Thank You! Senator Argall

Allow me to start this post backwards. I am just a person, like those of you reading this blog.  I am (in)famous in my own network but I am certainly not a public celebrity. Meeting with Senator Argall and State Representative Knowles on July 11, 2018, I learned they are both “real” people. The conversations were easy and fluid.  Not once during the 75 minute long meeting did I feel like we were being talked down to, nor patronized, nor were our concerns brushed off.  They both listened, they both asked very good questions and they both took the time to listen to the responses.  A bonus to the meeting was that they joked with each other and joked with us like we were long time acquaintances.

Yes, the skill of being a good politician, I get it.  However, I am still very happy about the meeting.

Oh, you want to know about the meeting.  Sorry, let me get rolling on that.

We all received a phone call six weeks ago from Senator Argall to join in a phone conference call for the community.  However, most of us work during the day so we didn’t know about this until we got home and heard the message on our answering machines.  He did leave a phone number to call if we had comment or concerns.  Several of us called that number and said, “Hey!  We couldn’t join in the conversation but we really do want to talk to you about some community concerns, please let us have a meeting with you.”

Remarkably, Senator Argall agreed to a meeting.  We met with him, State Representative Jerry Knowles and Senator Argall’s aide, Craig Lutz.

We had three concerns we wanted to address: Although the conversation went around and wove through the three concerns continuously, I will blog the three concerns here and summarize the responses so that it isn’t confusing.

CONCERN #1:  The newly released Berks County Comprehensive Plan.  This plan is about the “planned growth” within Berks County.  Our BoS stated at a meeting in March 2018 that Berks County was targeting Greenwich and Parry Townships for warehouse expansion as we are along the I-78 corridor. Horribly, their growth plan is right on top two of the four Berks County designated historic districts  within Greenwich Township.  Yes, that is 50% of our township’s historic districts “planned to be destroyed” by growth.

Uhm, no!

I passed along the information regarding our historic districts complete with photos and documentation on the businesses and residents within those districts for their review. My comment was, “If growth means destroying our history to make new history, what is the point of having history.”  They had no response.

To continue, for the entirety of Berks County, their planned growth encompasses residential areas.  A full 37% of their targeted growth areas will put residents out of their homes.  I asked Senator Argall and State Rep Knowles if they had the opportunity to read this Berks County Comprehensive Plan.  They both replied they had not.

Well, I have!  And I have notes, charts, photo overlays, and miscellaneous other information regarding this plan and I passed that information along to them for their review.

Much of the growth in Berks County is along the I-78 corridor.  About 25% of their planned growth is along the most dangerous section of I-78 in the state.  A section of highway that PennDOT has deemed unsafe and needing to be improved, hence the project that will be starting in 2019 to widen the highway.  According to the PennDOT website, this project is to be completed by 2023.

Senator Argall said he would reach out and speak to Alan Piper, Transportation Planner III of the Berks County Planning Commission.

This conversation brought up …

CONCERN #2: There safe places for building warehouses and Krumsville is not one of those places.

I had precipitated our conversation with the statement we were not at this meeting to discuss the Crossroads X Warehouse Project.  Our intent was to address community concerns.

With that said, we agreed that industrial zoning allows for warehousing in our township, if the warehouse developer can meet the “Special Exceptions” as listed in the State MPC Code for Municipalities.  However, just because something is allowed to be done does not  mean it should be done.

We discussed location and safety for everyone.  The Krumsville Intersection is not able to handle that kind of traffic, nor is the structure of Rt 737 able to handle that kind of traffic and would quickly deteriorate under the stress of warehouse traffic. (State Representative Knowles asked for a definition of the traffic volumes.  I directed him to the HighCube-Warehouse Oct 2016 Study ITE, particularly referencing warehousing. I did define that there is a newer version, v10, but it is not available to the public for download and we have bits and pieces of the new one from an engineering firm we are using to backup our data.)

