Monday, May 25, 2015

Zoning Board Hearing Agenda

1541 Powell St 
I'M posting this Monday night because I'll be out early Tuesday morning for the Norristown Business Association meeting.

Tuesday night, May 26, at 7 pm is the Zoning Board Hearing in Municipal Hall. Here's details on the properties to be discussed.

1541 Powell Street, owned by 50 West Brown Associates, LLC. They want a Special  Exception from Section  320-291A.3.a.iii to allow for a child care facility servicing approximately 100 children. This building was originally the Norristown Jewish Community Center at Brown and Powell, then it became the Cancer Center. It's been empty since the Cancer Center moved out to Mercy Hospital.

803 Noble Street, owned by Steve & Bobbette Detwiler, who want a variance to allow for the conversion of the second floor storage area into an apartment. Generally I'm against splitting single family houses into apartments, but at least this lot is a large corner property with lots of parking spots and the property has been very well kept by the Detweiler family to this point. However, this would be the FIRST duplex on that block. According to the new zoning laws, granting this variance would set a precedent for more duplexes on that block. If say, someone bought a pair of the twin houses on that block, they'd then be able to knock them down and build 2 duplexes instead. Moreover, on this block, the houses are almost all homeowner owned. We wouldn't want to see those homeowners move out of Norristown because too many multi-family houses start appearing on that street. So the request could have more ramifications than is first apparent.

310 W Johnson Hwy is part of Logan Square. This building was, I think, last an Italian Restaurant and before that, and Auto Service Center. It's been empty for decades. Forman Sign Company is seeking a variance to allow for 6’1” x 18’ ¼” illuminated wall sign. No mention of whether the store has finally been rented. I hope it has, because all boarded up, it looks awful. Right now there's a Plymouth Produce sign on the front of the building, so perhaps they're simply swapping out that sign for one that lights up. Or perhaps the sign is more for the entrance to the lot than for the building. I'll be interested to hear the real story.

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