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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hanover Addresses Warehouse Visibility Concerns

Hanover Township manager Jay Finnigan
Approximately 30 people, most of them residents of Traditions of America's (TOA) 241-home Jaindl Boulevard active senior development, attended Hanover Township's April 12 meeting to complain again about the visibility across the street. At the March 22, they claimed they had been misled before having purchasing their homes and again by an engineer at a Zoning hearing. "We need some help," said resident Richard Brand.

They got it. Township Manager Jay Finnigan told TOA residents he had looked into their concerns about the visibility of the warehouse from their development. As he explained two weeks before, he indicated the height of this building is actually two feet less than what the plan authorized, but he also noted that two deciduous trees were missing from the approved plan. He indicated that the remaining trees were planted last Fall, that the roots will develop over the Summer, and they should provide some buffering. But he cautioned that these are deciduous trees. For "significant" periods during the year, the trees will be bare, making the industrial business more visible.

Finnigan conducted had several meetings with the developer of the project, who agreed to plant 26 white pine, white spruce and Douglas firs. They will be six feet at planting, and can grow as high as 50'. he provided a plan to Phil Hoffman, who was acting as a spokesperson for TOA residents, showing where the trees will be planted.

In addition to these evergreen,the developer will plant 12 leatherleaf viberniums, an expansive and bushy evergreen that can also grow as high as 50'

The developer has committed to planting this additional landscaping in early May.

Finnigan also produced a plan showing the berm as it exists, and it conforms with the approved plan. Finnigan discussed the possibility of widening the berm and elevating it, but was told it would be impossible. Trees already planted would have to be ripped out and it would erode.

Hoffman said that he still wanted "more relief" because the visibility of the warehouse is "having an impact on our community."

Finnigan also addressed claims made by residents that they had been misled by TOA Realtors that no other development was planned around their senior community. He indicated that each property owner received and signed for a packet of information at the time of their purchase warning that "the land surrounding the site is zoned wither commercial or light industrial and business or other uses as depicted on the zoning map."

Hoffman then went on to say, as he did at the last meeting, "We pay taxes and get nothing for our taxes except advice and help."

Finnigan challenged that assertion. "You get the same services every resident in the Township gets, with the exception that we don't plow your streets , we don't pick up your leaves and we don't pick up your yard waste. You have the our streets, you have the use of our traffic signals, you have the use of our parks, you have the use of our sidewalks, you have the use of police, fire"

Hoffman said police protection is supplied by the County, and Finnigan corrected that, noting that the Township pays $1.7 million per year for police protection.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an arrogant prick. See you still carry water for your mancrush finnegan

Bernie O'Hare said...

I see you still have not learned how to spell his name.

Anonymous said...

Now he is an arrogant prick because he answered all of the questions posed by the residents.
Just because the answer is not what you want to hear. The truth hurts doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

"What an arrogant prick" I was sure you were referring to Hoffman. I thought the Township Manager's response was very professional and proactive. All the extra evergreens are being provided voluntarily by the warehouse developer because the Manager went to bat for these residents.

He actually showed quite a bit of restraint when challenged about service delivery. Those residents receive outstanding services at a very moderate rate. If Hoffman wants to complain about taxes he should go to the next BASD board meeting. What is the public interest in viewsheds onto commercial and industrially zoned land? Hoffman and his petty complainers should hire an attorney if they have complaints about promises made by a private developer.

Anonymous said...

Buyer beware

Anonymous said...

6:39 got it right. If 60 years of house hunting has shown one thing, never buy near a vacant lot. Never!

Bernie O'Hare said...

What Finnigan did was very thoroughly address every concern raised about the warehouse by TOA residents at the previous meeting. He met with th developer and got a commitment from the developer to provide additional landscaping above and beyond whatwas provided for in the original plan. He had engineers study the possibility of elevating the berm. He met with TOA to find out what people were told when they purchased units.

I am unable to state whether TOA misled purchasers, as claimed by a few residents. But Finnigan did produce documentary evidence that each original purchaser was made aware of the zoning in the area around this development. This tends to rebut what was claimed by some,, which incidentally defies common sense. How one can believe he has some control over the use of land he does not own is beyond me.

I was at the ZHB myself when the supposed misrepresentation about warehouse visibility was made by the developer's engineer. He did state that the warehouse would not be visible from the development. But I recall that he ALSO also testified that it would take a few years for the landscaping to have that effect.

What Jay did was demonstrate respect to the TOA residents. He took their concerns quite seriously and did what he could do to mollify them. But he can't compel the developer to knock down the building, which seems to be answer some are seeking. That is just unrealistic.

Anonymous said...

This is proof that none of these NIMBY's ever read their purchase agreements. They live in their own little Fort Courage, and expect everyone else to kiss their backsides. Seems that some of them aren't even smart enough to know who provides police protection and emergency services. I have no sympathy for those who suffer from this condition.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was just about old whiney farts being bitter about not doing their homework before they bought by checking out what the zoning of the adjacent lands was. But if TOA actually did that homework for them by providing them with that info as part of the purchasing documents, tell the ol' folks to shut-up and go home. The Manager was thorough and professional, and there are only so many nice ways to say "we've listened to your complaints but this is how it is and will be". Neither the Township not the developer (who is also going above and beyond his responsibilities to help these residents) should have to put one more minute or one more dollar towards this matter. But we all know if won't stop here (unless the TOA activity center offers up something really fun to distract these people).