Continuing along this line of conversation, we brought up the meeting with PennDOT last fall.  I gave a brief summary of the 3.5 hr long meeting and clearly stated that although PennDOT officials at that meeting promised us a review within 30 days, we have not heard back from them at this time.  I brought the meeting minutes with me and shared those with Senator Argall and State Rep Knowles.  Along with that was the three letters I have sent to PennDOT asking for a followup conclusion to that meeting.  Three letters to which PennDOT has not responded.  Although I have shared these in another blog, let me lay them out here again, in case the reader wants to review that meeting.

PennDOT_meeting_110317

PennDOT_meeting_110317a

We brought out the PennDOT manual for reviewing and approving an HOP (Highway Occupancy Permit) for the State of Pennsylvania and pointed out three sections in that manual in which the current Crossroads X Warehouse plans do not meet their requirements, unless PennDOT offers the developer a waiver, or exception.  We expressed our concerns that if rules are able to be broken with a waiver, what is the point of the rules and WE DO NOT WANT WAIVERS OR EXCEPTIONS ALLOWED because those waivers create an unsafe situation for the local  residents, travelers in our area and the warehouse traffic. We asked that PennDOT be held to a safer standard for issuing HOP’s (meaning they follow their own rules without waivers and exceptions) and we felt that until the I-78 widening project was complete in 2023, that all HOPs for that section of the I-78 corridor should be held in suspension so as not to add to the already unsafe traffic levels.

Believe it or not, Senator Argall had much to comment on this conversation about PennDOT.  He was visibly upset that PennDOT had not responded to us after our meeting, especially as we had written three letters requesting an update.  He also said that he was going to reach out to Leslie Richards and find out why this has not been addressed, and he mentioned again that he would reach out to Alan Piper Transportation Planner for Berks County.

State Rep Knowles also had comment.  He stated that he had many constituents who would die to have a warehouse in their community.  We stated that they were welcome to it because putting a warehouse in the location proposed was just plainly against any kind of common sense.  We also stated that growth is inevitable, however there is a difference between smart growth and dumb growth.  Smart growth allows a community to grow and prosper, dumb growth destroys the surrounding community and sets back prosperity.  He did not have a response to our comment about growth.

Continuing on, I personally added the comments from Dennis Toomey from the April 12th PennDOT meeting in which he stated that should the warehouse traffic pose a dangerous threat to the intersection, then PennDOT would certainly take steps to make the intersection safe.  (AFTER THE FACT!!!) Our only conclusion to making the intersection safe would be for PennDOT to use their authority to eminent domain the homes on the corners, destroy them in order to widen the intersection to provide a proper set back of stop lines and a red/yellow/green traffic light.  My comment was, “And they will use my tax dollars to put me out of my home.”  Neither Senator Argall nor State Rep Knowles had a comment to that statement.

To conclude this portion of the discussion, we provided website and YouTube information so they could view daily traffic, without I-78 detours and traffic during an I-78 detour, so they could come to their own conclusion about the safety of the intersection in which PennDOT states does not require upgrading to allow a warehouse HOP.

Lastly, the concern is the build up of traffic in Berks County.  Not just along I-78, but also along Old Route 22, Route 222, Route 737, Route 143, Route 61, etc etc etc.

When the I-78 project is started, there will be a massive influx of traffic on the alternate routes as travelers attempt to avoid the construction slowdowns on the highway.  This puts the residents along these routes in danger as well as preventing businesses along those routes to safely invite customers.  We used Krumsville and Lenhartsville as examples of what happens during I-78 detours.  The traffic backs up as much as two miles (yes, this is documented with photographic evidence) and residents/business customers cannot safely enter nor exit driveways along the detour route.  In both intersections, firefighter volunteers are required to direct traffic, stopping traffic way back from the current stop lines to allow for the large tractor trailers to make turns without squishing cars, and the noise generated by the traffic is deafening to those living along the detour routes.

We all agreed that the detour route is necessary.  However, we disagree on the safety issues presented during a detour.  We spoke about what would happen in the event that fire personnel are not available to assist traffic through either intersection, which recently occurred when I-78 was having weekend and nightly road repairs.  In the month of May, there were four fender benders (that we know about) in the Krumsville Intersection due to highway traffic offloading in an attempt to avoid the backup on the highway during these road repairs.  Also in the month of May, I-78 had eleven (11) !!!! accidents which resulted in a detour through Lenhartsville or Krumsville.  During those detours, local residents were subjected to the 40k daily traffic counts that are recorded for this section of I-78.

