Friday, February 8, 2008

Covenant of the ARC

I'm sure you're all aware that an appeal has been filed to stop the American Revolution Center from being built at Valley Forge National Historical Park. The piece of land they want to build on, while it is within the boundaries of the park, is not actually owned by the park. So, in reality, anything could be built there, zoning permitted.

And of course zoning is at issue in the appeal. But the appeal is not the covenant I want to talk about.

Just what is the covenant that provides for an American Revolution Center?

Tom Daley apparently has a collection of artifacts from the Revolution. Sounds like a covenant to me, but does that give him the right to the ARC?

Now the Schuylkill Alliance Chamber of Commerce wants to build the ARC.

Sounds like they have a plan that would bypass all of the zoning issues currently facing the ARC. Al Paschall, the head of the chamber is working on a deal that would put the ARC at the vistor's center. Sounds like a perfect place for the ARC to me, but without the covenant can he get it done?

The holder of the covenant of the ARC might just hold the upper hand here, but the greater good would be served if the ARC was brought back to the park, where it all began.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who made the Schuylkill Alliance Chamber of Commerce king of the ARC and God? Talk about two faced. First they say moving to LPT was the greatest thing going and they stated this in writing of course. Then they say put back in the park. Wow, what gall!! I wonder who is padding their pocket? This group is not the spokesman for residents of LPT. The stupid group fighting the ARC also does not represent the majority of residents in the Township. They captured a few residents ears only to place them as party to the appeal because they agreed to pay all their legal costs. Who are the real losers of this appeal? LPT residents of course who will lose out the amusement tax revenue generated by this beautiful museum, the increase of municipal taxes, the potential for more residential housing units, raising of your school taxes to build a new school for these new residential homes, the costs of fighting this appeal and most of all the the legacy of telling your children that we had a part of bringing the ARC to LPT and prestige of living in the municipality which houses a national icon. By placing the ARC in LPT, the business park can be revitialized with new businesses who wish to associate themselves with this prestigious landmark. All I have to say is that the residents of LPT need to stand up right now and publicy voice their rights at the LPT board of supervisors meeting or in this papers editorial page and not let those who live outside of LPT to be able to dictate how the Township is to be operated. Preserving over 100 acres of open space is the greatest gift the ARC can give the residents of our community and best of all it did not cost the residents one penny. Think about that when you open your mouth. The Board of Supervisors did the absolute right thing by passing this Living History Ordinance. Hats off to the Board of Supervisors for having the vision to preserve our historical heritage in LPT. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Stan, why are you being two faced about this? You wrote about your support last year for the ARC to be located in LPT. Who are you kidding? Talk about losing credibility with your readers.

Anonymous said...

It is about time something was done with the ARC. This has drug on long enough and the people of Lower Providence do not want it in our township. Daly should take his money and go somewhere else!

Anonymous said...

Seems all very simple doesn't it, just ask the folks from the ARC to pack up the artifacts and give them to the park. Don't loose site it was the park (Valley Forge) that directed the ARC folks to pursue the site in Lower Providence. Sounds like the park didn't want them in the first place. Guess it's the classic "becareful what you ask for, you may just get it."

Anonymous said...

Stan, Your last sentence said it all. Valley Forge Park is where it belongs from the get go.

Anonymous said...

The issue isn't the covenant. The issue is that the ARC folks tried for a long time already to work with the park service to get their museum in the park. That was even THEIR first choice, according to your own paper. But the park service expected Mr. Daley and his group to raise all the funds, build the buildings, and then turn it and their collection over to the government to run. That was the sticking point - control - and the new deal is substantially the same old, same old. No wonder they turned it down.

Not to mention the park service/federal gov't does a lousy job of running anything efficiently or profitably, and lacks the funds to adequately care for and house the ARC's collection. The ARC team was forced to invest elsewhere and they have found a new home in Lower Providence. The park service no doubt realizes the size of the cash cow they gave away to LP and is trying to steal it back. They will need to do better than coming back with the same deal they couldn't work out over ten years.

Anonymous said...

