Abington Planning Commission Public Meeting on Senior Housing Proposal When the YMCA Leaves Abington

The Abington YMCA will be leaving Abington Township within the next couple of years to move to the Willow Grove Day Camp property in Upper Moreland Township. Many of the Abington Commissioners including Commissioner Ben Sanchez and John Spiegelman and  elected officials including State Rep. Madeleine Dean and her office tried to persuade the YMCA to remain in Abington Township.

According to Commissioner Sanchez, “Abington Township seems to lack other suitable sites for the YMCA, so they made a business decision, which is within their purview as a private nonprofit organization to move to a property that better suits their needs.” Sanchez continued in his newsletter to say, “The YMCA wants to construct a new facility and combine their Abington and Hatboro facilities. Accordingly, they are also planning to sell their Abington property (located around the cemetery at the corner of Old York Road.”

BET Investments submitted a proposal to Abington Township due to the imminent sale of the YMCA property.  BET intends to develop market-rate senior-age restricted ( 55-years and over) housing at about $2200 a month rent on the YMCA property. This property is comprised of two parcels plus the adjacent funeral home property for a total of 4.7 acres.  The proposed development does not fit within the existing zoning designations, which written for the existing recreational and specialized zoning for the YMCA.

BT has requested a map change of the relevant parcels to the Apartment Office  District and for an ordinance (zoning amendment) that would modify that district to accommodate the BET proposal. For additional specific and detailed information on the proposal that is available to date, see the attached documents HERE.

The next Planning Commission meeting regarding the proposed rezoning of the Abington YMCA and adjacent funeral home properties is on August 28,  at 7:30 p.m. in the Abington Junior High School Little Theater (2056 Susquehanna Road, Abington, PA 19001). The meeting date was moved due the significant number of Planning Commission members  currently out of town. BET Investments will again present to the Planning Commission and the public the updated version of their proposed Abington Terrace apartment complex and be available for questions from the public.

This meeting is open to the public, and residents, along with Planning Commission members, will have opportunities to ask questions and make comments.

On June 26 BET presented a revised version of their proposal (available HERE).

The Planning Commission did not issue a recommendation that evening and has held off to making any recommendation until the August 28 meeting. The Planning Commission will take a couple of months after the August 28 meeting for a final action from Board of Commissioners (which will require public advertisement prior to any final action too, of course).

The Helweg and Rowland Funeral  on Old York Rd. is still open for business until further notice, and if they need to close that location they intend to move to a new location within Abington Township.

BET obtained significant feedback from many neighbors and interested residents on their original proposal during the neighborhood meeting that occurred on January 29, which is available for viewing

BET also appeared before the Abington Township Planning Commission on April 10 in the Abington Senior High School Auditorium (again with their original design/proposal) to seek additional feedback. That meeting can be viewed below.

Now, BET has processed the feedback of the neighbors and others into a revised/reworked design and is being reviewed.

Here are a couple of supplemental reports (on the original proposal) from BET (in their entirety):