have been completed, especially examples of facades, price ranges for units, parking, EV station information, and the property management information.
ADJOURNMENT – Member Smith made a motion to adjourn the September 8, 2023, Planning Commission Meeting. Motion was seconded by Member Hibbs, all ayes. Motion carried 5-0. Chairman McMenamin adjourned the September 12, 2023, Planning Commission Meeting at 9:33 P.M.
Respectfully Submitted by:
Diane C. Hegele, Borough Manager/Zoning Officer/ Open Records Officer
Transcribed by Cindy Bollendorf, Recording Secretary