Friday, August 1, 2008

The return of the ARC

The ARC issue isn't going away any time soon, so I thought I would do a little unscientific polling. Are you for the ARC being built in Lower Providence Township just off Pawlings Road or would you rather see it built next to the Valley Forge National Historical Park visitors center? Also, tell me why.

115 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stan please change your criteria of your unscientific poll- whether they are a resident or not. Anyone else does not matter- they have no standing on what goes on. Secondly, create the same poll of the East Norriton residents for the new hospital and Upper Merion residents who want to see their side of the river destroyed with a casino. Lets be fair in regards to the municipalities when you report. It appears that you picking on the quietness of the political atmosphere of Lower Providence again. Are you ever satisfied that Lower Providence is a quiet community that does not need you starting political infighting through your paper? Please start another blog subject that does not affect Lower Providence Township. For once do a poll on something else other than Lower Providence Township. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The ARC museum and 99 room hotel is a developement that should not be built in it's current location off Pawling Rd. in Lower Providence Township. There are so many environmental, historical and traffic problems unanswered with this project that the citizens of Lower Providence Township will be paying dearly for it for future generations if the ARC project is approved and is developed. Our citizens don't want it, the VFNP people don't want it, various historical and environmental groups don't want it and the Upper Merion Township Supervisors have publicly condemmed the ARC project. Let's put this museum and hotel by the visitor's center where it belongs. Why then have our Supervisors and our Zoners continued to push this project against the wishes of our citizens. Is this another classic example of a township sellout to big money delvelopers again? People, 2009 is coming quickly and you are the voters!
The Professor

Anonymous said...

We here in LP have watched developments that in the begining were not in the best interest for our Township - some are now so-so (some good/some bad). ARC is considered one of them. I am familiar with the setting but have not really heard the fine points when it comes to Fire Company coverage, Water Company supplies, Sewers available in the area and of course Police coverage for the project and also more so the surrounding area during/after completion. Looks good on paper but it would dwarf Valley Forge from the looks of it. I'm still not convinced it should be that large to serve the purpose.

Steve D., LPT Resident said...

I am STRONGLY opposed to the present plan to build the museum and hotel/resort in Lower Providence Township. Recent developments have shown that this is no charitable or educational effort (where would a "charity" get $3 million to drop on the Supervisors at the last minute as an incentive?), but rather just another commercial development. They are treading on hallowed, historical ground and have YET to be honest with Township residents OR the National Park Service. What are they hiding? And why are plans still changing at this late date, like that preposterous plan to use a condemned bridge into Neilson's Oaks property as the main entrance? More important, why are the Three Supervisors going against the wishes of the County Commissioners, the Chamber of Commerce, and the majority of Township residents? What are THEY hiding?

Jerry said...

It belongs next to the visitors center. There are lots of traffic issues with Palings Road and who needs another hotel. ARC is a great idea but not for Lower Providence Township. The only good thing to come from this whole exercise will be the loss of two supervisors in the next election.

Don said...

Winston Churchill once remarked that he found Americans to be irreverent with no sense of heritage, and he loved it.

So, here we stand, in the midst of one of the monumental icons of our struggle for freedom and independence, divided in disagreement over its future. The township of LP is a steward of a portion of that heritage.

To approve a zoning variance that allows something of this significance, there must be a need that can not be fulfilled by some other means. There should be a balance between what is being lost and what is being gained? There is no question, in the matter before us, there is more to be lost than gained.

There is a very viable alternative.
1. ARC’s property has no infrastructure. The current park complex already has service for water, sewer, electricity
2. ARC’s property has problems and concerns with area roads & traffic. The current park complex is already situated to handle such matters
3. ARC’s project seeks the support of additional structures – a hotel & conference center. There are many hotels and conference centers already in the immediate area and the current park complex does not require additional such facilities.
4. Development within the current Park complex will carry a much smaller price tag, leaving more dollars available for the educational component.

So why has this gotten as far as it has? Who stands to gain the most from this? Certainly not the local community - They are overwhelmingly opposed to it.
So again I ask WHY?
Was Churchill right? Is our irreverence so great that we are willing to sacrifice so meaningful a piece of our heritage? I think even Sir Winston would raise an eyebrow or two over this one.

Don R Naimoli
The Friends of Valley Forge Park

Gerry said...

I think that ARC is a great idea but it belongs next to the visitors center. And what is planned for Lower Providence Township is too commercial which is probably why ARC could not reach agreement with the Park. The only good thing to come from this is that Lower Providence is likely to get two new supervisors at the next election.

Simon said...

This ARC project is definitely not in the best interest of the Lower Providence residents. Once again, the troika (Dininney, Sassu, & Altiere) leading Lower Providence are rolling over their constituents to build another commercial complex in their name. This is not a well thought out plan, the traffic will be horrendous coming through Audubon, God bless the residents along Audubon and Pawlings Roads. The Muesuem belongs in the Park, next to the visitors center, this is a no brainer!

Anonymous said...

The museum should be near the Visitor Center in VFNHP where it was intended to go when federal and state funds paid for the plans.(Our tax dollars!) The roads and parking lots that are already there would support the projected number of visitors via bus,car and RV - where the crowded 2 lane roads in Lower Providence Twp won't. The historical 78-acres on the Pawlings road side of the Park should be preserved as open land and not torn up for ANY development - especially this huge commercial development that local residents in all 4 surrounding townships don't want! It is certain that the animals & birds will have their habitat destroyed when the trees are chopped down and the streams that feed the wetlands along the river are put into cement culverts. Residents had input into the Park's General Management Plan and agreed that the best use of this Pawlings Farm area of the Park was to keep it as "Open Space". The Lower Providence Township Master Plan also called for this whole area to remain as "open Space" and undeveloped. But a few LPT BOS people decided to assist the ARC (after Gov. Rendell called the BOS Chairman, Mr. Dinniny, at home he stated at a meeting)and passed a zoning change last September - inspite of opposition from those who elected them. This historic overlay district zoning was created just for the ARC development - penned by ARC's lawyers - and is definitely spot zoning. They even went back on the promised "Covenant" to protect from more future development, once the 3-2 vote in favor was assured! Our township doesn't have anything else like this zoning anywhere. It is obvious that the visitors to our National Park will be harmed if there are 2 sets of road signs and a private group trying to interpret the message of General Washington and his Continental soldiers for a "fee" at their separate site. The visitors should be able to walk through VFNHP and not have to look down towards the river and see this modern intrusion of buildings and paved over parking lots. If you visit Gettysburg National Park you'll see a wonderful museum that is free to all Americans, and works in partnership with a private group and has an endowment to keep it going. Why won't Mr. Daly work with the NPS to do the same thing at Valley Forge and create a wonderful and FREE experience for all to enjoy? It seems that his plans there were not allowed to be as "grand" as he wanted and he was limited in his scale to make more profit. What he said last year in July at a meeting with residents was only about the building of a "museum". Ha! This has morphed into an outlandish commercial development, open 24/7, that will also create safety issues for residents and visitors alike. (With one entrance and exit how would emergency vehicles get in there? Hundreds of people would be trying to get out if there were a fire or the underground gas pipe started leaking. A major disaster site if there ever was one!) We don't need another hotel there - yes, it IS a hotel, not just a "dormitory for scholars." (Is this a way to get around paying local "hotel" taxes to the county and township??) The whole project is just plain WRONG for the site they have chosen!! Put it near the Visitor Center or go elsewhere. Mr. Lenfest should donate this land back to the NPS so all Americans can enjoy it. That would be a wonderful and treasured legacy to leave behind!!

Anonymous said...