Anonymous said...

How can you be an "arrogant prick" when you provide information and assist the NIMBY's with all their concerns. I was there on another issue last night and Mr. Finnigan was professional as usual. Mr. Hoffman was actually the arrogant individual. He denied receiving the disclaimer document that indicated they were buying a home in a commercial and industrial area. His claim of receiving no services was also professionally corrected. He and his friends chose to live in a gated community and pay a monthly fee. The TOA residents appear not to like facts!

Anonymous said...

Oh boo hoo TOA residents. You moved to your fortress community to escape from the unpleasantries of living in the urban jungle, and now you have to suffer the indignity of seeing the top of warehouses over your 10' walls. You should have planned to dig a moat around your fortress of solitude stocked with roving alligators to scare off commercial developers. Too late now. Oh, the humanity!!

Phil Hoffman said...

Hey There Mr. or Mrs. "ANONYMOUS". You seem to have a lot to say under the camouflage of " ANONYMOUS ". Why don't you have confidence to state your name so that we can all see who you are or more importantly who you are speaking for.

Phil Hoffman TOA at Hanover

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mr. Hoffman, I found you were respectful, too, and disagree with the person who thought otherwise. But I think Jay Finnigan went above and beyond in trying his best to address your concerns, and he responded very effectively to your false claim that you get no services in exchange for your taxes. I also do not think the engineer misled you in any way, and I covered that zoning hearing. in 5-7 years, you will have an adequate buffer.

Anonymous said...

I am speaking for myself and although I prefer to remain anonymous you and your fellow TOA residents are privileged whiners who want an artificially perfect community devoid of noisy children, and the unwashed masses you escaped to live in your fortress of solitude. Don't expect much sympathy from us in the real world.

Paul Arnold said...

Wow, how differently I saw things last night. I certainly did not see arrogance from Phil Hoffman. He was a resident of Hanover Twp addressing real concerns that include quality of life and home values. It is not just the visibility of the top of a warehouse.
Maybe we as residents of TOA made a mistake by buying what we thought might be out last home where we could live the rest of our lives in peace and happiness. Maybe we did not do all of our "homework". Maybe we did sign documents at closing that mentioned the possibilies of some of these issue.
But, maybe the residents were not the only ones guilty of mistakes.
Though this process we learned that the TOA property was given a "Special Zone Exception". I believe this was done because the land could not support a warehouse whatever that means. Was that decision a mistake. Did TOA properly detail to potential owners what was planned all around their "Special Zoned" site. I know it might be said it was my responsibility to ask and to know but why should their not be responsibility on the seller also. It also appears that we were mislead about what would be visible of the warehouse across the street on Jaindl Bvld. I was not at the meeting but it is clear to me that it was stated by the developer that only the top of the building would be visible. There is even a drawing that shows what was described in that meeting. Who's mistake is this and who is accountable?
I do believe that all TOA residents were made aware that we would need to pay an extra $45 per quarter for our special sewer pump house. I have never heard a reason for this. Are all these new warehouses also paying this extra fee that we do?
It just seems to me that with the special exception that was made to create our community, Hanover Township has not taken all the steps it might have taken to protect 241 tax paying home owners they created.
Were there mistakes? Yes, I believe so and perhaps all sides.
I think Phil Hoffman represented TOA at Hanover very professionally also and had every right to raise our concerns.
We were appreciative that more trees would be added and continue to look forward to working with Hanover Township.

Paul Arnold, TOA at Hanover

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mr. Arnold, I agree that Hoffman was very respectful. I disagree with much of the rest of your comment, which is largely speculation. Unlike you, I was at that zoning hearing. I recall specifically that the engineer stated it would take some time for the landscaping from the buffer to render the warehouse less visible. If you opposed that solution, you should have been there. Many TOA residents did attend, and most were satisfied after the presentation.

As to the land, Jaindl believes that mixing residential zones in with commercial is "smart growth." He may have had other reasons for wanting that zoning, and that is sheer speculation, but the fact remains that this is a residential area surrounded by commercial and industrial. When you buy land, it is always a good idea to look at the property around you. By the way, I consider that area beautiful, even with the warehouse.

I'm not sure what you expect the Township to do other than what it has already done to adress your concerns. Do you expect the Township to sue the developer and demand he tear down a warehouse after his plans were approved? I'm sure you knowit can't and won't do that.

I suppose you could sue, but I'd get several opinions before embarking on that course. I respectfully suggest you'd be throwing your money away.

Anonymous said...

