Court Tells O'Neill to Jump in the Schuylkill

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Hugh Gordon's picture
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This is a very pleasant development.

Main Line Media News learned late Friday afternoon that Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Kelly Wall has overturned the township’s 2010 order granting approval of developer Brian O’Neill’s conditional use application for a 580-unit apartment complex at 600 Righters Ferry Road, Bala Cynwyd.

http://mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2012/07/20/main_line_times/news/doc5009c3aa92a4c992185582.txt

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Hugh Gordon's picture
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And just to follow up, here is the key:

In his comment, Penn Real Estate’s McCloskey went on to say, “The plan did not have enough green space, enough recreation area or enough parking. The court essentially stated that both the applicant and the township must follow the rules.”

“The township has already changed the zoning code to accommodate this applicant,” he added. “If the applicant would simply adhere to ordinance provisions that they themselves proposed, they could still develop a substantial project on the site.”

This is the point that Commissioner Cheryl Gelber made over and over again during the discussions of this plan:  the Township should stand behind its own ordinances. 

But there is a strong tendency on the part of current Township leadership to regard the Township's own ordinances as optional -- if they get in the way of a desired result, they'll be ignored.  It is truly remarkable that this zoning ordinance that was written for the primary purpose of allowing O'Neill to do this development has been so incompetently handled from start to finish. 

 

 

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carla's picture
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As so the tough Irish Lass told the tough Irish Lad that he needed to play fair or pick up his toys and go home? That is truly amazing and I bet somewhere a rather petite lawyer is fuming in Blue Bell, right? (But I bet he'll appeal, it will be just like the billboard cases, huh?)

Sorry but I think this is fabulous news

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"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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Main Line Media News learned late Friday afternoon that Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Kelly Wall has overturned the township’s 2010 order granting approval of developer Brian O’Neill’s conditional use application for a 580-unit apartment complex at 600 Righters Ferry Road, Bala Cynwyd.

So, is this right?  It took a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge (Kelly Wall) to verify the LMT Board of Commissioners' poor judgment in approving the O'Neill conditional use application to build 580 apartments (in a flood plain)?  

Just curious,

  • Did long, longtime Lower Merion Township Solicitor, Gil High, advise approval to the Board with a justification that included potential litigation if the Board did not approve?   
  • Were any of our Township's Building and Planning Department staff involved in supporting or defending the conditional use application to the Board of Commissioners during public meetings?    If so, what justifications were given to the Board to support approval?

Which Commissioners voted to approve it in 2010?

In an initial comment, Penn Real Estate President Sean McCloskey, wrote in an e-mail, “The judge made the right decision: the plan never complied with the code and the township should not have granted conditional use approval.”

http://mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2012/07/20/main_line_times/news/doc5009c3aa92a4c992185582.txt

 

 

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