WHOA, Mr. Huskey.....Please keep up the good work on reporting the happenings in Lower Providence Toewnship. As an advid reader of the Times Herald I believe you are quite fair with the reportings of surrounding communities and their happenings. By you shaking the trees in Lower Providence seems to be getting under the collar of the first bloger. When has Lower Providence politics ever been QUIET? PLease KEEP reporting on the non-quiet community of L.P. P.S. The blog was probably sent by a disgrunted politician or a wanabe. Oh, by the way, the ARC project belongs in the park. George would have wanted it there.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Huskey, Will ARC have their own security force?? Valley Forge Park have armed Park Rangers patrolling the grounds. Will The ARC rely on the Lower Providence Township police to be their security force? Where does Upper Providence fit into the equation?
Where does the County fit into the equation? I believe the cart has been put before the horse. L.P. can approve all the ordiances they want,it's the big boys that have the final say. Thank you, The park is where it belongs.

Anonymous said...

Another concern of mine regarding the political games going on in Lower Providence is why Zoner's Kearney and Donovan didn't recluse themselves from sitting on the ZHB after both making public statements supporting the ARC project. Shame on them for selling out to big money developers again. Remember folks, these two Zoners have already committed to running for Township Supervisor next year. Do you really want these kinds of people in public office? I think not!!!
Celtic Slayer

Anonymous said...

To counter the first poster's argument -- political infighting has existed in this township for years due to the majority's money-motivated development decisions never quite being bested by the minority's heritage-motivated development opinions.

The bottom line here is that LPT is a township driven by the almighty dollar to the absolute exclusion of everything else.

You take a look at the votes that have been cast since the 2004 election. 3-2 in nearly every case, with Dinniny, Altieri and Sassu voting affirmative and Brown and DiPaolo voting against.

It's not a matter of development being right or wrong. It's a case of bad leadership, bad government. And it's been going on for decades in this township. So until we get the nerve up to throw out the 3 amigos this is what we will continue to get.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you for picking on Lower Providence yet again just to sell newspapers during the dog days of August. Surely there are more scandalous (and interesting) things to write about?

Even if, as the last poster said, LP gets 2 new supervisors in '09, state law guarantees private property owners rights to develop their land, within the confines of state and local zoning law. The underlying zoning permits all sorts of things that in my opinion are worse than what's planned as far as impacts on infrastructure and visual appeal go. New township supervisors can't buck that or else they risk being sued - successfully, I might add - by the property owners. Of course Upper Merion 'condemned' this plan; if it were slated to be developed on private land in THEIR township they'd be all for it and the tourist/tax dollars it represents. Since when should LP take their cues on open space preservation from the township with two giant MALLS? Who stands to benefit if this gets shot down? Everywhere ELSE this could go. As for the 'residents being against it' every meeting having anything to do with this project has more lawyers and nonresidents in attendance than residents. And the residents who DO attend are the same ones who complain about everything under the sun anyway.

Anonymous said...

Lower Providence really needs a resort in the middle of nowhere.
They have a corporate center that seems to be 50 percent empty and will remain that way.
The ARC has more rights than any resident in Lower Providnce has and does not have to answer any question or do any proper traffic studies of Pawlings RD.
This is not about teaching history.
This is about making a buck and destroying history

Katsy B. said...

Totally against the location on Pawlings Road!!! The ARC needs
to be located INSIDE of Valley Forge National Park - next to the already
existing visitor center where it will be more convenient for visitors and have less
of a negative impact on the environment and wildlife. WHY can't we keep a
small piece of our county GREEN???? What is wrong with the three amigos, what could possibly be in it for them?

Anonymous said...

Seems like bloger 1 and 13 are the same persons. Another politican?

Collegeville mole

Anonymous said...

Thank you...Thank you...Thank you
Judge Bernard Moore for your ruling on the bond issue. An honest Judge can you believe it.
The Arc's attorney is grabbing at any staw he can put his hand on, The zoners should take a lesson fron the Judge and not a sitting Supervisor.

Conshohocken Mole

Anonymous said...

Well, I am totally opposed to this project for Pawlings Road. It should be next to The Welcome Center. This is all about making a buck. No doubt about it. If only the "Gerry" in this blog was Gerry Lenfest. The Gerry here is correct. Two supervisors will be voted out and the third when her term is up.

Please let us have a bit of green left in our land.

This is spot zoning pure and simple.

And to echo another comment here, This is not about teaching history.
This is about making a buck and destroying history.

The three amigos, indeed.

jb said...

anonymous 1(and several other commenters): why should people outside of lower providence have no say in the ARC debate? l. prov. residents are the only ones who are interested in history? and east norriton residents are the only ones effected by the hospital issue? upper merion is the only township affected by a casino in the area? we live in a bigger world than that now.
this is clearly just the not-in-my-backyard mentality at its most childish.
and who are you to tell stan what to write blogs about? start your own blog.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Stan, According to this mornings Times Herald Judge Moore denied the bond issue and pushed it back to the L.P. Zoning Hearing Board. Three members of this board are the see no evil,hear no evil, say no evil marionettes controlled Chairman Craig Dininny of the Board of Supervisors. Another local paper this morning suggested that Lower Providence Township gave ARC preliminary approval. If I recall reading your paper, it was a 3-2 vote with Chairman Dininny, Marie Alteri, Piero Sassu voting for; Rick Brown, Chris Di Paolo against. Again Dininny pulling the strings. Guess what? I forgot to mention the voice of the Zonning Hearing Board. The Solicitor who continues to talk and talk and say nothing. Attend one of these meeting and see how much imput the board has to say.... The solicitor runs the show. or at least thinks he does.

TROOPER MAMA

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Mr. Huskey..This letter will not self destruct unless you print it.

A competitive newsprint this A.M. printed an article in which Mr.H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest Made a few comments. He suggested the President and Chief operating officer may have been in left field when he suggested the price would rise to $375 million,the next day it fell to $250 million. Maybe, Mr. Daly could send the other $125 million over to Valley Forge Park where it could take care of the deterioration quoted by Mr.Lenfest. Stop threating the people of L.P. with "with a new developer might pack it with houses" in today's market houses are not moving too well. Unless you have a friend in a controllable position who can change an ordinance here and there. P.S. Yorktown would be a lovely place to visit in 2020.

Slingshot

Anonymous said...

Stan: What would the chances be to have you or Carl write an editorial on a possiblity of a township referendum on November's ballot regarding LPT's citizens desires on this ARC development in our Township? It could be non-binding but would show the current BOS the direction of thought of their electorate(citizens). Let the majority speak their piece!
The Professor

Montco PA Dem said...

I'm not from LP and I don't have a dog in this fight, but I think it's way funny how people are making like this development - which will never fly on NPS grounds, for all those suggesting it be located next to the Visitor Center -- will be some sort of sacrilige or eyesore.

Where were these folks when that Shannondell monstrosity was being planned? Shannondell is a disaster waiting to happen, with immobile old folks stuck on high floors without elevators in an emergency - I can't wait for all the finger-pointing when that finally happens.

Anonymous said...

Shannondell? Well let's see who was a supervisor back in the days when 'that monstrosity' was being planned? Well I'll be doggoned, it was Rick Brown!

Make no mistake, Rick is for the ARC just like he was for Shannondell. But it's easy to be the hatchet man & save your political capital when you know the votes are there to get something approved anyway.

Anonymous said...

Finally, someone with some common sense and it turns out it was outside of our township. For the past year, ARC has run the show and been allowed to talk for hours. We are finally at the point for the Zoning Board to hear other sides of this in the testimony. I look forward to that so an educationed, informed vote can be had.

Folks, take a look at the start of the development at the old Valley Forge Golf Course and take a look at the development started in Collegeville. A sea of glass windows. That is what is coming to Pawlings Road if this isn't stopped now. It is too late for those places, it's not too late for this one. This is not the right site for this. Between the Expo Center in Upper Providence and this, we will have more gridlock. Oh, and don't forget about the casinos. Anyone who travels Pawlings Road now knows what the traffic is like now.

And, finally, this development is not "open space" Give me a break.

The sybil said...