We had previously requested cameras in these intersections to assist with policing.  Leslie Richards office had agreed that was a good idea, but once again we have not had a response from her offices in regards to our request. And that brought up the fact we have repeatedly reached out to Leslie Richards for a sit down meeting with us and have not been given that privilege.  Most of our correspondence to her is largely ignored or we receive a “form letter response”.  This from the woman who stated on public television that she was a person of the people and our concerns were her concerns.

Hmmm

CONCERN #3: Community wildlife and eco preservation vs. Berks County Growth and Warehousing.  We had representation from Hawk Mountain at the meeting and he spoke at length about the impact a warehouse in Krumsville would have on the wildlife and ecology.  He also spoke about the impact that warehouse would have on the local businesses that depend on the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and Kittney Ridge Preserve.  He painted a despairing portrait of what would happen to the local economy, what would happen to the local and regional ecology and what would happen to the local wildlife, particularly the raptors and their migratory routes (two routes which are directly across Krumsville).

I personally had never thought about the warehouse project in terms of loss of revenues and loss of life to our local ecological system.  In fact, his speech regarding these matters left the room in a state of reflection.  For a full minute we all sat there quietly digesting his numbers.  I am hoping that his information had a real impact on our Senator and State Representative.

We also briefly touched on the reality of economic growth to the community if a warehouse is built.  First, the warehouse would cause at least one, if not two of the local businesses to actually go OUT of business as the location of their entry/exit driveway would be directly affected by traffic backup when adding 1900 trips per day to Rt 737.  Second, other businesses that may have wanted to take advantage of the commercial district in Krumsville will be turned-off by that same traffic and will not move into the area.  This is a bleak picture as the tax dollars for our township  generated by a warehouse would not cover the additional costs our township would have because of that same warehouse nor cover the loss of taxes for the businesses that will be forced out.

All in all, I felt like the meeting was very productive.  I also felt that much of the information we brought to the table was already before Senator Argall and State Rep Knowles.  What we did was provide them our local community concerns, additional documentation and offer some possible resolutions.  As to the information that they did NOT have prior to the meeting, we asked for some action items.

  1. Cameras for policing installed in the Krumsville and Lenhartsville intersections.
  2. Conversation with PennDOT about suspending HOPs during the construction expansion of I-78
  3. Conversation with PennDOT about following their own manual in issuing an HOP for the warehouse in Krumsville and reviewing the location of the warehouse for safety to the residents.
  4. Review the Berks County Comprehensive plan which will destroy Berks County Historical districts and will put residents out of their homes.
  5. Review the location of the proposed Krumsville Warehouse for smart growth vs dumb growth and address the safety concerns we brought forward in the meeting.

Zoning Board Meeting 03/28/18

Oh my goodness, I had no idea.  We attended the Zoning Board Hearing that the warehouse developer requested and I was well educated about how those are handled.To be able to be heard at the meeting, they had to determine whether or not we (the Sable’s) were directly impacted by the zoning of that property.  Our attorney deftly proved that any zoning changes (ie: a variance) would directly affect our property so we were able to provide testimony and evidence. He also proved that Leroy would be affected, so he was allowed to provide evidence and testimony. And Sean Grace from Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was proved to be directly affected by zoning changes to the property so he was allowod to give testimony and present evidence.

Alex (our township solicitor) was present, representing the township’s interests.

zoning_hearing_032818

The developer was asking for three things. An interpretation of Ordinance 805, an appeal of the BoS decision based on Ordinance 805 and a variance for Ordinance 805.

ordinance805

First, the developer attempted to prove that building a bridge with retaining walls did not constitute a structure.  This was quickly shot down by their own witness (Chris Noll – HA!) who stated that yes, a retaining wall is a structure under the ordinances of our township.

Second, the developer attempted to prove that there is not a stream located on the property at the point of where they wish to build a bridge.  SORRY, evidence presented was cross examined (and yes, it was like a court proceeding with the attorney’s doing all the talking).  And during the cross examination, the evidence they provided was over shadowed by the evidence and testimony the aggrieved parties presented and the line of questioning done by Alex on the township’s behalf.

