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Innovation & Growth Initiative: Montgomery County Benchmark
Learn about Abington's Next Century. To access a white paper that compares Abington to the rest of Montgomery County, click here >
From Ward 1 Commissioner Kline
On May 24, the owner of the property at 1368 Valley Road had his engineer present the new sub-division and land development drawings to the Abington Township Planning Commission. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the preliminary plans, after about 1.5 hr. discussion, with the following conditions (list may not be complete).
• Owner needs to obtain Zoning Hearing Board special exception for the soil force mains crossing the stream and the work to the driveway within the floodplain.
• Owner needs to obtain PA DEP approval for the soil force main crossing the stream.
• Owner needs to revise the tree replacement number to 73 trees based on the township’s count instead of the 63 trees figured by the owner’s engineer.
• Owner will need to engage a landscape architect to layout and specify appropriate trees to create proper buffers and ground stabilization.
• Owner needs to consult with a environmental engineer to determine the best way to add planting to stabilize the riparian surrounds of the stream.
• Owner will submit architectural plans and elevation for review by the Planning Commission upon final plan submission with a possibility of a waiver granted at that time.
Storm water management system sizes will be increase to collect 110% of the required run-off.
• Owner will meet and consult with Township Engineer to determine if any stream stabilization will be required.
• Owner will meet and consult with Township Engineer to determine if any existing curbing needs to be replaced as part of this approval.
• It was recommended that waivers be granted for the installation of sidewalks, plan identification of owners with in 400’ of the property (immediate neighbors are all labeled), location of all existing features within 400’ of the property, irregular lot shape and phasing plan.
This recommendation with the above mentioned conditions will be sent to the Code Enforcement and Land Development Committee of the Board of Commissioners on June 1st at 7:30 pm and is held in the same board room. The Code Committee will review the project and ask for public comment. The committee will then vote on a recommendation to the full board. The Full Board of Commissioners meeting will then be held on June 9th at 8:00 pm in the same board room. Most of the discussion will take place at the committee level so if you would like to weigh in, please attend the June 1st meeting.
Watershed and New Development
Township Meeting Reviewed a Proposal to Build Two Structures at 1368 Valley Road
Minutes of the most recent meeting, including conditions and waivers are downloadable here >
The Planning Commission met on January 25, 2011 to review the sketch plan of 1368 Valley Road. Neighbors voiced their concerns and opposition to the development as it was presented. No decision could be rendered by the Planning Commission due to the lack of proper information concerning the floodplain (at that time).
The next meeting was on the evening of May 24 at the Abington Township Building. Download a PDF of the proposed plan here.
Abington Township Planning & Zoning Officer Mark Penecale issues a six page comment letter on April 27. There are a total of 28 comments from the Fire Marshal's Office, Building Inspector, Plumbing Inspector, Engineering and Mr. Penecale himself. Point 11 raises concerns about mature trees that were removed by the owner after being asked not to do so. 60 were chopped down during the winter. Requirement 146-11-H focuses on the Landscaping & Shade Tree Plan. Staff is not in favor of a waiver of this requirement. Your support is needed at the hearing to help protect the environmental concerns for the Rydal-Meadowbrook area. The property owner Yoni Nadav and engineer Vincent Fioravanti should not be rewarded for such destructive behavior.
Mr. Penecale's also raised point 24 regarding stream bank stabilization. The creek that runs along the edge of the property is in the floodplain and has represented a source of danger to life and property over many years. However, neighbors report that the flooding is more frequent as new development has added more buildings and pavements and reduced old-growth trees.
Abington has published FEMA Flood Maps and Address List
Download a list of all properties that have been listed by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of a floodplain in the Township. Officials have made preliminary maps available on its web site at:
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is requesting municipal review and public comment. Official adoption is not scheduled until mid-2011. FEMA has also set up a webpage to answer your questions, supply appeal and protest information:
According to Commissioner Steven Kline, the Township's Engineering Department took the maps and identified which properties are located in the new floodplain boundaries and what percentage of the property is contained in the floodplain. The new maps have added over 1000 new Abington homes in the floodplain. Insurance premiums for flood insurance for properties will be required for homes/buildings now identified in the floodplain.
Commissioner Kline indicated that the new FEMA maps are currently in a state of review by municipalities and other governmental entities. This review period is supposed to last until the end of June at which time FEMA will take these comments and generate their recommendation to the state legislature. FEMA expects this to happen by the end of this year although there have been other timelines on with this process that have been pushed back.
It would appear that FEMA may be open to altering the maps and addresses if municipalities and the State were to provide evidence that certain properties do not qualify. Yet, as many neighbors know, flooding is becoming exaserbated by new development and trees that have been removed.
2 comments by Members are their personal opinions (see RMCA policies)