A referendum would be a logical way to test voter approval of the ARC's latest plan, but a referendum needs to be initiated by a government body. Needless to say, the current ruling troika likes the way things are so they would not be interested in holding a referendum.

Have you noticed that the estimated price of the project has more than doubled since last year, from $150M to $375M and counting? This is a bogeyman that developers always drag out when they want to make us feel guilty for taking the time to study their proposals. Just behind the bogeyman that if they can't have their way, Someone will come along and build houses six to an acre. Or high rise buildings such as already loom over the horizon from Upper Merion. Ooooo!

We keep hearing that there were discussions for several years with the NPS to have the museum located near the visitor center, but we are told that the talks fell apart over "fund-raising, management and control". We need to know more detail about exactly what was proposed and we need to know exactly why the NPS was not able to reach some sort of compromise. Otherwise, all of us who are pushing for the museum to be located near the visitor center might be pinning our hopes on an illusion. Perhaps we need to spend more time and effort contacting the NPS at a higher decision making/budgeting level to let them know there is a considerable amount of local citizen interest in keeping the museum in the park.

Ralph M. said...

Sybil,

Give me a break! What can you be thinking my dear, a non-binding referendum on the ballot? How foolish that would be, why would the three amigos want to find out what they already know, the only people interested in a hotel and conference center in the Peninsula are Dininny, Sassu, Altieri and the ARC big wigs. It is clear to all that this Museum belongs next to the visitors center in VFNHP.

Nuff said!

Anonymous said...

I just read an article in another newspaper that the ARC people have stated that Commonwealth of Virginia is interested in the museum and hotel, possibly locating it in the city of Yorktown. How many LPT residents would be needed to help them move? Could we move the BOS Fab Three there also?
Celtic Slayer

Rick Brown said...

To anonymous who finds fault with me being on the board of supervisors when Shannondell was approved. I did not vote this in myself, if I recall correctly, it still takes three votes. Yes I did vote for the senior living concept which had much input from the neighbors and our planning commission. Those discussions took place over 2 years and everyone was heard. The property was split zoned, half was R-2 residential and the other half that fronts Egypt Rd. was zoned industrial park. None of the neighbors wanted R-2 housing or industrial development next to their homes. The age restricted housing concept was supported by most of the people who lived next door to the project. They were at our joint meetings and expressed themselves very well without any three minute time limit. Shannondell is our first senior housing development in Lower Providence. There are no children living there, so no increased burden on our school system, they have their own security, and transit system for their residents. The elderly do in fact need a place to live, why not in Audubon near where they put down their roots? I know quite a lot of Township residents that have downsized and move into Shannondell and are quite happy living in their community.

I retired from the Board of Supervisors in 1999, major changes were made to the senior living overlay ordinance after I left, layouts were changed and the height limit was increased.

For obvious reasons, I was encouraged to once again run for supervisor and with the help of many friends and neighbors was re-elected to serve our community. It can be a very difficult job, but it can also be a very rewarding experience. I have found it to be both.

I was in favor of the ARC in the beginning of the process but as everyone knows it morphed into something much bigger than any of us had planned. The ARC had agreed at a public meeting on July 11th of 2007 to limit impervious coverage to 15% or 11.7 acres, at a recent hearing they now are looking to bulldoze 70% of the site and remove half of the old growth trees. I am steadfast against over development of the Pawling Farm and winter commissary of Washington's toops.

I encourage you to use your real name when attacking me so all can see who you are. I know who you are and you are a coward.

Anonymous said...

To the Non resident Pa.Dem.
When Shannondell was presented to the Board of Supervisors consisting of Borai, Brown, Crahalla, Dunbar and Ralston we sat down with the surrounding neighbors for almost two years working out details.
Shannondell plans of 1997 originally showed 117 homes in an R-2 district with frontage on Egypt Road in the Industrial Park District.
If your not from L.P. have you visited Shannondell to make the claims you state? You will find 24-7 security, sprinkler systems throughout,and elevators galore.
People in Shannondell are NOT immobile OLD FOLKES they are senior citizens who get around quite well thank you. Some day you may reach that capacity. Tghey are proud of their home and surroundings.
Point your finger in my direction if you wish, I will never say I'm sorry for approving this property over storage buildings facing Egypt Road.
Ask yourself this WHO?
WhoApproved an ordinance change for height restrictions in L.P.
Who Dreamed up the Ridge Pike Business District and who did it benefit?
Take a ride on the ridge if you want to see "Monstrosity"
Stop into the Township Building and look at the Shannondell plans, if they don't have them give me a call I'm in the book.

Tom Borai

Anonymous said...

Ooooh goody. A referendum. I like it. And while we're at the polls, can we have one about the 5-6 school at Arcola that we don't need, WILL cause congestion and higher taxes, etc? I've heard from the township with a survey asking for feedback. But the school board sure isn't interested in resident feedback.

Grapes of Wrath said...

So let's get this straight. Rick Brown (and Tom Borai) was part of a set of three votes who voted for a project - Shannondell- that some people take issue with. Deja vu anyone?

I guess 'back in the day' it was okay to have a voting block to ram through projects he felt had merit. Back in his days on the BOS it was OK to put your friends in every open board & commission slot. It's only NOT okay when he's not part of the majority 3, or when his buddies get booted off said boards & commissions because they still think it's 1976? Sounds like sour grapes to me.

Cares About Valley Forge National Historical Park said...

To build the proposed ARC project on the property in Lower Providence Twp. would be stupid. WHY?? Traffic congestion, redundancy of hotels and a convention center. Don't call it a scholars dorm. As attested during a hearing in May, scholars expect to have to provide their own housing. I know there are rooms available in the immediate area.
I seriously doubt Mr. Daly's credibility--he misquoted the projected cost of the project, due to delays, by quite a bit. He says he's concerned about the high school students' knowledge of history. Then he should help in the schools by providing curricula designed to reach them at their own schools. If the kids don't come to Valley Forge National Historical Park that's free, what makes you think they'll pay to see your museum???????

Montco PA Dem said...

Didn't mean to hijack this thread, Stan. Sorry.

Tom Borai -- 24 hr. security, sprinklers and "elevators galore" won't be much help when you have to shut down the elevators and have all residents evacuate by stairs during a fire. I hope it never happens, but if it does I guarantee there will be plenty of elderly residents who simply can't make it out. Do they ever do mandatory, no-elevator-service fire drills? If not, don't you think they should?

I know I wouldn't want my elderly parents living on one of the upper floors of those towers.

Anonymous said...

Supervisor Brown:
Thank you for settig the facts straight regarding Shannondell. It appears that a very small pecentage of so called politicians in this township enjoy distorting the truth and taking cheap shots at the good guys. Please be aware of the fact that you have the respect and support of the vast majority of Lower Providence citizens who appreciatwe your good work. Please keep it up!
The Professer's Wife

Anonymous said...

Hey Stan,

It seems pretty obvious to me that LPT needs its own blog on TimesHerald.com. Any thought to doing community-based blogs so that we could continue this important discourse without clogging up your page? Just a thought.

BTW: This township is darn lucky to have Rick Brown and Tom Borai serving for as long as they have/had. If we had more guys like them, we wouldn't have to deal with the 3 amigos (or the Fab 3 whatever you want to call them) and wouldn't be in this mess we're in right now.

Tom Borai, AUDUBON said...

Stan, Please I do not want to use your blog as a sounding board,but, the two anonymous writers taking shots at Rick Brown and Shannondell got my Hungarian up. I have a letter in my possession also covered by your paper 4/15/05 from the Department of Community and Economic Development which states: In the late 1990s, Lower Providence Township in Montgomery County received a major land development proposal for single family homes an anindustrial park split-zoned tract,consisting of both residential and residential zoning. It was apparent to township officials that this proposal could have a significant adverse impact not only on the surrounding neighborhood but the entire township and surrounding communties. For their efforts in Innovative Planning and Sound Land Use Practices, Lower Providence Township is recognizes with the 2005 Governor's Award for Local Government Excellence.So I guess eliminating 117 homes and 46 lot industrial park was not a bad idea.Lower Providence first Senior Project is a gem to behold.

