Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Finn McCool's update + more Hatfield news

New news from Hatfield Township regarding one of their most prominent vacant properties:

(Photo by Mark Psoras for The Reporter - all other photos are taken by me unless i say otherwise)

Hatfield officials discussing possible demolition of former Finn McCool’s building

This has been a tricky issue for several years, ever since the property owner was murdered in a home invasion in January 2013 - which is still the coldest i have ever been, so cold my cellphone and flipcam stopped working while at that scene.

Anyways! Hatfield has had this property on their radar for several years, including during talks on their imminent danger ordinance which produced one of the strangest quotes i've ever heard in a meeting:

“My office was prepared to have a court order to have Finn McCool’s demolished, and right as we were about to serve that paperwork the owner was murdered, which held up that process,” she said.

More details on what could happen with that property are in that story, so click the link above!
And in other news from Hatfield, a resident brought up an issue we'll likely hear more about coming soon - political campaign signs. The resident asked if signs already placed in the township should be taken down because we are more than 30 days from an election, and the reply from the township solicitor was to say that regulations currently on the books are not enforceable.
"Not only would I recommend that it not be enforced, but that we take the time to take it off the books," said solicitor Christen Pionzio.
The only enforceable regulations the township can enforce would govern whether signs are placed in rights-of-way and present safety hazards, she told the commissioners.
"There should be nothing on the code relative to political signs. You can keep them up year-round if you want to. It's free speech, so quite frankly, there shouldn't be any (regulations)," she said.
What do you think? Should municipalities be able to regulate political signs, or just have no codes at all? Let me know by commenting here or tweet me @Dansokil - thanks!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

In other news - Lansdale Planning Commission 09/21/2015

The main news from Lansdale's Planning Commission Monday night was the first look at plans for a 120-unit apartment building proposed for North Second Street and Cannon Avenue:

Here are some pix of the presentation on that project; I've asked to get the full presentation and will update if i get it.

Other news from that meeting included talks on a subdivision on the 700 block of North Valley Forge Road, where a lot with two homes will be divided into two lots with one each. Minor discussion from the planning commission on that one, mostly concerning Code requirements that say one more shade tree must be added to one of the lots, which led to this exchange:

Planning Commission also continued its talks on the borough Comprehensive Plan update, which has been ongoing for several months now. Montgomery County Planning Commission reps to the local commission have been updating data in the 2006 plan, and last night's talks dealt mostly with historical data on when certain types of residential and business construction were recorded with the county, and which borough projects those meant.

Lansdale PC also discussed an upcoming zoning hearing board discussion re: a business on the 100 block of South Broad Street, seeking to build a shed structure behind their property. Commission members also asked Director of Community Development John Ernst about several other ongoing projects. No formal permit applications have yet been filed for the former Molly Maguire's restaurant and pub site at Main and Wood Streets, but the department has had discussions with "a potential buyer," Ernst said.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Behind the scenes with FDMT

Here's hoping you don't see it for a while, but the Fire Department of Montgomery Township now has a new state-of-the-art fire engine that has officially entered service:

Out with the old, in with the new as FDMT welcomes new engine

Ever wonder how we were able to get that cool photo? Here's a shot of our photographer Geoff Patton deploying his monopod, and using a mix of skill and luck to get just the right angle:

and it's worth noting Friday was also the final day for FDMT's oldest fire engine, a 1988 model the department obtained when they were formed in 2002, and they've sold to a collector in Virginia...couldn't resist taking one last pic of that too:

congrats FDMT!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Testing testing...let's see what this looks like! This will be a blog about all things in and around Lansdale, so here's a pic from last night of the new borough municipal building at sunset. Story on their very first meeting coming soon... the meantime follow me on Twitter @Dansokil for live updates as these meetings happen!