Stop the Overdevelopment of the Route 29 Corridor Upper Prov Montgomery County

Stop the Overdevelopment of the Route 29 Corridor Upper Prov Montgomery County

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Rachel Biglin started this petition to Upper Providence Township Board of Supervisors

We, as concerned residents of the Township of Upper Providence, respectfully ask the Township TO DENY and REFUSE the development of the parcels located on Hopwood and Yerkes Roads as proposed by Silver Rhino Development.

It should be noted that we are NOT seeking to stall growth/progress within our township.  We are seeking to support our township in smart developing, balanced land use, and the betterment of County Greenways and preserved open space, in alignment with Montgomery County’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan (“MCCP”) and the Upper Providence Township Comprehensive Plan (“UPCP”), with a focus on long-term impact.  At the November 4, 2019 Board of Supervisors Meeting,  it was made clear that moving forward with the construction on both Hopwood and Yerkes Roads as proposed by Silver Rhino Development is anything but. 

The planned over-development of the Route 29 Corridor by our township was clearly identified at this same meeting by various members of the Board of Supervisors as a "means to an end" in correcting the Hopwood Road intersection problem; but also made clear was that the board continues to show little to no regard to the long-term negative affects that this construction will bring, including but not limited to:

1.)    The increased burden that the presence of 200+ renting households will place on our already strained resources, namely:

  • An increased demand on our Emergency Medical Response, Local Law Enforcement, and Township.
  • An increased crowding to our already near-limit Spring-Ford School District’s schools, and specifically, to the Oaks Elementary School, which is the Elementary School that serves the parcel in question.  The Pennsylvania Department of Education Capacity of Oaks Elementary is defined at 600. The 2018-2019 Enrollment at Oaks was 576.  We are AT CAPACITY.
  • These proposed apartment units cannot provide the adequate level of taxes comparable to single family housing to compensate for use, nor for future enhancements to our emergency response, law enforcement, and schools.
  • We are residents of a township already plagued with significant infrastructure concerns. The board has stated we cannot afford to address these concerns, as in this case, it was indicated at the 11/4/19 hearing that the only way to pay for the correction of the Hopwood intersection is to attach the cost to a land developer's plan as we do not have the capital.  And yet, the same board of supervisors is proposing the erection of a library, which is not only an antiquated resource and a waste of taxpayer funds, constructing a library should not even be part of the dialogue until we can be assured that our township's infrastructure is sound.  Selling out to a builder and increasing the population by 200+ households is not just counter-intuitive, it is wrong. 

2.)    The Impact of Developing this parcel as proposed is not aligned with Township and County Comprehensive Plans, and, if allowed, will have a tremendous negative impact to the township and its residents.

  • This land was previously identified by Upper Providence Township’s Open Space Committee as an important remaining parcel and should not be removed from the potential of future Open Space Acquisition by the township.  Potential Homeowners purchased their homes at that time based on the Township's stated long-term goals. Developing these last parcels in this corner of the township will directly impact the quality of life that we bought into and were promised by the Township's Land Use and  Comprehensive Plans.
  • The blatant disregard of the County and Township Comprehensive and Land Use Plans, and voting to re-zone as mixed use instead of R1-R2, to facilitate construction of two 4-story apartment buildings and two-5 story apartment buildings towering dead center of single family homes and town homes is incompatible with the surrounding zoning plans.
  • With over 91% our Township already developed, development of this parcel will “encumber the opportunity for preservation,” a point made clear that the township wished specifically to avoid, per the UP Land Use Plan, and will result in over-development and elimination of the last natural acreage located in this part of our township. 
  • Currently, Upper Providence supports a 5-mile stretch of the Perkiomen Trail, from Collegeville Proper all the way to Oaks—the longest segment of this trail—that has no parking, facilities, or adequate Trail Head for township residents to utilize, but is greatly needed within this trail segment.  Montgomery County’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan set a county-wide goal of Expanding and Connecting local trails, green ways, natural areas, and parks, as well as access to them.  This parcel is identified in the UTCP as an “Area identified for acquisition to be developed as trail heads, parking, and associated facilities.”  Use of this parcel as such would be further supported by the MCCP and its Land Use Plans.  Silver Rhino’s proposal includes installing a feeder trail, but makes no provisions specific to trail parking.
  • Storm water Management is a serious concern throughout Montgomery County, and is a priority of the MCCP.  Apartment Buildings and their parking accommodations would introduce a large area of impervious surface, directly adjacent to "Norma's Run" Creek, which has the potential to further introduce fast accumulations of run-off water in an area already prone to flooding, located directly adjacent to a 100-year flood plane.

For the primary foregoing reasons, and the numerous reasons presented by the 90+ residents that were NOT considered by the board before their vote to re-zone, we urge you to reject the proposed construction of the SR29 Corridor at Yerkes and Hopwood Roads.  Alternately, we support rezoning this parcel for a split use of single-family dwellings/town homes/twin homes to provide an adequate return of provisional tax dollars to our township, as well as a township trail head with recreational/preserved natural/facility provisions, which is a smart use of this natural and virtually untouched parcel that would benefit our entire township and county in a far greater capacity, and provide an accurate representation of our Township as it was intended for years to come.

Sincerely,

The Concerned Residents of 

Upper Providence Township,

and its Supporting Municipalities

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCES:

1. Montgomery County Document Center-Upper Providence Open Space Plan

     https://www.montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/2129/Upper-Providence-Open-Space-Plan?bidId=

2. BH Architecht’s Spring-Ford ASD Demographics and Enrollment Projections Powerpoint Presentation, 2014

     https://www.spring-ford.net/uploaded/School-Board/Demographics_Enrollment_Presentation.pdf

3. https://www.niche.com/k12/oaks-elementary-school-oaks-pa/

4.  www.fema.gov

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