Tom Borai

The said...

A clarification: I did not propose a non-binding referendum, someone else did. I wanted to make the point that a government body (supervisors, school board, etc.) has to be the people who initiate a referendum and that it is unlikely that either the current majority of supervisors or school board would do so. Their minds are made up and they don't want to be confused with facts.

The sibyl

Anonymous said...

RIck Brown is not the person you should be attacking. Rick is a good, decent, honorable man. There are too few left in this township.

As far as Shannondell and the "monstrosity" as it is called, do you really want a second "monstrosity" with no good way to get to it and leave it?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the post August 6, 2008 9:33 AM

Well put Rick!

Tom Borai, AUDUBON said...

Grapes of Wrath: Rick Brown was not on the board in 1976,I was 1974-1979. Want to take any shots at (my) our appointments at that time? You probably did not live here then, probably in central Penna.. There were good upstanding citizens from all parts of L.P.serving their constituents, and they were not picked because of who they knew. I can supply you the names if you wish,but then you would have to come from under your cover of Mr. Wrath. Stan, lets get away from the Brown bash and Shannondell and stick to the ARC issue. Thanks and PLEASE keep up the good work.
P.S. Montco PA Dem: If you would like to consider the lower floors Shannondell would be happy to send you a CD, N/C.
Tom Borai

Conshohocken Mole said...

Mr. Huskey, While Borai and Brown sign their blogs it would be nice if the persons attacking them would do the same. Possibly creating meaningful dicussions between all parties. It's time to come out of the closet and stop the bickering and mud tossing. We did not condone that when I lived in a row house in the Altoona area.
As one once quoted "Why can't we get along". Amen

Conshohocken Mole

Montco PA Dem said...

Tom Borai -- Thanks for the offer on the Shannondell CD (geez, an ex-supervisor marketing the development he approved? How, uh, cozy...) but I think I'll pass. Something about my upstairs neighbors possibly becoming crispy critters just doesn't appeal.

Joe The Nerd said...

Aside from the emotional issues of this being hallowed ground consecrated by the blood of people who really fought for what they believed in, (the emotional argument was discarded immediately by the Board of Supervisors and Zoning Board.)

Aside from the traffic study for this project being a sham (the route from Valley Forge as presented had traffic routed up 422, not to exit at Audubon, not to exit at Oaks, but to exit at Route 29, back down Black Rock Road, in back of Lowe’s in front of the Sewage treatment plant, across a private bridge, thru county property to get to the proposed entrance)

Aside from the safety issues surrounding this project (no real way to get rescue equipment either down Pawlings Road in an emergency, nor an alternate entrance to the site once it gets there)

Probably the wildest event so far is the developer trying to intimidate the neighborhood with a $25 million bond. (If our town had that much money hanging around, we would have bought them off by now.) I have heard of pay-to-play, but this is pay-to-speak. (Last I checked, speech is free in the USA.) Thankfully, the judge saw thru this pretty quickly and acted responsibly.

The lawyer for the ARC has said some pretty funny things while losing his case. He is almost like a guy who, after getting punched in the face, claiming he’s won the fight because he has more of his teeth in his hand than his opponent does in his head.

I can only hope that if the ARC does not get built on Pawlings Road, the Board of Supervisors do not act like guarantors to this developer’s land speculation deal and allow the building of the houses as the developer is threatening.

Just to make a threat like that speaks volumes about this developer.

While the Upper Merion, or the Freedoms Foundation locations may be more proper for this project, it is not that big of a loss if these people go south, given their behavior here.

Craig Dininny said...

Borai said in his day board appointments were from all over the township not because of who you know. I disagree. In 2003 the zoning board was Rick Brown, Nancy McFarland, Dick Sheehan (Rick's long time township solicitor) and YOU. Of course you folks weren't so chummy back then. My question is who did you have to know then, the original "Three Amigos" Brown, McFarland and Ralston? One more thing you how about you and your cronies, take credit buying the General Washington golf course then driving it into dispare. You must be proud. At least WE were able to turn it into the wonderful facility it is today,without any additional tax dollars, that generates $100,000. a year to the taxpayers. Just another promise I kept.
Tom here you are again boo hoo hoo.... dry 'em up it's your history and you can't unring the bell!

Anonymous said...

I am a Pawlings Rd. resident who has been quietly watching these blogs until now. For the record I am opposed to the ARC developement for the many reasons listed previously but I have to express my opinion on the way the Zoning Hearing Board is conducting the various hearings. We have a duly elected ZHB chairman but all we see is the solicitor, Mr. Mandaccia doing all the talking and runing the ZHB meeting. His attemps at lame humor is falling on deaf ears and the audience is just laughing at him and not with him. Come on Ms. Kearney, stop looking around smiling and brushing your hair out of your eyes and run your meeting as you elected to do. You want respect? Well start earning it!
Sean S.
Lower Providence

LP Resident said...

PLEASE disregard the first poster who is obviously trying to serve the interests of the three “do-anything-for-developers-screw-the-residents” supervisors (Dinniny, Altieri and Sassu). PLEASE continue to report on their self-serving incompetence. PLEASE continue to do anything and everything you can to help raise the public awareness, as we will have a fight in ’09 getting rid of them. You may wonder how that can be given their record, but I suspect “public” officials who can get 3 million dollars from a developer overnight and claim not to know how it happened are likely to also have large influxes of cash come election time. I am not asking you to give them any more or less than they deserve. PLEASE help us get supervisors who will represent the residents not dollars.

In Favor said...

I, for one, am totally in favor of the ARC in the proposed location off Pawlings Road… as originally proposed with limited coverage. You know, as described in the Castrated Covenant.
I am also far more in favor of local government which serves and represents the people and doesn’t simply kowtow to developers’ dollars. I would like some more of that and less of Dinniny, Altieri and Sassu.

joe the nerd said...

Craig Dininny now wants to layer the GW in with the ARC.


Dininny is the one who helped turn down a real facility at the GW into the joke that is there now.


We could have had the YMCA that currently lives in Upper Providence, but nooooooo.


We have to make sure the developers are taken care of.


Forget the fact that the YMCA is a real non-profit that cares about the communities they live in. We now have a semi-private swim club with private club prices.

Real service to the community there, Craig.

Feel free to run for re-election on that one, champ.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dininney:
As chairman of the BOS and the appointed leader of the "Fab Three" you should make an effort to get your definitions and spelling correct when you decide to take a shot at someone. The correct adjective should be disrepair not "dispare". BTW didn't the Municipal Authority have a lot to do with the demise of the General Washington CC. Furthermore aren't you an officer in this orgainization?. Therefore can you explain the decrease in the township's municipal fund if Shannondell is self supporting and not causing a drain on the township. Is Shannondell actually showing a profit? I will be looking forward to Mr. Borai's reply to your blog.
The Professor

Rick Brown said...

For Mr. Dininny,

Please check your facts before posting on this blog. Some people actually believe if it is printed, it must be so, especially if coming from the Chairman of the Board.

Actually if you check the Township's 2003 Annual Report you will find the following on the 2003 Zoning Board. Tom Pagnotti, Chairman, Nancy McFarland, V.C., Gail Rogers, Alice Scherer, and Tom Borai.

You are right about one thing, I did serve on the ZHB in the two subsequent years appointed by no other than you my amigo, and the rest of the 2004 board of Supervisors.

I see nothing wrong with appointing experienced people to the Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Borai, Mrs. McFarland, and Dick Sheehan all had municipal experience and are more than familiar with the Zoning Code as they adopted most of it.

Thanks for the memories!

Tom Borai, AUDUBON said...