Interesting since Al Paschall stood up at the Lower Providence Supervisors meeting back in September and praised Jerry Lenfest and the ARC project as it was ( being constructed within LP Township on the adjacent parcel to VF Park). I can't see Tom Daley abandoning this plan and handing over the artifacts after the land has already been purchased in LP Township. This project could bring alot of tax dollars to LP Township, not to mention a sorely needed upscale attraction here. This town is dying for a project like this to revitalize it. Enough with residents getting excited over new pharmacies,banks and pizzerias. Doesn't anyone have any sense of the great historical place in which we live?? A museum of this caliper can only enhance the reputation of LP Township and bring back the sense of history that has slowly disappeared over the last 2 decades. A deal to put the ARC inside VF Park has been going on for over 11 years with no success. Not to mention they have alot of asbestos sitting along the river inside the park for how many years that they can't even afford to clean up. If VF Park doesn't clean up it's act, I'd feel sad that the ARC Museum would be sitting inside it. If VF Park wants the ARC so badly, what didn't they seal the deal??!!
I am saddened that 2 of our 5 Supervisors have been discussing their "alternative ideas" with outside parties (not your job Gentlemen!). Any other township would be bending over backwards for a project like this...but I guess more housing developments and pharmacies are more the LP style. Sad....but nothing new for this Township.
As for Tom Daley and the ARC's collection of artifacts; I guess they can loan them to whomever they want. It's an impressive collection and without them...seems like the ARC Museum would be missing a large chunk of history.

Stan said...

I'm not being two faced, I'm just posing questions. I don't care where it is built so long as it is built. I think it's a travesty that we don't have a museum dedicated to the Revolution.

Anonymous said...

Most people would agree in principle that the ARC Museum appears to be a good idea. The area around Valley Forge Park is one of the most logical places to display and store artifacts from the Revolutionary War.

BUT the very word "museum" implies boredom to the average man-in-the-street, so we have to look carefully at all proposals being made in order to turn the museum into an "attraction" that will recoup expenses, pay for ongoing maintenance, and make a profit. Let's face it, Mr. Lenfest, Mr. Daley, et al would not be working on the plan unless there was money to be made. That's why they have an additional plan for a conference center, hotel, cafeteria, viewing platform, etc. etc. $$$$$

So we must assume that a legal document (covenant) has been drawn up between Mr. Daley and the partners to the effect that if they build it, he will allow them to display his collection. Obviously he will benefit from more than just the warm feeling that he is sharing his collection with the world. It seems unlikely that Mr. Daley will let the Chamber of Commerce steal his show.

And which government body do you want to benefit from all this--LP or the US Park Service?

Anonymous said...

Supervisors Brown and Dipaolo... please hang in there and do what's right for the Township. Maybe then Boss Craig will see the the light and the covenant also.
The Professor

Anonymous said...

It would be ashamed not to have this in LP. The three board members and twp staff worked hard on this and continue to do so. The other 2 board members just go against everything anyhow. If the township was offered no tax for 5 years, they would say no. That's all they do. Go to a meeting sometime. It is quite amusing. My family is hoping this project comes to LP and a majority of the residents support it, minus the 2 board members. Take it to a voter referendum. You'll see.

The Mole said...

Stan, Wow! You certainly opened Pandoras box. LEGACY? What is the meaning of that word? What do you tell your grandchildren of the buildings of yore that used to stand in what is now commercial businesses? Everyone is stupid except the writers of something they know nothing about. I wonder how many visits the first writer has made to the home of James Audubon? Can you give us a visitor count? Could this be the person who applied to ARC group for a concession stand within? Having a sense of the great historical place in which we live===WHERE==
the five idiots sitting at the head table destroyed that history. It has'nt been in the past two decades, try the last seven years.
PLEASE-- dont feel sorry for the supervisors, check the minutes(they are on the web) and see who voted for the housing Developments,Pharmacies,Banks,and
change of ordinances to allow same. Could it be the writer is a former township official? Please, don't sit back and criticise, if you feel you have the fortitude to endure this type of harassement, run for office. Who knows, I may even vote for you...unless you were someone who was there before..could not take the heat, and quit.