(NOTE:  The land owner was never called to testify whether or not there was a stream on his property, neither did they provide current photographs of the property showing there was no stream on the property. – WHY?  Because right now, as of yesterday 03-28-18, there was flowing water from the underground spring, which is bubbling and easily seen from the road! So they could not provide said photographic evidence of “no stream”)

On many occassions, the representing solicitors (our attorney, the township attorney) asked for further clarification of information the developer was providing and they could not produce the necessary documents.  I was reminded of their inefficiency at the 12-04-18 meeting in which they quoted PennDOT but could not provide letters or reports from PennDOT proving their case regarding the HOP permit.

Third, the developer provided no information that they needed a variance to build a retaining wall.  WHY?  Because they already have submitted new plans to the township in which the driveway is in a different location and does not require the crossing of the waterway stream.

Oh, yes … we did hear testimony that they submitted new “warehouse plans” on March 15, 2018.  I wonder if those new plans address the other concerns the township had regarding the safety issues of traffic at the five point intersection (Rhoades Rd, Old 22 and Rt 737).  This is the biggest concern our township has with their proposed use of the land.

So, the meeting went very long … until 10:30 pm.  Because the Zoning Board needs time to review all the evidence, they closed the evidentiary portion of the meeting (meaning no more evidence or testimony can be presented) and will reconvene on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm to hear closing argument and make their final determination.

We ask all residents to attend this public meeting and show support for your community.

Warehouse Woes

I attended tonight’s Planning Commission meeting and I write this post while reeling in disbelief at the incompetence of our local township government.

Two Conditional Use Applications (CUA) are on the table.

  • One for a Convenience Store with a Fueling Facility to be built on the site where PennDOT currently has their base set up for the I-78 project. The attorney for Harmike Investments had a very clear and concise presentation of why their project meets all the conditional use requirements of our ordinances.  I am happy to say that the PC approved their CUA and they will be heard again at the BoS meeting on April 2nd, 2018.
  • Two for a Private Membership/Country Club. Premise, current land owner wants to restore his barn for the use of friends and colleagues who participate in a common hobby of Home Brewing.  The entirety of their presentation took 45 minutes and the presentation wavered between “our ordinances do not define” “Country Club” although it kinda does as it refers to a section 503.14 about Golf Clubs and “is a membership club a commercial land use”  The attorney representing the land owner did a good job of staying on point.  Our PC members did believe that their intent was rural but that their presentation said membership club and with the use of two different purposes on the property (personal home and a club in the barn) that changes the way the property needs to be zoned.  Within the law guidelines, that meant that the land owner would need to be heard before the Zoning Board for a special exception, or at the very least a zoning variance … and here’s where things get hysterical.  For 15 minutes, the PC members argued with each other, and were advised by the solicitor, over how to make to motion to recommend to the BoS that the CUA needs to be heard before the Zoning Board … so their final motion?  Because they couldn’t agree on any one point, they made a motion to make no decision and let the BoS make the decision.

(insert circus clown music here)

Okay.  Now, when I arrived at the meeting, I – to my great surprise – found that I was listed on the agenda.  Interesting, as I had not asked to be on the agenda and no-one from the township had informed me that I was to be on the agenda.  Good thing I went to the meeting tonight!

Why am I on the agenda?  Because at the December 2017 BoS meeting, I stood up for the township residents and asked the township to make some changes to some ordinances to prevent an oversized warehouse to be shoehorned onto a small property.  Specifically, we don’t have a township fire code, so let’s adopt one.  Why don’t we have limits to the size of an industrial building based on acreage. And hey, why aren’t all our ordinances in one manual so we don’t have the confusions we had of the developer looking at a 2009 ordinance while our solicitor is looking at the 2014 updated version of that same ordinance.

