This past Wednesday a hearing for the proposed new zoning district, SP-4, which would allow the hotel and larger office buildings on the unit block of Fayette Street, was on the agenda for Conshohocken’s Borough Council. The Borough had the stenographer there and the developer proposing the new district, Keystone Properties Group, had its lawyers, staff and various witnesses all prepared to continue the hearing. As soon as the hearing was opened, Borough Council member Tina Sokolowski made a statement and then a motion to continue the hearing to January.
In addition to the developer, also in attendance were several dozen members of unions and representatives of the Philadelphia Building Trade Unions (some with signs in support of the rezoning), a few members of the public, and MoreThanTheCurve.com.
What was Sokolowski’s reasoning? She stated that the parking study had only been provided by Keystone to Borough Council on Friday and there had not been enough time to properly review it. What is odd is that Keystone could have made its presentation on the parking plan during the scheduled hearing on Wednesday, members of Borough Council could have taken notes, reviewed the study with their notes between now and January, and asked follow-up questions at the next scheduled hearing. This was not a situation where a final decision to approve or reject the proposed zoning district had to be made that night if the hearing was held.
It was really a big waste of time for everyone in attendance, approximately 100 people, not to hold the hearing. It was also weird that when they took the vote to continue the hearing into January, we never heard a call for no votes. It looked to us like at least one member of Borough Council wanted to vote no.
When the gavel struck everybody in the room just kind of looked around at each other with a “what was that” kind of look.
More to come.