Monday, May 11, 2015

Update About Boy's Hope Home Expansion

Here is an update about the appeal that was filed to build two additional Boys Hope Homes at the end of View Place and the proposed public hearing scheduled for June 1st at 5:30 pm.  

On May 6th, major concerns from the neighborhood were brought to the attention of Fr. Tim Howe, of St. Xavier High School, in regard to Boy's Hope expansion of their group home by building two additional homes on two proposed lots at the end of View Place.  After the meeting, it was hoped that the appeal would be withdrawn  by Richard Tranter, Esq., Legal Counsel for Boys Hope,  after  concerns were raised about how the new plan of adding more homes does not conform to the residential atmosphere of the neighborhood and how the serious lack of road frontage cannot accommodate two additional residences. 

I  have not seen if the appeal was withdrawn. 

In the event the appeal is not withdrawn and the public hearing goes on as scheduled for June 1st,  an additional "neighborhood"  meeting is scheduled tentatively for Thursday, May 28th at the Springfield Township Administration office at 6 pm with Chris Gilbert so he can explain the zoning process and appeal process.  This meeting was set up for information sharing purposes so View Place neighbors understand the zoning and appeal process.  As a neighborhood, I am concerned that we might stray off during the public hearing by bringing up subject matter that the Board of Appeal does not have purvue over.  

Here's what we need to know:  

1) An application for a "special exception" was filed by Richard Tranter, representing Boy's Hope Home,  because the frontage does not have a public dedicated right of way.  It would need access to a private lot which is owned by one of our neighbors who has been forced to take legal action at his own expense because Boys Hope wants to use his driveway.  (See attachments)

2)  In the application for "special exception" it states that "the proposed uses are entirely consistent with single family residences and will not impose any extraordinary utility or public safety demands on the community" which is not true. (See attachment) 

Many neighbors feel adding two more homes on these newly created parcels on St. X property  is an abuse, creating cluster group homes, by using  "residential zoning" to build homes that are clearly not occupied by one family residents. We need Springfield Township to address the issue of "group homes" because if they allow Boy's Hope Home this special case, it  will create a precedent for further development of other properties currently zoned for "residential." 

3) In general, the proposed plans for the additional homes  will draw in more traffic posing safety, parking issue, wear and tear on the roads and lawns. For example, employees at the current Boy's Hope Home use neighbors driveways to back in and out at all hours of the night because the current drive cannot accommodate all the cars. Street parking on both sides of this street is consistently used  and in some cases, cars and vans park up on the lawns. The existing club wagon for Boy's Hope Home, another example, cannot turn  and back out of existing one-car drive onto the street  without using neighbors driveways or lawns creating high wear on their lawns and drives. There are several families who do not like the existing traffic created by caseworkers and caregivers coming and going but never made an issue because it was only one home.  I am hearing one home is fine, but two more homes? No way.

4) There is a huge concern about how construction will create a nightmare for residents living on View Place. Due to the very small cul de sac and one single-car driveway currently owned and maintained by one of our neighbors, it's unrealistic to think that the neighborhood will not be impacted directly from the construction trucks to clear out the wooded area to make way for development, level the land, and build the homes. 

Please look for meeting dates posted on the "memo board" at the front of the neighborhood