To make sure the BoS actually heard our verbal request, we presented the five requesst in writing at the January BoS meeting.  Victor said, “I need more information” so I gave them the seven sheets of paper I had with me, detailing the 2015 ICC Fire Code Appendix D, the two municipalities that limit “I” zoning buildings to (1) 1,000 sq feet per usable acre and (2) 800 sq feet per usable acre and then after that meeting, I sent an email to Dan, per his request, with the Fire Code and links to the municipalities zoning.  I also made a request to know what are the “special exceptions” for building a warehouse in the industrial zones and I was told that information would be provided to me. We also made a request to adopt a weed ordinance ( to prevent the horrible overgrown mares tail weed that occurred this past summer, infecting adjacent farm properties – and to cover the damage at one particular home where the grass was never mowed and the weeds were infecting the neighboring home lawns) and lastly, can we please have our ordinances and our SALDO updated into one manual for easy access on-line.

Alex addressed all these above items, all the while listing out how we had miscommunication and they (the BoS and solicitor) were waiting on US to provide them more information and that is why they have not made any movement in reviewing our request.

sigh

And while they sat on their thumbs since our initial request in December 2017, and didn’t look into making these ordinance changes, the warehouse developer has submitted new plans four months later in March 2018.

THAT’S RIGHT.  New planshave been submitted by JVI, under the current old ordinances, and while their old warehouse plans are in litigation in the courts. At this time we do not know what the new plans are designing.  Be it a warehouse, a manufacturing plant or a commercial farm.  All we were told is that they have submitted new plans.

We are most likely going to have a warehouse in Krumsville.  WHY? Because our local government is slower than molasses, more stubborn than a mule, and still living in 1970 with pen and paper. I so desperately wanted to get on that board of supervisors so I could be active in pursuing the things we needed to get into place to preserve our township, protect our residents and provide current modern thinking.

Alex did provide me with the “two special exceptions” that will allow a warehouse.  One is a tract of land of 25 continuous acres (but of course we do not have ordinances to limit the size of a warehouse on that 25 acres, although Alex says we do, and he will give me that information at the BoS meeting on April 2nd) and two they have to meet the conditions of the current ordinances. (which are way out of date, not up to current technology, and do not address resident safety and health issues based on the new dangers of the 2000’s – like air and noise pollution)

I am very sad tonight. We fought very hard for a year to prove to the township that the warehouse was dangerous, it would pose health hazards and it would impose serious traffic safety issue through the tiny intersection of Old 22 and Rt 737 .  We provided them reams of paper – copies of reports and statistics and research – and they have ignored everything. They have not made a single change to our current ordinances to prevent these dangers, safety concerns and health hazards of constructing a 500,000 sq ft warehouse built on that parcel of property.

We are going to get a warehouse and someone is going to die in the Krumsville Intersection and residents in Krumsville will eventually lose their minds as the truck traffic destroys their home foundations, tears up the roadways, makes it impossible to have a conversation due to the noise levels, prevents them from hanging laundry on the lines or leaving windows open for fresh air – because there will be no more fresh air, just air polluted by traffic dust and diesel fumes.

Board of Directors meeting April 2nd.

 

LAWSUIT against Greenwich Twp

This is my blog, and I can write whatever I want to about this Appeal Lawsuit as filed by the developer …

LawSuit_appeal_012318

Mockingly, I will address several items in the lawsuit as filed by JVI (the developer) against our township regarding the BoS’s decision to deny the warehouse plans. To recap, the Greenwich Twp BoS, after reviewing the preliminary plans, as approved by the Greenwich Twp Planning Commission as “ready to be reviewed”, decided that there are a number of outstanding issues in the plans and denied them.  Every item the BoS determined were safety issues or SALDO issues or Ordinance issues, with the exception of one, had been presented to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors by us (the Krumsville Community) on several occasions throughout the course of the plan discussions from February 2017 to December 2017.  And I have all the meeting recordings to prove that statement.

As you read through the lawsuit, you will see numbers circled on the side.  These are my mocking comments!

1) Actually, JVI filed a “Sketch Plan” on October 11, 2016.  The “Preliminary Plan” was not filed until after the November 2016 review of the sketch plan by Berks County and Keystone Consulting Engineers.  So, already on page 2 of this lawsuit, the filing attorney has their information incorrect.

