September 14, 2021 Planning Commission Minutes

PRESENTChairman McMenamin, Member Hegele, and Member Farnen, Manager Hegele, and County Planner Mohr were present.

ABSENT – Vice Chair Kline and Member Shay were absent.

CALL TO ORDER – Chairman McMenamin called the September 14, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Chairman McMenamin led the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF JULY 13, 2021 MEETING MINUTES – Member Hegele made a motion to approve the July 13, 2021 planning Commission Meeting Minutes. Motion was seconded by Member Farnen, all ayes. Motion carried 3-0.

PRESENTATION ON ZONING SUBCOMMITTEE – Chloe Mohr, County Planner, gave a zoning sub committee update to the Planning Commission. She showed the existing zoning on York Road which is the town center district which includes two sub districts named Town Center Core (TCC) and Town Center General (TCG).

She stated, in expansion of the Community Development Objectives of this Ordinance (§27-100), it is the intent of the Town Center District to:

  • Encourage a vibrant and thriving commercial district with a wide variety of types of businesses and centers of activity.
  • Promote development of a human-scaled, pedestrian-oriented town center consisting of dynamic mixed-use areas and gathering places for the community.
  • Promote residential uses on second stories and above, to help strengthen the character and economic vitality of York Road and to establish a twenty-four-hour presence.
  • Encourage arts and culture uses to create an active business district and enhance opportunities for entertainment and socialization.
  • Enhance the community’s character through the promotion of high-quality design.
  • Preserve historic buildings and provide design requirements that ensure new buildings, additions and renovations are consistent with and enhance the established historic character.
  • Encourage shared parking to minimize the number of curb cuts that interrupt the pedestrian network.
  • Encourage the provision of additional amenities that benefit the public health, safety, and welfare, such as green area and open space, efficient roadways, safe bicycle and pedestrian connections, green stormwater infrastructure, and green building practices.

In addition to the intent above, the Town Center Core shall:

  • Create a focused high-activity center for Hatboro’s commercial district.
  • Accommodate primarily high-volume first floor uses that have many customers and patrons every day.
  • Emphasize walkability and pedestrian amenities.
  • Encourage transit-oriented or transit-supportive development with higher density residential uses.

In addition to the intent above, the Town Center General shall:

  • Create a well-integrated mix of uses including retail, office, residential, and institutional uses.

Planner Mohr asked if there were any questions or comments regarding the draft.

Member Hegele suggested the “24-hour presence” be removed or reworded from the draft as residents do not want people carrying on at two in the morning on York Road. Planner Mohr stated that there was a desire to have more foot traffic on York Road as well as night life and that is why that is included, and Member Hegele stated he understood but still thinks it should be removed as the text is fine without that statement.

Tom Smith, 237 Jacksonville Road/Historical Commission Member, stated that he reviewed the draft and asked for clarification on a few items such as 50% coverage of the floor area regarding permitted uses in TCG. After Planner Mohr explained, Mr. Smith stated he misunderstood how it was worded and is fine with it now that he understands.

Mr. Smith asked who was responsible for the landscaping maintenance where it is noted that landscaping should be where primary frontage is not occupied by building space and Planner Mohr stated it is the property owner’s responsibility. Manager Hegele stated that it’s part of the Borough’s responsibility every day to enforce property maintenance under the IPMC.

Mr. Smith also stated it should be more specific regarding the buffer areas in the rear of buildings and Planner Mohr stated it is clear in the SALDO. Chairman McMenamin stated that it could be a blanket statement and please refer to the SALDO could be added.

There was a discussion regarding square footage and specific use. Mr. Smith asked why Amusement Park is mentioned as one of the uses and Member Hegele stated that Hatboro is small and there is nowhere to put one anyway and Planner Mohr stated it is listed as a use because of zoning laws regardless if there is a place for one and it would have to go before Council anyway. Councilwoman McMenamin stated that even though we do not want to make the uses to general, we also do not want to make it too specific. Planner Mohr also stated that it should be allowed somewhere even if it is unlikely that it will occur. It was decided that Amusement Park should be somewhere else and not in TCC or TCG.

Planner Mohr asked the Planning Commission if they want to see the revisions before it gores before Council. Chairman McMenamin stated that he was comfortable with approving this go before Council after Chloe made the few changes that were discussed. Member Hegele stated that he did not feel it was necessary to have another meeting regarding this. Member Farnen agreed.

MOTION: RECOMMENDATION TO GO BEFORE COUNCIL FOR APPROVAL FOR ADOPTION AFTER DISCUSSSED CHANGES ARE MADE – Member Farnen made a motion to recommend the draft go before Council for approval for adoption after discussed changers are made. Motion was seconded by member Hegele, all ayes. Motion carried 3-0.

OLD BUSINESS -There was no old business.

PUBLIC COMMENT – There was no public comment.

NEXT MEETING DATE – The next Planning Commission Meeting is October 12, 2021 at Crooked Billet Elementary School.

ADJOURNMENT – Member Hegele made a motion to adjourn the September 14, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting. Motion was seconded by Member Farnen, all ayes. Motion carried 3-0. Chairman McMenamin adjourned the September 14, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting at 8:45 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted by:

Diane C. Hegele, Borough Manager

Transcribed by Cindy Bollendorf