Four Winds said...

Mr. Huskey, I do not believe that the L.P. Township Officials are there to entertain or amuse anyone, They took an oath to make sure that the Health,Safety and Welfare of ALL residents are taken into consideration. Difference of opinions is what makes this country so great. If a person does not agree with anothers point of view,is that person wrong? In some peoples eyes they are. Sitting on the Board of Supervisors is not a cut and dry operation. There are many, many hours of homework involved if one wants to make an intellegent apprasial of whats right and wrong. So to the people who say they attend the Boards meetings and think one person is right, and the other is wrong, thank GOD you have the freedom to stand up and state your views. It's one of the few Countries that gives you that right. But, before you shoot your mouth off, get the facts on how and why people vote the way they do.

The Pilot said...

Stan, Lower Providence TOWNSHIP Has'nt had a tax increase in the past 20 years. The Township tax is not the choker anyhow. Try the School District. What's going to happen with your school tax when the Catholic High school moves from Norristown to Royersford? Kids will be getting up at 5 A.M.in the morning and getting home at 6 P.M. The buses will be geting twice the wear and tear, and if the gas prices continue to rise......where do you think your taxes will go???????????? Just a thought. Maybe we can locate the new High school on the ARC ground. That ground did belong to the Philadelphia Diocese. They got their 7 mil. and ran. Maybe we can put this up for a referendum. Lower Providence never had a majority resident vote on anything. Check you past voting stats.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous-

Regardng making money off the ARC; I can't think of any other museum of this magnitude that doesn't offer an ATM machine, cafeteria and gift shop. The conference center seems reasonable as it is small in scale and would allow visitors to stay on-site. You have to make some profit to sustain it. I personally like museums that offer those amenities so you can stay the whole day without having to leave the premises to eat lunch or get money. I understand everyone has traffic concerns ( not that has ever stopped any development in LP Township before!) but I also don't know of any museum that is open later than 5 PM unless it's for a special event. I have to assume that most of the visitors to the ARC would be school busses and bus tours which operate from 9 AM and usually depart by 3:00 PM to get students back to school. These are not peak rush hour traffic times. If a housing development were to be built instead, you'd be looking at 600+ additional rush hour car trips a day! If the ARC doesn't work out for this site, I also like the idea of the Kennedy-Kenrick High School moving to the site...again it would not be an impact on rush hour traffic in the evening. The site has been sold...let's put it to good use. I applaud the ARC also for giving us ALOT of open space with this project...no other developer would EVER do that in this township. We should be thankful that the ARC has been this tolerant of all of our "requests". It's difficult for me to understand why some are so opposed as this is the most restrictive ordinance in the township....the covenant seems unecessary. Just get it done so we can move on and enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Supervisors DiPaolo and Brown. Please hang it up.

The Student

Anonymous said...

Dear Mole-

I agree there isn't much history left here...nothing but commercial building. But, here's a chance to bring something that highlights the history that has been forgotten back to a township that sorely needs it. I'm all for that.

in the dark said...

Mr. Huskey; If I read your paper correctly Mr. Brown and Mr. DiPalo voted NO because there was no covenant included. So please tell me who's right and who's wrong.

The stick togeather three or the mushroom two.

Anonymous said...

Build it, and they will come. LPT deserves this, the people deserve. I understand there are 2 supervisors who don't want it, but I'm sure that is only because they don't want to get along with the other 3. It's a shame ! There are alot of people embarassed by this. Let the people vote for this!

Anonymous said...