2) I had to listen to the meeting minutes recording (oh, yes!  I have every meeting from April until January recorded and saved.  Although our Township deletes their recordings after the meeting minutes are written up, I do not.  I have each one!)  Anyway, this is what they actually motioned. “To approve the plans to be submitted to the Board of Supervisors for review.”  So no, the lawsuit is incorrect, the Planning Commission did not “approve the plans”, they approved them to be submitted to the BoS for further review.  (And the PC really should not have approved them, as is later determined.  Keystone Consulting failed to review all the SALDO, all the ORDINANCES and all the PETITIONS as filed by Krumsville Community.)

3) REALLY?  OH MY GOSH!  Apparently, all the meetings with the PC and the BoS from March 2017 to August 2017, the developer sat at those meeting with ear plugs in their ears and their attorney was sleeping because (with the exception of one item) all the items that were the basis for the denial were discussed over and over and over.  We filed many petitions, complaints, documents and research to the PC and to the BoS regarding the “issues with the proposal”.  WHERE WERE YOU, APPELLANT?????

Funny story here, at the November BoS meeting, I have a photo of the one Keystone Consulting Engineer, sitting at the head table, with his head on his hand sound asleep.  Hey!  Thanks for paying attention while the developer tries to confuse the issues about this warehouse plan.

4)  Excuse me, please. The Krumsville Community brought the items before the BoS, who clearly stated they did not have the plans before them and those items would need to be brought before the Planning Commission … and so the Krumsville Community then attended the PC meeting two weeks later and submitted the items.  So yes, we did present to the BoS but they carefully never addressed the items at their table, they sent us to the PC table. We truly felt we were getting the run around at that point.

5) Uhm, no.  Please learn to  use a dictionary. The property is NOT “adjacent to the I-78 Krumsville interchange.” It is exactly .6 miles north of that interchange. And the road to the property from the I-78 Krumsville interchange directs traffic THROUGH the tiny village of Krumsville on a road barely wide enough to handle two traffic trailers passing side-by-side, and the five point intersection in Krumsville is NOT wide enough to allow for safe turning of tractor trailers (we have posted 52 videos regarding this intersection)

ad·ja·cent
əˈjās(ə)nt/
adjective
  1. 1.
    next to or adjoining something else.
    “adjacent rooms”
    synonyms: adjoining, neighboring, next-door, abutting, contiguous, proximate; More

  2. 2.
    Geometry
    (of angles) having a common vertex and a common side.

6) This cracked me up.  Why yes, I am such a scary person that when I ran against Alice for the seat opening up on the Board of Supervisors, I scared the BoS into listening to the Krumsville Community’s issues.  UHM, NO!  In fact, in listening to the meeting recordings, many times Victor and Harry stated clearly, and publicly, that they are totally reviewing the issues raised by the Krumsville Community but until the plans are presented to them by the Planning Commission, they cannot comment because they have not seen the plans.  Once again, the problem falls into the lap of Keystone Consulting Engineers (fondly referred to as KFC Knuckleheads) because they failed to thoroughly review the plans and they advised the Planning Commission inappropriately regarding the plans compliance. Now, I will state that I believe the PC also failed as they did not do their own research, as presented to them by the Krumsville Community (over and over and over)

7) Why yes, the BoS did (over and over) tell the developer that the five point intersection was going to become extremely dangerous when traffic for a warehouse was added to it and yes, they were VERY concerned about that.  Why KFC Knuckleheads agreed to the traffic studies, we will never know. (because they have since been fired by Greenwich Twp)

8) This is not true, they did not “preclude use”, they denied your plans as presented because there are defects in the plan against our SALDO, our Ordinances and public safety. In the denial letter the BoS slearly states that JVI is more than welcome to resubmit the plans after correcting all the issues to make the plan compliant.

9) Well, well, well.  Apparently you did not listen at THAT meeting, either.  Greenwich Township (at the time of the denial) did not have ANY firecode ordinances and as such, they chose to use the 2015 ICC Fire Code Appendix D.  And let me tell you, this was the topic of conversation at every meeting from the time the BoS received the plans because the developer’s proposed emergency access road was a joke and was not safe and would be compromised in several different ways (as the BoS presented to the developer over and over and over) And at that same meeting (and yes, this is recorded) the solicitor asked the local fire chief if the emergency access design was safe and appropriate and the fire chief clearly states that “No, it is not.”  WAKE UP!