MR. Dininny: As the Chairman of Lower Providence Township you of all people should know not to spread falsehoods. I was appointed to the Zoning Board in 2002 by sitting Supervisors Lomire Crahalla,Dougherty Dunbar, and Hager. The members of the Zoning Board that year was Tom Pagnotti,Nancy McFarland, Gail Rogers,Alice Scherer and me,a hard working board if I say so myself.The same board served in 2003,Mr. Brown filled in Mrs. Crahalla term that year.It was the year 2004 that Mr. Brown and Mr. Sheehan was appointed by Supervisors Lomire,Hager,Dininny and Sassu. It's not neccessary for me to go into 2005,2006,2007 the
"three amigo's took care of those appointments. The General Washington was bought before my time.I was available in my second term to hit the building with a wrecking ball. About the $100,000 a year, care to tell the public where that's going. Not to relieve the bond issue. About the Boo Hoos, care to tell your public about your boo hoo's in my rec. room. Finally sir, my bell will never stop ringing while your in office. It was nice to see the Conshohocken pull you out of the closet.
Tom Borai

Anonymous said...

Mr. Huskey,

You're blog literally makes me ill. There is no helpful political discourse here. None at all. I wholeheartedly believe that you do this for your own sadistic personal enjoyment.

You have no consideration for the 24,000 people that this kind of nonsense effects.

I have lost all respect for you and your newspaper. This is not news. It's not even close.

Stan said...

I'm not sure how a blog could make you ill, but I'm going to have to disagree with your comment about 'no helpful political discourse.' We have a former supervisor and two current supervisors expressing their honest opinions. How is that not helpful? You are correct in your assessment that 'this not news,' though. This is a forum for people to express their opinions, much like the Opinion page of the print edition, which is sometimes confused for a 'news' page. Please take the blog in that spirit and I believe you might begin to understand its importance.

Tom Borai, Auidubon said...

Craig Dininny, P.S. all you have to do is read the publications you approve,and send to residents. It's amazing the facts one can come up with. I believe there was a TV show that the actor would say "all I want is the facts". Or how about "Honesty is the best policy"? Ding Dong.

Tom Borai

Celtic Slayer jr said...

To the zoning board member who gets ill reading your sadistic blog and its contents. I say stop reading and prepare for your next Zoning Board Hearing on August 12th where you can represent the other 24,000 residents.

I agree with the other bloggers, please put a muzzle on your solicitor, he acts like the rest of you aren't even there!

Trooper Mary said...

Mr. Huskey;

I can recommend a good doctor for the anonymous (no name)writer who feels your making him (her) ill.

You still have 23,999 people in Lower Providenc who love you.

Thank goodness this is not in the Letter to the Editor column, all heck would break loose.

Keep up the good work.

Trooper Mary

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous:
I have read your last post with great distaste. Just why are you so hell bent on knocking the Times Herald and it's Editor for making this site available to us. You sound like some sicko politician that has never heard of Freedom of Speech and/or Expression. Where else could we go to vent our frustrations regarding our views and possible disagreement with our township officials officials if it were not for this blog. I guess we could go to a BOS meeting and get our "three minutes of fame" there while we are being timed and basically ignored. I personally have to say thank you Mr. Huskey.
The Professor

The Professor said...

I would encourage everyone to go out to the next Supervisors meeting and let them know what we think. Enough is enough!

Craig Dininny said...

To Mr. Brown,
Just for the facts. I understand you voted in 2003 to flip the zoning on the St. Gabes property (the proposed site for the ARC) to the now present R-2 residential. This put the asking price far out of the reach of the National Park service, I would assume you didn't do it for them. Lower Providence has been blessed with thousands of residential units approved by you as a supervisor, I can only assume you didn't do it for Lower Providence. I was told you are the hero responsibile for getting the 20 year lease for Gabriel's field. Could this be the reason? It was your decision for the zoning change to R-2 please tell us, exactly what was the benifit to Lower Providence and Valley Forge National Park? Please explain to the folks I'm sure they would like to know the truth.

Anonymous said...

Hey Borai,
When you left office you went to work at Shannondell. How did you get that job.......I wonder!

Mitch said...

LP hoopla sells papers! LP politicians and their tag-alongs do not like it! Why?? What do they think we will find out?? For the record, I am for the ARC but not what was presented by LP.Keep the history in one place (VF)and all the commercial stuff out. LP is an Upper Merion want to be but never will be anything close.

Anonymous said...

Going to the meetings are a waste of time. You only get 3 bloody minutes before they shut you down. Voters can make a difference at the polls and not be singled out. GET THEM OUT! No one wants to get involved in LP Politics but if Voters don't reach out for better we will be stuck with the 3 Amigos and the other bedfellows.

fisherman said...

Blogger 1 doesn't care what outsiders think! Isn't the ARC supposed to attract outsiders to the site that the masterminds have been shoving down our throats? LP officials have lost sight of caring what other people think and it is quite obvious by the way they conduct themselves. LP is a mess and we need to clean house !!

Campbell s. said...

To the sick person reading Stan's blog, get a grip on yourself. Try the Lower Providence Library, they might have something in the kiddie's section that will cure your illness. I for one find this information most telling, you won't hear any of this discourse at one of those township meetings where King Craig and Time Keeper Sasso keep a lid on things. Stan, Keep up this freedom of speech arena! It's soup for the soul.

The sybil said...

To everyone who would like to see a change in the BOS next spring, now is the time to start making political contacts. It is more than likely that the Republican Party has already selected the folks they will run and endorse next year unless you can convince them that you have, or are, a better candidate. We cannot "vote out" incumbents or their clones if there is no competition.

Who is forcing the poor soul who is sickened by this blog to read it? Perhaps some diabolical spirit has taken over their computer so that nothing else comes up?

The Sibyl

Rick Brown said...

To Mr. Dininny,

Your first blog has me on the ZHB in 2003 your quote "In 2003 the zoning board was Rick Brown, Nancy McFarland, Dick Sheehan"

Your second blog has me on the Board of Supervisors in 2003, your quote, "Just for the facts. I understand you voted in 2003 to flip the zoning on the St. Gabes property" The Zoning Hearing Board doesn't rezone properties. How could I have been on two boards at the same time, the township code doesn't permit it. Now let me know who you understand from and I will let you know what I recall from that era.

And giving me credit for thousands of residential units approved by me, Yes I did vote for Shannondell which accounts for the majority of them, 500 of those units are in the Meadows Building, an assisted living section of the complex and used by many of our residents for rehab after surgery. As I stated before most of the neighboring residents wanted this type of housing instead of industrial and single family home residential development. In those days, the board listened to our residents and tried to accommodate their wishes.

I do have some second thoughts about some of my votes over the past 26 years but for the most part I am very proud of my record and happy to have made Lower Providence my home for the past 57 years.

Someday soon I hope we can have some candid debate on your voting record and recent manipulation of the current Zoning Hearing Board. Our residents are intelligent people and they are very well aware of just what is going on in their township.

Anonymous said...

I loved the comment that Campbell S. posted regarding one of our Township Supervisors, Piero Sassau, official time keeper of the BOS. Please do not give Mr. Sassu a difficult time regarding this function since it took almost five years serving on the board to train him to work that timer, by the end of his term he should even be able to tie his own shoe laces, possibly with help from Marie the Second, number two useless supervisor in LPT.
Celtic Slayer

Tom Borai, AUDUBON said...

This is addressed to the " wonder coward. Again the facts are disorted. I never worked for Shannondell. After leaving my position with Montgomery County Park Service I applied for a position at ABM Security in Media, Pa. At that time they handled security for Shannondell. I believe they are no longer Shannondell's security company. My tender lasted for 24 hours before a person inside (politics) discoved my employment. A friend of a friend called ABM and I was advised that Shannondell was cutting back and if I wanted to remain with them I would be transfered to Philly. The rest is history. By the way I also worked for two years at Meadowwood in Worcester, would you like to see my pay stubs? I know who you are,a coward who hides behind the anonymous tag. Got the hair behind your neck rising,huh? The bell is still ringing, Ding Dong

The Professor said...

