As of 8 am today, with less than 48 hours to go until the Zoning Board Hearing tomorrow night, there is STILL no agenda posted on the Municipal website. With a decision about a major development at 1529 Dekalb pending, this is absolutely not acceptable.
The development calls for 34 housing units on only 1.26 acres of land. This development could effect not only the dozens of residents who live in the immediate neighborhood, but hundreds of others downhill who would potentially be effected by any changes in the storm water runoff that's now absorbed on the site. (How much? One half inch of rain on 55,000 square feet equals over 16,000 gallons--and that's only an average rainstorm).
The development involves yet another historic building being slated for demolition, which concerns quite a few residents of Norristown. And since the developer will be seeking public funding, tax dollars from ALL of us are on the table.
And, I'll add a little history here--The Borough of Norristown bought this property in the year 2001 for $900,000. They sold it only 2 years later for $227,000. So, we've already lost over $600,000 in tax dollars on this place.
The thing is, there's no one to complain to. It's late December, 4 days before Christmas. This is the current Zoning Board's last meeting. The 2015 Council is already adjourned, as is the Planning Commission.
But the law says if Zoning fails to come to a decision within 45 days of the developer's application (which was last month), the application is automatically approved. And 45 days are up, I believe, on December 31.
Those of us who want to know whether or not to show up at the meeting tomorrow, or if another hearing will be scheduled before year end, come out sounding like the Scrooges in this deal. But remember, we aren't the ones who'll be profiting from this venture if the Zoning Board fails to make a decision. Even if they do vote, one way or the other, every resident or business owner in town ought to have the opportunity to express their concerns and opinions if we're going to call ourselves a democracy.