Two new housing developments are planned for sections of North York Road in Hatboro not far from other areas that have sustained significant flooding in recent weeks.
If the Hatboro Borough Council permits 10 additional units at Wynfair Apartments, 350 N. York Road; and 12 townhouses at 400 N. York Road, officials told Hatboro Borough Council during Monday’s meeting, that the developments’ more advanced stormwater management systems would help improve flood conditions onsite and nearby as well.
The main address for the oft-flooded Woodwinds condominiums is next door at 410 N. York Road. Condos are situated adjacent to both properties. Woodwinds residents attended Monday's meeting to demand borough help following home losses sustained in two almost back-to-back storms and flooding.
No action was taken Monday on either of the applications. Borough Manager Steven Plaugher said the council would consider both at its Sept. 26 meeting.
In terms of the two-story, 1,200-square-foot apartments planned for Wynfair, engineer Nicholas Rose of ProTract Engineering said the units would be built three feet higher than the 100-year floodplain. In addition, Rose said underground detention basins throughout the parking lot would help to capture “everything south of there,” including water from the roof.
“We’re required to capture all the different storms and let them go at different rates and volumes,” Rose said, adding that water would be “collected, held back, let out through a much smaller pipe.”
Wynfair owner Peter Tiburzio Jr. said the existing three buildings, which were built on the 3.6-acre site in the 1960s, did not sustain any flood damage during either of the last storms. If approval is granted, Tiburzio said construction on the nearly $1 million addition would begin in spring 2012 and complete six months later.
Marc Jonas, an attorney representing the owner of the 2.16-acre tract at 400 N. York Road, said approval was previously granted for the development of 10 townhouses on the site. Borough Manager Steven Plaugher said the court-ordered settlement had been approved in May 2009. Because of the down economy, the project had been shelved for a time, Jonas said.
On Monday, with new owners at the helm of the parcel, which currently houses a run-down residence and several vehicles which appear to be inoperable, Jonas asked the council to consider an amended plan for a total of 12 homes. In addition to rehabilitating the site, Jonas said the plan strives to implement advanced stormwater management practices to “help a regional condition that’s not ours.”
Jonas said the homes, which would be priced in the high $200,000 range, would all have basements – an amenity that drew a flood of questions from the council.
“These are for sale units,” Jonas said. “People want to have basements when they buy units.”
Councilman Bill Tompkins noted concerns over unit No. 8, in particular, related to its proximity to the new floodplain line.
Rose, who also acted as engineer for this project, said the homes would be elevated. And, he said basins would be situated vertically, helping to prevent flooding.
“There’s no opening that would allow that water to get into the basements,” Rose said. “There wouldn’t be groundwater pushing water into the basements.”
Councilwoman Aleta Ostrander disagreed.
“I had two sump pumps going,” Ostrander said of recent storms. “I don’t live in a floodplain.”
Jonas suggested doing a deed restriction to make the basement in unit No. 8 be used only for mechanical and storage, meaning the future homeowner would not be permitted to finish the basement.