McKenzie’s

Random Files: short news updates

Tredyffrin’s Special Election Results . . . Chester County Voter Services completed the hand count of the Duffy/Heaberg Special Election ballots from the May 17 primary a couple of weeks ago.  Originally, the count indicated Heaberg ahead by 3 votes but a provisional ballot for Duffy was found; 2 votes currently separate the candidates.  Due to many malfunctioning voting machines countywide, it is my understanding that voter services has been working overtime to certify the election results by the 30-day deadline on June 17.  Look for the results to be certified early this week; word has it that alignment issues with Republican ballots heads the list of possible reasons for the problem.  Does make you wonder about prior close elections . . .  here’s hoping that whatever the problem, it is thoroughly researched (and corrected) prior to November’s general election.

Genuardi’s in Chesterbrook Shopping Center . . . Empty for a year, we had heard that the Bottom Dollar Grocery chain was going to take the vacant space but that offer fell through. The next development in March of this year, Centro Properties sold 588 shopping centers (including Chesterbrook) to private equity giant, Blackstone Group for $9.4 billion. Although the lease sign remains on Genuardi’s, there has been recent movement in the last few days.  Paul Prestia, a local attorney with Ratner Prestia in Westlakes is floating an idea to the community to create a food co-op in the former Genuardi’s space.  Using a model similar to Swarthmore Co-op, www.swarthmore.coop/ it would specialize in locally sourced and organic food. This is an interesting redevelopment idea for the Chesterbrook Shopping Center and I will be curious to see if it develops further.

Brian O’Neill . . . the King of Prussia developer behind the Uptown Worthington project in Malvern is back in the news.  The O’Neill Properties vs. Citizens Bank trial is slated to begin in December and O’Neill has dramatically reduced his original $billion+ demands down to $297 million. Once the parties reach a settlement, construction is expected to get underway again at  Worthington.  O’Neill’s vision remains for Uptown Worthington – the ‘Center City of Great Valley’.  His vision will require more than the current two stores, Wegnman’s and Target, on the 100+ acres.

T/E School Budget . . . The TESD school board makes the final 2011-12 budget vote on Monday night, June 13, 7:30 PM, Conestoga High School.  Property tax increase is projected at 3.8%.  Click here for the agenda.

EIT Tax Study Group . . . Applications are still being accepted from Tredyffrin and Easttown residents for the TESD EIT Tax Study Group – deadline for applications is Wednesday, June 15.  The TESD Public Information meeting is Tuesday, June 14 and the selection process will be discussed. There are to be 9 committee members chosen and my understanding is that 100 applications have been received to date.  Click here for the application. The success of the tax study group depends on a non-political selection process and committee membership.

HARB no more . . . As of the May Board of Supervisors Meeting, the Tredyffrin’s Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) was replaced by a Historic Commission.  With an expanding mission to protect historic properties in the township, I was pleased that supervisors showed their support of preserving the township’s historic resources with a unanimous vote.  I am expecting great things from our new commission, and am excited to be part of it.

Planning Commission – Where’s the Sidewalk Ordinance amendment on your agenda . . . I was very surprised to see that the sidewalk ordinance discussion is off this week’s Planning Commission agenda.  The proposed ordinance amendment establishes the criteria for the requirement to construct sidewalks and establish a fee in lieu of construction procedure and is scheduled for a public hearing on Monday, June 20.  Having attended the last Planning Commission meeting, it appeared commissioners had not reached a consensus on the ordinance, so why is it off the agenda for their meeting?

For those that may have forgotten, the St. Davids Golf Club sidewalk issue remains outstanding since December 2009. The land development agreement between the township and St. Davids requiring sidewalks is now 4 or 5 (?) years old and yet the clock continues to tick (and tick, and tick).  Whose responsibility is to enforce the sidewalks at St. Davids?  It is now eighteen months since the St. Davids sidewalk issue was ‘set aside’ by Tredyffrin’s supervisors and, to date there remains no resolution in the matter. 

Is the sidewalk issue going to be the 2011 supervisor campaign issue, as the 422 issue was to the  2010 State House race?  Adding a new twist to the continuing sidewalk saga, supervisor Paul Olson (R) is up for re-election from the eastern district. Having served as supervisor for 30 years, he is on record as opposing the St. Davids sidewalk; proclaiming it the ‘sidewalk to nowhere’.  Olson’s opponent in the supervisor race, Tory Snyder (D) is a Planning Commissioner and served as chair of the sidewalks subcommittee.  She supports the green routes network and the sidewalks component of the township’s comprehensive plan.  Olson and Snyder are scheduled to square off against each other in November’s general election.

Valley View Shopping Center . . . If you haven’t driven down this section of 252 lately, you might be surprised at the level of activity.  The redevelopment of the old Bargain Bookstore is well underway; it appears that they are gutting both floors of the building for a new branch of Mealey’s Furniture. In the same shopping center, the old Charlie Brown Restaurant is undergoing much change for its transformation in to a new McKenzie Brew House.  Originally slated for completion in September, signs point that the microbrewery is on schedule.

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