Conshohocken Community Garden Weighs in on Apartment Development Today

The Facebook page for the Conshohocken Community Garden published an interesting post today regarding O’Neill Properties and the proposed apartment development on the 400 block of Washington Street. The garden is on Borough property and managed by the Conshohocken Environmental Advisory Council, which was created by the Borough to “identify environmental problems and recommend plans and programs to the Borough Council, the Planning Commission, and other committees and boards of the Borough for the promotion and conservation of the natural resources and for the protection and improvement of the quality of the environment within the Borough.”

While the Conshohocken Environmental Advisory Council has a non-binding advisory role within the Borough on development issues, should it, or a member that is an administrator of the page, really be using the Conshohocken Community Garden page to refer to a proposed development as a “monstrosity?”

There is at least one member of the garden concerned about the post. The member commented below the status asking if this statement was done on behalf of the members (if you visit the Facebook page, linked above, you can see the statement and comment). We are told by a member that there was not a vote taken to make such a statement.

Here is what was posted:

Another 620 apartments in Conshohocken? Another thousand people and the traffic that goes with it? Conshohocken does not need Brian O’Neil’s massive apartment complex that he wants to build at Cherry and Washington Street. Come to Zoning Hearing Board Thursday Jan 23, 7 PM at Borough Hall (8th and Fayette) and state your opinion.

This project is by far the largest of 3 apartment complexes O’Neil is currently proposing by the river in Conshohocken. This project is almost as big as Riverwalk and Londonbury combined. The concerns are many:

• The amount of pavement for this monstrosity which in turn means even less green space, dirtier air, less ground waters to be absorbed yielding more flooding. It is O’Neil’s choice to build it so big.

• Traffic congestion. There is only one way in and out for the enormous added car volume, and that intersection is right next to the Schuykill river trail. Elm street and the Cherry/Elm intersection (right by the garden) is bad enough.

• These additional vehicles adding to the bridge congestion and pretty much every other intersection. Congestion yields pollution yields unhealthy plants and an unhealthy community.

• Conshohocken will become approximately 60% rental units (vs homes). Having renters is great, but a more appropriate percent is around 30%. A transient community is not a sustainable community.

If O’Neil gets his way on all three projects, we will have around 1300 more apartment units in the near term (not to mention the enormous project at Spring Mill and the project at Corson and West Elm). Let your voice be heard Thursday Jan 23, 7 PM at Borough Hall. Say No to O’Neil.

The person we thought made the post, an elected official heavily involved with the garden, denied any knowledge of it.  It will be curious to see if a further statement will be made to clarify who posted the statement and whether it is an official statement from the members of the garden.  Stay tuned.