Plumstead Township’s Village Overlay District was on the agenda at the township meeting on July 13 and more than 75 neighbors attended to express opposition to moving forward on the plan. Many others who could not attend or did not want to speak in public wrote emails of opposition to the township manager.
The discussion was placed late on the agenda and the chairman attempted to discourage discussion on the topic with little success. We shared our views until midnight.
Most people urged the board to drop the proposal for the village of Plumsteadville, citing concerns about additional traffic, turning Stump Road into a commercial area, the addition of multiple apartments in the area, the wisdom of adding to the already extensive vacant commercial structures and the negative impact of our local community and culture.
But despite significant opposition, the board voted 3-2 to advance the rezoning of Plumsteadville and Stump Road by voting to hold a town hall meeting to present their ideas and try to sell it to the residents.
Pete Busillo, chairman, Ken Lichtenstein and Brian Trymbiski voted to advance the proposal. Jim McComb and Dan Hilferty voted to kill the proposal. Mr. Hilferty spoke against the Overlay District while Mr. Trymbiski was very vocal in his support of the Overlay District even going so far as to claim that the planned commercial build-out of Plumsteadville and Stump Road will somehow preserve open space elsewhere in the town.
No date was set for the town meeting. Additionally, the supervisors made it clear that the township would only communicate details on the meeting to those residents living within the overlay footprint. Fortunately, those living within that footprint will be sharing that time line and location and we will immediately share it with others.
The supervisors, when repeatedly questioned, could give no explanation on how this concept evolved, why they support it nor who (other than themselves and the township planning commission) are advocating for this significant zoning change.