Rick,

Answer the St. Gabes R2 question. Take him to the rim.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dininney:
I am appalled that you, Chairman of the BOS, would attack one of your sitting supervisors and also a former Supervisor who has served this Township with distinction so viciously and with such malice. Your attacks seen to be stemming from a rather unstable political postion, or possibly a mental or emotional unstability that forces you into an attack mode against any individual who dares to disagree with you. So what is it Mr. Dininney, an emotional or political problem? Whatever it is, there is professional help available, and it is suggested you go for it before you create any more damage to yourself or more havoc to our Township.
The Real Professor

Anonymous said...

So you aren't very proud of your voting record, Rick. You are honest.

Anonymous said...

Three bloody minutes? Mrs. McFarland when on forever at the last meeting. We all need to watch the televised meetings and see for ourselves how much that is printed here is accurate

See for yourself for the truth will set you free!

Anonymous said...

I have just finished reading through these blogs - what great reading! If it weren't for Stan's Blog the truth wouldn't come out. We never get enough time to speak at "meetings" before we are shut down. As a 22 year resident living directly next to the area where the ARC wants to go, I am very against the ARC, along with probably 99.9 percent of the rest of my neighbors. If any of the supervisors lived at this end of the township, I am positive they wouldn't have approved any of the ARC nonsense! The traffic, water, sewer, security issues, St. Gabe escapees, the lost bikers and hikers, the list goes on and on! We already have a hard enough time trying to just get out onto Pawlings Road as it is. I can't imagine any more vehicles on this road. The ARC belongs any where else but here!

Anonymous said...

The next ARC ZHB hearing is being held August 12 at 7:00 PM in the LPT building. All interested citizens are invited to view this public hearing with it's complete cast of Disney characters including Manny the Mouth, Barbie Doll, and Little Bo Peep...all of which are considered the pride of LPT. Yes folks, this board is a classic example of government inefficency and worthless legalize in action. Besides, there is nothing worthwhile on TV that night, so come on out for a fun time.
Celtic Slayer

Anonymous said...

Any particular reason the ARC Public Hearing on Tuesday 8/12 has NOT been posted on the Township's web site? Perhaps another example of efficent LPT Government?
The Real Professor

Missing Something said...

Am I missing something?
I’ve read through most of these posts and it seems to me that there is something notably missing from this discourse, and that would be any favorable reasons for having the ARC in the proposed location. There are clearly MANY opposition opinions, but the statements here from those who are ostensively in favor of the ARC don’t seem to address the point. Granted they are being attacked quite harshly for their position of supporting the ARC, and it is somewhat understandably they would lash back, but clearly their best defense is to convince everyone that they are in the right, so can someone please make a post stating why putting the ARC in the proposed location is a better idea than not doing it…? That would help me understand the position of the three board members who vote for it much better than any discussion about Shannondell, the seventies, or the evils of the Times Herald and blogging. Although you are welcome to include those things could you also possibly layer in some “The ARC is good for the community of Lower Providence, because….”?

Tom Borai, AUDUBON said...

Mr.Huskey: For someone to say Mrs. McFarland spoke more than three minutes would have had to be at the meeting. It getting easier to see who writing these mysterious blogs. Only the shadow knows.

Insulted said...

Just in case you couldn't stay at the LP ZHB meeting till midnight, (a 5 hour extravaganza) you missed the Solicitor, Charles Mandracchia, go into a tirade, yelling, threatening, and screaming at the NPCA's Attorney, Assistant U.S. Attorney, the federal witness and all those in attendance. What a disgrace and absolute lack of professionalism was shown to all last night.

What I want to know is, who is responsible for appointing him to the position of ZHB solicitor? They should be embarrassed along with him.

Isn't there some type of code of ethics for attorneys and why isn't it being violated??

Anonymous said...

What are these 5 hour extravaganza's costing the taxpayers of L.P.???????

The solictor get's $125.00 per hour. Zoning members receives $75.00 a meeting.

I believe the Chairperson stated they have a meeting the day before the hearing.

Your paper stated that there will be one more hearing in August and seven more in September.

I believe that figures into $1000.00 per meeting plus the solicitor's fee for pre meetings.

Less not forget the Township Supervisor who sit's at the head table for the same amount of money $125.00 an hour to object to a RED FOX.

By the time this fiasco ends, the lawyers will be driving their BMW courtesy of the L.P. taxpayers.

This all started with the three amigo's.

Your paper stated that one of the zoners awake and asked a question,surprise, I believe it could have been a first. After all the solicitor is the talker of the group. Unfortunately he could learn to be a zoning solitor some day. How about that RED BULL????

Anonymous said...

Mr. Huskey, The Board of Supervisors meetings are on Cable T.V.. With all the hot items on the ARC situations, why can't the Zoning Meetings merit the same T.V. coverage?

It would do the public a great service to see how their tax dollars are being spent.

I was not at the meeting of the 12 of August, but, reading the last blog on your system it seems that the Zoning solicitor blew a gasket and screamed at a few people in attendance.

I know that you can't print everything that was said, that's when T.v. comes into the picture.

Thanks for your ear.
Tom Borai

joe the nerd said...

Missing Something,

You are missing some points about how our government is working.

In the case of the ARC, it appears the township is doing everything they can to wear down those who oppose this project. They change dates of meetings on the fly, change venues without advertisement. There are no notations of the township web site as to these meetings. When you think about it this makes the Township web site misleading when it states there is no meeting scheduled when there actually is (The township manager monitors all activity during the meetings).

If you go to the Supervisors or Zoning Hearing Board Meetings you will see a strategy of “run the clock”. It is kind of like watching a John Chaney basketball team slow the game down with a disciplined pass, but no shoot offense in order to stop the opponents from operating with the ball.

For instance, the chairperson or solicitor will put a time constriction on the meeting, like “we’re going until 11:00 and that’s all we have time for.” The chairperson will proceed to talk for 10 or 15 minutes about the many great things they are doing for the community. We are a captive audience because we can’t respond. We watch ARC fill time.

At that point the ARC and our township solicitor will object to everything going on. They will complain when a person with decades of experience in their field (landscape design) doesn’t have the exact specific experience to analyze what the ARC has presented with respect to the landscape design.

Later in the hearing they will badger a 70-something widow with questions only a traffic engineer can answer.

I have heard questions from these lawyers about what organizations residents belong to and when they joined these organizations. Last I looked, the constitution allows for the free association of citizens to groups. The ARC Attorneys and our township solicitor appear to be trying to intimidate the residents about the groups to which they belong.

The ARC Attorneys attempted to make the residents put up a $25 million bond, to try to shut up those who question this project.

If the project is so good, why are these tactics being used?

joe the nerd

Anonymous said...

Amen to Insulted's comments. It was an amazing show. ARC lawyers attempt to delay or not allow the US Dept. of Interior representative to speak on behalf of the park service because 'she is biased', and Mr. Mandracchia, goes into a tirade, yelling, threatening, and screaming at the NPCA's Attorney, Assistant U.S. Attorney for causing delays..just who is biased?

Anonymous said...

In response to the last blogger, I have to agree with you. This was my second attendance of the ARC ZHB meeting. I can't begin to describe how awful it was. Can't Ms. Keeney the Chairman do something about his rantings and ravings. It would seem to me that Mr. Mandracchia took up half the night babbling on about how much he knew about the law and even stated that he was "very intelligent". If he is so intelligent, he could just act that way, not take up half the night babbling on and on. Now this guy is someone who loves the sound of his own voice. If the ZHB members can't get a grip on their meetings, then maybe they should step aside so someone qualified can do the job. Maybe it is time that the township puts this show on their cable channel and people can see first hand for themselves.

J.H. Audubon, Pa

Anonymous said...