Who gets a chance to vote on this issue? Just the people in Lower Providence? The people in Schuykill Township, Phoenixville Boro,Upper Providence, Upper Merion. WHO? Who's embarassed by this issue? If you have facts, please share them with the people of Stan's blog. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

To "in the dark",

The mushroom two are correct in this matter. The ARC folks agreed publicly and wrote a letter in the paper to a limitation on development of the property. This agreed upon limitation was to be put in a covenant to run with the land and enforecable by third parties. When it was time to sign the covenant, knowing they had three solid votes for whatever they wanted, the ARC folks reniged and instead substituted the covenant with a declaration that had a 10 year expiration limit on the terms that had been laid out in the covenant. Brown and DePaolo are right on this count! As a resident who lives near the proposed site, I have strong reservations about the hotel and conference center. If you read the ordinance, under conditional uses they could in fact build a 400 room hotel and I think that Dininny and his gang of two would in fact go along with any type of development the ARC folks want. If it's all the same to you I would prefer it built in your backyard not mine.

Anonymous said...

The "Student" needs to get back to school, if it weren't for Supervisors like Brown and DiPaolo, Lower Providence would soon be a sea of development and most of it blacktopped over. Hurrah for them!

The Professor said...

Let's do it!

Anonymous said...

It time that all of those who do not want the ARC to rethink their allegiance to this country and to their family. How wonderful would it be to have a legacy for your children- to say that you watched the ARC be built. I did not hear George Washington say that he objected to the national capital being built in Philly or Mr. Audubon object to his home being commercialized -- YES county commissioners being commercialized Please wake up TWSP Board of Supervisors on the true purpose of the ARC a legacy for LPT and its children. Mr Brown, please get off your political high horse and do whats right for your grand children, leave the legacy in LPT and not in another twsp. I do not want want my legacy known as being responsible for building another 250 homes in a twsp who cannot afford to give away our open space to another Toll brothers.

Joe Swartz said...

I see Dinninny's hacks along with their no clue solicitor, denied the NPCA appeal. How much more will this litigation cost us taxpayers. Boo Donovon and Janis Keaney should not have even voted on this issue. They both spoke in favor of this ARC hotel/motel/conference center/museum at the public hearing and in the letters to the editor. How blatant can they be. I agree with all the County Commissioners, it is high time for the ARC principals to get a grip and move it back to VFNP. Public tax dollars should not be building hotel/conference centers for non profits to go head to head with real business owners.

Anonymous said...

I rather have houses at this point.
AT LEAST I KNOW WHAT I AM GETTING!
Our tax money is being used to build this commericalized project.
I rather help protect this land FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS than say I HELPED destroy it.Valey Forge has the money now.
What a bad location also how do you get there.
ARC has some payrolls too and I am pretty sure the commerical will help paying there huge salaries.
Keep ARC out of the PARK!

Howdy said...

To anonymous and James Audubon Homesite.

When was the last time you PAYED a penny to walk the James Audubon grounds and to view his home site. The Montgomery County Commissioners bought the site so you, your children,grandchildren and whoever can enjoy history. Since when do you have to put a price on enjoying that? What is your legacy? And what power do you wield to save our open space? That open space was sold by St. Gabes to ARC, how do you figure it belongs to US? I wasn't present when the ARK was built, so I will not be missing out on anything when NOAH misses this one.

Very Confused said...

Isn't the reason that "the 2 supervisors" are opposed to this simply and completely because that the ARC refuses to put in writing (covenant) what they initially promised when this project was proposed? Weren't the now opposing supervisors in favor of this project as it was originally proposed by the developer? Aren't the two opposing supervisors really opposing the land being further developed than what was originally proposed? Please correct me if I have this wrong, because this is a very important point to me. In fact I think this is a much greater issue than where the museum actually ends up. Are these two supervisors just opposing the ARC or are they actually trying to hold a developer accountable to what was said?

Anonymous said...

Stan, What the heck is wrong with these commmenters? There are no public funds being utilized to build the ARC. It is a private foundation. They need to get their facts straight before commenting and some of them need to go back to school to learn to write. The 100+ acres preserved as open space was purchased with county and state dollars. I think the Times Herald needs to stress that point. The last three comments are ignorant of the facts of the project and their ignorance really is demonstated by their comments. Thanks

Rick Brown said...

To anonymous who thinks I ride a political high horse, you're right!

