Hatboro Council May Hear Plans to Build in Floodplain

The owner of 332 S. York Road is planning to come before the Hatboro Borough Council in March to talk about a proposal to construct homes on the oft-flooded property.

Before plans advance to build 16 two-story townhouses or apartments in a flood zone, the Hatboro governing body is expected to hear more about the plan in March, officials said. 

Horizon Property Management LLC, which owns the 332 S. York Road structures housing a handful of car repair shops and Manja pizza shop, was supposed to go before the zoning hearing board last week to seek approval to knock down all but the restaurant on the 1.76-acre parcel to make way for 16 residential units.

At the last minute, the owner postponed its appearance at the meeting. 

During Monday night's Hatboro Borough Council meeting, Councilman Bill Tompkins said Horizon is looking to make a presentation at one of the council's two March meetings. Tompkins said the owner also intends to go before the Hatboro Planning Commission before the zoners weigh in on the application. 

Hatboro Council President John Zygmont asked the community to keep an open mind about the project. 

"I’d appreciate the opportunity to hear what the applicant had to say before we have the jury ... take off and call them and tell them - as was done with Wawa -that they’re not wanted in town," Zygmont said.  

Business owners of 332 S. York Road - both past and present - have experienced property damage and losses stemming from flooding.  following Hurricane Irene. 

The owner is proposing constructing the living areas “at a minimum of not less than one foot above the 100-year recurrent interval flood.” In addition, the stucco and brick residences would “require floodproofing measures” as designated by a professional engineer or architect.

The latest plan follows last year's rejection of a .

According to the application on file in Hatboro's municipal building, the residences, as proposed, would help to lessen existing flooding impacts. 

Steven Long January 15, 2013 at 03:13 AM
Theresa Katalinas (Editor) January 15, 2013 at 03:20 AM
Yes, Steven. It means often.
Carol Inman January 15, 2013 at 02:50 PM
I respectfully request that Mr. Zygmont comply with his duties to maintain an open website that posts agenda in a a timely manner. Just last month, it was brought to Council's attention that citizens, including key personnel such as the President of the Fire Company, could not access the website. ?? Council had neglected to let even those most in need to know that the domain name has changed from .com to .org. There is no online redirect indicator for hatborogov.com, as is common practice in the industry, and esp. important for a government agency. It would be a quite simple matter to let people know about this important change through media -- Patch, for instance. Why did this not happen? Even more importantly, the agenda for last night's meeting has still not been posted. Since it includes an agenda item that Mr. Zygmont is concerned about: why not keep us informed? Failure to post agenda at the appointed time and make meeting minutes freely available happens too many times in this town: twice since the website has finally after ten years been "fixed". Why? Council has missed two excellent opportunities to quell public concerns and fulfill its most basic obligation to provide transparency of government.
jen January 16, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Aren't the condos next to the YMCA still mostly empty? I'm open-minded but more homes when many our vacant or foreclosed on seems ridiculous.
Theresa Katalinas (Editor) January 16, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Jen, I'm not sure about Victorian Village's occupancy rate, but I know those condos are age-restricted.
Carol Inman January 16, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Mr. Zygmont should keep an open mind about the value of public opinion, and focus on his primary responsibility to maintain open access to meeting minutes and agenda. The Wawa situation was a TRIUMPH for the overwhelming number of residents who love the small town atmosphere of Hatboro. Doesn't seem that people agree that building 16 units on a property that was deemed by both COUNCIL and its owner to be eligible for buy out due to irresolvable flooding issues is a good idea. And it's OK for us to question that. Flooding is a dire problem in S. Hatboro. Every state has certified floodplain managers who help municipalities look holistically at their problems and devise effective solutions. Let's get one into Hatboro and have a respectful dialogue. You'll find, for one thing, that building to the 500, rather than 100-yr., floodplain is the norm in frequently flooded areas. I, for one, would like Council to get its new code enforcement team to look asap at the abandoned restaurant hanging off the Mill Inn and certify that it is still structurally sound enough to withstand the severity of flooding in that area. If that structure fails, debris will clog the tunnel under York Rd and back up floodwaters and endanger Pennypack School and Blair Mill Apts. Serving COLLECTIVE interests is the role of government. Mr. Zygmont would do well to attend first to his legal obligation to keep open public records and recall that he serves at the pleasure of fully informed voters.
spitorswallow January 16, 2013 at 08:48 PM
I figured this plan would raise the nuts, and Carol did not disappoint. Funny how the south rises when development is proposed near them. Up north I see a huge apartment complex being built feet away from a creek and a few hundred yards from the Woodwinds condos (that could be bought out by fema). Yet not a peep is heard. Put up or shut up Carol, your diatribe is getting old.
Reginald January 16, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Wingnuts! Hatboro sure has them; I cant believe the wawa stuff again! This woman does not represent my views or the views of many others.
truth b told 2 January 17, 2013 at 01:03 AM
no Reginald she's not a wing nut, she's just a frigin nut... certifiable I'm sure
Theresa Katalinas (Editor) January 17, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Everyone is entitled to share their thoughts, but I respectfully request that posters please refrain from making personal attacks.


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