As far as Mannie the Mouth is concerned, he is a friend and neighbor of a former Supervisor who more or less is the power broker in this township and who directly influences the appointments of all the political correct idiots now serving the township. Need you ask more?
Sean S.

Conshy Mole said...

Sean S. Are you speaking of the X Supervisor who got all the ordiances changed by Amigo #1.

After he got everything in line I believe he QUIT. Got a little hot in the Kitchen.

Remember, what goes around, comes around.

Anonymous said...

The comment about the Township's Solicitor objecting to the RED FOX.

The Chairman sits up in her throne dring RED BULL.

Very Interesting>

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone complaining about the development of LP Township when it's already a train-wreck? There's no fixing it...may as well get something cultural out of the deal for once instead of a pharmacy or bank. I'm surprised at how many people still think the traffic situation can be remedied. This township got all jacked up a long time ago...the people still living here from back in the day are just sad about it becasue they didn't do anything to stop it in it's tracks. If you want to continue to complain and feel sorry for yourselves, go ahead. But here's a better idea...run for Supervisor and then maybe you can have some say in what goes on. Bringing legal actions and whining is a waste of everyone's time and money. Lesson learned from the Audubon Inn/CVS/Commerce Bank Village Commerical Ordinance...been there, done that....waste of everyone's time. For those who think the Park Service isn't going to add commercial endeavors to the ARC on the inital park site, I suggest you do your homework. Several years ago Rick Santorum was quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer describing all of the shopping and lodging that would be available at VF park with the creation of the ARC. The Park Service wasn't simply interested in just a museum. They wanted a commercial venture to bring in the dollars too. Just don't kid yourselves into thinking the park service wouldn't crap up VF park to make a buck.

Andrea S. said...

Having sat through another ARC ZHB meeting I thought it went much smoother than Tuesday night's fiasco of rantings and ravings. Hats off to Mr. Brown who sat through almost three hours of grueling testimony and nobody lost it. He seemed very cool under fire from the ARC attorney, and the ZHB members and their attorney, Mr. Mandracchia, who asked a lot of non relative questions as far as I was concerned. Ms. Eckman held her own under more cross examination for the last 20 minutes. Now can we hear from the NPS witness without a lot of objections from ARC and Mr. Mandrachia?

Anonymous said...

Conshy Mole - Oh don't we wish he were gone - the X Super still has his fingers in the Audubon Road Project, as he did with the Retirement Home Complex, the Shopping Center at Schracks' Corner and of course the Golf Course/Swim Club Project including the use of building lots that backed on to the Golf Course. Zoning change for these lots were approved??? Right!

Anonymous said...

On August 10th (one week ago) "Missing Something" appealed to the bloggers to reply to the statement "The ARC is good for the community of Lower Providence because.." - How interesting that not One Supporter of this commercial project responded with even ONE reason why this project would benefit LPT!

I say that we all realize that the members of the LPT Planning Commission, the 5 members of our current Zoning Board, and especially the 3 members of our Board of Supervisors who approved this monstrous commercial development by this non-profit - in the name of preserving history for our children - is in no way a benefit to the tax paying residents of Lower Providence. On the other hand, the safety and traffic issues alone will impact hundreds of residents every day - not just in Lower Providence, but in all of our surrounding townships as well.

Thank you to Stan and the Times Herald for keeping this blog going as we must work to assure that the BOS members who are up for election next year are not returned to office! Our Township manager, and definitely the out-of-control Solicitor for the Zoning Board who was appointed by the BOS Chairman - need to go as well! They don't get it that our safety and the best interest of the residents and tax payers are what put them into office in the first place - not the phone call from Governor Ed Rendell in support of an ill-conceived commercial development plan - just because of behind the scenes political "shenanigans"!

Once this historic land is dug up and paved over - it can never be returned to VFNHP - and (in my opinion) no developer in today's economy, and with the restrictions on the property of the wetlands, flood plains, high pressure gas pipe line and high tension wires would be interested in the few homes that could be built there under R-2.(92 homes per the township engineer's evaluation, NOT 392 as threatened.)

The economic benefit of this project as far as amusement tax (I believe that is 1%) revenue to our Township would only occur if they have a really large number of visitors paying their entrance fee to the museum, and the harm to our neighborhoods due to the additional ongoing increased tax costs of staffing for police and fire protection - not to mention the pollution from diesel and inconvenience of having Pawlings Road and Audubon Road dug up for the laying of pipes for water and sewer supply - would not be enough of an offset. Of course, the "dormitory for scholars" would not have to pay the same hotel taxes to the Township and County that other hotels in the area must pay! (Cute, huh?)

Therefore, I ask the few supporters, "where is the benefit"? The jobs there will be filled by their "friends" from outside of this area, unless there are a couple of unemployed and available BOS and Zoning Board members who might like office space there or a job in their gift shop after next year!!!

Wake up residents! Show your support to all who are raising their voices to say that we are tired of the political corruption in our Township. We need elected officials who will listen to us! Perhaps attend the Zoning Hearings (as painful as that is) or become a member of "Lower Providence Concerned Citizens" as they are working for good government and change!

Collegeville Mole said...

To the run for Supervisor commentator: Maybe, just maybe, could you be the one who did run for Supervisor got everything you needed in property buys, changes in ordinances and then Quit?

Are you part of the problem that JACKED things up in the past few years?

Who was the only Supervisor in the history of Lower Providence to be fined by the Ethics Board?

As the writer of August 10th stated "Only the Shadow knows".

District #1 said...

Stan, Another local paper this morning stated " Zoning board solicitor Charles Mandracchia, who functions like a Judge, said he was determined to speed up the process. In between, Board Vice Chairman Eric Frey (also a lawyer) told another attorney he would have her removed. Then Manny said he read over 170 pages and half of them were bickering from attorneys.

Wonder what that's going to cost the tax-payers?

Mr. Sklaroff suggested that people are frustrated by lawyers arguing.isn't he part of the problem?

The Zoning Members act as Judge in these cases NOT the solicitor, he's there as an advisor to the board and nothing else.

If Mr. Mandracchia ever ran for Judge, I believe the Republican Party would dissolve in Montgomery County.

Anonymous said...

Question: Real Estate Purchases in LP/Montg. Cnty? Before property is sold/final settlement is made - are the new owners or Institutions purchasing the properties made aware of the Zoning and if it will be taxed or not and at what rate? We certainly could settle a lot of problems if this were done BEFORE a purchase is finalized. ZONING is important -but if the process is breached - we then have a big problem on our hands.

Anonymous said...

I'm a lawyer and in hearings of this size, scope and complexity, it is common practice for the solicitor to conduct the majority of the hearing. It leads to more smoothly run meetings. Go to any other township's zoning meetings and see for yourself. Or better yet, come to ALL zoning meetings, not just those related to the ARC, so you can see the difference. There are specific reasons why things happen they way they do, or in the order they do. This is hardly unusual.

Anonymous said...

Collegeville Mole-

Sorry, not even close...in fact I'm disgusted that you think I'm Lomire. Anyway, I'd never want to be a Supervisor in this town...too many problems and no way to fix them. I hate to be a pecimist but really, it the last 30 years, I've not seen any saving of substantial green space, lessened development or any road improvements that improved my quality of life here in LP ( with maybe the library as an exception). At least the ARC is a worthwhile attraction. People are really just voicing their "not in my back yard" feelings. Again, don't waste so much energy on this. How can you ruin an already ruined township? Too little, too late. There's no fixing anything in Lower Providence Township. It passed "over-the-top" in development around 1988. If we don't allow the ARC, we'll just get more houses. Is that better or worse? 96 homes x 4 people = 384 new residents whose children will have no place to go to school...mmmm more new school buildings?? Sorry, I'm throwin' in the towel on LP...I can't remember a time when there was good leadership here. I feel sorry for the current board...left to clean up a hot mess! Good luck with that.

PA "D" said...

Annonymous 31 Aug.