10)  HA HA HA HA HA HA HA … Really? Oh my gosh.  PennDOT contacted us, the Krumsville Community, regarding a letter and petition we sent to PennDOT about reviewing the intersection as a safety issue in the HOP process.  They contacted us, the Greenwich Twp Board of Supervisors and the Developer to attend this PennDOT meeting. There was nothing secret about it.  I did stand up and say I was hesitant to have this meeting with the Board of Supervisors and the Developer in attendance because I did not feel that their presence would allow us the full attention of the PennDOT representatives.  However, this meeting was never a secret.

11) The BoS requested those PennDOT documents at the December 4th meeting and the developer could not produce “the alleged” documents.

12) And a second opinion is not allowed, why?

13) Amazing, I was never privvy to any private meetings, private conversations, or aware that there WERE any private anything.  Everything that the Krumsville Community had to do with the BoS and the PC were done at the public meetings.  All documents, complaints, petitions, etc were all presented at the public meetings.  So, what did I miss out on????

14) Oh no no no … the Krumsville Community presented inches of “expert testimony” in the forms of research, documents, PE Sealed engineer reports and a one meeting, the Krumsville Community did bring two experts to discuss the research and we were not allowed to have them speak.  Oh, and let’s talk speculation for a moment.  The entire warehouse plan and developer submitted traffic reports, etc are all “speculation”.  Until the warehouse is built and in full function, everything leading up to that is speculation and supposition.

Staying diligent

We have an official denial letter from our BoS to the Warehouse Developer. denialletter_121517

While this is a huge win for us, the residents, this is not the end.  This is simply the beginning of a new path.  The developer/land owner will file a lawsuit hoping a judge will over turn the decision. We will stay on top of the legal process and stay involved.  It is important to to show the courts that we stand behind our BoS’s decision!

In other news, I have sent a letter to PennDOT regarding our November meeting.  They promised to get back to us on our concerns about tractor trailer traffic being forced through the Krumsville intersection.  To date, we have not received a response from them.  We HAVE to stay on top of this and get an answer from them.  This intersection cannot handle this kind of traffic and PennDOT needs to recognize that and put a limit to any HOP they would issue to the industrial and commercial properties north of I-78 through that intersection.

Most Dangerous Highway in Pennsylvania

On November 28th, The Morning Call published an article on our stretch of highway from Lenhartsville to New Smithville.

PennDOT is getting ready to launch a $175 million reconstruction project along a dangerous 8-mile stretch of Interstate 78 known for its heavy truck traffic and unusually high rate of traffic fatalities.  In a 2014 study, the state estimated about 45,000 vehicles traveled that portion of the highway daily — with tractor-trailers making up about 35 percent of that figure. The study found the 8-mile section had 71 percent more crashes than other Pennsylvania expressways. Its fatality rate was 40 percent higher than elsewhere in the state, according to studies cited by PennDOT.

At our November 3rd meeting with PennDOT, this fact about the dangerous ten mile stretch of the I-78 corridor was brought up over and over and we listed out all the highway closures in the past year, the fatalities, the complete closing of both sides of the highway which puts traffic detoured onto Old 22 …

AND YET THEY STILL BELIEVE THAT THERE IS NOT A SAFETY CONCERN IN ISSUING AN HOP (Highway Occupancy Permit) FOR A WAREHOUSE?

Let’s talk about that for a moment.  In 2014 there were 45,000 vehicles through this stretch of highway, approximately 16,000 of those being tractor trailers.  Well, that is before the New Smithville Warehousing community was built.  That was before they finished the six million square feet warehouses in Fogelsville.  And where is a new study showing that those numbers are probably half again as many now, as we near to 2018, and the amount of tractor trailer traffic is probably closer to 50 percent.

We have repeatedly asked for a PennDOT traffic study on our intersection.  I believe they need to do a traffic study on the highway, especially now that it will be under construction for four years, causing clogging and backups and more accidents as people impatiently try to get through the construction.

But adding another 2,000 vehicles, right in the middle of all this, for warehouse traffic, will not be a problem.

SERIOUSLY?

 

WTF, Luigi???

