Important community business items were discussed by Borough Council at the regularly scheduled Public Meeting on February 2, 2022 held at Borough Hall. In case you missed the opportunity to attend the meeting in person, we encourage all residents and business owners to view the recorded meeting at the link below and provide any feedback you may have directly to Stephanie Cecco, Borough Manager, at email@example.com. Your comments will be shared with Borough Council to assist with their overall decision-making process on these business items.
Additionally, we think it is important to highlight the following message that Vice President Sokolowski shared with our community during the meeting:
“Conshohocken’s small-town character continues to evolve. Conshohocken has benefitted greatly from redevelopment especially in the lower end of town. Many of these re-development projects are years, even decades, in the making. Many of them, like the one on the agenda earlier this evening, are the subject of court settlement agreements made many years ago.
As we welcome new residents to the Borough and seek to retain those residents and families that are already living here, the Borough is finally in a position to evaluate the remaining open space available in the Borough to make sure we are providing public space and public amenities to serve our current and future residents.
This priority was outlined in the 2018 Comprehensive Plan. You also heard tonight a presentation by our Emergency Management Coordinator regarding population shifts and the need for expanding our emergency services to meet the demand and needs of our expanded population.
Borough Council is exploring two avenues to meet the objectives of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, to address the emergency management needs of the Borough, and to otherwise serve the needs of Borough residents. The first relates to the zoning amendment, already discussed, which addresses the use of properties in the lower end of the Borough. The second involves evaluating the existing available open space and/or vacant properties in the Borough, and investigating the feasibility of converting that space into public space.
Eminent domain is a legal method by which our government may take private property for a public use. This particular area of the borough contains several privately owned tax parcels, including tax parcels that are currently for sale. One of those properties is the property we're discussing tonight, the Outbound Station property. In evaluating the potential parcels, Borough Administration identified this parcel as providing a unique opportunity for public open space, the preservation of natural resources, and the preservation of a historic property in the Borough. Therefore, the Borough's intent would be to preserve this property as open space and/or for a public amenity for the community. Use of the property, design of the public space, etc. will all be discussed with the public in the near future.”
The conversation during last night’s meeting was the start of an overall process which allows for public input on the topic. Last night, the consideration in front of Borough Council was to advertise an ordinance that would potentially declare eminent domain on the property at 2 Harry Street. That motion was approved. The ordinance will now be advertised, and Borough administration will then have authority to personally meet with the private property owner to discuss matters related to the eminent domain process, value of the land, etc. The Borough will make every effort to have those conversations over the course of the next couple of weeks prior to the ordinance being back on an agenda for consideration and adoption. If inclined, all private property owners in the vicinity of this tax parcel will have the opportunity to meet with Borough administration prior to the adoption of the ordinance.
The Borough believes that this initiative is necessary to strategically protect our quality of life, current and future economic development, and the environment- all of which make Conshohocken a premier place to live, work and play in Montgomery County.