30 years in the township you have to remember the following Supervisors:

Lawless(Annie) Moister (Doug), Hack (John), Gaugler (Ernie), Eskie (Charles), Buchenauer (Carl), McFarland (Nancy),Franz (Larry), Eastman (Mariot)Borai (Tom), Crahalla(Jackie), Dunbar (Joe),Ralston (Mary), Fornal (Greg),Hager (Doug), Dougherty (Jim),Lomire (John),Dininny (Craig), Sassu (Piero),Altieri (Marie), DiPaolo (Chris),Hoffner (Joe), Huges (John),Toms (Lee),Rambo (Archie),Lawless (Ambrose),Greco (Louis),Hoffner (Joseph),Wishengrad (Howard) Or we can go baack to the original (3) in 1939 Moyer,Buckwalter,Hunsicker.

The only Democrat listed above was Howard Wishengrad, maybe that's what wrong with L.P politics, the wrong party is in office.

Hang in there 2009 is right around the corner.

Another Pa "D"

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (Lawyer): I realize there is no true way of purchasing properties. Some people or organizations will go ahead and purchase the property and then try to convince the Township/City/Boro to change their Zoning. They do this very often now and it has become very expensive and time consuming. If you can survive the long drawn out process, you/your organization can win. Now hindsight - was it worth it?? I do believe there is a ruling in some parts of PA that if an organization or a professional office has been granted a change in Zoning and if they go out of business or decide to move/sell the property to another person/organization it would have to be of the same type of business-if not the zoning goes back to the original zoning. I hope this applies here in LP. I'm not sure we have all the Lawyers needed, qualified, here in LP to cover the various problems with ARC & new developments.

Anonymous said...

PA "D"-

I'm not a "D" but I will agree that the Republican leadership over the last 30 years seems to be the common thread running through the decline. I don't think there are any Democrats in LP Township that could fix the situation either. Like I said, it's not able to be repaired. LP will continue to be stagnant and lacks anything cultural about it. Mill Grove, you say?...county provided. Can't LP be known for something besides banks, pharmacies and pizza shops on every major intersection? It feels sort of "no class" in comparison with some other surrounding areas. It's like a piece of steak that's been way overcooked and no one wants to eat.

Lovin it here in LP said...

To all you naysayers that can't stand living in Lower Providence, I say move to the east end of Norristown or Upper Merion where you can have your cake (or tacos) and eat it to. If you have so much to complain about why are you still here, it is after all a free country, do what you want, move out! There are plenty of people who want to move into LP or the developers wouldn't be gobbling up all the land around here, now we have one more developer, the ARC who wants to put LP on the map. What can be wrong with another tax exempt hotel/conference center in the middle of Walnut Hill. Heck there is room enough over there for another drug store, bank, and a few pizzerias.

District One said...

Your paper of 9-11-08 states,"Solicitor Charles Mandraccia ruled the BOARD would not consider some of Rosenbaum's and Gibson's answers.

Did the BOARD break and go into executive session to determine this? I keep looking for the crystal ball sitting in front of the solicitor.

Is Manny doing all the thinking for this non thinking BOARD?

It is known that three members of the Zoning BOARD are not free thinkers, when did Manny start thinking for all five?

Another outburst that your reporter missed by King Manny.

As one T.V. show used to say....
"Here comes the Judge."

Bring on the Red Bull.

Wanting said...

Mr. Mandraccia should be paying L.P. for all the notoriety the solicitors position has brought him.

It would be interesting to see how much money this position has brought him compaired to past solicitors.

If he were paid on the knowledge of zoning law, he would be working for zilch.

What must be done to see what his earning are since his inauguration into this prestige position?

How many drinks, free lunches, etc did this cost the tax-payers?

Can someone please answer my plea.

Anonymous said...

This isn't a sitcom it's a miniseries. YOu have to watch all the episodes to know what's going on, not just tune in whenever you feel like it. The board voted a few 'episodes' back to let their attorney make all their evidentiary rulings. As there are many evidentiary issues, it may seem like he's thinking for all of them, and to some extent, in that regard only, he is. He's an experienced litigator. They aren't. Again - common practice.

PA "R" said...

Hey PA "D",

YOu forgot Larry Frantz and Lois Wood were both Democrats and a few others I care not to mention. So you see that Democrats can get elected in LP, they just have to work for it, that's all.

Anonymous said...

To District 1,

I hear that they go into exec session 2 to 3 times a night, now what could they be discussing back there. They have Manny the mouth making all their decisions for them and running the meetings too. The chairman should resign and let someone else do the job who can.

Anonymous said...

How can the citizens of Lower Providence allow outsiders to dictate what is good for their community is beyond me. Its time the silent majority speak out before other outside groups try to derail other good projects for the community. These outside groups want to put the project back in Upper Merion because they realized the good that will come out of the ARC- they simply screwed up when they lost the ARC in their own backyard. The biggest critic of the ARC happens to be from Upper Merion- a coincidence? Where was NPCA with the casino proposal or Gettysburg or Yellowstone Hotel? Hallowed ground- that is only at Arlington. There is not even a cemetary at Valley Forge and if was so hallowed ground, why was the Veterans cemetary proposal kicked off the property?

General George said...

Anonymous 9-13

You don't have a clue of what your talking about.

What outside sources?

The property was not BIG enough for a Veterans Cemetary.

What other good projects are coming into the community?

L.P. can't even fill their industrial park.

Keep wishing, the star will shine your way.

Anonymous said...

What Is LP going to do when Borai, Brown, McFarland and all of the other senior citizens still sitting on the boards die off? Isn't there anyone younger who can get in the game or do you have to be over 65? I'm so tired of listening to the same bunch of people defend their "life's work" in LP. As a lifelong resident, I don't see it as a place to be bragging about. If these old-timers are so great, how come they haven't taught anyone new the ins and outs of governing LP? Seems selfish. When is it time to let someone else bring a fresh perspective? Feels like never. It's getting old.

Anonymous said...

ARC should move to Virginia.
I will help them pack their stuff.
GO AWAY ARC.

Anonymous said...

Stan - I am for ARC but it should be on the other side of the River IN Valley Forge Park - Yellow Spring Road would be ideal. Leave the Audubon Area as it was 40 - 60 years ago "A Quiet Village" and stop trying to make it into a Tourist Attraction.

Simon said...

To anonymous of 9-15, you must be out of touch with reality, McFarland and Borai aren't on any boards or commissions of Lower Providence. You must have been out of the country for quite some time. Dininny runs the township like a dictator, have you ever tuned into a township meeting on tv? Get a grip! I agree Brown has been around a long time but he appears to be the only one on the board who knows anything. I don't think age has anything to do with it, the R's are running John McCain for president, I think he is way older than Brown. It may be time to bring back the likes of McFarland, Borai, and Ralston, the township needs seasoned leadership and we just don't have it.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to all the current supervisors. Reading these blogs it's a job I wouldn't have. I think what is being said from former supervisors is a disgrace. I started going to these meetings recently and I must comment that they are professional and seem to have the best interests of the people at heart. It's not fair to attack them personally as is being done in this blog. I think the former supervisors need to step back and let the current ones do the jobs that are entrusted in them. As far as the ARC is concerned, let the people decide by a vote. I'm sure no one would disagree. God bless and good work.

disturbed in the Peninsula said...

To kudos of 9-16, you may be right about the current board of supervisors but take a look at the ZHB members they appointed. Three of them chew bubble gum during their hearings They talk and laugh with one another while witnesses are being examined on the stand. The solicitor screams and yells at the attorneys and their witnesses. How professional is that, if I were a member of that board I would be ashamed of myself.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and Lomire used to lay back in his chair and eat Doritos in front of everyone during township meetings. There isn't anyone up there with much class or professionalism...hasn't been for many years. This town is embarrassing. I guess it's our own fault because we never have too much of a choice when it comes time to vote do we?