Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Ridge Pike Plans and A Brief Gerrymandering Debate

The property surrounded by the red line is proposed for redevelopment.
There may be some changes coming to the intersection of Ridge Pike and Fruitville Road and Airport Road, but you'll only be able so see one of them.

A series of issues before the Limerick Township Supervisors Tuesday night gave a glimpse of what's in store.

The more visible of the two changes are plans to build two retail commercial properties and 19 single family attached homes on a combined 5.5 acres on the northwest corner of the intersection of Ridge Pike and Fruitville Road.

Its a site that has served as several unsuccessful bars and restaurants.

This plan shows two commercial buildings along Ridge Pike,

and the housing units in the rear.
Piazza Realty was before the supervisors seeking permission to raze that building and erect several new ones.

Both the commercial buildings and the town homes would comply with the zoning ordinances architectural design standards, the developers testified.

And a traffic study concluded the re-development would have no adverse impact on the intersection or surrounding roads.

The supervisors took the testimony under advisement and will render a decision within 35 days.

The other change coming is across the street and is, for the most part, invisible.

It turns out part of the property used by Triad Truck Equipment Co., on the southwest corner of Ridge Pike and Airport Road, is actually owned by the adjacent Pottstown-Limerick Airport and has been rented for years. The airport now wants to sell the property and Triad wants to merge the two parcels into one.

What was debated Tuesday was whether that should trigger the Main Street zoning streetscaping and landscaping requirements as will be undertaken at the other project across the street.

But over the strenuous objections of Supervisor Thomas Neafcy, the three remaining board members (Chairperson Elaine DeWan was absent) said it would be silly, since the truck company could buy the property, not merge the parcels, and would be required to do nothing.

"Time and time again, this board has had an opportunity to do the Main Street streetscaping and this board waives it. I don't understand it," lamented Neafcy.

As the meeting wound down, resident Oliver Kennedy presented the board with a copy of a resolution adopted by neighboring Upper Providence Township supporting a Constitutional amendment to have Pennsylvania Congressional and statehouse districts be drawn up by a citizens commission instead of the politicians who benefit from them.

Kennedy criticized the board for appearing to be ignoring it, just as new Supervisor Patrick Morroney was making a motion to adopt the resolution.

Neafcy lashed out at the criticism, noting that Morroney was reading from a prepared statement. "This is a set-up," he said.

Kennedy said he only asked the board to consider the resolution and Vice Chairman Ken Sperring, who was running the meeting in DeWan's absence, said the board would, noting that currently the issue is in the hands of the courts.

"It's been adopted by Upper Providence," said Kennedy, to which Sperring replied curtly, "this isn't Upper Providence."

There was no second to Morroney's motion and the board adjourned, after which Neafcy and Kennedy continued to debate the matter in the audience, each accusing the other of bringing politics into the issue.

Here are the Tweets from the meeting:

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