Now that you are dragging my grandchildren into the ARC debacle, I want to respond to whoever you are, hiding behind the anonymous title. I will keep it simple for you, Mr. Lenfest and Mr. Daly struck a compromise with the township, we agreed to allow them to build the 99 room hotel and conference center by right and they agreed to limit their impervious coverage to 11.7 acres. When a developer gives you his word it should be kept, especially with 42 eyewitnesses. I hope that I have instilled in my children and grandchildren that character and integrity are much more important than an old musket, sword, or tent, material things of the past, so to say. When someone gives me their word and a handshake, I expect that to mean something. Maybe my moral compass is old fashioned, but I think not, I hope that I have been able to pass that compass along to my children, grandchildren and their heirs.

If you think that a Hotel, Bar, Restaurant, and a Conference Center are a legacy, I would question your moral fiber and your real exact interest in this business.

And finally if you had a chance to read the ARC letter to the editor, they claim they only plan to take up less than 2 acres, the rest is trails, walkways and parking, if that were true, then 11.7 acres would surely have been overkill for their project. They also threaten the neighbors with 292 houses, that is nothing more than a scare tactic, on that 78 acre site, there is a high tension easement, a gas pipeline easement, a sewer pump station and collection system easement, these easements cannot be built upon. To my knowledge no bubble plan was ever put together for this property to see how many houses could actually be built. My best guess for the current R-2 zoning classification would put it somewhere between 85 to 95 houses taking into consideration the unbuildable land and areas needed for roads and storm water retention basins. I hope that my blogging has been helpful to some of its readers.

Rick Brown said...

To the Anonymous who thinks that there are no public funds being utilized for the ARC, you better stand back and give your head a shake. Governor Rendell has committed $20 million of your taxpayer dollars to build the ARC. Commissioner Hoeffel was quoted in the Inquirer on 2/29/08 page B4 stating "The county has committed $2.5 million for construction costs" Commissioner Matthews was quoted as saying "We put money into an American Revolution Center, we did not put money into an American Revolution Center and a hotel, that's not the way I envisioned it" Commissioner Castor said "Frankly I would like a museum with a little gift shop, I would like to see it as little commercialized as possible".

So if you think the commentors are all wrong, you should get the real facts as they have. It may take a little research and reading but the facts are right out there. There were no 100+ acres preserved as open space with county and state dollars. You do the research yourself and find out just how much was purchased with grant money from the county and the state. Before you call these people ignorant I suggest that you do your homework and give these 3 bloggers an apology!

(still) very confused said...

Dear Mr. Brown,
I understand your post was not meant for me per se, but I did want to thank you for it. However this is what I thought, and therefore it does nothing to help me understand what all these other posts are about. I can only come up with a handful of possibilities as to what is driving all these other posters asking you to "give it up":
1. These people all think you are lying; they don't believe that the ARC ever said those things and they are convinced that you are just making them up for some unstated nefarious reasons.
2. They honestly believe that the Museum would be such a wonderful thing that they want it to be in the township so badly that they don't think any limitations or expectations (including telling the truth and keeping their word) should be imposed upon the ARC.
3. They have some other reasons for letting the ARC do as they please.
4. In general they just don't think developers should be held accountable by local government.
5. They just don't like you and want to oppose you.

Dear Everyone Else,
Seriously, which is it? I'm ok with any of the above choices above (or some other I've failed to see), but I want to understand what your position is, especially if it's number 1. In that case, I think you have a duty as a citizen to make this accusation clear, so the rest of us know better. I will add my voice to yours, if what Mr. Brown has been saying is not true. If it is any of the other reasons above, I admit that I would be inclined to disagree with you, but I'd like to work to a compromise; I just need a little understanding to start down that path.
That being said, I hope you understand if I refuse to compromise my principles. High among them is the belief that a community's elected officials should maintain a constant vigilance on the behalf of the community and should do so in part by demanding integrity from all those with whom they do business... I'm very confused as to how you can disagree with that statement and still manage to consider yourself a good citizen...?

The Pilot said...

