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Pennsburg Grants Final Plan Approval for Still Waters Redevelopment
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Pennsburg Council unanimously approved two separate motions regarding the redevelopment of the Still Waters Community. On Tuesday, council voted to ratify an item granting final plan approval of developer Tim Hendricks' plan with conditions. The members also approved a revised stipulated settlement that will permit the construction of 36 twin units near the intersection of Montgomery Avenue and 8th Street.

            After the meeting, council President Diane Stevens expressed hope that construction could begin in April. The developer is hopeful the work could begin in 45 days, according to the council president.

            However, Stevens wrote in a text message that the Upper Montgomery Joint Authority and the Montgomery County Conservation District need to sign off on the plan to convert the former age-restricted community into a traditional development.

            Municipal officials will also need to receive a copy of the agreement between the developer and the homeowners association, according to Stevens. She wrote that the Montgomery County judge overseeing a civil dispute between the borough and the previous developer would have to sign off of the plan before work can commence.

            However, the vote could soon allow the transfer of home ownership for the community's current residents, according to Stevens. She wrote in a separate text that residents currently have lifetime rights to live in their homes but not to own them.The original developer built one single home and three twins before construction ceased in 2014 or 2015 after the developer ran out of money, according to Lisa Hiltz, the borough's administrative manager. 

            In other news, council voted unanimously to approve two new ordinances. They ratified a change to the borough's Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and Truck Parking ordinance and revised its measure regarding the storage of vehicles.

            The former is intended to control the parking and storage of RVs, tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles on or at residential properties, according to Stevens. She wrote in a Dec. 28 email message that municipal officials have received several recent complaints about RVs and trucks parked on residential properties.

            An incident at a property in the 800 block of Seminary Street helped lead to the ordinance, according to the council president. She wrote that municipal officials received similar complaints for properties in the 100 block of Dotts Street.

            The new storage of vehicles language directs a property owner cited by the borough's zoning officer to appeal to the Montgomery County District Court rather than council, according to Stevens.

            In other news, Kelly Himes and Thomas Busek were appointed to the Pennsburg Voluntary Fire Company's Fire Police. Both were sworn in by Mayor Charles Shagg during the meeting, hosted on Zoom.

            Stevens appointed Vice President Patrick Suter as the chair of the borough's building committee. She also directed Member Keith Goodwin to serve with him.  "It's going to be a big year for that committee," Stevens said referencing the borough's application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a low-interest loan to make repairs to the municipal building and other properties.

            Late last month, council voted to hire a new engineer. The members unanimously approved a shift from Gilmore & Associates to Great Valley Consultants, of Wyomissing.

            The Berks County firm is currently handling the borough's code enforcement responsibilities. Terrence Naugle, a company vice president and the municipality's code enforcement officer, participated in the Zoom meeting.

            According to Stevens, Great Valley Consultants charge a lower hourly rate than its predecessor. She also wrote in an email message that the company has offered suggestions and solutions to issues.  "They're very responsive," Stevens wrote in December. "It was recommended we have the same engineer as code enforcement."





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