South Abington Twp. residents concerned about former Laurel Haven Greenhouse property

By Elizabeth Baumeister - | July 22nd, 2015 3:50 pm

SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — William and Kim Mecca, residents of Beach Circle in the Laurel Highlands development, voiced concerns regarding the condition of the former Laurel Haven Greenhouse property during the township supervisors meeting Monday, July 13.

The Meccas said the property has been in a state of neglect since fall 2012 when the owner burned it down, which is against the township code. They also said construction equipment was left on the property during that time and they believe several ordinances are under violation in regard to the property.

Township Manager David O’Neill said after previously hearing from the Meccas, he called the property owner, Al Senofonte, of Dunmore, that morning.

“He’s planning on, in the future, hoping to put in a single or a duplex unit in there,” O’Neill said of the property owner. “He has raised the property and he promises to come out pretty soon to level it of all the material out there.”

Supervisor Giles Stanton asked if the owner gave a specific date and O’Neill replied, saying he only said “soon.”

“I don’t like ‘hopefully’ and ‘soon,’” said Supervisor Mark Dougherty. “Can we get something in writing from the owner about the time frame?”

O’Neill agreed.

In other business:

• The board voted to approve a resolution to enter a loan agreement with Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank for $750,000. O’Neill said the funds will be used for the road widening and storm drainage work on Gravel Pond Road. He hopes a portion of the money will also fund work on a large portion of Skyline Drive.

• A resolution was approved authorizing the township to request a fixed 75 percent reimbursement from PennDOT for the sewer line relocation project on Edella Road.

• The McDonald’s project, in which the restaurant will be demolished and a new one built at the same site running parallel to Northern Boulevard, is moving forward. O’Neill said the owners hope to close the current restaurant just after Labor Day. Township Solicitor Attorney William Jones is reviewing an agreement submitted by the company and the township engineer will review the land development and subdivision plans.

• Attorney Greg Pascale attended the meeting, representing Tek 78, which was granted conditional approval Dec. 12, 2013 for 21 townhouse units on Winola Road. O’Neill said the township received a letter from its engineer, stating a total of $55,180 worth of infrastructure work is yet to be complete on the project. The company requested final conditional approval to start building, upon posting a letter of credit to the township for that amount. The supervisors voted in favor. O’Neill explained this allows the municipality, should the developer leave the picture, to draw the funds to finish the required paving and other work.

• Chris Speicher, who owns a 46-acre parcel of land zoned in a conservation district, hopes to sell the property to be divided into eight to 10 residential units. The supervisors referred him to the zoning board.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10 at the township building on Shady Lane Road.

By Elizabeth Baumeister

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.