Mr. Brown, Great Blog. I wonder how many people would pay $400 to $500 hundred thousand to live under high tension power lines.
It may be closer to 65 homes that can be built, pretty close to what a past Supervisor has put up or has the Boards ok to build.

nerd said...

Some thoughts...

If the Winter of 1777 was as bad as it was written, how many of our original heroes rest in this place?

Is this the original Veterans Cemetery?

Do we need to respect this land with something better than a motel / conference center?

What function would the ARC serve that isn't already being served by the Freedoms Foundation on Rt23 in Phoenixville?

Why do we need to plow this land under do badly? Why do we need to do it now?

Was LPT getting any taxes on it from before since a religious organization previously owned it?

Will LPT be getting taxes from this site now that it has been sold?

Is LPT putting itself in the position of a guarantor for a bunch of real estate speculators?

Do we need the extra traffic that this project will bring?

What if this project goes under? Can we expect another Marriott?

What affect will this project have on the water usage in that area since most are well water?

Is this a sustainable project with all the land that will be blacktopped?

been here too long said...

Mr. Brown & The Nerd-

Question-

If the land is so bad to build homes on, why did you (Rick Brown) vote several years ago to rezone it to R-2? Was that for the benefit of the Archdioscese when selling the property? Please clarify.

I've sat through dozens of township meetings where developers get variances and pretty much whatever they want so that they can build their large housing developments. Why would this plot of land be any different?

I'm really sad that the ARC is getting this much of a problem from the township when the ordinance is the most restrictive ordinance in the township and they have put together a plan that gives us a great museum, nice restaurant and conference center, beautiful walking trails and tons of OPEN SPACE!!! Who else is going to give us that??? Not Toll Brothers or Gambone.

TO: The Nerd-
You seem overly pecimistic. None of the traffic studies have been performed yet so how do you know the traffic impact will be so bad? Isn't it the proper procedure to allow a developer to go forward with proposing a plan and doing the required studies before we kill the deal? Seems like people are really jumping the gun.
I say, give them a chance to show us their plan...the other options are much less appealing. To the person who favors the housing development, well, I hope you're ready to pay the increase in school taxes b/c 2 children per household x 65 homes is 130 addtional kids that won't fit into Audubon Elementary ...looks like we'll be building another new school for several million $$. Forgive me, but I'll go with the nice museum.

Back atcha said...

To been here too long,

You seem to know everything about nothing, too bad you won't come out of your fox hole. The only people who can sit through all those boring township meetings are the township supervisors themselves. Which one are you? A good place for the hotel, restaurant, and conference center would be in your back yard, not mine. I don't mind the museum at all, bring it on, but leave all that other commercial stuff over in Goodrich. I see even the County Commissioners have seen the light and are abandoning this project in total.

been here too long said...

Back Atcha-

To the contrary, I know quite alot after living in this township for almost 40 years. I've seen alot of good and bad things happen here. I'm just pointing out the facts as they are. Sorry if you don't like it. I wouldn't be a Superviosr if you paid me a million dollars...it's a thankless job for those seeking approval of their friends and neighbors and politicians in-the-making....but hey, somebody's got to do it. By the way, I've got a nice CVS pharmacy sitting in my backyard. I guess now it's your turn...at least you'll get some open space. Enjoy!

Lady Bug said...

Been here to long.

The people living in those $500 thousand homes can't afford to have furniture never mind having kids. How many of those 55 and over homes on Audubon Road have been sold? I believe the builder payed 2 million from a former supervisor for the property. Scare tactics don't work anymore, so stick around a little longer and see what tanspires. Love ya Mr. Huskey.

Anonymous said...

The open space the residents received is a joke it is across the street from the park and has tons of high tension wires running through it.
A baseball field is going in there.
Stop with the houses and kids and taxes involved you sound like someone who works for the township.
You are probably getting paid with our tax money writing all these reponses.Stop It.Get to work

been here too long said...

If I live near CVS, I certainly don't work for the township. Maybe it's time the residents who live near the proposed museum get a taste of what the rest of the townsip has had to endure the last 2o years... DEVELOPMENT. I know it's tough to swallow but as one Republican committee man told me about CVS..."It's progress. You have to be for progress". I'm sure he'd like to eat those words as he is now one of the residents affected by the proposed museum. Right back atcha.