Mr Arnold and Mr Hoffman, you come to the Township at the previous meeting and state that what you would really like is for the warehouses to be ripped down. It's hilarious as your development was the exception. Every time you get up in front of the board crying "woe is me" and "what are you going to do for me", you are failing to realize this is ultimately your fault. Stop blaming everyone else. Stand up, be a man, admit your mistake and move. Move to another gated 55+ community in another area with no warehouses. If you take a lose on your house then so be it. That's real estate for you. You are wasting the Township's time and those who have real business to get done. I am embarrassed on your behalf for your actions up until this point and hope that you move on.

Anonymous said...

Please forgive my many spelling errors at 11:26 am as I'm on my phone and have fat fingers.

Phil Hoffman said...

Well there you go again ANONYMOUS. I don't have time or desire to debate someone that doesn't have the "stones" to declare who they are " fat fingers " and all. Have a nice life.

Phil Hoffman TOA at Hanover

Phil Hoffman said...

Mr. O'Hare, Thank you for your kind words about me personally and thank you for providing this forum to allow for honest and civil debate about the communities where we all live. As you have read I will no longer respond to anyone that calls them self anonymous. Having served four years on a planning board in New Jersey, I have seen all kinds attending important meetings. Name calling says a lot about an individual. I was born at night but it wasn't last night. Thanks again.

Phil Hoffman TOA at Hanover

LVCI said...

Phil Hoffman: "I don't have time or desire to debate someone that doesn't have the "stones" to declare who they are."

Not a rebuttal to the points raised. Who cares who said it. I'm sure others were thinking the same thing. Because their names weren't used shouldn't discount their opinions. Although words could have been chosen more carefully I agree. What's more important are the issues raised then who said them.

Bernie and I have gone to heads for years over this issue. So I'm not sure if Bernie will allow this comment to stand. He feels another blogger doesn't have this right. Never the less I stand by this position. Issues are a more important matters then those who make them including myself.

Bernie;
Are you willing to accept this or excommunicate each and another for evermore because of our previous differences? Unkind words were exchanged. Can we finally agree to disagree and accept we both hold some value in the blogging community?

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVCI, I find your off topic comment extremely rude. I took the time to attend this meeting, record portions and write an account. People impacted by the warehouse and this who consider this a NIMBY issue, are here to discuss that, not my personal decision about linking or not linking to an anonymous blogger. If you wish to discuss tgat, you have me email address. But I resent you hijacking this blog thread for your own issues.

When it comes to my blog, it is a mixture of opinions AND FACTS. Often, they are facts you won't find in dailies bc they are not covering the meetings. To have any credibility in asserting these facts, the author of the blog must ID himself.

If you wish to discuss, I expect you to have the courtesy to contact me back channel instead of rudely interrupting another discussion.

Anonymous said...

Did you see if TOA has your signed acknowledgement?

Bill Reynolds said...

I attended the meeting on a totally unrelated issue and was astounded by the NIMBY's in attendance and the subsequent bashing of the manager on this blog. Everyone, the TOA residents, and the Greenbriar Road residents said what a great community Hanover is, except when it was an issue in their backyard. So if something effects them it's BAD, otherwise it great. The TOA residents obviously didn't do their homework and the lad from Greenbriar Road thinks recreation land will lie fallow.

Recreation land, according to my research is donated to municipalities in PA and is to be used to provide recreation facilities to the immediate and surrounding area. Recreation brings people, people bring vehicles and so on.

It seems Mr. Finnigan answered all the TOA residents concerns and because they didn't like the answers, bash him. Sometimes facts hurt.

Phil Hoffman said...

Mr.Reynolds. I never bashed Mr. Finnigan at the meeting or on this blog. Please correct your mis-statement.

LVCI said...

Forget it.. I should have known

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

At this point, I am deleting any anonymous personal attack. I commend Bill Reynolds and Phil Hoffman for saying who they are. Anonymity is not a license for personal attacks.

Bill Reynolds said...

Mr. Hoffman, bash might have been a bit aggressive. But I do have a couple of questions. Did you take a copy of the disclosure statement he offered? Did he not do exactly what he told you he'd do and more? Did he not get the developer to add additional landscape? Did he not dispel your claim of no services? As a former planning commission member you should know how things operate, that's right, it may be different in NJ.

Perhaps the association should foot the bill and add trees in your community and increase the size of your wall.

Phil Hoffman said...

Mr. Reynolds, Thank you for your correction statement " bash might have been a bit aggressive " and I will answer your questions in the order that you asked them.

1.YES I was happy to take a copy of everything he offered.
2.YES he did exactly what he said he'd do and more.
3.YES he did get the developer to add additional landscape.
4.My comment about " No services " was how it impacts our internal community. He did say that "we get to use the streets, sidewalks, traffic lights, and parks" but so does everyone else that passes through Hanover Twsp. whether they pay taxes here or not.
I would be happy to sit down with you over a cup of coffee ( my treat ) and have a civil discussion. I think you might find that our perceived differences might not be as great as think.

Phil Hoffman said...

Sorry. No option to edit. My last sentence should have ended ( might not be as great as you think )

Anonymous said...

You chose to live in a gated community knowing you had to pay extra for customary services. Your statement is therefore irrelevant. Thanks for answering Mr. Reynolds questions.