Apparently, someone doesn’t know what is going on. (from Facebook 11-08-17)

Oh, and who is Oscar Kleinsmith, you may ask?

Shall I try to get on the Planning Commission as an appointment????  I’m sure that the current BoS will *NOT* give *ME* that appointment.  LMFAO.

Wanna know the real kicker to this?  Prior to the election, one of the BoS members was telling the story around town that the reason the plans were getting approval so fast was because I kept feeding them all the problems that were wrong with it and they kept fixing it.

Uhm…no…

The problems that are before the BoS now should have been caught while it was being reviewed by the Planning Commission and the engineers.  They did not do their job properly.

End of discussion.

What can we do now?

Just because something “CAN” be done, does not mean it “SHOULD” be done.  I am still working on your behalf, fighting the warehouse project…fear not!

The Nov 6th BoS meeting went very well (and relatively quietly, residents were very restrained!)

I spent a cold day the next day (November 7th) at the Greenwich Township building talking to people coming to vote at the polls. The temperatures started in the mid 40’s and slowly dropped all day as the snow came in, with a strong wind behind it. It changed to rain and the temperatures held fast at 38 for the rest of the day with a stiff breeze pushing a mist on us under our canopy.

I met a lot of people who were supporting us in our efforts to stop the warehouse. I shook a lot of hands. I had wonderful conversations with Joyce Dietrich and Dean Spohn, who were also spending the blustery, snowy, rainy day at the building.

I LEARNED A LOT!

Going forward I will not allow anyone to talk down to Joyce at a meeting.  This woman, whom I have no idea how old she is, but she is up there in age and she’s not healthy, sat in a chair, with a voting board, to talk to all the voters on several issues up for vote. She smiled all day, even when her face was so cold she couldn’t barely move it. She answered questions. And she did it all without a single word of complaint.  NOT ONE WORD!

I am glad that Dean Spohn has won the election and will be sitting in the chair currently held by Harry for the next six years.  Dean had a lot of knowledge about our township and its issues. He ran for this position for all the right reasons. He will make a strong voice for the residents and we need to use that voice so that we are heard on any issue that may arise in the future.

While I am sad that I did not win the two year seat, I do know more about Alice now than I did prior to the election.  I can now become more involved in Greenwich Township on this side of the table, the residents can learn more about me, and I can run for that position again in two years.  Hopefully, it will mean I have more support from the community and I can do a proper campaign. As you know, I ran at last minute (literally 30 days before the election, urged by my fan club, I presented myself as a write-in candidate.)

The Board of Supervisors meeting on November 6 went very well. (click this link) After eight months of us beating on the BoS and PC with documentation, studies and ordinance review, they finally balled-up and paided attention.  Our attorney’s had conversations with their attorney and the information we had been uncovering by our engineers was brought to the table, outside of their engineers. (Note, I stand firm. Keystone Consulting Engineering has to go. They are not doing the job they are hired to do … unless the township hired them to “look” incompetent, to throw the developer off their game. ???)

We still have a lot of work to do.  It is not over. We are doing all we can to stop it.  Our attorney’s are working hard for us. They have attended the last two Board of Supervisors meeting and they have been developing a strong strategy for going forward should the BoS vote “yes” on the preliminary plans.

And we still need to pay them, so if you have not donated funds, please please please consider sending me a donation towards their fees.

 

 

New Promise Farms LLC

dba Any Pet Groomed

But it’s not about the business!  It’s about the FUN!  It’s always about the fun in my world.  If it’s not entertaining, then why bother.  That is my life motto.

And boy, can I find entertainment in the strangest places.

My BLOGS about the Crossroads X Project are boring, but they are a big part of my life right now.  This project directly affects the residents in Greenwich Twp, specifically those living in Krumsville (like me) so I have become involved.  A warehouse in Fogelsville isn’t entertaining, so I don’t bother.  A warehouse in my backyard, HOWEVER, is entertaining so I have jumped in with both feet.

My Endurance Riding stories (on the other hand) are not boring.  In fact, most of them contain a minimum of one, but usually more, misadventures.  So read them and have some fun at my expense.

And look for me on Facebook because I always have something fun going on there, every day!