Stacie Dale said...

Wow, I've really been missing quite a conversation! I think I have to agree with "been here too long." Anyone who thinks this land isn't going to be developed into something has not been here long enough. It's been sold.
I love the museum plan. I think it's the best possible use for this property considering the alternatives are more housing or other commercial development. As I've stated before, this is a chance to bring the historical aspect of living here, back. It's been a long time coming. I'm looking forward to seeing the development plan that the ARC puts forth. Granted, there may be issues to work out, but I am optimistic that the plan presented will be low-impact on the community. It can't be worse than all of the 24-hour businesses, stores and housing we've already built. At least, it serves a noble purpose in honoring the history of the Revolutionary War.

my aching head said...

Hi Stacie Dale,

Welcome back, where have you been? I think most of us residents living in the Perky Peninsula have no objection to a museum to tell the story of the American Revolution, it is all the commercial development on the site that we object to. Take a look at the 40 pages of ARC plans on the township web site. If you can read a plan, look at all the acres of land being bulldozed to make way for buildings and parking lots, it sure looks like half the site is being disturbed for construction. We need another hotel, conference center, restaurant, and all the other retail commercial stores like a hole in the head. We have enough commercial activity just down the road in Audubon. Take a look at what the Lomire/Dininny board of supervisors dumped down there. Wake up Stacie Dale and smell the roses.

Anonymous said...

What are the hours of the hotel?24?
What are the hours of the tavern?2AM?
None of these questions had to be answered
I am not getting a job at the museum so I do not support the commerical involved in it.
Wait til you see what happens to Bud's.
The right money can change Buds into a Wallgreen and Starbucks like in Phoenixville.
Good luck with your job at the museum

Anonymous said...

The hours of any hotel or potential retail use are questions that are addressed in the land development phase, along with traffic studies, building design etc. They were not appropriate for the concept or zoning phases. Everybody's got their panties in a twist but they are putting the cart before the horse. The land development process will allow for ironing out the resident's concerns in this and any other project. There is a legal, defined process to follow and the township is following it. I believe that the majority of the posters here are in positions to know that.

Stacie Dale said...

To My Aching Head & Anonymous-

First, my Father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in May and I am caring for him 3-4 days a week so that's where I've been. As someone who has lived here my whole life, believe me whe I say I don't want any more development, but sadly, it's not up to me...I only own my little 1/2 acre in Audubon. I know very well that when a property is sold, it's sold, and pretty much, residents living nearby don't get any say in what happens to it. Sad, but true. All in all, I still like this project for the township and have even inquired about working with the ARC in a volunteer capacity to make it a facility that we can all be proud of ( for which I have been criticized for repeatedly ). To those critics, my intentions are to volunteer my services in hopes to make certain the ARC doesn't become a commercial venture like every other commercial venture in the township. It is a special place and deserves to be something different and something that fits well with the historic aspect of this area. It deserves to have the input of residents and I have found the ARC more than willing to listen to the ideas I put forth. I don't know if others have contacted the ARC with what they would like to see there, but I hope they do. If you don't invlove yourself with the planning, you can't complain about it being something you don't like. Really, they don't have to take any of my suggestions, but again, I've found they are receptive to what I have to say. I know there are lots of studies that need to be done and a long procedure that needs to be followed before anything can be built. I have confidence in the planning commission and the BOS that they will get over all of this fighting amongst themselves and hash this out so it does the most good for the township and has the least impact on residents. Every home owner wants things to stay the way they were when they bought their homes. I wish I could still ride my bike in the middle of PArk Avenue like I did when I was a kid, but life has changed and we all have to adapt; no matter where you live. It's depressing, but reality.

