Updated sketch plan pre­sented

Glenside News - - POLICEREPORTS - By Caitlin Burns

Af­ter tak­ing heavy criticism at the Lower More­land Plan­ning Com­mis­sion meet­ing in Jan­uary, the dreen­hill droup came be­fore the board of com­mis­sion­ers with a re­vised sketch plan Aug. 7.

To ap­prox­i­mately 75 res­i­dents, the group dis­cussed the con­cerns that had pre­vi­ously been brought for­ward and showed how the new plan ad­dressed those is­sues. While the group pre­sented a new sketch plan, com­mis­sion­ers as­sured the pub­lic that the de­vel­op­ment was not an ap­proved deal yet.

“This is a de­vel­op­ment that will live and breathe by the train sta­tion nearby,” dreen­hill droups’ at­tor­ney Marc Jonas said. “Much of the [Philmont Av­enuez cor­ri­dor yearns for rede­vel­op­ment.”

The new plan, ac­cord­ing to dlackin Thomas Pan­zak land plan­ner Din­nis dlackin, cuts down the num­ber of apart­ments on the po­ten­tial 9.5-acre prop­erty from 285 units to 250 units. It also re­moves any three-bed­room units, keep­ing a 50-50 split be­tween one and two bed­room apart­ments. The plan is for a mixed-use prop­erty, where dlackin es­ti­mates about 5,000 square feet of the 9.5 acres will be com­mer­cial space. That space, ac­cord­ing to the new plan, would be lo­cated along Tom­lin­son Road.

The re­vised plan also calls for an ex­tended and widened main boule­vard, which would have three-story build­ings along it. Be­hind those, the build­ings would then in­crease to four-sto­ries. dlackin es­ti­mates rent will range from $1,350 to $1,950.

“Most peo­ple in multi-fam­ily hous­ing don’t have chil­dren,” dlackin said. “They are look­ing for a life­style with­out main­te­nance.”

How­ever, res­i­dents were still con­cerned about the in­creased pop­u­la­tion to the VchRRO DnG rRDG WrDIfic. School board Pres­i­dent Mur­ray Co­hen ad­dressed dlackin’s com­ments about a lim­ited school-age pop­u­la­tion in the apart­ment com­plex. While dlackin es­ti­mates that only 17 to 21 chil­dren will live in the com­plex, Co­hen said the in­crease in chil­dren will most likely lead to the need for more teach­ers.

“We cur­rently have a prob­lem at the high school, where we have no more room,” Co­hen said. “Lower More­land, com­pared to other dis­tricts ... we are 10 years be­hind [in the num­ber of chil­drenz... More young will be mov­ing in.”

Co­hen said where as many of the school dis­tricts in the area are con­sis­tently see­ing a drop in en­roll­ment, Lower More­land has not.

“It’s not an is­sue of be­ing com­fort­able,” Co­hen said,“we’re con­cerned be­cause there’s only so much build­ing.”

Res­i­dents also brought up cRncHrnV DbRuW WrDIfic, VLncH as res­i­dent Rob Co­hen pointed out, a car is nec­es­sary to go­ing any­where in the subur­ban area.

“Lower More­land is to­tally land locked,” Rob said. “Any other place that you need to go re­quires the use of a ve­hi­cle.”

This also led him to ques­tion the amount of park­ing spa­ces that would be pro­vided on the prop­erty.

Ad­di­tion­ally, dlackin said whHn DnDOy]LnJ WhH fiVcDO im­pact of the apart­ments, the town­ship rev­enue would be about $20 mil­lion. How­ever, res­i­dents also were con­cerned about this be­cause, as dlackin pointed out, a Philadel­phia em­ployee will not be con­tribut­ing as much to the town­ship rev­enue and young pro­fes­sion­als com­mut­ing to Philadel­phia for work will be the ideal res­i­dents of the com­plex.

“I see some in­con­sis­ten­cies,” res­i­dent David Berman said. “It’s for peo­ple work­ing in the city but they don’t pay earned in­come tax.”

Res­i­dents also pro­vided to the board a pe­ti­tion of about 250 sig­na­tures against the de­vel­op­ment of the dreen­hill droup apart­ments. Res­i­dents, in a cri­tique of the pre­sen­ta­tion, re­ferred to it as “com­i­cal,” be­cause it pro­poses 250 units with “no chil­dren and no cars.”

“I have to say they didn’t sell it to me to­day,” res­i­dent Alex Berdichevsky said. “There is not a ques­tion that 90 per­cent of the peo­ple in this room know what kind of peo­ple will be drawn to this. This is go­ing to be peo­ple who are con­cerned with their chil­dren.”

At the meet­ing, town­ship plan­ner Steve dabriel also pre­sented new zon­ing drafts for the re­vi­tal­iza­tion dis­trict and a new tran­sit-ori­ented dis­trict. If the zon­ing draft is passed, the re­vi­tal­iza­tion dis­trict along Philmont Av­enue would not al­low for more than 33 per­cent of the prop­erty to be used for res­i­den­tial use. How­ever, prop­er­ties within a quar­ter of a mile from the train sta­tion would be part of the tran­sit-ori­ented dis­trict and al­low for 67 per­cent of a prop­erty to be used as res­i­den­tial.

Should these drafts pass, the dreen­hill droup apart­ments would still qual­ify un­der the tran­sit-ori­ented dis­trict, but the max­i­mum num­ber of units would be ap­prox­i­mately 108 apart­ments. Ad­di­tion­ally, the drafts re­quire build­ings to not ex­ceed three sto­ries and that the prop­erty be used for some com­mer­cial use.

HON­ORED ... Robert Schae­fer, sec­ond from right, re­ceives an of­fi­cial Chel­tenham Town­ship res­o­lu­tion in honor of his 31 years as coach for the Chel­tenham High School Girls Bas­ket­ball Team. Schae­fer com­piled a record of 757 wins to 163 losses, in­clud­ing win­ning 24 Subur­ban One League ti­tles, four dis­trict crowns and two state cham­pi­onships be­fore re­sign­ing in 2012. Town­ship com­mis­sion­ers, from left, Mor­ton J. Si­mon Jr.; Daniel B. Nor­ris, Drew Sharkey, Har­vey Port­ner and Art Hay­wood present the res­o­lu­tion dur­ing a re­cent board of com­mis­sion­ers meet­ing at Cur­tis Hall in Wyn­cote.

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