Opposition to the high density development of 720 Penllyn Pike, Blue Bell, Pa

Opposition to the high density development of 720 Penllyn Pike, Blue Bell, Pa

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John Comonitski started this petition to Whitpain Township Board of Supervisors and Zoning Hearing Board

Dear Blue Bell Friends,

We would like your support by signing this petition showing your opposition to the proposed high density land development plan outlined below in the background section of this petition.  Also by signing you are asking the Whitpain Township Board of Supervisors and Zoning Hearing Board to oppose the plan as well.  

BACKGROUND:

As many of you know and others may not but we like to inform you and ask for your support.  Recently Tom and Maryanne Messmer of 720 Penllyn Blue Bell Pike indicated in a letter to neighbors they are moving and selling their properties (two parcels) to Mark Salamone, a housing developer, for the building of homes on the property.  A development proposal was submitted to Whitpain Township for the development of the property at 720 Penllyn Blue Bell Pike.  This property is located across from Boehm’s Church and includes the parking lot, the horse pasture, and the brick house adjacent to the pasture. 

The 3.85 acre combined property to be developed is composed of two parcels, the property with the brick house is zoned R1 and the other property, including the parking lot and horse pasture, is zoned Institutional because it was sold off from Boehm's Church to the Messmers a few years ago.  They are going to the township seeking multiple (~16) zoning variances for their plan which includes high density housing and re-purposing use of Institutional zoned land to high density residential zoning, not R1.  The plan consisting of a cul-de-sac serving 11 houses on approximately 3.85 acre site which is about 15,000 sf per lot or about twice the density allowed by R1 zoning and for some lots as small as 7,500 sf.  R1 requires 30,000 sf per lot. This plan does not conform to the zoning surrounding the property on three sides which is R1.  The Church is across the street on the fourth side.  Also if deemed necessary they will be requesting other variances for the back portion of the land which is considered a Floodplain Conservation District to allow for housing development on floodplains. 

We believe that if the institutional portion is to be rezoned it should become R1 as are the adjacent residential properties which requires 30,000 SF per lot.  11 houses on the property would amount to a density of about 15,000 SF per house over the entire site.  We oppose this density and don’t believe it will be beneficial to our community and could set precedence for future high density development in Whitpain township.

We understand and appreciate the Messmer’s right to allow their property to be developed we just want to make sure it is done at an appropriate density and preserves the riparian forest and stream that flows through the rear portion of the property.

Given that the property in question is surrounded by R1 Zoning it is most appropriate that any re-zoning of the property would also be R1.  Anything else would be considered spot zoning which is to be avoided.  R1 re-zoning, which requires 30,000 sf per lot would allow for about 5 houses.  Having only 5 houses would allow for much more greenery that we believe is more fitting for our community and better integrated with the historical landscape of Boehm’s Church and the surrounding R1 properties.

Also there will be two important meetings we would like for people to attend to show their support for opposition.  The Planning Commission meeting on Monday, October 7th at 7:30 and the Zoning Hearing Board on Thursday, October 17th.  Both meetings will be held at the Whitpain Township Community Building. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
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