I assume all hotels are 24 hours (hopefully those staying there would be sleeping at night!) I'm not aware of a tavern ( is that a bar?). I think it's supposed to be an upscale restaurant. From looking at the plan, I only see 19.5 acres being developed out of the 100 or so that are there. Seems better than ALL of it being developed.
I'm sure Bud's will become some other commercial venture. It's zoned VC so that makes sense. It's looking pretty bad now so hopefully whoever the buyer is, will do it justice and turn it into something we can all be proud of and live with comfortably. I know it could be another Wal-Greens or something like every other town USA, but maybe our township planners can help facilitate finding a buyer that could turn it in to something low-imapct and great. That's what I'd really like to see happen here...some creative thinking and people who will not "sit and wait" but go after what they think should be here and something that is a good fit for the surroundings. I think that is why I really like the ARc project, I think it belongs here and fits with the surrounding areas. I guess I wish the ARC had come first before all of the pharmacies, banks and pizza shops. Maybe then people wouldn't be so upset. I think LP residents have hit their breaking point with developmet. I'm trying to see past that same feeling of "not another development project!" to what I really think is an appropriate project for this area.

very confused said...

So... No one cares whether or not the ARC lied or was misleading about their intentions early in planning process?
Huh.
That's very confusing to me because the one thing that EVERYONE blogging here seems to favor is what they consider to be the lowest impact solution. I would think deciding what that is would require trusting that any developer would be expected to honestly propose a plan and follow it.
In case I didn't make this clear earlier-- I would love to have the museum here in the township; I just think it should be developed by someone who is upfront from the beginning as to what they are planning. In fact, I think we should demand it, but I seem to be the only one interested in this question of honesty.
Sorry to have wasted your time; next time I'll only post if I want to ask or complain about the question "why is it in my backyard?"
Stacie, good luck to both you and your father. I miss riding my bike in the street, too.
"Been here too long" do you miss the landfill, trash trucks, toxic waste and FBI investigations? Local government can do good when it aspires and holds to a higher standard. Corruption is easier to prevent than to correct. You have been here too long if you've been here long enough to have seen it forgotten that.

Just As Confused As U R said...

Dear Very Confused-

I've never quite understood where the idea of a covenant came from but I would assume it was not someting the ARC thought up. Why would they? All I know is that for months everyone ( BOS ) was on board with this project. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that one or two of the Supervisors proposed the idea of the covenant to which the ARC at the time may have agreed to. The problem being that later on, the ARC looked at the proposed historic overlay ordinance and how restrictive it was, and decided the covenant was unnecessary. To be honest, I've never seen anything but 19.5 acres on the plans for development from the beginning so I think that the ARC is being truthful with their development plan but maybe untruthful about their earlier verbal agreement. The covenant was something that 2 of the Supervisors wanted. Why? I'm unclear. I think the covenant would limit the impervious coverage to around 11.7 acres?? We're talking a difference of about 8 arces. Again, every plan I've seen has always shown 19.5 acres of development. Maybe Rick Brown can shed some light on the need for the covenant in terms we "uninformed" people can understand?

rick brown said...

To: Just As Confused As U R.

If you are truly confused about who agreed to what, why, and when, I would suggest you get the ZHB transcripts and read them for yourself. They may take several hours to go through but you may just find them enlightening.

Collegeville Mole said...

Way to go Mr. Brown> After the County Commissioners pull the $4.2 million from the deal, the ARC can be built in the PARK where it belongs. You can't ask people who are taking shots at you to read...are you kidding? Mr. Brown, the people who are answering your blogs could be the people you sit at the head table with. A Happy and blessed Easter to all.

Just As Confused As U R said...

Mr. Brown-

Where can I get a copy of the Zoning Hearing Board Transcripts? I would like to read them. Thank you.

_Just As Confused as UR

Rick Brown said...

to: Just As Confused As U R

For a fee, transcripts are available from the court reproter who transcribed them. In this instance his name is:
W. Byron Battle, RPR
Official Court Reporter
(610)278-3952

The Fly said...

UR confused. A trip to the Township Building, fill out a request, and for .25 cents a copy your a go. Now if Mr. Brown suggest it takes several hours to read, better bring your check book. Can't cost more than a couple hundred.

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