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Pennsburg Developer’s Lawyer Denies Settlement Agreement
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2023-09-13

            Pennsburg Council voted Tuesday night to accept a financial settlement from a New Hope developer related to the condition of a five-acre parcel at 704 Montgomery Avenue. The members left Borough Hall thinking they would receive a $45,000 settlement offer from Tim Hendricks.

            However, the Upper Gwynedd attorney representing Hendricks disputes that claim. On Wednesday afternoon, council President Diane Stevens provided an email message stating that the developer, through his lawyer Carl Weiner, did not agree to the settlement.

            The matter, which includes 110 citations filed against him by the borough's code enforcement officer within the last three months for alleged violations at the site of the proposed Deerfield development, appears headed for a conclusion before Red Hill District Judge Maureen Coggins. A summary trial is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, according to information posted on a state judicial website. Stevens has requested a continuance until Sept. 27 due to a personal conflict.

            "I made it very clear to Mr. Weiner in prior discussions that the borough is not going to just merely withdraw the citations with the hope Mr. Hendricks pays the fines and court costs," Stevens wrote in the message, received at 2:08 p.m. 

            Near the end of Tuesday's meeting, Stevens informed council that Hendricks, the managing member of Hendricks Group Developers, LLC, has made an offer to settle the matter. The New Hope resident is facing $100,600 in fines related to property he owns. The council president said the borough would receive the settlement and $5,474 in filing fees as part of the agreement.

            Between June 20 and Aug. 8, the borough's code enforcement officer issued numerous summary offenses. They included the alleged accumulation of rubbish or garbage; certain growths prohibited, nuisance declared; failure to maintain the exterior property, not properly maintaining vacant structures and land along with high grass.

            Most of the violations were worth $1,000 each. The others totaled $600 each. The code enforcement company, billed the borough $2,040 to handle the citations, according to a copy of the Deerfield Violation Invoices obtained from Stevens.

            Between June 20 and June 22, the CEO issued 12 citations. Nine more were filed on July 6. Seven days later, 20 non-traffic citations were added to the court docket. On July 20 and July 27, 20 additional citations were filed. 

            According to Stevens, repeated citations were necessary due to the accumulation of trash and debris and high grass at the property. After the meeting, she said Hendricks still has a lot to clean up.

            Once the borough receives its payment, Hendricks will be permitted to resume his plan for the Deerfield Land Development. However, he has to start back at square one, according to the council president. After the meeting, she said he recently submitted a new sketch plan for the 5.05-acre property.

            On May 12, 2020, Hendricks submitted a subdivision plan for the project that called for 48 townhouses and two single-family units, as well as two open space lots, roadways, curbs, sidewalks, utilities and stormwater facilities, according to the court document.

            The developer submitted a revised subdivision plan on Dec. 28, 2020. Seven months later, Pennsburg council voted to reject a three-month extension offer by Hendricks, according to the court paperwork.

             In April 2022, Hendricks filed a civil suit in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas against the borough. He claimed that municipal officials improperly rejected his proposed subdivision plan.

            The lawsuit argued that because the borough did not cite any specific reason for its decision, the court should rule that the revised subdivision plans should be deemed to be approved by virtue of two sections of the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code. The court paperwork states that since council is the only authority regarding land development in the borough, the developer has no other options for legal remedies.

            On June 9, 2021, Administrative Manager Lisa Hiltz sent a letter to Hendricks, listed in the lawsuit as the managing member of Hendricks Group Developers, informing him that his waiver on a decision by council to approve land development plan for the construction of 50 residential units on the former Kline Property would expire in three days.

            It also states that council has unanimously denied his waiver and formally rejected his plan submission. Additionally, the letter states that substantial plan revisions and at least another extension would be required.

            The Hendricks Groups Developers purchased the parcel from Stanford L. Large Jr. for $255,000 last August. Six years earlier, Large purchased it from the Affinity Bank of Pennsylvania for $120,000.

            The bank acquired the property from TH Properties LP, Hendricks' former company, in March 2012. THP bought it from Barry and Bonita Kline for $1 on June 15, 2007, according to information posted on the Montgomery County Property Tax website.

            In August, the Upper Perk Police District responded to 626 incidents. They included 231 calls for public service, 95 traffic details and 87 vehicle investigations. Their officers issued 50 warnings, 47 traffic citations and 13 parking tickets or warnings, according to information presented by Chief Joe Adam.

            The agency made 12 criminal arrests, responded to four reportable accidents and four false alarms at businesses and one non-reportable accident.  The department responded to five incidents of trespassing, three thefts, and two instances of DUI, forgery/fraud/identity theft and public drunkenness/disorderly conduct as well as one each of blackmail/extortion, burglary/ attempted burglary and shoplifting.


 

 

 

 

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